First off, the good news. We have managed to fix the save file issue, and we will have a patch in your hands tomorrow. So hold onto them. Mac Users, we are still waiting on some information from Valve about the correct way to build Mac Patches. Again, thanks for hanging in there. Your patch is coming.
A few apologies are owed as well. Obviously, breaking save files is a bad thing. This is our mess, we made it, and now we get to live with it. I am not happy with the fact that we have been having teething troubles after launch. This is, bluntly, not how I want Gaslamp Games to be run. I want us to be the company that is so freakin’ awesome you tell your friends how awesome we are. The programming side of things is my fault, and I apologize for that as well.
The simple fact of the matter is that we were not expecting sales in the volume that we got, and we were not expecting the response that we got. I honestly thought we would make… maybe a thousand sales during the entire lifetime of the product. We are… doing somewhat better than that, and as a result we are doing our best to try to deal with the fact that we now have to support a massive user base, with no money, no staff, and no time. Consequently, we have been scrabbling around trying to get everything sorted out, and when we were testing the reasonably large patch that was about to come out, this slipped through the cracks at the last minute. We didn’t go back and re-test the savegames after we put together a last minute fix for a shopkeeper issue, and ka-blam, there’s nothing left to do but to pick up the bodies. It’s a mess, and our forums are probably on fire as well… I haven’t had the heart to look.
So, yep. There’s mud on all of our faces. Mainly mine, because whenever there are bugs it tends to be a programming issue.
At the same time, patch 1.0.3 seems to have dealt with the major crashes in 1.0.2. So that’s good news. Obviously, there are things that we will have to straighten out – vampirism, balance tweaks, whatever the heck is going on with dual wielding, mod support, social stuff, and I am sure that there is at least one more crash bug waiting to strike! – but it almost feels like I can sit down, stop running, and take a breather.
The only reason we put an achievement in for crashing was because we figured that the game was stable enough that this would no longer be an issue. Hence it might be coveted, instead of something that everybody now gets. Bleh. I was, also, admittedly surprised that this is an issue with a permadeath game. I didn’t actually think that enough people would care that much about their characters and their runs in the worst case scenario that we broke the save game format. Frankly, this is also me being stupid. As users, you guys get to play the game how you want to play it, and who are we to make assumptions otherwise? I am, in fact, amazed and humbled that people are putting in monstrous amounts of time on Dungeons of Dredmor, and the stories of eighteen hour runs gone in an instant are absolutely heartbreaking.
As soon as things calm down and I get this hotfix out properly, I will be building some serious regression testing for save games so that this Does Not. Happen. Again. It was on the TODO list, and we didn’t get to it for this patch, because we wanted to deal with the Stairs bug and other issues. (Interestingly, the Stairs Bug has been in the codebase for five years; nobody’s managed to trigger it in all that time until the game has been released. Go team.) As soon as we actually get royalties, we will be investing in some hardware to run automated testing and hardware compatibility checking, and we will be building this into the next game from day one so that, again, this does not happen again.
I am also going to take a few days off to try and catch up on my sleep, so I feel less stressed out about having an Indie Hit on my hands that… well, to be frank, I’m not always totally sure how to deal with it. 🙂
Anyhow, as always, we are here to listen to your concerns. When I started Gaslamp in 2008 and dragged these other guys into it, I decided from day one that I wanted Gaslamp to be the kind of company that is awesome, listens to its user base, and puts out a good product. If we are not doing that, we need to know so that we can fix it… and we will fix it. So thank you, as always, for holding our irons to the fire.
PS. Incidentally, we are interested in how things are going with 1.0.3 *other* than with the save game issues. A bunch of stuff did get fixed, and while I think we will be patching Dredmor a little more slowly from now on, we still need to start thinking at some point about what to tackle next.