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TwoSe7enFive

This is getting ridiculous

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Hey I'm a big fan of Chris Remo too, but if your job is "community manager" why wouldn't you take the time to respond to some of these discussions, it would probably alleviate a lot of people's anxiety.

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I understand people wanting more updates about the game itself, but keep in mind, any time they spend writing lengthy updates for us, is time they could be spending actually working on the game. There were more updates earlier on, because they were still in the idea phase. Its natural they would have had more free time to tell us what was going on.

Let's see what the Kickstarter page says:

Over a six-to-eight month period, a small team under Tim Schafer's supervision will develop Double Fine's next game, a classic point-and-click adventure. Where it goes from there will unfold in real time for all the backers to see.

2 Player Productions will be documenting the creative process and releasing monthly video updates exclusively to the Kickstarter backers. This documentary series will strive to make the viewer as much a part of the process as possible by showing a game grow from start to finish, with all the passion, humor, and heartbreak that happens along the way. Double Fine is committed to total transparency with this project, ensuring it is one of the most honest depictions of game development ever conceived.

There will be a private online community set up for the backers to discuss the project with the devs and submit their thoughts and feelings about the game's content and direction, sometimes even voting on decisions when the dev team can't decide.

As it stands right now, we don't really have any idea what is going on behind closed doors, doors that were open some months back. Had we had continuing contact with the people working on the game, it wouldn't be a problem with a delayed episode, but as we're in a information vacuum atm, I personally don't feel comfortable anymore.

Edit: But I'll probably love all Double Finers after what I've seen so far, no matter what happens. They already made a profound impression on me. I just feel sad about being left out of the information flow we had earlier.

This is a really good point, the problem is really about failing to deliver on what they promised. If they never said any of the things above, trust me I'd never bother complaining and just wait until the game is released. I thought we'd get more. As Surplus Gamer has said the beginning of the project was really good, there were lots of posts on the forum to follow the game development but since then it really has been lacking.

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I understand people wanting more updates about the game itself, but keep in mind, any time they spend writing lengthy updates for us, is time they could be spending actually working on the game. There were more updates earlier on, because they were still in the idea phase. Its natural they would have had more free time to tell us what was going on.

Let's see what the Kickstarter page says:

Over a six-to-eight month period, a small team under Tim Schafer's supervision will develop Double Fine's next game, a classic point-and-click adventure. Where it goes from there will unfold in real time for all the backers to see.

2 Player Productions will be documenting the creative process and releasing monthly video updates exclusively to the Kickstarter backers. This documentary series will strive to make the viewer as much a part of the process as possible by showing a game grow from start to finish, with all the passion, humor, and heartbreak that happens along the way. Double Fine is committed to total transparency with this project, ensuring it is one of the most honest depictions of game development ever conceived.

There will be a private online community set up for the backers to discuss the project with the devs and submit their thoughts and feelings about the game's content and direction, sometimes even voting on decisions when the dev team can't decide.

As it stands right now, we don't really have any idea what is going on behind closed doors, doors that were open some months back. Had we had continuing contact with the people working on the game, it wouldn't be a problem with a delayed episode, but as we're in a information vacuum atm, I personally don't feel comfortable anymore.

Edit: But I'll probably love all Double Finers after what I've seen so far, no matter what happens. They already made a profound impression on me. I just feel sad about being left out of the information flow we had earlier.

This is a really good point, the problem is really about failing to deliver on what they promised. If they never said any of the things above, trust me I'd never bother complaining and just wait until the game is released. I thought we'd get more. As Surplus Gamer has said the beginning of the project was really good, there were lots of posts on the forum to follow the game development but since then it really has been lacking.

Actually, I'd argue that it's been very good up until Amnesia fortnight, understandably less good between AF and the new year where they had lots of time off, and poor for the last couple of months.

But it could be that they're at a stage in development where they can't really tell us much they haven't already told us in forum posts, that isn't a big spoiler, or something they would prefer to reveal via the documentary first. That could explain the slowdown in forum updates, though it doesn't explain the general silence. I still have a strong feeling things will pick up over this next month, after Ep 8.

