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Greg Rice

Episode 17: A Deadline for Tim

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Wow, really inappropriate language at 21:38.

Jupp, we can only assume act two isn't only longer and harder but raunchier. Kids gotta grow up some time.

(I know its spoiler censoring.)

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Hey, new content, nice. I especially liked Anna's video and the sparkling in Schafer's eyes.

Hmm, sometimes when Greg shows up i feel kind of scared that the game gets banalized (again) and i wonder if he ever played and enjoyed a point & click adventure on his own. I mean like playing adventure games before of this project, generally, enjoying them, privately, ... uhm, things like that.

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Hmm, sometimes when Greg shows up i feel kind of scared that the game gets banalized (again) and i wonder if he ever played and enjoyed a point & click adventure on his own. I mean like playing adventure games before of this project, generally, enjoying them, privately, ... uhm, things like that.

Just out of curiosity (not intending to stir the shit or anything), but could you give a few examples of him doing that?

I can't, off the top of my head, think of anything that would lead someone to think that.

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It's a feeling i've got throughout the documentation, little things here and there, the way he talks about certain issues (like in this one that most/many/(can't remember precisely) people supposedly would prefer if the game won't be harder, etc.), the way he's involved (at least the way the docu presents him). Hey, i just might be wrong and it's only the docu but he doesn't come around as someone who loves (playing) adventure games.

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It's a feeling i've got throughout the documentation, little things here and there, the way he talks about certain issues (like in this one that most/many/(can't remember precisely) people supposedly would prefer if the game won't be harder, etc.), the way he's involved (at least the way the docu presents him). Hey, i just might be wrong and it's only the docu but he doesn't come around as someone who loves (playing) adventure games.

and, would it matter? you don't have to love tampons to manage tampon factories.

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In secret, I want you to never finish act 2 so that I'll be getting these documentaries foreverrrrrrrrrrrr…

Just kidding but not really ;)

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In secret, I want you to never finish act 2 so that I'll be getting these documentaries foreverrrrrrrrrrrr…

Just kidding but not really ;)

We'll probably still get documentary videos from DF and 2PP well beyond Broken Age; they were around for the last two Amnesia Fortnight events, and they're documenting the Grim Fandango remaster. I'm sure Tim will continue to find uses for 2PP's services.

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It's a feeling i've got throughout the documentation, little things here and there, the way he talks about certain issues (like in this one that most/many/(can't remember precisely) people supposedly would prefer if the game won't be harder, etc.), the way he's involved (at least the way the docu presents him). Hey, i just might be wrong and it's only the docu but he doesn't come around as someone who loves (playing) adventure games.

and, would it matter? you don't have to love tampons to manage tampon factories.

Well yeah I think it would, I think someone who has no interest in say a racing game, wouldn't do a good a job in producing one as someone who has spent years living and breathing a genre and understanding the genres nuances and what fans of that genre want from games of that type. Of course I do realise the counter is someone not into a genre may widen the audience by bringing new elements... but for me I cant think personally of an example where that has worked.

Your Tampon analogy is a poor one, as that is for a device that is just utilized, therefor people just want it to work and be comfortable... it is not an object you desire, emote and love...such as a car... in a car company example, then yes I would want the person managing a new line in Ferraris, to actually like sport cars, and think a manager who is only interested in family cars would not help in making a great Ferrari, as his project decisions would be completely contradictory to what most people want and expect from a Ferrari.

Having said all that I don't see Greg as someone who doesn't like adventure games, I hope the clip at the end was an out of context conversation, and maybe Greg even attempting dry humour. If not then that is a shame, as Broken Age isn't a kids game, with quite adult themes at its core..and if they want a kidgame kids could enjoy then they really should create Sesame Street the adventure game!!

