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KestrelPi

Some misconceptions about the campaign I've heard

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Also, backers who were unhappy enough about it to want a refund were given one. Out of 3.3 million, the amount that was refunded? $600. Tim Schafer explains all this here:

Thanks for the Video, havent seen it before.

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I always sorta want to bring up Hack 'n' Slash too.

I know it got sort of mixed feedback on Steam, but it was always going to be a divisive game because of how weird and tricky it is. But it was one of my favourites of that year, and released out of Early Access to little fanfare. It is also notable for being IGF funded just like Spacebase, but without the associated problems of that project.

It was at least well-liked enough to win the IndieCade Grand Jury award, has a killer soundtrack and loads of neat puzzles.

And it also had the best trailer.

I loved the premise of that game, and what little I was able to get through certainly pleased me. Unfortunately, once I got to that cave where the lady teaches you about going inside things to do more advanced coding, the puzzles exceeded my ability to comprehend them. I don't blame the game for that, though... and I got my money's worth when they handed out the Spacebase copies, since I'm one of the people who genuinely enjoyed playing Spacebase. :P

I suspect that having all of those free, tradeable copies of Spacebase floating around on steam was a very bad thing, however.. How many of them do you suppose fell into the libraries of gamergaters who wanted to leave damning reviews on the game without having to actually pay for it (or play it) first?

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Nice job dissecting that video!

Thanks! I thought it'd be good to open up a discussion about it. Forewarned is forearmed, and all that jazz.

DF didn't "run out of money" -- the game was always going to be built to the budget that the KS money allowed. DF simply decided to make the game bigger (including more of the stuff they wanted to include)... which required more money than they had.

OK, so scope grew beyond the budget. Yeah, I now agree that saying it "ran out of money", essentially or otherwise, is not right.

Well, I know I was fine with the decision, but I couldn't find any supporting documentation which said that most backers also supported it.

It's right here for you to see: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/9788

Great! Thanks for the link. I actually remember, now, reading that post at the time.

Re: Spacebase DF9: but not with all promised features

Small point: There were no "promised features"!

There wasn't? From what I've read, it's all promises this, promises that. I'll admit, I wasn't involved with Spacebase DF-9, so guess I was a victim of being mislead by vitriolic posts.

Damn that internet! ..... ahhh, I can't stay mad at it.

Also, backers who were unhappy enough about it to want a refund were given one. Out of 3.3 million, the amount that was refunded? $600. Tim Schafer explains all this here:

That's a great video! I was only going to watch a few mins, but ended up watching the whole thing.

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Re: Spacebase DF9: but not with all promised features

Small point: There were no "promised features"!

There wasn't? From what I've read, it's all promises this, promises that. I'll admit, I wasn't involved with Spacebase DF-9, so guess I was a victim of being mislead by vitriolic posts.

Yes, that's true. It's one of the most annoying things about Spacebase backlash and I wish I'd had the space to talk about it in the first post.

The page is gone but you can find it on the internet archive, but they had a page of desired features, but there's a paragraph at the top that says (I'm paraphrasing here):

- Here's a list of stuff we might possibly implement at some point

- Not all of it will get into the game

- Partially that's because not all of it will make sense as the game evolves

- But also it's possible they will have to make hard decisions about what to include based on the available budget

So the last thing that people should be complaining about with DF-9 is promised features, that was completely made up but is unskeptically repeated on many news sites. They went out of their way NOT to promise features and made it pretty clear that how much got in would depend on the success of the game.

It's frustrating because there's plenty to be critical of with DF-9. The (lack of) communication of the money problems, the (in hindsight) dubious decision to release it on early access when for many players it just wasn't in an interesting state yet.

I think that one possible criticism that doesn't get talked about much because it's a little bit uncomfortable is that actually Double Fine probably COULD have saved DF-9, for a while longer. We know that they were raising money from many different sources in order to fund Broken Age Act 2's extended development, and as a company they made the decision that Broken Age had to take priority.

So there's a possiblity that by putting slightly fewer resources into Broken Age, they could have extended a lifeline to Spacebase. In some people's eyes, maybe that's what they should have done. In hindsight, I can see it both ways. I thought Act 2 ran a little long in its second half, and I could have stood a game a couple of hours shorter if it had meant that the money to fund the development of those extra puzzles and animations and things could have nudged DF-9 a little further along. And because the DF-9 team is much smaller, a bit of money that only went a little way for Broken Age could have gone a long way for DF-9. But I know that they made the decision to divert every extra bit of company money towards Broken Age's development, and I respect that decision.

