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Greg Rice

Project Update 11: 7/19/13

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And let's try to tone down the negativity in here okay?

I'll take that as a request for all of us. I totally posted a Sam Jackson that accidentally turned into a troll-feeding thread derail, when instead I should have been heeding the advice of our good friend MJ.

Sorry about that!

Nah, I think you all handled that well, there wasn't much need for Greg's request anymore. I laughed at least. Definitely was a better way to react than my sour sounding reply.

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Can we please get back to posting reaction images for Mr. Cranky's message? That made my morning.

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Can we please get back to posting reaction images for Mr. Cranky's message? That made my morning.

Nah, let's post some happy faces instead.

YATTAavvy.gif

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Hi Greg,

Great to hear all the cool stuff going on, looking forward to episode 11. You mentioned the character switching tech, I presume that means we can switch between Shay and Vella at any time during the game? Or do you have to complete one section with one character before switching to the other and completing their part?

For now you can switch at any time Day of the Tentacle Style. Now that it's in we can playtest and see how it feels!

This excites me. Hope it stays in!

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Well here is one more, because I love the hard look pics in this thread. Every one of them is different, on topic and a sweet way to react on what looks like trolling.

And I love Sam The Eagle :-)

Things like "implementing awesome new cloud saving" are why this game's production is so off-schedule. Make a good game, for Christ's sake! You got 3 million dollars, which is 10 times what you asked for. How are you so overbudget?

Cut the fat or find a manager who knows how to manage a project.

Sam_Eagle.JPG

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This is good. It's funny how people reported on, "Releasing the first act of the game early while still releasing the last half on time" to mean that only half will be released on time and the rest sometime in the future.

Lol! I think Clint Eastwood wins for hard looks! I don't envy being at the receiving end of that one ;-)
I don't know, take another look at Samuel L. Jackson. Either one would make me think I've made a terrible mistake. Clint Eastwood was just closer.

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Things like "implementing awesome new cloud saving" are why this game's production is so off-schedule. Make a good game, for Christ's sake! You got 3 million dollars, which is 10 times what you asked for. How are you so overbudget?

Cut the fat or find a manager who knows how to manage a project.

We have separate systems and gameplay programming teams each with their own schedules and priorities. And let's try to tone down the negativity in here okay?

While I agree the original post was a bit too aggressively negative in tone, I don't think the point is absurd either. I don't think it is absurd to ask questions about budget and planning. And I don't think it comes from a bad place: everyone here is just so excited to play this game. I think we all really appreciate the transparency of DF in everything during development, but a bit more of a fulsome response to all the negativity in the game media might be appreciated. This is much in the video game news today with the delay of Wasteland 2.

I'm looking forward to the release of the game, whenever that is. Thanks.

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This is good. It's funny how people reported on, "Releasing the first act of the game early while still releasing the last half on time" to mean that only half will be released on time and the rest sometime in the future.
Lol! I think Clint Eastwood wins for hard looks! I don't envy being at the receiving end of that one ;-)
I don't know, take another look at Samuel L. Jackson. Either one would make me think I've made a terrible mistake. Clint Eastwood was just closer.

Yeah I like the Samuel L. Jackson one too, he's got that unhinged 'What chu talkin' 'bout Willis?!!' I'm gonna get crazy or something, look. But Clint looks like he's gonna rip you a new one for sure, their some retribution in that visage :-)

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Hello again backer friends! Tis I, Gregory Rice, here again to update you on all our grand adventures! So so much crazy awesome stuff has happened recently that I'm not sure quite where to start. How about with the not-so-awesome stuff? Remember all those silly articles that came out a few weeks ago about our release plan? I'm sure you forgot because they were so silly, but we have not!

I agree there was to much bad press telling it wrong.

But there are many of us backers that did not like the plan either....dont get me wrong i get a bigger game with the same money, etc, etc. OK

But somehow i rather have a game (whenever is ready i dont mind the wait) between the money we give you that feels right with me........

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Hoorah for update! It's always great to see things falling into place.

