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Greg Rice

Project Update 15: 10/9/13

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DF can do whatever the hell they want with the game! We don't have any exclusive rights to the game lol, I don't see where people get this idea from. It's something fun they want to do, and if non-backers and the press turn up, then it's free publicity and maybe a bunch of new slacker backers to join this community! :D

It doesn't matter if you get it before anyone else anyway really. I mean seriously, it's childish behavior complaining that someone else get something before you.

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Hey guys, no the game is not at beta yet. Only a portion of the game is nearing that and that's what we'll be showing. People will be restricted to that section in an environment where we can have a bit of control. It's not ready to go out into the wild quite yet. But fear not, once it is you'll still be the first to get it!

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Regarding early alpha/beta access and such things.

First, i think it's nice thing for the event, having some fun and the devs can show something they've worked on for quite some time now. They'll get feedback which most probably will improve the game, ... seems like a win-win situation for everyone.

Hmm, i think there are three ways of approaching games and alpha/beta access, a) you're able and willing to invest your resources in terms of providing reasonable thought-out play testing and feedback and on the other side the dev take his role serious as well, b) you stay away until the first bug fixes show up and let the others do the work, c) anything in between but where you focus on specific limited aspects only, it can have the potential to collide with aspects of you don't get (lack of a) but it's valuable nonetheless. Anything else can be rather painful and a waste of time. For the dev it's also sensible presenting a game to certain audiences and pick out the feedback or inspiration he's interested in.

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Regarding whining: A controlled demo of a small portion the game is in no way comparable to the access we'll be getting as backers.

Regarding everything else: very exciting!

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I understand the general complaint, backers feel it's their game and entitled to first access, but this is actually a very smart move for the game and DF in general. Besides, they are not giving the game to anyone yet.

It's going to help with the additional funds required for part 2 of the game. Making this a backer-only event would not have helped this purpose.

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I posted this on the Kickstarter update page and I'm posting it here too.

I have a serious complaint about this Day of the Devs event. Because once again, the BACKERS are not going to be the first people who get their hands on the game. Sure SOME Backers will attend this event, but MOST of us cannot because we don't live near San Francisco and certainly can't afford the last minute airfare and hotel reservations required to make the trip.

The people who will attend will be PRESS and a bunch of random people who live in or near San Francisco, which will include some Backers. But not ALL Backers. The BACKERS should get priority. Not PRESS. Not the random public. The BACKERS are the ones who funded this project, not the general public. I am really upset about this. I feel like a second-class citizen even though I'm a Backer. >_<

...wait, so you wouldn't have backed this project if you saw that this was included on the "perks" of being a backer? I'm not going to be able to attend because I live on the other side of the country, but I look at this as a welcome surprise to people in the area, and I hope everyone has fun!

Get over yourself.

This is not a perk of being a backer. This is a perk of either living in or near San Francisco or being rich. This doesn't benefit backers at all. Not sure what you're even saying.

I, and many thousands of others, gave MONEY to have this game be made. Yet I will apparently not be able to play it until either the beta phase (which was the original plan) or the steam early access, which is a necessary evil due to the lack of managing the project properly. (which happens quite a bit in game development so I had no issue with that) But this? This is playable Alpha code being made available to people who haven't backed the game.

Remember what they said during the Kickstarter project: "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. Backers will also have access to help test the game once a beta is available."

So Backers get access to test the game during Beta but the GENERAL PUBLIC gets to test the Alpha if they live in or near San Francisco or can afford to make the trip there. That's not what I signed up for. That's not what I pledged my money for. BACKERS should have first access, if any, not people who didn't believe in the project strongly enough to give up their hard-earned money.

That's my point.

More free publicity the better for the game. As a backer, you should be HAPPY more people get to experience the game, and hopefully back it themselves. Having it only for backers does nothing financially for Double Fine.

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But all that aside, this all sounds wonderful! I hope there's a side-quest interviewing backer's reactions to the game and such. Maybe I'm pushing it. xD

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Tim will be serving juices from his juicer.

I misread that as "serving justice from his juicer", but that makes sense too.

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Tim will be serving juices from his juicer.

I misread that as "serving justice from his juicer", but that makes sense too.

Get Lean and Mean with Green Justice :P

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More free publicity the better for the game. As a backer, you should be HAPPY more people get to experience the game, and hopefully back it themselves. Having it only for backers does nothing financially for Double Fine.

I don't think it should be only for backers. I think it should be only for backers FIRST. If they're showing off a controlled Alpha section of the game, they should be distributing that controlled Alpha to the backers first. Then they can show it to the public.

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Hey guys, no the game is not at beta yet. Only a portion of the game is nearing that and that's what we'll be showing. People will be restricted to that section in an environment where we can have a bit of control. It's not ready to go out into the wild quite yet. But fear not, once it is you'll still be the first to get it!

But we're not the first to get it. Unless this Day of the Devs version of Broken Age consists of a hands-off demo that you're showing during a presentation of some kind, non-backers are getting their hands on *something* first even if it's not beta code. If it's hands-on, controlled or no, where non-Backers are getting to play a portion of the game before Backers, then I have a huge problem with that.

