Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
DF JP LeBreton

Spacebase project lead on 1.0

Recommended Posts

NerdySuit: Tim has LITERALLY answered all those questions. http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/14974/

It clearly wasn't really an Alpha. As anyone in the industry knows, Alphas are barely playable crash fests. Spacebase has always been in a playable state.

The business model appears to be that of Minecraft's: If enough people buy it, we'll keep making it, improving it. There was never a planned "release", it was always going to be "we're going to keep making it as long as we can". The fact that you could buy it, meant it was released.

One more thing, this is clearly stated by Valve for ALL Early Access games:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zps3a27e752.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Favorite part of this thread: seeing all the usernames (mods) i've never seen in the rest of the treads of this forum having super positive things to say about the project we love(and spent real money on) so fucking much being dropped in the shitter with as much grace as the words i just used.

My favourite part of this thread is spotting people like you (and NerdySuit) who apparently don't even own the game :-/

http://steamcommunity.com/id/crann/games/?tab=all

Weird!

Even Hobbes has only played it for barely 2 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NerdySuit: Tim has LITERALLY answered all those questions. http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/14974/

It clearly wasn't really an Alpha. As anyone in the industry knows, Alphas are barely playable crash fests. Spacebase has always been in a playable state.

The business model appears to be that of Minecraft's: If enough people buy it, we'll keep making it, improving it. There was never a planned "release", it was always going to be "we're going to keep making it as long as we can". The fact that you could buy it, meant it was released.

One more thing, this is clearly stated by Valve for ALL Early Access games:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zps3a27e752.png

Finally:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zpscffd73ab.png

Interesting to me that one of the biggest agitators on these forums is someone who has barely played the game.

Clearly, you don't understand the concept that Tim or anyone can "answer" questions, but answering with nonsensical responses that don't make any sense from a business or social perspective doesn't suddenly cure the problem.

And I could spend the rest of eternity debating with you what a good faith early access title does and what it means...or I could just point you towards the ONLY thing that matters, especially concerning DF -- what does the general public think? What is the social perception of their action? Particularly, what do DF customers and Spacebase owners think? Well, 61% of 1,365 Steam SB owners have gone out of their way to write negative reviews of SB, and most of those reviews talk about their disgust and disappoint with DF's actions (and keep in mind, the vast majority of those SB owners are or were fans of DF...so when you go beyond DF fans, the social perception gets even worse). So you and DF can defend DF till all of you are blue in the face. But ultimately, none of that matters. Because the reality of the situation is that most of us don't buy it. The reality is that the general social perception of DF is that what they did was wrong. The reality is that trust is tough to earn and easily broken, and it's fair to say that many, many potential consumers, including their hardcore fans, no longer trust DF. So you can keep posting links to the technical legal definition of EA according to Steam, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that it's undeniable that DF thrashed their reputation with their action.

This is all that matters in any business. Frankly, it's embarrassing:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/246090/reviews/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim's answers make perfect sense, especially from a business perspective. Not sure what you mean about "social perspective".

I agree it's the public's perception of things that has been handled poorly, but really everything that's been said makes perfect sense. It's just disappointing that it didn't sell enough to follow the Minecraft model like they'd hoped.

Side note: Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't actually own the game do you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zpscffd73ab.png

Interesting to me that one of the biggest agitators on these forums is someone who has barely played the game.

What does this have to do with anything? Hobbes said from the beginning that he played Alpha 1 for a few minutes, then waited for additional content because he realized there wasn't enough "sand." He said he played Alpha 6 for a while too. Lots of us are in the same position: we bought the game, played around for a little bit before realizing it wasn't fun for us yet, and waited for it to grow into a fuller experience. His whole point has been that he feels ripped off because before he bought he trusted Double Fine had made Alpha 1 into a fuller experience than it was, and also trusted that they had a good plan to develop it into a much larger game. The fact he only played 2 hours proves his point in my opinion that he didn't get what he thought he paid for.

I understand your point about people who never bought at all, but you shouldn't knock people for paying $25, feeling like the game didn't merit more than a few hours, and then expressing their disappointment about that very fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point taken. I did actually remove the above from my original post, as I had second thoughts about it. It was quoted by someone else... who apparently took a long time to formulate their answer.

