The developers of Space Pirates and Zombies 2 have canceled their plans for a multiplayer version of the popular sci-fi title due to issues with the Unity engine.
MinMax Games had originally planned to add a multiplayer variant of SPAZ 2 so players could test each others creations in an Arena mode, however, such is not to be the case, according to a recent blog post on Steam regarding SPAZ 2's development.
"It has been a hard month upgrading from Unity 5.0.4 to 5.4.4 and there have been some really unexpected road bumps. We still aren't fully 5.4.4 ready, but one thing has become clear, the Arena multiplayer isn't going to work.
"Between Unity 4 and 5.1 Unity's multiplayer backend fundamentally changed, but we always thought we could transpose our multiplayer code into the new system without too much difficulty. But we can tell you after 4 weeks hard at it, we have made no progress... at all."
For those not familiar with Unity, the primary issue arises from the significant differences the platform uses when handling multiplayer. The challenge is less from the Unity 5 variations and updates, but rather the major problems developers have been facing when upgrading from Unity 4 to Unity 5.
MinMax claims to have attempted four different solutions to transpose the needed code for the multiplayer aspect into Unity 5 with absolutely no success. Which is highly unfortunate, as multiplayer was one of the more wished for features with SPAZ 2.
But such is the fate of early access games, and Space Pirates and Zombies 2 has fallen prey to such a doom. Still, the game developers did warn people not to buy the game for potential features not yet implemented.
And better yet, for those whose sole purpose in purchasing SPAZ 2 was to play against other people, fear not, for MinMax is working with Steam to offer refunds to those who want their money back. The typical caveat for Steam refunds is that they must occur within two weeks of the purchase and the game must have been played less than two hours, give or take a few minutes. On the other hand, if a player has gone over that two-hour limit, they will not be able to get the refund.
Additionally, there have been a few issues with the refunds so far, but the developers are working with a contact at Steam to get around the typical two-week purchase limit.
According to an update to the SPAZ 2 post, "Their system is unable to remove the automated 2 week ownership time limit, but our Steam contact has kindly offered to handle the refund requests by hand. If you meet the refund requirements above and want a refund, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your Steam profile, and we will forward your link to our contact for a manual refund."
The Space Pirates and Zombies 2 developers acknowledged they had to make a hard choice. The two primary options were to spend a lot of time re-implementing the multiplayer protocols or to focus on making the single-player version of the game even better. They chose the latter.
The focus is now on enhancing the sandbox version, creating better maps and more options for the gameplay to evolve, and improving the difficulty level once a player has maxed out their ship. They also hope that removing the encumbrances within the programming which would have been required for multiplayer will improve CPU and game performance significantly. The insane difficulty will also see an overhaul in upcoming patches as well. In essence, MinMax plans to focus entirely on upping the ante for single-player.
So what are your thoughts on the early access game Space Pirates and Zombies 2 not getting content the developers had promised? Is it fair to players who bought the game? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by MinMax Games]