I would suggest, if possible, that you send out what you plan to present at Day of the Devs to the Backers first, and then show it to the public. That's perfectly fine in my eyes. As Backers, we understand that what you have so far isn't finished. We know that it will be buggy and all that jazz. We want to participate in the Beta because we want to help make the game as good as possible. That means if we get our hands on Alpha code too, we would also savor the opportunity to provide feedback at that level as well. That's why you're doing this right? So the fans get a chance at helping shape the game that we gave our hard-earned money to. Because we want a game that couldn't otherwise be made, right? It's not unprecedented that these Kickstarters would send out Alpha code to Backers. Pinkerton Road Studios Kickstarters, as I mentioned earlier, has already sent out to backers *two* Alpha builds for us Backers to provide feedback. I don't see why your team couldn't do the same thing.

One other thing that is nagging at me. Is the Steam Early Access thing what you are considering the Beta at this point? Because, again, if it is, then non-Backers are getting access to the Beta at the same time as Backers. Backers should get access to the Beta *before* Steam Early Access goes live, IMO. Please tell me this isn't the case.

Thanks.

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One other thing that is nagging at me. Is the Steam Early Access thing what you are considering the Beta at this point?

My understanding is that it is. I honestly don't see Steam Early Access as being any different to the "Slacker Backer" option provided here, something which the community overwhelmingly supported.

If you don't object to "Slacker Backers", then you probably shouldn't object to Steam Early Access, and if you do, then you're probably better off targeting your wrath at the ongoing PayPal support options than SAC because that's what's setting the precedent.

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One other thing that is nagging at me. Is the Steam Early Access thing what you are considering the Beta at this point?

My understanding is that it is. I honestly don't see Steam Early Access as being any different to the "Slacker Backer" option provided here, something which the community overwhelmingly supported.

If you don't object to "Slacker Backers", then you probably shouldn't object to Steam Early Access, and if you do, then you're probably better off targeting your wrath at the ongoing PayPal support options than SAC because that's what's setting the precedent.

I have no problem with Slacker Backers because they're backing the project. They should obviously be granted access. But Steam Early Access isn't the same thing as Slacker Backing because people who pay for it are buying the final product and getting "early access" to just the game. They won't get access to the private forums. They won't get access to the documentary. They won't get the special edition packaging or any of the other physical goodies. They're paying for the final version of the game and getting "early access" to it. The Backers should have access to the Beta before Early Access goes live.

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Nothing is being distributed, all that's announced is an event where a portion of the game would be playable. It has nothing to do with the timing of the beta or steam early access.

So I still don't see a major problem with an event that will endorse the game.

PS, if DF had the IP to make Grim Fandango 2 then Day of the Devs on Nov 2 would have been so much cooler :)

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FearMonkey, would it be possible to not post like you're speaking for everyone who backed the project? Your feelings are fine and it's fine if people agree with you, but I don't think it's fair to assume that they do. I know that I for one am not really interested in playing an unfinished version of the game (it's an adventure game, I'm only going to be able to figure out the puzzles once, so I don't want to do so in an inferior version). I've nothing but admiration for the self-sacrificing individuals who are willing to beta test for the sake of a better game, but I also think that needs to happen at a point where the feedback will be useful, and it doesn't sound like Broken Age is there on a large scale.

I imagine the interesting thing about the event won't be so much any feedback Double Fine get about the game, but being able to actually see the actions and reactions of the people playing it. It has been mentioned before that this kind of feedback is incredibly useful for adventure games - well, that's why it's being tested by someone outside the team every day - so this sounds really positive. Not that it's really an event specifically for testing (which just adds another element to the feedback). It'll be interesting to find out how the team respond to it.

Actually, the fact that the last update had Broken Age hitting alpha and this one has just under half of the game at beta level is pretty exciting generally. I know that it's the last 5% that takes the longest with these things, but that seems like a lot of progress in a short space of time, which is really cool.

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Nothing is being distributed, all that's announced is an event where a portion of the game would be playable. It has nothing to do with the timing of the beta or steam early access.

So I still don't see a major problem with an event that will endorse the game.

You apparently haven't been following the discussion closely. The problem I have is that nothing is being distributed to the backers and instead a bunch of people will get the try out the game before the backers do. I have a big problem with that.

The Steam Early Access issue is a tangential issue from the issue I initially raised.

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FearMonkey, would it be possible to not post like you're speaking for everyone who backed the project? Your feelings are fine and it's fine if people agree with you, but I don't think it's fair to assume that they do.

I double-checked my posts and I'm pretty sure I was clearly speaking for myself. I was even using the pronoun "I" quite a bit. :P

I imagine the interesting thing about the event won't be so much any feedback Double Fine get about the game, but being able to actually see the actions and reactions of the people playing it. It has been mentioned before that this kind of feedback is incredibly useful for adventure games - well, that's why it's being tested by someone outside the team every day - so this sounds really positive. Not that it's really an event specifically for testing (which just adds another element to the feedback). It'll be interesting to find out how the team respond to it.

