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About Acheron

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  1. Just wanted to say thanks so much 2PP for putting up a stream of you guys editing episode 2. It's fascinating and a great way to show some of that process without introducing stories. You're the best!
  2. Me too. I think the majority of people on this thread have said that they think that's one of the most interesting angles in the doc, as well. So we're very happy for him and you and it will make the documentary stronger for it.
  3. I read through this thread and couldn't find any references to your 2017 doc episodes being "raw" or "rough" footage, so maybe you're referring to my post? I'm really sorry if I gave that impression and bummed you out, but if so I think you misread my post because I've been pointing out that I love the 2017 episodes. There was a comment before where someone was wondering if to save time you could post the actual raw footage at the end of the day, and then give us the edited documentaries later on when you have time. In my reply, I was wondering aloud whether even dumping raw footage would take a bunch of time/ work because there's so much work other than editing that needs to be done. I also went on about a pipe dream that it would be cool to see the full 8 or 12 hours of footage and then the 20 minute episode to catch a glimpse of your creative process... by seeing the unfinished and then the finished project, we could get a sense of how you approach shooting footage and then how you approach editing. Obviously this would be extremely unlikely to happen for lots of reasons, but I didn't mean to suggest at all that you were putting raw or rough footage out right now. Sorry again and thanks for the wonderful work.
  4. I'm curious whether something like this is possible. I know there is a lot of audiowork before you could even give "raw" edits, but not sure if it's something that would be doable on a daily schedule or if it's just not worth it. I DO think that it would be a really awesome perk for paying customers to see relatively uncut and raw footage daily, compared to the final docs once they are ready. This way we would actually get some small insight into how the documentaries get made in addition to how the games get made, maybe with a small blog post for each episode. Personally I would love to see 2PP's creative process in some small way. Obviously you can't watch the Watchmen, but showing unfinished versus finished work would be an awesome glimpse. Also, I do think it would be nice to have a value proposition for people who actually pay for the experience. It helps people justify paying more when they get something that is only open to those who are actively supporting. The voting does this, but private videos that show 2PPs process would make a lot of people excited I think. Maybe it's just way too much work and not everyone is as willing to have their unfinished work exposed the way Double Fine is, so maybe this is just a pipe dream. But it would be awesome for such short docs for two weeks.
  5. Paul, are you guys still enjoying doing this? It seems like you are from the documentary, but I imagine the post-production stress doesn't feel great. Does the criticism get you down? Thanks again for being a part of this and caring so much about the quality. I also agree that the documentary is 1000% more important than the livestream, the only exception would be if it was clear that the livestream was a big part of the value proposition for people unsure of whether/ how much they want to pay. I can't believe that would be the case though -- in the end, people remember the docs more than anything, probably more than the prototypes themselves. Any luck in reaching out to Netflix? Should we keep reaching out to them?
  6. I'm confused about this. All the documentary episodes I've seen so far have been almost exclusively about Double Fine. Some of the live streams included the other teams, but I barely noticed (unless I was checking the forums). Did I miss something?
