Hello everyone, I hope all is going well for you. I am a long time forum lurker and a player for a few months. This is quite obviously my first post I must warn you my post will be lengthy, but I feel it is necessary to get some things off my chest. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have been in the game industry for nearly ten years, working for two developers as well as working as a free lancer. Currently, I have started my own studio and recently was accepted into the Xbox One Developer's Program. My expertise is in the art department: modeling, texturing, rigging and animating. In my humble opinion, I am quite good at those four things. Because of the nature of this forum and the game it represents I will NOT disclose which companies/games I worked for/on nor will I disclose the name of my current company. I DO know what I am talking about people and I am not posting to cause problems or start fights. Instead I am posting this in the hopes that it will inspire the devs to step up their game.
As developers you are charging players for access to a beta game. This is both good and bad. As a dev, when I think of early access, I think of two automatic requirements of my company: DAILY interaction with my player base (Facebook, Twitter, Twitch and the forums) and WEEKLY UPDATES and I mean every week. Your players are paying $20 a month for an incomplete game. You must be adding to and improving your product for your players. Personally I have paid more than the typical cost for a game in order to play your game and many other people have paid you far more. You guys CAN do better. You have a great product, however what you have will not last unless you do something bigger. I don't know how many people you have on your team, I know in many cases there are things that will take longer if you have a small team. Hire more people if you must. Use players who have a knack for 3d modeling like you have been. But don't reimburse them with your wacky in game credit. Give them a few months of gameplay for free.
On the topic of user generated content....its great, but why are some of the only good updates to be released created by your users and not you? It's great that players have talent for creation but they shouldn't be doing your job for you. I guess what I am trying to say is that the issue is no longer just about game development but also how to properly handle the administrative side of the business. As I said before if you need more employees, hire them. If you don't have enough money, employ more players but reward them better than with in game currency. To the owners of the company, if you can't afford to properly progress this game perhaps you are paying yourselves to much money? I know that if my games progress is not where it needs to be and I need to take a pay cut to hire someone that can help, I would do it in a heartbeat.
It is easy to sit back and take it easy when you have money coming in...maybe get a little lazy. I'm sure a lot of people here think that you guys aren't even working on anything new. Why would they think that? Well, you don't release updates on a regular basis and you don't tell people what you are working on. Post on Facebook, Twitter and here on the forums. Communicate with your player base and don't wait until the last minute to tell them, "Hey we haven't said anything in two weeks but we are about to release an update" Your players are your livelihood, don't take them for granted.
In closing, I am sorry for the rant but you guys need a sort of reality check. If you don't improve your game will die. For as long as you have been working on this game you should have at least 10,000 active players, more locations, animations and sexual preferences (shemales and threesomes). You have a great basis for this adult social game, keep it going. If you don't, someone will see what you have done so far, take it and make it better. Someone will do it anyway but at least if you keep your loyal players, you will remain the standard for an adult social game.