Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress, add a bunch of lazy mages and update the interface to modern standards? That's Mage Tower in a nutshell. We're building something really ambitious - a world that you can build to your own whim, while carefully balancing resources, knowledge, and external threats.

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0 comments by RedButtonGames on Sep 26th, 2013

To those who know me personally, much of the following information is review. For those who don't, hopefully this will explain quite a bit.

Hello - I'm Daniel Frandsen, the President / Founder / Lead Programmer for Red Button Games. Usually when I speak as the company, I use generic pronouns like "we," but since this post is more personal I'll be talking as myself.

The Past

Mage Tower has had a sporatic update cycle. I apologize upfront about not communicating what was going on, especially when it's part of my responsibility to keep company followers up-to-date. When Mage Tower began development (May 2012), I jumped in as a full-time developer. I planned on slowly ramping up other involvement through a part-time developer and artist, making a monthly update cycle reasonable. Since then, the other involved parties dropped off (through no one's fault), and I was contacted with a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity (August 2012). The interview process took a while, but I ended up accepting an offer (November 2012) shortly before launching Mage Tower on Desura (December 2012) and another update (January 2012).

Throughout the next 7 months, I moved across the country, sold my house, started a new job, and got married. My update schedule for Mage Tower dropped from then full-time to now just a sliver of the time I wanted to commit to it. Communication dissipated, and I became somewhat nervous to check Desura to see what new dissenting comment I would see. Finally, a new update released (August 2013), and I was happy to see people still interested and to see people who seemed to understand (on some level) what I might be going through.

The Future

Now that things are more settled, I have a bit more time to work on updates. However, I'm not going to depend on my time for the release schedule as much as I can help it. To help with that, I'll be working on making updates even smaller, making them more feasible to be on a regular schedule. Second, I'm hoping to bring on more people who would be interested in the project. I'm a bit...picky about who I work with, but it's become clear that giving more of my own time wouldn't make a reliable schedule.

I hope that helps explain my perspective and why things might be moving slower than you'd like. Trust me, I want to play the "full" game of Mage Tower just as much as you - it's just going to take a bit of time. :)

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Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Mac

Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Mac

Sep 4, 2012 Demo 0 comments

Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress, add a bunch of lazy mages and update the interface to modern standards? That's Mage Tower in a nutshell. We're building...

Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Windows

Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Windows

Sep 4, 2012 Demo 1 comment

Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress, add a bunch of lazy mages and update the interface to modern standards? That's Mage Tower in a nutshell. We're building...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 57)
iamaplayer Jan 21 2014, 2:25am says:

Any news since September 2013?

Could you keep us updated about the game's progress, if any?

I'm so close to ask Desura for a refund.

+1 vote     reply to comment
useurname123 Oct 6 2013, 8:47am says:

any time this will be in steam's greenlight?

0 votes     reply to comment
dark_matter_mobius Sep 6 2013, 2:05pm says:

I don't know if the devs are still 'haunting' the comments section, but any specific reason for the slow update?

+1 vote     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Sep 6 2013, 4:52pm replied:

Rather than responding to every version of this comment, the basic reason is the project began with a small team, one full-time programmer and couple other part-time contributors, but the full-time programmer (myself) got a full-time job, moved across the country, and got married over the past 6 months. Obviously transitioning to a part-time schedule would be tough enough, but the development pace suffered during this transition.

Now that I'm in a more stable situation, I'm ramping development up to a healthy pace, and carefully bringing on more people to replace the full-time slot that was abandoned. I still really love this game and more importantly want to see it grow to what I envision, rather than the Alpha version that currently exists.

I'll go into more detail in a Red Button Bulletin soon ("real" soon, not "next update" soon), but I wanted to respond to the wave of comments, especially for people who were frustrated by the silence over the months.

+3 votes   reply to comment
croquantes Aug 30 2013, 2:22am says:

Whaaat? A week after I ask Desura for a refund, the game is updated? Colour me surprised!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kriegy Aug 27 2013, 9:38am says:

Please add menu entries for exiting the game properly !

Also, you should consider using cInput2 for Unity in order to bypass the settings window at the start, and disable all mouse actions when using a menu (except for interacting with the menu).

+1 vote     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Sep 6 2013, 4:46pm replied:

We'll have to look into cInput2 - that's something we hadn't considered up to this point, but as with many problems someone else in the Unity community solved it.

The intention is to disable all mouse actions when using a menu, but we still have a few edge cases to identify.

+1 vote   reply to comment
vitaliivasylenko Aug 23 2013, 6:27am says:

Ah, i saw this game about a year, ago. Luckily, i didnt buy it: due to comments, its very dead now.

-2 votes     reply to comment
liamdawe Aug 23 2013, 4:52pm replied:

Yes a game is dead when it released an update a day ago, good one.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Bashful Aug 2 2013, 2:16pm says:

So I take it the game is dead now then... Any chance Desura will give us a refund?

+5 votes     reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley Aug 22 2013, 8:45pm replied:

Alpha Funding means that you support a game during development. Chances are the developer has to do other things to you know live and such. So sometimes delays happen, but guess what he just updated the game. So no need to loose faith just yet!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Bashful Aug 24 2013, 10:09pm replied:

I dont mind supporting games in alpha however when there is not even a 'hi, we are still here' from the devs in 4 months and the game still in the very early stages made it look ike that. Happy they have started updating again but have lost faith that needs to be restored again.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Mage Tower
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Red Button Games
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Released Dec 2012
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40 votes submitted.

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Lowest Rated (4 agree) 1/10

This is currently the shell of a game (even for Desura). At the moment, it is only a construction sim, and a buggy one at that. Additionally, updates are slow to appear (1-2 month interval).

Gnomoria is much more polished and selling for less. Additionally, the pace of updates is much quicker (new patch every Tuesday; rarely skips a week, but delivers a larger patch the next week if he does). If you're looking to invest in a DF style management game, Gnomoria's return is much higher at this time.

Dec 15 2012, 11:20am by pancakebandit

Grand Strategy
Single Player

Latest tweets from @redbuttongames

Red Button Bulletin 8, where I give a heart-to-heart about our schedule. #MageTower T.co

Sep 26 2013, 2:24am

And a special note about this #MageTower update: now there's a Linux version, so you have no excuse based on platform!

Aug 22 2013, 5:09pm

#MageTower 0.1.4 Wandering Monster Update is live! Go check it out! T.co #Desura

Aug 22 2013, 5:07pm

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