Overall, there is always a way to tailor difficulties in a game to allow for different types of players... that is a manual hint system. That way those who don't like to be stumped can click away to get the hints that Broken Age act 1 frustratingly automatically gave, and so others who like a puzzle can have more a challenge. Of course the lack of clickable parts of the screen and minimal objects were also a problem in act one... often I solved a puzzle not because I had worked it out, but because I had a single object and so gave it a try... This is a very unsatisfactory puzzle solve. Hopefully though, in act two there will be less of this.

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In secret, I want you to never finish act 2 so that I'll be getting these documentaries foreverrrrrrrrrrrr…

Just kidding but not really ;)

We'll probably still get documentary videos from DF and 2PP well beyond Broken Age; they were around for the last two Amnesia Fortnight events, and they're documenting the Grim Fandango remaster. I'm sure Tim will continue to find uses for 2PP's services.

That's really nice to hear! :) I'm gonna lift my curse of delay ;)

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Hey, new content, nice. I especially liked Anna's video and the sparkling in Schafer's eyes.

Hmm, sometimes when Greg shows up i feel kind of scared that the game gets banalized (again) and i wonder if he ever played and enjoyed a point & click adventure on his own. I mean like playing adventure games before of this project, generally, enjoying them, privately, ... uhm, things like that.

YES!!!

With all due love/respect for Greg, due chiefly to his hill giant strength and beard-hair combo, he is quite obviously a Force Of Evil in this process, pushing the game toward simpler puzzles and noninteractive "art" over what Tim actually does well.

The entire documentary can be viewed as this interesting push-and-pull between Tim's genuine adventure roots and Greg's dollar-sign hipster reformism. I mean this only 40% hyperbolically.

Off the top of my head:

1) Greg argued for "shorter experiences" when they were considering whether to make a two-part game or a short one-part game. Tim shot that down by saying, "No, I think there's a value proposition being made here, and 4 hours is too little."

2) Greg argues for "easy puzzles" in this episode, because people told him they liked playing with their kids -- to paraphrase Tim concerning DOTT, as though these games were actually made for kids.

3) Greg's reaction shot when Tim says "maybe we shouldn't have just tossed out all the puzzles to meet the deadline." Tim has said that they cut out 50% of Part One content in order to get (half) the game out the door. The editing certainly implies that Greg pushed for the cuts.

4) Greg continues to insist that Part One of Broken Age was some sort of well-received megahit, when nearly every review criticizes the bad puzzles and many backers were noticeably disappointed (cool it, fanboys, I'm obviously not referring to you).

TLDR: I <3333333 Tim Schafer, and this company is not doing Tim Schafer right.

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Wow, okay, where to begin? As producer, it's part of Greg's job to question decisions that affect production and be the voice that is making sure that ideas are not going through unchecked. He would literally not be doing his job if he was merely a facilitator. But Tim is ultimately in charge of the project and the company, and there has been no suggestion at all that Tim isn't being allowed to make the game he wants to make or isn't very proud, as he should be, of the work they've done.

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Wow, okay, where to begin? As producer, it's part of Greg's job to question decisions that affect production and be the voice that is making sure that ideas are not going through unchecked. He would literally not be doing his job if he was merely a facilitator. But Tim is ultimately in charge of the project and the company, and there has been no suggestion at all that Tim isn't being allowed to make the game he wants to make or isn't very proud, as he should be, of the work they've done.

Yes true that Gregs role is to question and ultimately reign in ideas to make sure the budgets balance and the game gets released... but people questioning if he loves the genre is perfectly valid. As someone in that position will naturally reign the ideas towards what they personally prefer or see as profitable.. rather than someone who adores, understand and loves the genre and knows what instictively what makes a great adventure game.

I dont think thouh that Greg was the main cause of the simplicity of act one... a bigger part i think is the constraints of the beautiful art and voice acting... the trouble is complexity usually means an exponential increase in responses and outcomes.. which in turn means animation and voice lines needed becoming massively more content to be created. As beautiful as Broken Age is, I do wonder whether the price to be paid for it was to streamline the clickable objects and items to be found in the game, and so make the game inherently easy through its streamlined, limited outcome, game it naturally became.

