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

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Wonderful episode!

It's a shame that things aren't all butterflies and rainbows but I guess that's just life.

Making my own games in free time I can definitely emphatize with discovering that your scope is just far bigger then you thought initially, and too big for the time you have, so ou the machetes go and there you go slashing parts of your games you've loved but without which the game can still be engaging and a complete experience.

I hope you can finish this game without having to sacrifice too much of the company. When it was mentioned that the whole company is dependent on this project I deffinitely felt nervous...

All in all: Good Luck!

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Great episode, and perfect for the winter weather season. Chilly. But like usual, spring will come soon. Until then, fun pills and sleds for everyone on REDS.

Smiles

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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.

You guys are right, this is common, BUT do you know what is common too? Have a publisher, that can solve this kind of problem with money. That's why people are right to be worried, but I'm sure DF made a plan for this.

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You guys are right, this is common, BUT do you know what is common too? Have a publisher, that can solve this kind of problem with money. That's why people are right to be worried, but I'm sure DF made a plan for this.

Point taken. On a regular project - with a publisher - the decision about the additional funding would be way more easier to make. It's typically up to a group of 1-3 people to grant additional funds, whereas in this case we have thousands of individual stakeholders.

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Great episode guys! I work in the software industry (CRM boring..zzz) and these types of discussions and hard decisions happen on every project. The team at doublefine is very talented and the ideas and execution of those ideas is amazing. I am really, really looking forward to this game and future episodes! I like others on this forum would be more than happy to donate additional funds if needed to keep you from having to look to other sources for money. Keep up the good work!

-Alan

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best episode yet by far !!!

pressure is really on and its a do or die situation, time to put head down and get grafting hahaa

i had no doubt the project would slip (tims past games and high attention to quality) and i dont mind coz i get to see more episodes like this :P keep pushing on without compromising on what u feel is important and things will work out as always

could go over budget but take into account profits made once the game is released, bit risky tho, although the hype backing this game will be enough to get many people to buy it which i think was lacking in previous games even tho they were critically acclaimed and AAA

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One of the best episodes thus far imo. This documentary is amazing and even for it alone my backing would have paid off. Tim's addendum to the episode was also very nice to read, it was clear to me that the project isn't going downhill because the initial budget doesn't work out. The idea of cutting things from a game is always a bit sad but it is something that happens in every game even every medium and often what is being cut is for the better of the project not just in terms of budget.

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I wish this had aired before Amnesia Fortnight so people had felt more inclined to be spendy with the bundle. (spendy is a word, don't look it up).

You can still increase your order amount for that, btw. Ka-ching.

Godspeed REDS team!

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Another great episode.

Unfortunately there is no such thing as free money. You always lose something in return

1. Ask for more money from backers or a second kickstarter campaign?

You risk losing credibility.

2. Ask for money from a publisher?

You risk losing control of the creative side of the project.

3. Ask for money from a wealthy donor (even a benevolent one like Notch)?

You risk a marketing disaster - saying you couldn't do it on your own.

4. Ask for money from a bank or other investors?

You risk carving them off a large slice of the future profits from the game. Maybe too large if you were banking on the cash to keep DF afloat for the next project.

The biggest risk is the PR disaster of not being able to deliver a game on time or on budget in the highest profile case study for crowdsourcing ever. Which means the best solution is to cut scope and quality and find a way of financing that sacrifices future profits for current credibility.

It's tough love - but what are the other options?

I wish you guys the best of luck. Again - wish I'd known this when I was backing the AF bundle - I would have given even more.

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The biggest risk is the PR disaster of not being able to deliver a game on time or on budget in the highest profile case study for crowdsourcing ever. Which means the best solution is to cut scope and quality and find a way of financing that sacrifices future profits for current credibility.

It's tough love - but what are the other options?

Tim obviously named another option: to take money from their own back catalog through Psychonauts Steam Sales (I bought Psychonauts and Costume Quest these days) and the Amnesia Fortnight Bundle. I don't know how much it is. But i think it is a viable thing to do.

If I were in Tims position I would do a combination of using money from the mentioned sales, subtle advertising of the slacker backer option and if there still is not enough money I would cut for the rest. Additionally I would put as much people on the team as I could. (I don't really know why Ron Gilbert isn't on the Team already - since it was in a way advertised as an old school Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert Adventure - But I guess the ongoing development of "The Cave" is the reason).

Furthermore, I am pretty sure that Tim knows what he is doing.

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When REDS and The CAVE are gold there would be no reason for Ron and Tim not to work on a new Adventure seeing as the studio is optimizing the engine for the task.

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(I don't really know why Ron Gilbert isn't on the Team already - since it was in a way advertised as an old school Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert Adventure - But I guess the ongoing development of "The Cave" is the reason).

Even though Ron has been busy with The Cave, I believe that he's still had a sort of advisory role for REDs. Tim can go chat with Ron if he wants his opinion on a certain design or narrative choice.

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I'd like to believe that Tim and Ron regularly discuss the stories of REDS and The Cave over luxurious TV dinners and inexpensive chardonnay.

Yeah. It helps get me to sleep at night.

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I've noticed Ron Gilbert isn't in any of the Episodes (other than the very first one.) Is he helping with REDS?

I’m probably the first person who mentioned the lack of information regarding Ron Gilbert’s involvement with the project, quite some time ago and again recently.

I may have imagined it or it may have been relating to something else, but I think Remo said that Ron was too busy with The Cave (too many posts to look back into now).

Since then I’ve established these two theories:

1. With the scope of the game rising and the ongoing work on The Cave it became apparent that Ron couldn’t find the time to be involved with this project despite the initial intent, and there’s wrong with that, things don’t always go as planned. Problem is if this scenario is correct instead of addressing the issue and saying something like “We’re sorry Ron is too busy with The Cave” they completely ignored it (a vague reply to a random thread I may have imagined, is not ‘addressing’ the issue).

