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Nerdy Suit

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Everything posted by Nerdy Suit

  1. What doesn't make any business sense is the idea that DF thinks they should have "broken even" as Tim put it during the development of this game. That's not how business works, including the video game industry. You invest in a product with the hope that your risk/reward will pay off. It's obvious and has been obvious for a while that DF doesn't have a clue as to what it's doing from a business perspective. Social perspective is essentially what I was saying about them burning all of the goodwill they've accumulated over the years. All or most of the SB owners are or were DF fanboys. Now that they've chosen this path, there's no doubt in my mind that sales of games like Costume Quest 2, Broken Age when act 2 is released, Massive Chalice, etc., will be significantly hurt as a result. Not only do many consumers no longer trust DF, but now many (not me, but many others) will likely not buy any DF games just to spite them, because they feel betrayed by DF. Whatever money DF *thinks* they saved (and I emphasize *thinks* because there are many like me that were just waiting for the final version of SB), they will lose exponentially more from lost sales of other games. And no, I don't own SB. I was one of the MANY people that was waiting to purchase it once it was actually completed. So why am I taking my time on these boards about SB? Because DF has literally been my favorite developer since Tim founded it. I've been a huge fan of Tim's work since Full Throttle. I defended DF at every turn, including the attacks on Broken Age and how that game went massively over budget. But this? There's just no defending their actions here. I almost bought SB in EA several times (even though I don't trust EA) because I thought to myself, "There's no way DF won't finish this game. This is DF. I trust them. They are what's good about gaming." So I'm a fanboy of DF that can't believe my favorite developer has done something so incredibly shady and inexcusable. Do I now forever hate DF? Of course not. I will soon by CQ2. I will likely buy MC when it's released. I will probably buy every game Tim leads -- so many of Tim's games have left a significant impression on my childhood. But do I still trust DF like I once did? Absolutely not. "Double Fine is not a random fly-by-night indie dev and we are not going to silently pull the plug on Spacebase or any other in-development project. Doing so would be disastrous for our reputation and it would kill us emotionally." Games come and go, but your reputation is forever.
  2. Clearly, you don't understand the concept that Tim or anyone can "answer" questions, but answering with nonsensical responses that don't make any sense from a business or social perspective doesn't suddenly cure the problem. And I could spend the rest of eternity debating with you what a good faith early access title does and what it means...or I could just point you towards the ONLY thing that matters, especially concerning DF -- what does the general public think? What is the social perception of their action? Particularly, what do DF customers and Spacebase owners think? Well, 61% of 1,365 Steam SB owners have gone out of their way to write negative reviews of SB, and most of those reviews talk about their disgust and disappoint with DF's actions (and keep in mind, the vast majority of those SB owners are or were fans of DF...so when you go beyond DF fans, the social perception gets even worse). So you and DF can defend DF till all of you are blue in the face. But ultimately, none of that matters. Because the reality of the situation is that most of us don't buy it. The reality is that the general social perception of DF is that what they did was wrong. The reality is that trust is tough to earn and easily broken, and it's fair to say that many, many potential consumers, including their hardcore fans, no longer trust DF. So you can keep posting links to the technical legal definition of EA according to Steam, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that it's undeniable that DF thrashed their reputation with their action. This is all that matters in any business. Frankly, it's embarrassing: http://steamcommunity.com/app/246090/reviews/
  3. Communicating bad logic, bad reasoning, bad business sense, bad planning, etc., does not equal good communication. Screwing your loyal fans (who, really, likely make up 99% of the current Spacebase owners) and then giving them some illogical reasons as to why they got screwed does not suddenly make it better.
