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toliman

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  1. Contrary to your opinion, nothing i've said is inherently dishonest. If you believe it is, quote me and i will respond to your allegation more sincerely. regarding exaggeration, i don't know where you think i'm exaggerating. i'm using information from a variety of sources. 1. JP is the project lead. If there was anyone else handling PR, it's not clear who that is. I use the "Fly By Night" quote, because it's an important, and notably, the only community feedback the game received in 5 months from an official source. By comparison, nearly every other title in production has had a more consistent level of feedback from developers, from Broken Age to Massive Chalice, to the smaller titles as well. As a buyer of the Early Access version of DF9 from Alpha 3 to 1.0.6, my experience is that Doublefine provided only a small amount of content, direction, publicity or influence from that stage nearly a year ago. I did not view the DFAF forums until July 2014 when looking for ways to provide feedback. Again, please feel free to correct me; or doxx, quote mine my DFAF / Steam responses, or anything that would provide you a moral victory. If i have to prove my bonafides to respond, i think we're at cross purposes regardless. 2. I've only ever seen direct statements from JP, Tim Schafer, and the website for DF9. If there are any other statements i should have read, please link them to me, as i have only ever seen the Steam Early access page, the DF9 store, and DFAF replies, which i do not in any way hold as official statements. Again, if i'm referring to disingenuous, deceitful or posting incorrect information, please link to the correct information. 3. Early Access is not a funding system. Kickstarter, is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_access http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/173353-kickstarter-and-early-access-games-are-ruining-pc-gaming http://www.pcworld.com/article/2851022/valve-to-steam-early-access-game-makers-tone-down-the-hype.html http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-11-13-early-access-popularity-growing-but-only-25-percent-have-released-as-a-full-game From the Wikipedia page Phil Savage's article http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/09/22/tim-schafer-explains-spacebase-df-9s-v1-0-release/ soft-balls Schafer's response, but links to a separate article from Binky http://theindiestone.com/binky/2014/09/21/alpha-funding-early-access-is-not-an-alternative/ which then contains the link to the "costs" problem that Schafer, and DF work from. i.e. , With DF9's 4 person team, and a funding budget of $400k, they spent a good portion of that development prior to the launch on Valve's Early Access system, given they were funded "publicly" by indie fund, http://indie-fund.com/2013/11/spacebase-df-9-recoups-investment-in-two-weeks/ that was a year ago. very little has changed since November 2013, you can argue that this isn't the case, but you should probably check the Let's Play video series from the November 2013 game, from Scott Manley reviewing Alpha 3 from nearly a year ago.i quote all of this above, where i'm infering that kickstarter funding is different to Early Access, because it's not treated by other developers as a funding system, nor should it be used as such. So there has to be another motive as to why DF9 was placed into this category, or why it was shelved and the project lead fired. I speculate, because I can, and I should. As a purchaser of a title that has been critically judged to be unfinished in the press, and by the majority of reviewers on Steam, at the point of sale of the game in a commercial market, there has to be a point of criticism that resounds in reality, and not on the objective measure of success in a forum created for the company producing the game. What in my post is disingenuous ? the speculation ? the use of quotes to back up my points ? the opinions i have ? beliefs i have been expousing or advocating ?
