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spacekid434

How important are updates?


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spacekid434    117
So I was installing StarCraft II on my new computer and it had to download all the updates. This got me thinking. From a developers perspective (towards all aspects f the game including sales and marketing), will an indie game be better if it is heavily and regularly updated.

On of my favourite games is Minecraft. One of the best things about I think is that new content is added generally on a monthly basis. This means you always have new things to play around with and when you get bored of it, you just play with the stuff from the new update.

The other aspect of regular updates is of course bug fixes. When I play Blizzard games i generally feel safe because i know if I encounter a bug, it will probably be fixed in the next update. This big-free games policy is a very nice one.

On the other side of things, Updates (even bug fixes) can cause new bugs to spring up. You could always try to release bug free (as much as possible) games when they are first released, but that adds a fair bit of development time.

Another thing, especially for countries like New Zealand, where we don't have infinite broadband packages, you can use a lot of your monthly allowance simply from updates.

What I really want to know (thats right, A CONCLUSION IS COMING) is, when you make a game, perhaps before you even begin righting code, do you plan on what your update system is going to be like. Also please right your thoughts, I do really want to know!

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Nanoha    2682
Depends on the game, for Minecraft I would (well am) been bored alot sooner if it wasn't for the updates. For single player games I don't really care about the updates (providing the game actually works). I do like new content so I guess "updates" for single player are nice. For multiplayer I think its more important, there are usually balance issues to address, bugs are more important (exploits) and alot of multiplayer games start with few maps so its always ncie to see more for variety.

I voted yes as I would like heavily updated games but it's not necessary.

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nooblet    167
I enjoy consistent updates rather than "heavily updated" games. For instance, I know that Blizzard does their patches/maintenance each Tuesday (or Wednesday, depending on location), so now I can plan to program, read, or do anything other than play a Blizzard game. Patches for Minecraft, however, seem to come as they please. I don't frequent any Minecraft forums, nor should I be required to, so I'm not sure if they give an estimated time. Putting in an announcement system in your application, or on a launcher for your application, will help the end-user know when you are performing maintenance so that they can use it another time.

I'd say the overall aspect of maintaining updates is vital to any application built - even if it's just a single-player game. That way if your game ends up as buggy as Fallout: New Vegas was upon release, you can easily go in and fix it. If your game/application is focused on multiplayer, or an online experience, then setting frequent dates for updates could be a wise choice. Even if you rarely update, at least give them a time and/or announcement in-game (or while using the application) so they can plan ahead of time.

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