Sign in to follow this  
Greg Rice

Episode 17: A Deadline for Tim

Recommended Posts

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.

I'm not sure that it's necessarily a good rule of thumb for -enforcement- of the forum, as it could appear heavy-handed, but I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb for deciding when criticism crosses a line and should be called out as such to try to guide the discussion back to more constructive lines.

These games are made by humans who do in fact read this forum, and I don't know about anyone else but I'd be embarrassed walking up to Greg Rice and saying 'I'm not saying you don't, but seriously do you even like adventure games? Because sometimes it seems like you don't.'

It crosses the line from constructive criticism of design choices made by the team to second-guessing the skills/credentials of individual team members. I think that something we should ALL be able to agree on if we've been following the doc and the sidequests is that either the team care very deeply about what they are making, or they're doing an amazing job of faking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. I wasn't saying that people should be automatically banned for crossing that line or anything, but after a month of stepping in after anyone did cross that line, the whole personality of the community would change (IMO), and you'd need to step in less and less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With any endeavor, being scrutinized for 3 some years is likely to get tiresome, even if this is exactly what they signed up for and intended it to be! But I can imagine that after such a time, I'd probably feel the same way, and would need a break from it all too. Fun pills, bubbles, and sleds for everyone.

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good lord, any good community has a mix of opinions. There's no reason to insist on enforced positivity just because you pay the bills. Indeed, that's suicide. (This is obviously directed at the hear-no-evil fanboys. No one at DF has ever publicly recommended such a silly policy.)

Anyway, kudos to Greg for showing up on the forums so much. I do like him a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good lord, any good community has a mix of opinions. There's no reason to insist on enforced positivity just because you pay the bills. Indeed, that's suicide. (This is obviously directed at the hear-no-evil fanboys. No one at DF has ever publicly recommended such a silly policy.)

Nor indeed nobody outside of DF has suggested that.

1) What was suggested, actually, was some recognition that there's a difference between criticism and attack, and the line has not always been observed here. Most recently 'Does Greg even like adventure games?' is not a constructive point, nothing useful can come of it, it's just plain hurtful despite being speculative towards a particular team member (and, it turns out, uninformed). Oh, and there was that bit where you called him a 'force of evil' or something.

2) As was clarified but two posts later, what was being suggested was not 'enforcement' but rather mods taking more of an active role in indicating where that line is and when it has been crossed, so that the forum can nurture useful discussion.

If I or anyone else were advocating removal or moderation of negative opinion, then my own post a few posts ago would have to be removed, as long as a couple I've thrown up in the last couple of days in general discussion.

So why mischaracterise what was said like this, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm not interested in proving to you that people on this page of the thread said what they said. I don't believe I misrepresented anyone's opinion, and we'll have to leave it at that. I don't believe that "forums are like gardens," and I don't believe owning the forums makes it right for you to shut down opinions.

I also think "Does Greg even like (classic) adventure games?" is a perfectly valid and acceptable thing to wonder, as long as it doesn't mutate into some bizarre personal attack on Greg himself.

I don't think I broke Greg's heart by saying he's been a Force of Evil in Capital Letters on this project. He consistently recommends dumbing-down of an adventure game to a theoretically more marketable TellTale style of new-age design. I have no idea what his actual responsibilities are on the project, but he clearly has advocated game design ideas that are the exact opposite of what I want.

Saying that he has consistently advocated the opposite of what I want is not a personal attack. It's disagreement.

Disagreement is not negativity.

Hope that's clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, okay, you said that people were insisting on 'enforced positivity' which is directly contradicted by two and three posts above it.

You then describef the people supposedly calling for that as 'hear-no-evil fanboys' which is directly contradicted by any number of posts.

So forgive me if I've -very little patience- for what has become very hard to see as much more than consistently flame-baiting smears on your part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've completely misrepresented what I said, Suejack.

I wrote: "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."

You wrote: "There’s no reason to insist on enforced positivity..."

Nobody said anything about enforced positivity.

Also, consistently blaming Greg for the things you don't like about Broken Age, and referring to him as a "Force of Evil" is the very epitome of a personal attack. A *baseless* personal attack, I might add.