  4. Wow, that just sums up the situation going on right now. How about an ACTUAL explanation of what happened behind the scenes? We payed the early access price and trusted DoubleFine to COMPLETE the game. We didn't expect to have the "development" thrusted on the buyers and being told "hey, you guys can finish it now". What happened to the devplan? What happened to the beta stage? How can ANY game go from Alpha 6 to a "finished" 1.0? Definitely going to be wary before supporting another DoubleFine game. THIS. This a thousand times over. The idea that you guys expected Spacebase to earn a profit or break even BEFORE you actually released this game is scary. It makes your future potential consumers wary of your future products. In business, particularly video games, you're supposed to invest your time and money in a product in order to make the best product possible BEFORE you release it. Then the hope is that you'll make money, if the product is good enough. Risk/reward: ever heard of it? It really does make me wary of the mentality that DF seems to currently have on this basic business concept. And as far as the "would be disastrous for our reputation" part...yea, that's pretty much happened. I'm sure your Costume Quest 2 sales were hurt as a result. And I wouldn't be surprised if the Massive Chalice and Broken Age sales once Act 2 are released are also hurt by this. It's sad that might be the case, especially considering that DF has been my favorite dev ever since Tim founded it...but, frankly, DF brought this on themselves. As they said, it "would be disastrous for our reputation"...even among your most loyal fans, like me.
  5. Just a disclaimer, I do not own Spacebase. Here I think is the heart of the issue. Some folks like myself always viewed Kickstarter and Early Access as a kind of speculative experiment where you take a gamble on helping to fund a game and whatever you get is what you get. Obviously a lot of other folks like Nerdy Suit took a very different view, feeling that Early Access was more of a way for the developer to recoup some costs, but not as a sole funding source. I don't think anyone is 'right' about this because the model has been used differently by different developers. I mean hell, Hack N' Slash did exactly the thing Nerdy Suit expected that Spacebase was doing. My question is, how was DoubleFine supposed to know what people were expecting? Nerdy Suit later talks about what the perception is and what the 'right' thing to do is. I'm pretty confused about all this. I know there wasn't some flashing banner at the top of the Spacebase page saying 'we'll only keep developing as long as we hit out sales numbers.' Clearly DoubleFine didn't think they needed that banner because of the comments they made about nothing being promised and the Early Access FAQ and all the stuff KestrelPi has pointed out. So, I hear you Nerdy Suit about having to manage your social capital and perceptions, but it seems like you're implying that DoubleFine knew that most players shared your expectations and actually I think quite the opposite is true. I think they felt that most people's perception was closer to mine that this was a speculative pay-as-you-go sort of deal. Clearly they were wrong and now that this has happened we all know, but I'm really unsure how they could've known beforehand. Sure, they could've asked, but if you don't already know that you NEED to ask then you probably wouldn't bother doing it. Nerdy Suit, let me just try and explain why a developer would attempt these other funding models. What you're talking about where someone invests a lot of money into a game and then attempts to recoup those costs through finished sales in just the traditional game development model. Whether that money comes from a publisher or a private investor or from the company itself it's all invest now for profits later. The problem for Doublefine is that they're relatively small and their games aren't huge commercial hits. Usually they make back their development costs plus a little extra years down the road, but that's about it. So, they don't have a million dollars sitting in the bank account to invest in development, especially because as an indie studio you have to be working on multiple projects to mitigate risk and ensure constant revenue streams post-release. Getting a major publishing deal for a game like Spacebase seems basically impossible. It's never going to make enough money to attract the attention of EA or Activision or Ubisoft... etc. So that's where this new funding model comes from. Are they twisting what it means to run a game development business? Yea that's kinda the point because the old way wasn't working for them. The studio was constantly in financial trouble AND they had to give up the IP to all their games. This was an attempt to mitigate the risks of game development and if it weren't for the serious consumer backlash, it actually worked! If DoubleFine had spent only their own money on this game and waited longer to release it, it seems like they would've lost even more money. I just want you to appreciate, Nerdy Suit, that on the model you're advocating, Double Fine either never would've been able to make their several most recent games at all, and if they had done it by pouring all of their available cash into the games, they'd probably be bankrupt. I also do not own SB. I also rarely ever come onto any forums because I spend ridiculous amounts of time discussing stuff like this when I should be working. I've only come on these forums because I've been completely floored and disappointed with the actions of my favorite developer (DF) and favorite person in games (Tim). Instead of me responding directly to what you wrote, here's the truth...it doesn't matter what I think...it doesn't matter what you think...and it definitely doesn't matter what DF thinks. The ONLY thing that matters is what does the public at large think. That's why those terms social perception, social capital, etc., are