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oughtobe

2PP Update? AFF 2015? Monthly doc, inifinity and beyond...

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Hello 2PP, what's up? Tomorrow it will be 2 months since we had an episode, and I'm not really complaining I'm just curious what's up? Have you been working on the next Comcept episode? A broken chalice episode maybe? Or other projects? I suspect you guys are working on a really long episode and possibly a couple sidequests, but I am also guessing that this is a slow time for the documentary. Tim was probably deep into writing mode and there is so many projects going on, but I was hoping you guys would think about making this episode cover everything that is going on or possibly do some sidequests that focus on the other projects and even the games that are being published by Double Fine. I backed both DF kickstarters and the Laste Life kickstarter so I'm really excited to hear about everything.

I also wanted to just commend you guys on an awesome job and I'm really curious about the whole 2PP story. Have you thought about doing a sidequest that is like a mini documentary about 2PP and how you guys started with the Minecraft doc and then pitched Tim on a doc for his kickstarter and then the whole Mighty #9 Comcept doc and everything, and I bet you guys have some exciting projects lined up. Also, are you guys hiring? I have a little video that I'd like to send you guys.

Also, isn't it about time for another Amnesia Fortnight? I may be wrong but it seems like there is 3 major parts of the year for video game announcements and releases, right now we're in the summer/major convention part, then its the Holiday big November release/announcments, and then in the middle of spring there is another one. So even though you guys are super busy, wouldn't it be great to take two weeks off and do another AFF? Alright, I'm sure a lot of my concerns will annoy some people and probably not show up on Tim's or 2PP chiefo's radar, so I'll end this post before it really annoys everyone.

Oh, and one more thing, for 2PP, how much of a budget would you guys need to keep a team at Double Fine indefinitely and costantly produce different videos on various behind the scenes, projects, etc that take place at Double Fine. Based on the money you guys were asking for initially and how much you've streamlined and built a little fort for your work at DF, I would think that $10k to $15k a month would be sufficient to produce an episode and possibly a sidequest or so every month, forever, until the end of infinity, in other words until the Secret of Monkey Island is revealed. So that just means that 1000 of us need to subscribe for $10 a month or 2000 of us subscribe for $5 a month, and we can keep this thing going, no?

One last thing, I promise, have you guys tried approaching Disney on doing a be all end all documentary on Lucasfilm Games? I think you guys would do the best job and it could really help to tie into the whole Double Fine monthly doc thing. I really think Tim should mill this idea over as well, I can't speak for everyone but I've definitely invested a lot more money into Double Fine ever since I've been able to see how the sausages are made. I mean, I've always supported Tim and his games, but I really feel like I'm part of a team here and I don't want it to go away.

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Sorry, I wanted to see what happens at 80 posts, isn't there a link somewhere that shows all the post level tiers?

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The last project update was over a month ago as well. It's been very quiet and there's no response from any of the team.

I can forgive them for the delays, what with the pending releases of Costume Quest 2 and Invasion of the Candy Snatchers.

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CQ2 is the only game they are developing that has a really hard deadline to meet. Unless the DF/Sony/Disney agreements for Grim Fandango Remastered have a solid deadline, which it very well might considering how it involves one IP holder and two companies that act as sometimes-publishers. BA act 2 is probably on a it's-ready-when-it's-ready schedule. And Hack 'n' Slash was just released, so I guess that freed some people up, though I don't know how many they were on the team.

Anyway, the next Amnesia Fortnight is probably going to be scheduled for after the time critical releases.

Do we know what game projects DF have running right now by the way? Hack 'n' Slash is on a post-release bugfix stage I guess. Spacebase DF-9 is chugging along. CQ2 for Halloween. Grim Fandango Remastered. BA act 2. Massive Chalice. Anything else?

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That's all we know about. And all except SpaceBase and Grim Fandango are either in post-release fix or will be very soon. When those all ship (and the plan is all of them within the next four months), there will be a lot of DF people unassigned unless there is another unannounced project in the works or GF is a truly massive project again (a remake can be smaller, or even more work than the original depending on exactly what has to be done.) Peronsally crossing fingers that Black Lake has been funded with Midnight City, and CQ2 and Broken Age people can start filling it as those finish.

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Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I've seen this and will get back to you when I have some time to run down the full list of questions (as there are many and I want to give substantial, useful answers). Thanks for your patience.

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I know this is the Broken Age section, but since Asif is answering questions here, what is the status of the Massive Chalice videos?

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Hey oughtobe & others. I've got some time to give these questions the time they deserve now. One thing I want to make clear up front: if there's anything I leave out or skimp on in terms of details, it's because I'm not at liberty to discuss certain things yet. I'm happy to explain everything that I can, but I need to draw the line somewhere as there are certain announcements that have their own place and time and I don't want to jump the gun on those.

