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Episode 19: Last call

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What a journey, and still an episode to come, apparently. The documentary feels just as important to me as the game itself does, which is really saying something. It feels a bit sad knowing we won't get quite this level of insight into the creation of a game or the lives of the creators ever again, huge congrats and hugs to DF.

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Thanks for another great documentary episode. It's commendable that you show all the parts of the sausage making, and it's a great lesson for every company. It's strange how attached you get to the people working at Double Fine. Although I never met anyone working at DF I feel I got to know a little bit of them, and am curious of how they are doing. So the news of the layoffs kept me more occupied then I thought. I loved seeing JP, Brian and all talking about their passions and hope the best for them. Also, I wonder where Brandon went off to and what he is doing.

Anyhow, you're all doing a great job and I hope all of you get everything you deserve and more. Thank you DF for taking us on this wild journey; I learned a lot, and can't wait to play the game!

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Really good episode, thank you all for that. This doc is really a fantastic insight into software development, for everyone who wants to learn more.

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Amazing episode. Very sad, too. I ended it just wanting to see the next episode about how the game turned out -- but then I remembered that I'm going to have to live it myself first. The wait is too tense.... and I'm just a a backer. I can only imagine how those involved in the game directly must be feeling.

Also, I kind of want the documentary to continue into other projects. It's going to be weird not knowing what's going on with these people moving forward. Doubly sad.

Now, Oliver probably knows a lot better than me, so take this with a grain of salt. I have no idea why they can't just bundle an rdelta (or xdelta) payload with the standard software used for those. (Create one of the original and updated install directories.) The programs are GPL, so very easy to get a hold of. I've used that myself with fairly nooby customers.

Mm, exactly what I was thinking. It takes next to no extra effort to use an existing tool like that; nothing needs to be set up in advance in their toolchain, just package up a delta patch when it's ready.

That said, I can definitely understand the reasoning behind getting the master CD right without customers requiring a day one patch.

I was kinda confused as well. Maybe the infrastructure problems are more about being comfortable with peak load? I don't see why there'd need to be login stuff for patch distribution since it's only going to patch the full game.

I was also wondering about this. I've released patches for games I didn't even have the source code for. It's very easy -- if not as tidy as a proper patch. And what was all that about having to sign up to get the non-Steam patch? When have you ever had to sign up to download a game patch? That sort of thing went out with the ark. Was Oliver tired?

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Great episode, seems like a lot of stuff has been happening.

Looking forward to the full game and the new projects.

Hope you keep up making videos for the Youtube channel.

PS: The Psychonauts speed-runner video was so funny and interesting.

I don't know how to define it, just make more of that please.

Someone methodically obsessing about your game pulling it apart in front of you guys while you rib each other, very cool.

And what was all that about having to sign up to get the non-Steam patch? When have you ever had to sign up to download a game patch? That sort of thing went out with the ark. Was Oliver tired?

Seemed like that was for distributing full builds of a newer version, not actually patching the installed game client-side.

(While the type of patching people here are talking about doesn't seem to be an option)

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Great episode, seems like a lot of stuff has been happening.

And what was all that about having to sign up to get the non-Steam patch? When have you ever had to sign up to download a game patch? That sort of thing went out with the ark. Was Oliver tired?

Seemed like that was for distributing full builds of a newer version, not actually patching the installed game client-side.

(While the type of patching people here are talking about doesn't seem to be an option)

I think it was more of a project resource constraint. Any time he spent building and QAing a patch process is time not spent on bug fixes. They only had so many people available and a very short window of time.

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Anna seems to have had a soft-focus filter on her for her interview sequences. ;) Glad you're feeling better, Anna! And Camden, hope you managed to get over the bug by now, too.

But yeah, seriously.... This was definitely an emotional episode. All the criticism and hate...The creative process is almost never a smooth road and many people just don't realize all the steps and the work and the hard choices that need to be made in order to come out with a smooth, flowing product. All they see is how much is chopped from the final, and they complain that they're getting cheated. Coming from an industry where we have to put out a (hopefully) well-polished product every day, I can sympathize. Big thanks and props to everyone at Double Fine for allowing this to be captured and for 2PP for doing an excellent job in presenting it. Keep your spirits up, everyone! :)

Can't wait for the game and the final ep! :)

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As mentioned in the episode, it would indeed be possible to make an incremental patch in stead of distributing the full new version, but they don't have their tool chain set up for that. It would have been a lot of work to set that up for which they didn't have the time. The other option would have been to distribute the full new version from a locked website, requiring a login. But setting that up would also have taken a lot of time.

