August 2, 2016
It seems to me that as alpha-release games evolve, they should be resetting veteran players. This will upset those players, naturally. However, it will allow a more level playing field for newer players who have not had the opportunity to build up resources over time.
This would be more fair to a greater number of players, and really, once veterans get used to the idea of losing progress in an alpha-release, it’s really not so bad. It’s important for play-testers (and that is really what a player of an alpha-release becomes) to play from the beginning of the game, to ensure that the entire gameplay progress is less buggy.
Instead, what really happens is that the veteran players get grumpy and insist they keep their stuff. This is fine with the developers who would rather work on their game than add in a reset loop that starts all players over at square 1. So the veterans compound their advantages, and new players lose interest fast.
So unless you have a really outstanding game that goes viral all-of-a-sudden, your game will never really “take off”. You’ll always be stagnating with those same old, stubborn, die-hard veterans. The game will suffer. The artistic vision will suffer. Regular gamers will suffer from not enjoying the game as much as they might, if only the veterans had simply released their kung-fu grip on their precious prior-gained resources.
But then the customer is always right. Right?