Levering_2pp

Daily Documentary Delays

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Guys, I think many of you are being overly sensitive. This is something I've noticed during my short time on these forums. Seriously, you don't have to preface every opinion with something positive in hopes of not offending someone. I have no intentions of hurting anyone's feelings, but if I inadvertently do by simply stating an opinion respectfully, it's ultimately not my concern if someone gets offended; They'll get over it and hopefully grow thicker skin.

I'll be honest, I'm disappointed in this year's AF. I have no idea where we're at with the schedule. There should be more transparency; Not everyone checks these forums or Twitter. It's not a big deal if there are delays; it happens. If not having Asif to help deliver on your video obligations was going to cause delays, don't let him pitch a game. Whatever the case, make a more of an effort letting people know what's going on.

While 2PP is in charge of the videos, I don't think it is their responsibility to update everyone. DF is ultimately responsible for AF since they sold it to the public, they should keep people informed. They have failed to do so. This, after not hearing from DF at all during the year and a half delay for my preorder for the last AF blu-ray really does not sit well with me. They send out emails about diversity and job postings but  can't be bothered to let their paying customers know what's going on, and that sucks.

Anyway, back to my point. This is simply constructive criticism. Companies cannot better themselves without it. You guys don't have to apologize for telling someone to get their shit together.

Edited by cavefish
Added things.

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34 minutes ago, cavefish said:

Seriously, you don't have to preface every opinion with something positive in hopes of not offending someone.

Not that I can actually find much evidence of that practice in this thread, but what you call "overly sensitive" I would characterise as "polite and cognisant that they are dealing with human beings". I really enjoy the level of friendly interaction between DF and the community, and I don't think what we need is for everyone to make an effort to be less genial and supportive. Besides which, including positive and negative aspects is a pretty standard form of providing feedback.

Let's also bear in mind that these wonderful videos are free.

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30 minutes ago, TimeGentleman said:

Not that I can actually find much evidence of that practice in this thread, but what you call "overly sensitive" I would characterise as "polite and cognisant that they are dealing with human beings". I really enjoy the level of friendly interaction between DF and the community, and I don't think what we need is for everyone to make an effort to be less genial and supportive. Besides which, including positive and negative aspects is a pretty standard form of providing feedback.

Let's also bear in mind that these wonderful videos are free.

It was an observation about the forums and culture here more than anything, sorry for not clarifying. For instance, I've noticed a lot of feedback on the Full Throttle Remastered forum have a lot of "This is great but this could use some work. Good job, though!" posts. It's like folks are afraid to say when they're upset, so they instead pussyfoot around the reason they're posting without actually saying their thoughts.

All I'm saying is that I hope people are OK with saying what the feel. Be respectful, but be honest. There is nothing wrong with having a negative opinion if you have reason to back it.

Quote

Let's also bear in mind that these wonderful videos are free.

The videos are free to the public, but as on writing, 11,898 people contributed $71,506.61 to make it happen. Part of the appeal of AF is the wonderful videos that give insight into how games are made. Some people never get around to playing the prototypes. Personally, I support it because I enjoy the videos and used to enjoy following AF. I'm not nearly as much of a gamer as I am a fan of seeing the art of the build. To me, AF was a neat way to be a part of it without being employed at the company. This year, that part of it is missing. The fact that they are public on YouTube does not discredit my purchase or opinion that they need to be more transparent with the people who contributed.

Edited by cavefish

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41 minutes ago, cavefish said:

It was an observation about the forums and culture here more than anything, sorry for not clarifying. For instance, I've noticed a lot of feedback on the Full Throttle Remastered forum have a lot of "This is great but this could use some work. Good job, though!" posts. It's like folks are afraid to say when they're upset, so they instead pussyfoot around the reason they're posting without actually saying their thoughts.

I have to agree with TimeGentleman that this doesn't really have anything to do with this particular forum's culture but is a pretty conventional way of formatting feedback in pretty much any domain where you are critiquing the work of another human being. Many people do this not because they are on DF's forum, but because it is a polite, conventional, and responsible thing to do.

