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rubyhope

Documentary:Status

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I wanted to see how the sausage gets made, warts and all. But the sausage factory is rarely open and they've applied makeup over the warts.

Now you've made me hungry.

I agree that something like weekly one-sentence updates from 2PP would alleviate some of the anxiety.

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Honestly, I think it should be obvious by now that one episode every 30 days was an overly ambitious estimate and it's just not going to happen.

I generally believe that complaining can be a positive thing - as a perfectly valid way to offer feedback - but I think we should avoid ruining our good mood if things just aren't going to improve. I mean, delays are extremely common and we should just expect them. I'm personally willing to bet money that the DFA is going to be delayed as well, better to expect that and be patient than get pointlessly angry or risk forcing reduced quality.

I'm saying a student in a video production class with semi-professional equipment and software could produce something of similar quality, not some random person using windows movie maker.

Nope.

You're just guessing and your guess is wrong.

(I'm sure you will find the suggestion that a high school student can do your job more efficiently than you completely preposterous. Unless you are a high school student in which case you should learn a thing or two before making any more such carelessly insulting statements.)

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I'm sure you will find the suggestion that a high school student can do your job more efficiently than you completely preposterous. Unless you are a high school student in which case you should learn a thing or two before making any more such carelessly insulting statements.

QFT

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I'm personally willing to bet money that the DFA is going to be delayed as well, better to expect that and be patient than get pointlessly angry or risk forcing reduced quality.

that would be rather difficult with no funding. i can imagine one more month or two. but tim certainly wouldnt want to ruin double fine.

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To be honest, while more frequent DFA episodes would always be nice, I'd rather them stick with the quality they've been going with. I plan on using this documentary as a tool in the future both to raise awareness of what game development actually is, rather than how it almost always is presented as on tv, and to show off to clubs at my college both in order to educate those already interested in getting into the industry and to entertain those who aren't yet fans of Tim Schafer and his work. The DFA kickstarter and project Reds are historic and a reflection of how the times are changing for both the industry and our subculture. This documentary is a fantastic opportunity to chronicle it and the way they've been doing so, by telling the story just like it is while keeping the focus away from inter-office politics and kept on the game's development while providing some historic context every now and then as to why a game is mentioned, where a particular staff member is coming from career-wise, and so on, is great because they're so entertaining to watch.

I mean don't get me wrong, the rough cut approach sounds awesome on paper and maybe a good chunk of us in the community would relish and rewatch it a couple of times. But you need the kind of flair that 2PP has been showing in these episodes to keep things interesting for people outside of our community, to draw in new blood, and to show to the world that this isn't just a cold blooded business where dollar signs dictate why anyone should care in the first place. The way they've been doing this really is the best approach to expanding the minds of most non-gamers who only view it as a way to make tons of cash. And let's face it we're no different from any other group, be they Star Wars, Harry Potter, or otherwise fans, in that we need to draw in more new blood to keep the community alive, to keep Doublefine in business, and to hopefully have another point and click game in our future after Reds is done with development.

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Better to promise less and deliver more then the opposite. If they'd told us episodes every 2 months I think it would be different, but they set the release schedule and peoples expectations themselves.

NSFW

Episode 4: Art Jam (tentative title)

Filming - complete

Editing - in progress

(posted July 12)

Editing must be tough.

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how does that contradict the approach of rough cuts now, quality cuts later?

If they agreed to it wouldn't. But they'd have to cut a lot of extra footage in order to produce the same quality as it is now. Mostly extra interviews and conversations that, while possibly interesting, detract too much from the main focus of the documentary, or development of the actual game. Then they'd have to add in all of the context-specific scenes in order to keep that quality of the work that already exists. As they'd have to redo every storyboard and plan they currently have to accomodate a rough cut they'd either have to try and make the new, rough cut footage work for the current plan they're running on for the high quality version or scrap it all together and come up with a whole new plan of attack.

This all costs a lot of time, both to produce the second documentary and in lost time that could have been spent doing something new, money, and resources. Then there's post production woes like redubbing audio or shooting new additional scenes because the earlier shots just simply don't work anymore for the new cut. Then there's the hassle of getting permission a second time to use copyrighted material because they only had it for the first documentary and not the recut version. In short they'd be making a second series to accomodate what you want and that's not even going into producing and shipping the actual discs and boxes. As they're only signed up and contracted for the single one, as the crew probably would be too burned out by the time they're done with this production as they'll have been working on this one project for nearly a year straight, and as they probably will want to work on something new I'm a little skeptical about if they would even agree. I mean with a nightmare like what they would end up facing how could you blame them?