It's for these, and many other reasons, that I have all of your posts blocked by default.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've completely misrepresented what I said, Suejack.

I wrote: "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."

You wrote: "There’s no reason to insist on enforced positivity..."

Nobody said anything about enforced positivity.

I guess you misunderstood what I mean by "enforced positivity". I apologize if you feel like I misrepresented you -- I don't think I did.

As for the rest of your post, if you think "Force of Evil" In Capital Letters after praising his hill giant strength and beard/hair combo was rude, I guess we're not gonna get along. Ignore is probably your best option, so I encourage you to stick with it.

I like Greg! And I didn't "consistently" blame him for anything...? I made one post that I can remember where I disagree with his apparent opinions. Definitely not a personal attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice to have a update at last , about the puzzle issue i think people want the puzzles to be much more like in between easy and difficult rather than just being too easy.

The lucasarts adventure games had a perfect balance of hard and easy puzzles. I hope they push in that direction

I know this is what not everyone agrees on but i felt act 1 was meant for kids getting into adventure games for the first time. Which is not a wrong thing but i dont think people backed this for getting that sort of game. I personally could not recommend act 1 for hardcore adventure players.

The puzzle in Indiana hones and the fate of Atlantis springs to mind specially those stone disks , it could literally be the easiest thing in the game if you understood the hints in the books or else a major wall .

i have no other issues with the game other than that , the graphics, dialog and story blew me away. I would certainly want to see more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KestrelPi, Suejak, ThunderPeel: Wait, the three of you had a disagreement that entered the murky territory of being almost personal, and given the choice between

a) apologizing and clarifying what you meant and then moving on to rational discourse or

b) creating a ten page flame war that ruins the forums for everyone

and you guys took a? Are you trying to break the Internet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry but I am also getting sick of other forums members decrying any opinion that actually questions something in the game on this forum... I really don't like people devaluing genuine comments people have by saying .. oh they are just a small vocal minority, just haters... because firstly a large percentage of critic reviews and user reviews have raised those same concerns ..and what I see is people constructively debating and raising valid questions as any healthy discussion forum should be...

Lets just recap the thread...

CecilRousso - raised a question of why did Greg mention about simplicity, when the whole episode was how satisfied they were with the more complex puzzles.

ThenTaumel, simply asked the question does Greg like adventure games? I think that is a perfectly valid question, he wasn't personally attacking Greg. He was simply saying is Greg interested in that style of game as he seemed to have a contradictory opinion to Tim and the others.

Then derOesi asked does it matter if he didn't like them? After all would a manager of a Tampon factory need to like Tampons.. of which ?I pointed out that was a bad analogy as this isn't just a factory or just a device but a work of art, like a car and so I felt it would be very important. I also said that I didn't personally feel Greg disliked adventure games but believed that he may be pushing for simplicity because complexity equals more effort and Gregs role I believe is to ensure the project gets delivered and ultimately makes a profit.

Suejaks comment was actually

"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."

That isn't an attack, that is at best a tongue and cheek response to what is probably a battle that has been battled since the dawn of time.. that is there is always has to be someone managing the purse strings against the artist trying to create his vision. Both are equally vital, both are essential to a project reaching a successful completion.

Then I countered that I didnt feel Greg was the cause but again reiterated that it was probably the price to pay for the wonderful animation, art and voicing talent.. As complexity exponentially raise the costs of the game.

To me all of that is HEALTHY debate... It's a discussion... I am sorry if Greg or others see that as a personal attack..but to me it isn't , just people debating, questioning. The worst thing that could happen is having a forum like Hitlers bunker, with everyone saying everything is marvellous and wonderful everything is, all the while with the walls crumbling around its ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you go back and watch episode two of the documentary, it's very revealing: Tim pretty much told all of us from the beginning that the puzzles were going to be simple.

