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One more thing @justbiglee‌, some might be hard to read, and some might be over-the-top negative, but there's a lot of the same sort of comments repeating in the comments section of the Eurogamer article: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-01-09-layoffs-hit-f1-and-dirt-developer-codemasters#comments

Might be some pointers in there, in between the chaff?

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gfRally said:

Assetto Corsa seem to have set a certain point for their 1.0 release, then are making a Dream Pack add on with 10 desirable cars and Nordschleife, which seems fair as DLC. I'd shy away from having the base game then every single car/track as DLC (aka the RaceRoom Experience approach) as it's not so fun, and not traditional for Codemasters either, I hope you don't go that way (let alone the matchmaking problems you've had in previous games when people don't have the same content).

I think Richard Burns Rally and Assetto Corsa are good examples though of games which were released then community supported (like rFactor). If you could release tools for people to add content themselves, whilst focussing on the bits you're good at like AI and graphics, then this whole thing could take off.

I think most people out there though would like to see an end to the so-called "dudebro" US trendy themed approach of the games though. More realism would be great!
Dude, what do you mean? Come on bro give us US guys a break, lol. 
lol they probably think your a bunch of surfers or something lol and you would be surprised on how many people would like a return to the DiRT 2 style racing. :)

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Assetto Corsa seem to have set a certain point for their 1.0 release, then are making a Dream Pack add on with 10 desirable cars and Nordschleife, which seems fair as DLC. I'd shy away from having the base game then every single car/track as DLC (aka the RaceRoom Experience approach) as it's not so fun, and not traditional for Codemasters either, I hope you don't go that way (let alone the matchmaking problems you've had in previous games when people don't have the same content).

I think Richard Burns Rally and Assetto Corsa are good examples though of games which were released then community supported (like rFactor). If you could release tools for people to add content themselves, whilst focussing on the bits you're good at like AI and graphics, then this whole thing could take off.


I really think this is how it should be, NOT LIKE RACEROOM, I played the 'demo' and said no way am I being nickeled and dimed like that.  

However I really do like the AC model, where they are open to user content, with the surprise of some becoming official content.  Also AC did give us a good base game that could be played for a long time before you feel the need to buy DLC (yea I know there isn't any yet) but if there was, at this point I wouldn't feel the NEED to do so.

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lol they probably think your a bunch of surfers or something lol and you would be surprised on how many people would like a return to the DiRT 2 style racing. :)
Well, sadly I am one, at least the xgames atmosphere :neutral_face:  

I guess that proves the stereotype, BRO

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Just like @VirtuaIceMan‌ said how the EA should be ran depends on its purpose and how far the game was developed and how much content is ready. As I would see it the purpose of EA style release for DiRT and Codemasters in this situation could be:
  1. For the DiRT team to show to management that the game concept/approach they have taken will be popular in EA and give confidence to management that they should give a green light to console versions development  (it is worth reading some comments below the Eurogamer article - many ask for CMR-like game)
  2. Cash injection - the game has been in development for a while and perhaps brining it to a beta style release with partial content would not take long. Release it for a discounted price (do not even try to go near full release price - be honest about what is on offer). If the release can have a decent amount of content release it with a higher price but have a clear and communicated plan how much is expected to be added (or how much it would cost when it is released or how much content packs would cost)
  3. If it is for game testing purposes release it for very little money and then offer a discount to those who took part and submitted feedback/bug reports.


The paragraphs below are a message I've sent to @justbiglee‌ in October when he asked some questions on Twitter. Not sure how the current situation with team resources and company finances would impact what I said:

My take on the reasons why many fellas mentioned Assetto Corsa as a good example of Early Access programmes:
  • Quite a clear definition of what the game was aiming to be and progress was visible through quite frequent updates and rapid bug fixing. How frequent do the updates need to be? Tough one but once or twice per month seems kind of right
  • Feedback from players was implemented in a number of ways and new deals/features were announced when they happened, not strictly driven by some other reasons (this is important aspect of the communication as perceived by Early Access subscribers - the desire to be the first to know, kind of like being a part of the team and having inside info)
  • Early Access offered a discount on final game price and DLC will have a 50% discount for Early Access subscribers - such incentives add to the overall benefit of trying out something very new early and contributing to make the final game better
  • Assetto Corsa is open for modding and devs share many of their tools - this just amplifies how open the developer appears to the Early Access subscriber 