Then there's the double fine side since they'd have to pay more money to them to get this done. And before you say anything one of the main differences between a student and someone who films things commercially is because, since they're works are for scholastic purpose and are generally limited to being viewed by other members of his school and the rest of the academic community a high schooler or college student doesn't have to worry about paying royalties or getting permission to use an IP. Not so if your doing this work commercially.

EDIT: I cut up the paragraphs to make it more readable. To anyone who read the wall of text before I had edited it you have my sincerest apologies. Kids remember if your pressed for time don't reply to a forum post on your iPhone or else what I did may happen to you

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im talking about short interviews and shots from meetings. thats no way near what youre talking about.

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Well, the whole rough vs. polished debate has been going on for a while now. But personally the quality of the documentary so far has been beyond what I expected and I want them to continue with the same quality. I like that it's fully produced, that's nice, but more than that, I like that each episode has a nice narrative structure. They are thinking critically about what they are doing, crafting a structured story so that we can better understand the different stages of development. Each episode has a little theme and story arc - its clear that they are not just releasing the first thirty minutes of usable footage they come across. Usable footage that doesn't fit the theme of a given episode is then repackaged as a "sidequest" video.

This is not really what I expected when I backed the project - like most of you (it seems) I expected it to be a rougher, "reality TV" kind of feeling. Where we differ I guess is that in my opinion what we are getting is much BETTER than that. I would be disappointed if they scaled it back now. On that I think reasonable people can differ, but I don't see any reason to question 2PP's professionalism or suggest that they are "taking Double Fine for a ride". They are producing a very high quality product in, relative to its quality, a very reasonable time frame if you ask me.

But I agree also that 2PP set themselves up for these criticisms. Everybody knows - under-promise, over-deliver.

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Did people really expect seing hours and hours of footage of people quietly sitting and typing on their computers?

I know little about making games but I don't think the process would be any more exciting than that to an observer.

We do get to see any of the interesting results on the documentary and on the forums so I don't understand what more anyone would expect.

I mean, reality tv is entertaining not because you see people doing their job, going through their daily routine, but because you see conflict, drama and people screwing up. I hope there's little of that in DF but even if there is some, it's probably not directly relevant with the game.

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I like that each episode has a nice narrative structure.

...

Each episode has a little theme and story arc - its clear that they are not just releasing the first thirty minutes of usable footage they come across. Usable footage that doesn't fit the theme of a given episode is then repackaged as a "sidequest" video.

This is exactly what I don't like about the episodes. I'd prefer they just document the events rather than trying to tell a story through them.

Give us more sidequest videos.

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The documentary has been disappointing for me so far. I wanted to see the sausage get made, but so far they've edited out anything related to the sausage, and the sausage rarely gets an update because they are too busy editing...

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People definitely far underestimate the amount of effort that goes into making something like the DFA Documentary. Try making anything creative at a professional level and quickly you find out it takes A LOT of work. What we are getting is a professional quality documentary in parallel with a professional quality adventure game. This takes an extraordinary amount of effort. This isn't something you can whip together in a weekend, they have to film, plan, edit, film any extra stuff they didn't know they needed, and then edit again all in a month. It is incredibly impressive, and if they didn't any quicker the quality would suffer. The difference is between a home cooked meal and McDonalds. It might take a little longer but it is going to be HELLA more tasty.

And for those who "want to see the sausage get made" what do you think making a game looks like? From the impression I get it's a bunch of people sitting around in an office talking about it, then going off on their own to make it, then getting back together, being told it isn't quite right, going off on their own again to change it, then going back, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum. And on that note we have gotten some of the sausage components, we got to see how one of the best video game writers in the world writes his games, we got to see naming conventions, and we got to see the worlds first crowd funded project that no one has ever seen before. That's pretty fucking cool. We aren't going to get some Jurassic Park "I know this system. It's a UNIX system!" dynamic action packed documentary because that isn't how it actually works.

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This discussion is soo 4 weeks ago:-)

Last time they didn't care, so I think it's pointless to get upset again.

- Yes, they should communicate better.

- It doesen't take that long to edit.

- More actual raw documentary than glossy PR episodes now and then.

It's well done so far, even though i think it fails as a documentary, it's still enjoyable.

We have to see what they keep throwing at us. I hope it get's better.

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Personally I believe that DF over-promised on the transparency front, either they didn’t really think it through when they intended to show us the ‘warts’ or they decided against it once the budget ended up in its inflated total.

I expected to see the game made piece by piece; instead we probably haven’t seen a single final asset that will make it into to the game yet, and we’re how many months into development now?

And that is reflected into the documentary, they’ve obviously chosen this path now, some of us are disappointed because we expected something else, well no worth crying over spilled milk.

So any complains for the tone of the documentary and getting rough cuts and all that is irrelevant, only thing that matters is getting the scheduled Episodes on time.