But debating whether widespread cultural norms should be widespread cultural norms is not really a can of worms I would like to open nor a tangent I would like to venture down.

Please consider that others may find your directness as frustrating as you find their indirectness.

That being said, please express your feelings in the manner that is comfortable to you---observing the forum guidelines, of course---but please allow others to comport themselves and express themselves in the manner of their own choosing.

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Here's Tim & Levi talking about the value of opening with some positive feedback rather than just leading with criticism during the 2012 AF Doc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbSJPTkq0z8&t=148

(I mostly link this because immediately preceding the discussion is one of my all time favourite AF moments, where Levi compares leading his team to his past job as a swimming instructor).

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10 minutes ago, Kludgey said:

Here's Tim & Levi talking about the value of opening with some positive feedback rather than just leading with criticism during the 2012 AF Doc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbSJPTkq0z8&t=148

(I mostly link this because immediately preceding the discussion is one of my all time favourite AF moments, where Levi compares leading his team to his past job as a swimming instructor).

Nice! You've got a good memory!

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26 minutes ago, Kludgey said:

Here's Tim & Levi talking about the value of opening with some positive feedback rather than just leading with criticism during the 2012 AF Doc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbSJPTkq0z8&t=148

(I mostly link this because immediately preceding the discussion is one of my all time favourite AF moments, where Levi compares leading his team to his past job as a swimming instructor).

Thanks for the link. I don't think it's nearly as valuable to open with positive feedback as it is to be clear. You can certainly make an effort to be positive in certain areas, but never let politeness overshadow issues that may be part of a much bigger pattern, especially in a business where time and money are a serious factor.

Why is it you guys are focusing on the ideological side of my rant from earlier rather than the concerns?

Edited by cavefish
Typos. Go figure.

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Valuable or not, i think it's just the polite thing to do?

We're sorry for the delay on episodes, and that you didn't see our forum threads or tweets, we don't really have many more options of communication open to us, other than mailing you directly which seems like overkill... 

Also though, whilst this AF has been raging on we've also been launching Full Throttle, which took up a large amount of our time, resources and brainpower, otherwise we might have talked more about it and prepared newsletters etc. Plus, I don't think even 2pp really knew just how behind we were going to end up with this.

It's a real bummer that the momentum and transparency of the event was lost due to the missing episodes, but they are all still on their way. Episodes seemed like the easiest thing to do, as streaming really took a toll on the team before. We're reviewing episode 5 right now, so that should appear some time today!

We have a much bigger pile of prototypes going into the bundle than previous years, hopefully that helps to make up for it. sorry, and also thanks!

Join us later today for our stream, although I'll appreciate it if you consider that a spoiler and want to wait for the episodes before watching it!

 

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2 minutes ago, Spaff said:

Valuable or not, i think it's just the polite thing to do?

Depends. When I receive honest feedback, I don't necessarily hear something negative. I hear someone who cares enough to warn me of a potential problem I may not otherwise see. :)

I'm not saying people shouldn't be polite; I'm saying it's always more helpful to be direct when they have an issue. Mixed signals help no one.

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1 hour ago, cavefish said:

The videos are free to the public, but as on writing, 11,898 people contributed $71,506.61 to make it happen. Part of the appeal of AF is the wonderful videos that give insight into how games are made. Some people never get around to playing the prototypes. Personally, I support it because I enjoy the videos and used to enjoy following AF. I'm not nearly as much of a gamer as I am a fan of seeing the art of the build. To me, AF was a neat way to be a part of it without being employed at the company. This year, that part of it is missing. The fact that they are public on YouTube does not discredit my purchase or opinion that they need to be more transparent with the people who contributed.

