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Levering_2pp

Daily Documentary Delays

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Hi, everyone.  As you all know, our 2pp team member Asif was selected as a project lead for AF this year.  As such he won't be working on the doc series.  In order to adjust to his absence in the crew, we've brought in an old friend and collaborator to handle the bulk of editing duty.

Our AF crew dynamic on previous years consisted of Paul Owens and Asif acting as the primary camera operators, a support "B" camera operator, and our friend Steve handling audio recording.  I would run the live stream during the day and conduct team lead interviews in the evening.  On the day that Paul Owens was primary camera op, Asif would be editing.  The next day they would switch places, always shooting and then editing their own footage.  Owens and Asif are the best operators and editors, and this was the only way we could keep the pace of releasing the episodes.  I provide support and prep all the footage at night for the following day by building content libraries, organizing, and syncing the 2 cameras with recorded audio.  This way the editor can start right in on the footage the next morning.

With Asif running his own AF project, we decided the best way to maintain the quality of the footage was to have Paul Owens act as primary camera op every day.  We brought in a trusted friend for camera support, but neither he nor I are skilled enough to take the role of lead operator.  This means Owens won't have time to edit his own footage, and the editor who we brought in, though extremely talented, finds himself in the impossible position of having to watch and cut over 6 hours of unfamiliar footage in a day.  We can and do provide notes, but it's simply something he's going to have to ramp up to with time and experience here in the studio.

While we think it's unfortunate that this is delaying the daily episodes, we can say in confidence that we're still getting great material every day.  We don't want to release episodes that we don't feel proud of, so we think the best plan of action is to just give them the time they need to be good.  We're hoping not to fall too far behind and we'll be using this coming weekend to get caught up.

We'll keep everyone updated as best we can while we continue to move forward, and thank you for your continued support.

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Guest Steve

You can't rush art.  You should take all the time you need. 

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no worries...it was always great to have the episodes daily but I'd definitely rather have them later at the top quality that you guys always do than to have rushed work to meet an arbitrary deadline. Also, I loved Asif's pitch and hope the game is great!

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That's totally fine. I know the documentary will be worth it when it's finished, and I think it's super cool that 2 Player Productions got to pitch and Asif got picked!

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You are one of the most talented and dedicated teams in the business. Thank you so much for all the hard work you do. I'm rewatching the old AF videos and it feels like any other quality documentary that had months/years to plan. Even if we got one 15-30 minute episode a week that would be crazy fast for the quality you bring!

As always, your open communication is really appreciated as well. 

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5 hours ago, Levering_2pp said:

We'll keep everyone updated as best we can while we continue to move forward, and thank you for your continued support.

Sounds to me like you're all doing great work (Asif included) as per usual ^_^

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Just a suggestion, I would send out an email to Bundle supporters, upload a quick video to YouTube explaining the situation or both. This thread only has a little over 700 views at time of writing, a good 30% of which are probably re-visits. While delays aren't a big deal by any means, there are still at least 8,000 that are unaware.

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Having watched the Day 0 and Day 1 vids I can assure you the quality is still there. :) Keep on doin' what you're doin'! 

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Guest Nestor

God, I worry so much)
Wish i could join the presentation. But anyways it`s all cool to know nothing is lost, but delaying:)
Seems like Asif has to feed the gods first!

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On 4/17/2017 at 6:16 AM, cavefish said:

Just a suggestion, I would send out an email to Bundle supporters, upload a quick video to YouTube explaining the situation or both. This thread only has a little over 700 views at time of writing, a good 30% of which are probably re-visits. While delays aren't a big deal by any means, there are still at least 8,000 that are unaware.

This. I've followed AF the last two rounds and got acclimated to watching the videos each night, ritualistically. :)  I went looking on Twitter, random forum and Reddit searches, looking for any news I could find wondering what was going on with it being Saturday and no episodes for Thursday or Friday. At the very least I'd put a tweet out on the Double Fine account or something to make it easier to find, even if it's just a link back to this post. Anyhoo...looking forward to seeing more!

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Ahh apparently I was following the wrong or fake account. Anyhoo...maybe a link off the Double Fine account too?

 

 

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Hey, I just want to say that I love this Amnesia Fortnight and I adore all the games that are being made; can't wait to play the final prototypes.