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Hey I'm a big fan of Chris Remo too, but if your job is "community manager" why wouldn't you take the time to respond to some of these discussions, it would probably alleviate a lot of people's anxiety.
Well keep in mind that DF just released The Cave, Brutal Legend PC, and the Amnesia Fortnight Special Edition. Plus they just announced Dischord. He might be more occupied with those at the moment.

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I mostly agree with this assessment, but I wonder, have you browsed the From Double Fine and 2 Player Productions forum much? They haven't been posting in it for a while, but up until then I think it was a really cool way of supplementing for more narrative style of the documentary with detail.

Examples of cool things we've seen:

* Tim asking for ideas for locations, and seeing some of those locations made into concept art

* Concept art for one of the main characters being discussed in detail

* A lot of very detailed posts about how the art in the game will be constructed, complete with demo videos and pictures to illustrate

* A lot of pretty detailed posts about how the game is being programmed

* A smattering of updates from Tim about how he approaches the writing.

I think that's pretty good, and in the region of what I expected. The only things that haven't really gone into at the moment are puzzle design (and Tim does in fact talk about that a little in the Full Throttle sidequest video) and details about the actual story beyond the very basics... and I think given where they are with the project, now, we're likely to see more of that very soon.

Personally I'm quite happy for the documentary and sidequests to carry on how they are, as long as they start up a regular schedule of supplementing that with the forum content again. I still think what we're seeing here is a sort of calm before the storm - and I know the communication from DF has been poor, but I think the execution has been good, recent silence aside.

All of those things are true, and I have been here from the beginning and read all those threads. I stopped visiting as often when the information slowed down, but come here once or twice a week to check if there has been a new update on the progress of the game.

The pace and depth of information being presented at the start was part of what set my expectations for the project. I also think they've been holding back information for a big info dump as you mentioned in another post. But I also think based on comments in the documentary and in some of the forum threads that they haven't been willing to release information that directly spoils the story. I don't have confidence that they will release information that goes in depth into the story making process and that is something that I am very interested in.

We'll see when the next episode comes out, I could be way off base, but my feeling is that Tim doesn't want to spoil the backers experience of the game by revealing the story, which is why I'd like them to make a section where those of us who don't care about being spoiled can go to see the full length of the sausage.

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I mostly agree with this assessment, but I wonder, have you browsed the From Double Fine and 2 Player Productions forum much? They haven't been posting in it for a while, but up until then I think it was a really cool way of supplementing for more narrative style of the documentary with detail.

Examples of cool things we've seen:

* Tim asking for ideas for locations, and seeing some of those locations made into concept art

* Concept art for one of the main characters being discussed in detail

* A lot of very detailed posts about how the art in the game will be constructed, complete with demo videos and pictures to illustrate

* A lot of pretty detailed posts about how the game is being programmed

* A smattering of updates from Tim about how he approaches the writing.

I think that's pretty good, and in the region of what I expected. The only things that haven't really gone into at the moment are puzzle design (and Tim does in fact talk about that a little in the Full Throttle sidequest video) and details about the actual story beyond the very basics... and I think given where they are with the project, now, we're likely to see more of that very soon.

Personally I'm quite happy for the documentary and sidequests to carry on how they are, as long as they start up a regular schedule of supplementing that with the forum content again. I still think what we're seeing here is a sort of calm before the storm - and I know the communication from DF has been poor, but I think the execution has been good, recent silence aside.

All of those things are true, and I have been here from the beginning and read all those threads. I stopped visiting as often when the information slowed down, but come here once or twice a week to check if there has been a new update on the progress of the game.

The pace and depth of information being presented at the start was part of what set my expectations for the project. I also think they've been holding back information for a big info dump as you mentioned in another post. But I also think based on comments in the documentary and in some of the forum threads that they haven't been willing to release information that directly spoils the story. I don't have confidence that they will release information that goes in depth into the story making process and that is something that I am very interested in.

We'll see when the next episode comes out, I could be way off base, but my feeling is that Tim doesn't want to spoil the backers experience of the game by revealing the story, which is why I'd like them to make a section where those of us who don't care about being spoiled can go to see the full length of the sausage.

