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Levering_2pp

Episode 7, Amnesia Fortnight, and (gasp!) the Minecraft Movie?!

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I don't think there's anything wrong with finding alternative sources of funding provided it doesn't compromise the integrity of the original statement (an adventure game and documentary not subject to any creative influence other than the backers with the majority of the funding coming from the people who want to play the game). I don't think there's anything magical or special about sticking to the exact number that was raised on kickstarter, as Tim implies in his statement and in the episode, it's pretty common for a project to go a little over budget (Full Throttle being another example).

Also, personally for me, at the end of the day, what I (and likley the majority of the gaming press/community) will care the most about is whether Reds is a good game, not whether the game stuck absolutely to kickstarter funding. It's also difficult to overstate the importance of Reds for Double Fine, not just financially, but in terms of public face as well.

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Always keep an eye on that triple constraint: Time. Money. Quality. This is no different from any other project. And as for the sprints; what can the management do to increase the 'definition of done' for each iteration. Velocity will increase if there is a secondary objective from each player to add to the overall delivery beyond the primary scope of work for each iteration.

But I digress, this will be one hell of a story once everything is done. I love the entire thing; warts and all!!! *smooch* Double Fine!!!

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Double Fine may be the poster child for crowd funded games, and they certainly started a trend, but there's been major success stories already with highly successful releases: FTL, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. Double Fine also lost the mantle of highest crowd funded game, they're not even second now.

This game isn't going to resurrect the point and click adventure genre, however good it is, and I don't want Double Fine to start making just point and click adventures. Point and click adventures will remain niche, there's old school adventures (Resonance, Sealark, Primordia), new school adventures (DFA, BS5, Machinarium, Botanicula, A New Beginning), and games that take the adventure genre into new areas like the highly successful QTE shitfest, batteries how do they work, The Walking Dead (and Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain), The Cave, and Stacking.

Feature/scope creep and missing a targeted release by 4 months is mismanagement. It happens all the time, and even to much bigger studios, with way more money involved, but it's not exactly a success, it's more like the opposite of that.

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A thought occurred to me while watching the video. I backed at the $15 amount because at the time there seemed to be more then enough money to make the game (it was around $1 mil or so and the pitch only said $400,000) and I didn't want any of the rewards. However, if the total goal had been $4mil, I would have been willing to chip in more. Potentially before cutting too much out of the game, offer a chance to additional donations? (I wouldn't be buying any of the old games as I've already owned/played them all, I'd rather donate straight to this game). I'm really excited about the game and would also like it to be as awesome as possible and I'm sure many other people feel that way. On the off chance you do decide to add a donations thing, please put a notice in one of the videos as I (and many others I'm sure) rarely come to the forums.

Me too. I am a 40.00 slacker backer. And would be happy to give more after watching these vids. I am a fan of Double Fine, for me and my son, and would be happy to throw more into the kitty... :)

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Feature/scope creep and missing a targeted release by 4 months is mismanagement. It happens all the time, and even to much bigger studios, with way more money involved, but it's not exactly a success, it's more like the opposite of that.

I get what you're saying, but I think the term mismanagement isn't appropriate here. As you pointed out, this is a common occurrence in videogames of all sizes. This is because videogames are notoriously difficult to schedule for. Normally companies will have an internal target deadline for a project, but that's rarely divulged to the public, and almost always pushed back. Keep in mind, we're only about halfway through the original development timeframe. If they had announced that they need to push the game back by 4 months only 1 month before it was supposed to be released, that would be mismanagement. Adjusting the schedule with plenty of time remaining in development for the good of the project, while also reducing scope where appropriate isn't mismanagement, it's GOOD management. It's them adjusting to realities about the project that they never could have foreseen at its onset.

I agree that it's not ideal, but it's part of the process. It's because of the unparalleled access that they're giving us that we get to see some of the ugly parts of development. Don't worry, they got this :)

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Also the funding covered the creation of the engine and tools (scene editors,etc). Obviously these should be used in later games, therefore current costs should be also considered as an future investment, not as current DFA overall costs.

That's a pretty good point and one that justify taking resources from sales of other games.

Btw: what is the income generated by slacker backers so far?

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Btw: what is the income generated by slacker backers so far?

To the best of my knowledge, they haven't mentioned it. I'd be somewhat interested to know as well, not that it has much bearing on the present issue, as I'd assume that money would already have been accounted for in the budget.

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Also the funding covered the creation of the engine and tools (scene editors,etc). Obviously these should be used in later games, therefore current costs should be also considered as an future investment, not as current DFA overall costs.

That's a pretty good point and one that justify taking resources from sales of other games.

Btw: what is the income generated by slacker backers so far?

I think I saw a spreadsheet in the video with $4.16m (although I'm going to have to check again), so around $800,000 for non-KickStarter pledges.

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Btw: what is the income generated by slacker backers so far?

