Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums


DFA Backers
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Anytus

  1. My perception is that the Steam sales from the release of Act 2 are pretty marginal. Maybe a few tens of thousands. Someone already mentioned SteamSpy, which shows an 8-10% increase in ownership after the Act 2 release (in the neighborhood of 20,000 sales). I think the way Act 2 launched on Steam didn't do the game any favors. It got press coverage but almost no Steam frontpage support. Since Act 1 was released as a complete product, with Act 2 as a free update, the only front page placement it got was in the 'Recently Updated' section. Just looking at Steam, it was hard to know what had changed. Had Broken Age launched as Early Access with the full release upon Act 2 shipping, it would've gotten better placement in the New Releases section and possibly front page banner ads. Early Access was still new when these decisions were made, so I'm not sure there's any way they could've known how not going Early Access would affect the push from Steam for the game. I suspect that if Broken Age goes on sale during the Steam Summer Sale AND people know/realize that the game is finished now then it will move some additional units.
  2. The Backer Release is a controlled "Beta" which is only being released through Steam. THey do this partly because things are easier to control through Steam and partly because users playing on Steam allows them to collect analytics in case there are any bugs, crashes, etc.
  3. Slacker backer here. Still haven't received a code. Seems like most everyone else has at this point.
  4. Another one to add to the list is this mostly negative review from RockPaperShotgun: RPS
  5. It's just a combination of past relationships and going where the money is. Adam Boyes at Sony was a big factor in getting the IP to do the adventure game remasters and Sony was willing to pay for that development. Microsoft has a past relationship with Brad Muir through Iron Brigade (Trenched) and they were willing to fund that deal. I'm sure they wish they could put out all this stuff on every platform, but as we've seen with Broken Age, more platforms means more resources. With smallish teams and tight budgets it's not possible to launch on 4+ platforms simultaneously.
  6. So the problem here is that the class heredity system has to mesh well with all the other heredity systems, primarily traits and relics (not sure how stat heredity works and I don't think XP is relevant here). Obviously, certain traits are more beneficial to certain classes than others. So if you've got a regent and a partner, you probably want to KNOW what class the children will come out as. If you have to randomly get/not get some traits AND you have to hope that the child comes out the correct classes, that changes the ratio of heroes with good/excellent traits for their class to those with average/bad traits for their class. I think it means you either have to be more flexible in your regent choice or you just get more bad/average heroes and fewer excellent ones. Also, you have to remember that relics are primary class specific. If you have a small chance of picking up the partner's class as your primary and it's not the same as the regent's, you've screwed yourself out of all the relics and armor and such that would be waiting for you otherwise. It won't be that bad to get pure classes will it? You don't have to have an entire second bloodline, you just need to recruit a partner, right?
  7. Really interesting that this is going in now in this incarnation. I see very clearly how they might've had to take a different path if earlier they had gone with 4 or 5 classes, because the number of hybrids grows like n^2 (n being the number of classes) if they're all unique and still like n(n+1)/2 if the order of primary/secondary doesn't matter. There's a LOT of stuff being passed down now. Class, traits, and relics. I wonder if there's been any thought about the bookkeeping complexity becoming too large.
  8. I understand wanting to know but I don't think it's appropriate for me to say. Okay, no problem. Please keep my request in mind and pass it up the chain of command, if appropriate. In the past there has been a 'send-off' of sorts for people who were leaving the company that gave some closure to their story. I know this is different, but I sorta feel bad not being able to name each person.
  9. Thanks for the confirmation, Bert. Now that it's been a couple weeks, any chance we could get a list of people who were affected?
  10. Yeah it's a pretty huge coincidence if Majesco downsizing Midnight City and the cancellation of this publisher-funded DoubleFine game just coincidentally happened at the same time. Patrick Hackett's twitter(https://twitter.com/playmorevgames) now lists himself as 'former' at DoubleFine. He's been working on TiltBrush for a while, and it's not exactly clear to me if he's still with the company or left before this layoff or what. Levi doesn't tweet much, so I'm not sure what his situation is. If the project was Black Lake, he would have been on the team 100%.
