Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Levering_2pp

Episode 7, Amnesia Fortnight, and (gasp!) the Minecraft Movie?!

419 posts in this topic

2 Player Productions here! For the holidays we’re more or less taking a break before diving back into the REDs project for the new year. We’re going to have a lot more resources to devote to REDs and we’re excited about all the cool content that’s going to be coming for you guys! For now, enjoy the long anticipated Episode 7!

Things may be looking bleak in this episode, but don’t worry, Tim has an inspiring message for everyone at the end of this update.

[vimeo]56080319[/vimeo]

AMNESIA FORTNIGHT

We hope some of you managed to catch the recent Amnesia Fortnight game jam experiment we did with Double Fine. It was an extremely intense two weeks but we think it resulted in some of the best work we’ve ever done. If you’re reading this update on Friday the 21st you still have a chance to grab the AF bundle and get around 4-5 hours of new video content from us. I don’t even know how long it is total, it’s a lot! It may even be equal to one “Return of the King” extended edition (with credits).

http://www.humblebundle.com/double-fine

MINECRAFT: THE STORY OF MOJANG

As you may or may not know, we’re releasing our new feature film “Minecraft: The Story of Mojang” this weekend! Backers of our Minecraft Kickstarter project will be getting digital copies of the movie Friday the 21st (today), Saturday the 22nd the movie will world premiere on Xbox Live as a free screening for Gold members, and on Sunday the 23rd the movie will go on general sale as a limited edition 2 disc DVD and DRM-free digital Download.

We also wanted to extend a special invitation just to you guys. All day Sunday (24hrs) we’re going to be streaming the movie free for you guys in the forums! We’ll try the best we can to stick around to chat and answer questions too! The thread to find the movie is listed below, but remember, nothing happens until Sunday (and we're on Pacific time)-

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/8264/

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

In between these major mailings, we're constantly releasing updates on the state of the project! This updates live in forum posts that also serve as great places to share your feedback and read the responses of other backers.

To follow forum links from this email, you must be registered on the Double Fine Action Forums using the email address associated with your Kickstarter account. Once you sign up and confirm your membership, it can take up to a full business day for the system to authorize you as a backer, so give it a bit of time. If it’s been a couple days and you still don’t have access, email support@doublefine.com

There are a few ways to easily keep up with updates:

Bookmark and check the backer landing page

Subscribe to the backer RSS feed

Subscribe to the table of contents thread on the forums

Here are some of the major updates since the last mailing:

SLACKER BACKERS

If you have friends who want to get in on the game updates and documentary, point them over to our Slacker Backer form. Everyone should have a chance at adventure!

And now, a special message from Tim Schafer.

Hello Backers of Adventure!

Welcome to the “Be Careful What you Wish” episode of the Double Fine Adventure. You wished that you could see inside the development of a real game, but after this episode you may regret it. Because making games is not pretty.

In this episode we face the phase of the project that happens usually every time for me. The design is done enough that we can see the rough scope of the game. We can see how much work there is to be done, and we can start to guess at how long it will take. And that’s when you often have a “holy crap” moment where you realize the scope has grown beyond what it should. And you take a deep breath, pick up your machete, and then start hacking things out until it fits again.

It sounds bad to cut stuff from the game design, but it’s natural and even healthy for any creative work to do some editing after the initial creative burst. It’s good to not think about reality for a period when you’re just trying to get cool ideas down on paper. You’re saying, “ooh, wouldn’t it be cool if…” over and over. And then you put all those “wouldn’t it be cool ifs” together and you finally see what it is you’re making. And some strong themes emerge that you didn’t realize were there before. You finally see the core of what you’re doing so you take that machete and you hack off anything that doesn’t support that core. There might be some great stuff in there, but if it isn’t providing direct structural support to the greater work, then it has to go! Time for the editing hat!

And then you put on the reality hat to see if you’ve cut enough. Back and forth until the design starts to fit with the budget.

An important thing to note: early on in the episode you see a shot of the budget and it shows a number in the 4 million range. That does not mean that we’ve spent 4 million dollars already. That means that if we keep going at this pace and work on the game as designed we can project out that the game would cost 4 million(that's including all rewards and the documentary). So, on paper we are over budget if we change nothing and just keep plodding along the current course. So that’s a wake-up call that we need to take steps to change that number.