I just wanted to give my two cents in regards to the editing time for these.
I'm a full time editor in the UK and often have to turn around high quality edits in around 7-8 hours and it is totally doable. If the editor came in at midday and was given the mornings rushes and audio files to sync by the end of the day the editor should have got the editor should have made selects from the rushes, synced audio and then started the edit (4 sections; 1 per team, split up) and then the editor is given the rest of the days footage and audio at the end of the day (5-6pm) and then they edit all that together after doing selects and sync. Once they have a tight edit that's around 20-30mins (I would assume this is done by 8pm) it can be uploaded and shared. Really it should only take 7-8 hours a day to do all of this, I often have to turn around large corporate interview films in less time than this for large clients. It would also help if day 1 the editor just shadowed the documentary film crew to understand their methods and filming style; maybe even doing general DIT for the crew on that first day. Then the editor could do day 1 on day 2 and so  on and then he'd be caught up by the weekend all things considered. 

Just my two cents anyway, its a super easy procedure in my opinion especially for a documentary series which starts every episode by saying these aren't fully complete/final videos from an editing point of view anyway. Editing is a careful balance between creativity and time management a lot of the time and these doc edits seem fairly straightforward to me so I'm a little shocked that the editor is bogged down - maybe he isn't working crazy hours like my method would suggest as that's the only way I could see the episodes being as delayed as they are now.

Anyway, I do love the doc series so far and I can't wait to see more, I just wish they were more in sequence with the teams progressing so the conversation and suggestions could be more in tune with the teams themselves -- although I know thats not necessarily what the docs are about as they are more about documenting the development of these games up to their released prototypes.

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I kind of agree: As of now, the documentary looks way polished already. The disclaimer already allows for a for forgiving handling of your work.

Many people (myself included) state they are so hyped and want to get the good stuff asap. Having this said, a delay is worse than a rough edit.

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I'm keen to see the docs too (they're my favourite part of AF), but to me day 4 is the first of this years videos which felt like Amnesia Fortnight from 2012 and 2014. Maybe the editing process is clicking better now, maybe going back to the longer format gives the whole thing more room to breathe, or maybe it's a product of my own fevered imagination, but I welcome it and I'm perfectly willing to wait if it means we get a better experience when we watch.

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Yeah they're more than a full week behind at this point.

I know the humble bundle was scheduled to end not just when the games were done, but also when the documentary was done so we could see the final products we were buying. I hope that this doesn't effect the humble sales since only half of the 'daily' documentaries will have come out when the bundle ends.

Edited by HaileyH

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1 hour ago, Kludgey said:

I'm perfectly willing to wait if it means we get a better experience when we watch.

This is what the bundle is for imho.

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9 hours ago, Franklyn said:

This is what the bundle is for imho.

Exactly...I don't want to be negative, but this is the least engaged I've felt in all 3 of the AFs because of the production delays. Like Franklyn said, the bundle is for getting the higher quality version after the fact. Those of us who just want to follow along kind of expected to see each video within a day or two at most. We're going into Wednesday, and last Friday isn't even up yet? Just kind of a bummer. Overall I'm still enjoying the process and watching the different projects take shape. *shrug*  Just less so. 

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Sadly have to agree. My excitement for AF has kind of fallen off, feels like I'm watching something that's already happened rather than following along. It's a shame, but understandable given the setup.

On the plus side Asif's game it looking pretty cool so far! ;)

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11 hours ago, jefmes said:

Exactly...I don't want to be negative, but this is the least engaged I've felt in all 3 of the AFs because of the production delays. Like Franklyn said, the bundle is for getting the higher quality version after the fact. Those of us who just want to follow along kind of expected to see each video within a day or two at most. We're going into Wednesday, and last Friday isn't even up yet? Just kind of a bummer. Overall I'm still enjoying the process and watching the different projects take shape. *shrug*  Just less so. 

AF starts on a Wednesday, so we haven't even seen last TUESDAY yet.

(And yes, for those that don't know, that means that AF is already over)

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I think this just shows how hard not having Asif available has been for 2PP as they are a very small team that are used to working together a lot so it was always going to be difficult for someone coming in from the outside to get up to speed with how things operate especially in a compressed time thing such as Amnesia Fortnight.

I too get the feeling of not being of being fully engaged by this years AF but I don't think the videos are the sole reason, as forum interaction is down a lot compared to previous AFs. Maybe it's the lack of regular streaming but I can understand why the people at Double Fine are happier without it. I guess it's about trying to find a balancing, if that's possible at all.

Edited by CorruptBiggins

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1 hour ago, CorruptBiggins said:

I think this just shows how hard not having Asif available has been for 2PP as they are a very small team that are used to working together a lot so it was always going to be difficult for someone coming in from the outside to get up to speed with how things operate especially in a compressed time thing such as Amnesia Fortnight.

