Release plans for Big Ambitions

Hi everyone,

As many of you already know, initially we planned for an earlier full release of Big Ambitions, but later decided to postpone to make room for more content.

Looking back, it was definitely the right decision. The content and improvements we have added recently are continuing to increase playtime and replayability.

It’s slowly becoming clear that we’re building a monster of a game with almost endless opportunities. We still have so many dreams of what we want to add, and that will probably be the same for many years to come.

The only issue is that we’re an indie studio, in the traditional way. That means we got no investors, no “free money”, we are completely independent, paying our own salaries, but also making our own choices, in full control. We don’t want to change that.

Therefore, we’re now considering switching direction. Instead of targeting a full release of the game, we want to release it into Steam Early Access, preferably in February 2023. We think this is a great match for our situation. We’ll (hopefully) get a big financial boost from the early access release, allowing us to securely continue development and maybe even expand our team.

To be clear what “Steam early access” means we want to highlight a few points:

  • You’ll receive keys for both DLCs together with the early access release.
  • Early access will be similar to the beta you have access to now. We’ll just start selling it on Steam.

However, as always we want to stay transparent to all of you who pre-ordered. Does this align with your expectations? Do you think it’s a good idea, or are we missing something?

Thank you in advance, we’re really looking forward to your feedback on this!

@trust_level_0

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Sounds like you’ve got big ambitions for the game (sorry, couldn’t help it) and I think this is an amazing idea!

As you mentioned, it opens up the possibility for you to keep going financially while making sure that the game grows further and grows even bigger, with more features, and allows you to bring it to a stage that you’re happy with, rather than leaving ideas on the table and feeling that you could’ve done more only if you had the budget.

I think this decision makes a lot of sense for you as developers and us as gamers, so, by all means, please release it into Steam Early Access.

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Moving the release date was definitely a good idea, and your game keeps getting more amazing. Personally, I feel that any choice that still gives us what we pre-ordered while bringing in more players (and therefore income) is ultimately going to make the game and our experience that much better.

I always thought going into Early Access would be a good idea for the game, as a “third tier” to the gold/silver - more like the “pre-order” is now, but with access to the game immediately.

To clarify - would EA be getting the DLC too? The way that’s written it sounds like steam early access will receive both DLCs, which seems like a bad idea. Or are you just referring to us, the gold/silver pre-orders would still get DLC as well as the game when it comes into early access.

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To be honest I really don’t care if it takes longer and/or if it hits EA first.
Aslong as the prices are not less than I already paid (would feel cheated) and I get all the content I paid for (Gold rank) it’s all the same to me.
Steam EA is a good way to get extra funding and if it helps making the game even better than it already is, then why not?

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Gold would get both DLCs, Silver would get one DLC - just as promised.
Once we’re in EA, the DLCs can be purchased, so the “normal” EA buyers would have to pay extra for them.

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Roger that, I assumed so, but thank you for clarifying!

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I think it is a great idea. I like what you have on the road map. Keep up the good work.

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I think the idea is great. The constant updates will definitely help people with their buying decisions. This model seems to work for A LOT of developers and customers. I say go for it!

I suggest you put the roadmap on the steam page. maybe in a fancy graphic with the most important features.

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Hi Team,
Thanks for the communication and transparency as always.
I would like to support an early release on steam. It can provide a better financial position for game developers and perhaps expand the team size as you already mentioned.

The only issue that may need to be considered here, is how do you map out the post EA on steam? how long will you stay at EA status? will it depend on the number of purchase? or will it depend on the satisfaction of the team regarding the progress?

from what I can see, this game can be expanded endlessly. this is good and can be bad too. for gamers, we always like to see new contents to be added. From a business perspective, it can cause endless cash input which is not sustainable.

Would like to hear about post EA plan from the team, and as gold members, I guess we are happy to make suggestions too.

yours
Felix

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This will depend on sales. As long as sales can pay for the salaries and other cost, there’s no reason to stop with the game. There are still enough ideas for years.