I really look forward to watching the new episode - spent my whole inter-semester break watching the documentary again and again, it's just so incredibly inspiring. I really hope the docu continues with the extended development time.

P.S: The update's title on the backer's content list is "7/9/13" instead of "7/19/13". Also, how do you get the Massive Chalice badge? I backed the game on Kickstarter before I became a Slacker Backer for Reds so perhaps that's why I don't have one?

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And let's try to tone down the negativity in here okay?

I'll take that as a request for all of us. I totally posted a Sam Jackson that accidentally turned into a troll-feeding thread derail, when instead I should have been heeding the advice of our good friend MJ.

Sorry about that!

I read this thread a few days behind and I think the image is a very toned down answer to such negative response, it turned something ugly into something enjoyable.

Kudos to Oliver for doing this, it's a very useful feature. I'm guessing there's a good chance this will be part of the open source release to Moai.

Oh yeah, suejak, here you go:

spock-eyebrow1.png

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Hoorah for update! It's always great to see things falling into place.

I really look forward to watching the new episode - spent my whole inter-semester break watching the documentary again and again, it's just so incredibly inspiring. I really hope the docu continues with the extended development time.

P.S: The update's title on the backer's content list is "7/9/13" instead of "7/19/13". Also, how do you get the Massive Chalice badge? I backed the game on Kickstarter before I became a Slacker Backer for Reds so perhaps that's why I don't have one?

You probably just used different email addresses to back each game. Send me a PM with both of your email addresses in it, so I can link them up into one account.

Also thanks for that typo heads up!

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While I agree the original post was a bit too aggressively negative in tone, I don't think the point is absurd either. I don't think it is absurd to ask questions about budget and planning.

I think Greg meant the negativity in this thread, not in that post specifically. Speaking of that post, though... being critical and questioning things is good. However, this person was insulting DF right off the bat and simplifying a complex issue.

1. This stuff isn't easy. Software projects in general are incredibly complicated, and games are essentially really complex pieces of software. In addition, there are many more unknown variables when you are making something creative as opposed to something that merely needs to be functional. When you are building a house, you don't need to make a door that is fun to open and tear down the wall when it isn't. It's easy being an armchair project manager, especially when you don't know what running a project like this involves.

2. This kind of stuff happens all the time in software development. It is not unusual to see software projects grow in scope and go over budget and I can only imagine it being a lot more common in game development. Naturally, developers want to make the best game that they can and have to adjust it to reality. You can then either get more money or cut the scope down, both of which DF has done. The solution of releasing part of the game early is just one of the ways of getting more money for the project. Also, this didn't happen overnight. We've been aware of the increased scope and additional money being put in for a while now.

3. There was no plan. Tim didn't start designing the game until after the Kickstarter and it has been an ongoing process. This was all part of the documentary deal -- make a game from scratch to finish and document it. Therefore the costs have also been in flux until now and it is not really fair to talk about the 300k game when there never was a 300k game in the first place.

Again, this is nothing extraordinary that we are seeing here -- InXile has put additional money into Wasteland 2 and the game has grown in scope, Jane Jensen's Moebius has received funding from outside sources, and Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded ended up costing more than planned. We just have to trust that we are dealing with people who know what they are doing and, after all, these are veterans that we are talking about here, not some newcomers. Double Fine has a track record of shipping games, including some pretty big ones such as Psychonauts and Brütal Legend.

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It's pretty obvious to me the team are doing everything in their power to do the best job they can with the game. Not every decision will go down well with everyone, but them's the breaks. It seems to me they are working with integrity and following their inspiration, so I'm in full support of whatever they feel they need to do for the game! Godspeed, Broken Age team, you're doing outstanding work from where I'm sitting.

Thanks for the update! Excited to see more of what you've been up to :)

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It's pretty obvious to me the team are doing everything in their power to do the best job they can with the game. Not every decision will go down well with everyone, but them's the breaks. It seems to me they are working with integrity and following their inspiration, so I'm in full support of whatever they feel they need to do for the game! Godspeed, Broken Age team, you're doing outstanding work from where I'm sitting.

