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About KestrelPi

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  1. There's an interesting piece up on Medium about crunch and how Tim Schafer thought of it in a sort of naive way before but now is more aware of the impact it has on projects. https://medium.com/resources-for-humans/doublefines-tim-schafer-does-your-dream-job-have-to-cost-your-personal-life-954af29a9232 Worth a discussion, I reckon. Having plenty of developer friends who I know have had really bad times with crunch and burnout it is good to see Tim take a view on this that isn't romanticising it or apologising for it happening. On the idea of crunch as a rite of passage. This makes a lot of sense to me as someone who has just this month gone part time in my job to pursue more music composing projects. The part time thing is because right now at my level of renown I can't guarantee enough work to do more than that, but it can also be helpful as a buffer. I do my best work when I have the space to distance myself from it and then return to it with fresh ears. If I get into an ultra creative mode where I'm outputting loads in the same day it CAN work but also I can listen to it a day later and realise it's all nonsense. So I can't even imagine what it is like to expect to be creative when literally all you have time to do is work and sleep a bit in between. All that said, some of this makes me a little uncomfortable in light of the Double Fine Adventure documentary. I definitely do not think that Double Fine are anywhere close to the worst perpetrators of crunch in the industry, but certain scenes in that did make me very uncomfortable. There's a particular part where I think it's Ray Crook is talking about having to do all these late nights, and Tim is commenting on that and says something along the lines of "So of course, I say to Ray 'don't do it!' but actually I kind of need him to do it in order for the schedule to make sense" (sorry I couldn't find the exact bit). That always bugged me, not because of the usual complaints of 'the project ran into trouble because they're bad at planning' - this stuff is hard. I think it was just the way that despite Tim's acknowledgement that crunch is a negative sort of stress on the project, he was not only willing to turn a blind eye to it in this case but admitted that the timeline doesn't make sense without it. Something I'm curious about is whether that was an exceptional case, or if Tim would handle that situation differently today, and where those lines will get drawn in a bigger project like Psychonauts 2 where there's perhaps as much or even more on the line.
  2. That's another good point. For the most part, only the very core of the community tends to spend much time on the forums. Should think of some ways to publicise what's happening on the rest of social media.
  3. I'm actually okay with the community being less engaged with this one (aside from the community projects which are awesome!). Perhaps next time it may be an idea not to try to put out the docs while it's still going on, but aim for one big documentary of the whole fortnight at the end. I think the community aspect is really important, but it shouldn't be at the expense of everything else, which is why I think making 2 of the projects come from internal decisions was a good choice this time.
  4. I'm pretty much in agreement with most of this. I think it's the best remaster they've done. Some will complain that the lines look too smooth now but it's difficult to imagine how they realistically could have kept the jaggedness and still made it a proper remaster. I think it's remarkably faithful while adding detail where necessary. Nearly everything where 3D was used looks MUCH better, including all the vehicles and of course the Mine Road scenery. The characters look great at a distance as well as close up now, where before their faces would basically be mush. And, of course, the enhancements to the audio are juuuuust great!
  5. I absolutely agree that it would be a shame not to have the ability to fill pots with stuff play into the gameplay. It suggests all sort of mechanical possibilities, too which the OP hints at quite well. I think this could be where the game really finds its uniqueness, and while the scope has to be limited for AF, I hope they get the time to explore SOME of these concepts, and not limit it simply to destroying the opponent wheel.
  6. Not really any reason to think that, though! I think most yearsat least one of the games sees SOME sort of release eventually. Still, it's true that there are some different circumstances now - with Psychonauts 2 hurtling towards production (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this AF marks the boundary between Pre-prod and full-prod), and Full Throttle nearing release... I have to guess Psychonauts is gonna be the main focus of the studio for a while. Also, don't forget the lead for this particular title is also the lead designer on Psychonauts 2, so that probably means that this one isn't going to be a priority anytime soon unless it switches lead designer.
  7. I know some people were disappointed but this was exactly the sort of idea it made sense for Tim or the team to rescue, so I agree. AF can't just be about what'll win votes, as so much would get missed.
  8. The intro of Persona 5 worked for me - didn't seem to me that it took any longer to get into the action than other games. If anything shorter. With Persona 4 you had a mini dungeon and boss fight before you even got anything close to a real dungeon. In P5 it drops you into the 1st dungeon pretty early on, and then that turns into a proper dungeon exploration thing, and it feels like the usual ramp up into exploring those systems. I'm having a great time with it over all, too. Thimbleweed Park, I have watched a few videos of the start of that game to see if I want to play it next and hrrrm. I am not sure about these jokes. None of them are really hitting for me, and they seem to be going for pure parody, which feels a bit forced. You know how Monkey Island was really atmospheric, even though it was often really goofy and 4th wall breaking? I feel like that's because the humour they employed didn't hurt and sometimes even enhanced the sense of mystery and adventure those first games had. Here they seem happy to tread on important story moments just for a goof. But I haven't seen much so far, will reserve full judgement for when I'm actually playing.
  9. Hi folks, I'm gonna step back from the music side of this for the time being. I've had a really promising game music opportunity come up and I'm gonna focus on that. However I am still interested on this from a design/iteration perspective, so would still very much like to be part of those discussion.
  10. Don't want to speak for Monica, but I suspect that the choice of name is appropriate because starting periods can be a scary time for a girl. I wouldn't know, but it probably does feel like a crisis at the time, and I guess the game is about dealing with that. And secondly of what Monica said above - it was an idea from a friend which seemed funny. I think the name is plenty fun!
  11. Of course, voting for everything is the same as voting for nothing. Anyway, I just voted for 5, picking 3 which I thought were good choices for a prototype i.e. I thought those games could be turned into an effective prototype in a couple of weeks, and 2 based on me just really liking the concept regardless. Also I slightly tried to second guess DF and Tim and tried not to vote for ones I feel like have a high chance of being rescued by the team if they don't make it with votes.
  12. Speaking selfishly as someone who would quite like to be in the music side, I'd definitely be in favour of exploring visual approaches which suggest musical approaches other than thumping electronic background music, just because that's not really my wheelhouse
  13. I've been thinking about a few things that differentiate this from a regular pinball game that we'd have to think about in the early stages: For pinball like physics the best structure I can think of is to have the table curved in a way that makes it like a hill to get over to get to the other player's side. If we just want a flat table, then I imagine this controlling more like pong or shufflepuck or something, where the ball is slidey, but that might not get across the pinball-y feel. Launching the ball - how will this work? It'd have to be different from pinball in some ways. I thought of it being launched into a sort of randomiser machine which pushes the ball one way or another, or maybe some other mechanic We should think of various ways to make it more than just two games of pinball stuck to each other. So one example I thought of is what if you could hit some sort of target which raises a set of barriers, that the ball can pass through when going in one direction, but will bounce in the other direction. So you hit the target and that gives the opponent a harder time getting the ball past to you, while you can still shoot through it.
  14. I wonder whether the fun in this idea really is trying to find a balance. I'd think that it might be more interesting to try to push evolution to certain extremes using your influence, and having the goals be centered around achieving that.
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