We got a lot of responses to Adam’s post on Friday. Here’s a sample:
Are we crazy? Are we doing it wrong? Should every person in the company be working on the same thing? Should HBO make one TV show at a time? Should Warner Brothers make one movie at a time?
I think it’s probably fair to say that like the majority of internet commentators these guys probably read the headline, looked at the pictures, then posted their comments. Will people actually read this text or will they need to register their outrage at the title immediately?
Assuming they read the full post and got all the information and are still angry.. they are probably going to be even angrier to find out that we have three other prototypes being worked on by Facepunch staff.
And guess what, we haven’t finished Rust, and we haven’t finished Rift-Light, and we haven’t finished those three other prototypes.. and we want to hire more programmers to start even more prototypes.
Our strategy at the moment is to hire talented people to make the games they want to play. We’re not asking you to fund this. We’re not starting a kickstarter and begging you for money – we’re funding it.
We are spending money Rust and Garry’s Mod make to do this. Arguing that we should be re-investing that money back into only those games is like telling apple they can’t spend the money they made from iPhone and Macs to fund the development of the iPad. Keep in mind that we spent money Garry’s Mod made to develop Rust – and that turned out pretty good, right? Or should Helk and Pat have been working on Garry’s Mod all that time?
I think a good company develops continually, and the more things we’re working on the better. I think this strategy is working out for us so far.
There were a few things that kind of irked me in the comments about Rust. A lot of people said we gave up on Rust, and aren’t updating it anymore. Rust is getting updates very regularly. We even set up a twitter account that live posts when we commit new stuff. We are very transparent about that. I fully accept that this is our fault for not communicating the experimental branch properly, but it hurts when we’re working all week on it and people don’t acknowledge that.
Secondly the whole funding thing. People aren’t going to like my views on this. Some commenters have expressed their feelings that they ‘funded’ Rust and we’re running off with the money. None of this sentence is true. We funded Rust for 1-2 years before it eventually became what it is. You bought early access to it. When you buy a pizza you aren’t funding Dominos, you’re just buying a pizza. It’s true that the sales of Rust have been insane and we have stepped up development to suit, and I think you only have to compare the experimental version to the live version to see that.
Thirdly – the people who work on Rust are working on Rust. They’re not working on prototypes. That should be very obvious by the dev-blogs we post every friday.
I guess this is one of the issues we’re going to face with open development.
I am guessing that a lot of game developers bigger and smaller than us have multiple prototypes in the works, but they aren’t showing them to you. The only thing that makes our situation remarkable is that we’re willing to talk about our process and show our experiments.