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Yes, the biggest problem on this project was obviously the sky-high marginal costs of producing content combined with poor planning for those high costs. That's what actually gimped Tim, and I'm sorry if my euphemistic phrasing earlier made that hard to understand.

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Wow, okay, where to begin? As producer, it's part of Greg's job to question decisions that affect production and be the voice that is making sure that ideas are not going through unchecked. He would literally not be doing his job if he was merely a facilitator. But Tim is ultimately in charge of the project and the company, and there has been no suggestion at all that Tim isn't being allowed to make the game he wants to make or isn't very proud, as he should be, of the work they've done.

Yes true that Gregs role is to question and ultimately reign in ideas to make sure the budgets balance and the game gets released... but people questioning if he loves the genre is perfectly valid. As someone in that position will naturally reign the ideas towards what they personally prefer or see as profitable.. rather than someone who adores, understand and loves the genre and knows what instictively what makes a great adventure game.

Sure. It took me 5 minutes on Google to debunk this via an interview conducted around the time of the release of The Cave (in way before Remastered:

And to finish off, what is your favourite game?

Greg: Is it kissing ass if I say Grim Fandango?

--

Besides, DF have bunch of producers, obviously they would have chosen one suited to the genre.

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Wow, okay, where to begin? As producer, it's part of Greg's job to question decisions that affect production and be the voice that is making sure that ideas are not going through unchecked. He would literally not be doing his job if he was merely a facilitator. But Tim is ultimately in charge of the project and the company, and there has been no suggestion at all that Tim isn't being allowed to make the game he wants to make or isn't very proud, as he should be, of the work they've done.

Yes true that Gregs role is to question and ultimately reign in ideas to make sure the budgets balance and the game gets released... but people questioning if he loves the genre is perfectly valid. As someone in that position will naturally reign the ideas towards what they personally prefer or see as profitable.. rather than someone who adores, understand and loves the genre and knows what instictively what makes a great adventure game.

Sure. It took me 5 minutes on Google to debunk this via an interview conducted around the time of the release of The Cave (in way before Remastered:

And to finish off, what is your favourite game?

Greg: Is it kissing ass if I say Grim Fandango?

--

Besides, DF have bunch of producers, obviously they would have chosen one suited to the genre.

People still are in their rights to doubt his interest KestrelPi, just because some says something in an interview doesn`t mean it is what they feel in their heart... As said above I don't personally agree that Greg doesn't like the genre, but I totally get why people question it, when there has been instances where Greg seems to push for simplicity... I think it is far more likely however, that Greg pushes for these things to limit timescales and costs... after all you could have the best adventure game in the world but if it took forever and broke the company, then it would be bad in the extreme. This is why personally I think the heavy emphasis on the art, animation and quality voice is far more a factor with act ones simplicity. KestrelPi, you really should look at what people are saying and listen, instead of sitting in your ivory fanboy tower and dissing any comment or viewpoint that doesn't fit with your own narrow fanboy viewpoint. I get that some love how act one and even the difficulty level was right for them, but many also didnt feel Act one could have been all it could have. I think it is right to discuss what went right, and what went wrong in a game, after all how else can one learn and grow.

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Wow, okay, where to begin? As producer, it's part of Greg's job to question decisions that affect production and be the voice that is making sure that ideas are not going through unchecked. He would literally not be doing his job if he was merely a facilitator. But Tim is ultimately in charge of the project and the company, and there has been no suggestion at all that Tim isn't being allowed to make the game he wants to make or isn't very proud, as he should be, of the work they've done.

Yes true that Gregs role is to question and ultimately reign in ideas to make sure the budgets balance and the game gets released... but people questioning if he loves the genre is perfectly valid. As someone in that position will naturally reign the ideas towards what they personally prefer or see as profitable.. rather than someone who adores, understand and loves the genre and knows what instictively what makes a great adventure game.