For sure at some point it has to switch to DLCs / add-ons to keep the income flow up. But as long as the main game sells well, we can continue adding to it.
The reason why the team could already be expanded and why lots of additional features have already been added to the roadmap is that pre-orders are great. We have to thank all of you for that!

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It makes sense to use Early Access.

Did you guys already give updates as to what the DLC’s will contain?

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Go go go to EArly Access. For me it’s the best way before release.

You can expend the visibility of the game (perhaps on cloud platerforme like Geforce Now) and get feedback from many people before release.

For me it’s a big YESSSS :slight_smile:

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First off, game has been progressing nicely and last months have really improved it. So good job to all the people involved making it happen!

Although I believe a closed development process actually benefits more. I also see the opportunities/necessity of a larger cash bag coming in to pay the bills and even take it a step further if possible in perhaps more people working on the game increasing the stuff that can be made.

Will the DLC’s contain content on EA release? Will they receive bare minimum content but receive updates during EA?

Will the future roadmap when released as EA. Lest say 1 update per month be continued? As I have seen many games going EA step away from this after a few iterations lets say. Because their audience becomes much bigger the impatience and unappreciated behaviour of some will spike up more when there’s a delay in releases even if they are small. Because … ‘They promised estimated august it’s now September cry cry’. How much I like to receive every month an update, I think this should be discontinued straight away on release to EA and move to updates on the drop or offer very wide quarterly goals or something.

Focus should be on deployment updates. Like larger iterations of certain set goals that will be updated when ready. Is that 1 month, 2 months… it’s done when it’s done. Because once you set a monthly roadmap and change it later some people will cry, because they thought they will receive every month an update and stuff.

What to avoid, create an early early access crowd when you release as an EA game. You currently have it that gold edition get’s a bit faster access to the beta’s, which is mainly for testing and getting the update as stable as possible. Which I think the current audience understands and appreciates.

Problem is your future audience will not. They will start crying how those people would get faster access and find it stupid there’s a 2nd tier to the early access and why they get early early access. Just lots of crying really…

Because these things will cause negative vibes within the community that are just not very pleasant to experience and work counter productive.

Once EA it would be cool to have a larger community engagement I guess, in ways of AMA, community events, Mini-dev updates, … I understand this is not worth your time now … but once you are in EA the audience will be bigger so I think then it’s justified to get some more CM engagement going on.

As I (and many more with me) want to see this game strive and expand beyond our imagination and dreams, haha!

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This should be its own separate post, but each business you own needs to earn at least $100 profit in a day for that objective - but it also seems that it won’t update if you are running the register yourself. I believe you currently need to assign Employees to run the registers at both locations, and THEN make $100 profit at both locations for it to update.

“I am a builder of worlds, virtual worlds for the enjoyment of the population and their entertainment in a real world ruled by tyranny and oppression”

Build the world in peace, taking your time.
We are here, looking over your shoulder.

Thank you for always keeping us up to date and always giving us information (Although I don’t post much lately, I do check in on you :P).

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I found a way to bypass this system you know Dave?

I’ll end up in OffTopic … but if you magically sell the “second shop” and buy an office to make your HQ this mission is passed automatically (I tried it in this new game I opened, it was interesting … or maybe a bug!)

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You are correct about HQ counting as your second business, and I also agree that it is a bug:

Tutorial/Objectives “Open Second Business” - Bugs - Big Ambitions Community (bigambitionsgame.com)

As always on point Dave, what can I say!

The car that disappeared on you in the previous bugs is still in Mexico :stuck_out_tongue:

Finally, I can stop looking, and just wait for Mexico DLC to be added! :stuck_out_tongue:

if you choose to publish early access on steam, this game (current release) is huge impact on early access area. because most of the early access games has no content or not playable. it’s good for your game.

but you will also need to consider steam’s early access policy and payment/price difficulties/limitations. i think you already evaluated the current situation and these difficulties. if the way you choose is early access, I believe it will attract a lot of attention, even in its current state. also commited development team and regular updates huge impact on early access too.

but 3-6 month publishing early access and wrestle with steam’s challenges or just wait and publish full game. you know what you need best but i pick the full release way; if you able to release christmas season.

have a lovely day.