Releasing a game on Early Access is the new norm for developers. They are able work out the bugs while players get to be part of the experience of developing the game by finding bugs. Changes are made throughout that cycle until they're finally released, the most famous example of which is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
Sairento VR disappointed fans when the release date was pushed back to make improvements to the game.
Interview With The Developer
Sairento VR is set to be released on Feb. 6 after the almost month-long delay for the full release of the game. Chief executive Aldric Chang of Sairento VR developer Mixed Realms shared some thoughts about the game.
Sairento VR was released just before the original release date of Jan. 11 due to the developers finding issues. Chang noted that the choice was hard but necessary.
"It was very difficult. On one hand we did not want to disappoint the fans and disturb the good PR work our agent has done," Chang told Tech Times. "But on the other hand we really wanted to make sure that our game was emerging from Early Access at a quality we would be proud of."
Unlike what is becoming the norm of releasing games with bugs then patching, Chang said that it was better to take a more careful approach to make sure that the game could be released without issues.
"A few weeks before the original release date, we still found many issues we were not happy with and were unsure whether we could finish solving them in time," Chang told Tech Times. "So after much deliberation we decided to err on the side of caution and make the decision to delay the exit."
Looking at the reaction from fans about delayed release, they were more than happy to wait for the game. Chang outlined the delay in an open letter to the fans apologizing. While the title featured bad news, fans didn't have anything negative to say about the news.
"We were so happy and amazed. Most -- if not all -- the fans took it positively and assured us that we were doing the right thing," Chang told Tech Times. "Some of them said that they were already very happy with Sairento VR at its current state. Even folks who had not played our game yet told us they would buy it to support us."
Developers dealt with problems in the game with clipping, and expressed concerns with the campaign mode that they're hoping to improve upon.
"Primarily clipping issues like players falling through floors or going through walls, enemies not acting the way they should be, VR calibration issues such as virtual arms not being long enough for players with really lengthy arms," Chang told Tech Times. "Although not really considered a bug, we were also not happy with (and we are still not completely happy) how we implemented the Story Campaign Mode. So we have been working hard to polish it further. We still want to do more for it but are really limited by our resources, so we just hope that fans are going to be understanding."
Along with improving upon these issues with the game. Chang also addressed the difficulty of Sairento VR, with fans constantly addressing the developer for help with the game. Fans asked for so much help that with news of the delay, they released game guides for the game.
"Sairento VR is a complex game in the sense that there are many weapons and a deep leveling system. We've had player feedback tell us that it was not easy to get all the intricacies the game offered if we didn't tell them through the forums," Chang told Tech Times. "But that was only if they happened to ask. So after a while, it just made sense to create the game guides to help the players out once and for all."
Sairento VR already ended up being one of the best-selling VR titles on Steam despite still being in Early Access. Despite this success, they're not expecting to be on the list for 2018.
"We are not so confident. After all, we have been in Early Access for one year and while we will be officially 'out of the workshop,' there will be a lot more VR games coming out," Chang told Tech Times. "We expect the competition to be intense."
Mixed Realms is thrilled to be taking the game out of Early Access but said they're not done working on the game.
"We are happy of course, but apart from that, we don't feel too different," Chang told Tech Times. "Yes, we do feel a sense of achievement for having brought the game this far, but it's not like we are finally washing our hands off the product and that's the end of that."
"A graduation from Early Access simply means that the game is in a very playable state in our opinion. But we are still going to be working on updates and new content for a while more for our fans while we work on our next project. We will also be planning for a PSVR release," he added.