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About TomBrien

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  1. Hey, I couldn't find an e-mail to write fan-mail or anything here, but I guess you guys read this forum! Me and a friend teamed up n started a company in 2011, and we make games, and we made a kickstarter about 6 months before DFA. It was super crazy and scary, and the whole thing was arguments and figuring out how to make money and what's the right way to go, and all this bizarre stuff nobody'd figured out yet. There's all this feeling of "Am I ripping people off?" or "is this a one-off gimmick?" or "Is this gonna fail and be the worst thing ever?" Then these DoubleFine guys who I know from Brutal Legend and Costume Quest, Iron Brigade, all this Amnesia Fortnight stuff (and appearing on GiatnBomb live shows all the damn time) are doing the same idea, and edit it as this totally feel-good story where everybody wins. Phew! So the funny thing is that we split our game in half and released Season 1 and Season 2 a few months apart. I've HAD THAT CONVERSATION in the last episode, so seeing my totally favorite guys go through the same argument is perfect. It's a good idea, by the way. You get to release twice, and once the 2nd one comes out you just stitch em up. Nobody ever remembers it was in 2 parts any more, they just buy the game whole. So anyway it doesn't stop there, we also had a big argument over whether or not to do a 2nd kickstarter just recently. It came up as a business idea that'd fix a couple problems, but I totally argued it down for a hundred reasons I won't go into, and I instead pitched the idea of GUESS WHAT-- releasing on Early Access to help fund the project. I know right, what!! We decided on that about last month, so when I woke up to the Massive Chalice news the day after, I had a crisis about how maybe I'd over-reacted or gone the wrong way, and maybe we should be doing a 2nd kickstarter. So now I'm dying for an episode about that with a bunch of nice music over it. Also the funny thing there was whether or not I back Massive Chalice. Cos obviously I love this documentary and wanna see all this new stuff from you guys, but I'd stood my ground so hard about us not doing it that my producer is gonna CHOKE ME TO DEATH if I go around backing second kickstarters the next day. It's cool though, I'll slacker back it in the dead of night when nobody's looking. So just wanna say: building a studio over the passed couple years has been an easier pill to swallow when Double Fine is up there live-streaming all the same compromises and arguments and weird conversations that I'm just figuring out for the first time. I'm now thinking about people's hours in terms of how much budget we have, like that episode about those artists.
  2. [Single Idea] HUMAN SACRIFICE

    OH COOL, an hour long design chat! I had no idea I could watch this, I haven't backed yet.
  3. What. This is the idea that you can sacrifice your own son or daughter to a higher power, either in battle or out of battle. In-battle it'd obviously be to save the rest of your team from being murdered, which is a semi-noble act, and out of battle I guess it'd be in a greed-fuelled pursuit of ultimate power. There's a 50/50 chance that you'll become an astonishing demi-god of more strength than man was ever meant to know, OR become riddled with curse and withering diseases. Which would be a painful tragedy, as the ultimate gambit will have failed and you'll be left to shamble a nightmarish world of regret for ever. If it works, though, you'll be a true king amongst men and nobody ever need know how or why. (except the player) Maybe access to this mechanic could be buried in a desert somewhere, to give it a jolt of mysteriosity. Like the philosopher's stone. I just think every outcome of this being in the game leads to an insane narrative twist. I had another idea about inherriting mystic curses, but it's not very whole. EDIT- I understand that this is completely antithetical to what the theme of the game is, but hey Im just throwin it out there.
  4. Massive Chalice and same sex couples

    The concept of being a couple not for the benefit of having children, but for the benefit of BEING A GREAT POWER-COUPLE IN RESEARCH is really funny to me. Sorry, I didn't read the thread, just had a suggestion I wanted to throw in on this topic.
  5. I watched the live playthrough of the prototypes, and when they all talked at the end about what was good and what all the games should be, I was like UUGGGNNG!! Making the robots fight each other is awesome, and it really reminded me of Bioshock how there's this huge wreckin-ball dude stompin' around, but once you know the game you learn how to easily breeze passed them all. Long story short, everything about this feels sneaky and clever. I think the next place to go with this is to make robots that co-operate with each other. Like maybe 2 of the same mining guys will be able to carry triple as much- or one type of robot can transport another type, or one robot can support another. I'm thinking of the Starcraft 2 protoss guys who just go back n forwards mining all day in this racing swarm, or like a standalone head that'll orbit an existing robot and defend him or whatever. I thought about robots Voltron-ing into each other, but I can't think of any way that could work. Also it'd be really funny to have a multiplayer mode where the two players can't harm each other directly. So you'd be running passed each other holding giant torsos just scowling and shaking fists.
  6. Autonomous Screen Shots