Last I heard, I believe Chris Remo said it was about $70k. I could be wrong, though.

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The 4.16M number is the total money they'll spend at the current rate (it says so in the first post from this Tim guy). So it's not 800K of slacker money, I also remember something like Syd mentioned.

As mentioned before, I think DF know how to ask for additional funds if they feel this is the best choice. So far they haven't done this.

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"just" cut some stuff from the game, and work extra overtime for 5 months in a row (no weekends!), you should be fine ;)

good luck!

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In Episode 7 there is a figure right below the initial $3 million at $73,000. You can see "MONIES!" next to the $3 million, and what appears to be another "MONIES!" next to the $73,000. I think this is the total amount from Slacker Backers so far.

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I'm surprised that I noticed only one other post commenting on the fact that the biz dev guy's name is actually Justin Bailey. That's just a funny little gaming history coincidence.

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Btw: what is the income generated by slacker backers so far?

Last I heard, I believe Chris Remo said it was about $70k. I could be wrong, though.

its-something.jpg

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In Episode 7 there is a figure right below the initial $3 million at $73,000. You can see "MONIES!" next to the $3 million, and what appears to be another "MONIES!" next to the $73,000. I think this is the total amount from Slacker Backers so far.

That's actually a pretty good number considering there hasn't been a whole lot of promotion for it, and unlike the kickstarter it's limited to $15 per person. So that's what... about 4866 new backers? Not too shabby...

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In Episode 7 there is a figure right below the initial $3 million at $73,000. You can see "MONIES!" next to the $3 million, and what appears to be another "MONIES!" next to the $73,000. I think this is the total amount from Slacker Backers so far.

That's actually a pretty good number considering there hasn't been a whole lot of promotion for it, and unlike the kickstarter it's limited to $15 per person. So that's what... about 4866 new backers? Not too shabby...

Yesterday I became a "slacker backer" and watched through all the episodes and I really had a blast with it. It was more of a coincidence that I realized that you could still support this project with money. I wanted to participate in the original kickstarter campaign, but since I am from Germany and had no credit card there was no way. Now there is the Pay Pal option, which I used.

What I wanted to say, is: with a little more promotion for the slacker backer option, there may be a boost in incoming money. As I said, I just stumbled over this. What I don't know, is, if going public with this situation will generate negative press, because it transcends the kickstarter money in a way. But there are probably ways to advertise the "slacker backer" option in a subtle tone and not in a "hey we need more money" imposition.

Now I am going to celebrate Christmas with my family. Merry Christmas everyone! Especially hard-working Double Fine and 2 Player Productions. I think this is a wonderful project and I am proud to have backed it.

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RAINYDAYSdotCOM! I love you.

This episode made me feel sentimental, maybe especially as I'm a lazy indie developer running out of money. But I'll do what I have to do - clench fist, grin and bear, work harder, make sacrifices. If it's worth it, it's worth it, if not, I'll go back to the previous modus operandi and at least I can say I tried.

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Hi all!!

Just wanted to say that:

a) This episode was AMAZING. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

b) I think it's up to DF to decide, but remember the footage is old, so they have probably, at least partially, developed some strategy already.

c) To the whole Double Fine team: I hope you can see that we are with you every step of the way guys. We won't be seeing repercussions of this in the next episode, I think, but bear in mind that we are here if you need us.

d) To 2PP: I LOVE your work, really moving at times, you rock.

Cheers,

Juan Miguel

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But there are probably ways to advertise the "slacker backer" option in a subtle tone and not in a "hey we need more money" imposition.

Yes, this. I think donation and support options need to be more visible, much like Star Citizen has done.

A visible way to up our pledges and see the ongoing total raised and maybe a few milestones of "extra" content or scope that would produce would be great. I think this can be done in a way that doesn't spell "bailout"... because frankly, I know DF doesn't need it. As they said, they'll handle it, and the game will be great.

We just want to see it be as great as is absolutely possible! :) Lots of us are ready to up our pledges!

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:( i wish someone would get back to us. Today...we're brothers...

I never could get it to play in the browser, but by using Firefox and this extension ( http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/download-flash-and-video/ ) I finally managed to download the MP4 file and watch it that way.

I don't want to do that...

This sucks. i paid for videos but I don't get to watch videos. Would someone please help? Why can't I watch the dang video?

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Well that episode absolutely rocked. Experienced much the same thing when I had to write a novella in a 12 month time frame myself. I took the original drawn plot plan and cut as much as half of my ideas, even the ones I liked, to make the story work. To be honest, I could've finished the whole thing, but it was feeling extremely rushed and cutting it back to improve quality was, in hindsight, the best thing I ever did. At the time it was incredibly painful, as it was watching the team struggling with issues this video. I really hope it comes in under the initial budget raised from Kickstarter. I'd certainly prefer to see the game cut back, it would no doubt increase the quality of the game exponentially and serve as a fantastic process to watch. We'll see next update, but I'm hoping the team manages to figure out which content is absolutely essential to the 'theme' or 'feel' of the game we backed and what can go. Thanks to both DF and 2PP for the awesome opportunity to see this project evolve :)

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:( i wish someone would get back to us. Today...we're brothers...

