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Grahamon

Crowdpromoting

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As nice as it is for EA to offer to sell bottles of water by the stream, I can't but feel they're squashing the ambition of the DFA project.

So, there are 80-odd thousand backers and I suppose the number is growing.

What if, upon the release of the game, we get busy promoting the game ourselves, word-of-mouth style? I'm sure between us we can think of all kinds of creative ways to do that, and perhaps it will be more powerful, not being money driven.

Publishers are the reason Tim and Ron haven't been able to make adventure games for years, (or any game, without a cramping of artistic vision, I gather from the videos) so I think it's wonderful that everyone has come together to make this possible.

Of course, they're only games, but those old point and clickers were genuinely a wonder to behold in my childhood, and a way to bond with my dad as we played through them together.

Greed is a cause of many serious problems in the world, so why don't we show the publishers that art doesn't need the tired old pyramid of profit?

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Well that'll depend on how it tuns out, won't it? If the game will be as great as I hope, I'll certainly spread the word (I'm doing that right now for The Journey Down), but that's way to early to tell now.

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Being able to raise 3 million for something that doesn't exist yet maybe shows it's not too early to tell!

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Being able to raise 3 million for something that doesn't exist yet maybe shows it's not too early to tell!

Doesn't being able to raise 3 million dollars on kickstarter prove that crowdpromoting already happened?

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Greed is one thing, doing work for free so that someone else will profit is another.

I will happily 'get busy promoting' if either I get paid or the game is freeware/open source.

As it stands, I already (over)paid for it so that they can do their job. Paying them and doing work for them is not being supportive, it's being a victim.

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Word of mouth happens by itself if the game is good,

and of course the game will be good (is this what they call cognitive dissonance?).

I really don't think DF are underdogs here, they'll get a lot of the game media attention upon release and I'm sure they'll know how to ask for backers help if they want it.

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Doesn't being able to raise 3 million dollars on kickstarter prove that crowdpromoting already happened?

Exactly! So why are publishers trying to cut in?

I guess I'm reinventing the spoon by suggesting it, but I don't think promoting the game would make suckers of us. It'd just make backers of us. Maybe back suckers. Evangelistic back suckers.

P.S I thought the game was open source because the developing software is?

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Doesn't being able to raise 3 million dollars on kickstarter prove that crowdpromoting already happened?

Exactly! So why are publishers trying to cut in?

I guess I'm reinventing the spoon by suggesting it, but I don't think promoting the game would make suckers of us. It'd just makes backers of us. Maybe back suckers. Evangelistic back suckers.

P.S I thought the game was open source because the developing software is?

If it is open source, that won't be the reason.

There are different open source / free software licenses (free as in freedom not price), only some of which require that software which builds upon it need be free software as well. The idea is to both promote creation of more free software and to prevent proprietary software based on that free software from being created and undermining the original free software without contributing back.

Maybe you knew that stuff already, but maybe not. I like to promote free software now and then when I can.

Anyway, as I said, this license doesn't require that. Let's just hope that they decide to free it.

They are already planning to free the tools for making the game which is really far more valuable to make free software to me than the game itself as far as I'm concerned. Freeing the game might be trickier, but they won't be discussing that for a while.

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P.S I thought the game was open source because the developing software is?

It was pretty clear from the start the game is proprietary and commercial and not open source. Don't confuse the tools they build on top of Moai which they plan to release as open source with the game itself.

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P.S I thought the game was open source because the developing software is?

It was pretty clear from the start the game is proprietary and commercial and not open source. Don't confuse the tools they build on top of Moai which they plan to release as open source with the game itself.

At the same time, remember it's not publishers' gains, and that determines its future use. If a publisher got it, they'd most likely use it to pay their stockholders or build more stores or more DRM, or more lobbying to make copyright perpetual and grant them market monopoly. When a developer like Double Fine gets it, they're most likely to use it to buy better equipment/technology and pay their employees for work on games, and possibly extend the company to make more games at the same time. Which is relevant to our interests.

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Exactly! So why are publishers trying to cut in?

In what way are publishers trying to cut in? I think you're mistaking publishers for stores. You're basically saying "I don't want the game to be available in stores, and get the advertising that comes from being in stores". Word of mouth is good, but if Steam advertises the game on its front page and reaches millions, what's bad about that?

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It would be an outrage to let the same publishers, basically all of them, who are responsible for the decline in adventure games to get any cuts. I say do electronic distribution from Double Fine's site and after that only use the physical stores.

This Kickstarter was based on Tim saying "cut out the publisher". We need to continue that movement. However I wouldn't mind Tim telling EA he'd agree to the deal if they agreed to publish two new, full adventure games on his terms.

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I think the problem is taking EA hatred and making it into an all encompassing statement. A lot of people appreciate online stores. I like Steam, GOG and GamersGate, and I also bought a lot from Big Fish Games (which I like less, but certainly don't hate). All of these stores are affiliated with game developers / publishers, by the way. I could care less if the game is on Origin or not, but Steam and GOG are selling points. Not selling there will reduce the game's sales -- probably significantly.

By the way, Blair, your point about not minding Tim cutting a deal with EA goes against everything else you said, and I don't understand it.

I do think that Kickstarters are making publishers take another looks at games they haven't looked at in a while. Jane Jensen got "Mystery Game X" because of that, and the developer of Spate wrote he had a publisher approach him. I don't think it's inherently bad.

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Well 1. I don't think EA would ever agree to the deal, because 2 full adventure games would cost around 7 million. I was really mentioning that as a clever way to showcase karma. What is the last adventure game EA directly made? 2. The publisher would still be cut out in my hypothetical scene, because they would have zero control over the game.

