Dean Hall is best known for his work on the popular DayZ mod and game, but he’s been working for a while now on a new title: Stationeers. Today, Hall announced that the space-station management game is scheduled to launch into Early Access this September.
In a post on Steam, Hall explained that the release window is dependent on ensuring that Stationeers is at a sufficient level of playability. Although Hall said that work on the game is coming along nicely, the developer still needs to eliminate some bugs before releasing it to the public.
“Our current plan is to release in September,” he explained. “However, this date would be delayed if we do not think the game is ready. We will communicate this if it happens, and the reasons why. I just think we should be a little more public now about our expected targets, as it also helps internally put a little pressure on the team.”
“We’ll certainly delay the release until we have [a] solid complete game loop and very good stability,” he continued. “We’ve achieved very good performance now with very smooth gameplay. We have some fairly nasty bugs remaining out of our refactoring, but we don’t expect them to take too long.”
Hall has received criticism in the past for extremely long Early Access periods for his games. DayZ, for example, originally launched in Early Access back in 2013, and it’s still in Early Access now. In the Steam post about Stationeers’ release window, Hall seemed to acknowledge this criticism while also defending the necessity of Early Access.
“One of the reasons we wanted to do Early Access with this game is so that it would evolve with the community through development,” he stated. “Early Access is a great way to restrict the number of customers, yet still build a very focused community. It allows us to gauge the real interest in the game and scope it correctly without the danger of overscoping and bankrupting the studio.
“Above all else, I want this to be like we did Out of Ammo‘s EA but on a larger scale. I suppose I want to try and do Early Access ‘right’ based on what I’ve learned myself and from others.”
In Stationeers, players attempt to manage a space station either solo or with other players. According to its Steam description, it has “fully functioning atmospherics, science, power, engineering, medical, and agricultural systems.” Players are tasked with exploring space to find resources, mine asteroids, and create better stations.