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KestrelPi

GamesRadar hack writes a hatchet job on Double Fine

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If only it were so simple. Unfortunately articles like these are hugely damaging. They feed into a false narrative about DF that is being perpetuated by people who have no interest in investigating the facts and is so pervasive that it is starting to seep its way into mainstream media outlets. I read this article and can see that it's a hack job, but how many more people take it at face value?

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I'm not really sure what world the author is living in, but he basically rehashed the story that (unfortunately) already has become more or less the dominant narrative on Double Fine on the Internet and which has been spouted around by a certain youtube video maker (who is still the King of uninformed blabbering and pandering to consumers).

Basically the author is saying - because Tim is human - we should give him the same amount of shit as Peter Molyneux got, because his games are sometimes late. I'm all for critique, but giving all sides to a story and providing proper arguments is generally an even better idea...

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Thanks for posting the article. It's good to know what you can expect from Gamesradar.

I don't really care about the article itself, or what possible damage it does to DF, that's not my battle, but it's useful information to me that they actually publish stuff like that.

Some quick notes as to why you can just dismissis them:

*He criticizes their descision to make a second kickstarter while not mentioning their explanation, which was mentioned from start.

*He makes a comment about Massive Chalice still being in early access, even though the game is progressing according to the initial plan. So what's the problem?

*He thinks that DF should actually get more criticizm for Spacebase then what they have gotten? What planet is he living on?

You could go on like that for nearly every sentence in the article, but it's really not needed.

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Okay I promised myself to stop coming to the forums but I couldn't let this one slide

All I'm getting from this article is "games take time and money to develop, and no one can see the future. DF is bad for taking time and money to develop games, while also not being able to see the future. We should all bring out our pitchforks rargh rargh "

I'm this close to just never ever reading any kind of opinion piece on games that doesn't come from a developer or someone actually in the industry (whose job isn't to just have an opinion) because 9/10 it's just more garbage like this.

Like all this does is point out how blindingly ignorant people who have never in their life created something are. If they had, they'd know that 1) no project is ever the same as it's initial idea 2) it's impossible to estimate how long it'll take and be 100% right and, slightly unrelated but 3) KS isn't some pre-order system where you pay to be involved in the development process so the devs can make you your perfect game.

Why is it ALWAYS the devs fault? Why can't some gamers just admit despite their highest hopes, the game the devs set out to make was never going to be something they wanted?

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Yes, central to his thesis is that Double Fine IS getting forgiven. But generally speaking? They've had it rough, particularly from people who don't have the full story, or have a chip on their shoulder. Did I 'forgive' DF for Spacebase? Personally? Sure. They did a bad job of communicating that one and it was a shame that it didn't hit its potential. I think I can criticise them for that while still saying "now let's move on." But people in general? It's hardly possible to post any article about Double Fine on any topic without someone bringing it up, so if what the author is looking for is a lack of forgiveness then I think we have it.

Christ, I mean look at the comments (if you must). It's hardly a rush of people looking to defend DF.

And that's just one case when at least holding some sort of grudge against Double Fine has some logic behind it. The real masterstroke of this article is how he manages to rope in projects that have been run in an exemplary fashion, like MASSIVE CHALICE and projects which have had bumps in the road but ultimately to the benefit of the game like Broken Age and suggest that they are all part of one big family of problems... because... well, he doesn't really explain that bit.

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"Here's the thing, and it's something that took me a long time to come to terms with: Tim Schafer is human, just like you or me. He's capable of making mistakes."

What the heck is this defamation and treachery?!

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I'm not saying that the article is an absolute condemnation of Tim Schafer and Double Fine. But it is both exceedingly unnecessary (since the anti-DF sentiment the author seems to find missing is already all over the place, constantly) and exceedingly off-the-mark (with regards to decisions that DF have made and the reasons behind them).

It's the definition of a hack job.

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"Here's the thing, and it's something that took me a long time to come to terms with: Tim Schafer is human, just like you or me. He's capable of making mistakes."

What the heck is this defamation and treachery?!