I think you're right that they won't go into major plot or puzzle spoilers, but I'm not sure that's a problem personally, and I think most people are content to have a view of the process that doesn't feature major spoilers. The problem with accomodating people who want to see all the spoilers, is that they're probably in the minority and it takes just as much time to cater to them as it does everyone else. I'd rather they work on updates that are informative to everyone, not just one section of the backers.

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But I also think based on comments in the documentary and in some of the forum threads that they haven't been willing to release information that directly spoils the story. I don't have confidence that they will release information that goes in depth into the story making process and that is something that I am very interested in.

We'll see when the next episode comes out, I could be way off base, but my feeling is that Tim doesn't want to spoil the backers experience of the game by revealing the story, which is why I'd like them to make a section where those of us who don't care about being spoiled can go to see the full length of the sausage.

I think it's a bit different - I don't believe there will be much more of a story. At least nothing as simple as "biker wants to find his gang, right all bike-related-wrongs, faces bad guys" or "dead guy's journey through film-noir afterlife, confronting corruption." It does seem like if there was a strong plot summary sentence other than "story of a boy and girl" than they might have led with that. That, along with the gigantic "hey everyone, tell me your wacky location ideas" thread that Tim posted, seems to point to it being a vague indie-game-esque plot which could allow the use of any of those locations.

I'd also say that Greg's focus on games like Botanicula, Machinarium, and Sword & Sworcery early in the game club sort of point in that direction...

So, if that's the direction of the game it's pretty much going to work as a "cool experience" but not as a "lets tell the fans these exciting plot-teases" -- I think that's what happens (sometimes) when you're trying to please an insanely large group. It seems just as likely this would be what makes it difficult to talk about / show much of the game.

I think you're reading a bit too much into a few things. It's not at all Tim's style to make a game that isn't character focused, and the thing about the location ideas I'm pretty sure was because the girl starts in a fantasy world with its own rules and the boy is probably going to be visiting various locations in space eventually (as well as all the weird rooms on his ship) so that gives a lot of scope for a lot of weird locations. But that's nothing new either for Tim. In Grim Fandango we had such locations as:

* A coral plant at the bottom of the ocean near the edge of the world

* A dam made out of human bones by flaming, demonic beavers

* The train station at the border between two afterlives

And even in a slightly more grounded game like Full Throttle you had such exotic locations as the secret cave network of a shadowy biker cult. And the wonderful variety of locations in Psychonauts need no introduction. Yet all of these were very plot-driven, character-focused games. The other thing is that this was way back at the brainstorming stage where not all of the world would have been fully formed in Tim's mind, so part of the reason was just to provide a bunch of inspiration for what the world would eventually be like.

Finally, I doubt Greg's choices of game club games had all that much to do with the direction of Reds. Sworcery and Botanicula just happened to be fairly new, and Machinarium was one of the games that people said they had enjoyed in the last 10 years in one of the forum polls. It's true that elements of those games might have an influence on how Reds tells its story, but I think Tim is too fond of characters and writing to stray very far from his usual approach to story.

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I haven't gotten the feeling of a lack of character dialogue focus at all. One of the first tests they showed us involved a literal "Dialogue Tree" after all. Not to mention the brief things they've shown would probably involve some dialogue at least.

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It does seem like if there was a strong plot summary sentence other than "story of a boy and girl" they might have led with that.

In addition to SurplusGamer's assessment of Tim's past games, I'm guessing that the primary reason for them not to have a more specific plot summary is that this probably involves major spoilers of how the two stories interconnect. Of course, it's pure speculation on my part that they are somehow interconnected, but I just don't think that they will be two distinct tales. But still, if they will be, the episode showing Maius' animations gave some strong indications that at least the two separate stories will contain some good amount of plot.

Leaves us with Chris Remo's comment in episode 2 that some plot device would be "top heavy" and "a complicated thing". I'm really curious about what Chris was referring to.

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Leaves us with Chris Remo's comment in episode 2 that some plot device would be "top heavy" and "a complicated thing". I'm really curious about what Chris was referring to.

