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Real Name Sho   
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Nickname Sho
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Homepage http://
Signed On May 26, 2002, 23:49
Total Comments 722 (Apprentice)
User ID 13167
 
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News Comments > Tim Schafer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions
18. Re: Tim Schaefer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions Sep 22, 2014, 11:49 Sho
 
Xil wrote on Sep 22, 2014, 11:44:
If I read correctly, they don't get all the source code, of course the gfx assets will not be included and I think part of the core of the game is not included, only the Lua source code is released which means people can change certain things that are scripted but not the core of the game... if I am correct on this.

It's pretty weird. The game is using an open source engine (Moai) and they're releasing the script code. I wonder what parts exactly are missing that prevent them from just doing a full source release.
 
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News Comments > Tim Schafer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions
11. Re: Tim Schaefer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions Sep 22, 2014, 10:08 Sho
 
nin wrote on Sep 22, 2014, 10:01:
So I guess my question is (granted, answer being subjective): Did they charge $25 and plan to make a $25 game, and have scaled back what it does to a $8 game? That's the impression I'm getting here, but I also admit I've not played it, nor reviewed the features.

I think $15 would still be OK as mentioned, but basically, yeah that's what happened. They said they'd continue to develop it for as long as they could fund it, and now we'll have to take them by their word that they did - badly communicated, sudden, not very info-rich words. Hence the malady.
 
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News Comments > Tim Schafer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions
7. Re: Tim Schaefer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions Sep 22, 2014, 09:50 Sho
 
Ludomancer wrote on Sep 22, 2014, 09:45:
So the game itself isn't too good?

It's not a train wreck or anything, it mostly needs more time. It's a decent shot at making a Sim Golf-type game. There's enough systems to manage to keep you busy and a fairly deep NPC AI sim. OTOH, the base defense/combat stuff is pretty awkward, it uses an indirect control scheme by placing beacons for security personnel to congregate towards, and feedback and latency on that just makes it frustrating - it hasn't really seen much love since the early alphas. It also has no real gameplay goals, though they still plan to add an objectives system for 1.0 (but I'm not expecting anything sophisticated).

If they priced it at $14.99 or so it'd probably be OK. It certainly falls well short of their original plans, though.
 
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News Comments > Tim Schafer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions
3. Re: Tim Schaefer Addresses Spacebase DF-9 Questions Sep 22, 2014, 09:37 Sho
 
InBlack wrote on Sep 22, 2014, 09:33:
Okay, can someone please explain whether this game was indeed crowdfunded or was funded through traditional means, but only released as an early access title???

I explained this in the last thread, but it's worth repeating:

Spacebase was originally prototyped during Amnesia Fortnight, Double Fine's two-week internal game competition, which they subsidize via a campaign through Humble Bundle's store ("backers" get to vote on games and access to documentary footage shot on site).

Afterwards they decided to expand it into a full game. They got $400k in funding from Indie Fund for that. They started over from scratch (the protoype wasn't re-used). And then they put it on Early Access, for $25 ($30 with soundtrack).

So no, it technically wasn't crowd-funded. AF probably doesn't make much money, but at least it allowed them to prototype the game idea at low or no cost. Then Indie Fund and Early Access paid for further production.

I'm with nin on this, because this still seems fishy to me. I realize labor costs are high, and I'm all for good people getting paid well, but Spacebase isn't an asset-heavy game that needs a lot of artist hours, and my gut feeling says they should have been able to do more if early sales were as good as they said they were. And in any case, how they botched the communication around the source release and unnecessarily sabotaged a community rescue effort by souring people (they'll release some source code, but motivation seems low now) just sucks.
 
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News Comments > New Oculus VR Unit; Carmack's VR Talk
4. Re: New Oculus VR Unit; Carmack's VR Talk Sep 21, 2014, 15:12 Sho
 
Watched this earlier and enjoyed it quite a bit, even though I'm not as deeply into his VR as his traditional QuakeCon keynote topics.

The segment around 55m and following is funny, about their problems with staying within the phone's allowed thermal envelope: "Samsung really doesn't want us to say thermal throttling [...] I want a little cellphone-on-fire icon or something".
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
47. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 21, 2014, 10:45 Sho
 
EricFate wrote on Sep 21, 2014, 10:41:
Instead, the airwaves will be dominated by whomever is loudest and has the least amount of impulse control

Which your post is an excellent example of, since the discussion has already advanced beyond the points you make. I'm willing to bet you didn't read it before this shiny bauble of an opportunity to part with your 2 cents got the better of you.

(Man, almost 20 years on the internet and complete lack of context-awareness in discussion entries still manages to piss me off.)
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
44. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 21, 2014, 09:50 Sho
 
Whiskers wrote on Sep 21, 2014, 08:37:
I really don't feel bad for anyone who buys into early access / kickstarter and then complains it's not what they wanted.You're putting in money in the hopes that something will pay off later. You're not buying a game, you're making an investment in an idea for a game. It's not a 100% guarantee. If you can't handle that, just wait for game to be "finished"

Again though, the problems here are:

a) Doubts about why they failed, because they had fairly decent funding (prototype via AF + 400k via Indie Fund + Early Access sales). I'd like more transparency on this. It's reasonable for anyone who invested to have questions now, and make future investments depend on the answers.

b) A lousy communication style has damaged the investment unnecessarily. They are planning a source release, but are sabotaging a potential community-organized rescue plan in advance by souring folks, by not even acknowledging that the situation changed and sharing their thoughts about it freely.