  7. I know you're an artist/programmer by trade. If I were to guess, I would assume you come from the stereotypical "left brain engineer's" culture, very direct, placing a lot of value on dispassionately focusing on results. You've said before you appreciate relatively blunt criticism and it doesn't get to you emotionally. Probably a lot of your colleagues are the same and appreciate the same level of candor, let's just cut the BS and get this thing right -- we're all on the same page that if we tiptoe around people's feelings nothing is ever going to improve. I have no doubt that if this is true of your professional life, this is the culture that allows you to do the best work, and it's got a lot going for it. From what I can see, Double Fine's culture is very much influenced by Tim's personality. And I know I'm assuming a lot about someone I don't really know, but my clear impression is that this is not the kind of person Tim is or the culture he would create. He's a right brain creative, very emotionally vulnerable about his work, and puts a lot of emphasis on the people in his company feeling emotionally comfortable enough to be free to be creative. I know there are lots of engineer types at Double Fine, but the overall culture is one of fostering a sense of inclusion and community, which you have to admit makes it a very special place and gives their products a kind of "friendly soul" to them, which in my experience is very unique. Culture is a powerful thing and the benefits of this one are that people are emotionally engaged, primed to be creative, keep a very friendly vibe, etc. Many core fans of Double Fine are probably attracted to them in large part because of this unique culture that shines through in their products and the documentaries. So just naturally they tend to be the types of people who value being polite, making sure everyone feels emotionally comfortable, etc. This type of culture does run into problems, because as you have pointed out it's very difficult to focus on inclusion while also having an Amazon-like directness about flaws and improving competence. But there's no such thing as a perfect company or a perfect culture, you can't focus on everything. I know Double Fine and 2PP are adults and have proven over and over that they can roll with criticism, but frank and unsparing criticism without a heavy dose of positivity and goodwill is always going to seem a little jarring here because it's not how they as an organization seem to process information, and for good reason. If they shifted toward that kind of focus, they would probably improve their competence in some areas but it would begin to blunt what is truly unique about them and their products. I'm sure they have thick skins, but if you force people to use thick skins then you're going to force a lot of people (who are not as dispassionate about criticism of their work as you) to retreat into their shells a bit and work a bit more defensively. I think that would be a mistake. I know it's very possible to say I'm overshooting here, that all you're saying is that it's OK to say when you're upset, and there's no need for such an overblown response (will a few more direct expressions of disappointment really blow up Double Fine? c'mon....). But if you take your prescription out of the small specific context you put it in and generalize it to the type of feedback you're advocating for, it's a prescription for a less kind, less gentle community. That would come with benefits, but I think you're understating the downsides based on what works in your experience. So most people will continue to offer feedback and criticism, but will couch it in genuine positivity and will probably avoid piling on if they see that their complaints have already been addressed and expressed to Double Fine. And in this instance, it's very obvious that Double Fine and 2PP are intelligent people who are focused on quality, and are upset as anyone that it worked out this way. They don't really need anyone to tell them what steps led to this, and I'm sure they are already accounting for how they would do things differently next time. People may be holding back a bit because they just understand that the team is already aware of the issue and trust that they will learn from it. Edited: I said you were dispassionate about your work, which I'm sure is not true. I just meant that you seem to be able to be dispassionate about criticism of your work, which it's obvious from the documentary is not at all how Tim feels (he admits freely that it makes him uncomfortable for people to play his games and jokingly says if he had his way he would only show it to his family, and only when it is totally finished).
  8. I know it wasn't the crux of what you thought was most important, but I think it's just that you made a prescriptive statement about how forum goers should approach feedback and criticism. Lots of people are going to have a strongly felt contrary opinion on that, which motivates people to reply more than generally agreeing with your feedback on AF, which many people probably do to a similar or lesser extent (I don't think it's a popular opinion that delayed episodes are a good thing). Also, because most people here are fans, even if they agree they may see no need to chime in with agreement if they don't have much to add other than what you said, since all that really does is pile on 2PP and Double Fine, who we all like and don't want to discourage. Forum posting can be frustrating because it's often difficult to make people interested in discussing what you want to talk about
  9. Would you recommend watching the old daily streams via Twitch archives after the fact, or are they too unpolished for that? I'll be sad when I go through all the documentary episodes again and have always been curious about watching the streams, although I didn't really do so at the time. I was thinking of having them in the background while doing other stuff sometimes, but maybe they are just too informal to enjoy when it's not actually a contemporaneous thing.