In your write-up you've summed up that communication is key to how beneficial the Early Access scheme appears to the subscriber. I completely agree with that and agree that communication needs to be well balanced. To me an approach where chunkier updates are provided every 2-3 weeks, while every quick snippets of progress would be shared every week would be appealing. Maybe short clips/vines/instagrams of what the devs got to work/model up in a certain week. In a way a bit of a dev diary for insiders to illustrate the progress and that feedback is taken onboard (and when it isn't just engage in a polite discussion - this always works on the internet....)
Maybe a short video as a spotlight on a feature/car/location. And similar short bursts of info, but I suspect the approval/licencing issues may get in the way of such an open access.


I know that what the DiRT has would be to liking of many people and would show that Codemasters are not stagnant in their ways. The game would show innovation, a will to listen to fan's wishes and if Early Access release happens it would also show that Codies want to go with the times.

I'll keep on thinking more on this. 

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I dont know about the early acces , Dont know if it should be that useful,..

But if it is for the cash flow to create the rally game,
then of course I would buy it and support Codemasters.

Because I stand behind Codemasters because they make awesome rallygames and keep the rallysport a live by many people who are not familiar or supporting or not known the rallysport,
and that keeps my sport, my passion ( the rallysport) also a live!

I do have faith in Codies at Southam that they create something amazing,.. and I believe in their quality games. so for bugs and etc, i think its nonsense to do an early access.

But as i mention, if it's to get the money to complete that amazing rally game, then u got my investment in it!

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One more thing @justbiglee‌, some might be hard to read, and some might be over-the-top negative, but there's a lot of the same sort of comments repeating in the comments section of the Eurogamer article: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-01-09-layoffs-hit-f1-and-dirt-developer-codemasters#comments

Might be some pointers in there, in between the chaff?
No, they are talking tosh.

If you look at the sales figures on VGChartz, Dirt2 and Dirt3 were very successful games, selling about 2 million each.

If people hated the "dudebro" of Dirt 2 so much they would have never bought Dirt 3, but they did.

Grid Autosport (which incidentally I think is a good game and deserved far better in terms of sales) had no "dudebro" yet has been quite a poor seller relative to Dirt 2 and Dirt 3. 

So there is no evidence at all that "dudebro" is/was a major problem with CM games. If you want to figure out what the real issues are you need to look deeper than that.

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I do have faith in Codies at Southam that they create something amazing,.. and I believe in their quality games. so for bugs and etc, i think its nonsense to do an early access.

But as i mention, if it's to get the money to complete that amazing rally game, then u got my investment in it!

I would say that Early Access is actually a good way of delivering a high quality, polished game. Who would be the most keen person to try the game and want to make it better? The ones who will spend some money on an unfinished game - they would be convinced by the feeling of helping to shape and improve the game. DiRT is a well known franchise already - it would not have trouble getting sales on Early Access.

How to keep the console gamers involved? I think the purpose of the EA needs to be stated. That's a tough one, but if Codies will see EA also as a chance to get confidence in the product then doing 'betas' is surely much cheaper on PC than on consoles. Why not make that clear? Why can't a developer be honest and say: 'We'd like to change things around and we think the best way is to release what we have and see what people think. It will cost some money, because it already has lots of features, content and is more than playable'.
Bam. Sold.

Couple of days ago some may have thought I read too much into one's post:
''it will be a proper conversation where you help us make the game better.'  - Any chance of Early Access scheme....? Or maybe it's my wishful thinking...
@GentleNameMVB - I knew you'd over think all that :P 


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If Codemasters just need the money, take it to Kickstarter, that way the super fans can pay for all sorts up front (with incentives), and we don't have to receive the game in bits (which might mess up/give away career mode content early).

