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netghost

Extremely disappointed in the lack of updates

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I've backed a number of Kickstarter campaigns, and this one, more than almost any other, emphasized transparency. Over on the Kickstarter page, they promise that

Where it goes from there will unfold in real time for all the backers to see.
and
Double Fine is committed to total transparency with this project, ensuring it is one of the most honest depictions of game development ever conceived.
But Double Fine has become one of the worst in terms of actual updates.

Let's take a look at the list of updates:

-Last art update, November 21,

-Last writing update May 29,

-Last programming update September 25,

-Last production update November 21,

-Last full documentary episode December 22,

The only updates released this year are two side-quests. They're kind of interesting, but they reveal nothing of what's being done on the game.

I understand that delays and setbacks are inevitable in development: I don't mind if the game is late or running into problems of some kind, just tell us what's going on. I also understand that documentary episodes take time to shoot and edit, and that 2 Player Productions is tiny and busy. The problem is that Double Fine seems to have left 2 Player with the job of providing ALL the updates, leading to huge gaps in between. Didn't they hire Chris Remo as a community manager? What's he up to? I doubt I'm the only community member who's wondering what's going on.

I'd be happy with a paragraph or so every couple weeks letting us know what's currently being done and how things are going. It doesn't have to be long and involved. Or how about at least a tweet-sized update? A number of Double Fine employees seem to have enough time to tweet.

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My Fellow Backer! Do not despair! Follow @2PProductions and you will often get twitter sized updates from them:

https://twitter.com/2PProductions

They've recently mentioned that Tim's all juice diet will be featured in episode 8 and that it will be coming this week.

Also you shouldn't be extremely disappointed (maybe mildly or normally disappointed) but they gave us a BIG heads up that it would be a long time what with Amnesia Fortnight, the Minecraft Doc coming to an end and the fact that we are in the very mundane middle point of development: content creation. It's not exactly Puck on Real World around there right now I'm sure. Plus were in major spoiler land if we see too much of the day to day right now.

I trust them. We must be patient! We were spoiled last fall.

Seth B.

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Sure, but this still raises the issue of where the hell is DF in all of this? Since when was it 2PP's sole responsibility to keep us posted about REDS?

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I've backed a number of Kickstarter campaigns, and this one, more than almost any other, emphasized transparency.

That's exactly what happened. They achieved such a high level of transparency that they became nearly invisible. The updates, they are all around you, you just can't see them. Sometimes you think you see one out of the corner of your eye, but you turn and it's not there. Or so you think, because it really is there, just straddling the line between what your eyes can't see and what your brain can't comprehend.

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Sure, but this still raises the issue of where the hell is DF in all of this? Since when was it 2PP's sole responsibility to keep us posted about REDS?

Chris Remo recently posted to say that sorry it's been quiet, but they've been very very busy in the office lately due to lots of projects happening all at once, as well as PAX and GDC preparations, so that's probably part of the reason they haven't been able to communicate with us as often as usual.

Also, why do we need a billionth thread for this? If we kept the conversation to a single thread, then you might have seen the update from Chris Remo.

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We most certainly don't and yes, I've seen his post seconds after posting this.

I still feel like we haven't heard the whole story. As others have pointed out, many DF devs seem to have enough time to post tweets and what have you on random topics, yet apparently they're all too busy to give a response of similar length on what's going on with DFA?

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We most certainly don't and yes, I've seen his post seconds after posting this.

I still feel like we haven't heard the whole story. As others have pointed out, many DF devs seem to have enough time to post tweets and what have you on random topics, yet apparently they're all too busy to give a response of similar length on what's going on with DFA?

I agree. They should be more on top of letting us know what their plan is for updates, etc. So's we know to expect delays when they come. I keep saying this, but I also think there are good reasons to be cheerful, like the double length documentary episode that's about to be released which will no doubt fill in some of what's been going on. I'm hoping the release of the documentary will trigger a return to more regularly scheduled updates, but if not then I think there'll be more of a problem, because we'll be missing the detail we were getting in the forum updates.