I seem to remember that comment being something of speculation some months back, and it was clarified that it was something related to the specific way that the two worlds of the boy and the girl connected and affected one another that Chris Remo thought perhaps might be complicated - but it was just Devil's Advocate talk. As to what it is, that's still the part I'm most intrigued to find out.

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Agree with what others have said that what has been delivered so far vs what was promised are two very different things. Feels a bit like after an election. At least what we have seen is all very good though. I thought this kickstarter would be a lot more like how Amnesia Fortnight was operated.

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The March issue of Game Informer has an interview with Greg where he talked a bit about the story. He said multiple times it would have a strong narrative. He even said it would be funny. I know a few people have been doubting the latter.

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I seem to remember that comment being something of speculation some months back, and it was clarified that it was something related to the specific way that the two worlds of the boy and the girl connected and affected one another that Chris Remo thought perhaps might be complicated - but it was just Devil's Advocate talk. As to what it is, that's still the part I'm most intrigued to find out.

I remember that discussion. There were some interesting thoughts about how they may be related. The fact that this hasn't been discussed by DF in detail makes me think it is a major plot device that they want to keep secret. I've always found Tim's vague plot summary to Ron in episode 2 a bit weird. At first, I thought that Tim only had come up with the theme of a boy and a girl "growing up". But I'm guessing that he already had a much more specific plot that was just edited out because of spoilers.

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Well, I agree.... that it's probably not the worst-case-scenario, in which it's just a bunch of witty conversations and locations cobbled together with some vague art-game plot...

*bites tongue, moves swiftly on*

.. But I really hope they get the marketing department to come up with a better 10-word description than "a story about a boy and a girl" by release time -- I don't think anyone signed up to this thinking we'd have that description to go on (and deal with) for 8 months.

Are you surprised? You realise, of course, that if this game had been made traditionally, we wouldn't have even known it existed yet. Maybe in a month or two, but not yet. The outline of the set-up for the game we've recieved so far isn't the same line they'll be using once they start figuring out how they want to sell this to people.

Although to be fair, we've heard a bit more about it than "a story about a boy and a girl". We know that they live in seperate worlds, one in a sort of kingdom and the other alone on a spaceship that does everything for him. We know it's a coming of age story (which almost by definition precludes the low-plot scenario you outlined before.) We've had a few of the details of those worlds filled in (particularly regarding the sacrifice, and it's been talked about how the boy will gradually learn how to take control of different parts of the ship), and we know the worlds are connected in some sort of interesting way, but we don't know what that is yet. Maybe I'm just weird, but I think that's quite a good lot of stuff to go on without being too spoilery. I wouldn't want to know TOO much more than that before playing a game.

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I recommend reading what this Steven Kilpatrick guy said. Everyone seems to have ignored him. I'll even quote him so you don't have to scroll up. Read it over and over until it really sinks in, because he's right, and you all need to just chill out instead of rehashing the same complaints over and over with increasingly tragic prose. (I'd put a smiley face here to show I don't mean to sound too harsh, but I hate those things.)

Like Double Fine, we use scrum to develop our games at the SMU Guildhall.

We do so in order to 1. promote communication within the group (the social aspect being, honestly, one of the most important uses of scrum) 2. to make sure we're meeting milestones 3. to reevaluate and adjust milestones and expectations when necessary

There are times, even within the manifest structures of academic game development, when we, as developers, put our heads down and prep for milestones (either self-assigned or producer/professor assigned). These days we are, to our detriment perhaps, a little more lax with scrum, a little less devoted to updating documentation, and very focused on preparing for the next play-test or showing of our game.

If, as some have speculated, there is an intent to show any of the game during PAX or a GDC talk, then they might be motivated to reach those real world milestones rather than hedge on communication.

One of the benefits of this type of situation is that it's meant to give us insight into the process. One of the disadvantages is that not everyone was sold on that aspect, but rather on the promise of an adventure game at their doorstep.

I sympathize with those who cannot wait for new information, or a new game. However, as someone who frequently gets tunnel vision while working with my team on our own milestones, I completely understand. Our producer often has to yell at us to get a working build of our game ready to playtest, because we just want, "five more minutes to fix this last thing," which continues for hours if we allow it.