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It's difficult to comprehend the levels of misinformation unless you've been around on Twitter. Tim's replies have got snippier lately, but he still replies to a lot of people who tweet nonsense at him. Here's the latest:

40m.PNG

In so few words he manages to repeat 2 wrong things he's heard from someone else - first the suggestion that the game would cost 40m, and then, by implication, the idea that 3.3m is supposed to be the whole game budget, which we all know is... not... the case.

But that tweet got retweeted a dozen times, so now there's dozens of other people who probably believe that's true now. He was corrected by Tim, but what's the bet he'll actually own up to it? And even if he did, would those same people retweet his correction? Probably not.

It's the 2nd law of thermodynamics, in bullsh*t form.

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I'm paraphrasing here:

Here's the actual wording if it's helpful at all (taken from a 2014 date picked at random)

Spacebase DF-9 is a detailed simulation game, and we’re constantly improving and adding to it. Because space contains everything, there’s an almost infinite number of things we could add to the game! Because we have limited time and resources, we have to make hard choices about what’s important. Below is a giant list of all the things we might possibly do at some point.

Nothing on this list is carved in stone, and we can’t promise any date for when it might go into the game. We may decide something isn’t worth it, or an idea may mutate into another thing entirely. We’re sharing this with you because we want to give an idea of where the game is headed!

IMO the biggest problem that Spacebase had was that the release plan came as a surprise. If the notion had've been slowly introduced, I think that fewer players would have been upset and that the situation wouldn't have gotten big enough to be distorted and championed by angrymans. The number of threads made after release on the Steam forums from confused newcomers (all of which were dogpiled by people who seem to have made being degrading towards anybody who appreciates Spacebase a part of their lifestyle) who'd played the game and couldn't understand what the fuss was about feels like it reinforces that the game itself isn't notably bad. Sure, it has some bugs that I'd love to see fixed and a bunch of unrealised potential, but what game doesn't?

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I'm paraphrasing here:

Here's the actual wording if it's helpful at all (taken from a 2014 date picked at random)

Spacebase DF-9 is a detailed simulation game, and we’re constantly improving and adding to it. Because space contains everything, there’s an almost infinite number of things we could add to the game! Because we have limited time and resources, we have to make hard choices about what’s important. Below is a giant list of all the things we might possibly do at some point.

Nothing on this list is carved in stone, and we can’t promise any date for when it might go into the game. We may decide something isn’t worth it, or an idea may mutate into another thing entirely. We’re sharing this with you because we want to give an idea of where the game is headed!

IMO the biggest problem that Spacebase had was that the release plan came as a surprise. If the notion had've been slowly introduced, I think that fewer players would have been upset and that the situation wouldn't have gotten big enough to be distorted and championed by angrymans. The number of threads made after release on the Steam forums from confused newcomers (all of which were dogpiled by people who seem to have made being degrading towards anybody who appreciates Spacebase a part of their lifestyle) who'd played the game and couldn't understand what the fuss was about feels like it reinforces that the game itself isn't notably bad. Sure, it has some bugs that I'd love to see fixed and a bunch of unrealised potential, but what game doesn't?

Thanks, and yes I agree that all of that is perfectly true and the biggest problem was the surprise of it. But... on the other hand I don't think that anyone in DF would claim that's the game they wanted to release, which is probably more true for DF-9 than any of their other games.

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Thanks, and yes I agree that all of that is perfectly true and the biggest problem was the surprise of it. But... on the other hand I don't think that anyone in DF would claim that's the game they wanted to release, which is probably more true for DF-9 than any of their other games.

I totally agree. I think everybody would have preferred to work on it for longer, and that everybody was disappointed by the outcome. To me though, the saddest thing is that the crazy response has likely impacted on any sense of pride that the developers could have claimed in their work (I personally think Jeremy M, Matt and JP did some great work even without taking into consideration the limited resources they had to work with, but you can't say that in most spaces without attracting a lot of negative attention). It's heart breaking to see them vilified and to know the pain that they've been caused.

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If everyone who complains about DF-9 had actually bought DF-9, I'm pretty sure Double Fine would be able to work on it to this day 8-/

Excellent posts, OP and others - and I have to say, you folks at Double Fine are braver than I am, doing that AMA next week....for what it's worth, you'll have my sword!

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Wow, mad props to Dak and KestrelPi! That was an amazing analysis and you are both right on point..! :)

I'm using my old DF login, I'm no longer an employee here, but Spaff mentioned this thread. It warms my heart to know there are so many well informed and well intentioned people out there defending DF!