What's up with the next Broken Age documentary episode?

There are one or two more things that still need to happen on BA before we can wrap this episode up to our usual standards. I understand folks are eager for a video update while the game is in production (I would be too, in your shoes), but this series needs to stand on its own after the game is released and part of that is making sure that each episode has a satisfying/logical ending. We're basically waiting for that last musical note to complete the measure. Cutting that short would just "sound" wrong.

Also, after the major story reveal at the end of Act 1, it was inevitable that doc coverage on Act 2's production would slow down a bit. There isn't much of the game we can show without spoiling that so it requires a little patient and careful navigation on our part. The content we have is still interesting and informative; it just takes a little bit more time to collect it.

In the meantime...Yes, we are keeping ourselves busy with other projects around the studio; the Massive Chalice series in particular (I'll elaborate on that a little further down in this post). There is a new Sidequest with another BA team member in the works, so you can expect one of those in the not-too-distant future. We also help out with promotional materials for other games at the studio (Space Base playthroughs, Massive Chalice team streams, Grim Fandango Remastered documentary, trailers/announcement videos, etc.) so we've got our eyes on a lot of what's happening with the other teams. When time permits, we'd love to do more. A little piece on Last Life would be sweet, I agree. Unfortunately, that team isn't based at DF so there isn't much we can do there.

Regarding Mighty No. 9: As I'm sure you can understand, translating the amount of footage we shoot for a documentary is a serious undertaking. That episode is on the backburner as the transcripts are produced & translated (by a third party) so it's not interfering with our work at Double Fine.

On what's happening with 2pp

Thanks for the kind words about the series! Really glad you've been enjoying them. A few people have asked for our side of this whole story. It's hard to say what form that would ever take. Our style of filmmaking has never really involved turning the camera on ourselves (hence always asking questions from offscreen). In a way, I'm kind of relieved none of our projects got selected for Amensia Fortnight prototyping because it would have been super weird for us to film each other ;)

Are we hiring? "No" is probably the simplest answer. The (condensed version of the) complicated answer is that we have a delicate work balance between the three of us that we've established over the past 8 (almost 9, holy crap) and introducing a new permanent member to that is tricky. We do have a small stable of freelancers that we contract for certain jobs (like our audio guy during Amnesia Fortnight) so please feel free to PM me a link to your video. If it seems like we'd be good fit_and_have something we absolutely need outside help with, we'll keep you in mind along with the others. To be completely up front, it's rare that we do, so don't take any silence on that front personally.

Isn't it time for another Amnesia Fortnight?

I'm not the right person to field this question so I'll respectfully decline answering this one. Speaking purely from my own perspective, I'll be glad if AF is pushed a little further down the calendar. It's a pretty grueling (but amazing) experience for us with all the shooting and editing around the clock. One per year sounds like a good cutoff, even if the studio is really busy and could use a break.

How much would it cost to keep us producing monthly content at Double Fine forever?

Can't say much on the record here either. There are two projects we're committed to seeing through to completion, Broken Age and Massive Chalice. I really appreciate you even suggesting that we set up some sort of subscription to keep funding our documentaries, but we're actually in good shape for the time being! Once we've completed those two projects, we'll be sure to announce our next plan, whatever it may be. We love working with these guys because a) we admire them creatively and b) have the same commitment to showing the wart-ridden sausage-making of game development so we're just as interested in covering whatever they do in the future.

What about a LucasArts documentary?

We've discussed this before and agree, that would be amazing. The ball is squarely in Disney's court though. Maybe once the Grim Fandango Remastered mini-doc is completed we can use that to at least get a conversation with them going.

The teaser picture I tweeted the other week

Yep, new video project we're really excited about! We've shot a bunch of it already and it's shaping up very nicely. There'll be more on that in the coming months.

What's up with the Massive Chalice documentary?

There's going to be a bit from us in an upcoming MC backer update, but I can tell you this much now: The approach we're taking with this series is very different from the Broken Age episodes. Given the differences in style between the two games, we think the approach we're taking is a much better fit for fans of MC. And actually, it benefits greatly from being produced at this point in the game's development because we can really take a step back and look at the big picture of each discipline. We've shot a few episodes already and had planned to knock out a bunch of them this past week, but unfortunately, Paul (the one that normally conducts all the interviews and has been instrumental in preparing the flow of each of these episodes) has been very sick since last weekend and is recovering at home. We're hoping he'll be well enough to come in tomorrow and we can resume production on the series this week. But yeah, definitely haven't forgotten about this project. Anyone that feels the Broken Age doc would benefit from more technical nitty-gritty will be very pleased with the nature of the MC series.

Ok! I think that's everything. If I missed any other questions in there, I apologize. Thanks for caring enough to ask all these questions and for patiently waiting for a response.

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Thank you for the update. That "last musical note" must be pretty significant to turn a two-month update into a three-month update.

