Hey all, here are some answers to FAQs that we've gotten over the course of development, and some answers to anticipated questions. This post is also linked under the STUFF menu and will evolve and be updated as needed.
SimpleRockets 2 - FAQ
"How frequent will updates be released? What is your process like?"
- During the first few weeks we will likely be releasing updates more frequently and on an as-needed basis in response to issues reported on our website.
- After the initial release settles down, we plan on having a more structured and predictable release schedule. Experience tells us that we can either commit to an approximate date for the release, or a set of features, but not both without sacrificing quality or introducing too many bugs. Therefore, we’re planning on initially producing releases on a 3-week schedule which will include all features/bug-fixes which are completed at that time. If a planned feature is not completed by that time, it will go into the next release instead.
- The time-frame between releases will likely be adjusted as we get a feel for what makes the most sense. Releases take quite a long time to prepare, and having them too frequently can lead to inefficiencies or a tendency to rush the process and could result in sloppy releases...and we don’t want that. Like most things, we will keep you informed on what our current release schedule is or any changes to it.
- Although we will be targeting specific dates for releases, it won’t be uncommon for a release to slip a day, or two, or occasionally more if we run into last-minute issues during testing.
"What will be in the next release?"
- We have a roadmap with various sections, each section roughly signifies an “elevation” in the chances that a feature is coming your way soon. The estimated date of the next release and what fixes/features are on the docket are listed there as well.
- Features that are in the “Completed” list will be in the next release unless we find issues during final testing, in which case they may be postponed to a future release if the issues are significant, or more often the release itself may be delayed by a day or two.
- Check out our user-submitted feature suggestion section for our source for most of the ideas for future features. We will update our roadmap to reflect the status of features that we’re working on, or major features that we hope to begin research/development on soon.
- We may occasionally have features that we want to reveal as a surprise and therefore may not show up on the roadmap section.
- Smaller features and minor bugs will likely not be listed in the “Prospects” section before we begin development. The prospects section is reserved for larger features, highly requested ones, or any feature that we think may be important to let you know that we’re interested in looking into.
"I saw where one of the devs said that they’d like to work on a feature...when is that going to happen?"
- We aren’t lying if we say that we’d like to work on certain features, but check the roadmap for the final word on features and when they’re likely to be completed. The roadmap is the one and only location with information detailing our level of commitment to specific features.
"Does the roadmap contain all the tasks that you're planning on completing for Early Access? There doesn't look like enough items."
- Nope. The roadmap is not a complete list of items that will be worked. It is a list of notable items that are on the horizon for research or development, or currently in development. We have a large list of feature suggestions to pull from to backfill when needed.
"So, does that mean that items in the roadmap will be worked on soon?"
- Often yes, but not necessarily. Some items may linger in the prospects section for quite a while before being actively worked. Also, once we move a feature from the prospects to the research and development phase, it is possible that for one reason or another we decide that the feature will not move forward.
"Someone copied my design and/or didn't give attribution, can you take it down?"
- Check out the rules section for more information about this. For the most part, the purpose of this place is to share, and unless someone is trying to explicitely pass off designs as their original creation, they are usually not breaking any rules.
"Will you release updates that will break compatibility with existing crafts, sandboxes, or anything else?"
- We will go to great lengths to keep this from happening, and we take pride that SimplePlanes is able to load craft from its alpha phase, but it is likely that a some updates will unintentionally break designs, or alter how they fly. In most cases, we will issue an update to fix these issues, but is it possible that we may release an update knowing that some craft will function differently than they did in previous versions.
- In cases that we’re aware of such changes, we will communicate in detail to the best of our knowledge what type of designs will be impacted and what can be done to mitigate or if possible eliminate any undesired side-effects of the update. We’ll let you know in the release notes for the release.
- There may also be times when user settings files for quality/physics/input/etc. may be changed such that they will need to be set back to their defaults. We’ll let you know about these in the release notes as well.
"When can we expect the mobile (iOS/Android) release?"
- We will begin development in early 2019. At this point, it is too early to give a release date estimate. Once we’ve started to peel the onion back we’ll have a better grasp on how long it will take to get the mobile version blasting off.
"Will you continue to release updates after Early Access?"
- Updates may slow down after early access, and all good things must come to an end at some point, but our intention is that we will continue to release updates as long as it makes sense, which will likely extend well beyond early access. Nonetheless, given that we’re all slaves to the almighty dollar, the retail success of the game will factor in to how long it is supported with post Early Access feature releases.
"Aren’t you guys ripping off that other game?"
- We don’t live in a space-vacuum and we're certainly inspired and influenced by things we see, watch, and other games we’ve played. History shows that when a novel game comes along, those who follow in its footsteps will inevitably be labeled ripoffs. Games not named Doom were once written off as clones until the fps genre established itself. No, we do not think we’ve ripped any game off, nor are we denying the impact that previous games have had on us. Just as there is now room for countless first person shooters, real-time strategy games, zombie games, and goat simulators, we think the market can also support a handful of rocket sims for enthusiasts to choose from. We can’t exactly reinvent the physics behind orbital mechanics, so there is bound to be a fair amount of similarities here and there. In the end though we make games that interest us. We are all fans of sciency things, things that go up and at times down with a bang, and things that generally inspire us...and the thought of climbing into a rocket and flying off into the heavens is pretty damned inspiring. So, here we are. We hope you really enjoy SimpleRockets 2 and we hope that if you play the game and engage with us throughout its development you’ll come to believe that it is a distinct take on a really exciting, burgeoning game genre.