so important and come into play. So we can debate what early access is and isn't, what DF knew and didn't know, etc., until the ends of time. But here's the ONLY thing that should matter to DF: 1) Many fans on these forums (all of whom I'd have to imagine are hardcore DF fans) are upset with DF; 2) The internet as a whole seems to be overwhelmingly upset with DF about SB, and...MOST IMPORTANT...3) The customers directly involved with this debacle...those paying customers of SB...have left hundreds and hundreds of severely negative reviews of SB. So frankly, I don't care about any woulda, coulda, shouldas from DF. The fact is, the only ones who have a relevant opinion on this issue -- the paying SB customer base -- have made it pretty loud and clear their distrust of DF after this debacle. And even now, from the DF statements I've read, it seems that all DF is doing is making excuses. I mean, do they REALLY realize how much this has hurt their reputation and trust level with even their most hardcore fans (like me)? I would think and hope the reviews of SB on Steam would embarrass everyone at DF. As Steve Young once said, "Perception is reality. If you're perceived to be something, you might as well be it, because that's the truth in people's minds." As for me, I still love DF. I still love Tim. They make amazingly creative, original, unique, and fun game experiences. But as for me and my money, I'll wait till they actually release full versions of their games from here on out.
  6. Regardless how you feel about it, you really should read it. I don't know you can agree to quite a bit in a contract. Though if you want protection when you fund games invest the traditional route, that type of investment has legal protections etc, Early Access does not. When you buy an Early Access game, you pretty much get whatever the developer decides to put out, unless Valve intervenes like they did with Dinosaur adventure The Stomping Land. Wow. I mean, the entire point of this whole issue is going completely over your head. No legal arguments are being argued. No one is accusing DF of a crime. All we're basically saying is good luck ever getting anyone to fund future early access or Kickstarters because we don't trust you anymore. We look forward to purchasing your completed, feature complete, fully released games in the future. Here -- Since you like posting links, here's one for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capital Did you not read the quote in my post? The social capital, wasn't in dispute. If you don't trust DF, that's your prerogative. However, what was in dispute was whether you understood what early access was. I took the above as a not. I perfectly understand what early access is. The difference is that you're looking at it solely from a legalistic point of view. I'm looking at it from a moral and social point of view. Legally, DF does not owe anybody anything with SB. Morally and socially, DF went against the core of what early access is supposed to be about.
  7. You know, this might actually be one of the key problems with DF, not only with SBDF9, but also with BA: I still think BA on iOS is priced too high, and even the price for BA on Steam (which includes both Acts, unlike iOS) is too high. I think price should reflect that the game is not finished; that's why Minecraft went from 10 to 15 to 20 bucks for going from alpha to beta to final. Should have been the same for SBDF9 Alpha, or BA Act 1. I know quite some people who were interested in both games, but who thought the price was too high. That's totally no guarantee that revenue would have been higher, but perhaps more people would have resulted in more word of mouth, which would have resulted in more revenue. Alas, too late now to find out. It will be interesting to see how they price Massive Chalice... And the problem with both prices (Broken Age ande SBDF9) is that neither game has been fully released. $25 would be perfect for BA if the complete game was actually released. But why would someone pay that much for only half a game right now? And $25 for SB would be fine if they released the game with most of the features they originally said they would include. But again, who would pay $25 for what is reportedly just a few hours of gameplay?
  8. Regardless how you feel about it, you really should read it. I don't know you can agree to quite a bit in a contract. Though if you want protection when you fund games invest the traditional route, that type of investment has legal protections etc, Early Access does not. When you buy an Early Access game, you pretty much get whatever the developer decides to put out, unless Valve intervenes like they did with Dinosaur adventure The Stomping Land. Wow. I mean, the entire point of this whole issue is going completely over your head. No legal arguments are being argued. No one is accusing DF of a crime. All we're basically saying is good luck ever getting anyone to fund future early access or Kickstarters because we don't trust you anymore. We look forward to purchasing your completed, feature complete, fully released games in the future. Here -- Since you like posting links, here's one for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capital
  9. So are you then saying DF stole the money from people and is sitting on it rather than continuing the development? Good luck running a business if you're going to fall back on legal terms, throwing up your hands and saying, "Shoulda read the fine print, sucker!" Again, that is a very lawyerly way to look at things, and not something that even the law necessarily agrees with. Exactly. That's my point. They can quote and post the link to the FAQ all they want. I don't care. Tim shouldn't care. DF shouldn't care. The only thing they should care about is how will this action be perceived. What is the *right* thing to do. The only thing they should care about is the social capital that this company had once upon a time and how they've completely squandered it.