  2. DF9 has flaws. mostly visible in the playthroughs of other people. If you don't play DF9, or have the magical thinking that DF is a perfect company capable of doing no wrong, then you won't see that there's catastropic issues that prevent people from enjoying the game experience. Right now, the game is intentionally designed to be obstructive and obtuse / difficult. Players know that electricity and oxygen and pathing only works if there's floor tiles, and so we've oriented around that in design methodologies. What we didn't know, or speculated before about why things failed in the Alpha 3 to Alpha 6 builds, we now know was not a design flaw, it was both a design flaw and a failure due to the architecture of the codebase in the LUA code system. Alpha 6 to 1.0 also introduced the pirate fleet, and that was basically playing pattycake with unstable TNT in an already flawed design system. E.G. one of the more critical problems is pathing and crew size. This affects basic non-combat issues in the gameplay. the "micro-managing" part of the game. Flaws such as the fixed events when you hit milestones, launches the pirate fleet to attack you. For unmodded player's thats about 2 hours into the gameplay, can be edited. Much like Hack n' Slash, DF9 is the sequel to HnS. it's now slightly more playable with hacks and revisions to the game code, but it's still deeply flawed due to a problematic architecture early on in the game's design and code structure. i.e. it's not possible to engineer a FSM or better AI system into the game, or to have over a consistent number of crew in one location, because oxygen distribution is based on frame latency, i.e. how fast the system is able to make decisions, affects gameplay, based on the LUA architecture and how much is going on per frame of the game. If the PC is being throttled, or there's too much going on in one area, Oxygen can't saturate or spread to an area. There's also no alarms or alerts when this happens, or a way to signal to other functions that oxygen saturation is a problem when it can't update frequently enough. crew will alert when there's a lack of o2 saturation, but it can't adapt, and once the alert is sounding, there's also no way to solve the conundrum, except to asphyxiate 1 to 100% of the current crew until levels pan out or the game speeds up again. Oxygen, and therefore crew usage cannot scale to certain sizes of room density as a result, and rooms that all crew want to use, such as bars or restaurants, airlocks, etc. can't be mitigated, throttled or modified to handle population changes. hallways become death traps because the pathing system can't allocate a maximum or determine if the path has altered mid-path. only when it can't reach a destination will it change, etc. Doublefine's attempt to use Early Access as a mechanism to access Crowdfunding almost implicitly out of the scope of the original setup and intention, has modified the rules on who can access Early Access in the future as well. A Silver lining is, other developers won't walk into the same mistakes as Double Fine, the almost casual mistakes from JP are now signals and well documented by others, and will now be used as a yardstick of failure in the crowdfunding model, even though they never used the crowdfunding system, or intended to. It's also a Scarlet Letter on Doublefine's ability to deliver games to the marketplace.
  3. First, Community Representation is something that DF has been lacking in for over 2 years. Omission of information directly led to the current situation with DF9 and the current social "uprising" in social media complaining about the development milestones slipping in other games from different divisions of Double Fine. At the minute there's no transparency, and for games being developed with 20,000 stakeholders, that's an interesting projection to have to maintain, that they are infallible, or that they are going well. Yes, Double Fine really needs to spend money on a Community Relations team to handle Tim Schafer's ego, and public persona if he's going to take money from tens of thousands of people in crowd funding and development, because that's his livelihood now. His statements, and the statements of the employees also need to be evaluated, because other people will do it in lieu of the San Franciscan laissez-faire attitude of letting it slide. Without some kind of relationship with kickstarter backers and early access funders, it will just brew resentment and castigation when a small change needs to happen and nobody is there to answer questions. Let alone abandoning a project. It also leads to speculation threads like this one about the 12 people fired / retired from DF. http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/15810/ or comments like this Do you realize how much of a child you sound like? so, i'll say this, @chapter11, you're a fan. Are you someone who did buy Spacebase DF9 via Early Access or did you fund the game from the DF website ? Do you like the current development status of the game ? Do you know if any of the 4 staff who built the game are still around, or is this a sign of the "fly by night" standards that JP (@vectorpoem) was insisting was not present when he wrote his post on the DFAF forums. i.e. Tim / JP's responses. http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/14974/ http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/14956/ one month earlier, JP's response on the lack of updates in DF9 http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/14960/#353671 people are angry for a very consistent reason. Deception. JP's role as lead, and his post in September, http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/14956/ one month before the project closure created an entirely different impression than the one that developed as a result of that omission, or deception. Second point, Kickstarter backers are investors. From a legal standpoint, they need to be treated as stakeholders, even if they are silent partners in the development of a project. Third, Early Access, via Steam/Valve is not Kickstarter. it's not a Stakeholder Arrangement, it is a commitment to purchase a retail copy of a game. This funding model should act more like a beta or alpha stage of review, rather than as a development foothold to gain funding for expansion. Fourth, Steam is a community with 7-10 million players. DFAF is maybe 50,000 (unverified) >Steam expects a different level of professionalism than DFAF, because there's 900+ other games to play, and an entirely different set of goals, expectations, community and size of influence in that community. DFAF, on the other hand, has more serious problems than Steam forums, because it's not inherently representative. The problem of having a community that's so trusting and faithful is when the faith is eroded, there's no substance to fall back on. In DFAF, the posts just get deleted, so you never see the resentment when this happens, the walled garden of DFAF also prevents people providing useful criticism because everyone's a fan and don't want the dissonance of dealing with critics. Not when there's an ignore or a flag button to use. Fifth, Notice those 2 buttons at the top of the post , [report ] and [ignore] ? that's where you'll find open, healthy discussion of Dobulefine's problems, filtered, reported, or ignored. Steam is not filtered, it is angry and vitriolic. It's a more important measure than DFAF is, because thats where people will judge the quality of a game, in an environment with thousands of other games. i.e not a walled garden. We might support the concept of a 'Small' company fighting against the big guys, but DF productions is multi-million dollar productions in a very, very expensive location for software production, where the budget isn't compatible with smaller projects. How else would you explain the firing of the DF9 team lead, and the glacial development speed of a project that took 18 months to deliver changes. DF9's issues stem from either a lack of support, a lack of development, a lack of commitment to getting support from the company, or some kind of executive failure. it's not Steam's fauit, steam members have actually developed nearly 60 unofficial patches to resolve structural and gameplay issues with the most recent build, despite the reproach and vitriol. If Spacebase DF9 was an elaborate test bed for their LUA engine in other games, like Hack 'n' Slash, that deserves a fair mention as well, or at least a post-mortem from someone in the Doublefine corporate structure to explain why things went that way, and what prevents the same actions from happening in other development titles.