I support for the same reason as you do, and like you I am enjoying this AF less than 2012 and 2014, which were both orgasmic experiences. But being totally frank and without regard for anyone's feelings, they ARE doing a great job. The documentary episodes are still very enjoyable and more than worth my money. I hope they get better now that Paul is editing again and I would love if he eventually does a re-cut of the earlier episodes, but even if not I still feel like I'm getting a crazy good ROI. It sucks that there was no way for us to feel like we were following in the moment like we did in earlier years, but I think the Asif in front of the camera storyline is promising to be very interesting and well worth the experiment. Good for Double Fine in allowing it and for 2PP in having the guts to pitch and to roll with the challenges. The faux emotional connection I feel with the whole team, 2PP included, is part of what makes it all worth it to me, and Asif being allowed to lead a team just gives me the feels. 

I bet this hasn't changed their approach at all, but since you brought it up I would just point out that while they did make money, the monetary benefits of releasing Amnesia Fortnight to the public seems to have rapidly diminishing returns year over year. AF 2012 was $240,000, then AF 2014 was $190,000, this year they would be lucky to end at $80,000. Only a fraction goes to Double Fine, and only a fraction of that goes to 2PP. I imagine that everyone involved has taken a significant paycut this time around, unless DF is paying 2PP a fixed amount and absorbing the bulk of the loss. For all the headaches that go into making these things public, they are doing quite a lot for not a ton of financial return (maybe the exposure is worth it to them financially, but either way there's plenty of consumer surplus to go around). 

This isn't meant to be a criticism of your point about directness. Your comments seem respectful to me. But there are a lot of nice people on these forums, so the fact that most of the comments are filled to the brim with goodwill never seemed disingenuous to me. 

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19 minutes ago, Acheron said:

I support for the same reason as you do, and like you I am enjoying this AF less than 2012 and 2014, which were both orgasmic experiences. But being totally frank and without regard for anyone's feelings, they ARE doing a great job. The documentary episodes are still very enjoyable and more than worth my money. I hope they get better now that Paul is editing again and I would love if he eventually does a re-cut of the earlier episodes, but even if not I still feel like I'm getting a crazy good ROI. It sucks that there was no way for us to feel like we were following in the moment like we did in earlier years, but I think the Asif in front of the camera storyline is promising to be very interesting and well worth the experiment. Good for Double Fine in allowing it and for 2PP in having the guts to pitch and to roll with the challenges. The faux emotional connection I feel with the whole team, 2PP included, is part of what makes it all worth it to me, and Asif being allowed to lead a team just gives me the feels. 

I bet this hasn't changed their approach at all, but since you brought it up I would just point out that while they did make money, the monetary benefits of releasing Amnesia Fortnight to the public seems to have rapidly diminishing returns year over year. AF 2012 was $240,000, then AF 2014 was $190,000, this year they would be lucky to end at $80,000. Only a fraction goes to Double Fine, and only a fraction of that goes to 2PP. I imagine that everyone involved has taken a significant paycut this time around, unless DF is paying 2PP a fixed amount and absorbing the bulk of the loss. For all the headaches that go into making these things public, they are doing quite a lot for not a ton of financial return (maybe the exposure is worth it to them financially, but either way there's plenty of consumer surplus to go around). 

This isn't meant to be a criticism of your point about directness. Your comments seem respectful to me. But there are a lot of nice people on these forums, so the fact that most of the comments are filled to the brim with goodwill never seemed disingenuous to me. 

Thank you for your honest thoughts on my observations. I agree with you that 2PP is doing a great job in terms of the quality of episodes. That's never been an issue for me. They do really good work.

I'm still of the opinion that certain areas are in need of attention, namely communication. Granted I haven't done a whole lot of digging, but if 11,000+ others are involved, we shouldn't really have to dig on different platforms to see what's going on. Do most people really know to check the forums? Has DF declared some place fans should check frequently to keep updated on what's going on, or is it assumed to check Twitter? I mean it when I say I genuinely don't know what is going on this year. This AF just feels so ... disconnected.

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1 hour ago, Acheron said:

I imagine that everyone involved has taken a significant paycut this time around, s to me. 