  10. So are you then saying DF stole the money from people and is sitting on it rather than continuing the development? I'm saying that they have completely twisted what it means to run a business. If you read my previous posts, you would understand that. You’re not supposed to “make money, or even break even” on an unreleased, unfinished game. You invest money in what hopefully will be a good game, release it, and then make the money back and hopefully more. DF is not supposed to make money until AFTER they have already invested a lot of money and time into a GOOD and FINISHED product. So by selling a game that they are no longer willing to finish because they're not "breaking even" on a game they haven't even released yet (that logic sounds crazier every time I write it) -- in a way, yes, they are stealing money from those that bought into early access. I don't think they're sitting on it. I believe they spent it on development. But they wrongfully took money to try out this "experiment" that they should probably refund. The idea that they shouldn't lose/invest money on a game until it's released is so silly, counter-intuitive, and just plain backwards that it's insanity this is used as the excuse.
  11. BTW, I am not here because I am some upset consumer who bought into Spacebase's early access. As I said before, I never bought into early access and was waiting to buy the relatively finished product. I'm here taking time to comment on this forum because I am absolutely shocked and appalled that my favorite developer (DF) and my favorite person in games (Tim) have taken such an action that I would have never guessed in a million years they would take. To say that I'm disappointed their actions is an understatement.
  12. (Then we'll just kindly refer him to the hundreds of negative reviews on Steam -- literally, I could not find a single positive review of Spacebase on Steam no matter how much I scrolled down -- and the outrage all over the internet. The point is not what a FAQ might say. The point is social capital and social perception.)
  13. Once upon a time, this was called "development." I get that there aren't infinite resources, but I feel like DF should have planned to get this to a point further than it is, even if it didn't do everything they hoped. There's always things that get cut from a product, but I just don't feel like this was anywhere near "complete." In addition to what early access buyers contributed, I believe the game received investment from Indie Fund and others like Morgan Webb of $400,000 (apparently they got their money back and presumably a profit within two weeks). http://indie-fund.com/2013/11/spacebase-df-9-recoups-investment-in-two-weeks/ $400,000+ goes quick. Also assuming sales, tapered off pretty quick after that I don't understand it when people talk about the early access sales tapering off. Yea...they tapered off because it's early access and the game is far from complete. The early access sales were probably something like 10% of the sales you would have actually seen if you had actually finished the game and released it. There are a lot of people like me that were just waiting for DF to release a decent final product. Again, isn't this what game development is? Isn't this was business is? You're not supposed to make a bunch of money BEFORE a game is finished. You're supposed to make a bunch of money AFTER a GOOD game is released. It appears by Tim's response that he and DF have forgotten this important fact. You seem have misunderstood the model here. Early Access is the funding for the development of the game plus whatever investment the developer can secure outside that. Without the funding, there is no game at the end to profit from. The money DF was accumulating was not profit, it was to fund development, that's how Early Access works. Wow. That might be your definition of early access. But your perception is definitely not one that is widely held. It seems that you are the one that has misunderstood the model.