Sure. It took me 5 minutes on Google to debunk this via an interview conducted around the time of the release of The Cave (in way before Remastered:

And to finish off, what is your favourite game?

Greg: Is it kissing ass if I say Grim Fandango?

--

Besides, DF have bunch of producers, obviously they would have chosen one suited to the genre.

People still are in their rights to doubt his interest KestrelPi, just because some says something in an interview doesn`t mean it is what they feel in their heart... As said above I don't personally agree that Greg doesn't like the genre, but I totally get why people question it, when there has been instances where Greg seems to push for simplicity... I think it is far more likely however, that Greg pushes for these things to limit timescales and costs... after all you could have the best adventure game in the world but if it took forever and broke the company, then it would be bad in the extreme. This is why personally I think the heavy emphasis on the art, animation and quality voice is far more a factor with act ones simplicity. KestrelPi, you really should look at what people are saying and listen, instead of sitting in your ivory fanboy tower and dissing any comment or viewpoint that doesn't fit with your own narrow fanboy viewpoint. I get that some love how act one and even the difficulty level was right for them, but many also didnt feel Act one could have been all it could have. I think it is right to discuss what went right, and what went wrong in a game, after all how else can one learn and grow.

Sorry if my correcting speculation with actual researched facts is too "fanboy" for you. Didn't take you long to resort to personal insults, did it?

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What annoys me, what has always annoyed me about all this is the failure of certain critics to imagine that maybe there are just legitimate differences of opinion among adventure fans and makers of adventure games about what is most important.

We can't have a conversation about the relative merits of different approaches to making games when there are people saying silly, easily debunked things like "maybe Greg doesn't even like adventure games"

And before you ONCE AGAIN start in on the fanboy, blind-praise horsehockey that rears its head whenever I dare say anything that might defend DF (and sure, that's pretty frequent) then let me just say that if I could honestly be bothered I could write a huge list of the things I've been critical about DF about on this forum, INCLUDING certain aspects of Act 1 difficulty. e.g. I started a whole thread criticising the way the game hands out hints. So don't start in with that bull, okay?

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KestrelPi I have seen your many responses on this forum over the years, and many responses on these forums and many of them have been deriding others who have not been happy with act one and wish to give their legitimate opinion. I didn't mean to personally attack you as you call it but highlight to you that you need to at least accept and appreciate their are many legitimate views on the game... all are valid (including your own) and worthwhile and should be listened to.

Actually I also get angry with Double Fine in the videos where they have openly attacked specific backers or lump backers together as simply haters... because what I see is a lot of people not hating but voicing their genuine frustration of what was promised (an adventure game like you remember to what was delivered, of being much more geared to the casual player.)... I personally would have a lot more respect for Double Fine if they had properly answered those complaints with a true response and answering of those questions, rather than the quite unprofessional, almost childish response they seem to have given in those previous videos.

For myself I liked act one, it was beautiful, but flawed game, though being far too easy, for the reasons mentioned in my previous posts. I am however fully confident that Act two will rectify many of those concerns raised about difficulty, my only concern now is that act two will feel too different to the first part, paricuarly for those who liked the more casual level difficulty... so hopefully Double Fine will come up with varying levels of difficulty to satisfy the different tpe of players.

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What annoys me, what has always annoyed me about all this is the failure of certain critics to imagine that maybe there are just legitimate differences of opinion among adventure fans and makers of adventure games about what is most important.

I agree there are different views of what makes an adventure game.. some focus on only story (walking dead) some on puzzles like old lucas arts adventures are on great dialogue and puzzles. However I do see how many would naturally assume when you see Tim and Ron on Kickstarter campaign, with Tims previous Lucas Arts games in the background, whilst saying about doing adventure game like you used to remember... that it is a natural leap by many to anticipate a game in the same mold and focus of those old Lucas Arts games. Did DF release a good game, then yes, flawed but good... Did they release a Lucas Art style adventure that we all remember? Then I would have to say no. Therefore I do understand why people aren`t happy as the promise and what was actually delivered don't match up.