  4. It greatly depends on how you view Early Access, vs Kickstarter/Patreon/Indiegogo and funding models. Early Access combines Public Relations, Marketing and Development for "most" developers in the program, because they are actually selling the game early, not funding the development of the game. If Tim, and anyone else wants to actually fund the game, that should not come through the Early Access funding, but through an independent process. Early Access is payment for a final product, Early Access lacks any kind of legal mechanism on Steam to allow funding games, and likely won't support any future games from Double Fine Productions unless it can agree to those conditions. Of course, Steam doesn't have to specifically do anything, it's the laziest walled garden on the face of the planet at times. Kickstarter, Patreon, Indiegogo, have these systems set up to accept donations, funds, or specific legal consumer protections in the case of a developer abandoning or not delivering the project as intended, Steam, does not. It is the difference between accepting donations, and accepting payment, and Early Access is not where you put a back-burner prototype, that's what Greenlight is for. Messed up communication is broadly speaking, a distraction from the truth, or the lack of truth. It would not have been as bad if anyone had proposed the idea of funding Spacebase DF-9 through a campaign to support a development team. But that does not seem to be the truth, because that did not happen. the difference between missing a text, and someone losing their job or their life from messed up communication is absurdly relevant, because communication i's not "Messed up" it's missing. The entire month of June, July and August 2014, there was fractional communication from JP to backers and EA buyers. That's Messed up. And by blaming consumers for the lack of attention, is a double bladed argument. you have to promote games when you want to sell games. And if you're attempting to develop games, you have to actually go out and log changes, present, communicated, the kind of thing that DF have done in every kickstarter so far. Tim, JP and the other developers on the project need to create some kind of release plan for 1.0 and 1.0.1 to address questions that will come up. Offering Refunds to people is one question that needs to be addressed, and answered carefully. Source code release, does include art and assets, Steam Workshop plans, Moai specific Engine/Dev Tools ? Rights to clone or compile to other Platforms, e.g. iOS/Android/WP, permission to use art or modify code to compile in other game engines, etc. Licensing will be a bit of a dilemma issue for mods as well. and the possibility exists that this will spill over to other games under DF production, because dropping the PR ball so effectively is creating drama, unanswered questions, and speculation. People will jump to conclusions that DF is abandoning this project for another project, and it might happen to other games too. It's not a spurious claim, people are upset. Tim Schafer being silent on the bigger economic issues is one thing i can fully appreciate, but JP could have brokered the idea of the game winding down at any time via this forum, online or anywhere else, or failing to meet any kind of milestones in development to warrant the shift in development. rather than what Tim said in reply, placing the blame of insufficient funds to warrant development, because that's not a reliable justification. it's also months late for Tim, or JP to be coaching answers around the issue of communication, it's now PR and damage control, and facing this will be the response, as well as what questions to answer, what comes next. Now, there's some debate over how JP and DF were running the project as a low priority back-burner kind of AF spinoff, instead of a proper priority game release, and that's palpable to people who are basically getting Alpha 7 with a rainbow and ribbons attached for the $30 they paid. At the moment, version 1.0 reeks of fly-by-night developers selling out their investment so they can move onto other projects to everyone outside of the DF and SanFran / Indie Dev Bubble to the millions of users on Steam.
