Team Alpha, makers of the popular Alphabirth mod packs for The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ DLC, is halting its work on the game because of a “broken” mod API and the failure of developer Nicalis to work with the modding community.
The team’s head coordinator said the long-awaited developer tools released alongside Afterbirth+ in January were a “disappointment”, adding that the expansion seemed “less like a tool to let Isaac live on through creators, and more like a last-ditch DLC to get some more cash out of Isaac before it was finally killed”.
Though the “half-finished” DLC was patched up post-launch, the mod API received little support, the team said in a blog post. “From the start, it was apparent that there were massive short-comings to the API. Things like basic grid entity control, enemy projectile generation, item pools, trinkets, curses and any meaningful documentation were absolutely absent.
“In the first couple [of] weeks and months, the API received a few substantial updates that did work to smooth out the edges and add in some basic features. But as time continued to progress the updates became less frequent, and the issues that were there (and meticulously documented by the community) from the start had still not been touched.”
The lack of support, combined with “little to no meaningful communication ” from developer Nicalis, has left Team Alpha “burned out” to the point where it feels it cannot work on any more mod packs with the game in its current state.
“I believe Nicalis and [creator Edmund McMillen] missed out on an unbelievable opportunity to extend this experience and develop a thriving and long-lasting Isaac community into the future. They squandered every chance to repair damages along the way and ultimately left the community to fall apart on its own. The refusal to work on smoothing out the API has left a framework that is uncomfortable and frustrating to work with.”
Team Alpha recently released its third mod pack, adding 20 new items, seven new enemies, and 50+ new rooms to the game. And, for now, it will be its last. “We hope that we are proven wrong and comprehensive API updates are just around the corner, but until then we can no longer commit so much energy to working in creating content for a game that shows no support for their dedicated fans.”