I don't know anything about DF's actual operations, but it seems HIGHLY UNLIKELY to me that DF would be relying on AF donations to stay afloat or pay wages. It's way too uncertain to bank on, and the wages/expenses for the whole company for even one month would be way, way, WAY more than a mere hundred thousand dollars. That kind of money would pay for a 1-or-2 man indie project, but DF is much bigger company than that.

Based on how Tim has described things in past interviews, they would always do AF anyway. It's essentially investing in R&D, so when those things become actual products, DF makes its money back, so the R&D pays for itself.

The community involvedment through HB just adds community engagement, and whatever money they DO happen to make from Humble Bundle is just used to essentially give DF a slight discount on the R&D that the company would have bought for themselves anyway.

If that makes sense.

But I stress again: I do not actually know DF's operations. Yet I am 100% sure they are not heavily relying on AF donations. They could honestly probably stop doing this publicly the instant it stopped being fun for everyone. (Not that I want that to happen!)

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17 minutes ago, Anemone said:

I don't know anything about DF's actual operations, but it seems HIGHLY UNLIKELY to me that DF would be relying on AF donations to stay afloat or pay wages. It's way too uncertain to bank on, and the wages/expenses for the whole company for even one month would be way, way, WAY more than a mere hundred thousand dollars. That kind of money would pay for a 1-or-2 man indie project, but DF is much bigger company than that.

Based on how Tim has described things in past interviews, they would always do AF anyway. It's essentially investing in R&D, so when those things become actual products, DF makes its money back, so the R&D pays for itself.

The community involvedment through HB just adds community engagement, and whatever money they DO happen to make from Humble Bundle is just used to essentially give DF a slight discount on the R&D that the company would have bought for themselves anyway.

If that makes sense.

But I stress again: I do not actually know DF's operations. Yet I am 100% sure they are not heavily relying on AF donations. They could honestly probably stop doing this publicly the instant it stopped being fun for everyone. (Not that I want that to happen!)

You're absolutely correct about this, sorry if I gave a different impression. I think that DF is slightly smaller now, but back in 2012 Tim posted this explaining that Amnesia Fortnight cost them about $350,000 when they had 60 employees. 75% of the 2012 cut of $240,000 (typical Humble split) is $180,000, meaning that the 2012 AF was half priced for the company, depending on how much 2PP got from that. This year, it looks like they will net around $55-60k from supporters, meaning that they only got about $10-20% of what AF costs them. But 2PP isn't a part of Double Fine, so I assume they are either being paid a fixed amount or some split of the proceeds. Spending time on the documentary for interviews, etc. also takes time away from the company, which costs money. So this year it feels like apart from the fun, they basically only made enough money from the Humble Bundle to support the extra cost of making it public. The cost of paying employees for two weeks was essentially all borne by Double Fine for the reasons Tim has discussed previously, like R&D and giving people a break and creative outlet. They will always do it so long as they can afford it, but they could certainly afford to do it more often if the internet paid the full costs or at least a significant amount like back in 2012. 

I think having some public outreach like they do with public documentaries is valuable to keep up goodwill from fans and meet new ones. I personally didn't know much about Double Fine before Kickstarter, and now I buy everything they make now whether or not I play it, just because I like them so much from watching the documentaries. Maybe there are enough people like me that being public is financially worth the cost of all the hate and discouragement they get, but I think they do it primarily because they feel it is valuable and meaningful. I'll always support them for that, warts and all this is one of the most amazing companies (and CEOs) in the world. 

I hope that there isn't too much flak for the delays and I'm glad they didn't make a huge thing about it, because if I were Double Fine I would be super gunshy about too publically announcing "bad news" in a big email or video. Any time a bet doesn't go 100% well for them, there are armies of trolls waiting to blow it out of all proportion and rage about how Double Fine has screwed up. 

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3 hours ago, cavefish said:

Why is it you guys are focusing on the ideological side of my rant from earlier rather than the concerns?

Your initial rant didn't mention your concerns over mixed signals or lack of clarity. But to briefly respond, I think your concerns are unfounded:

I don't think "Element A was good, element B was bad" is unclear or giving mixed signals; it's balanced feedback.