I thought it was a one-two time thing, but clearly 2PP has problems keeping on schedule, here are several possible outcomes.

-2PP ignores any complaints and keeps delivering episodes off schedule.

-2PP delivers every episode on schedule from now on.

-2PP changes the schedule to one episode per 1.5 month or two months so people’s expectation are adjusted accordingly.

-2PP keeps current schedule, including delays but is more attentive at updating us on the episode status, even if that means they making “it’s coming guys” posts for two weeks.

Let’s see if any of these possibilities come to pass.

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Dude the reason we've yet to see any final assets is because they just relatively recentely got out of pre-production. They've been working on building the tools, hiring the right people, and deciding on what basic building block assets they will be using. The next episode will be the first one shot during the actual production of the project where they're deciding and inplementing stuff people will actually get to see, hear, and play during the game. Not really 2PP fault that it takes so long to get the right team and pieces in place.

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How about multiple live camera feeds set up throughout the DF offices? Stream them on Justin.tv or twitch.tv.

That'd be awesome!

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You either haven’t be paying as much attention as I have, or do not know much about game development.

Look back at Episode 3 Tim is drawing some conceptual stuff about the game explaining things to the others at the meeting, and in Lee’s sidequest, he slips up about a ”birthday party” (probably the game intro), Episode 3 was shot about 2 months ago real time.

They have assets done, it would have been counter productive to spend so much time on Lumberjacks and red bots when none of them will actually make it into the game, they are just representative filler to present to us in update posts so they won’t show us actual assets so early. There are obvious reasons why they holding out, is not out of spite, I hope I won’t have to explain them.

Wasteland 2 started development far later than this game did, has a much larger scope, and also used a new engine and they already publicly showed a prototype in-game screenshot. Granted it may lack polish and differ significantly from the final product, but is it representative of their current work. You’re telling me DF hasn’t got squad done (in assets) in all these months? Then Spring 2014 may be too early for a release date for this game then…

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If you look at the time frame we are getting one roughly on schedule. It isn't like we are getting updates wildly off schedule. They are on roughly a month to a month and a half per update and in between we get awesome Sidequests. I think people are over reacting an awful lot, and had way higher expectations of what they were actually promised. I expected an inside look at a game studio building an adventure game, and that's is really what we have gotten so far. I think people need to temper their expectations, especially given that the game is VERY early (and at a point where most games aren't even announced yet).

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If you look at the time frame we are getting one roughly on schedule. It isn't like we are getting updates wildly off schedule. They are on roughly a month to a month and a half per update and in between we get awesome Sidequests. I think people are over reacting an awful lot, and had way higher expectations of what they were actually promised. I expected an inside look at a game studio building an adventure game, and that's is really what we have gotten so far. I think people need to temper their expectations, especially given that the game is VERY early (and at a point where most games aren't even announced yet).

Man, you got every Detail wrong.

Overreacting?Discussing the issue in a forum is Overreacting??

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The lumberjack and redbot is how the sausage is being made, their early tests as well as these are the warts. The best way to get more detail than that would probably involve learning programming and I doubt a documentary is the most efficient way of doing that. You could probably find much of the missing sausage making process here. I don't recall if they said what other software they are using, maybe they should provide us with a list of what they are using (as 2PP did) so people who want to have the most detailed view of the sausage making process can study their documentation.

Of course the dangerous part with showing the warts is that people start claiming that you don't know how to do your job. Which is more or less what seems to start happening in this thread ;)

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@Arenegeth

First off that screenshot you mentioned in Wasteland 2 is a concept art as well. Brian Fargo wanted feedback when he tweeted it on whether people liked the look of the art style they were toying with using the Unity engine's tools and there's no reason to believe we'll be visiting that location or that it will even look like that just yet.

As for the last episode the reason they still are using redbots isn't just as "filler " but because Mr. Schafer hasn't finalized what the story will actually be and, because of that, the art style wasn't fully worked out yet. You know since its a waste of time to do anything other than concept art during pre-production. Now I grant you this now is probably a different situation with Reds (oh yah, they only figured out what the codename would be last episode too) as they've had a month or two since that episode to work on the game but, none the less, the stuff shown in episode 3 was just concept stuff. I mean they haven't even figured out what system they'd be using to dictate how characters would be moving in the game's world yet as in the episode that was still being toyed around with. Not that I'd ever question whether you're even qualified, intellectually, to have this discussion like you did me but if you missed all of this you really weren't paying attention.