Thanks for the update! Excited to see more of what you've been up to :)

+1 for positivity.

Whenever I'm feeling negative I just look at my own avatar, Brad Muir, patron saint of super positivity.

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It's pretty obvious to me the team are doing everything in their power to do the best job they can with the game. Not every decision will go down well with everyone, but them's the breaks. It seems to me they are working with integrity and following their inspiration, so I'm in full support of whatever they feel they need to do for the game! Godspeed, Broken Age team, you're doing outstanding work from where I'm sitting.

Thanks for the update! Excited to see more of what you've been up to :)

+1 for positivity.

Whenever I'm feeling negative I just look at my own avatar, Brad Muir, patron saint of super positivity.

I'll add another +1 for positivity there as well. Edit's comment reflects my own sentiments.

By the way I love your avatar pic, it's very clever, Brad does seem to be in a constant state of positivity.

On a note of the face posts to Suejak, I take it as more of a tongue in cheek kind of reprimand. I think it had the potential to get ugly, and this was rather a fun way to deal with it. I don't see it as that negative.

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While I agree the original post was a bit too aggressively negative in tone, I don't think the point is absurd either. I don't think it is absurd to ask questions about budget and planning.

I think Greg meant the negativity in this thread, not in that post specifically. Speaking of that post, though... being critical and questioning things is good. However, this person was insulting DF right off the bat and simplifying a complex issue.

1. This stuff isn't easy. Software projects in general are incredibly complicated, and games are essentially really complex pieces of software. In addition, there are many more unknown variables when you are making something creative as opposed to something that merely needs to be functional. When you are building a house, you don't need to make a door that is fun to open and tear down the wall when it isn't. It's easy being an armchair project manager, especially when you don't know what running a project like this involves.

2. This kind of stuff happens all the time in software development. It is not unusual to see software projects grow in scope and go over budget and I can only imagine it being a lot more common in game development. Naturally, developers want to make the best game that they can and have to adjust it to reality. You can then either get more money or cut the scope down, both of which DF has done. The solution of releasing part of the game early is just one of the ways of getting more money for the project. Also, this didn't happen overnight. We've been aware of the increased scope and additional money being put in for a while now.

3. There was no plan. Tim didn't start designing the game until after the Kickstarter and it has been an ongoing process. This was all part of the documentary deal -- make a game from scratch to finish and document it. Therefore the costs have also been in flux until now and it is not really fair to talk about the 300k game when there never was a 300k game in the first place.

Again, this is nothing extraordinary that we are seeing here -- InXile has put additional money into Wasteland 2 and the game has grown in scope, Jane Jensen's Moebius has received funding from outside sources, and Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded ended up costing more than planned. We just have to trust that we are dealing with people who know what they are doing and, after all, these are veterans that we are talking about here, not some newcomers. Double Fine has a track record of shipping games, including some pretty big ones such as Psychonauts and Brütal Legend.

I definitely agree that this stuff is tough and it happens in software development; I meant in no way to suggest that this was a simple issue. What I think would be nice is a more fulsome response to the way media is reporting this issue. I'm thinking it was either Kotaku or Joystiq or some place that I read frequently that was highly critical of this approach. In particular, I think one article questioned the timing of this when coupled with the Massive Chalice funding campaign.

Also, I do agree that DF has a track record of shipping games, including major games. But fairly or unfairly, I think DF has some extra pressure on it with regards to Broken Age. Not only to make Broken Age a great game but also to develop it within budget and within a reasonable time. Why? Because Broken Age is the first big Kickstarter game, and its successful campaign spawned so many others. So I think some of the criticism and scrutiny being directed at DF has in large part to do with the particular importance of this game for this Kickstarter model of game development finance.

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Just throwing in another post for positive encouragement to echo what others have said above.

The night is darkest just before the dawn...

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You probably just used different email addresses to back each game. Send me a PM with both of your email addresses in it, so I can link them up into one account.

Also thanks for that typo heads up!

Thanks for the help! The area under my avatar is all shiny and awesome now.

