Under Development: Human Resources
With the Under Development crew dealing with their own Human Resources drama, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the Human Resources Kickstarter and see what’s happening. Earlier this week we posted a story by Ahmad Khan outlining some issues with Uber’s Kickstarter campaign; specifically the impact that Planetary Annihilation was having on it. Let’s take a look!
“…a number of backers aren’t exactly happy that Uber Entertainment have launched a brand new Kickstarter while their pervious one is still, to quote a backer, “incomplete and un-finished.“
At this point the Human Resources comments section has taken on a much more positive tone. Conversation over the past couple days, which has been very active, has been centered on new faction ideas, and how to get the word out to other press outlets. And while there haven’t been additional details on the game shown, the updates from Uber have been frequent and varied. The fact that one of them was John Comes, the design director, simply doing commentary on footage everyone had already seen and no one complained should be a testament to the overall calmness.
While there are still complaints on the Planetary Annihilation side about the games overall quality, the overflow to Human Resources has all but stopped. However, it’s worth noting that just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean that all is right. While those still unhappy with Planetary Annihilation may not be hijacking Human Resources, it’s doubtful they’re backing it either.
“Uber Entertainment promised a DRM-free copy for backers as well as offline-play option for Planetary Annihilation, which they promised in their very first update.”
The offline patch for Planetary Annihilation was announced on the 6th (after our original article was posted), with a promised release date of October 9th. Although no new announcement was made on Kickstarter, a review of the Planetary Annihilation forums shows that the update was, in fact, released on the 9th as promised. Additional updates were made as well, with a number of players praising the improved pathfinding and overall game performance.
In addition to the patch, Uber announced the hiring of a new Production Director for Planetary Annihilation. Jeremy Ables, or “jables” as he’s known, has a solid history in the gaming community, including work on Supreme Commander, Jeremy will states that he will be focused on “…developing processes and standards to better prioritize and communicate our updates moving forward.” Something Uber has been lacking in the past.
“One intrepid backer also revealed the information on their Steam page promising DRM-free and offline play that was subsequently removed.”
It’s still not there, but the patch is available and does work.
Where does all this leave Human Resources? There’s not much point in comparing the relative campaign progress of Human Resources versus that of Planetary Annihilation since we’re living in a much different Kickstarter time than we did 2 years ago. If you must know, though, at this point the in campaign Planetary Annihilation had raised $693,395 from 17,445 backers, as compared to Human Resources’ $242,138 from 6,219 backers. Are the struggles of the Human Resources campaign due to Planetary Annihilation? Yes. Is it struggling because the Kickstarter of 2014 is much different than the Kickstarter of 2012? Yes. Is it struggling because there’s not enough game for backers to see yet? Yes. Will Human Resources reach its $1.4million funding goal? Possibly.
While there are already plenty of lessons to take from the Human Resources Kickstarter, such as the need for developers to have their house in order before selling something new, that’s a discussion best left for another day. It is evident that while the game stumbled coming out of the gate, it’s now recovering; whether or not there’s still time enough for that to matter remains to be seen.