Oh, also, that meeting was just Tim's first pitch to his team. He'll have done a second and/or third one to solicit feedback because, as he said in the video, he wasn't really at a point where he wanted feedback but, instead, just wanted to get his ideas out there. You know, so he can then have them think it over and tell him a few ideas they may have on how to make it even cooler or funnier after having a day or two to think about it. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that they hadn't figured out how they'd present dialogue as that system was still being played with. But yah, besides the episode being all about pre-production wrapping up and how they were still figuring out how characters would walk and talk in the world you're right, Tim has Reds completed already and all of this "work" is just him bsing us just so we'll get annoyed at the documentary. Like I said, I'd never openly question whether you're even smart enough in the subject to comment one way or the other.

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Nope.

You're just guessing and your guess is wrong.

(I'm sure you will find the suggestion that a high school student can do your job more efficiently than you completely preposterous. Unless you are a high school student in which case you should learn a thing or two before making any more such carelessly insulting statements.)

No my guess is right, your opinion is wrong (gee flipping your statement really took this conversation places).

Is my criticism a bit harsh? Sure, but I think you underestimate the accessibility of quality editing software and recording equipment, as well as the skill of young minds. I use high school students as an example because it's relevant to my past experiences in the world of video production. I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that 2PP's video quality is of some unattainable god-like quality, and the reality of their current production schedule does not meet my expectations. Sure that ultimately means nothing at all, but I still will happily criticize their professionalism to the chagrin of those that are satisfied with the current way of things. They may be developing this into a coherent documentary at the end of this project, but I believe their job now should be to report the development of this game in a timely manner. Does that mean I want to watch constant videos of people typing on keyboards? Certainly not, but I still think there are interesting ways that one can report on the project status without resulting in the aforementioned example and still delivering it in a timely manner.

Also, if they really can't keep up with their own schedule why don't they hire additional crew members with that mountain of money that was dumped at their feet?

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FFSamurai05 It seems that you are working with DF and share their experiences, everything you say in conjecture based on your opinion, you have no idea how far ahead DF really is in the development of the game we only know what they tell us.

Guess what? I use conjecture for my opinion too, for all I really know they really haven’t made anything but lumberjacks and red bots so far, and unless they are willing to invite me in their studio for a lookie, that’s all I can really be sure of.

Which is why what I said was an opinion and not a doubtless fact, an obvious observation if you count the facts and the delay we get in updates, and the prolonged use of the Lumberjack and red bot (their initial use as placeholders was excused, not anymore).

The upcoming episode we are waiting for was shot before the previous episode even got to us, when it does go live and assuming they show us assets in it, they will already be a month old, meaning that since then they made more, is simple 1+1 = 2 situation.

The above is simply some of the fuel that fires my opinion; I do not pretend to state facts, so neither should you.

Speaking of facts, the Wasteland 2 screenshot, was an in-game screenshot not concept art, learn to differentiate. It actually uses assets that are currently going to be used in the final game as they run in the Unity engine. Of course, as I said when I mentioned it, none of that may end up in the final game, they will go through a lot of polishing and reworking before they are finalized, the point is that they are ‘final’ as far as the current status of what they are working on goes, not what will end up in the final game.

Oh and stop taking passive aggressive pot shots at my intelligence, if you want to insult somebody do It straight, ignoring the fact that getting personal with someone whose opinion you don’t agree with on the internet is immature and loses you credibility of course.

The reason they are not releasing real game assets are painfully obvious, everything they post in these boards is easily accessible, if they released assets as they made them somebody could probably steal them and have a clone of the game before they manage to even finish it, not to mention copyright issues and marketing which is the premiere reason why we see assets so heavily regulated by the industry in general.

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I honestly don't think we should be lumping 2PP and Double Fine together on being behind.

It feels like a useless criticism in this thread. None of us really know how game design works with absolute certainty but all I know for certain is that different companies run their projects differently. I know different games begin in different ways, some starting with some sort of game mechanic, an engine maybe, or in DFA's case to just make an adventure game. We all have seen them working on something at least, Tim looks to be cooped up in his office, so I imagine progress is happening.

Earlier stages of development seem to be the most cerebral, it's more or less Tim Schafer fighting with language to communicate his ideas. Honestly, if the game script was done already I'd be very skeptical about it. So Double Fine gets a pass in my book.

2PP on the other hand, I can totally understand people being upset. It was an overly ambitious release schedule and they can't seem to deliver on time. The problem with failing is you never know you're gonna fail until you do. 2PP is discovering that with an audience watching, so I wouldn't want to be them right now.

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I'm expecting 'Episode 4 : Art Jam' today. Seeing as there has been a month gap since Ep3 and surely that's enough time.

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I'm expecting 'Episode 4 : Art Jam' today. Seeing as there has been a month gap since Ep3 and surely that's enough time.

dont be so sure, mr. president.

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@allseeingIrish

Don't get your hopes up. I'd be really surprised if it came out today.

Don't expect anything until they update us on the status. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't come out this month at all.

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