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Developers of Boundary Saved Their Game by Livestreaming Their Overnight Work

By Johnson Ge
Apr. 26, 2023 updated 04:50

The first-person space shooter, “Boundary”, was released in early access on April 13th. That night, Studio Surgical Scalpels, the developer of the game, started a livestream that lasted for days. It was not a celebration party of the game’s release held for the developers and the players. Instead, the developers have been livestreaming overtime work to fix bugs and respond to comments as promptly as possible, trying to retain players with their sincerity.

A Gif shows the six-dimensional combat style of Boundary.A Gif shows the six-dimensional combat style of Boundary.

Boundary is an innovative multiplayer tactical shooter that immerses players in the role of heavily armed astronauts navigating a zero-gravity space battlefield. Unlike traditional FPS games, the game offers a unique six-dimensional environment that requires players to master the art of "flying" while engaging in intense dogfight-style combat. Despite receiving positive feedback during testing, the game's release was met with mixed reviews, resulting in a 55% positive rating.

A screenshot of Boundary’s review rate on the first day.A screenshot of Boundary’s review rate on the first day.

On the evening of April 13th, the influx of players into the server surpassed expectations, causing server overload and frequent connection issues. As a result, players were unable to gain experience or level up after battles, nor could they unlock new weapons and equipment. Some players also reported difficulty accessing the settings menu to adjust graphics, controls, and language options. In addition, certain maps were poorly optimized, leading to game and engine crashes or errors.

The matchmaking system in Boundary is also a major drawback. It lacks the ability to match players based on skill level or character level, and it does not differentiate between teams and solo players. This can lead to new players being pitted against skilled players with voice chat, resulting in a one-sided slaughter. Furthermore, the absence of a mid-game join function or penalties for quitting exacerbates the issue.

The game's balance is another area of concern. The close-combat assassin, "Spike," is the most agile character in the game and possesses abilities like all-direction boost maneuver and smoke, making it easy to outplay opponents in most encounters. On top of that, Spike is equipped with a powerful medium-range submachine gun, the "GSW-SMG," making it lethal not only in close quarters but also in mid-range head-to-head battles.

A Gif of Spike’s kill in Boundary.A Gif of Spike’s kill in Boundary.

The issue of cheating has become rampant in Boundary, and it seems that Studio Surgical Scalpels is struggling to keep the situation under control.

In a last-ditch effort to address the problem, the developers decided to hold a livestream to directly connect with players. During the stream, they listed all known issues reported by players on a whiteboard and presented their solutions and estimated deadlines. The audience watched as the developers worked on improving the game, with the livestream serving as a window into their office. It's clear that Studio Surgical Scalpels is making a "last stand" to regain control of the game and address the numerous issues that have plagued it.

A screenshot of the livestream where developers listed all-knowing issues on the whiteboard.A screenshot of the livestream where developers listed all-knowing issues on the whiteboard.

The livestream lasted for several days, during which Studio Surgical Scalpels worked tirelessly to address bugs and improve the game. They fixed major issues, such as the lack of experience gained in the summary and unexpected game crashes. The Hong Kong server was terminated due to poor performance, and a new matchmaking algorithm based on a player's K/D rate was added to the game. The mobility of Spike was downgraded, and the velocity of the "GSW-SMG" was decreased, making it less effective in medium-range combat.

The developers have kept updating the game since Day 1The developers have kept updating the game since Day 1

To combat cheating, Studio Surgical Scalpels implemented Anti-Cheat Expert (ACE) into the game and started banning cheaters. On April 19th, the developer team revealed the first ban list of 127 cheaters.

Although there are still bugs to be fixed and game experience improvements to be made, many players appreciate Studio Surgical Scalpels' willingness to listen to the gaming community and respond quickly to issues. As a result, the review rate of Boundary has increased to Mostly Positive (74%), with players sharing encouraging words under the patch notes.

A screenshot of the comments under the Patch notesA screenshot of the comments under the Patch notes

Source: Bilibili