  11. I think the problem is they started with a backers-only approach and quickly found out that that was inadequate. Unfortunately, by that time they had already closed off basically all the communication channels. If DoubleFine had to do it over again, I think the Kickstarter updates and forum would be open access and at least some of the documentary stuff would be too. You're also seeing the lack of a dedicated community manager. As far as I know, there has been no official replacement for Chris Remo. Greg and Vic and some of the other producers and such try and post every once and a while, but its not their primary responsibility and they're busy with other projects and such.
  12. I thought exactly the same thing! Writing is hard, folks..... You might like to think you can sit for hours and hours and just crank it out, but that just doesn't happen 100% of the time.
  13. Greg mentions in the written update that a solution had already been agreed on, "A bunch has actually happened since this episode wrapped. Most importantly, TIM FINISHED WRITING ACT 2 AND THE FINALE! Also that pesky design issue that appears to terrify the team in this episode has been sorted." I'd still love to brainstorm, but I don't think I have enough details to contribute anything interesting.
  14. Whatever you think about DoubleFine becoming a multi-game studio, I think its absolutely central to their business plan. As a larger independent studio they have to keep that revenue coming in to keep the lights on. And let's not forget that 15 years ago they almost lost the whole studio with the cancellation of Psychonauts and Brutal publisher/developer relationship ended up totally rotten by the time that game shipped. I'm not sure they'd want to put everyone on one game again, but even if they did I think they'd be in a more uncertain financial situation. Publishers are real stingy about those contracts for tens of millions of dollars.
  15. I predict that this situation will happen a lot more in the coming years. It seems like there are a lot more sandbox-type games that are at only an alpha or pre-alpha level on Early Access and are using this funding model than people realize. I think it's almost a certainty that some of these games will fail to bring in enough revenue to continue development. I think it's interesting how some of us view Early Access as basically the same thing as Kickstarter/crowd funding and some of us view it as something very different. I've read most of what Hobbes had to say about shifting the risk to consumers and it's somewhat ironic because that is precisely the POINT of Kickstarter. Get money from the backers, have them be the investors who take the risk on a game. So, I don't think it can be argued that asking the consumers to take the risk is immoral or terribly unusual. It's all about expectations. I want to point out that it's not entirely correct to say that DoubleFine shifted ALL the risk to the Early Access purchasers. When IndieFund put in their seed money they didn't get anything in return for it at the time. Nothing. Early Access purchasers were compensated at least in part because they got the game in whatever state it was in right away. I know a lot of folks think that what they're likely to end up with won't be worth their $25 (and I'm not saying they're wrong), but on the theory that one should only purchase an EA game when one is satisfied that the game as it exists at the time is worth the purchase price then the EA purchasers are being compensated in full. So, what I'm saying is I can understand why at DoubleFine they took a much less negative view of this risk-shifting than some folks here.
  16. Thanks Asif, I really appreciate the updates! I'm still left really wondering what the release timeframe for the next BA doc will be, but since it depends on development maybe you don't really know when it'll be finished either. TheDrisk, I'm tempted to agree that it doesn't seem crazy to have one person spend some minutes every week, but my guess is Justin's limited help is about all that can be mustered right now. It seems like the entire studio might be in crunch mode right now. If my developers were working 50 or 60 hours weeks, I wouldn't ask them to take 2 seconds to shut off a light, much less 30 minutes to make a forum post.
  17. 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.
  18. It is absolutely the customers responsibility to pay the extra money when products are sold in different regions under different tax systems. The customers live in the country they're buying from. The citizens of that country voted for a government which imposed these taxes, be they VAT or tariffs or whatever else and so they should pay the tax, not foreign companies. The customer is the only one with the power to vote to have the tax code changed. Doublefine is based in the US. Its employees live, work, vote, and pay taxes in the US. Why should a developer or publisher subsidize the taxes of foreign citizens? It is absolutely irresponsible for consumers to expect to 'pass on' the tax burden to foreign sellers, something about 'taxation with representation...'
