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Why Vintage Story not being popular might not be such a bad thing.


KobaltKookie
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Ever since I started playing Vintage Story, I've seen a lot of people saying stuff along the lines of "Man, this game is underrated", or "Wow, this game should be more popular." And while there are obvious financial advantages to a bigger playerbase for the developers, I don't think enough attention is put on the advantage of a smaller playerbase, which is the community.

Many people consider Minecraft's golden age it's time in alpha, when the game had a small playerbase. There is a charm to a smaller community, that a bigger community can't hope to compete with. People can get to know each other very easily, and there is far less potential for drama and toxicity. If the developers are making enough money to work on the Vintage Story full time right now, then I think they're in a good spot. Vintage Story gives off very good vibes, which is because of the thought and care put into the game, but also the small community playing a role as well.

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it's not inherently a bad thing, but it's not really a good thing either. not everyone cares for a nice small official community. the fact the game gets 50-100 new players daily and the forums/discord stays the same implies most don't IMO. a larger community gives way to more diversely populated public servers, more player created content (mods mostly, but also includes content like videos, letsplays, and player creativity), it also gives the dev team more funds to expand on the game, quicker, better, and larger, while still retaining quality. I'm content with what the game offers now but if i was given two choices in front of me, I'll take a bigger game at the sacrifice of the official community any day, because a proper large playerbase will be fragmented to allow any type of self-moderating community to form, allowing all types of players to enjoy the game.

P.S. you got minecraft all wrong. it was really big in early alpha, and it was HUGE after multiplayer alpha was released. officially minecraft was just a website, game, blog, and a contact email to notch. there was never really an official community to the game. the community came entirely from the players making their own little sections on the internet and advertising it to others (only possible due to it's popularity). people pretty much got the community they were looking for and there was nothing like discord to merge everyone into a single group of people. most people's golden age is when they first played. alpha is the most popular era you hear because almost everyone who played during alpha was a new player.

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I don't think this game will be as mainstream as minecraft. After being in several weaker temporal storms it finally hit me: this is not a crafting game, this is a souls like. This is the dark souls version of minecraft. This is the minecraft of darksouls. This is a hard game that is meant to be hard. 

The new direction for minecraft is to target the kids, and i am ok with that. It's a good game for them, and it is filling a niche that has been left behind as the major media companies have drifted away from good content in favor of trendy money grabs. Unlike TV minecraft has some educational benefits like learning how to navigate file structures to back up saves and install mods, troubleshooting connectivity, and other tech literacy skills. PC minecraft anyway. 

Minecraft got big because of reddit, and at the same time minecraft fueled reddit because that was the place you went when you needed technical help or wanted to show off. Now, if say a youtube alternative were to take off, and there was vintage story content there, then maybe this game would have the same growth. Might happen since youtube burned a LOT of content creator bridges during the adpocalypse, and susan stepping down recently seems suspect to me. 

 

There is a difficulty curve to VS that will act like a gate to keep most people out. Surviving the first night is not easy. You will want for string, getting food is hard, getting good metals is hard, working with metals is hard. Everything is hard but rewarding.  This is not for the casual. Even the lore is dark. 

The game will grow on it's own because it is a good game. This is not the 90s, stores and launches are not the end of a game. This is the 21st century and games are sold digitally now. A good game will make sales today, tomorrow, and next year. Considering that this game has some great features right out of the gate, i predict that in the next few years the kids who play minecraft will want something with more meat and will stumble on this or 7 days to die. 

 

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I agree with the above statement. While it's not inherently bad, it's not very good either. A larger playerbase means more customers, which means more support to the VS team. Which, in the end, means a better game for us. Unfortunately, I do not see most of the Minecraft playerbase moving over. Everything is "too hard" for them. They want for a more simple game. That said, I think there is definitely a large playerbase out there for this game. It just needs a bit more spotlight. 

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On 9/28/2022 at 4:42 PM, KobaltKookie said:

And while there are obvious financial advantages to a bigger playerbase for the developers, I don't think enough attention is put on the advantage of a smaller playerbase, which is the community.