I thought about replying to that GG attack video - I also liked the jazz and thought he had a flare for hyperbole (for some reason it just always sounds more legit and believable when delivered with a British accent). I ultimately decided not to, and I'm not sure that was the right decision, btw quick plug - Fig is looking for a community manager to join our team, please pass along this link if you know anyone (https://jobs.lever.co/fig/8f149ee2-2081-4a2c-bae2-8709b4b92db7)

So to the meat of everything, most of what's being criticized by this person is indeed being taken out of context and misconstrued. My first thought on seeing it was that this was the first SEC filing he's read, because most of what he's referencing is pretty boiler plate. However the rest seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of securities and corporate governance coupled with a lack of desire to understand what we're trying to do.

For instance, one of our core tenants is to trust the developer we work with and not impose on them a rigid milestone review process or extreme accounting practices that would require them to hire an extra layer of overhead - we prefer creators to spend their time and resources making the game away from outside interference - therefore we have limited audit and review rights. This requires us to make a disclosure and assume the worst. So if the worst were to occur and a developer was deliberately hiding information, we have to disclose the developer could use money on something other than the game. That's the whole reason of the disclosure section, to inform everyone in the most negative light, all that could go wrong in gory detail.

There also a claim that we won't be able to make payments to investors. Well, there could be a new tax laws in the future that get passed, or reinterpretation of old ones, that affect our payments, and in the absolute worst case maybe it makes it so we can't pay anything - you have to disclose that.

Another force at play here is the structure which is claimed to be overly complicated. First off, it's not really that complicated compared to other filings, but we are using something called tracking stocks so we can tie the games performance to shares for unaccredited/accredited investors - and these are not very well understood and it does introduce some added complexity - no getting around that.

Some other unfacts:

- He claims we hid the SEC circular, the link is in fact on our investment page

- He claims that if Fig shuts down the investor are SOL, this is incorrect, the responsibility for investors to be paid is still in place

- He claims DF doesn't have to use the money on the game, not true because 100% of the below observation

A lot of the stuff he subsequently says about Fig is simply wrong especially the part where he claims that any of the backer/investor money can be used for any fig project. This just isn't the case. The money goes straight through to Fig Grasslands, and that to Double Fine who are contractually obliged to demonstrate that at least 90% of the backer money was used for Psychonauts 2.

That is an excellent point! The money would have already passed down to Fig Grasslands, so Fig Publishing cannot take that back and use it on other projects. Yep, I agree, the dude got this wrong.

That was really awesome work finding that one! This is an example of the structure we're using causing a disconnect in our disclosure from the practical application, and unfortunately that makes great bait for GG wanting to stir up trouble.

What this basically all boils down to is this:

When you make an investment, all the money is at risk and you should only invest in people and companies you trust.

DF and Fig are very fortunate to have a large support base of people who trust us, and for that we are very thankful!

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Hey, it's our old buddy Justin! Awesome post, Justin, and thanks for coming to visit! =D

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Hey, it's our old buddy Justin! Awesome post, Justin, and thanks for coming to visit! =D

Thanks! Btw, the editing of my comment was to fix a couple of grammatical nits and add some formatting - it's been too long since I posted last..! :)

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Hey, it's our old buddy Justin! Awesome post, Justin, and thanks for coming to visit! =D

Thanks! Btw, the editing of my comment was to fix a couple of grammatical nits and add some formatting - it's been too long since I posted last..! :)

Are you sure you were just correcting a grammatical error or was it a conspiracy to give the campaign more time?!?!

Just kidding. ;-)

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Hey, it's our old buddy Justin! Awesome post, Justin, and thanks for coming to visit! =D

Thanks! Btw, the editing of my comment was to fix a couple of grammatical nits and add some formatting - it's been too long since I posted last..! :)

Are you sure you were just correcting a grammatical error or was it a conspiracy to give the campaign more time?!?!

Just kidding. ;-)

Ha Ha (actual LOL) I needed that, thanks :-)

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Hey it's good to see you Justin. I'd love to chat to you sometime about all this sometime in more detail as someone who has some background in production finance but very little in investments. I'd like to be able to explain it all in a way that was easy to sum up in a post but didn't leave anything important out.

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Hi Justin. Thanks for checking over my paltry offering to this thread, and thanks for clearing up some points. Helped me understand a few things that I was unsure of.

I thought about replying to that GG attack video - I also liked the jazz and thought he had a flare for hyperbole (for some reason it just always sounds more legit and believable when delivered with a British accent).

It's also the way he just keeps on talking, never resting. It's a lot of info to process, so the brain never really has a chance to kick in and think "hey, something isn't quite right about this". That, and the soft jazz; as nice as it was, it does have a soporific effect on me.