  10. You're absolutely correct about this, sorry if I gave a different impression. I think that DF is slightly smaller now, but back in 2012 Tim posted this explaining that Amnesia Fortnight cost them about $350,000 when they had 60 employees. 75% of the 2012 cut of $240,000 (typical Humble split) is $180,000, meaning that the 2012 AF was half priced for the company, depending on how much 2PP got from that. This year, it looks like they will net around $55-60k from supporters, meaning that they only got about $10-20% of what AF costs them. But 2PP isn't a part of Double Fine, so I assume they are either being paid a fixed amount or some split of the proceeds. Spending time on the documentary for interviews, etc. also takes time away from the company, which costs money. So this year it feels like apart from the fun, they basically only made enough money from the Humble Bundle to support the extra cost of making it public. The cost of paying employees for two weeks was essentially all borne by Double Fine for the reasons Tim has discussed previously, like R&D and giving people a break and creative outlet. They will always do it so long as they can afford it, but they could certainly afford to do it more often if the internet paid the full costs or at least a significant amount like back in 2012. I think having some public outreach like they do with public documentaries is valuable to keep up goodwill from fans and meet new ones. I personally didn't know much about Double Fine before Kickstarter, and now I buy everything they make now whether or not I play it, just because I like them so much from watching the documentaries. Maybe there are enough people like me that being public is financially worth the cost of all the hate and discouragement they get, but I think they do it primarily because they feel it is valuable and meaningful. I'll always support them for that, warts and all this is one of the most amazing companies (and CEOs) in the world. I hope that there isn't too much flak for the delays and I'm glad they didn't make a huge thing about it, because if I were Double Fine I would be super gunshy about too publically announcing "bad news" in a big email or video. Any time a bet doesn't go 100% well for them, there are armies of trolls waiting to blow it out of all proportion and rage about how Double Fine has screwed up.
  11. I support for the same reason as you do, and like you I am enjoying this AF less than 2012 and 2014, which were both orgasmic experiences. But being totally frank and without regard for anyone's feelings, they ARE doing a great job. The documentary episodes are still very enjoyable and more than worth my money. I hope they get better now that Paul is editing again and I would love if he eventually does a re-cut of the earlier episodes, but even if not I still feel like I'm getting a crazy good ROI. It sucks that there was no way for us to feel like we were following in the moment like we did in earlier years, but I think the Asif in front of the camera storyline is promising to be very interesting and well worth the experiment. Good for Double Fine in allowing it and for 2PP in having the guts to pitch and to roll with the challenges. The faux emotional connection I feel with the whole team, 2PP included, is part of what makes it all worth it to me, and Asif being allowed to lead a team just gives me the feels. I bet this hasn't changed their approach at all, but since you brought it up I would just point out that while they did make money, the monetary benefits of releasing Amnesia Fortnight to the public seems to have rapidly diminishing returns year over year. AF 2012 was $240,000, then AF 2014 was $190,000, this year they would be lucky to end at $80,000. Only a fraction goes to Double Fine, and only a fraction of that goes to 2PP. I imagine that everyone involved has taken a significant paycut this time around, unless DF is paying 2PP a fixed amount and absorbing the bulk of the loss. For all the headaches that go into making these things public, they are doing quite a lot for not a ton of financial return (maybe the exposure is worth it to them financially, but either way there's plenty of consumer surplus to go around). This isn't meant to be a criticism of your point about directness. Your comments seem respectful to me. But there are a lot of nice people on these forums, so the fact that most of the comments are filled to the brim with goodwill never seemed disingenuous to me.
  12. You are one of the most talented and dedicated teams in the business. Thank you so much for all the hard work you do. I'm rewatching the old AF videos and it feels like any other quality documentary that had months/years to plan. Even if we got one 15-30 minute episode a week that would be crazy fast for the quality you bring! As always, your open communication is really appreciated as well.
  13. Devin, just wanted to pop in and say that I'm so excited for this direction. It's the best fiction wrapper I could imagine for this type of gameplay. There's a reason you guys are the pros!
  14. It's also very manageable for a prototype. Since the core gameplay is Taroky, and Amy has had years and years to understand the deep mechanics, the team doesn't have to worry about making sure it works. Programmers can get right to work implementing those rules and the team can use its creativity flushing out a fun/unique feel and tone to the game. I think there is very little risk with this project, we've seen that the teams at Double Fine can execute on exactly those things in two weeks.
  15. It's probably impossible to get everything you want into a prototype, but it would be very cool if you have the tension of when to publish: you've got part of a story of corruption, but you've spent so many resources on it without releasing anything that your paper is going broke so you could make some quick cash by publishing what you have now; on the other hand, if you can ride it out long term it would be better to wait until you have the full story because once you start publishing something against the powerful they will work to remove your advertisers and silence people you might otherwise have interviewed. I see lots of possibilities for this to be a huge possibility space that could support lots of play styles... maximizing revenue, influence, justice, all based on player choice.
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