2. Ron already has or will at some time get involved with the project, but just like any real information regarding the progress of the project, is being saved for a future documentary episode and it will not be mentioned in any capacity until that episode airs, probably months after he actually starts doing something.

I personally think the second scenario is more likely, particularly with new extended development time that will probably see Ron with more free time, since The Cave is pretty much complete despite Sega holding on to it for release on a less competitive window.

EDIT: Regarding his advisory role I like to think that Tim discussed more things with him than that little chat we saw in the video, but rather than imagine it I’d rather see it even if it is a sidequest (I’d settle for an extended video of what we saw already for starters).

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That's not what the Kickstarter promised, though. I wouldn't risk that backlash, if I were Tim.

Also, I am pretty sure that most problems from the episode have already been solved, and that the team is fighting with completely different (but NEW!) problems we can only dream of, already.

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2. Ron already has or will at some time get involved with the project, but just like any real information regarding the progress of the project, is being saved for a future documentary episode and it will not be mentioned in any capacity until that episode airs, probably months after he actually starts doing something.

Since this project is in financial trouble according this last episode, maybe Ron gets an entrance as the project saving superhero in the next one. Ron Gilbert transforms into a costumed superhero and saves everyones day. I am pretty sure it will turn out this way!

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The Kickstarter never promised that Ron would be on the team, it just said (and I'm paraphrasing) "with help from Ron Gilbert." If Tim is occasionally going to Ron for suggestions and opinions, then I believe that counts as help. The Cave was already under development when the Kickstarter was launched, so I doubt it was a surprise to anyone at Double Fine that Ron was busy with his own project.

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2. Ron already has or will at some time get involved with the project, but just like any real information regarding the progress of the project, is being saved for a future documentary episode and it will not be mentioned in any capacity until that episode airs, probably months after he actually starts doing something.

Since this project is in financial trouble according this last episode, maybe Ron gets an entrance as the project saving superhero in the next one. Ron Gilbert transforms into a costumed superhero and saves everyones day. I am pretty sure it will turn out this way!

It isn't in financial trouble really. They're just facing the fact they can't keep the current scope without more money, which is a very different situation since they can manage it when they face this sitauation now and not later.

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The biggest risk is the PR disaster of not being able to deliver a game on time or on budget in the highest profile case study for crowdsourcing ever. Which means the best solution is to cut scope and quality and find a way of financing that sacrifices future profits for current credibility.

It's tough love - but what are the other options?

Additionally I would put as much people on the team as I could.

Putting more people on the team ADDS to the budget. More people = more salaries. They are in a situation where they need to do more with less.

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The Kickstarter never promised that Ron would be on the team, it just said (and I'm paraphrasing) "with help from Ron Gilbert." If Tim is occasionally going to Ron for suggestions and opinions, then I believe that counts as help. The Cave was already under development when the Kickstarter was launched, so I doubt it was a surprise to anyone at Double Fine that Ron was busy with his own project.

To clear up this argument once and for all, the semantics of Ron’s involvement and what was exactly promised and what-not is irrelevant. His involvement with this project was used as a promotional draw, some people on tweeter or in the Kickstarter comments were even asking for Grossman to be involved or generally bringing the Lucas Arts ‘dream team’ together.

Knowingly using his name in relation to the project to gather more backers when there was no intention for him to be involved in any capacity is at the very least dishonest, as dishonest as saying adventure games are not funded by publishers anymore, while one is being developed at your own dev house at the same time (The Cave).*

While the advisor role remains theoretical, the little part we seen so far definitely doesn’t cover it, and it definitely doesn’t deserve a spot in the credits aside from a Special Thanks some devs frequently attribute to pets and janitors.

Anybody who was paying attention to what was going on before the Kickstarter started, knows that Ron could not have been a full team member due to his commitment to another project (since then revealed as The Cave) so let’s stop with this argument as if we didn’t know about it, no involvement and minimal involvement are two different things.

As for my personal stake in this, frankly the amount I pledged for was attributed to a variety of things, one of which was Ron’s involvement with the project, I generally hold Ron in higher regard than Tim and I have a general respect for seniority. So yes, if all he ever does for this game is that short chat with Tim we already seen, I’ll feel disappointed/betrayed (as I’ve also mentioned though in previous posts a great game can make up for anything, even that).

Of course I still think that my No.2 theory above is the more likely circumstance and that there was no malicious ‘marketing ploy’ at play.

That’s my last word on the issue unless we get some news; some of you guys can keep on thinking that his two minute chat with Tim on that episode is all that was ‘promised’ and all that we’ll get, if you’re so inclined.

*The Cave is a puzzle platformer and not an adventure, despite what DF keeps calling it. I was just being extra venomous to drive the point home. As for why they insist on calling it an adventure? That’s not DF’s fault (hint: a hedgehog is to blame).

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I'm a slacker backer who was late to the party. $15 was cheap in my mind for a Tim Schafer (and hopefully Ron Gilbert) adventure game. I'd love to chip in another $15 toward the effort, especially since this means the possibility of more quality, user-funded games being made in the future. Should I just re-up with another email address or buy another one of your games? What's the most efficient use of funds? JUST KEEP GOING! MAKE IT AS AWESOME AS POSSIBLE!!!!

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Episode notes:

6:34 - Commander Shepard is on the team? Now I KNOW this can't end well.

12:48 - This might be a big part of your problem: proper team motivation. Most companies will take coffee breaks or foosball breaks. This "Lettuce Break" sounds like a real buzzkill, and seems totally discongruous with DF's otherwise pro-fun environment.

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So, we would like Ron to design a side-quest where the task is to help someone get out of a cave?

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