I don't think people here in general pull their punches - there is plenty of unfiltered negative criticism to be found on the forums.

 

There are already plenty of areas of the internet where gamers view devs as emotionless robots or punching-bags that they can thoughtlessly shout blunt criticism or insults at, I don't think these forums need to join them.

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32 minutes ago, TimeGentleman said:

Your initial rant didn't mention your concerns over mixed signals or lack of clarity. But to briefly respond, I think your concerns are unfounded

By rant I'm referring to my frustrations with this year's AF. All but one response is focusing on the observation I made about the over-politeness of the community, which really isn't all that important to this thread.

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At first I thought it might be weird to watch the closing livestream before seeing all the daily videos, but I actually loved it!  Usually, I've seen enough of each game to already have a sense of what it'll be like, but this time the game reveals were a huge surprise.  I was delighted about how great they all looked!  And now I'll get to see how they got to that amazing stage. :)

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The ending stream was a quick cool look at the finished products. But based on all of the DF projects I've followed that had some form of public engagement (e.g. DFA, Massive Chalice, AF 2012, AF 2014) this one ranks at the bottom for me. I'm sure the docs will turn out great, especially with how candid Asif is in them and with the excellent work 2PP continues to put out. And I liked the general structure of the AF -- community getting 2 pitches, and the DF Team and Tim each getting one as well -- that was a pleasant change. I guess one of the fun elements of the streams was often getting a better sense of the DF crew and the people behind the games. There are probably a 1/3 new people compared to the last time (totally guess based estimate), and it is a bit harder to only get to know them through snippets in the docs.

@Cavefish, you'll naturally find that many forum boards tend to be populated with fans, and fans (or at least many core DF fans), often unintentionally, will express positive points of view. While DF fans can definitely be critical (look at the entire spectrum of opinions from the 80000 backers of the DFA, or reaction to Spacebase DF9), I've found that over the 5 years I've been here and posting, positivity tends bubble up more than harsher critiques. It isn't even that, say, this forum is that heavily moderated -- I also peruse Paradox's forums, and they rule with an iron fist, often to a nonsensical degree. DF's forums are pretty laid back, where the modus operandi, for whatever reason, is pretty much politeness, for better or worse. 

Anyways, I look forward to final doc episodes, and seeing what comes out of the prototypes.


Smiles

Edited by Smiles
Typo

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I've really loved the documentary episodes so far. I watched the livestream yesterday and it was amazing to see how the games have progressed! Although it's nice to get caught up in the whirlwind of it, 2pp documentaries are always been top notch and worth the wait. It's continually courageous to open up the creative process in this way. I find it very inspiring. Can't wait to see the rest and play the games :D

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9 hours ago, Smiles said:

The ending stream was a quick cool look at the finished products. But based on all of the DF projects I've followed that had some form of public engagement (e.g. DFA, Massive Chalice, AF 2012, AF 2014) this one ranks at the bottom for me. I'm sure the docs will turn out great, especially with how candid Asif is in them and with the excellent work 2PP continues to put out. And I liked the general structure of the AF -- community getting 2 pitches, and the DF Team and Tim each getting one as well -- that was a pleasant change. I guess one of the fun elements of the streams was often getting a better sense of the DF crew and the people behind the games. There are probably a 1/3 new people compared to the last time (totally guess based estimate), and it is a bit harder to only get to know them through snippets in the docs.

Would you recommend watching the old daily streams via Twitch archives after the fact, or are they too unpolished for that? I'll be sad when I go through all the documentary episodes again and have always been curious about watching the streams, although I didn't really do so at the time. I was thinking of having them in the background while doing other stuff sometimes, but maybe they are just too informal to enjoy when it's not actually a contemporaneous thing. 

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13 hours ago, cavefish said:

By rant I'm referring to my frustrations with this year's AF. All but one response is focusing on the observation I made about the over-politeness of the community, which really isn't all that important to this thread.