All that said, there is a community manager at DF, so it probably wouldn't be too hard to meet the requests of people like Aristotlol. Yes, I know, I'm tagging my post with a little devil's advocacy, but the reality is I follow the community manager on Twitter. He finds time to take cheap shots at people for live tweeting the PS4 press conference, and gearing up for SimCity, so he could probably drift to the DF forums and say a few words. I say that with great affection for Chris by the way.

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^ It seems that while Chris was announced as "community manager" he actually went to work on The Cave, writing dialogue along with Ron (who has also said he's had little involvement with DFA, see gameclub interviews)..

It was a nice gesture to hire Chris, tell us we have a community manager, but really we don't have anything close to a full-time person.

You have a point.

This thread is serveral days old (as is the other EP8 thread) and contains a lot of complaints (a lot of them quite valid) and we haven't even heard one word from DF, let alone from our supposed community manager.

That's really quite a bummer to me.

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The March issue of Game Informer has an interview with Greg where he talked a bit about the story. He said multiple times it would have a strong narrative. He even said it would be funny. I know a few people have been doubting the latter.

You got a link? So… correct me if I’m wrong… readers of Game Informer are getting information before the members of the private backers forum?

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You got a link? So... correct me if I'm wrong... readers of Game Informer are getting information before the members of the private backers forum?

Seems a bit like the private Backer forums are now SO PRIVATE that even DF nor 2PP is allowed in here.

In DFA Backer Forums, no one can hear you complain! ;-)

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You got a link? So... correct me if I'm wrong... readers of Game Informer are getting information before the members of the private backers forum?

Seems a bit like the private Backer forums are now SO PRIVATE that even DF nor 2PP is allowed in here.

In DFA Backer Forums, no one can hear you complain! ;-)

Well, I can't find this article so I'll hold off complaining until I've actually read it. But if such an interview does exist, then at the very least someone should post in the forum saying "Hey guys, Greg's done an interview with Game Informer. Get over there and read it now!!1"

Oh well, I'm just quibbling for the sake of it now, I think we all are. At least we know an episode is on it's way :-)

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Oh well, I'm just quibbling for the sake of it now, I think we all are. At least we know an episode is on it's way :-)

No, I'm with you on this: I think it's absolutly OK if the give out information elsewhere but here, but it would be nice if they would post a link afterwards. Not for every tiny piece of information but if it's an extensive interview or something like that - it would be nice.

It's not really a complaint though (I think I used up all my complaints this week already...), more a nice-to-have.

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The March issue of Game Informer has an interview with Greg where he talked a bit about the story. He said multiple times it would have a strong narrative. He even said it would be funny. I know a few people have been doubting the latter.

You got a link? So… correct me if I’m wrong… readers of Game Informer are getting information before the members of the private backers forum?

I don't think they posted the interview online yet. Its mostly about Greg and how he came to work at Double Fine. They only ask a couple questions about Reds and he doesn't give any info we don't already know. He doesn't even give any info that wouldn't already be obvious to nonbackers. Chill out guys.

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It'd be nice if they released some forum usage statistics (or if someone made up some bit of code that logged traffic) -- I'm really unconvinced that a significant portion of their audience checks these forums regularly for updates. I'm sure twitter is a more time/cost-effective way to distribute news, since we pick up on it quickly here anyway.

This is actually a pretty good point: I think the first post I saw on the forums about the twitter post was very fast, so it makes little difference to me how they decide to update it - we, the most attentive of backers will find out anyway, and twitter will get to more of the audience and maybe even make some non-backers curious enough to investigate.

Still... it would be nice if they at least would keep that one special status thread up to date.

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Err'body chillax.

Waiting for episode 8 is going to be like cracking a bunch of pistachios before eating them. Then you put all of them in your mouth and it's amazing. That's what it's going to feel like when episode 8 comes out. :)

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Hey guys--a new episode will be out this week. Sorry for the delay. It's been super busy around here lately, with multiple projects in various stages of development and preparations for PAX East and GDC.

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