Dark Matter (Steam, $15) ABRUPTLY ends 4 hours in b/c the devs ran out of time/money.

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
Dec 7, 2006
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UPDATE 10/22 - Gamasutra did some digging around, and apparently the dev team behind this game was laid off after the Kickstarter failed (before the game's release on Steam). What's left at the company is a skeleton crew of sorts. The game has been pulled from Steam as well. Here's more info: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/202897/Dark_Matter_pulled_from_Steam_after_team_is_laid_off.php

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Stump posted this in the Steam thread but I thought it deserved it's own, because holy crap.

Dark Matter was recently released on Steam for $15. It is NOT an Early Access game, or anything that signals that it's unfinished. That said, hoo boy.

Just caught this on SPUF--if you were considering buying Dark Matter, you should think again. Despite overall good feedback, apparently the game ends completely abruptly (you enter a door of no particular significance and then you get a fade to black with a JPG with centered white text that tells you how the game ends) and there's no intent to finish the game or update it and it's not released as Early Access or episodically:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3192889

The last minute of the game (no spoilers, since it's just a video of a guy entering a door and getting a text ending)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTPS_GGhMqk
The devs respond:

Hello, just to answer all these questions.

No, the full story is indeed not complete yet because originally we wanted a longer game (12-16 hours) but couldnt finish it completely due to time and money (and Kickstarter failing). So, we choose to go with a 6-8 hour game instead to bring something out to the world and show everyone the world of Dark Matter. We are going to change the "to be continued" text to something else, to make sure this will be the end of the game as is in a clear msg to everyone...
Stump says a user on Steam 100% the game in 4.5 hours.

I don't necessarily have a problem with games that are in an unfinished state being sold to people. I do have a problem when they tried to hide the fact that it is unfinished, and will never be finished. :\
 

mrprice33

Neo Member
Sep 2, 2012
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I played the beta while this was going through its KS. I wish they would have done something episodic instead because it's a great game that's going to get a lot of flak for this.
 

Deft Beck

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Mar 8, 2007
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That seems kind of skeevy to me. If it's otherwise playable and 'finished', though, it's not completely misleading.
 

Archaix

Drunky McMurder
Jun 6, 2004
19,614
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Never back a game on Kickstarter.

Thanks for your input. Very valuable. This game wasn't a successful kickstarter, it failed well short of the goal. People bought it on Steam to find out it was incomplete, with no money from Kickstarter going to the developer.
 
Jun 2, 2013
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Sounds like it is finished, just not the product they wanted to make.

Whether 4 hours of gameplay is worth 15 bucks is a question only each of us can decide. For me, it isn't. A more appropriate price would be like 5-6 bucks imo.
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
43,347
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If they originally talked about a 12-16 hour game and then released without any indication the game was shortened to 4 or 5 hours, then that is poor form.

But otherwise I think it should just be judged as a 4 or 5 hour game and whether it's worth the $15 as it is. Maybe it is, I don't know. But they should flag it as being shortened vs original descriptions.
 
Jun 2, 2013
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Does it actually have the 14 levels it claims it has on the store page?

edit:

Seems I was correct in my original assement-

"What I meant is, with a successful Kickstarter we could have made a longer game, expanded the story. But then it would likely have been more expensive too. The current Dark Matter on Steam is a complete game in itself though.

There are many things to explore and many ways to go through and many things to discover. If people just run through it then yes it will be less then those 6 hours."
 

KarmaCow

Member
Sep 13, 2009
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How does a game simply stop, I thought development didn't work like that? It would be like a painting being "complete" except for a third of the canvas being blank.
 

braves01

Banned
Nov 8, 2008
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Sketchy. Pull it from the store until it's a.) actually finished; or b.) there's a prominent warning on the store page that it's incomplete.
 

Lissar

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May 3, 2010
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If they originally talked about a 12-16 hour game and then released without any indication the game was shortened to 4 or 5 hours, then that is poor form.

But otherwise I think it should just be judged as a 4 or 5 hour game and whether it's worth the $15 as it is. Maybe it is, I don't know. But they should flag it as being shortened vs original descriptions.
It's not just that it's a shorter game, though. It's half a game. There is no real ending or wrapping up of anything. It was cut in half and they didn't even bother to hem the edges.
 

PixyJunket

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Apr 1, 2010
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Well, it does end abruptly (and terribly, mind you) but it seems to only be "incomplete" in terms of what they wanted to make, not what they made.

Besides, aren't most "AAA Games" only four hours or so nowadays?

If the gameplay is good, I don't really see how this is a problem. But I don't play games for story, so my view could be skewed slightly.
 

jaundicejuice

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Jun 30, 2005
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It needs to get pulled from the store and they should refund the people who bought it. As an Early Access game that kind of ending would be acceptable, as a full game it's inexcusable.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
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Never back a game on Kickstarter.
Never greenlight indies, either.

AAA ports like Ikaruga or bust for me it seems.

Valve really should remove this from Steam because it's being sold as a complete game when it isn't really complete. They shouldn't even receive money either unless they rebrand it as a beta and are going to continue to work on it
which they totally aren't, let's just admit that and know they'd pocket the cash instead of continuing to work on it.
It's not as bad as "War Z" being sold, but damn it...
 