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*sigh*

I would challenge the assertion that my tone has been frequently derisive, especially from someone who just got finished telling me I'm "sitting in my ivory fanboy tower" (apology accepted, I guess).

I do get frustrated when people make arguments based on assumptions that are easy to check and correct.

But mainly I am interested in providing some counterpoint to some of the commonly made points of "classic adventures are about x" when as a huge, long standing fan of classic adventures I feel qualified in my alternate view. I also get frustrated when, as has happened occasionally, people insist their idea of classic adventure games is objectively the only or most valid one.

Still, just so we're 100 percent clear, here's an incomplete list if things I am critical of Broken Age Act 1 about, most of which I've brought up on the forum at some point or other:

* I think there were too many hints in the dialogue, to the point that I was realising solutions to puzzles I hadn't encountered yet.

* I think Vella's motivations as a character were not explored organically enough. I felt I didn't understand why she was one of the only characters to question the status quo.

* I miss the lack of a dedicated look verb, and would have had one if I could choose

* I'd like to have seen a steeper ramp up to more puzzle complexity by the end of the Act. While there was a bit of that it WAS slight, and so I totally understand concerns about that, although we know it was always the plan to make act 2 harder (even before feedback). It'd have been nice to have a real solid example of a multi stage puzzle at the end to set the stage for act 2 going further that way. The space suit puzzle was nearly that, but had some issues.

* Mog Chothra never quite convinced me as a scary foe.

* The rescuing mini game felt a little perfunctory.

Do not mistake the fact I spend most of my time saying positive things about DF on the fan forum for a lack of capacity to criticise DF.

Here's another: on reflection, I really didn't care for The Cave

:o

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That was a very good list of critique on the game, and I totally agree with every point made, particuarly the look verb being missing, as that really took away the depth and back story that most adventure games offer.

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Ummmmm, I do love adventure games. Grim is my favorite game of all time. The sole quote on my Facebook page has been from Grim for over something like 10 years. I played all of Tim's games growing up and they're ultimately the reason I wanted to make games to begin with.

We all know they reached a much smaller audience than may be interested in them as well, which ultimately led to publishers moving to other genres. The focus on story and character and art is something that's pretty universally appreciated. But yeah if we're being honest, I'd say the illogical and obtuse puzzles that plagued some older adventure games felt like an artificial blocker, removed the player from the flow of the experience, and took them out of the world and story. But yeah, a great puzzle gives an aha moment that is super powerful, and we're definitely trying to capture that. It's just something we're hoping to ease into.

This conversation honestly has gotten really old and frustrating and one I really hope we can shelf after all this time until Act 2 is out and you've seen the full game. And I'd just like to point out that these kinds of personal attacks on the character of our team members are one of the reason a lot of people aren't spending as much time on the forums. I'm all for constructive criticism, but it's definitely wearing after 3 years. Remember, there are lots of different types of people who play games and they can't all be everything to everyone. We hear your concern on this issue and are and were in fact already considering it. But to those who are constantly and consistently belaboring the point I hope you'll forgive us for remaining positive and believing that lots of folks actually enjoyed and appreciated our 82 Metacritic scoring and hundred thousand unit selling game.

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Keep of the good work, Broken Age Team. Fun pills and sleds for all the community. Life is too short. Blow some bubbles. You can't not smile and watch bubbles.

Smiles

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If I learned anything from watching 2 Amnesia Fortnight's, it's that Greg kicks ass.

Super excited for Act 2! I would love to see a December release like everyone else, but if the game needs just a little more time than so be it. We've waited this long, we can wait just a little longer.