That line is what makes this article especially stupid for me. So, you finally, FINALLY come to see Tim as a human being and the response that prompts is.... that we should be more hard on him for not being able to meet these tight deadlines and keep everything promised? What??

If anything that should make you more understanding, not less

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"We didn't want Broken Age to be good - we wanted it to be great."

I can sign this one, although i would say ... the DFA ...

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Why don't more people here write a comment and register their distaste? There's hardly any comments at the moment.

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Imagine if someone held a grudge against, say, Electronic Arts for...

Sims 4,

or SimCity (2013),

or Simpsons: Tapped Out,

or Battlefield: Hardline,

or Plants and Zombies 2,

or Mass Effect 3,

or Ultima 8 and Ultima 9,

or Origin Systems,

or Dungeon Keeper: Mobile

or Battlefield 4

or the shuttering of the Scrabble Facebook game,

or the zero-payment to all NCAA players for their images, personal stories, and likenesses (and colluding with the NCAA to keep it that way),

or the thousands of layoffs and multiple studio closures in Australia

But hey, games commentators, let's harp on the smaller guys with budgets a hundredth of the size because REASONS.

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I, umm, didn't see this as being that terrible of an article. That doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with everything said, but the tone wasn't all that antagonistic, and in some areas seems to be almost apologetic for writing the article to begin with. I don't think it was unfair. It could have mentioned that being responsible for the livelihoods of his employees is a terrible, and great responsibility, and that keeping the doors open took making some decisions that he probably would have rather not made, but his closing argument is that the guy is human, and is bound to make mistakes. I don't know. I'm just not quite enraged by it.

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Imagine if someone held a grudge against, say, Electronic Arts for...

Sims 4,

or SimCity (2013),

or Simpsons: Tapped Out,

or Battlefield: Hardline,

or Plants and Zombies 2,

or Mass Effect 3,

or Ultima 8 and Ultima 9,

or Origin Systems,

or Dungeon Keeper: Mobile

or Battlefield 4

or the shuttering of the Scrabble Facebook game,

or the zero-payment to all NCAA players for their images, personal stories, and likenesses (and colluding with the NCAA to keep it that way),

or the thousands of layoffs and multiple studio closures in Australia

But hey, games commentators, let's harp on the smaller guys with budgets a hundredth of the size because REASONS.

I don't think there's much left to write about the company that twice won "Worst Company In America" to be honest

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There's not going to be a middle ground for the sane people around here, as long as you guys keep up this 'everything is perfect' bonkers stuff. Pretty mild article compared to a lot I've seen, good reminders to treat everyone like a human. EA does get dragged through the mud constantly.. But Tim is a giant celebrity, and makes a lot of bold moves with that personality, and we wouldn't have his games without any of that -- really just surprised all these big devs don't have full time security details given the size of the industry and their importance to it. Crazy times - I'm waiting until after the 2016 elections to have a personality again, myself.

The Molyneux piece was a real hatchet job, incredibly distasteful.

There's plenty of middle ground here. That article wasn't remotely balanced. It was filled with attempts at sounding balanced, while actually attacking Tim and DF for things they're not guilty of. Even the title is unbalanced: "Why do we keep forgiving Double Fine?" It implies that DF are guilty of terrible things before the article has even begun. That's not balanced.

The Spacebase situation was a mess, I doubt you'd find anyone here who disagrees, inside or outside DF, but it was only the PR that was handled badly. Nobody deliberately stole money or lied to anyone. DF held their hands up, apologised for how things went down, and gave everyone a free copy of Hack N Slash. Not the best ending, but hardly a dreadful crime. Games are made with money: No money, no game.

Massive Chalice is mentioned... why? It's going fine. The backers of that project are happy and it's on schedule.

Broken Age is also going fine. We got the most indepth documentary for our money, and we're finally getting a Tim Schafer adventure game in a matter of weeks. The game grew, DF got more money, and finished it off. It's only "controversial" (in some people's eyes) because things happened publicly.

So, just focusing on that title, what has DF done that needs them to be "forgiven" so many times?