    Yo this looks fuckin bad as shit!
  7. Spacebase DF-9 art thread

    People with crystals growing out of their faces is such a cool idea. It's good for like a space-virus... but also it's good as just a thing that people have.
  8. Autonomous: Voting Discussion Thread

    I'm really interested to see if the faceted art and all the crazy shader stuff comes out nice. There's some discussion.
  9. Automaton BRAINS!

    I think limiting the number of variables is good, cos this game almost sounds like coding work. Hey if you haven't already. It's a method of coding automatic behavoirs into your characters.The idea is that you pick a target, then pick an if statement, then pick an aciton. The fun part is that over the game, you UNLOCK and FIND NEW OPTIONS. So when you see "enemy with lowest maximum HP" in a shop, you start thinking creatively about how you'd be able to use that. ... I guess that's what finding new pieces is like in Autonomous. Also maybe think about a robot who protects and fixes your other robots. Or one who acts as a scarecrow that sets off an alarm to alert other robots. Or maybe a robot... who BUILDS OTHER ROBOTS, LEADING TO THE AUTONOMOUS SINGULARITY? lol I bet people suggesting features while you're figuring out early basic interface stuff is really annoying.
  10. Am I missing something? I didn't read anything cynical in the article, and there was nothing about "white people strangling creativity" in the article or hinted at in the headline. It merely pointed out that most of the positions of creative power in the video game industry are held by white men, which, unfortunately, mirrors how things are in almost every job field. White guys have a lot of power and privilege that non-whites or non-guys don't. Now, this isn't because Will Wright made it this way, and it isn't because video games are evil or because white men are evil. But it's all a slice of a much larger inequality problem that exists almost everywhere in the world. You don't think it's a good idea to address it? Don't you think this is a problem, though? That, statistically, games with exclusively male protagonists do 25% better in sales than games with an optional female protagonist, and 75% better than games with an exclusively female protagonist? I think the problem you're having here is you think that, merely by addressing the state of unequal gender representation in games, we're automatically villainizing people. Articles like this shouldn't be written off because they're "blaming" any specific person or persons for the problem -- they're not. They're merely addressing that there is a pervasive state of inequality and inspire us to ask questions about why this exists. And I think you'll find that it's a pattern that runs through most of society. But even when we just focus on video games (global society is admittedly a bigger problem), we should all be inspired to ask questions after reading articles like this. Why does inFamous, and so many other AAA games, star a light-skinned guy with a shaved head and stubble? Why do games lead by male characters sell so much better? And, when something like 40% of people who play games are women, shouldn't there be more of an attempt to have an equal representation of women in games? Try not to get so frustrated by reading articles like this. I think it's a mistake to think that their purpose is to blame people or be sensationalist. It should be an opportunity to become aware of the state of things and ask questions. Staying in a safe-zone and only engineering games that sell can be a self-destructive direction for games, and that's an interesting topic that's 100% worth talking about. But packaging it into a black and white drama like this: "Do publishers send female-lead games out to die without proper support? “I think it might be" "it seems the very idea of a female-led game seems so toxic to publishers and marketing that there is barely enough examples from which to draw conclusions" "Those that do are almost always sent out to die due to limited marketing budgets. " "Games that allow you to choose your gender are reviewed better than games that offer male-only heroes, but the games with male only heroes sold better." ^Yeah that could be Mass Effect versus Super Meat Boy for all I know. There's a BILLION things that determine how much budget a game gets, and to just boil it down to gender of the main character and sales numbers is cartoonish. The idea that "publishers" are the only reason things are like this is even more silly! It's like writing an article showing that the Ford company caused global warming. The story here is about the culture of people who play games and the backgrounds of designers, psychology in marketing and the danger of relying on risk assessment in marketing-- It's not that Sleeping Dogs sold more than WET or Hydrophobia had a lower budget than God of War. The "wall of white dudes" article (which is goofy as hell to boil down Sid Mier and Hideo Kojima as that) is the same thing. It's taking the idea that most designers in the industry are of the same culture and background, which is a true and serious topic, then cramming it into a one-note story and pinning it on the evil all-seeing lizard-men. In this case "publishers"... which is about as vague as saying "companies" every time.
  11. God the Penny Arcade Report is so depressing. I stopped reading it when they linked me to Critical Path, and then squeezed it into a really cynical, sensationalist headline about white people strangling creativity, as if Will Wright and Ken Levine are some kind of secret millitant racists and you should click here to find out more. (EDIT- it was also their OUYA article I didn't like, but I'll leave it) Marketing departments of big game publishers aren't the illuminati who are secretly phasing out women, PA Report. Marketing is about statistics and numbers, and there's more statistics and numbers telling you to make a game about men than there are to make one about women. When you're designing the next Call of Duty, you have to make billions and billions of dollars, so it literally is "a risk". That's not them being idiotic Dick-Dastardly boneheads, it's them being financial analysts. Less humongous games like Bayonetta or Alice have more freedom to do what they want, and by the way Bayonetta and Portal and Final Fantasy 13 are A BIG DEAL for those developers. Nobody's spending 3 years on a game and then throwing it in the garbage at the end like you're making out here. YES it's a weird problem that only facebook developers are making games targeted at women, and the stuff about gender bias in development studios this week is a big deal and something worth talking about, but give me some respect and just tell it straight! Don't-- put a picture of Mirror's Edge girl ontop of a pile of money next to Infamous man on stacks o dollars, I'm not a baby who needs this in the shape of a heroes and villains story, cos that's not real life. Mirror's Edge is a game about running and inFamous was a PS3 exclusive about a SUPER-POWERS, OPEN-WORLD, published by Sony Computer Entertainment... Anyway yeah, after that rant: Yes it's great that Double-Fine pretty much goes with the most interesting and creative thing they have. Russian nesting dolls: Not really a big trend.
  12. KAIJU PILEDRIVER Official Thread