  5. you'll probably need to address the question of refunds for Early Access buyers on Steam.
  6. Here's a quick briefing on LUA http://tylerneylon.com/a/learn-lua/ and a short head to head comparison for programmers, comparing speed for different code types (also optimization) http://flux242.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/python-vs-perl-vs-lua-speed-comparison.html
  7. probably not. it would take a wiki, e.g. like MediaWiki to show effect and causal notions for player / spawn / research / UI scripts, so that people don't try to go out of bounds for values when altering spawning, Crew AI schema / dynamics, or UI mechanics. then again, a DF9 mod with the "sims diamond" above crew heads is not wholly intangible, just slightly impractical. probably as you'd also likely need access to the art library and UI system ...
  8. Those who backed the game, or purchased the Steam early release, don't get the choice to purchase a finished game, because they are backers, almost silent partners in the development. As soon as the money goes into development, that's a relationship. Things are said, content is shared, and yes, promises are made. Of course, it is a one sided relationship when feedback is ignored and crushed. And, yeah, all sleights and abuse is treated harshly in this one-way conversation. So yes, it does appear that DF is essentially trying to back out of finishing the game. Because you've basically ignored all of the backers and EA buyers on steam. We are all people, not numbers. or Cash receipts and Hours of Work. So, It's a tough choice for marketing and PR, wether to acknowledge the relative amount of money, close up the project, or address the problem in perception that the infographic has created. Outside of the DF forums, people who have played the game, and anyone who plays the latest version today, the opinion will be to think it's woefully unready for a release right now, given the state of Alpha 6 releases and the current gameplay. Because 1 hr into play, you experience problems with the game that are not documented, not explained and not able to be resolved. It is deeply in Alpha. A development timeline might not constitute a "promise" or binding agreement, but it constitutes a premise that people invested in, and will invest in now. That's a pretty good sense of a promise to deliver the game as depicted. Especially at this stage when feedback is required, expected, and not being visible to the sponsor end of development, and the game is apparently going to move into a complete state, with no other steps in between. Yes, the team might have a roadmap for 1.0 being "done" but putting an infographic that basically says ... that is what's left, a tutorial and a source code dump, like the other 60,000 unfinished projects on github, this is massively inconsiderate to the testers, thoroughly disingenuous and deceitful to the people who game money to the development of the game to be given something unfinished and crude. "Mission Accomplished" then ... do we need to celebrate with a rousing game of DF-9 ? Here's my take. Anyone else will see this game as unfinished. If Alpha 6/7 are reviewed now as if it were a finished game, you won't get people buying the game, they will not play. Tim, JP, and the rest of the DoubleFine teams will be left trying to orient the game towards the indie shovel experience, and repair the PR reputation of the company. it doesn't take much to flush a reputation these days, all you need to do is release a game that's not great. Ask Obsidian how the release of Knights of the Old Republic 2, or Bioware's experience to handle the mountains of PR damage control after Dragon Age 2. Because if that's not a promise broken, then at the point the games goes into Release, is the Version 1.0 game worth buying ?... The answer might not be "yes", it will often be "maybe when it's on special", or "nope". Personally, when the game hits, 1.0 i'd like to be offered a refund so that i can purchase the retail version, or not purchase the retail version like every other consumer that will see the Retail v1.0 experience of the game, and decide that way. When DF-9 goes into v1.0, people are going to "review the game" and decide to buy it. or it gets packed into a humble bundle sized shovel or people will wait for a sale period. until the shovel comes along, people will want to watch people play the game on youtube reviews for 1.0, see all the bugs, and not buy the game. or they will then they'll go into the steam community, and see all the bugs in the screenshots and videos and not buy the game. If DF-9 is going to reject the premise of Alpha and Beta release feedback chains, of course the game is going to be criticized, and publicly
  9. Turrets need a lot of work still. As do repair options for turrets, and power usage. it would be good to extend the range of the turrets for internal security that work a lot more reliably, as in fatally. a raider should not be able to walk past a series of 4 turrets and only take light damage. it could be an idea to link this to power % usage once they become a lot more lethal to balance their effectiveness. i.e. burst fire / effective fire rates (upgrading a turret's performance) Or, replace the internal with external turrets (perhaps with a research option) for asteroids and breach ships.