I especially liked seeing the discussion of the potential softlock, and would love to see more of how the team receives feedback from internal playthroughs and playtesting, if we can get enough of that edited down spoiler free :)

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Super excited for Act 2! I would love to see a December release like everyone else, but if the game needs just a little more time than so be it. We've waited this long, we can wait just a little longer.
My sentiments exactly. Take a little longer to make the game as good as it can be if you need to. I don't mind a little extra wait at all. :)

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Ummmmm, I do love adventure games. Grim is my favorite game of all time. The sole quote on my Facebook page has been from Grim for over something like 10 years. I played all of Tim's games growing up and they're ultimately the reason I wanted to make games to begin with.

We all know they reached a much smaller audience than may be interested in them as well, which ultimately led to publishers moving to other genres. The focus on story and character and art is something that's pretty universally appreciated. But yeah if we're being honest, I'd say the illogical and obtuse puzzles that plagued some older adventure games felt like an artificial blocker, removed the player from the flow of the experience, and took them out of the world and story. But yeah, a great puzzle gives an aha moment that is super powerful, and we're definitely trying to capture that. It's just something we're hoping to ease into.

This conversation honestly has gotten really old and frustrating and one I really hope we can shelf after all this time until Act 2 is out and you've seen the full game. And I'd just like to point out that these kinds of personal attacks on the character of our team members are one of the reason a lot of people aren't spending as much time on the forums. I'm all for constructive criticism, but it's definitely wearing after 3 years. Remember, there are lots of different types of people who play games and they can't all be everything to everyone. We hear your concern on this issue and are and were in fact already considering it. But to those who are constantly and consistently belaboring the point I hope you'll forgive us for remaining positive and believing that lots of folks actually enjoyed and appreciated our 82 Metacritic scoring and hundred thousand unit selling game.

As mentioned in my previous posts I didn't personally think that yourself Greg didn't like adventure games, but that I could understand why people were questioning on this post, when there has been a number instances, particularly at the end of this video where you seem to be pushing again for simplicity of the games puzzles, which seems counter to what most people seem to be saying.

I agree that puzzle aha moments are what is one of the central pillars to making a great adventure game, but would say that personally the 'artificial blocker' goes hand in hand with that 'aha' moment, after all a puzzle with no challenge or where the answer is given automatically then that eureka moment is lost. I get what you mean that some new to adventure games or those out of touch with adventure games need that more gentle slope, I just wish a difficulty setting had been set to cater for those who like puzzles and the challenge, or have more experience with the adventure game.

As to constructive criticisms, I think in the main on this forum a far majority have remained constructive, but have had very reasonable concerns about certain core elements of act one. As for it getting old, well I personally think discussing what makes a good game in a genre should never get old as one can learn and improve a game. As to getting old and belabouring the criticism, then yes I agree the same criticisms do keep repeating themselves, but that is in large part to Double Fine not truly addressing those criticisms and instead downplaying those concerns as 'a handful of haters'.

The Metacritic score on 82 is a very good score I agree.. I myself gave it 90 out of 100 on my own review on there, because I do genuinely believe Double Fine created a brilliant game. But equally one should be mindful that of the 69 users who actually gave a text review to the game, 11 were negative and 22 of those reviews criticised the puzzles simplicity within that review (and all in the context of puzzles being too easy). So that is 48% felt that the games simplicity was a criticism worth mentioning. Don't get me wrong, Double Fine has created a beautiful game, and definitely one to be proud of, but one with flaws that I am hopeful to be addressed in act two.

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Yep, totally hear you and with you in most ways. We've had the very same conversations, and as I hope you see in the episode, we're on it. There's just a balance we gotta strike.

And I totally welcome the criticism, but now just trying to stay positive as it's a much more pleasant evironment to live and make games in. Looking forward to hearing what you think of act 2!

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I feel like the kind of people who really love a genre and want to see more of it are also the kind of people who have a very specific idea of what they want from it. That's fine, and I've been that person more than once, but from time to time it can just turn into perceiving anything that's not part of that very specific idea as an attack on the concept as a whole.