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Thank you for the update. That "last musical note" must be pretty significant to turn a two-month update into a three-month update.
Another part of this is that the game is aiming for an end of year release. That means that there's probably realistically only 2 episodes left this year. The next one will have to bring us all the way to "we're over the hump of act 2 and into the final stretch" and the episode after that will have to document the final stretch to release. I imagine there'll be one or two post release episodes as well, but they need to tell the rest of the development story in probably 2 episodes.

So they're probably being extra careful about how they leave this one so as to make sure they get the whole thing.

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Thanks for the update. I appreciate knowing what's up and am really looking forward to the next ep and sidequest video. Good quality comes to those who wait.

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Nice to see that video coming soon... I must say DF seem to be not helping themselves lately with squandering the good will of people and a lot of hatred out there now towards them.. Of course SpaceBase DF9 having the plug pulled hasn't helped... I dont feel any hatred for them, only love... but I find it crazy they fail to do simple things that would keep the good will flowing... how tough would it be for a weekly text update on the forum, just showing us DF havent forgotten us backers and are doing all they can with act two and keeping us in the loop... 5 mins from a person a week and you would make so many backers happy and more patient for the game... I did get a tweet from Tim who agreed the updates have been dry and they will try and improve, and I know Greg has explained the lack of forum love coincided with the community manager leaving DF... so I hope things will improve... but I hope DF will learn that keeping their fans in the loop reguarly will make them feel more invested in their games and company as opposed to feeling like a jilted lover from someone who has lost interest and no longer calls. :-)

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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.

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Hey oughtobe & others. I've got some time to give these questions the time they deserve now. One thing I want to make clear up front: if there's anything I leave out or skimp on in terms of details, it's because I'm not at liberty to discuss certain things yet. I'm happy to explain everything that I can, but I need to draw the line somewhere as there are certain announcements that have their own place and time and I don't want to jump the gun on those.

First of all, thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to respond to our questions. I seriously really appreciate it and I honestly started this topic as a rant and I actually expected other users to point out all the questions I had that I shouldn't expect to be answered and I was really just hoping that someone at 2PP quickly skimmed through my post and some of my questions were hopefully prudent enough for you guys to think about the answer amongst yourselves.

What's up with the next Broken Age documentary episode?

There are one or two more things that still need to happen on BA before we can wrap this episode up to our usual standards. I understand folks are eager for a video update while the game is in production (I would be too, in your shoes), but this series needs to stand on its own after the game is released and part of that is making sure that each episode has a satisfying/logical ending. We're basically waiting for that last musical note to complete the measure. Cutting that short would just "sound" wrong.

I'm not sure if you aren't really allowed to speak on it, but I figured that you mean you guys need Broken Age's Act 2 to have a clear plan of release and either a milestone needs to be achieved in production which will enable a good estimate on when Act 2 will be released before you guys can conclude the next episode or maybe other projects like CQ 2 or some of the DF Publisher games need to be released for you guys to be able to focus on DF's role as a publisher in the next episode. I imagine that is the two key focuses of the next episode, DF's role as a publisher and a clear roadmap to the release of Act 2. I just hope you're not saying that you need the release of Act 2 to happen, before you can wrap up the next episode and sidequests, are you able to expand on that a little bit?

Also, after the major story reveal at the end of Act 1, it was inevitable that doc coverage on Act 2's production would slow down a bit. There isn't much of the game we can show without spoiling that so it requires a little patient and careful navigation on our part. The content we have is still interesting and informative; it just takes a little bit more time to collect it.

I just wanted to applaude you guys on how well you have done when it comes to spoilers. I don't know how much experience you guys had with adventure games previously but it can be a very slippery slope when it comes to showing the behind the scenes of an adventure game because so much of the enjoyment of an adventure game for the players is the story and characters. You guys have done an amazing job and I actually prepared myself to be prepared for a let down when it came to the game because of how thorough the documentary has been, but it really hasn't hurt the experience for me, the story always felt fresh and new and the big plot twists and turns were not exposed at all.

In the meantime...Yes, we are keeping ourselves busy with other projects around the studio; the Massive Chalice series in particular (I'll elaborate on that a little further down in this post). There is a new Sidequest with another BA team member in the works, so you can expect one of those in the not-too-distant future. We also help out with promotional materials for other games at the studio (Space Base playthroughs, Massive Chalice team streams, Grim Fandango Remastered documentary, trailers/announcement videos, etc.) so we've got our eyes on a lot of what's happening with the other teams. When time permits, we'd love to do more. A little piece on Last Life would be sweet, I agree. Unfortunately, that team isn't based at DF so there isn't much we can do there.

