In our efforts to remain completely transparent with the community, we’d like to have a candid conversation with all of you about LEAP.
Blue Isle Studios is a small team of 15 highly passionate developers who love to work on extremely ambitious projects. We’re honoured to be compared and judged as a title in the AAA space despite being an indie title on a small budget. Because we’re a small team, we do have some advantages. We can move fast and bounce back from poor launches whereas some AAA titles would be forced to throw in the towel.
We see a lot of posts with players who are rightfully concerned that because the game has received mixed reviews and the player counts have lowered, that we are going to abandon the game within weeks. This is definitely not going to happen. We’re a healthy company that has been in the game’s industry for over a decade. We have big plans for this game, and we agree with the community’s assessment that there is much to be done.
We have yet to build a game that we have not taken to consoles and full 1.0, and LEAP will not be the first. At a bare minimum, you can expect a solid development effort throughout early access with the goal of creating a polished, stable and feature-full 1.0 launch. What does that mean though?
-Expect a roadmap containing new game modes, maps and game features
-Expect mod support
-Expect bug fixes and polish
-Expect performance improvements
-Expect us to be regularly engaged with the community
These promises are all well and good, but what does that matter if there’s no players to play with? We will be hosting regular events with the community, and our developers will be participating. It may not be every waking hour, but we will make sure that you can play this game with real players, and deliver honest feedback to our team.
There have been many criticisms that the game should have been free to play. For this, we disagree. The game was simply not ready for F2P, and if it were to go that route, we believe the same result would have happened, but the initial player base would have started at 1500, rather than 300 and scaled just the same. We view early access akin to a Kickstarter or a Patreon. 2 years ago, we began playtesting this game with a community, and over time we grew that community, taking their feedback and iterating until the game reached what it is today.
Early access is our opportunity to expand that community and take in the larger public’s perception so that we can ensure we’ve gotten everything right for 1.0. We’re looking for buy-in though; we need supporters, people that can see the potential and people that want to see this game succeed. Could the game end up free to play in 1.0? Possibly, and if that is the community’s overwhelming feedback then that is something we will listen to.
Regarding game performance and framerate, we underestimated where the bar was in first person shooters. While we managed to resolve some framerate inconsistencies within 24 hours of launch, the truth is that the community has an extremely high bar for performance in FPS games. As we work towards our console performance targets, there will no doubt be significant performance efforts that will be paid forward to PC players. As a point of reference, another title of ours ‘Citadel: Forged with Fire’, saw more than double the framerate when it reached 1.0 due to console performance requirements.
Many will say that the game was not marketed heavily. The truth is that good marketing is extremely expensive, and we have the budget for one strong marketing push. We believe the time for that push is once we have exited early access and hit 1.0. By that time the performance will be better, the gameplay will be tighter, the presentation of the game will be stronger, and not only our studio, but the community as a whole will believe LEAP is ready.
For now, we need your support and we need your optimism. If you believe in this game, consider posting in the feedback section rather than leaving a negative review. The thing with the review system is that it affects their algorithms. So when players leave a negative review because there are no players to play with, it prevents the game from being discovered by new players and perpetuates the cycle into a downward spiral. It’s your choice though, and we fully respect it either way. We are here to stay, and our development enthusiasm will not change based on the review score or the player count.
Please continue to share all of your concerns and questions with us. Our discord is very active, and can be joined here: https://discord.com/invite/leap. We will make posts like this one every once in a while to address the community and remain transparent throughout the development process.
Blue Isle Studios