  10. Well, it reads like you're pretty much done with the game -- but on the off-chance you're still in the alpha, I cam offer a couple of workarounds which have helped me. As for Raiders, if it helps, do remember that you can now place Security beacons directly on targets. It helps to force your Security people to focus fire in combat (pause game, target, unpause, repeat). In the case of Raider breaching ships, I simply target their access ladder, and Security in range will shoot dead any Raider whose head pops up, on sight. Hope this helps, LL Oh, i had noticed this helping, especially with early-stage survival, 5 security guards can just about take on 1 raider, with 4-6 deaths without weapons, upgrades or armor. With 4-5 hours in playtime, it only seems that the game is initially unhinged and unbalanced. definitely alpha. Rogue/FTL is a burdensome kind of fun, when it's the point of the game. not the game itself trying to kill you. It seems that there needs to be a clearer display of the breach panel/area in the O2 grids to show where the panel is, and to change tone/spectrum entirely when the area is losing pressure due to breach or to sealed/broken doors. which probably requires changing the event itself. I can see the value in having crew AI, but I can only see a list of broken features and buggy interactions between events and objects that are just not well designed behavior tree interactions, the AI can't handle pathing conflicts or UI alerts when conflicts /tree items stack, they get into emotion/comfort feedback loops far too easily, they can't handle doors/corners all that well, and they lack a "returning to safety" branch when panicked or suffocating while on a task. Banished also has the same AI problems, but that's part of the 'rogueish charm'. what i'm perplexed with is, that a 'low' threat area, somehow attracts breachers, "offensive architecture" and "airlock inspectors" after every second crew member joining. if it's random, it's a high percentage from the last few games. i don't have enough experience of the previous alphas to evaluate how 'reckless' the RNG is, to know if my experience is typical or unusual. So far, my version of DF-9 is a bit like a scifi version of hostel, everyone, and i mean everyone has been killed. there's still 15 corpses around the place. I haven't started mining, and there's 8k in matter from corpses alone. The previous game, i kind of resigned with 2 crew, support for 30, and 20+ corpses that haven't been collected, when the 2nd group of raiders came along to help out the first group, and a 3rd group showed up while the last crewmember was being shot. other than that, it's going well on the 2nd proper run. At one point, i had to put in a 2nd airlock, and then the airlock got wiped out by 3 different raiding parties, followed by a later breach before i had to vaporise the room and start again after re-flooring and re-walling had no effect. i've also gone back to the kind of bourgeois tactical "youre now in security" job skill swapping when there's 3 crew instead of 25, but it feels like this should be an automatic process if the internal security is triggered. or the addition of internal guns or the option of remote airlock opening to vent raiders. in some ways, this is the parallel to simcity 5, coming down to badly designed AI, a deeply unbalanced meta-game acting as a difficulty ramp, and a fundamental schism in tech tree development over time, but there's aliens in this one. so that's where there's fun.
  11. my favorite so far, is the meteor strike that sends all 7 technicians & builders (all in the same room chatting... sigh.)being sucked out into space while supposedly extinguishing the fires. then raiders + invading ship + second invading ship + a breach ship, in a row. and 8-10 different raiders all hanging around a now derelict base that's still kind of on fire due to damage and lack of maintenance. not being able to fix the doors until the passerby crewmembers (hurry up and wait) that are set to security, who eventually kill off the raiders, then switch to tech, just to walk through the area by manually opening the doors, and eventually fixing the now on-fire life support system first so they can take off the suits or fill the room so the tech's don't panic due to oxy deprivation. 20 minutes later, we might get enough crew/o2 levels back to start a repair / complete destruction of the invisible part of the hull that doesn't show up when replacing floor tiles or wall tiles using the construction tools. Massively Frustrating seems to be the entire game's Motive and design.
  12. Similar predicament. What you need to do is buy the level 1 hero and train them in low level thugs and give them the montage soundtrack(?) for faster training, etc. I skipped a lot and got all 8 to around level 10, before noticing the feature at all. So was stuck until 1.1 landed and had the valentines day events to work around to get the crowbar guy to level 5 and 10. Redoing the 'raise branch value' was horrendous after that. Also research & upgrading rooms, I think I spent 10k just to get 2 water cups as a reward.
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