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About Helmic

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    Noble Psychomaster
  1. While I'm still going to be very cautious with future DF EA projects, the gift's a good enough gesture that I don't feel it's necessary to stop buying DF games altogether in retaliation. I don't have to hold off on buying Massive Chalice anymore. I understand you feel cheated by the whole circus, and that's ok (i did too), but seriously Hobbes, how self-entitled can you be? Granted, i don't know where you're from, but if you get a dime or equivalent from a consumer protection act after receiving two free games i'll buy a hat and eat it. "Entitled" is about the worst thing you can call someone else if you're at all pro-consumer. Even if it's just a symbolic act, it's all the more disincentive for DF (or any other company) to pull a similar stunt in the future. While I'm more or less content with the resolution, it's not going to satisfy everyone and they're still "entitled" to do what they can to drive the point home that this sort of behavior is not OK.
  2. It seems the biggest problem (besides DF's apparent inefficiency, something as barebones as Alpha 1 costing $400k is problematic) is that Indie Fund isn't really set up with Early Access in mind. I'm sure as hell not going to argue that Early Access is "just" a beta or otherwise not real sales because that's the rationale that bad EA games use to deflect criticism; I'm firmly of the mindset that EA games should be given just as much (if not more) scrutiny as released games and that games media in general does a very poor job of this. We'd have much fewer issues with games like The War Z or Towns if there were actual reviews out there panning them before they made headlines for their scandals. However, certain Early Access games, like Spacebase DF-9, rely on continuous development and constant updates to retain the interest of players. If a developer has to pay back its investors immediately after their game has been released on Early Access, that gives them very little money to continue development and nurture a growing player base. Development can end up choking right there. I don't think it's necessarily Indie Fund's fault, though. I think the problem was with Double Fine's planning. While borrowing $400k to make a complete game that doesn't require much maintenance other than the occasional bugfix or DLC makes fiscal sense, it's clearly not beneficial when a game requires a steady stream of money to continue making money. Double Fine should have negotiated a more appropriate deal. They can't keep cutely proclaiming themselves indifferent to the business side of their craft, it's affecting their work very negatively and they need to get their shit together. I don't know if that means Schaefer needs to go back to school or if they need to find someone that can actually handle money, but things can't keep going like they have.
  3. It seems like a really simple solution. The most I've seen argued against this has been the potential loss of face (admitting DF fucked up). It sends a clear message that DF will take care of its customers even if things don't go as planned, and that would do a lot to restore faith in the company.
  4. No they shouldn't. Or they end up in the same situation as the Terraria devs a few years ago or Double Fine now. With a horde of people asking where those "promised features" are. I fail to see how that's a bad thing. The sentiment that important information should be withheld to avoid criticism is horribly anti-consumer and not at all in keeping with Double Fine's previous reputation for openness and honesty. On Kickstarter, this information is ubiquitous and the lack of it is a telltale sign of a project doomed to fail (or worse, someone with no intent on spending the money on the project). It's called informed consent, no one who bought Spacebase DF-9 was aware of anything that would imply the project would be cancelled if they didn't meet certain sales numbers throughout the year and were led to believe this game would be released in a reasonably finished state. The technicalities of the fine print (the EA disclaimer never made any mention of the risk of the game being cancelled) don't excuse an ethical breach of trust. I'm actually getting rather frustrated with these "DF should save face" arguments. If DF itself made any of these statements, they'd get their collective asses ripped apart by critics (and rightly so). Can you imagine Schaefer saying something like what you said in front of someone like TotalBiscuit without being eviscerated?
  5. What really frustrates me is that they PROMISED lots of communication, they knew how important communication was, there's a bajillion other game devs who have no community management experience but still manage to handle communicaiton well enough, and yet DOUBLE FINE of all studios uses the "we underestimated the importance of communication" excuse. Bull. Shit. And it's not like this was a one-off promise, it wasn't that long ago that we were promised more communication because they had gone silent! We still didn't hear about any of this until just recently. We were being given a bunch of bullshit. The wagon-circling with some diehard fans defending the game because we should have known better about Early Access just adds salt to the wounds. Also it just adds salt.
  6. You're aware that that boils down to "don't apologize or it'll look like you did something wrong?" DF have been making it rather clear they're ashamed of what's happened, they've already admitted fault. Their last concern should be making a point that there is technically a game here. Providing a small compensation at least shows effort to make things right and would help mitigate the damage to Double Fine's reputation. Being ashamed of its state shouldn't matter, though, as the money simply isn't there to continue development. Not releasing 1.0 isn't going to make things any better, it's the only thing they can really do to avoid massive calls for refunds. They're NOT happy to call time on the game as it is, and they shouldn't be worried about saving face at the expense of making things right. If there's a good financial reason they can't provide some token form of compensation, that's more understandable, but it seems like a free copy of Psychonauts or Grim Fandango would probably result in a negligible amount of lost sales and earn back a considerable amount of trust. There are two things relevant to people who've already played the game: objectives and the possibility of mods. The latter won't come for a while and DF deserves no credit for what they accomplish (though releasing the source is commendable), the former brings no new content to a content-starved game and while a possible welcome addition it's simply not going to redeem the game.
  7. While mass refunds are probably out of the question, a free Double Fine game of our choice would probably show the same goodwill at a fraction of the cost. Schaefer doesn't have to worry about lost sales at this point and the idea that DF gives out a game if a project tanks provides at least a little assurance that backing a DF project isn't as risky as recent events imply.
  8. More unsolicited community management advice: don't belittle people's frustrations if you don't want them to get even more pissed.
  9. I wouldn't either, but DF has released full games in the past, they've got a small library of games available. Considering no one right now is thinking, "Gee, I sure am peeved about that game I paid money for not getting finished, I better buy a Double Fine game to work out all my stress!" it's probably a cost-effective way to earn back some of the lost trust. Getting a complimentary copy of Grim Fandango or Psychonauts (or any of the unfinished games if someone wants to choose that instead) sends the message that even if a project tanks, you're at least going to get one good game for your money.
  10. To be fair, a previously successful game tanking isn't going to spark peace and tranquility in any game dev's forums. There could only have ever been a shitstorm. I doubt there was any intention of moderation being shit, it just ended up being shit because that's what happens when inexperienced moderators get overwhelmed without a community manager to fall back on for guidance.
  11. A free copy of a DF game would probably be a good way to patch things over, actually. It'd communicate that DF is willing to make things right and restore at least my faith. I wouldn't be as wary about supporting DF projects if I believed I'd at least get a copy of a good game anyways if the project ended up tanking.
  12. While it's good to hear there haven't been any literal deletions, moving posts to where they're very unlikely to be viewed has the same effect and leaves the same sour taste. It's deletion by another name. And, well, people don't like their posts being molested without their permission. Additionally, the locked threads seem utterly silly. One thread has been locked with the dubious reason of another post in another thread bringing up the topic. What, exactly, is wrong with making a topic to focus on a very important fact in all this? Of course that fact is going to be brought up in multiple threads, that doesn't preclude a focused discussion on that fact.
  13. I won't lie, Hobbes is making a devastatingly better argument and has a very good grasp of what's going on and why people are so angry. The "you're a bunch of suckers" argument simply won't cut it, it's absurdly anti-consumer and can only damage Double Fine's reputation.
  14. I've got a question for you, Tim. There seems to be a pattern in large amounts of money managing to be misspent or otherwise spent inefficiently. How are you going to prevent these money issues in the future?
  15. While I'm still incredibly disappointed with how Double Fine has managed this, I still think it's better that they released the source code than not at all. Not having the source code isn't going to somehow bring the game back or make the situation any less bullshit.
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