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Personally, I'm not disillusioned and am quite looking forward to future updates. In fact, we need some perspective... From personal experience I kind of disagree with others who claim that other companies have been more transparent. From most of the projects I've backed I only get updates about how psyched a particular team-member is about the given project or a careful selection of 3-4 concept art pieces per update. Hell, DF gave us much more than that from the start. Also, absolutely none of the other projects have mentioned what hardships they might have encountered during production. DF was pretty transparent about that last time around and I fully appreciate this.

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Personally, I'm not disillusioned and am quite looking forward to future updates. In fact, we need some perspective... From personal experience I kind of disagree with others who claim that other companies have been more transparent. From most of the projects I've backed I only get updates about how psyched a particular team-member is about the given project or a careful selection of 3-4 concept art pieces per update. Hell, DF gave us much more than that from the start. Also, absolutely none of the other projects have mentioned what hardships they might have encountered during production. DF was pretty transparent about that last time around and I fully appreciate this.

I totally agree with this. It may have been quiet lately, but before that we were hearing about their funding and scheduling difficulties, and remember before that when there was the episode focused around the creative problems of Bagel not really getting much chance to express his style, I think all of that is the sort of thing you usually just don't hear about in development. I'm really looking forward to the sort of revelations the next episode will have about the last couple of months!

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I understand they're busy with several projects, and I'm not going to say other companies have been more transparent because that's false. In the beginning, DF has been more transparent than any other developer, probably ever.

My problem is that they've gone completely silent altogether. They promised transparency throughout the ENTIRE process, not just at the beginning when things were easy. Its like they've gotten more difficult now, and more busy so they use it as an excuse to go back into hiding. This is when I want updates, when the crap hit the fan and they have to work extra hard everyday, when they're busy with a million other projects and have to meet their deadlines on all of them. I don't just want updates when everything is okay and they're walking through Candy Land.

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@SurplusGamer People are understandably and rightfully upset. If you don't like these threads you have the right to ignore them. Your posts complaining about the amount of threads add nothing to the conversation.

I contributed because I believed in what Double Fine were doing and promising. As a fan, this promised to be the closest I would get to the process. So yes, when I don't get what I pay for from a company I feel I have the right to complain and so do others.

If you are happy with what you paid for, that's wonderful ... stay in the happy-time threads.

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@SurplusGamer People are understandably and rightfully upset. If you don't like these threads you have the right to ignore them. Your posts complaining about the amount of threads add nothing to the conversation.

I contributed because I believed in what Double Fine were doing and promising. As a fan, this promised to be the closest I would get to the process. So yes, when I don't get what I pay for from a company I feel I have the right to complain and so do others.

If you are happy with what you paid for, that's wonderful ... stay in the happy-time threads.

Seems a bit weird to pick on me for not contributing to the discussion in a thread which isn't contributing to the discussion, but is in fact a retread of discussions in other threads - why do I get the flak and not the guy that posted something there's several other threads for? Also seems a bit strange to suggest that we should have some kind of weird segregation of people who are happy and people who aren't (which is the only way I can interpret the 'stay in the happy time threads' remark) - and if you'd actually been reading my posts, I'm mostly happy but with reservations.

But since you've decided to single me out, I'd like to say that I think that in all these threads I've been contributing plenty (I mean, the discussion is starting to circle the drain a bit, but that notwithstanding). I've pointed people's factual errors out, and pointed out things that maybe they aren't taking into account. I've also (shock!) supported people who are unhappy when I think some people have been unfairly critical of them.

So how about we don't make this personal, eh?

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So how about we don't make this personal, eh?

Fun pills and sleds for SurplusGamer.

Smiles

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So how about we don't make this personal, eh?

Fun pills and sleds for SurplusGamer.

Smiles

Don't want to make a fuss, but please leave me out of your fun pills and sleds. I know you don't mean anything by it and I mean no offence either but... I just find it a bit annoying when I'm just try'na have a discussion and see this whenever it gets a little hot.