Also, there was talk in that episode of getting more money. Where would we get that money? Well, as Greg points out later on, we don’t want to get it from a publisher because the attached strings would violate the pack we made with the backers. It would undo the good you did by backing. So it comes down to two things: Clever deals our biz dev guy Justin makes like exclusive distribution agreements, etc. And revenue from other games. So taking money that we make from Psychonauts on Steam, for example and applying it to this game.

On the one hand, I’d love to keep the game under the budget set by what we got from Kickstarter. On the other hand, it also makes sense to contribute some of our own money to this project. In case you’re asking, “Wait, if you have your own money, why did you ask for money on kickstarter.” Well, I’m not saying we have three point four million dollars sitting in the bank. I’m saying if we manage to make more like two hundred thousand dollars off of our back catalog this year, we could either use that to make a brand new mobile game like Middle Manager of Justice, or we could apply it to Reds. Both things would be good for the company in different ways. It’s not an easy choice, but it’s the kind of choice a small developer like us has to make all the time.

So that’s where we are now. We’re feeling good about the project but we’re shifting gears out of the land of crazy dreams and into the reality of doing what’s possible. I think the episode shows that really well, warts and all!

I hope you’re still enjoying the access this documentary provides and are not wishing that you could unsee all this. Rest assured the game will get done and be great because that’s what we’re committed to. It may not be pretty along the way, but we can at least promise that it will be honestly represented.

Thanks for backing,

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do know one or two software developers that experienced the same thing. I don't know a single one that hasn't.

Simply explained

You'll find a way to make it awesome while staying independent, I'm sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, seems I have to buy a few Slacker Backers, as well as copies of Psychonauts to my friends & family for Christmas presents. As well as spending some real money on Middle Manager of Justice.

If Double Fine needs money I always try to help. :-) Hopefully more people try to help either financially or through spreading the word/publicity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Developers of first person shooters would stay around the office after work hours playing their game. HAHAHAAHA! Don't worry Tim, it's no different in any other company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't watched yet, need to download first (slow connection!), but I already have to say: awesome! I'm so glad we still got this episode this year, even before Christmas! :D You release a lot of work recently, so much to see from you guys (though as always, not of you ;))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't see the movie yet, but I wanted to say that amnesia fortnight's movies were amazing and

Tim, you committed to a game in a budget of 400k, do not take money made from other channels for this game, on the contrary, you should have some money left for pr and stuff. the game will be great but dont forget its all a big experiment and you dont know if people will buy it (other than us the backers) so you are taking a huge risk investing more money into this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was definitley a disturbing episode.

But it does make me want to see episode 8 now.

But also, I think that we should get used to these 'tension headaches' while watching the future episodes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't seem to be working for me. Vimeo says the creator of the video has not given me permission to display it on this domain?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Unsee this"? Why should I, Tim?

That's part of our adventure.

We're all in this together. When I gave Double Fine 100 dollars I based my decision on trust, nothing more.

Guess what? I still trust you after Episode 7. This means something. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't see the movie yet, but I wanted to say that amnesia fortnight's movies were amazing and

Tim, you committed to a game in a budget of 400k, do not take money made from other channels for this game, on the contrary, you should have some money left for pr and stuff. the game will be great but dont forget its all a big experiment and you dont know if people will buy it (other than us the backers) so you are taking a huge risk investing more money into this.

It looks like Tim is gambling on this with his company so in the end they can get more creative freedom to make games from the money they gonna make from this game. They can't hold back on quality this game needs to be good to succeed for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why isn't the video working for me? You guys are talking about amazing stuff that I cannot seeeee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regret? Are you kidding me? This is awesome!

Every episode has a different theme, mostly linked to the phase of development the game is in. This one shows a darker phase and I think it is just great to also be witness to that part of the whole process. You promised to show it all, beautiful and ugly alike, and I am very happy that you are staying true to that.

2PP keep getting better and better as well; I was sitting here biting my nails with the sense of despair and resolution to get the project back on a manageable schedule/budget jumping right from the screen. Well done guys.

AF gave the opportunity to get to know the team a bit better. For me that makes the DFA even more personal, making us backers just that little bit more part of the experience. I'm starting to repeat myself, but I can't thank you enough for the opportunity for us to be a part of it. DF made a gamble with this experiment. I have little doubt it will turn out to be a great success (in conclusion; for me it has been from day 1), but however it turns out, I think you are doing a great thing here.