I'm tired of the "Don't do Early Access if you can't handle it" grandstanding. I get it, you are wise and have big balls. Meanwhile I can handle it just fine, but that doesn't mean details aren't worth discussing or thinking critically about.
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
30. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 22:34 Sho
 
Prez wrote on Sep 20, 2014, 22:29:
This is how kickstarter works - contributors are taking a risk, a calculated gamble that the dev will succeed in making the game they pitched in their design doc. The risk is that the game doesn't live up to its vision. Backers need to understand this, and that their only recourse is to be wiser about who they throw their money at in the future. So many people seem to not get this.

Did you read the thread? This game was never on Kickstarter.
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
15. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 16:21 Sho
 
Kajetan wrote on Sep 20, 2014, 16:13:
Backers are NOT consumers. I am a backer of DF9 and while i am still a little pissed, i accept that crowdfunding is NOT buying a game. Its my responsibility and my risk.

Well, for my 10 quids i got a wonderful soundtrack and several hours of fun, while still being in alpha. Its not a total loss as one might think

Where did you pay 10 quid to "back" this in a crowdfunding drive? Spacebase was funded with $400k from Indie Fund and then put as an alpha on Steam Early Access for $25 ($30 for the soundtrack edition, IIRC). And note that they didn't need those $400k to pay for prototyping since they already got to prototype during Amnesia Fortnight (but backing AF didn't get you a cheaper Early Access, IIRC). It's not quite the same situation as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. The risk proposition was very different.

Spacebase also isn't a very asset-heavy game and didn't need all that many artist hours.

Dunno. I think you can tell I try not to overreact when these things happen and try to empathize with the developer's position. But the more I think about this, the more unsatisfied I become. It feels like they should have been able to do more. Maybe this hints at larger, studio-level bottlenecks at DF.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2014, 16:32.
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
13. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 15:37 Sho
 
wtf_man wrote on Sep 20, 2014, 15:33:
I'm still pissed about Broken Age... not playing it until the full game is released. But it is obvious that Schaffer and company don't know how to do things within budget... nor on time.

I think what happened with Broken Age is that the Kickstarter was way more successful than they expected and created enormous pressure to make a game of a scope and production value that could live up to expectations, and you just can't make that for the money they collected, at least at the labor costs a well-established US studio like Double Fine runs up. I'm not sure what other options they realistically had; if they had made a smaller-scale game it would have felt anti-climactic to many. I think Schafer also felt a certain kind of responsibility towards other crowdfunded projects as a tent pole for the concept. So I still have sympathy for their predicament on that one.

 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
11. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 15:21 Sho
 
Thinking about it some more, one thing that actually kind of does piss me off pretty bad is the lingo in their announcement. It's very out of the blue, and doesn't acknowledge in any way that their plans changed, or that it falls short of their (and their fans') hopes. They could have done a lot to soften the blow here, which would have created a better mood environment to think about the future (source release, community enhancement) in. I'm sure they're frustrated themselves, but they really dropped the ball on winding down gracefully and thus damaged my investment more than necessary.  
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
9. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 15:00 Sho
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2014, 14:51:
Crap, I was looking forward to this. The early access sounded way to early, so I was waiting until it was finished. Looks like "finished" <> actually finished, so maybe the modding community can come up with something and I'll pick it up then.

It's not really that bad. A lot of the basics a game of this type needs to get right work quite well (like a notification/feedback system to keep on top of what's going on), the simulated NPCs are pretty deep, and there's a decent amount of station systems to manage to keep busy. It really needs goals though (still planned for 1.0) and base defense definitely needs more love (they basically tried their best to avoid opening the pandora's box of direct unit control, so there's a basic indirect control mechanism by placing "beacons" for security personnel to congregate toward, which hasn't changed much since the early days and is still pretty unsatisfying and awkward to use).

If you liked Sim Golf / theme park tycoon type games, this was shaping up to be a pretty nice one, and I think at 1.0 it'll probably be solid fun for a while ... but not for long enough to make your list of faves. If they price it at $15 or so (maaaaaaybe $20 if the goals system rocks) I think it'll be totally OK.
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
7. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 14:39 Sho
 
Not sure what to make of this. I bought this and played it for a couple of hours here and there. There's a decent amount of game in there now, but it's still a good chunk of work away from feeling complete enough to last. Sucks that it didn't work out financially to the point where they could finish it. Though the addition of a goals system, which they want to do for 1.0, could change the equation still.

It would be really cool if they would open-source this, including the assets (they made all the art in Blender) and allow the community to expand it. It's the right type of game (systems-based) for that, and could easily live on for a decade that way.

I can't say I feel betrayed; I knew the risks going in. They said they'd develop it for as long as they could fund it, and I guess this is as long as they could.