Looking forward to this AMA on Monday. Should be fun!

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....

DF and Fig are very fortunate to have a large support base of people who trust us, and for that we are very thankful!

I think you should actually do the video. It's great having fans do some of the defending for you, but you can't keep relying on that. Make the video and post it as a reply, because people only watch that video and there's a bigger chance that they will click on your video as well. Plus, the people will be able to link to your video, when the haters will post the other video on forums.

The upcoming AMA will have questions about P2, Fig, Broken Age, management, Massive Chalice, Spacebase. All of it. I don't think ignoring them is the right step. Trolls and actual haters are on a mission and they get fueled by every newcomer asking "What is going on". Hell, check the Broken Age reviews, sure the positive counter is high, but highest rated reviews are negative one, because they are on a mission. It's sad but it is what it is. My review of Broken Age started with one like, then I got a dislike, two days ago I checked it had 8/10 people found this review helpful. Today it has 8/17 find it helpful. Maybe it's a shitty review, but looking at other reviews it seems they are doing this on purpose.

AMA is not only an opportunity for Fig and P2, because most question will be about past stuff. I think you should answer as honestly as possible, with as little PR talk as possible. That is the only way. This AMA will be reported in news and these replies will spread. You cannot contain it, you cannot put out the fire. You can just attack them head on.

Use this opportunity, seriously. Don't care if the answers already exist out there. Youtubers make videos with 100k+ views and when they get a detail wrong, that spreads quickly and becomes fact. You need to put actual facts out there! You cannot rely on you fanbase for this, we are not the voice of the company.

Your videos will get hateful comment, trolls will come in get upvoted, but it's a start. I am noticing that ignoring the trolls and the haters does not work anymore in this day and age. Internet is too big :) So, get out there and make it so :)

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JUSTIN!!!! Great to see you.

If you do make a video you shouldn't reference the nutcase's one -- it will only give him more attention, and many people won't have watched it.

That said, getting 2PP to make a high quality video addressing these concerns in a thorough, high quality manner, and posting it on the Fig website could help. Or maybe just a FAQ that addresses some concerns.

Btw - My big concern is that I might not get any payments due to changes in law. What are the chances of this happening? Is Fig holding off collecting money until it's decided? That's too big of a gamble to take for me -- the chance of losing money because of an external factor like that.

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You didn't read the next two replies...?

Didn't see them, since all I saw was the post of Dak quoting you, but I've gone back and seen it now, thanks.

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Btw - My big concern is that I might not get any payments due to changes in law. What are the chances of this happening? Is Fig holding off collecting money until it's decided? That's too big of a gamble to take for me -- the chance of losing money because of an external factor like that.

Here's some text from the investment page if it's helpful:

We will notify you by email when unaccredited investment for Psychonauts 2 launches, at which point you will have access to the complete terms of the investment and the option to invest. The actual amount you are able to invest may vary from your reservation amount, and you may not be able to invest at all. No money or other consideration is being solicited hereby, and if sent in response, will not be accepted.

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Hmm... some of the things said in here are good, but there are also some things in here that are still not quite right. The thing about them changing the end date still seems misinformed, since as I recall, this was changed very early in the campaign. So his speculation that it may have been changed over the holiday when things slowed down is baseless.

He also drags up the old gem that Broken Age "ran out of funding halfway through", which is a negative spin on the much more nuanced thing that actually happened.

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Hmm... some of the things said in here are good, but there are also some things in here that are still not quite right. The thing about them changing the end date still seems misinformed, since as I recall, this was changed very early in the campaign. So his speculation that it may have been changed over the holiday when things slowed down is baseless.

He also drags up the old gem that Broken Age "ran out of funding halfway through", which is a negative spin on the much more nuanced thing that actually happened.

Yes, I was just going to mention that. Perhaps this guy would be amenable to making corrections because he's clearly wrong about the end date. Once again: at the time the date was changed on the site, it was funding at a rate almost 3 times that of Double Fine's previous best, the Double Fine Adventure.

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There's another thing that in my mind is absolute proof that the 12th was always the intended end date for the campaign, that nobody else has thought of:

The social media campaign was based around Devs Play videos being released on the successful completion of weekly challenges. If the campaign didn't run until the 12th, that timetable wouldn't make any sense, and it's pretty obvious that all the social media campaign was planned out well in advance.

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Weird part about changing the end date, speculating it was because things slowed down. Wasn't it changed very early in the campaign?

Yes, it was. It's been stated many times now that the original date was an error on Fig's part, and the added time was them rectifying their mistake (the article even shows a tweet that's basically saying this).

It's getting a little tiring, hearing people bringing this point up.

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