Although i wish this game much success and would love to agree, i can't agree 100% on that.  VS has great atmosphere and many amazing details, no other large and popular game would have, because it would be forced by management and sales. It becomes better and better everyday. But mostly at being cute and realistic. Game mechanics won't let me fully enjoy it's potential in survival and adventure aspects of it.

For me this game is fun and amazing, but it is impossible to enjoy if you have only one hour to play it daily. Even in single player/local multiplayer (where food and seasonal changes won't have effect on your experience) you still aren't fully able to progress at pace i would like once your journey's after resources start taking further from base. I could deal with that while playing alone (as i can quit and then progress later), but it is imposiible as i tried to play with my kids. They aren't so patient and carefull, so every mission turns out to be saving mission or returning to base for new armor and tools or even rage quitting for them. Making game settings super easy though, will make game boring for me. They die from drifters, wolves etc. and that makes them tired of this game quickly.

On large servers i notice that regular community consists of players who are people retired veterans, unemployed or sick at home (Not all....probably it is only my own experience). Many other have always struggle with playing regurarly and wasting much time to grind. Some are ready for large adventures all day long ( So i am left somwhere far away if i have to quit to be all alone later) while they are left alone on their journey. Others are starting journey with me and have to quit, leaving similar situation.

Everything you need to do in this game needs time. Exploring caves need large patience and ability to fight if all goes wrong. They are fun for me, but many players don't like to be in such stressfull situations which these caves can be.

Game is amazing with its creative mode, but survival needs to find some way for us (busy/working people) to be able to hop in and still be usefull and have fun in communities. Otherwise  (in multiplayer) we are whether burden for other or simply some neighbour with small hut nearby, while others build castles around us and clean everything from resources while we are offline. :)

What to do with that and must something even had to be done with that? Dunno. But for me, to be more playable, this game needs:

1) Some ability to make area safe from nasty spawns;
2) Self-made TLS to places i need;
3) Ability to trade with NPC's with everything, even if it takes some time to deliver (And no cost for delivering - just time to wait for it). Although i see this as a problem for servers, unless all agree on this setting.;
4) More weapon-related LORE, to keep players more interested and safe in deep exploring. And also to be still able to protect yourself even without good resources reached yet.

These things i would love to see for game pace to fit my needs. Ant this is not demand. Just my feelings. Till then, i will probably have to play other games, which let me choose when and how much i wan't my time to be spent on it. :)


P.S. I realize that many things i mentioned could be fixed with mods. So it's not rage agains DEvs in any way. Just explaining my feelings in a rush as even now i have to go and leave this text as it is. :D

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Guys, the devs need to eat. Every day, and preferably 3 times a day.

Otherwise they will work for food elsewhere, and fix and add features once a year.

In current business model - without subscription - the only way to ensure it is to get a steady and stable flow of new purchases.

This is before we talk about small, warm and supportive community and realistic gameplay.

 

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1 hour ago, BenLi said:

Guys, the devs need to eat. Every day, and preferably 3 times a day.

Otherwise they will work for food elsewhere, and fix and add features once a year.

In current business model - without subscription - the only way to ensure it is to get a steady and stable flow of new purchases.

This is before we talk about small, warm and supportive community and realistic gameplay.

 

100% agree with you, here is what I said.

On 9/28/2022 at 8:42 AM, KobaltKookie said:

If the developers are making enough money to work on the Vintage Story full time right now, then I think they're in a good spot.

If they were not making enough money, then yes, it is far more important that they get a steady flow of purchases. I've noticed a lot of responses seemed to miss what I said there. So I'll add that I do still think the developers could use a slightly larger playerbase then what they have currently. It would still be small, but they would make more money, and be able to put more resources and time into the game.

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On 10/4/2022 at 2:18 PM, KobaltKookie said:

developers could use a slightly larger playerbase then what they have currently. It would still be small, but they would make more money, and be able to put more resources and time into the game

This is exactly what i mean as well. I love to see such a good game, but i would want to able to play in enjoy with friends and my kids as well.