I too get the feeling of not being of being fully engaged by this years AF but I don't think the videos are the sole reason, as forum interaction is down a lot compared to previous AFs. Maybe it's the lack of regular streaming but I can understand why the people at Double Fine are happier without it. I guess it's about trying to find a balancing, if that's possible at all.

Yeah, I think the streaming is probably the biggest contributor, but lack of daily episodes is probably a factor too. I'm still enjoying the output of the videos, things just feel low-key, which is fine if that is what DF wanted this time around.

 

Smiles

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It was my idea to skip the streams this year in hopes of reducing our production scope, and that was even before Asif's project was picked.  I apologize to the people who miss them.  I felt they weren't adding much in the way of insight while hindering our AM shooting and keeping me tied to the stream all afternoon.

Streaming morning meetings meant that teams had to have a set meeting schedule and we were tethered to one room.  The teams would almost always have meetings off the stream out of necessity which we would have to miss.  Cutting that feature allowed us the mobility to move around the studio, getting enough of each team's meeting to satisfy our narratives.

The afternoon streams consisting of desktop capture had always felt half baked to me due to the lack of constructive commentary providing context.  It also required my constant moderation to make sure someone didn't go out for coffee, leaving a still desktop.  With my time free from the stream I could support the filming crew through the day by placing mics for better audio, conducting interviews, and booming sound when Steve's arms got tired.

We tried to go all in on the doc this time around.  While our daily shooting dynamic was the best ever, our replacement editor didn't work out and now we're really behind on episodes.  Paul Owens will be finishing out the rest of the series while I start cleaning up the complete ones for final release.  I doesn't seem like we'll have Asif work on the series, but maybe he can take sections for the other teams to help speed things along.  Cutting his own team's footage would probably be too weird.

AF is really hard for everyone but I still genuinely enjoy being tested by the experience.  Things stumbled for us this time around, but honestly it's ridiculous that we pulled it off in the previous two events.  We couldn't match that expectation of pace but this year's videos will still be great when they're finished.

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I'm actually okay with the community being less engaged with this one (aside from the community projects which are awesome!).

Perhaps next time it may be an idea not to try to put out the docs while it's still going on, but aim for one big documentary of the whole fortnight at the end. I think the community aspect is really important, but it shouldn't be at the expense of everything else, which is why I think making 2 of the projects come from internal decisions was a good choice this time.

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1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

(aside from the community projects which are awesome!)

Woo \o/

 

I'm not sure how visible it's been to people outside of the community projects, but we also had daily streamed chats with DF people talking about and getting advice on game jams and game development. Definitely not as in-depth, professional or narratively driven as 2PP's doc, but they've been great for maintaining enthusiasm among the community contributors, and I hope they've done a little to help keep people excited about AF in general during the wait between doc episodes.

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In terms of lack of forum interaction.  Social Networking has changed A LOT since 2014-2017.

Almost everyone was on the twittah machines with amazing updates daily and interacting with any fans that made the extra effort to be out there.

Just a note I thought I'd make to the delays.

Also loving Paul L.'s update here and sorry your editing replacement didn't work out.  

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6 hours ago, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

In terms of lack of forum interaction.  Social Networking has changed A LOT since 2014-2017.

Almost everyone was on the twittah machines with amazing updates daily and interacting with any fans that made the extra effort to be out there.

Just a note I thought I'd make to the delays.

Also loving Paul L.'s update here and sorry your editing replacement didn't work out.  

That's another good point. For the most part, only the very core of the community tends to spend much time on the forums. Should think of some ways to publicise what's happening on the rest of social media.

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I quite missed the streams and it was disappointing as a backer not to see them this year. Despite lack of commentary, it made me feel more engaged with the whole process. It was also fun and educational to watch seasoned developers actually work. Perhaps that's a niche only a few care about though..

I do appreciate however the technical logistics and problems it gave rise to. Maybe next time there could be a compromise of sorts? 

Great job anyways though, seriously. Really enjoying whats been put up so far. Can't wait for the rest.

Edited by trideka

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I've definitely felt out of the loop this AF in ways I never experienced before, even when the first [public] one didn't come to my attention until the last day or two. I was just looking at my Youtube subs page and saw that they'll be live streaming the finished demos in a couple of hours ... while in my mind they're still effectively on day 4 and things are barely starting to come together. I'll tune in, but it's going to be a little like being 1/3 of the way through a book and flipping to the back to see how it ends. (Which is terrible, and shouldn't be done.)

Edited by modernevil

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