I never could get it to play in the browser, but by using Firefox and this extension ( http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/download-flash-and-video/ ) I finally managed to download the MP4 file and watch it that way.

I don't want to do that...

This sucks. i paid for videos but I don't get to watch videos. Would someone please help? Why can't I watch the dang video?

It probably doesn't work for the same reason it hasent worked for other people for ages. Disable any privacy addon or use internet explorer to watch it. Some addons/privacy settings block the http referrer what is needed to check from which page you are watching and if its allowed.

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"It's going to be an adventure: both the product and the process"

-- Pitch video

:)

Have you guys considered ways for us to give you more money?

I think many of us here are open to doing that in one way or another, so long as it feels right to us.

And they don't have to be desperate, "oh noes, we need more money" requests, either. I'm more so thinking along the lines of Amnesia Fortnight, but perhaps not so big in scale and less time consuming.

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Hi,

i wasn't reading through all the posts in here just reading quickly through the initial post from Schafer after watching the episode today.

First, thanks for another interesting one. My feeling about the whole development is that although i put a reasonable amount of money into the project, i think i already got a lot of value from it as well. My daughter was running around very proud with her t-shirt for many weeks and i find the films both interesting and entertaining. The only thing i dislike so far is the female character, sorry, i don't feel a connection to what i've seen in this respect.

As for the schedule and financial problems i'm thinking that in the first place it's very important that the finished product is awesome. If it sucks or is only a soso experience, that's just not the kind of work you would expect from Double Fine and i guess it would hurt in the long run. From my experiences in games development Schafer and Double Fine are in a almost exceptional comfortable situation when it comes to freedom and the the way their backers (at least the ones i know of) are benevolent towards them.

I've worked on quite a number of games during all the years and i started with designing&coding; games for a TV station for years which meant the upfront creation of the backend work and then every few months the creation of 4 games with a dev time of about six weeks (sometimes you got informed 8 weeks before) and implementing them properly into the backend, which then again came down to if times were rough to almost one game per week. This was really hard as there were fixed deadlines due to when the TV station went on air and then the games needed to be ready, no excuses, no delays. Of ourse the games had a different scale but you could not copy&paste; a lot because due to the nature of the TV show each game was different and individual, so it needed to done on its own. Comparing this time to all the luxury of having all those different concept artists upfront can make you smile. At least the tools were in place already.

So designing the games based on the content of the TV shows, meeting with the team members, talking to the gfx people, instructing the sfx guy(s) coding the game, playtesting it, didn't give you a lot of time to iterate and test out different approaches. It mostly was a one shot thing were you had only one option to alter the design and if things didn't work out as intended. Of course this meant a lot of overtime and crunch phases.

Of course these games had a different scale but the cute thing was that after you've done it for some years, you really got good at developing a sense for what works, what doesn't and how long things take and somehow we were able to take this experiences with us to larger projects of well. Due to the increased complexity things weren't as accurate anymore but if i compared what we did to the work some others did we still had a pretty nice feeling of were we were standing and getting things done in time.

I'm writing this because thinking of all the episodes all this management and estimations seem to be an important part of what the episodes are about and i can't help myself but thinking that Double Fine is in a comfy situation here. For some strange reasons we had more freedom in terms of resources and development time with projects which were more in the non gaming area due to for instance a client changed his opinions of what he wanted or his deadlines changed.

Anyway, i'm writing a lot more than i intended to and should leave the computer soon again. What i wanted to say is that TDFA needs to be a great game, otherwise it could hurt Double Fine in the long run. Secondly i think it's wise if Double Fine also invests resources apart from what was funded (other resources, getting creative about marketing TDFA, ...) as it shows commitment and the understanding that this step is important. Thirdly i also wouldn't mind if there would be second funding for the game if needed. I could expect that a certain percentage of the backers , apart from buying other DF products, also willing to give a little bit more to get the game done realistically in a convincing way. Obviously i wouldn't want to chip in the same amount again but a certain percentage to enable it crossing the line in a pleasing state, i would be fine with that.

As i wrote before, i have the feeling that DF is quite in a special situation considering their fan base and the genre, maybe others think the same. Hope there aren't this many typos, i'm out... :o)

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Being a programmer myself, having worked in product development for ten years, this looks very familiar.

This is how the sausage gets made, people. To me, this doesn't look bad at all, actually.

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Being a programmer myself, having worked in product development for ten years, this looks very familiar.

This is how the sausage gets made, people. To me, this doesn't look bad at all, actually.

And this is what I've been trying to tell people. It's a quite common occurrence, and nothing to panic about.

Like the title of the documentary implies, DF will handle it.

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