I am following and supporting this game since October 2020. Played this game for quite some time myself. Being patreon (small, but still) for a while. Thats the reason i feel confident when i say, something should be done to make game more enjoyable for casual players, not only super builders or guys with lots of time on their hands. :) Sure adding stuff to game is related to income, but it can't change if game is not being pushed to public.

Nothing much should be added for that. Just some stuff to make game easier for those who want such experience (without changing settings which first time players wouldn't know what to expect from while haven't played for some time). And i am not talking about mobs difficulty or anything else achieved by sliding options to easy.

I am talking about tutorial and players first experience with game. Would be nice if player could peacefully learn to get used to game, its mechanics. And when they get bored only then go out into caves or dangerous adventures. But now game won't let you do so unless you start tweaking settings thus making game easy from the start, but less enjoyable later (Because once you make game easy, later you won't be able to change its difficulty or resource distribution). Many players get scared away or tired with first "in your face" expercience. But if game would let them live their peacefull life without getting mobs everywhere, they would maybe learn the game and love it, thus continue playing and starting to get into adventures once they are ready for them.

I know games lore is about drifters, corrupted world and such. But maybe there could be option instead of super easy mode - like option where drifters could only be in caves or direct area around them. Also not disabling temporal storms, but being able to make some "bad decisions" in game which would lead to storms.

So yea. I guess what i wan't to say. Easy mode could be not that mobs aren't attacking. But game with more tutorial tips and possibility to choose when to engage with game mobs and corrupted world stuff. :)

ATM i just can't suggest this game to any of my friends. And i hate it, because this is amazing game i would love to play with them. :) 

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16 hours ago, Domkrats said:

Many players get scared away or tired with first "in your face" expercience.

I agree, and I think that is part of the problem that's preventing the game's playerbase from growing. It is very intimidating to try and play the game the first time. A more in depth tutorial and extra hints I think would definitely go a long way in getting more players into the game.

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23 hours ago, Domkrats said:

ATM i just can't suggest this game to any of my friends. And i hate it, because this is amazing game i would love to play with them.

Exactly! I have played numerous hours with my kids in MC, yet VS in our house is called "Adults' MC". I cannot afford the level of frustration they will face in VS in any default level incl. easy.

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On 10/5/2022 at 1:05 AM, Domkrats said:

Many players get scared away or tired with first "in your face" expercience. But if game would let them live their peacefull life without getting mobs everywhere, they would maybe learn the game and love it, thus continue playing and starting to get into adventures once they are ready for them.

Umm. I'm the type of player you are speaking of. To give you some idea: I had never played a block game, nor any game requiring fighting, when I started playing VS in mid-2018. In my very first world, I spawned in a narrow (steep) heavily wooded valley and did not even know how to navigate the terrain. It does not get any more beginner than not knowing how to jump up onto a block or make your way through impassable brush. I didn't even know how to exit the game. 😉  All of that to say, I am very familiar with the scenario you are presenting.

Tyron and the VS Team have been listening to suggestions and, more importantly, have implemented many ways for players to customize their world according to their play style. With continued suggestions they are making refinements. Even the option to change all difficulty settings for an existing world may be (or become) possible. Personally, I don't think that is much of an issue considering that most things do have an in-game command already. 

I just felt like that needed to be said. Sometimes the tone seems (to me) to suggest that these issues are not being addressed.

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I have not made steel, yet, i am firmly in the Iron age, but i am in the iron age to a point where i can fully transfer over. Getting Iron is hard, and in the past i got into it mostly from mods that let me melt scrap metal into iron. I got lucky this time around and found a poor deposit that is like 200 ingots. While it is extremely hard, it is also very rewarding. This reminded me of what yathzee said about witcher, about it being a "heavily detailed game for the pc mastar race". That sums up vintage story. 

It's not an easy game. if you remove drifters it is STILL a very hard survival game. Just wild animals and preventing starvation. Let alone the temporal storms. Now if combat were better, or if there was a methodology to defend against temporal storms, there would be no gameplay loop flaws. 

