quasicoltd wrote:The "stop everything and fix the serious bugs" approach was badly needed, alpha or not. The existing features simply couldn't be tested because the bugs were so bad. It sure was nice to add the rehab and education programs, but the fact your prison would decay into anarchy because of the bugs meant you couldn't even get far enough in the game to test them out! The major game breaking bugs are apparently 75% hammered out and it shows in a big way to those of us play testing the bugbash builds.
As the code increases in size and complexity bug fixing becomes much harder. Better to squash them early. More devs should take the mini-beta-in-alpha approach. The old method is clearly outdated. Just look at all the AAA titles out there that are released with more bugs than a crack house.
Which game breaking bugs are you referring to? I'm still playing the "unfixed" Alpha 21 (I don't use steam) and I'm running 260 prisoners (more to come once I get the time to play again) with no problems. None of the bugs that I occasionally see keep me from playing.
Also, what makes you think it would get harder to fix bugs in a few years time as opposed to now? It will take more time because there will be more bugs, sure, but it won't be harder to fix them.
Quite the opposite is true: New features WILL break old ones, that's an inescapable fact in software development and has already been seen several times over the course of the Prison Architect Alpha. If they tried to keep the program bug-free all the time while developing it, we won't be seeing the finished product until the mid 2020s, and they would end up having to fix the same bugs over and over again.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against bug-fixing in general, if there's a truly game breaking bug, I'll be as happy as everyone else when they adress it quickly (which they did in several previous releases), and I'm not against a "bugfix month" every now and then, but don't expect them to keep PA bug-free until it's released.