For this blog post I wanted to write something a bit more personal, something that talks more about developers as humans, as people. We can talk about specific development strategies, issues we have to tackle, the current state of the artwork, but at the end of the day, all those working on NewCity are still humans. And while I understand why we don’t talk about that more often, I still think it’s an important discussion.
When I joined the team, some time last year, I had a very specific view of how my work here would be. I didn’t know what struggles I would face, but I knew this would be probably my most difficult challenge so far. I knew I had to do my best, at every moment. I dedicated myself to the team, interacted with the community, and contributed to the weekly releases as much as possible.
While I can say the beginning was hard, I mostly didn’t notice it. I was very focused on showing my value to the team and to the community that I quickly forgot about the challenges I had just done, always looking at the next one. This mentality continued for quite a bit, and for the time, I was sure it was the right one to have. After all, I had to do my best, right?
If anyone on the team felt a bit too tired, concern from the others quickly showed. We were never at a point where we felt we could not stop. It was more like a voice on our heads, constantly telling us to do better. To do more. To do it faster.
A few months later however, I felt tired. Tired when I shouldn’t be. And I could see I was not the only one. Our early rush reaped us good progress, no doubt. But it wasn’t without a cost. We were (and still are) passionate about the project, but passion alone isn’t enough. At the end of the day, we’re all still humans.
We had no choice so we slowed down a bit. We release updates less often, test more, allocate more time to develop features so as to make sure the community gets a better product and us, more time to get things done.
Right now, everyone on the team has a positive mentality about the work we’re doing. And like I described, earlier on development it wasn’t like that. This is the kind of thing that makes me realize how human we are. How much we’ve changed. How much we’ve grown. Individually and as a team.
We still have plenty of exciting things coming up for NewCity before the final release out of early access, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. Until we can publicly release those, we’ll keep doing our best, while still taking care of ourselves. And we hope you are doing the same.
Lone Pine here.
When Gainos wrote this post last week, I procrastinated on posting it. I procrastinated because I felt like I needed to comment too, and I didn’t have the courage to do that. I am the leader of this project, and I need to hold myself accountable for everything that happens – and doesn’t happen.
The game has several problems – it’s buggy, confusing to new players, and has unacceptable performance on many people’s machines. In the past few months, I have not worked hard enough to face these problems. I’ve been avoiding work, and that is not acceptable for a leader.
I will turn this around. NewCity is, at its core, a good game. We will soon release a new tutorial which will make the game less confusing to new players. Bugs will be fixed and there are still major performance improvements to be had.
I know there has been a lot of frustration, and I ask for your patience. Thank you.
At Lone Pine Games we are always looking for feedback to improve our game! The best way to provide it is through the NewCity Discord.
We are thankful to have such a lively and dedicated group of Mayors participating in discussions regarding new features, city planning strategy, development news, and just about anything else.
Steam Reviews are always appreciated as well!