That said, thinking more about it, it is difficult to understand how you can judge a game from so little time playing it. The depth of any strategy game is surely only revealed once you've progressed past the initial moments? It took me 7 hours to decide I'd seen everything a previous Alpha had to offer me... but maybe I'm a slower player? I'm holding out hope that 1.0 will add some extra depth, and I'll certainly give it longer than a couple of hours before I make up my mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Point taken. I did actually remove the above from my original post, as I had second thoughts about it. It was quoted by someone else... who apparently took a long time to formulate their answer.

That said, it's difficult to understand how you can judge a game from so little time playing it. The depth of any strategy game is surely only revealed once you've progressed past the initial moments? It took me 7 hours to decide I'd seen everything a previous Alpha had to offer me. I'm holding out hope that 1.0 will add some extra depth. I'll certainly give it longer than a few minutes before I make up my mind.

Sorry, I didn't realize that you had removed it or I wouldn't have given you a hard time about it. I get what you mean about spending time to appreciate the game, but I guess all I can say is that I was in the same boat as Hobbes. I paid sight unseen and tried to enjoy Alpha 1, but it felt a little too empty to me so I didn't spend very much time with it (my steam profile might even show less time). Then I just figured I would wait for a while and play after I was hearing people say it was feeling more complete. I'm sure I will log more time once 1.0 is finished.

All that said, I think I did what I needed to do to feel justified in explaining why I am upset with how things were handled. I don't claim to be an expert on the game, but the problem Hobbes and I articulated was more about how our money (we both bought this right after Alpha 1 was released) was not used to pay for future development and instead went to pay back Indie Fund for a deal that was and remains unclear in its details. I certainly don't hate the game, I'm just very disappointed that no one seems to have seriously considered how much risk they were putting on the backs of Alpha 1 buyers without making that risk apparent. Being (indirectly) referred to as an "agitator" makes me very upset because I think the point is extremely valid and even merits an apology from the company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand what you mean. It's a shame that wasn't made more apparent, but even if it had been, I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have made (both to me personally and practically for the game). Maybe I wouldn't have backed it, maybe I would. I don't know.

With regards to Hobbes in particular, my adjective (which was deleted), was inspired by his contribution to the "Let's sue Double Fine" discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand. It would actually mean a lot to me as a fan if they did make a real apology, just because I think the company and all individuals involved in the decision are great and simply made a mistake. If they acknowledge it I don't even think I'll have trust problems with them in the future (unlike what some people have said). Any talk of suing is silly, I agree, and I could be wrong but I thought Hobbes was in the "suing is silly" camp as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tim's answers make perfect sense, especially from a business perspective. Not sure what you mean about "social perspective".

I agree it's the public's perception of things that has been handled poorly, but really everything that's been said makes perfect sense. It's just disappointing that it didn't sell enough to follow the Minecraft model like they'd hoped.

Side note: Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't actually own the game do you?

What doesn't make any business sense is the idea that DF thinks they should have "broken even" as Tim put it during the development of this game. That's not how business works, including the video game industry. You invest in a product with the hope that your risk/reward will pay off. It's obvious and has been obvious for a while that DF doesn't have a clue as to what it's doing from a business perspective.

Social perspective is essentially what I was saying about them burning all of the goodwill they've accumulated over the years. All or most of the SB owners are or were DF fanboys. Now that they've chosen this path, there's no doubt in my mind that sales of games like Costume Quest 2, Broken Age when act 2 is released, Massive Chalice, etc., will be significantly hurt as a result. Not only do many consumers no longer trust DF, but now many (not me, but many others) will likely not buy any DF games just to spite them, because they feel betrayed by DF. Whatever money DF *thinks* they saved (and I emphasize *thinks* because there are many like me that were just waiting for the final version of SB), they will lose exponentially more from lost sales of other games.

And no, I don't own SB. I was one of the MANY people that was waiting to purchase it once it was actually completed. So why am I taking my time on these boards about SB? Because DF has literally been my favorite developer since Tim founded it. I've been a huge fan of Tim's work since Full Throttle. I defended DF at every turn, including the attacks on Broken Age and how that game went massively over budget. But this? There's just no defending their actions here. I almost bought SB in EA several times (even though I don't trust EA) because I thought to myself, "There's no way DF won't finish this game. This is DF. I trust them. They are what's good about gaming." So I'm a fanboy of DF that can't believe my favorite developer has done something so incredibly shady and inexcusable. Do I now forever hate DF? Of course not. I will soon by CQ2. I will likely buy MC when it's released. I will probably buy every game Tim leads -- so many of Tim's games have left a significant impression on my childhood. But do I still trust DF like I once did? Absolutely not.