So does that mean that DF's role as a publisher will not be a focus in any of the upcoming episodes? I understand that it can be very difficult because of the logistics of setting up interviews and following the development of those games, but isn't it possible to focus more on DF's role in the whole publisher arrangement and more about what there day to day responsibilites have been and how successful that has been and will continue to be. Also, I'd like to learn about how Tim chose to tackle the whole Publisher role because of his much documentated rifts with publishers in the past, I'd like to learn more about how Tim has changed the mold of the role of a publisher and how he was able to avoid the problems of most publishers he's dealt with when it came to DF being a publisher.

Regarding Mighty No. 9: As I'm sure you can understand, translating the amount of footage we shoot for a documentary is a serious undertaking. That episode is on the backburner as the transcripts are produced & translated (by a third party) so it's not interfering with our work at Double Fine.

So 2PP's role as a documentarian of the development of Mighty No. 9 will not mirror the standard set with DF? Does the language barrier and far location of Comcept make it so its just not possible to reach the standard of the DF documentary with Mighty No. 9? I personally am happy that DF has be given more of a priority but have you thought about bringing in a Japanse team to cover comcept more? I'm happy that so far the Mighty No. 9 project hasn't hurt the DF doc but I'd like to see 2pp maintain the standards they have set and continue to improve their standard with each project.

On what's happening with 2pp

Thanks for the kind words about the series! Really glad you've been enjoying them. A few people have asked for our side of this whole story. It's hard to say what form that would ever take. Our style of filmmaking has never really involved turning the camera on ourselves (hence always asking questions from offscreen). In a way, I'm kind of relieved none of our projects got selected for Amensia Fortnight prototyping because it would have been super weird for us to film each other ;)

I can understand how you don't want 2PP to be the focus of an episode, but I think since you guys have put in such a huge effort to document Double Fine production as a studio, it would add more depth to the documentary if we knew more about how DF has been influenced by your guys commitment and work so far. I guess this has been touched upon previously, but it just feels like you guys are the only mystery we don't ever see revealed, but I guess in some ways its a good thing, kinda like how you said questions come from off camera somewhere, the camera is never turned around on the documentarian and that may be a good thing. But I do hope towards the end of the Broken Age doc, we get to hear 2PP thoughts on the whole project and how their understanding of adventure games, kickstarter, game development and Double Fine has grown, basically where your heads were at before this whole expereince and where they are at now.

Are we hiring? "No" is probably the simplest answer

I will send you this video I've been working on shortly, but I had another idea that I wanted to talk to you guys about, it has a lot of parallels with the DF project, I will wrote you an email about that.

I'm running out of room here, but I do appreciate your candid response about Amnesia Fortnight and how you are just really focused on the two projects at DF. I just feel like the value you guys add to Double Fine as a developer and their community is undeniable, so a big part of it will feel like its missing if after you finish these projects you stop working with DF. Its refreshing to hear how much you guys value the experience so I feel like its inevitable for you guys to find something new to work on after Broken Age and Massive Chalice docs are wrapped up.

What about a LucasArts documentary?

We've discussed this before and agree, that would be amazing. The ball is squarely in Disney's court though. Maybe once the Grim Fandango Remastered mini-doc is completed we can use that to at least get a conversation with them going.

It's great to hear that has been one of your goals and I really hope Disney see's the value in shining the light on one of the greatest game developers of all time. I feel like you guys are the only ones who would give that doc the quality it so deserves. And I agree, I think once GF is a success and they see how much value your doc has added they will contract you to do more work on Lucasart remakes and a doc to tie in all the remakes. Please nudge Tim or anyone you can nudge to try and tackle a remake or sequel of Full Throttle. I hope Tim realizes now that people thought Full Throttle was short because of how much they wanted to further explore that world he created more.

The teaser picture I tweeted the other week

Yep, new video project we're really excited about! We've shot a bunch of it already...

Please tell us more! At least give us a hint about what this is. Is it Double Fine related? Please give us a hint at least.

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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.

I know where you are coming from, but personally still think DF easily could do a 5 min update, once a week. One thing the DF episodes have taught me about game development is that the workflow bottlenecks is the biggest issue.. in other words not everyone can be working, because they are reliant on other steps in the chain. We all have jobs and work hard, and in those jobs there are many steps that feel a waste of time to individuals (time sheets, mandatory training, spring to mind for me :-) ) .. but we do them because ultimately it does has a worth, in remaining compliant as a company and making a better company as a whole (or in DF case keeping the legions of backers on their side for this and future games). Therefore I am sure a weekly update by one single different person, would not be difficult to do... and also not being funny, but some of the team seem to find time to do general twitter updates about them and often during work time in the US. Now I realise that's most people in this world (myself included), but just highlighting it as a twitter update and a backers update on work time, takes roughly the same time.

Genuinely I feel its a shame, not for me or us backers particularly. But for Double Fine, they have resulted in squandering the momentum and excitement for the game, over such a simple and quick task of a regular backers update.

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