I know it wasn't the crux of what you thought was most important, but I think it's just that you made a prescriptive statement about how forum goers should approach feedback and criticism. Lots of people are going to have a strongly felt contrary opinion on that, which motivates people to reply more than generally agreeing with your feedback on AF, which many people probably do to a similar or lesser extent (I don't think it's a popular opinion that delayed episodes are a good thing). Also, because most people here are fans, even if they agree they may see no need to chime in with agreement if they don't have much to add other than what you said, since all that really does is pile on 2PP and Double Fine, who we all like and don't want to discourage. 

Forum posting can be frustrating because it's often difficult to make people interested in discussing what you want to talk about :) 

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6 minutes ago, Acheron said:

Also, because most people here are fans, even if they agree they may see no need to chime in with agreement if they don't have much to add other than what you said, since all that really does is pile on 2PP and Double Fine, who we all like and don't want to discourage.

This is what I'm talking about. Being a loyal fan shouldn't keep someone from admitting when they're disappointed. That kind of feedback is a good thing in my opinion and one of the only ways the company can gain perspective if they're willing to listen.

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1 hour ago, cavefish said:

This is what I'm talking about. Being a loyal fan shouldn't keep someone from admitting when they're disappointed. That kind of feedback is a good thing in my opinion and one of the only ways the company can gain perspective if they're willing to listen.

I know you're an artist/programmer by trade. If I were to guess, I would assume you come from the stereotypical "left brain engineer's" culture, very direct, placing a lot of value on dispassionately focusing on results. You've said before you appreciate relatively blunt criticism and it doesn't get to you emotionally. Probably a lot of your colleagues are the same and appreciate the same level of candor, let's just cut the BS and get this thing right -- we're all on the same page that if we tiptoe around people's feelings nothing is ever going to improve. I have no doubt that if this is true of your professional life, this is the culture that allows you to do the best work, and it's got a lot going for it. 

From what I can see, Double Fine's culture is very much influenced by Tim's personality. And I know I'm assuming a lot about someone I don't really know, but my clear impression is that this is not the kind of person Tim is or the culture he would create. He's a right brain creative, very emotionally vulnerable about his work, and  puts a lot of emphasis on the people in his company feeling emotionally comfortable enough to be free to be creative. I know there are lots of engineer types at Double Fine, but the overall culture is one of fostering a sense of inclusion and community, which you have to admit makes it a very special place and gives their products a kind of "friendly soul" to them, which in my experience is very unique. Culture is a powerful thing and the benefits of this one are that people are emotionally engaged, primed to be creative, keep a very friendly vibe, etc. Many core fans of Double Fine are probably attracted to them in large part because of this unique culture that shines through in their products and the documentaries. So just naturally they tend to be the types of people who value being polite, making sure everyone feels emotionally comfortable, etc.

This type of culture does run into problems, because as you have pointed out it's very difficult to focus on inclusion while also having an Amazon-like directness about flaws and improving competence. But there's no such thing as a perfect company or a perfect culture, you can't focus on everything. I know Double Fine and 2PP are adults and have proven over and over that they can roll with criticism, but frank and unsparing criticism without a heavy dose of positivity and goodwill is always going to seem a little jarring here because it's not how they as an organization seem to process information, and for good reason. If they shifted toward that kind of focus, they would probably improve their competence in some areas but it would begin to blunt what is truly unique about them and their products. I'm sure they have thick skins, but if you force people to use thick skins then you're going to force a lot of people (who are not as dispassionate about criticism of their work as you) to retreat into their shells a bit and work a bit more defensively. I think that would be a mistake.

I know it's very possible to say I'm overshooting here, that all you're saying is that it's OK to say when you're upset, and there's no need for such an overblown response (will a few more direct expressions of disappointment really blow up Double Fine? c'mon....). But if you take your prescription out of the small specific context you put it in and generalize it to the type of feedback you're advocating for, it's a prescription for a less kind, less gentle community. That would come with benefits, but I think you're understating the downsides based on what works in your experience.