  14. Along with my comment above, I have to respond to this quote by Tim Schafer off of the Steam forums (where he seems to be answering questions, but ignoring his own forum on his own website): "I have to take issue with your tearm, "taking the money and running." We took the money and invested it back into Spacebase. And then we invested more. We will not make money, or even break even, on this game." THAT'S THE POINT, TIM!!! You're not supposed to "make money, or even break even" on an unreleased, unfinished game! Don't you understand that? Don't you understand that there were a lot of people like me that were just waiting for you guys to finish a relatively feature complete version of the game to buy? Isn't this how games and business in general works? You invest money in what hopefully will be a good game, release it, and then make the money back? Tim's logic is completely backwards on this subject. As much as I love Tim...and I do still love Tim...he seems to have now forgotten that DF is not supposed to make money until AFTER they have already invested a lot of money and time into a GOOD and FINISHED product. I'm sorry Tim and DF, but with this fiasco and your poor logic behind this fiasco, it is going to be REALLY hard to trust any Kickstarter or Early Access games from you in the future. I'll still buy your games because I think you guys make original, awesome games. But yea, I'll wait till you guys actually complete those games from here on out. I don't want to hear you guys make more excuses about how you haven't broken even on a game you haven't even released yet. That's not how business works.
  15. Once upon a time, this was called "development." I get that there aren't infinite resources, but I feel like DF should have planned to get this to a point further than it is, even if it didn't do everything they hoped. There's always things that get cut from a product, but I just don't feel like this was anywhere near "complete." In addition to what early access buyers contributed, I believe the game received investment from Indie Fund and others like Morgan Webb of $400,000 (apparently they got their money back and presumably a profit within two weeks). http://indie-fund.com/2013/11/spacebase-df-9-recoups-investment-in-two-weeks/ $400,000+ goes quick. Also assuming sales, tapered off pretty quick after that I don't understand it when people talk about the early access sales tapering off. Yea...they tapered off because it's early access and the game is far from complete. The early access sales were probably something like 10% of the sales you would have actually seen if you had actually finished the game and released it. There are a lot of people like me that were just waiting for DF to release a decent final product. Again, isn't this what game development is? Isn't this was business is? You're not supposed to make a bunch of money BEFORE a game is finished. You're supposed to make a bunch of money AFTER a GOOD game is released. It appears by Tim's response that he and DF have forgotten this important fact.
  16. "If your trust is so easily broken after one misstep I'm sorry, I have nothing I can do for you." I can probably agree with this. I wouldn't say that my trust of DF is COMPLETELY broken. But I will think twice before funding something that's not made or finished. I still love Tim and his creations. There's a part of my adolescence that will always be indebted to Tim. I still love DF. I think they make amazing and unique experiences. BUT... This wasn't just "one misstep". This was a BIG misstep. DF left a lot of fans out in the cold with Spacebase. Even when I heard early buyers of Spacebase talk about the long releases between alpha builds, I still had no doubt in my mind that DF would come through. I mean, this was DF. This was Tim Schafer. There was no question that they would make good. So the possible extremeness of my reaction came from the complete shock I had when I read that DF...of all developers...probably my favorite and most loved developer...was doing something I never thought in a million years they'd do: They were giving up on a game that many, many people already committed money to because these fans of DF trusted DF to come through. It was like a punch in the gut. And also to hear the craziness that made DF believe they wouldn't make their money back (whoever at DF wanted to give up Spacebase because early access numbers weren't high enough need to have their business degrees revoked...I strongly believe there are a lot of people like me that were waiting to buy the game once it was actually finished). So yes, it was one misstep. But it was a BIG misstep. And yes, I still have love and trust for DF. But there's no question that it has diminished as a result of this misstep.