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Here's a pretty good response to that article. http://www.merseyremakes.co.uk/gibber/why-do-we-keep-forgiving/ (Edit: The article is now on Gamasutra as well)

Overall, I just wonder what sort of rock that guy has been living under if he thinks DF hasn't been getting criticized loads already, especially over Spacebase.

I also have no idea why MC was even brought into it. It's coming along great and will be exiting early access on schedule and with all the features it had planned.

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There were definitely things that I felt weren't pertinent, and somewhat confused.

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There's not going to be a middle ground for the sane people around here, as long as you guys keep up this 'everything is perfect' bonkers stuff. Pretty mild article compared to a lot I've seen, good reminders to treat everyone like a human. EA does get dragged through the mud constantly.. But Tim is a giant celebrity, and makes a lot of bold moves with that personality, and we wouldn't have his games without any of that -- really just surprised all these big devs don't have full time security details given the size of the industry and their importance to it. Crazy times - I'm waiting until after the 2016 elections to have a personality again, myself.

The Molyneux piece was a real hatchet job, incredibly distasteful.

There's plenty of middle ground here. That article wasn't remotely balanced. It was filled with attempts at sounding balanced, while actually attacking Tim and DF for things they're not guilty of. Even the title is unbalanced: "Why do we keep forgiving Double Fine?" It implies that DF are guilty of terrible things before the article has even begun. That's not balanced.

Not to mention as Rob mentions in his piece, the title is just a false premise in the first place - not only is it questionable that DF are doing a lot of stuff that 'needs' forgiving, people AREN'T forgiving. The anti-DF contingent on the internet is big.

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WAIT. GUYS. HOLD ON.

Maybe if we kick this dead horse ONE MORE TIME.

Said Gamesradar and Running With Scissors.

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Not to mention as Rob mentions in his piece, the title is just a false premise in the first place - not only is it questionable that DF are doing a lot of stuff that 'needs' forgiving, people AREN'T forgiving.

Combined with a phrase like this, it actually gets a bit ugly as well: 'If any other developer continuously delayed games and pulled off stunts like this, there would be blood.' When I read the article, I did so under the assumption that the author would actually know about all the backlash that DF has gotten, so a phrase like this seemed to imply that what they got, according to the author, wasn't enough and that 'there should be blood'.

Another thing that bugs me about the GamesRadar-article is the underlying idea that we should either forgive or hate, heroise or vilify developers and it presents subjective arguments as facts in order for us to make the latter decision. It's the kind of 'journalism as consumer protection' stance that was also present in the RPS interview with Molyneux, which I think can be quite unhealthy.

Anyway, I'm glad that someone wrote a well-thought-out article in response. Thanks for the link, Syd.

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Pretty sure I saw a topic on /v/ 2 or 3 days ago with a very similar title of this article, saying the same things.

Oh well.

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Don't even bother. It's not worth it.

Are we really going here?

I understand criticizing the article, even saying it's unprofessional or something, but it's really disconcerting to see a mod tell users to not even bother discussing an analysis of the company's business practices over the last few years. It may be rude and not quite up to standards for professional journalism, but this article hardly seems unfair or vindictive.

Seriously, come on. Set a better standard, you're a moderator. Even if it sounds bad, discussing things like this can help us think about things we love critically and try to see what works and what doesn't.

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Don't even bother. It's not worth it.

Are we really going here?

I understand criticizing the article, even saying it's unprofessional or something, but it's really disconcerting to see a mod tell users to not even bother discussing an analysis of the company's business practices over the last few years. It may be rude and not quite up to standards for professional journalism, but this article hardly seems unfair or vindictive.

Seriously, come on. Set a better standard, you're a moderator. Even if it sounds bad, discussing things like this can help us think about things we love critically and try to see what works and what doesn't.

BB is a community moderator (not to be confused with community manager) and he does a fine job. Being a community moderator doesn't remove a person's right to hold opinions. I don't think his having a negative opinion of a poorly researched article makes him a bad community mod at all.

Not every opinion deserves a fair shake (conspiracy theories, creationism, flat earth), etc. Sometimes "don't bother; it's not worth it" is a perfectly acceptable response.

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