Again, I'm not interested in Double Fine getting feedback from gamers who did not feel strongly enough about the project to put up their own money for it. That feedback may be counter to what I (and perhaps many other Backers) expect this game to be. I trust the opinions of my fellow Backers when it comes to this game as well as Tim and the rest of the dev team. I don't trust anybody else's opinion on it.

For instance, in IGN's review of Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded, the reviewer complained that it was too easy to die in the game, even though that is one of the things that the Backers of LSLR *WANTED* in that game. That is the kind of person I don't want offering input on how an adventure game should play. That is the kind of person whose opinion I don't want affecting the development of Broken Age.

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You were using "We backers" a lot in your earlier post, which was why I mentioned it. No need - we're all backers here!

One thing that has been mentioned quite a lot by Tim in the documentary videos is the importance of not taking feedback at face value, and trying to read whether the complaint a person playing it has is not being caused by the complaint itself, but by something deeper that underlies the experience. If this applies to the people working at Double Fine and even to Ron Gilbert then I can't say I'm worried that someone who doesn't get adventure games and accidently ends up playing Broken Age (rather than one of the indie games that may be present) will cause the game's direction to change. Again, the event may not be so much for testing, but it's likely that DF will be able to see the things that different players try to do within the game, and possibly add in additional feedback to the player's actions if they feel the player is trying to do something sensible and they aren't getting any response. Or even just seeing people's emotional response to it, rather than relying on a writeup afterwards - an event isn't necessarily the best place to drink in the atmosphere of an adventure game, but you can always learn a lot from seeing someone play your game.

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Again, the event may not be so much for testing, but it's likely that DF will be able to see the things that different players try to do within the game, and possibly add in additional feedback to the player's actions if they feel the player is trying to do something sensible and they aren't getting any response. Or even just seeing people's emotional response to it, rather than relying on a writeup afterwards - an event isn't necessarily the best place to drink in the atmosphere of an adventure game, but you can always learn a lot from seeing someone play your game.

What if people have trouble with a puzzle even though that puzzle isn't that difficult by adventure game standards because those particular gamers aren't particular fans of adventure games. Might they decide to make the game easier, hence making the game less challenging for adventure game veterans? These are the kinds of scenarios I wish to avoid.

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Again, the event may not be so much for testing, but it's likely that DF will be able to see the things that different players try to do within the game, and possibly add in additional feedback to the player's actions if they feel the player is trying to do something sensible and they aren't getting any response. Or even just seeing people's emotional response to it, rather than relying on a writeup afterwards - an event isn't necessarily the best place to drink in the atmosphere of an adventure game, but you can always learn a lot from seeing someone play your game.

What if people have trouble with a puzzle even though that puzzle isn't that difficult by adventure game standards because those particular gamers aren't particular fans of adventure games. Might they decide to make the game easier, hence making the game less challenging for adventure game veterans? These are the kinds of scenarios I wish to avoid.

Double Fine are professionals and Tim knows how to make an adventure game. I'd like to think they can tell the difference between someone finding a puzzle hard but the puzzle making sense and being logical, and someone finding a puzzle hard because actually it doesn't make as much sense as they thought. And testing of these sorts of questions would happen with or without this event, it just happens that this event is a good way to get some instant reactions from a wider variety of people.

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The problem I have is that nothing is being distributed to the backers...

Well, there's the live stream.

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Also, while this depends a lot on the nature of the event, the scope of the playable area and on how linear the available part of the game is, I would be surprised if players have time for any serious puzzle solving. A puzzle that requires you to find objects in multiple areas and closely observe the surroundings/dialogue probably won't get solved in its entirety unless individual players are spending quite a long time with the game. It's more likely you'd get a chance to use the interface, interact with the environment, talk to some characters and either try to solve the puzzle in front of you, or maybe just wander off to another area to explore a bit.

It's probably not going to be a serious playtesting session ("Games" is only one item out of seven on the list, and Double Fine are only one of eight attending parties!), just a chance to show Broken Age off in a fun environment and see how people respond to it, so I don't think puzzle difficulty will be a concern.

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They're paying for the final version of the game and getting "early access" to it.

I've always seen Steam Early Access pitched as a way for gamers to help support projects that are still in development (just like the "Slacker Backer" option is). It's difficult to see it as a mere pre-order.

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The problem I have is that nothing is being distributed to the backers...

Well, there's the live stream.

That doesn't help me get hands on the game and/or provide input on the game.

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The problem I have is that nothing is being distributed to the backers...

Well, there's the live stream.

That doesn't help me get hands on the game and/or provide input on the game.

They don't need your input. If they did, they would ask.

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The problem I have is that nothing is being distributed to the backers...

Well, there's the live stream.

That doesn't help me get hands on the game and/or provide input on the game.

They don't need your input. If they did, they would ask.

They're gonna ask when the beta starts I would hope. >_>

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That doesn't help me get hands on the game and/or provide input on the game.

Well, with the livestream you are not completely missing out, so you can't exactly say that they are doing nothing for the backers. Also, you will get the chance to test the game at your leisure in a more test-friendly environment and give input when you have had the chance to really explore the game and reflect on it. Isn't that preferable to doing it at an event?

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