So most people will continue to offer feedback and criticism, but will couch it in genuine positivity and will probably avoid piling on if they see that their complaints have already been addressed and expressed to Double Fine. And in this instance, it's very obvious that Double Fine and 2PP are intelligent people who are focused on quality, and are upset as anyone that it worked out this way. They don't really need anyone to tell them what steps led to this, and I'm sure they are already accounting for how they would do things differently next time. People may be holding back a bit because they just understand that the team is already aware of the issue and trust that they will learn from it. 

Edited: I said you were dispassionate about your work, which I'm sure is not true. I just meant that you seem to be able to be dispassionate about criticism of your work, which it's obvious from the documentary is not at all how Tim feels (he admits freely that it makes him uncomfortable for people to play his games and jokingly says if he had his way he would only show it to his family, and only when it is totally finished). 

Edited by Acheron

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2 hours ago, Acheron said:

Would you recommend watching the old daily streams via Twitch archives after the fact, or are they too unpolished for that? I'll be sad when I go through all the documentary episodes again and have always been curious about watching the streams, although I didn't really do so at the time. I was thinking of having them in the background while doing other stuff sometimes, but maybe they are just too informal to enjoy when it's not actually a contemporaneous thing. 

I definitely had them playing on my side monitor while I was engaged with other tasks, but they were great for that aspect, at least for me, back in the day.


Smiles

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I'm open to suggestions on how to make things better for next time (if there is a next time).  I agree that overall the experience didn't feel like as much of an event as it did in previous years, and that can largely be chalked up to the series being late and the lack of livestreams.

Livestreams are fun in the moment but they do take up a great deal of resources and offer little lasting value.  I do like the potential to turn them into something more like live broadcast TV, but that's a goal outside of our resources.  A crew would have to be dedicated to them, plus we would really need hosting talent.

The series episodes offer much more lasting impact and watchability.  Given the option to pick one or have both suffer I would always pick the series.  If for whatever reason we ever received significant enough sponsorship for the live presentation of AF I would love to raise up the quality of the streams and give them lasting value.

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My few suggestions for future AFs as a 3 time contributor, and someone who really loves seeing the team's process at work...

1. No one from the video production company on a development team! :)  Happy to see "The Gods Must be Hungry" happen, but can't help thinking how things might have been different had one of your key team members been able to contribute on the video production side.

2. Do more to set expectations. If you guys feel a daily episode is too much to keep the quality level up, then don't do daily episodes! Decide early and communicate early and often, even if it's, "We're going to do dailies, but each one will be out 2-3 days past," or, "We've decided to film the entire two weeks, and we'll turn it into episodes in a way that makes sense based on what we've captured, and it will be released several weeks past the actual AF week."  Bottom line for me... I thought we were going to be watching every day, and that didn't happen. I'm not going to contribute next time unless the release plan is clear from the start.

3. Definitely drop the livestream if it gets in the way of the episodes. Totally agree on the series being more important.

4. More on the DoubleFine side and less on the 2PP side...I get the idea of wanting to invite other crews into this cool, creative week...but it makes the whole thing feel more disorganized from the outside. I like it being a "DoubleFine event". If other companies want to do their own Fortnight, more power to 'em and the more the merrier...in their own event. If they do cool and interesting stuff, I think a lot of AF fans would be happy to support them.

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10 minutes ago, jefmes said:

4. More on the DoubleFine side and less on the 2PP side...I get the idea of wanting to invite other crews into this cool, creative week...but it makes the whole thing feel more disorganized from the outside. I like it being a "DoubleFine event". If other companies want to do their own Fortnight, more power to 'em and the more the merrier...in their own event. If they do cool and interesting stuff, I think a lot of AF fans would be happy to support them.

I'm confused about this. All the documentary episodes I've seen so far have been almost exclusively about Double Fine. Some of the live streams included the other teams, but I barely noticed (unless I was checking the forums). Did I miss something? 

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1 hour ago, Levering_2pp said:

I'm open to suggestions on how to make things better for next time (if there is a next time).  I agree that overall the experience didn't feel like as much of an event as it did in previous years, and that can largely be chalked up to the series being late and the lack of livestreams.