Fox318

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Dec 2, 2007
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Thats what happens when I skim a post a little too quickly. Sorry

Regardless wouldn't it have just been better to label this as episode 1?
 

K.Sabot

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May 7, 2009
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Does it actually have the 14 levels it claims it has on the store page?

edit:

Seems I was correct in my original assement-

"What I meant is, with a successful Kickstarter we could have made a longer game, expanded the story. But then it would likely have been more expensive too. The current Dark Matter on Steam is a complete game in itself though.

There are many things to explore and many ways to go through and many things to discover. If people just run through it then yes it will be less then those 6 hours."
If people play like developers who are demoing the game for the press, I bet it could take 6 hours.

6 hours of slow panning over vistas.
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
43,347
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It's not just that it's a shorter game, though. It's half a game. There is no real ending or wrapping up of anything. It was cut in half and they didn't even bother to hem the edges.
Yeah, I see that. And that's a perfectly valid criticism to level at the game. But like I say, as long as it's flagged that the game was shortened vs the original planned scope/story I don't really see a problem. They ran out of money and decided to release something anyway. Better than letting the work go to waste entirely if what's done is worthwhile/fun, as long as it's appropriately labelled.

If it wasn't labelled as so they should fix that and perhaps process refunds for people who thought they were buying something else.
 

Treythalomew

Member
Mar 15, 2011
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I can't imagine how mad I would have been if a game I bought just ended with a wall of text out of nowhere.

Why couldn't they have just tossed it onto early access and gotten money that way instead of basically lying and never mentioning this on the store page.
 

megalowho

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Jan 3, 2009
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That ending is really something. Not sure if I can ever remember seeing anything quite like that in a game.

Sucks the devs didn't get to finish their vision, but how shady is it to release it anyway as a full product without any sort of labeling. Even more disappointing since by all accounts what's there is pretty decent. But damn, not like this.
 

Durante

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Oct 1, 2006
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It should be labeled better, but I see no problem with selling it as long as the parts that are there are well-made.

Im sorry but thats kind of a problem with kickstarter. If the campaign fails then you know...the game failed.
How is this a problem with kickstarter? Reformulating the question, who would have been better off without the failed kickstarter in this case?
 

Mugatu

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Oct 30, 2011
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I sympathize with the developers but they should have done an early access type thing if they needed money and been up front with their customers. I think if they'd put faith in gamers and said "look, we need your help to finish this game because we have no money" they would have been helped out by a plenty of people. Nobody wins like this, I think they'll have a lot of bad will that'll possibly follow them their entire careers.

EDIT: I realize I'm making a lot of assumptions but I just wanted to post my feelings on it.
 

Eusis

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Apr 15, 2011
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Nitpicky, but that seems more like any game that gets ejected/ignored in canon after being received really poorly and usually made as a result of extreme focus testing.

No, this is the escalator to nowhere.
 
Oct 10, 2012
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I saw this on the Steam new releases when I went to buy the Stanley Parable, it looks really interesting and reminded me of Shadow Complex (which I really miss since I sold my 360, come on port it to PC already...) but fortunately I checked the community hub and saw this.

It's just plain insulting that the developers keep insisting the game is complete. This is NOT a complete game, not in terms of story OR gameplay. Obviously the story is incomplete, that much is clear from the completely random and out of left field ending. However, I also hear that there are numerous gameplay elements that were introduced throughout the game's development and even playable during the TUTORIAL that are never used in the game. It actually introduces you to cool stuff and builds you up to use it later but that never comes!

It's pretty infuriating as this is exactly the sort of indie game I'd love to get behind but I can't support them shoving out an unfinished product with absolutely no warning that it doesn't have a proper conclusion or that the gameplay is never fully realized. It's deceitful and an obvious cash grab to recoup the money they had already put into it without feeling obligated to continue the game farther as they would if it was on Early Access.

Anyone have recommendations for other similar Metroidvania-like games to play instead?
 

Big_Al

Unconfirmed Member
Feb 15, 2013
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Well RAGE did the same thing and ended out of nowhere, and as much as I love that game it was $60/£40!

EDIT - Ah ok, it didn't introduce things and never use them though.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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If they just wanted to show everyone "the world of Dark Matter" why didn't they just put out a demo instead of a $15 less than half finished game?
 

DrTeflon

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Dec 19, 2010
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I bought this only to find out about it about 5 minutes later, since it was only R$ 22,49 (about... 12 dollars?) it isn't a huge loss for me. Still a shitty move by the devs
 

Soule

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Mar 11, 2007
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Heh, what a weird situation I've never seen something this blatant in gaming before. Sucks for them they ran out of money but from the sounds of it what they did make was good and now it's gonna be overshadowed by it being an unfinished product.
 

Rad-

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Jan 31, 2009
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If you end it like that, might as well go for the full on troll ending and kill the character there.
 

Dr.Acula

Banned
May 12, 2006
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Games aren't made like novels, I don't understand.
It wasn't uncommon for novels to be written chapter by chapter in magazine and newspapers, in fact, Ulysses, generally regarded as the finest novel of the 20th century was published this way.

There are many many unfinished novels only partially published because journals were unable to pay authors (as with happened once to Edgar Allan Poe), so there is some precedent in the literary world!