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Isn't a bit weird that "public" companies are legally obligated to maximise profits for shareholders above all other considerations? And that they meet at secret location in the woods every time the planets align to sit in their screaming chairs and feast on bags of dried souls?

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some thoughts:

- I dont really see the point in making a 2d adventure game opensource when it's a finnished product. I look at it a a piece of art .(dont want to dive into that topic either ) What's the point in letting people draw on your drawing when you have finnished it ? it should stand and be conserved as it is.

- Opensourceing the tools they used to make the game is another chapter. Even if it might help their competition it might also help the market itself to grow. More games, more attention bigger market. On the other hand this can be difficult if they use proprietary libraries etc. Plus maintaining a opensource community around a project costs money as well.

- about the game being free as in free beer. I kind of disagree with that. I mean, we want this studio to continue making games right ? so it should be in our interest that they can maximize the profit from their piece of work. And btw. maximizing the profit doesn't mean to charge 1000$ for each game.

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some thoughts:

- I dont really see the point in making a 2d adventure game opensource when it's a finnished product. I look at it a a piece of art .(dont want to dive into that topic either ) What's the point in letting people draw on your drawing when you have finnished it ? it should stand and be conserved as it is.

- Opensourceing the tools they used to make the game is another chapter. Even if it might help their competition it might also help the market itself to grow. More games, more attention bigger market. On the other hand this can be difficult if they use proprietary libraries etc. Plus maintaining a opensource community around a project costs money as well.

- about the game being free as in free beer. I kind of disagree with that. I mean, we want this studio to continue making games right ? so it should be in our interest that they can maximize the profit from their piece of work. And btw. maximizing the profit doesn't mean to charge 1000$ for each game.

First, as far as I know nobody here has proposed making this game free as in beer. I mentioned free software, but I said free as in freedom not as in price, which is exactly the opposite of what you said. How they could actually do that is trickier, and if they can't figure out a good way to do it or decide not to, I can understand. I would like to point out that one of the earlier Humble Indie Bundles made all its games open source: Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD and Penumbra.

I more or less agree with your second point.

Your third point I'm going to need to rant about a bit.

When you talking about free art people aren't scribbling on it, they're building on it or using it in a larger piece.

Do you like Gnarls Barkleys' Crazy? I don't know. Maybe you don't. How about Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger? I don't know whether the clips they sampled were actually in the public domain; maybe they either used it without permission or licensed. The point is that there are things which can be done besides scribbling.

From more of a technical standpoint, if it is made free software, people could more easily port it and keep it updated for future platforms. People could add accessibility features.

As nice as it would be to think that once they're done and release the game it's done, developers never have enough time to do everything they want. There very well may have been features or sections of the game they couldn't get in. Features I would argue could be implemented by someone else and would be just as good.

If we're talking about a part of the actual story, I could see an argument being made that only the original dev team should be doing that. If you think about fables though, they've evolved and perhaps improved over time. If we consider Planescape: Torment, there are quests that were cut from the game because they weren't finished. Fans modded the game to get those quests back in so that people could at least try them out; like a deleted scenes sort of thing I suppose.

Alright, I'm done. Now I need to reply to someone else in this thread.

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It would be an outrage to let the same publishers, basically all of them, who are responsible for the decline in adventure games to get any cuts. I say do electronic distribution from Double Fine's site and after that only use the physical stores.

This Kickstarter was based on Tim saying "cut out the publisher". We need to continue that movement. However I wouldn't mind Tim telling EA he'd agree to the deal if they agreed to publish two new, full adventure games on his terms.

The reason for the decline of adventure games from its glory days is a big topic with many facets. Here's a pretty funny one:

http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/79.html

I remember reading that another reason is because action games better showed off graphics cards and the improvement in technology. And then other genres started butting in on adventure games' territory, including puzzles and good stories in all sorts of genres.

You can blame publishers, but they don't exist to advance the art form or anything like that. They're just making triple A games that they believe will give them the biggest return. Sometimes that means taking a risk if they think it'll work out, but these days the cost of failure is too great. That's why we really need things like Kickstarter and the indie scene these days, but that doesn't make publishers evil.

EA might be evil, but I don't wanna generalize that to everyone.

Cutting out the publisher is what Tim wanted to do for this specific project. If you watch every video (and if I find it maybe I'll find the specific video), it's made clear that we are not trying to eliminate publishers or destroy the publishing industry. This is just another business model and another way to make games that's appropriate for certain types of projects.

So we're not against publishers. We don't want publishers restricting the creative process like they would if they were providing funding for the project, but when the game is finished and they just need a place to sell it it's another matter. Somebody else said this already, so I'm just throwing my support behind that argument I suppose. Also, speaking of electronic distribution, Steam is pretty excellent and not particularly evil at all, and I'd say Good Old Games is even better (no DRM no Good Old Games client), and I'd say they're both better than a physical store like GameStop.

Rant done.

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Well 1. I don't think EA would ever agree to the deal, because 2 full adventure games would cost around 7 million. I was really mentioning that as a clever way to showcase karma. What is the last adventure game EA directly made? 2. The publisher would still be cut out in my hypothetical scene, because they would have zero control over the game.

1. 7 million is indeed less money than a big publisher like EA tends to look at. If the game is very successful, though, they'll be sure to not only agree but even suggest such deals. If they give away $7 and can get $50 in return, I'm sure they'd like that. I imagine one reason EA wants to sell these games is to have a better handle on how well they sell.

2. It won't matter. The publisher isn't out to control, it's out to make money. Taking a company with a proven record of producing a well selling game and investing in it in return for a percent of the profits is sound business.

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