Concerning the budget problems: my first reaction was to think "Just ask the backers to chip in a bit. I know I would". But that doesn't feel like the right thing to do. We all made a commitment, DF by organizing the Kickstarter campaign and us backers by backing it, and that set the boundaries of this experiment. Going outside those boundaries would seem like cheating to me. We all want to now what can be done in this way, that is what the experiment is for. I am very much looking forward to how DF is going to make it work. The constraints might actually make for a better game in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very brave of Double Fine to allow to see the darker side of game development, or perhaps just the stark reality. Also how awesome is it that that guy's name is Justin Bailey?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought occurred to me while watching the video. I backed at the $15 amount because at the time there seemed to be more then enough money to make the game (it was around $1 mil or so and the pitch only said $400,000) and I didn't want any of the rewards. However, if the total goal had been $4mil, I would have been willing to chip in more. Potentially before cutting too much out of the game, offer a chance to additional donations? (I wouldn't be buying any of the old games as I've already owned/played them all, I'd rather donate straight to this game). I'm really excited about the game and would also like it to be as awesome as possible and I'm sure many other people feel that way. On the off chance you do decide to add a donations thing, please put a notice in one of the videos as I (and many others I'm sure) rarely come to the forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shows you how much a process game development is. Looking forward to see what comes next for the team and how they handle the adveristy, best of luck REDS team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my eyes it was the best episode so far. Because it really showed what I wanted to see: The every-day-realities of being a game developer.

I know that you guys are doing programming, art, writing and designing and go all creative and crazy. I have seen Making-Ofs before. But the first time it really shows the side of game development you normally don't get to see: the real side!

So for me this investment already paid off with this whole documentary, and now I am regretting that I didn't put more money into the pot back then. Not because you guys need more money, but because this was the first Kickstarter project I backed and was all careful and stuff back then, while I already spent more money on later kickstarter projects that I am not even remotely looking forward to than I do to this project.

So yeah, keep your heads cool, guys. Thanks for the update and the best of luck! GO REDS!!!

-- Papa J

- German Adventurer -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great episode, even if it wasn't a "happy" one.

Game development delays happen all the time - I mean come on, just look at Blizzard for the most obvious example. But what I like here (and what may help make this project and future Double Fine projects different) is the fact that we're all being kept in the loop. Whereas the big companies will give us vague announcements that "the game will be released next year" and change that to "will be delayed indefinitely" whereas here we have an opportunity for greater transparency.

We all want a great game, and we're going to wait for that game to come to light. But it does help us from going crazy to know what's going on and why things are taking as long as they are as opposed to folks just ranting on Twitter or something.

Hang in there, DFA team! We can do this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, is it just me or doesn't it make sense in the narrative structure of a documentary for the middle of a project to struggle (even if things were going better in reality)?

2PP are putting a "Rocky" Film style to the DFA doc, as it would just be boring to see:

1. Here is money

2. We work slow but hard

3. We Finish

DRAMA is a key part as this is entertainment not an Academic bit of journalism.

I really hope REDS team members are given an Amazon wishlist account that we can send stuff in as care packages as the Code Monkeys and Artists are looking like they need a pick me up and quite obviously we can't send them stuff directly as that would be a little off.

Is a Second Funding Drive really out of the question??? If you ask me, a signed postcard from the REDS team on art from the game could be sold for $50 or something. There must be profit in that. Change the postcard every month till release and some backers would buy them all. Maybe they could sell a "Rescue Credit" where people who pledge an extra $50 could be listed in a secret area of the game. I'm sure small but meaningful amounts of money can be made from items like this that have little impact on development or physical production.

Really hope that we hear how the funding puzzle is solved and what we can do to help make the cuts/edits leave as little on the cutting room floor as possible.

NB. I am just someone off the internet and should not be listened to in any way, shape or form :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A thought occurred to me while watching the video. I backed at the $15 amount because at the time there seemed to be more then enough money to make the game (it was around $1 mil or so and the pitch only said $400,000) and I didn't want any of the rewards. However, if the total goal had been $4mil, I would have been willing to chip in more. Potentially before cutting too much out of the game, offer a chance to additional donations? (I wouldn't be buying any of the old games as I've already owned/played them all, I'd rather donate straight to this game). I'm really excited about the game and would also like it to be as awesome as possible and I'm sure many other people feel that way. On the off chance you do decide to add a donations thing, please put a notice in one of the videos as I (and many others I'm sure) rarely come to the forums.

I wouldn't mind contributing a little more. I mean I know there's slacker backers and I can get another free steam code but maybe there could be something for folks who have already donated but want to add 30 or 50 bucks. Maybe send a pack of cards or a button or something. I wouldn't mind that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0