As anyone playing online must have noticed by now, we’ve basically doubled our user base in June. So that’s good.
Version 1.2 was a pretty big deal for helping make Ashes a more mainstream RTS. I say more but I won’t say mainstream. As a practical matter, 40% of the user base doesn’t have the hardware to play Ashes so we’ll always take a bit of a hit in terms of player base and of course user reviews from people who have older systems that won’t be able to play the game well.
I sympathize with players who have outdated systems. I have my sons set up with 2 gaming boxes and when Ashes shipped, neither could play the game. I was certain they had high end boxes but it’s amazing how fast that 5 year old video card becomes…well…5 years old.
Memory Memory Memory
For Ashes, it’s video memory that’s the key. 2GB of video memory is barely enough. 4GB is much better. 8GB is great. But how many people have that in 2016? Not many.
As a practical matter, most RTS players are better off picking up SupCom:FA for $14.99. The only problem there is that obviously, it’ll never be updated. By contrast, we take every cent we make and put it back into the game. For us, it’s not just about making Ashes a great game today, it’s about where it’s going to be in 2017 and beyond.
There really are so many moving parts. For one thing, while our position on “strategic zoom” hasn’t changed, our view on a global view has. Simply put, you can’t play the game on the upcoming “Huge” maps without being able to zoom out, see the world, and give commands to your forces. It bugs me a bit that this is necessary but I think it will allow the game to better reach its potential.
Ashes, at its core, is the natural progression of Total Annihilation. It hasn’t fulfilled that yet imo. We need more units, more progression. I certainly think Ashes is better than TA 1.0 was but people forget that Core Contingency is the version of TA that made it amazing. That is what we will have to.
There are no game engines, that I’m aware of (and it’s my job to be aware of them) that will be able to remotely touch what Ashes is doing for years to come. It’s not about the art or graphics but rather the scale.
SupCom is still the best 3rd generation RTS out there by far in terms of capability. This has nothing to do with whether someone personally thinks it’s fun. I’m purely talking about potential. Someone could take Unity and with enough money make StarCraft 2 Deluxe. But you can’t take Unity and make SupCom even today no matter how much money you throw at it.
So day by day, we are able to take every sale and pour it back into the game. And thanks to you guys, we’ve made tremendous progress in turning what was already a really good game into a really good game. More to come.