Often that's directed toward other very passionate people with equally specific ideas of what a thing should be, which is a shame, particularly when the passionate people to whom those attitudes are directed to are the creators of the game. I've been working in the industry for almost a year now and I've had to be that target answering those charges quite a few times.

All I can say is that when you're as invested in the product as someone making it has to be, you're a lot more critical than people think, and it's always because you want the best for the project. It definitely hurts to be criticized for doing something you strongly believe is in the best interests of not only the game but the entire company, even if you totally understand where the criticism is coming from.

In any case, I'm continuing to enjoy the documentary a lot, and I honestly feel like it's worth more to me than the game itself. The game is charming and fun and beautiful, but I've been following the documentaries (and the MASSIVE CHALICE teamstreams) for a long time now, and they're significant part of what convinced me I had to get into the industry myself. I've now started my second week of my first design job and and I can't imagine I'd have fought as hard for it if the world of game development was as opaque as it used to be.

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Ummmmm, I do love adventure games. Grim is my favorite game of all time. The sole quote on my Facebook page has been from Grim for over something like 10 years. I played all of Tim's games growing up and they're ultimately the reason I wanted to make games to begin with.

We all know they reached a much smaller audience than may be interested in them as well, which ultimately led to publishers moving to other genres. The focus on story and character and art is something that's pretty universally appreciated. But yeah if we're being honest, I'd say the illogical and obtuse puzzles that plagued some older adventure games felt like an artificial blocker, removed the player from the flow of the experience, and took them out of the world and story. But yeah, a great puzzle gives an aha moment that is super powerful, and we're definitely trying to capture that. It's just something we're hoping to ease into.

This conversation honestly has gotten really old and frustrating and one I really hope we can shelf after all this time until Act 2 is out and you've seen the full game. And I'd just like to point out that these kinds of personal attacks on the character of our team members are one of the reason a lot of people aren't spending as much time on the forums. I'm all for constructive criticism, but it's definitely wearing after 3 years. Remember, there are lots of different types of people who play games and they can't all be everything to everyone. We hear your concern on this issue and are and were in fact already considering it. But to those who are constantly and consistently belaboring the point I hope you'll forgive us for remaining positive and believing that lots of folks actually enjoyed and appreciated our 82 Metacritic scoring and hundred thousand unit selling game.

The constant belaboured negativity takes its toll on the community as well, and I'm positive that it's a very vocal minority who are kicking up the most of the fuss. Sure, those people care a lot, but they also don't represent the majority. Thanks to the constant brow-beating from certain people over the past year, I'm pretty sure that many positive-minded folk just can't be bothered to engage anymore. It's too hostile.

To be fair, things calm down when there's no news, but as soon as there's an update or a release of some kind, the forums are overrun again by those same angry voices crying out for attention.

If I was a community moderator here, I'd have a much harsher line. These are private forums, after all, owned, paid for, and operated by DF, and nobody has any "right" to post here. The one rule I would instigate is this:

If you couldn't walk into the DF offices and say it without being asked to leave, then you shouldn't be saying it in the DF forums.

As someone who has been a daily member of online communities since before the internet began, I firmly believe that they are like gardens. If they're taken care of, they grown into something beautiful. If they're left to their own devices, or are lacking in TLC, they will be overrun with weeds. I believe you need to prune away the parts you don't want to cultivate in order to let the other parts blossom. (Which isn't an attack on the fan moderation team, I think they're doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.)

Which also isn't to say criticism shouldn't be welcome. It absolutely should, but the tone should be cultivated. There's no excuse not to be respectful when sharing your thoughts.

It's especially sad because these forums often don't reflect my feelings towards Tim or DF at all. There's just so much entitlement, and apparent willful ignorance, that it's often depressing. *sigh*

Don't let the vocal minority get you down!

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