But even then, i do not see this ever being mainstream like minecraft, because of the shear amount of work. It takes two in game months for your grain to grow, baring pests. The death penalty is double nasty because it removes your food buffs AND leaves your stuff out in the wild, or down a hole. Oh and the only way to make fiber, is to wait two months for your flax grain to grow. So you better have a good crop waiting for you while you go out and find resources. 

It's tedious, but in this context it is not a bad tedious. This is like the anime Dr. Stone, only you are by yourself no village of astronaut descendants. The mysterious trade wizards do sell you stuff, but those guys are not very good at conversation and i question their motives. This game does an excellent job of explaining just how hard it would be to survive on your own, with little to no help. 

 

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8 hours ago, AngryRob said:

This game does an excellent job of explaining just how hard it would be to survive on your own, with little to no help. 

I agree, and I've actually grown to love this. It's what sets the game apart from other voxel games. When I first started playing Vintage Story a few years ago, I was not a fan of these gameplay mechanics, and how long it took to do things in the game. Now however, that has started to grow on me. It gives an awesome sense of accomplishment completing goals, because of the difficulty and time consuming nature of Vintage Story.

While I am in favor of a better tutorial and extra hints for new players, I do not think they should make the game easier. The difficulty is part of Vintage Story's identity. But, I do think they should add some type of mellowed down experience for new players, or players who would prefer that. I know you can already customize your game to be like this, but all those customizations could be confusing for a new player. A built in preset for this theoretical experience I think would help a lot.

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On 10/7/2022 at 8:50 AM, Maelstrom said:

I've thought that a tutorial world would be a good addition.  Make it another gameplay option of default customized world settings that would basically be an "easy" mode beyond the exploring game mode.

 

Hmmm...

now that is an interesting idea, make it a rust time dimension, where it walks people through each step, then you select a special trans locator that spawns you in whatever zone you want to spawn in. By walk through each step, you see phantom seraphs doing each survival step you have to do, then you copy that. Just first night stuff. Another aspect would be a "HELP!!" section that pauses the game when you read it, but for situations that new players would have trouble with like: "HELP it's dark and i have no light" or HELP i can't find copper, and it explains what to do in each one. 

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I think having a small audience gives the devs more freedom to follow through on a single, unified vision that doesn't have to have universal appeal. Like people have said, Vintage Story has features that would turn off a lot of people. Gameplay is meticulous because it's partly grounded in realism. Crops take a long time to grow, and you can't just magically force them to mature with some bonemeal. Metalmaking takes time and effort; you can't just slap some iron ore in a furnace and come back to iron ingots later. This kind of thing doesn't appeal to everyone, but for a small number of people it has a strong appeal we can't get with other games. To make it appeal to more people and gain a wider audience, they'd have to simplify the gameplay and make it less meticulous and detail-oriented, as well as make it easier to survive overall. You'd need more instant gratification and less delayed gratification. The game would lose what makes it special and sets it apart from other games.

Of course, having a small audience means less financial support, which means there's always the risk of updates slowing down or stopping entirely if Tyron has to find another job to keep from going the way of the Little Match Girl. So I can see the other side of the argument as well. It's just that Tyron going hungry is a price I'm willing to pay for a game that trades mass appeal for something special. (This is a joke please don't get mad I am very funny.)

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4 hours ago, Troy said:

Gameplay is meticulous because it's partly grounded in realism. Crops take a long time to grow, and you can't just magically force them to mature with some bonemeal. Metalmaking takes time and effort; you can't just slap some iron ore in a furnace and come back to iron ingots later.

Those are the things that convinced me to buy this game. I have played maybe 150-200h combined in all my worlds (rpg and test) and I still haven't got to cementation furnance in any of them. But IMHO the best thing is the ability to tweak worlds exactly to your liking. And this feature enables  making this game awesome to all variety of people from sunday players to hardcore, one life-one world maniacs. 

BTW I can't wait for the Lore update :)

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