Now, Oliver probably knows a lot better than me, so take this with a grain of salt. I have no idea why they can't just bundle an rdelta (or xdelta) payload with the standard software used for those. (Create one of the original and updated install directories.) The programs are GPL, so very easy to get a hold of. I've used that myself with fairly nooby customers.

Define "fairly nooby." Was that thousands of people whom you can't support personally and who have a "I paid for this, I want to click on something and have it work" attitude? Because I'm pretty sure that's what you're dealing with here.

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Great episode as always, I can't believe we're nearing the finale.

It's been a damn good ride. :coolsmile:

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As mentioned in the episode, it would indeed be possible to make an incremental patch in stead of distributing the full new version, but they don't have their tool chain set up for that. It would have been a lot of work to set that up for which they didn't have the time. The other option would have been to distribute the full new version from a locked website, requiring a login. But setting that up would also have taken a lot of time.

Now, Oliver probably knows a lot better than me, so take this with a grain of salt. I have no idea why they can't just bundle an rdelta (or xdelta) payload with the standard software used for those. (Create one of the original and updated install directories.) The programs are GPL, so very easy to get a hold of. I've used that myself with fairly nooby customers.

Define "fairly nooby." Was that thousands of people whom you can't support personally and who have a "I paid for this, I want to click on something and have it work" attitude? Because I'm pretty sure that's what you're dealing with here.

Not thousands. As I said, Oliver probably knows better. Nooby as in highly educated people in non-computer fields (as highly educated people usually are the least skilled/knowledgeable in things outside their speciality). Saying what sort of people risks giving away [software company I work for], which they are not okay with as they worry someone would take it as official opinion. I haven't heard of any reported problems from the customers, but if it was a small number I doubt they'd pass it on to my department (as tech support is separate from development, and hates us, but hey, it's mutual.)

Edit - Although the double click and it works, is how it goes. It would only fail if they made a change to a patched file separate from the patcher (such as a crack, or unofficial mod).

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As mentioned in the episode, it would indeed be possible to make an incremental patch in stead of distributing the full new version, but they don't have their tool chain set up for that. It would have been a lot of work to set that up for which they didn't have the time. The other option would have been to distribute the full new version from a locked website, requiring a login. But setting that up would also have taken a lot of time.

Now, Oliver probably knows a lot better than me, so take this with a grain of salt. I have no idea why they can't just bundle an rdelta (or xdelta) payload with the standard software used for those. (Create one of the original and updated install directories.) The programs are GPL, so very easy to get a hold of. I've used that myself with fairly nooby customers.

Define "fairly nooby." Was that thousands of people whom you can't support personally and who have a "I paid for this, I want to click on something and have it work" attitude? Because I'm pretty sure that's what you're dealing with here.

Not thousands. As I said, Oliver probably knows better. Nooby as in highly educated people in non-computer fields (as highly educated people usually are the least skilled/knowledgeable in things outside their speciality). Saying what sort of people risks giving away [software company I work for], which they are not okay with as they worry someone would take it as official opinion. I haven't heard of any reported problems from the customers, but if it was a small number I doubt they'd pass it on to my department (as tech support is separate from development, and hates us, but hey, it's mutual.)

Edit - Although the double click and it works, is how it goes. It would only fail if they made a change to a patched file separate from the patcher (such as a crack, or unofficial mod).

I know the DFA / doc period is over, but maybe if we're lucky Oliver will make us a post about it. =]

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i'm extremely thankful to be part of this journey. it's sometimes hard to watch, as the 2pp crew really transports the stress all of you guys are facing. but when everybody went to the beach in the end, i really broke into a happy dance myself. what a weired experience to be so emotional involved with real people on the other side of the atlantic (germany here) via documentary. that certainly never happened to me before...

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Edit - Although the double click and it works, is how it goes. It would only fail if they made a change to a patched file separate from the patcher (such as a crack, or unofficial mod).

I haven't worked with the tool in question but it has to handle different installation paths, platforms, and maybe even different versions of the software or at the very least it has to checksum the binaries before patching them and rejecting any action if any of the files don't match. If it does all that in a user-friendly way, then indeed I don't see a good reason not to have used it.

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Great episode, as always.

Thank you guys and gals for the hard work! And thank you for having shared all the highs and lows of this incredible "Double Fine's Adventure". Watching the documentary through all these years was like having some good friends on the opposite side of the planet...so it was really sad to know about the layoffs. I wish all the best to the people who had to leave the studio!