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and @dirt3joe‌, I didn't mean just the styling of the game, there's people on there saying "another ToCA, another Colin McRae = success".

Comment areas can have a lot of people just venting rubbish, but they also allow people who aren't living in the Codemasters forum to get their opinion out. I'd assume Codemasters keep an eye on several racing game sites forums for feedback, as well as bigger game review sites.

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Happy Monday "Delta" day to everyone btw :D



This monster just makes u smile ! So forget the chocolate @justbiglee and go to YouTube and search for Delta rally movies ;-) :P

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I'd like to see a demo/early access hybrid.  For a third of the cost of the full thing, release a 1 track 1 car demo, to gain feedback on handling, physics, graphics, sound and fine tune those based on private forum feedback.  The initial demo cost would be deducted off the full price, and we would still have the full content fresh to play/look forward to.  Personally speaking, after being satisfied with how it looks, handles etc, I can make my full purchase decision based on a simple (but detailed) content list (tracks, cars, disciplines etc, maybe chosen in part by a user poll)

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I'm for EA, as I believe it is the best way to communicate with fans.

 It would allow you to gauge the community suggestions on what is good and what needs work, also would it be a good way to discover bugs and issues.

I and I'm sure many others would be happy to pay $$$ for early access.

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As a console gamer, I couldnt care less about a PC early access system, however PCars shows us the good and the bad of it.

Good: Free marketing: PCars has got mainstream game media attention for itself without any expensive adverts or trailers, as well as many deals with other brands (Panasonic etc), because it is able to prove itself as a good game rather than a good trailer.

Feedback: Obvious.

Money: See previous.

 Bad:

Lack of control: The internalet can be a harsh place, and you will have no say over what people put on there: bugs, exploits, physics fails etc...

Feedback: Not as obvious as the good, but you may find a lot of contradictory messages that say things that are ultimately pretty dumb. What people think they want is not always the same as what the actually want. Just look at wishlists for pretty much any game to see the weird things people think of.

 No marketing strategy: An awesome trailer won't have the same effect when there is 100s of hours of gameplay available all ready. True early access also means that a game must be in the public eye for much longer than even the biggest AAA game, the hype might be gone by the time release date trundlesaround.

Segregates the community: As a console gamer I'm pretty annoyed that PC players have had PCars for 2+ years now but I still can't play it.

 Wow, long post. I need to find something to do.

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Hey, I'm a PC player but never got in with Project CARS (as my PC was too old at the time), so it's been "out" for 2+ years and I haven't played it either yet!

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If I was a console-only gamer I would likely feel slightly disappointed... But if you think about the funding and development success of pCars and Assetto Corsa, would those games come out/get close to release if it wasn't for the Early Access/crowd-funding schemes?

In both cases the schemes worked, because there are enough racing game enthusiast willing to help out to become a part of the project and shape it. Wherever you read DiRT related comments (facebook page is at times comedy gold) there's big hunger for the next game. Especially, if that game is a nod towards the CMR roots...

We know only a small portion of the story (or maybe even less...), but what if the only way next DiRT can come out in the next 3 years is Early Access?
What if the financial situation does not allow for the game to be finished without a cash injection or a big sales release?

If Codemasters need to wait for F1 2015 cash to come in then it would have been a while before we see DiRT/new rally game come out.

Yes, it is a possibility that console players will feel left out - that is why the purpose of EA should be honestly laid out and it should promise a path to release on consoles once the game gains traction (huh...) and polish. New consoles have sold in good numbers - Codies need to get on that train.

I do wonder which parts of the article are not true. My little hope is that the licensing hurdles are not as bas Eurogamer make it to be.

I also wonder about something else. If the DiRT dev team was quite small since DiRT3, and the article claims it was reduced futher - what game is the rest of Southam studio making? GRID 2 was quite quickly followed by GRID Autosport. Why make an another one? Could they be making a new game altogether - new  IP?

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I'll pay good money to get another abbreviation for early access. Can not stop thinking about another game publisher. And maybe an EAx fork of this thread. :) 

Cheers!