Also no problem. I was really confused when I saw it - had a mini heart attack thinking I posted in a month-old thread.

Also also, positivity high-five all around? I don't know how that works uh... smile and high-five each other in the face?

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Firstly keep up the great work guys, it's been a real inspiration watching everything come together in the 2PP documentaries.

Its actually been just as inspiring seeing you face the issues you have, and work out ways to adapt to them.

In the real world of software development, corners are cut everywhere just to make stuff barely functional and bring things in on time and budget (I should know I'm a software developer and project manager).

Add to this the need to be creative and you've got an untameable, unpredictable beast. Add to this Tim's crazy sprawling mind, and his need to ensure this adventure stands up against the best adventures ever written, and you've got a beast the likes of which the world has never seen... let alone project managed for!

I'd be really interested to know if AFTER the release of Broken Age, you will be publishing any of the flow diagrams, post it walls, planning documents or story arc diagrams that Tim has produced over the course of development?

For me personally, it would be one of the most interesting things to see regarding the birth of an adventure game and would give a great insight into how the puzzles, tension, reveals, story arcs, surprises, ah-ha moments and head scratching periods are engineered.

I would go as far to say (as I naturally trust Broken Age will be awesome once it's released) that AFTER release I would be willing to pay all over again for a "making of" book/site/DVD complete with this type of planning material, concept art and even tech explanations of the engine etc.

How about that for another revenue stream Greg?

(I'm happy to take 1% for suggesting it... no really no need to thank me) :D

Chin up, we're all still behind you, can't wait for the next episode.

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Well here is one more, because I love the hard look pics in this thread. Every one of them is different, on topic and a sweet way to react on what looks like trolling.

And I love Sam The Eagle :-)

Things like "implementing awesome new cloud saving" are why this game's production is so off-schedule. Make a good game, for Christ's sake! You got 3 million dollars, which is 10 times what you asked for. How are you so overbudget?

Cut the fat or find a manager who knows how to manage a project.

Sam_Eagle.JPG

Winner!

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I can't wait for a new episode! Excited to see more of the game. And voice stuff! Exciting!

Also, I look forward to an interview on the whole "debacle", if only to have something to point non-backer friends to rather than launching into a long explanation myself.

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You know, it didn't occur to me that there would be actual voice acting until I saw that they'd been hired. I'm certainly impressed.

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Things like "implementing awesome new cloud saving" are why this game's production is so off-schedule. .

I remember this being asked by the community a while back. Great to hear it's in! Is the feature usable by everything made in the 2hb-toolset in the future, or is it game-specific. Great work, and love these updates! Thanks Greg.

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I have to say, the documentary has been a fascinating ride so far.

It's one thing to hear or read about the pressures and challenges that go into making a game, it's something different altogether to get a peek at the actual discussions that are involved. The interviews with the team members and leads, the decision processes, Tim's insane writing schedule, the art, the tech, and even the stories of how a lot of you guys got into video game development have given me a new appreciation of how much work and love are put into these projects. Also each and every one of you is an extraordinary person.

I'm sure there's a ton of footage we'll never get to see, stuff that's probably not pretty, like the virgin/goat sacrifices and orgies in Tim's name, but the extent to which everything's transparent without necessarily spoiling the game is astonishing, and I for one would say - money damn well spent! I try to pledge a couple bucks every month when I can - right now I missed a month or two, 'cause it can be a little hard when you get paid in BGN. I don't care about backer merch that much - what matters is supporting the project.

The solution to split the game into two acts can unfortunately be a double edged sword, in that it opens up some new problems, not least of which is wrapping up the first act in a coherent and meaningful way for both story arcs (to say nothing of the fact that act two rides in no small measure on the financial success of act one).

I know it must be more than a little uneasy for the Broken Age team and for Double Fine in general at such times. But I'm confident that we will all see it through and end up with an excellent game! For you are not alone. We are many. We are strong. We will show the infidels what adventure games are capable of! (So, y'know... no pressure.)

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I assume they already had 2 acts in the story, and it already was a logical ending point. Like the years in Grim Fandango. So I'm not worried.

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