    Someone PLEASE figure this puzzle out, cos I am in the friggin' dark over here!!!
  13. I did not undestand this game until I watched the stream, and I still barely do. But I think it'd be really awesome to clip into secret rooms, and meet characters who KNOW what you're doing, and characters who are completely oblivious. There's a great potential here for a plot with some reality-warping philosipher's stone alchemy, or something like Fez where there were 2D-world characters and 3D-world characters. Like the enlightened and the un-enlightened. Or maybe it can freak you out as a late-game thing that there are more people than just you running in-between the walls. Also here's a fun story: I downloaded a demo once from Xbox Live on a whim. It was a racing game that I think is called "Crash Time 4", and on it's face it's not a very interesting game. HOWEVER there is a flaw in this game where you can clip straight through anything if you drive in a straight line, over a certain speed- and the speed is something very attainable, like 60mph or something. Speeding down the road and ruining the game's framerate by glitch-hopping straight THROUGH traffic and through walls was really fun and bizarre. I reccomend everyone try it.
  14. Will it have humor in it?

    I don't think half the games pitched are supposed to be comedy games. Comedy in games is something I'm really interested in (when it works) and that relaxed, feel-good humour is one of the reasons I gravitate to DoubleFine as one of my favourite sutdios. I know it's on the table, here. It's not ESSENTIAL, but it makes a lot of sense to bring that up in a pitch meeting.
  15. Spacebase DF-9: Voting Discussion Thread

    Hey I have a couple questions, mostly based on me playing Xcom this month. How do you feel about dangerous things happening in your space base? Like an underground crime syndicate, or aliens shooting up your city, or some kind of terrorism strike etc? I'm picturing building some kind of police station, and having a squad of men roll up to shoot aliens or negotiate with bankrobbers or whatever they need to do. Do you feel like that kind of action detracts from the main point of the game? or is that exactly on track? Also I'm imagining an alien ship could trade new alien technology with you, and that leads me to the question: IS their a concept of alien technology? Could some helpful stranger come along and give you an unlimited power plant or anything? Introduce some weird new building type? Are you researching new space technologies at all in this game?