"oh they are just a small vocal minority, just haters… because firstly a large percentage of critic reviews and user reviews have raised those same concerns ..and what I see is people constructively debating and raising valid questions as any healthy discussion forum should be…"

It sounds to me like you weren't around for many of the posts here. Everyone agreed that the puzzles were too easy for a lot of adventurers. It's been established. Time and again. Over and over. That's what Greg was referring to when he said "belabored". But it's also true that most people were HAPPY with Broken Age. This was reflected in the critic's reviews and the anonymous polls here... but you may think differently if you just read what was written here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be "belaboured," but as long as Greg continues making anti-traditional pro-noninteractivity comments on the newest episodes of the documentary, he will continue to spur debate about whether that is Good or Evil.

Hope I didn't upset anybody there with my violent use of four-letter words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
whoawhoawhoa, is Greg wearing a The Locust shirt @16:47?!?!?!?
Wait, what is that?! I got that shirt at a thrift store and people are always asking me what it is, but I have no idea!!

I actually thought it was the headless Djinn/Genie from the manga/anime Magi I keep seeing on Tumblr! My first impression was literally: "Greg you're so anime"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Greg you're so anime"

I don't care about anyone but myself, so I'm going to seize this non-opportunity to plug my latest favourite, The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior.

Good episode, etc. BA is lovely, DF are very lovely, you know the drill. See you next year, everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To me all of that is HEALTHY debate... It's a discussion... I am sorry if Greg or others see that as a personal attack..but to me it isn't , just people debating, questioning. The worst thing that could happen is having a forum like Hitlers bunker, with everyone saying everything is marvellous and wonderful everything is, all the while with the walls crumbling around its ears.

Actually Drisk, you're the one who made the comment I found most offensive, claiming that just because I said something in an interview doesn't mean it's what I felt in my heart. I take that to mean you're calling me a liar, which I'd say is a personal attack on my character. Everyone I work with here at Double Fine speaks from their heart more than most anyone I've ever met. We care about the work we do deeply and put a huge amount of effort into everything we do. You can see how it would be discouraging to have that questioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It may be "belaboured," but as long as Greg continues making anti-traditional pro-noninteractivity comments on the newest episodes of the documentary, he will continue to spur debate about whether that is Good or Evil.

Hope I didn't upset anybody there with my violent use of four-letter words.

As you said, I don't think we're really arguing here and thanks Suejak for being pretty civil about everything all things told, well except for the name calling. I definitely don't mean to keep bringing it up and hope that we can let this conversation rest for a bit. Remember, we don't choose what makes it's way into the documentary. I do stand by what I said though and believe that for every person who thought the game's puzzles weren't challenging enough, there was someone who got stuck or thought it was just right. It's just a balance we have to strike and one to be very deliberate and careful with. And ultimately, Tim is the one responsible for all the writing and design and is making the choices he thinks are right.

You also gotta remember that what you see in the documentary is a half hour glimpse into over 4 months worth of work. The rest of the time is mostly filled with a lot of really difficult, challenging, and stressful work. We put every effort possible into thinking about these kinds of issues and planning and executing on making the best game we can. Conversations about what people seemed to like and not like were very prevalent during Act 2 pre-production, which as you saw in episode 16 can really get you down. But being critical is super important to making the game better!

That said, now we have a plan and are executing on that, and we think it's one that will hopefully please folks who liked Act 1 and address the concerns others had. You can rest assured that after 9 months of reading through criticism we've definitely heard your points, and may in fact have thought of a few others that you haven't brought up. It's definitely exhausting to still read after all this time though, so I hope you can give us the benefit of the doubt here and provide a bit of encouragement and support as we work. Things are definitely hard enough making games on their own without having to constantly respond to scrutiny, and every minute we spend doing so is a minute that could have gone into making the game better. I hope you'll forgive us for starting to lose patience when we're working on as many projects as we currently are, things are just pretty stressful and time is tight.