"Double Fine is not a random fly-by-night indie dev and we are not going to silently pull the plug on Spacebase or any other in-development project. Doing so would be disastrous for our reputation and it would kill us emotionally."

Games come and go, but your reputation is forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One more thing, this is clearly stated by Valve for ALL Early Access games:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zps3a27e752.png

Thats great, but some of us bought it directly from the Double Fine website link and not from steam. After I made the purchase I got the steam code and then get it off steam so it's a little late to see that disclaimer when Double Fine already has my money. So it isn't as simple as "clearly stated by Valve" when for some of us thats after the purchase..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One more thing, this is clearly stated by Valve for ALL Early Access games:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zps3a27e752.png

Thats great, but some of us bought it directly from the Double Fine website link and not from steam. After I made the purchase I got the steam code and then get it off steam so it's a little late to see that disclaimer when Double Fine already has my money. So it isn't as simple as "clearly stated by Valve" when for some of us thats after the purchase..

Also, as has been stated before, that disclaimer came after the space base release

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One more thing, this is clearly stated by Valve for ALL Early Access games:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Capture_zps3a27e752.png

Thats great, but some of us bought it directly from the Double Fine website link and not from steam. After I made the purchase I got the steam code and then get it off steam so it's a little late to see that disclaimer when Double Fine already has my money. So it isn't as simple as "clearly stated by Valve" when for some of us thats after the purchase..

Also, as has been stated before, that disclaimer came after the space base release

The game is going to be finished though, as Double Fine is fine tuning things for 1.0 to the point where they feel it's ready to leave early access status and be up for commercial sale.

The proposed feature list for Spacebase DF-9 has always stated that any features listed were not set in stone.

Whether the final game is something that people enjoy is still yet to be seen, since 1.0 isn't even here yet. I'm on the fence right now, myself, to be honest. But, I've been involved in game development before, and know that these kind of cuts due to time and budget issues happen all the time (it's just that this time the public gets to see them too due to the transparent development inherent with the early access model). So I'm willing to wait to see how 1.0 plays, and when it's out I'll judge it for what it is, not what it could have been. Hopefully the majority of people who purchased the game are willing to do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I agree with Jenni, but I concede it's a murky mess for many. There was definitely a lack of the right sort of communication on the official website.

Reading Hobbes's posts now, I can see his point of view, even if I disagree with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The game is going to be finished though, as Double Fine is fine tuning things for 1.0 to the point where they feel it's ready to leave early access status and be up for commercial sale.

The proposed feature list for Spacebase DF-9 has always stated that any features listed were not set in stone.

Whether the final game is something that people enjoy is still yet to be seen, since 1.0 isn't even here yet. I'm on the fence right now, myself, to be honest. But, I've been involved in game development before, and know that these kind of cuts due to time and budget issues happen all the time (it's just that this time the public gets to see them too due to the transparent development inherent with the early access model). So I'm willing to wait to see how 1.0 plays, and when it's out I'll judge it for what it is, not what it could have been. Hopefully the majority of people who purchased the game are willing to do the same.

Jenni, you would be correct if Double Fine had explained from the early access launch what people's money was going to be spent on. But the difference here is precisely the lack of transparency with Spacebase (as opposed to the DF Kickstarters, etc.). The reason I assume you bring up the Valve early access FAQ and DF's proposed feature list is to point out that buyers should have been aware of what they were getting themselves into, a risky venture which might or might not pan out. I agree that people should have been aware that the game might not meet all its objectives, but I think people did realize that and accept it as a possibility. The problem is that no one realized that the game wouldn't meet all its objectives unless early access funds first paid back the outside investors and then funded the proposed feature list. For whatever reason, Early Access has evolved in such a way that most people assume that when they buy an Early Access game, they are actually funding future development. Part of the value to them is knowing that all their money will go towards making the game better. So I and many others assumed when we bought the game that our $25 was going to be put towards future Alphas and eventually 1.0. What we didn't know was that if the game made $400k or less, Alpha 1 would have been 1.0, and if the game made between $400k and $1m (very reasonable possibility), there really was no practical possibility that the proposed feature list could be completed. Unlike a Kickstarter, where they tell you how much they need, or a final release, where they/reviews tell you what you're buying, Early Access is murky. They were extremely opaque about what Early Access was being used to do, and that lack of transparency is the real problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Thunderpeel - Read all of my posts, in full, then start responding. I expect people to think before they post, next time you decide to troll me, I'll be a lot less polite in my response. There's a difference between an agitator and someone who's rightfully annoyed that when they find out the money they put in via Steam Early Access has been swallowed up by IndieFund and *not* been put into the development of the game as well, you would do well to find that out as well. In short, pay attention, get a clue.