I also hope there will be other documentaries or team-streams "a la" Massive Chalice in the future.

Now it's time to play Broken Age, again... :-)

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Wow, that publisher situation is brutal. For all the entitlement and irrationality some gamers have leveled at Double Fine, at least none of them were able to nuke a game while praising it.

I wonder if there's a chance that Double Fine could pick up that canned game after Broken Age or Massive Chalice. They must have the rights to it and it sounds like whatever it was was coming along nicely. Of course, having the original team gone sucks. I hope we find out what it was someday.

In other news, Broken Age is releasing in three days! This week is going to be awesome.

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In other news, Broken Age is releasing in three days!

Of course, backers get it at 12:01 am Eastern time on Monday, which is only... 26 hours away at this point! :D

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It's been an absolute privilege getting a glimpse into the most wonderful people doing fantastic art these 3 years.

Your crunches, sprints and all kinds of grind (not to mention passion - as cliche as it may be) are sincerely appreciated. I look forward to enjoying the game and documentary many times in the years to come.

Thank you,

A Backer.

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What a great episode. DoubleFine, please keep the relationship with 2 Player Productions...the videos have been one of the most wonderful parts of the Broken Age/Amnesia Fortnight experience for me. I love that you peel back the curtain this way, and I feel a kinship to all of the Reds cast and crew, current and former employees.

It was so sad to hear about the layoffs, I hope everyone landed at another opportunity that really lets them flesh out their talents and makes them happy.

I hope that whatever the half-done game project was that DoubleFine comes up with a way to bring it to market even without the publisher backing.

I hope DoubleFine makes more adventure games using this game engine.

And I can't wait to get my hands on the full copy of the game. Woohoo! Just a few more days!

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Thanks for the episode, it was really emotional. It was a great experience to be part of this journey of game developing in details, including the bright and the dark side. Thank you, Double Fine!!!

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Big night. Zero sleep. :-)

I really hope this does well for DF. I am super excited to play it myself. :-D

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Wow that episode was heavy! I've been laid off (or made redundant in the local vernacular) twice now and it hurts a lot - my heart really goes out to the guys and girls who had to leave, hope and pray they find new jobs soon! Like everyone else here I just want to express my thanks for opening up the DF world and being so open and honest - it's been so engaging and enjoyable to feel part of the process and interact with the staff. I've always liked Tims and DFs work but this adventure (see what I did there...) has made me a fan for life!

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Great Episode. Great documentary. I really hope this game becomes a critical and commercial success so you can all celebrate your hard work!

Congratulations to everybody at Double Fine! :)

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There were 2 things I was hoping to see in this documentary that went unanswered. I remember in one of the earlier episodes, I think it was Greg Rice who said that he wanted to change Tim's mind on at least one thing before the project was finished. I guess that was just a joke, because he never did bring that up again. Also, the top tier reward for the Kickstarter was a lunch with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, with all 4 openings on that reward taken. Maybe they didn't want to show it on camera, but Tim never mentioned in any video when he had done it, how it went or whatever else, so I can only assume it happened before Ron left.

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There were 2 things I was hoping to see in this documentary that went unanswered. I remember in one of the earlier episodes, I think it was Greg Rice who said that he wanted to change Tim's mind on at least one thing before the project was finished. I guess that was just a joke, because he never did bring that up again.

Greg didn't say that, David Gardner (one of the animators) said it! No idea how that turned out. He wasn't on the team for part 2 and I won't think we've heard much from him after part 1 wrapped up unfortunately.

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There were 2 things I was hoping to see in this documentary that went unanswered. I remember in one of the earlier episodes, I think it was Greg Rice who said that he wanted to change Tim's mind on at least one thing before the project was finished. I guess that was just a joke, because he never did bring that up again.

Greg didn't say that, David Gardner (one of the animators) said it! No idea how that turned out. He wasn't on the team for part 2 and I won't think we've heard much from him after part 1 wrapped up unfortunately.

He probably wanted to change Tim's mind about having to re-animate that Marek cutscene ;-)

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Glad everyone is digging the latest episode!

Just wanted to pop in to say that today is the last day new people can get the series for $10 on VHX. Tomorrow the price will be going up to $15 for the series and $25 for the series with all the extras (commentary, new scenes, sidequests, etc). All backers are automatically upgraded to the deluxe edition of course!

If you want to recommend it to anyone, now is the time!

http://adventure.doublefine.com/

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