And I DEFINITELY don't want to imply that the forums haven't been supportive. There has been a lot of really great conversation and activity in here that has gone miles in inspiring the team and informing the game. But it does feel like recently a lot of the conversation has been heated with strong debates and super critical analysis. That was super helpful when designing Act 2, but I'd say the time for it has come and gone. It's easy to be negative and overly critical and much harder to be optimistic and inspired. But that's what is necessary to make a great game and something I hope and trust you'll give us the space to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great points Greg. I really appreciate the unfiltered and honest perspective here. Perhaps some of the repetition on the forums was due to the fact that we hadn't quite gotten this type of frank response. Thanks for working so hard on the game and I can't wait to play when it comes out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks man! And yeah, definitely don't want to bum people out. Despite the amount of work and stress, everyone is actually pretty stoked over here these days! The game is starting to look really great and is seems to be heading in the exact right direction. There's a lot of work left, but the path is becoming super clear. Really wish you could see what we're seeing, but AHHHH DARN SPOILERS!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you guys are stoked and you have good reason to be. I know the game is going to be great. One thing, Greg, that I hope you feel positively about (even when it gets old) is that Broken Age got people talking about what they REALLY want in an adventure game. Before DFA, it was all nostalgia and speculation. With the Kickstarter movement, the documentary, the forums, and the tangible game you made, I think the community has really grappled with the concept of adventure games in a way that simply wouldn't have been possible otherwise. The game stands on its own, but it's also I think a really positive development in that we now know so much more about the market and expectations for these games, as well as what they actually cost to develop in the modern era. Not to mention the experiment with open development. This is good even for people who find the game too easy, because now at least they can point to what they want in a future adventure game (or future Part!) by pointing to Act I and saying they want more puzzle complexity. The experiment of DFA helps everyone.

Even when it sucks hearing people giving very critical feedback that you've already heard before, it's still cool that you are in the middle of a truly unprecedented experiment that I think will have a big impact on this genre and type of development in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll just pitch in here as I've been meaning to for months. Every one of you at DF seem to be doing a fantastic job! All I see in the episodes is love for the Broken Age and the company. Which can as with anything we care about be expressed via stress at times. Really looking forward to playing the full game (my sister actually liked BA pt1 and she does not play video games!) whenever it's ready.

Thanks for all the hard work - and know it's appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great episode, although at this point I can't help but feel that a quicker, more raw, more up to date kind of documentary would be more interesting to me. I guess it's too late to complain about that. Glad to hear you guys are on the right track anyway. Thanks for all your effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another great episode, although at this point I can't help but feel that a quicker, more raw, more up to date kind of documentary would be more interesting to me.

Documentary Noir?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks man! And yeah, definitely don't want to bum people out. Despite the amount of work and stress, everyone is actually pretty stoked over here these days!

Greg we appreciate all the work you and everyone working on Broken Age is doing. I know it must be tough. I'd just take the forum comments with a few kilos of salt I'm sure no one intends to attack any of you personally..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greg i am sure people with the harsh comments do support all your hard work its just that they are over worried about act 2 , frequent episode releases would have eased the worries but a episode after a long time would lead to more concerns.

I will say it once more its hard love , the comments have gotten more harsher its only because they want the game to be more serious than act 1 nothing in the episode showed that feedback from act 1 was taken in seriously , recent other events have made everyone cranky , hopefully the joyful updates from the team about act 2 should cheer everyone up again.

I still stand by what i said earlier the story, music and everything else is top notch but the puzzles , multiple paths , inventory usage, object hunting etc that you would expect in a adventure game these days are lacking to the people who have played adventure games before.

" I do stand by what I said though and believe that for every person who thought the game’s puzzles weren’t challenging enough, there was someone who got stuck or thought it was just right"

i hope the puzzles are baked in genuinely to match the games story rather than not to measure how many people got stuck or how many people felt it was too easy . The puzzles are expected to be a surprise and progressive in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's many times I wished these forums didn't exist -- that way I'd just assume everyone else felt as positive and excited about Double Fine as me.

Really love you guys. Can't wait for Act II!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Awesome Backers! Just saying Hi! Eat your greens! Drink your milk! Stay in school! I gotta go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HOLY CRAP IT'S RAY

His healing powers wash over me!

It is as though I have eaten fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and now I am ashamed <3333

Ray, you are my favourite Double Fine employee by like 10x and I think you are a great man.

Please continue to do great.

Rayman forever,

Suejak

Share this post


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