My point of view is a lot more nuanced than you seem to have jumped to the conclusion of initially, it's been arrived at after I did some digging around and some talking to a few people in the background, and some analysis of the IndieFund agreement terms and conditions, applying that to the investment pool and then examining how, based on what we know of the sales to date, that would impact the potential development fund pool going into spacebase DF-9. The long and the short of it is, someone has done something very shady, or something very incompetent. I would very much like to get to the bottom of who because this mess leaves an ashen taste in my mouth, a very promising game has been ruined by what appears to be a corrosive agreement that may have eaten around $800,000 of the profits (circa 1.1m of the total revenues if you factor in steam sales tax) from the development pool in total. That's not a minor slice, that's a sucking chest wound and deserves some form of explanation.

The rest of my response can be summed up by simply pointing to Acheron's post. Read that, and understand that Alpha 1 could very well have *been* 1.0, now consider the implications of that outcome. Thank you.

Edited after I noticed that it was quoted and I had to backtrace to who originally posted up the flamebait.

As an addendum - Editing your post to remove the offensive remark doesn't exactly work when it's already been quoted by other people, best you just own up and apologise for it hm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@ Thunderpeel - Read all of my posts, in full, then start responding. I expect people to think before they post, next time you decide to troll me, I'll be a lot less polite in my response. There's a difference between an agitator and someone who's rightfully annoyed that when they find out the money they put in via Steam Early Access has been swallowed up by IndieFund and *not* been put into the development of the game as well, you would do well to find that out as well. In short, pay attention, get a clue.

My point of view is a lot more nuanced than you seem to have jumped to the conclusion of initially, it's been arrived at after I did some digging around and some talking to a few people in the background, and some analysis of the IndieFund agreement terms and conditions, applying that to the investment pool and then examining how, based on what we know of the sales to date, that would impact the potential development fund pool going into spacebase DF-9. The long and the short of it is, someone has done something very shady, or something very incompetent. I would very much like to get to the bottom of who because this mess leaves an ashen taste in my mouth, a very promising game has been ruined by what appears to be a corrosive agreement that may have eaten around $800,000 of the profits (circa 1.1m of the total revenues if you factor in steam sales tax) from the development pool in total. That's not a minor slice, that's a sucking chest wound and deserves some form of explanation.

The rest of my response can be summed up by simply pointing to Acheron's post. Read that, and understand that Alpha 1 could very well have *been* 1.0, now consider the implications of that outcome. Thank you.

Edited after I noticed that it was quoted and I had to backtrace to who originally posted up the flamebait.

As an addendum - Editing your post to remove the offensive remark doesn't exactly work when it's already been quoted by other people, best you just own up and apologise for it hm?

Sounds like you should read all my posts, in full, before you respond, Hobbes. Hm?

(Also: Since you're unlikely to bother to go back and actually read what I wrote, I'll just point out that my comment was retracted BEFORE it was quoted, which can be seen by the timestamps on the posts in question, and was explained in the subsequent posts.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like you should read all my posts, in full, before you respond, Hobbes. Hm?

(Also: Since you're unlikely to bother to go back and actually read what I wrote, I'll just point out that my comment was retracted BEFORE it was quoted, which can be seen by the timestamps on the posts in question, and was explained in the subsequent posts.)

I did. I'm still less than thrilled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry I temporarily referred to you as an "agitator" for a few minutes on this forum as a result of not reading your posts properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry I temporarily referred to you as an "agitator" for a few minutes on this forum as a result of not reading your posts properly.

Subscription notifications are a wonderful thing, but I'll leave it. Thank you. I'm sorry if I snapped as well, I'd rather we all got on and things got solved, frankly I never wanted DF-9 to -fail-, none of us did. But that's the mess we're facing. Right now I'm pinning my hopes on Massive Chalice because *that* looks original and fun, and it could be the panacea to Turn Based Strategy that Endless Legend was to 4X, and short of a major case of brainfail, it's got me genuinely excited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...