Edit: Oh wow, just now clicked through to the actual post. They do plan to open up all the Lua source. We'll have to see what exactly this allows in terms of enhancing the game, and of course a working open source community/project needs to figure out repository and issue tracker hosting and other things. There's no guarantee it will shake out this way yet, at least their announcement reads like they just plan to throw the source over the fence, so the community needs to self-organize.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2014, 14:46.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
46. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 20, 2014, 10:02 Sho
 
harlock wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 21:06:
Sho wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 19:21:
But I tried to get into Skyrim 2-3 times and never got far. I think it's because of the procedurally generated cookie-cutter missions.

what? are you thinking of daggerfall? yeh that was 20 years ago

nothing in skyrim is procedurally generated

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Radiant
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
39. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 19, 2014, 19:21 Sho
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 18:29:
Yes. Think of it like Skyrim. You can probably finish Skyrim's linear story in a couple dozen hours or so but then you have people who have 500+ hours on their in-game clock just because they enjoy exploring and doing their own thing in that huge world. Some of them might not have even touched the main story.

Skyrim is an interesting case.

First of, I tend to prefer story-driven linear games, but I'm totally OK without in some genres, e.g. 4x.

The story part in Bethesda games almost universally sucks. They can't do memorable characters to save their lives. But the Elder Scrolls games somehow trigger the completionist impulse in me. I spent 200-300 hours on both Morrowind + expansions and on Oblivion + expansions doing every quest in them, and I usually did the main quest last.

But I tried to get into Skyrim 2-3 times and never got far. I think it's because of the procedurally generated cookie-cutter missions. It doesn't feel like you actually can complete Skyrim, or at least not without too much tedium (the endless samey dungeon missions in MW and OB were tedious enough).

So I guess it's about open ended vs. not for me, or how far the end is away ... and how hand-made and variegated the content before that end is.

This comment was edited on Sep 19, 2014, 19:27.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
29. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 19, 2014, 16:22 Sho
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 16:12:
No there is no story. You can play single player only but that just means everyone around you is npc not human players.
The game is a sandbox game take missions from agent type of deal or just go and explore, become a pirate or do whatever you want type of deal.
That other space game is going to be a little more story driven SP experience, Elite isn't like that, never was never will be.

Thanks (you too, DangerDog). I was aware of the sandbox and persistence plans when I backed it (fairly low/basic pledge, iirc), so that's alright, and everything I've seen so far looks really yummy ... but right now I'm not really sure I'll actually have time to play anything like that anytime soon, so I guess I was hoping they'd tack on a basic campaign to get a taste.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
25. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 19, 2014, 16:10 Sho
 
Hey, can I ask something stupid and basic?

Does this game offer anything for folks who like story-driven singleplayer, or is it purely sandbox when played alone? Is there any sort of story campaign?
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
45. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 19, 2014, 15:24 Sho
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 13:42:
@Sho. Let's have this conversation again when the game is done.

Yah, let's wait and see :).

About to fire up Wasteland 2 btw!
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
43. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 19, 2014, 00:51 Sho
 
Acleacius wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 00:33:
I really don't see the comparison, of course PST looks aesthetically better it's hand painted background, not a free 3D world environment. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the game for want it is, not what you imagine it should be based on some impossible criteria.

I know I'll enjoy it, not only for the amazing achievement of it's development but also as an incredible game. Mwahaha

The only time I referenced PST directly was in a paragraph about TTON, and both use pre-rendered backgrounds (though TTON has a lot of dynamic lighting and shading going on PST didn't). Wasteland 2 only entered the discussion because it forms inXile's track record and the TTON vid has some similar aesthetics and quality control problems on display. I also felt Wasteland 2 is interesting with regard to how the visuals in an inXile production evolved throughout development, because it's the only example of their project management style we have to draw from.

Not ruling out enjoying W2, nope. Didn't have much time with the beta so I have no final opinion on the game yet.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
41. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 19, 2014, 00:06 Sho
 
Acleacius wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 23:43:
Cool, can you name a single 3D game made for $4 million, which has better graphics?

Make sure to watch that graphics vs. aesthetics video I linked earlier. I haven't helped the issue much by lazily writing graphics a lot, sorry. After watching it I'm sure you can think of many examples of cheaper 3D games with higher quality aesthetics yourself; plenty of indies of recent years have a more cohesive look and visual polish than Wasteland 2. Say, Dear Esther.

The diff between the to games is of course that Wasteland 2 has a much bigger scope and needs many more assets than Dear Esther. So you can't expect the same level of fidelity, no. But that's not tightly coupled to craftsmanship. What's wrong with Wasteland 2 isn't lack of fidelity, it's that it's (imho ...) badly put together at the level of fidelity it's at.

The connection to budget there is maybe lack of pre-production time to iterate and nail down a look and an asset pipeline that consistently achieves implementing it. The only way to save some time there is a staff and especially an art director with experience, and good people are of course again expensive.

Maybe you're right and it can't easily be done for the money, dunno. You just hope you get lucky and the right people are in the right place at the right time to make the right decisions. inXile just doesn't seem that lucky, at least on visuals.
 
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722 Comments. 37 pages. Viewing page 7.
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