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Kinda suits the abbreviation tho, since everything EA releases could be categorized as Early Access, except they skip the bug fixing and actually making it a proper game.

Anyways as a PC Gamer I would love to have EAx, and I'd pay full price as long as I'm guaranteed the game will be finished at some point. I don't think the inability of consoles to do EAx (updates alone take a lifetime to be pushed compared to Steam) is not an argument to NOT do EAx. People who buy consoles (should) know and accept the limitations they have to deal with when chosing to go console. (paid multiplayer, no backwards compatibility with previous consoles, slow updates and no (proper) modding and NO EARLY ACCESS)
And in the end they will profit from the EAx as much as pc gamers do, except, for free,sort off.

When DiRT 4 is finished and the EAx label is removed, I would love to have some sort of DLC model like Overkill does with Payday 2. 
They have been expanding the game with heists (tracks) and weapons (cars) for 1½ year now, and promised to keep doing so until at least 2016.

Instead of focusing on DiRT 5 right away it's possible to keep making some (easy) money on expanding DiRT 4 while development on DiRT 5 would be in the first stages. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself now so I'll get back to the DLC.

Some of these DLC are free, but most of them are paid. And all this without fracturing the community by these DLC, which would harm the durability of the game badly. This is done by making it only mandatory to own the heists dlc (trackpack) for the host of the particular game. 
I understand this model can't be copied 1:1 because Payday 2 doesn't host the games on their server but lets the players host the game themselves, and since the max amount of 4 players per party at least 1 out of 4 people would need to buy the DLC, but I'm sure you guys will be able to think up something for that which has the same result.

By allowing people who don't own the DLC to drive the DLC tracks online anyways (as long as the host owns it), is more likely to buy the DLC so he can play it in single player as well, or can host the tracks himself. A friend of mine didn't want to buy any DiRT 3 DLC because he thought the main game was big enough, but once he drove around in my Mini Ghymkhana and did the Monte Carlo rally at my place, he wanted to buy the DLC as well. 
(and he has been asking me when it will be possible to buy DLC again ever since)

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Hey, I'm a PC player but never got in with Project CARS (as my PC was too old at the time), so it's been "out" for 2+ years and I haven't played it either yet!
And how does that make you feel?  Don't mean to sound like a shrink.. just a question

Personally it is nice to see everyones videos through the progress.  Im still envious but I know the game is progressing along and see that with the videos.  

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Early Access is the new norm, everyone's doing it, especially in the Sim driving/racing genre. I'd happily pay full price in advance for early access. I've been a part of pCars and Assetto Corsa, no regrets at all. You guys can keep the title fresh by regularly releasing DLC after the title "goes gold". Not a bad approach really, Codemasters has taken a lot of flack lately by releasing a new F1 game every year when the content doesn't warrant an entirely new title. If Dirt 4 has a solid core then DLC would be a welcome addition and could extend the life of the title for years.

Just set up a solid means for the community to give feedback via private forum etc... Codemasters always doing things behind closed doors I think has led to hostility from the Sim community. I think early access would be a positive step in engaging their customers. I think it could be a positive PR move, as well as a great way to direct the final product closer to what the community expects/wants.

It would also be a great way to inject some needed funds for licensing.

I'd say don't limit the initial content too much, just add more via DLC later. Thanks for asking and hopefully listening.

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When DiRT 4 is finished and the EAx label is removed, I would love to have some sort of DLC model like Overkill does with Payday 2. 
They have been expanding the game with heists (tracks) and weapons (cars) for 1½ year now, and promised to keep doing so until at least 2016.

Instead of focusing on DiRT 5 right away it's possible to keep making some (easy) money on expanding DiRT 4 while development on DiRT 5 would be in the first stages. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself now so I'll get back to the DLC.

Yhea I agree whit that, thats also kind of idea what I mention before, 
I hope that they build a game , and use it as foundation for a good game for a several years,
instead of realease, few updates, and on to the next game,..

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Yeah, I don't think some game developers realise that racing games have a much longer life span compared to an FPS. If a racing game is good and has what players want it can last multiple years with a thriving community.

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