Livestreams are fun in the moment but they do take up a great deal of resources and offer little lasting value.  I do like the potential to turn them into something more like live broadcast TV, but that's a goal outside of our resources.  A crew would have to be dedicated to them, plus we would really need hosting talent.

The series episodes offer much more lasting impact and watchability.  Given the option to pick one or have both suffer I would always pick the series.  If for whatever reason we ever received significant enough sponsorship for the live presentation of AF I would love to raise up the quality of the streams and give them lasting value.

Though I liked the livestreams, I do agree that the doc is like 100x more important, lasting, and cool. I can also totally understand if the DF Team got tired of livestreams too, since I can imagine its a strange way to work. I barely like working in an actual office setting the few times a year I make a pilgrimage to do so.:D

I really don't know what is possible from a technical and logistical POV. Maybe Spaff could be more involved as a host, and the location could be stationary (e.g. a room). To do what? Eh, I don't know. In the livestream Spaff did manage to grab some of the leads and chit chat with them about random questions from chat. Maybe a dash of that. Maybe a dash of more random Tim impressions of each team and what he sees every other day. I also remember from years past, a lot of livestream filler (though mostly enjoyable filler), like playing past prototypes, and talking with people who worked on those prototypes about things that were interesting and cool, and story of those or things from the production. But I suppose that can really only be done so much before the well is exhausted.

Its tough to fill out an entire livestream everyday, surely. Maybe there is some middle ground filled with some interesting things for part of a day. But if it not, keep up the docs, since those are indeed the coolest.


Smiles

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2 hours ago, Levering_2pp said:

I'm open to suggestions on how to make things better for next time (if there is a next time).

Paul, are you guys still enjoying doing this? It seems like you are from the documentary, but I imagine the post-production stress doesn't feel great. Does the criticism get you down? 

Thanks again for being a part of this and caring so much about the quality. I also agree that the documentary is 1000% more important than the livestream, the only exception would be if it was clear that the livestream was a big part of the value proposition for people unsure of whether/ how much they want to pay. I can't believe that would be the case though -- in the end, people remember the docs more than anything, probably more than the prototypes themselves. 

Any luck in reaching out to Netflix? Should we keep reaching out to them? 

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I unfortunately didn't have much time to follow the event "live" this time, so I'm very happy that there are episodes like this, with the quality they have (I have watched the first three episodes), so I just want to say well done to everyone involved in this, and I really hope that you guys want to continue produce material like this. 

I have enjoyed the livestreams before, but I don't feel that it's necessary for them to be continuous during the days, but rather more on the fly, whenever a developer or artist just feel like they want to livestream their current worksession, And move the effort needed from the previous full day streams, use some of that to even more encourage and help that, via Youtube, Twitch or similiar? And promote those via twitter and the forums? 

And as for the daily episodes, I wouldn't mind them being done in fever episodes, that covers more days? Although that might of course be something that doesn't help the process. 

Anyway, AF is still ongoing for me, who have to catch up, so I'm looking forward to more episodes. :)

Edited by CecilRousso

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10 hours ago, jefmes said:

2. Do more to set expectations. If you guys feel a daily episode is too much to keep the quality level up, then don't do daily episodes! Decide early and communicate early and often, even if it's, "We're going to do dailies, but each one will be out 2-3 days past," or, "We've decided to film the entire two weeks, and we'll turn it into episodes in a way that makes sense based on what we've captured, and it will be released several weeks past the actual AF week."  Bottom line for me... I thought we were going to be watching every day, and that didn't happen. I'm not going to contribute next time unless the release plan is clear from the start.

After the awesome DFA and first 2 AF doccos, I just hand over my money and hope for the best.

I'm sad that that Psychonauts 2 seems to effectively have no coverage. I wasn't hoping for another DFA-like experience, but 2 videos in a year and a half is not what I thought I was signing up for.

It's hard to promote these campaigns to friends now - "Sign up - there might be some completely awesome 2PP coverage like before! Or not. I'm not sure..."

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