  19. The real question is, are we forcing ourselves to wait EVEN LONGER by accounting for Hofstadter's Law? I'm not convinced there is no causal relationship.
  20. Okay, this negative reaction has totally blindsided me but this all amounts to maybe 1 or 2 dozen people who posted comments to the Kickstarter page. I guess you guys need to get out in front of this with the messaging. No backer money was/will be used to create the Xbox port. This Xbox port will not delay the release of the PC version of the game. Microsoft is exercising no creative or executive control over the project. This is a PC first game and that design will not be compromised for the Xbox. It might be worth it to emphasize that previously the game was only coming to PC and nothing about that has changed. This is a 100% value-added scenario. If not all of these things are true then I think you'll have a slightly rougher time. A bunch of people just don't get how these kinds of deals work. If Microsoft wants to use your game as an announcement in its E3 presser, you can't be letting thousands of people know what you're doing beforehand. A majority of the posters seem to have a moral objection to console exclusives. They hold DoubleFine partially responsible for participating in a culture that they disagree with. I don't know what you could tell these people except that Microsoft is paying the development costs for the Xbox port and so they required exclusivity. Think of the Xbox port as a first party Microsoft game. Some people clearly belonging to BillTheCat's first group don't understand how indie development works. They are expecting DoubleFine with a studio of 60 people to operate like Vlambeer with a team of 2 people and never take money from any major publisher ever. I guess you could try to explain that indie studios are always partnering with publishers to make games, but I'm not sure it would help. I implore anyone from the forums who wants engage with dissatisfied posters to keep a few rules in mind: 1) Acknowledge their concerns rather than belittling them 2) Keep a very calm and civil tone.
  21. I bet there hasn't been a Bagel sidequest because he spends most of his time in NYC. But perhaps it will happen..... I'd certainly watch it.
  22. Yeah, I never meant to imply that the end user doesn't pay VAT. Of course they do and of course as it is applied at each step, of course those costs are passed on to the consumer. In fact that is sort of the important distinction here.
  23. US Law is quickly changing on this subject, but right now you basically never pay sales tax on online goods. I'm not really sure if we're SUPPOSED to be paying tax on it or not so please don't take what I'm about to say as legal fact or advice. My understanding, however, is that there is no general federal consumption tax. They are all administered by the states. States have no jurisdiction over interstate commerce (ie commerce when it occurs across state lines). So, if I live in one state and I buy something online that is being sold by a business/person located in a different state, there is no associated sales tax. If the buyer and seller are located in the same state, then the sales tax of that state should be applied to the purchase. Also our consumption taxes are incredibly low compared to the EU. Depending on which state and city you live in, it could be between 6-10%. My understanding is that VAT in the EU is generally 15-25%. There are also some subtle difference between EU style VAT and the US consumption tax. For example, VAT is added at each step in the life cycle of a product. Any time something is sold the VAT applies. In the US, the sales tax is only applied to the END USER of the product. So if you buy something with the expressed intention of reselling it, rather than using it, then you can get that sales tax refunded. So, in the US you can be confident that the tax only increases the price of an item one time. If you live in a place with VAT, it may have been applied multiple times and those costs then passed on to you, the next consumer.
  24. Capt. Black Sheep's excellent point notwithstanding, 20 euros may be 40% more in nominal terms than 20 dollars, but I bet it's about the same in real terms. That is, I bet they're worth approximately the same amount of other goods/services.
  25. The 2PP crew was in Japan for a while and then there was all of PAX and GDC and stuff. I'm sure they've been shooting, but I doubt there was any time to put together a sidequest or anything. I'm listening to Sun Bleach by Lifeformed right now and it helps with the withdrawal.
  • Create New...