  17. Tim, I don't know if you continue to read these posts or not. But in case you do, I hope you read this post and consider it very seriously. I have been a life long fan of your work since I was in my early teens and first played Full Throttle. I have loved and defended you and DF every step of the way, including what I felt like were unfair attacks on the Broken Age development. So I sit here a little disillusioned by what DF has ultimately done with Spacebase. You have attempted to answer some questions, but it is all very inadequate for a very indefensible approach that DF has taken. This is game abandonment. This is fan abandonment. There's no other way to slice it no matter how hard you and DF may try. Do you realize there **were** (emphasize past tense) fans out there like me that were going to buy Spacebase once an adequate, more realized version of the game was released? It didn't make the money you were hoping for in early access? Wut? That's because there are a lot of people like me that were simply waiting for the game to be *truly* finished and released. Did you consider at all the potential sales once that happened? I was looking forward to a feature complete...or, at least, close to feature complete...version of Spacebase that I would have happily paid full price for. Not anymore. Do you realize that literally every review of Spacebase on Steam is negative? No matter how much I scrolled down, I could not find a single positive review. Doesn't that tell you anything? Doesn't that make you embarrassed? Do you realize that these sorts of actions seriously damage the social capital that you and DF have worked very hard to build up over the years? It takes years and years to build up enough social capital for people to trust you, but you can destroy that trust instantly. Do you realize how badly this will hurt your chances of having another successful Kickstarter, early access game, or any type of crowd-funding? Your Broken Age/DF adventure was so successful because people trusted you and DF to deliver. How can we trust you now after abandoning Spacebase after so many of your fans purchased it with the promise (whether it was directly promised or insinuated) of what Spacebase would become? Again, I sit here disillusioned, writing this to a guy that was, in a sense, one of my childhood icons. I write that laughing at myself a little because I don't really believe in looking up to people in that way. But I suppose your games hit a special part of my adolescence, and I thought you were different. It doesn't mean you're a bad guy or that DF is a bad company. But it means that you guys aren't who I thought you were. It means that maybe you and your company aren't special or different like I thought you were. Maybe someday, you and your company will be able to build that social capital back up. Maybe someday, I will think about you and your company being special and different than all the others. But that will take a lot of time and effort. Like I said, it takes years to build up that kind of trust and only seconds and a bad decision to destroy it.
  18. So I obviously have not been keeping up with the videos -- I'm just wondering if Massive Chalice is till on schedule for a release this fall? Is there any release date estimate? Take your time with the game. I'm just curious...
  19. I can only imagine that the OP and many others on this thread feel like complete douche bags now that it's officially coming to the PC on the same exact day. To say that the OP came across as overreacting and self-entitled is putting it lightly.
  20. I would LOVE to see Tim Schafer head up Eras of Adventure once they get Broken Age completely out.
  21. Sorry to gripe, but why can't I choose which Psychonaut figure I want? My 6-year-old son loves the game, and I would love to get him Raz. But I frankly don't have enough to buy him the entire box set...and telling me to take a chance on which single figurine I get seems completely bogus. Is there anyway DF can allow their customers to select which figure they want?
  22. I was about to back this game, and I still very much want to (I'm a huge DF fan)...which is why I've come here to ask about the current look of the environments. The concept art for this game is amazing and the gameplay sounds and looks like a lot of fun. But the environment graphics seem so lackluster to me. They don't seem alive, interesting, beautiful, or dynamic on any level (I'm basing this off of what I've seen in the MC Teamstreams). Am I missing something? Or are these very early versions (obviously understandable) and the environments will vastly improve? I'm not trying to be a troll or rude. I'm sincerely asking because I want to back the game, but the environments just did nothing for me.
  23. Schafer needs to have a Kickstarter campaign to buy back his Full Throttle and Grim Fandango franchises so he can make sequels and put the originals on Steam. I've been waiting and waiting to happily buy both games off of Steam. I wish Lucasarts would rerelease them. Full Throttle is one of my best video game experiences. I was around 14-years-old. My family finally got a decent computer. I bought Myst, Doom 2, and Full Throttle. I had no idea what type of game it was. I just thought the cover and art looked cool. I remember reading "A Heavy Metal Adventure by Tim Schafer." I had not previously played Monkey Island or any of Tim's other works, so I thought to myself: "WHO THE F$#K IS TIM SCHAFER?" I fell in love with the game and have been a huge fan of Schafer ever since.
  24. Myst was my first adventure game. Sometime around the age of 12, I remember when my dad got a new computer that could display color (gasp!) and was powerful enough to run Myst and Doom 2. I immediately purchased both games, but enjoyed Myst far more. I loved Myst and the sequel Riven. My second adventure game of all time was...wait for it...Full Throttle! At this point, I didn't really know about Monkey Island or who this Tim Schafer guy was. I just saw a cool cover with a guy on a motorcycle and cool-looking graphics. Full Throttle made me the huge Tim Schafer fan that I am today. On a side note, WHEN DO I GET TO PLAY FULL THROTTLE AND GRIM FANDANGO ON STEAM?!?!
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