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Planet Explorers goes free as Pathea Games lose the multiplayer code

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Argh! I can't believe it's the middle of 2019 and I'm writing about something so ridiculous. Pathea Games, developer of Planet Explorers and My Time At Portia have lost the multiplayer code for Planet Explorers.

As a little reminder, Planet Explorers was funded on Kickstarter way back in 2013 with the help of over four thousand backers providing them well over one hundred thousand dollars. When it released in 2016 it was…rough. It had a lot of promise, some elements of it were interesting but it also had a lot of bugs.

In early May this year, Pathea Games wrote on Steam about their server being down, then in early June they wrote about there being "more loss than we anticipated" and then late June where they announced "our lobby server had an issue where all the code base got deleted from its server" and "it's a lost cause unless we completely rewrite the code from scratch".

Backups, Backups—Backups!

They don't seem to have any kind of backup of their working version, which is completely crazy considering the masses of free storage you can find online. It's also very easy to start using version control systems, with plenty of free storage for that also available in numerous of places, so I'm struggling to understand how they could lose everything like this.

Pathea Games have now made the game free and they said they will be looking to "make the game code available online" hopefully under a decent license allowing others to hack away at it, perhaps giving it a new life.

On top of that, they also said they're working on Planet Explorers 2 and they've "matured as a studio", but I don't really know how they could write that with a straight face in these circumstances.

You can find Planet Explorers on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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36 comments
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madpinger 3 July 2019 at 8:59 am UTC
It's more sad how common this really is.. *Looks at AAA*, I guess they're like the big dogs then :3
Ehvis 3 July 2019 at 9:00 am UTC
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This almost sounds too silly to be true. Of course there is the "don't attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence" idea, but you do have to wonder whether there may be an ulterior motive here. Possible they just want to get on with new stuff and not spend time fixing horrible broken old code for a game that won't generate much in sales from this point.
Liam Dawe 3 July 2019 at 9:01 am UTC
EhvisThis almost sounds too silly to be true. Of course there is the "don't attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence" idea, but you do have to wonder whether there may be an ulterior motive here. Possible they just want to get on with new stuff and not spend time fixing horrible broken old code for a game that won't generate much in sales from this point.
If it's a case of them wanting to move on, it's the worst kind of marketing possible to make your studio sound like a bunch of complete fools.
Eike 3 July 2019 at 9:17 am UTC
Incroyable!
Ehvis 3 July 2019 at 9:24 am UTC
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When will people learn to backup everything to Github/Gitlab.
Psychojau 3 July 2019 at 9:25 am UTC
liamdawe
EhvisThis almost sounds too silly to be true. Of course there is the "don't attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence" idea, but you do have to wonder whether there may be an ulterior motive here. Possible they just want to get on with new stuff and not spend time fixing horrible broken old code for a game that won't generate much in sales from this point.
If it's a case of them wanting to move on, it's the worst kind of marketing possible to make your studio sound like a bunch of complete fools.

LOL agree, it would be incredibly stupid !

It's always complicated nowadays when you are a small indie : free storage is nice but... is anything free ? Versioning systems for closed sources have a cost and there is always the bandwidth problem : game projects are HUGE. Not only you have all the game content and it's sources, but you also have a lot of garb** *erm* a lot of things that won't always be useful in the near future lol.


Last edited by Psychojau on 3 July 2019 at 9:26 am UTC
TheSHEEEP 3 July 2019 at 9:36 am UTC
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There is a Pathea Games developer and light bulb joke somewhere in here...
Beamboom 3 July 2019 at 9:38 am UTC
What a remarkably amateurish mess. Are these guys complete hobbyists? Have they never worked in a professional development environment?
g000h 3 July 2019 at 9:52 am UTC
Even if their source control server went down, it is usual for developer workstations to retain much of the working code. (True of git, perforce, subversion anyway.)
adomas 3 July 2019 at 9:59 am UTC
I see how they matured as a studio but hey, things happens. Next project they will probably use version control system
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