(edit: never mind. I'm just a bit tired. You can, of course, say what you like. I feel bad for bringing it up, so let me try and put it another way that's a little less mean. To me it feels like you're doing this...

tumblr_mh3oscb6co1rvaggno1_500.gif only... all the time. I think that's why it gets on my brain.)

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There is an episode coming TODAY! omg.

And I know it's later than everyone would like, but we are human (after all) and along with that comes delays, whether it's in Reds or traffic or babies. Things sometimes don't happen on time. But they do happen. Traffic clears, no matter how many collisions or earthquakes there are. Babies get born, no matter how late or complicated. And we may not have released an episode, but we are filming and making a game, and you will see it.

We are not a machine, we cannot manufacture things and put them out without fail, on time, every time. And since we are filming things as they happen, you get the most recent stuff we have when we release an episode. We don't queue things up for you so there's always an episode or an art/programming post going up for you on time but from ages past. We do it, we record it, we give it to you. When our artists and programmers have time, they write an update and answer questions for you. But they don't always have that time, and, sadly, I wouldn't expect them as frequently since the game is really taking off and they are diving into that with their time and energy, and can't easily take the large chunks of time away to write an update for you.

We hope you will be understanding of human things like that and have patience and faith in us.

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There is an episode coming TODAY! omg.

And I know it's later than everyone would like, but we are human (after all) and along with that comes delays, whether it's in Reds or traffic or babies. Things sometimes don't happen on time. But they do happen. Traffic clears, no matter how many collisions or earthquakes there are. Babies get born, no matter how late or complicated. And we may not have released an episode, but we are filming and making a game, and you will see it.

We are not a machine, we cannot manufacture things and put them out without fail, on time, every time. And since we are filming things as they happen, you get the most recent stuff we have when we release an episode. We don't queue things up for you so there's always an episode or an art/programming post going up for you on time but from ages past. We do it, we record it, we give it to you. When our artists and programmers have time, they write an update and answer questions for you. But they don't always have that time, and, sadly, I wouldn't expect them as frequently since the game is really taking off and they are diving into that with their time and energy, and can't easily take the large chunks of time away to write an update for you.

We hope you will be understanding of human things like that and have patience and faith in us.

Hey Allison. Thanks for the post. I do think people understand that, but I think what most people are looking for (to be fair on the people who are being negative) is more info on when it is a busy time, and why that is, and maybe a warning not to expect too many updates while it's going on. Because we've just had a quite long stretch of no staff posts at all until very recently, so people were left guessing as to why that was since previously the updates had been pretty regular - I think a very brief explanation would have left most people happier.

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There was the sidequest in February, and I think whenever we post a new thing here, we touch base to remind you we are still working on it. But sometimes we can't talk in detail about what is delaying us. It could be unrelated to Reds, or it's the main focus of an upcoming episode, or other reasons.

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Hey Allison. Thanks for the post. I do think people understand that, but I think what most people are looking for (to be fair on the people who are being negative) is more info on when it is a busy time, and why that is, and maybe a warning not to expect too many updates while it's going on. Because we've just had a quite long stretch of no staff posts at all until very recently, so people were left guessing as to why that was since previously the updates had been pretty regular - I think a very brief explanation would have left most people happier.

SurplusGamer pretty much sums up my position. If you're really swamped or there are delays for whatever reason, just say so. If you can't go into the details, just say that. Anything is better than nothing at all. That's why I mentioned tweet-sized updates. When you're really busy and start falling behind on things like this, there's a natural tendency to say "hold on a little bit longer, and we'll give you something amazing," but this rarely helps and leaves you with more work at times you can afford it least.

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There was the sidequest in February, and I think whenever we post a new thing here, we touch base to remind you we are still working on it. But sometimes we can't talk in detail about what is delaying us. It could be unrelated to Reds, or it's the main focus of an upcoming episode, or other reasons.

As I posted in the Episode 8 thread - not everything has to be a surprise left for episode updates. Transparency was part of the pitch, which has now seemingly become "we'll do stuff and surprise 'em in the next episode... whenever that is released!". Why can't the main focus of an upcoming episode also be mentioned on the forums?

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