@High Max: You do not want them to do that.
Derelict did fine with voices released seperately. Placeholder sounds would have been nice, but even without, the campaign is still quite good. I'm not sure you're in the greatest position to be telling High Max, myself, or anyone else waiting for a campaign-in-development what we want. We know what we want a hair better than a third-party might.
[The next bit I wrote, thinking of nobody in particular, then realized it might look like I'm still addressing ngtm1r. Just to clear up confusion, I'm back on the general subject of feature-creeping campaign developers.]
I think that the real
answer to feature creep is to come up with a fixed list of features before development even begins, and then don't add anything, no matter how trivial, to that list until after the initial release. The point here is, none of the most-hyped-about projects have had a policy like that, and their release dates keep getting shoved back because of it. If your philosophy is one of, "Oooo... Shine-maps and glow-points are supported now? We gotta add that!" you'll never make it to the initial release.
The SCP is feature-creeping by design, since it's an on-going upgrade project with semi-regular public releases. You can't plan around having your MODs support every SCP feature, since by the time you're done adding support for one release's new spiffiness, another release will come around with more stuff you'll want to support. Professional game developers that use third-party engines have the same issues to cope with. As they're building the game and tweaking the engine, new games will constantly be getting released, and they can either take the time to add the feature to the engine they're using, scrap the work done so far and start anew on the new engine, or continue work on the game, leaving the new features for their next project.
Think of it like a game, where you keep changing engines in mid-development. What do you have? Duke Nukem Forever. That will be released, "when it's done," as well, and I think everyone stopped caring round-about four or five years ago, realizing that it will never be done. If you're going to follow DNF's design philosophy, I'd ask that you follow their media policy too, and put a gag-order on yourself until "it's done" too. I don't want to hear about it, if you don't plan on finishing your initial release. Seriously, close your public development forum(s); stop posting screenshots; stop promising demos; stop giving out phony release dates; stop saying, "Soon! We swear... Really! ...but when it's done..." Just stop.
It's getting to be like an old joke now. I went on a two-year hiatus, expecting Machina Terra and Blackwater Ops (to name just a couple) to be finished
or very nearly finished, knowing how real life matters tend to get in the way of development around here. Instead, I come back to find that all of the projects I had been watching have scrapped a great deal of work, since missions with only retail SEXPs are apparently out-of-fashion now, and every single new ship and weapon had to be upgraded to use every single graphical effect I could name and a few I can't.
That was a huge, HUGE disappointment. I hear you screaming, "We're making a PROFESSIONAL
-quality product here, so quit whining!" Excuse me? In just over two years, a professional team would be pressing CDs for the game that they built from a blank page of code up. A professional team would have something to their product that the developers around here don't seem to have... Namely, THE PRODUCT!
I've been tossing around the Duke Nukem Forever example enough, so let me throw another one out there...Dark Horizons: Lore
I know there's at least a couple of Lore players in the FS2 community here, and they can tell you it's a pretty sweet game for the price. Inquisitor and his team built Lore using the Torque (Tribes 2 engine), with few, if any major upgrades to the graphics-side of the engine. Now, if I had to choose between retail FS2 and Tribes 2 on basis of graphics alone, I'd probably side with retail FS2, just to give you an idea of the graphical punch the Torque engine has. Inquisitor and his team used Torque with little to no major upgrades, and started selling it
. You know... Selling... As in, people will pay
for the game, despite its dated graphics engine. I've played around with the game a bit, and can say that it's pretty fun. If you will, it's worthy of being called a good game. Are there shiny maps and glowing points on every model? Nope. Does it have crazy-awesome looking 3D shockwaves emitted by dying units and large weapons? Nope. Do people still pay for it and feel that the game is a product of professional quality? Hell yes, they do. I'm quite sure esd will be happy to pop on here and box your ears if you disagree.
You don't need to play the game of 1001-prerelease upgrades to have a professional-quality campaign. All you need is a good writer/designer, some experienced FRED-users, and some time. Prior to my hiatus, many project teams had everything but the time. Now, they seem to have a little more time, but they're managing it poorly, picking up a lot more work than they can handle. I understand that real life gets in the way, but volunteering yourself and your team for more work on your project, when the lot of you are already in a time-pinch is your own fault.