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gloomyMoron

Question: What are some of the non-Creative benefits of AF?

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I imagine morale is higher. People are less brunt out on whatever projects they were working on. But I specifically had in mind how prototypes change the engines that DF has available to them. I would imagine that building prototypes regularly on top of existing engines means new and/or updated systems get built on top of it, keeping an older engine viable for future projects. How does DF deal with the bloat this must cause? And what about all the esoteric bits of codes and systems that are forgotten or no longer work (a problem Steed and LBPP have both come up against, sorta)?

I suppose I'm asking a very broad question here, but I was just curious what benefits does Double Fine as an entity, the Double Finers who work there, and (ultimately) the consumer get out of the process besides neat ideas for future projects?

(I'd be willing to share my perspective on what the 'consumer' gets out of it, but I think I already did most of that, excluding the mention of feeling more invested, involved, and closer to Double Fine and thus, more likely to be loyal to the company's future endeavors. Though I just mentioned that too.)

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I think they've said this a few times before but:

- People who have never lead a project get experience leading

- Obviously, if the idea works they can then turn it into a full game and make money for the studio (i.e. look at Costume Quest, Stacking, and Once Upon a Monster as good examples of AF projects that became pretty successful... and obviously you have Spacebase and Hack & Slash also just starting out)

-It's a break from bigger projects (I believe Tim said the first AF was done during the long Brutal Legend development to mix things up a little)

There are probably more benefits, but I assume ultimately the main goal is to come up with new game ideas that Double Fine can make and see if they would be viable.

Edit: Oh, and of course the public AFs probably also help the studio get some extra cash for current games. Like, I'm fairly sure the last AF was made public purely to help pay for Broken Age dev costs.

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On the tech side we usually get a few things done out of necessity. For instance our lighting system saw significant improvements when David Farrell worked on the Black Lake prototype. This year on Little Pink Best Buds Brandon updated our video player to use Theora (a freely licensed video codec) instead of Bink which we've used for years as well as built a chat bot library that we may use for future games. Autonomous was the first FPS camera we used and LPBB and Mnemonic are using a bunch of that code. Lots of stuff from AF prototypes gets borrowed by future games!

Typically we also spot pain points in our tools that we will either try and fix during AF or after. Also since teams are never ideally staffed it gives people opportunities to do things they typically don't get to work on.

YEAH! Oh also everybody gets real tired from working basically as hard as they possibly can. Maybe that's good?

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I can also imagine that it's fantastic as a worldwide marketing campaign for their company and games. I didn't know a lot about Double Fine until I stumbled upon this years AF and was so intrigued by it that I immediately bought Broken Age, despite promising myself stop buying half-finished games. (promises are made to be broken, right?)

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I can also imagine that it's fantastic as a worldwide marketing campaign for their company and games. I didn't know a lot about Double Fine until I stumbled upon this years AF and was so intrigued by it that I immediately bought Broken Age, despite promising myself stop buying half-finished games. (promises are made to be broken, right?)

Yeah me too. I heard about AF a couple of years ago and thought, hmm cool idea, then *ignores*, but this year with the documentary going up on youtube in tandem I have been totally absorbed by it (hats off to the 2PP guys btw, the documentary is superb). It is great to follow not just the projects themselves but the people involved. We get to see great personal stories like Derek starting off really unsure of himself and his idea and Brad trying to encourage him, and of course the wise/sarcastic words of Tim. That is just one story that is going on here and backing it up is the fact that you guys are a bunch of really talented people working your butts off, which is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing the highs and lows of game making. I will definitely be paying attention to anything with the DF stamp on it in future.

Just a little aside, isn't it sad that we rarely get to see the people behind things? Wouldn't it be great to follow a team of scientists on a research project, for example? There is an obvious want for people to peer into the lives of others, but why is it always done by mainstream media in a way that looks down on those people like they are animals in a zoo? I think there is a deep human instinct to watch others work, there is something hypnotic about watching someone create something. So why don't reality shows focus on that? Surely it is a great opportunity to inform and inspire people?

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