At the end of 2021 our focus had been on improving our communication with our players, and we want to continue that into 2022. Now that is a two way street, and it requires us to listen as much as talk, and so we’ve been listening to your concerns. Out of everything you’ve said the most commonly raised issue is our out-of-date Roadmap!
It is fair to say that the current public Roadmaps that we have provided, and yes there are two of them, have long ago ceased to be useful. While they were well intentioned, they were at best overly optimistic in their target dates. This resulted in us “breaking off more than we could chew”, or overpromising and underdelivering to you our players.
It’s just as clear to us as it is to you that something needs to be done and we wanted to let you know that it’s one of our main priorities.
There are essentially two main things we need to finalize before we’re able to present you with a new Roadmap.
- Create a new visual format: We’ve done a static illustrated Roadmap in the past, which looks slick and is the kind of thing that marketing departments get really excited about. The problem is that it was hard to update and when things changed, as they are likely to do during development, it was cumbersome to make manual changes. We want us to update a Roadmap to take away from actual development, and so whatever we decide on has to be something that is easy to keep up-to-date.
- Confirm what we can first share as part of the new roadmap: The intention is that all of our outstanding announced content (V2.12, US Marines, Australian Faction, Pan Asia Faction) will be released, and our wider development team is currently deep in planning to determine updated and realistic timelines for this content. Part of this process will be informed by the experience our new CEO Vlad Ceraldi brings to the table. If you missed our announcement about Vlad joining us, you can find that post here (URL LINK). Part of this timeline is also impacted by a few unexpected technical challenges that arose with the upcoming 2.12 release. While we wish this update would have had a much smoother release, we are grateful to all of our playtesters who have helped to identify bugs that can only be established via mass gameplay.
Now we have decided a few things about the Roadmap so far, and wanted to share those with you at this stage before it’s introduced to help set expectations.
- Update Frequency: We are aiming to update the Roadmap once every two months. Even if nothing significant has happened in the interim, we at least want to share that everything that we have laid out on it remains accurate.
- No Dates: One of the lessons from the previous attempts at a Roadmap is that we have not been great at hitting our own estimated dates. When we first launched the Roadmap, we made a point to emphasize that dates can and likely would shift – yet we still found ourselves getting too specific, and even with this warning we witnessed too much frustration with changes. Going forward, the Roadmap will focus more on presenting a Release Order and a set of priorities. Release dates for content will be communicated much closer to their actual release, so don’t worry we’re not going to sneakily update the game with a new faction without you noticing. Ultimately though experience has shown us that communicating dates too early in the development process only leads to broken promises.
- Other Communication Touchpoints: We will continue to engage through our social channels, and elsewhere within our community. We are also looking at other methods to keep communication flowing between Roadmap updates, so that you’re kept better informed of what’s happening behind the scenes at Offworld Industries. These will include our Developer Q&As which we started last year, a planned resumption of the Squad Chat Streams later this year, Server Spotlights, monthly Wrench Mod Features, and other ideas. Our goal here is to avoid long periods of radio silence while we’re developing the game. Some of these initiatives are on hold until we can hire a new Community Manager to replace Krispy.
We understand that with the precedent of the previous Roadmap attempts you might have expected our next Roadmap to include the dates, and be updated on a more frequent basis. However, given that both previous Roadmaps ended with missed deadlines, and were not updated as frequently as promised we think that this time a more conservative approach is needed. While we will make mistakes we can also try our best to avoid repeating the same ones again, and again. Our aim is to not return to the complete lack of transparency that predated the first iteration of our Roadmap, and to instead iterate further and shift our approach in a manner that makes the most amount of sense for our team.
We know that you’re all anxious for the new Roadmap, and we’re anxious to be able to share with you our priorities and what we’re working on!
For now all we can ask is for your patience, as we work towards getting that to you.
- The Offworld Industries Team