What Kind of Dev Are You?

ScaredIndie

Guy who makes gamey things
Oct 21, 2014
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I think a lot of the scorn comes from the fact that in the case of a "big publisher" game the project management team is often distinct from the developers making content (admittedly to a somewhat varied degree). This is not the same for an indie title where the individuals making the content often are the project management team.

When someone who is making something you love can be separated from those making the schedule we see it as: "well it wasn't the guy I liked who screwed it up and he is fighting to make the game better".

When a crowdfunded project does it, there is no "suit" to balm, it was the content creator that made the promises. Combine this with the fact that unlike in a corporate environment the consequences for delaying a crowd funded project are very public and many individuals (as oppose to a corporate entity) hold stake in it; scorn should be expected.

It just has to do with the number of people that will publicly air grievances as stakeholders as compared to a corporate environment where the stakeholders (people who have spent money) would do it in a back boardroom.
 

Redryhno

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Jul 25, 2011
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dirtysteve said:
Schafer, like Molyneaux, isn't evil, just kind of an asshole. And being silly with money only works when you have the backing to do it. Both of them burnt out their relationships with Publishers, it remains to be seen if Schafer will do the same with the public.
That said,Psychonauts 2 was a good choice, Im not sure he would have gotten the support for a new IP.
Personally, I think Molyneux still has the spark and passion he had twenty years ago, just look at him describe ANYTHING he's been a part of. Schafer sorta just seems to be coasting by on past accolades and the Wheaton effect type image he's tried to garner.

That and the fact that Molyneux seems to have realized that the main problem with his games is that he overhypes them, so he's taken a step back lately sorta lets me forgive him more easily. Schafer just keeps putting himself out there. But maybe I"m completely wrong and they're exactly the same.

Edit:forgot words were needed to make a sentence make sense.
 

SKBPinkie

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Oct 6, 2013
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Honestly, I don't care about Schafer and his company's ability to handle money.

My main problem with them is that while the writing in their games is good to fantastic, the gameplay is severely lacking. The controls are never great, the mechanics aren't really all that deep, and the worst problem is that I've never gotten any sense of satisfaction from those games. You know, like how you would feel when you pull off a great drift in a racing game, or when you get a great headshot in an FPS that controls well.

That's never happened for me in a Double Fine game.
 

AzrealMaximillion

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Jan 20, 2010
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Of course, if Psychonauts 2 sucks or gets release in any format similar to Broken Age (multiple parts for no real reason) it'll be the nail in the coffin for Double Fine's perception I feel. FF7's remake will survive a multiple parts release. Psychonauts 2 can't. Hell, Psychonauts 2 going into Early Access would cause concern as to where the hell millions went.

Square Enix didn't openly verbally flip off a chunk of their fanbase while releasing mediocrity and cancelling titles. Schafer did.


And for those who don't know. Double Fine isn't using Kickstarter for Psychonauts 2. They're using FIG. Its basically Kickstarter but owned by indie developers, of which Tim Schafer is one of.

This will either be the Tim Schafer success story, or the Molyneux-style hermit ending.
 

Loonyyy

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Jul 10, 2009
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MoltenSilver said:
2. I don't see what is shocking or even 'wrong' about this. Consumers don't care when someone else's money is at stake but do when theirs is? Well colour me surprised!
What's shocking is that so many people can fail to read the details, terms and conditions on sites they sign up for, and are still using Kickstarter as a store for games.

It is pretty funny watching the KSes hyping themselves up to get people interested to donate, and then having to deal with that following through development though.
 

Redryhno

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Jul 25, 2011
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Loonyyy said:
MoltenSilver said:
2. I don't see what is shocking or even 'wrong' about this. Consumers don't care when someone else's money is at stake but do when theirs is? Well colour me surprised!
What's shocking is that so many people can fail to read the details, terms and conditions on sites they sign up for, and are still using Kickstarter as a store for games.

It is pretty funny watching the KSes hyping themselves up to get people interested to donate, and then having to deal with that following through development though.
Bit of a difference here too, this is effectively "Kickstarer: Private Invite Only Edition", and Schafer's one of the founders of the site. Which makes it even more sketch than normal.

Not to mention just because you're an organ doner doesn't mean you consent to having them forcibly removed from you in your home while you're still perfectly healthy and using them. People make promises with crowdfunding, and failing to follow through just shits on your reputation.
 

runic knight

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Mar 26, 2011
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Lets see, take a system where the consumers are simply waiting on a product to be finished to buy it and know full well the developers have publishers watching progress with full control over the budget in the end and with no financial risk to themselves or their friends and with a company's own greed and business sense being used to anchor expectations and prevent intentional scamming, and compare it to a system where the consumer pays it all upfront on promise alone, has absolutely no control over the funds once they pay into it, and there is no force with vested interest in making sure the money paid in results in something, outside the developer's own conscious.

Gee, I can't imagine why people would react differently to those obviously entirely equatable experiences.

Even without taking into account Tim Schafer being the specific person of interest, the simple difference in accountability alone is enough to warrant people responding differently. You put someone in charge of finances and who is incentivized to actually hold onto accountability into a Kickstarter campaign (such as, say, having to pay people back if unable to deliver on promises), and you'll see people happily treat both situations with the same "they'll finish when it is perfect" approach. Til then, you will get a hell of a lot of distrust at the people selling promises. Sure, some kickstarters do pay off, but pretending that not treating a kickstarter promise the same as a publisher-backed and invested-in project is startling or hypocritical really just makes you look intentionally dense about the entire idea.

People give more leeway when the promise of product is backed by basic reliable production history.
People give more leeway when their own money isn't on the line.
People give more leeway when there is accountability to a finished project.
People give more leeway when they can see what they are buying at time of purchase.
 

vallorn

Tunnel Open, Communication Open.
Nov 18, 2009
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dirtysteve said:
Ticklefist said:
No, Tim Schafer really mishandles money.
He really does, he's consistently late and over budget.
And if the public goodwill won't stretch to more donations, you get a Spacebase scenario, where DF just cut losses and run
and thanks to fig's absolutely awful terms of service DF don't have to give a flying fuck about the people who backed them because the people who put money behind the project aren't owed anything in any timeframe. All the backer rewards on fig are a lie that is easily thrown aside with no repercussions as soon as the project runs into the slightest crumb of difficulty.

P.S. Fig is a crowdfunding platform that Schafer is a founder of, and now he's running a game through it? That smacks of conflict of interest to the extreme right there. Would anyone here fund an EA game run through a crowdfunding service that EA founded? I thought not.
 

Naturally Sound

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Jul 30, 2014
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AzrealMaximillion said:
Of course, if Psychonauts 2 sucks or gets release in any format similar to Broken Age (multiple parts for no real reason) it'll be the nail in the coffin for Double Fine's perception I feel. FF7's remake will survive a multiple parts release. Psychonauts 2 can't. Hell, Psychonauts 2 going into Early Access would cause concern as to where the hell millions went.

Square Enix didn't openly verbally flip off a chunk of their fanbase while releasing mediocrity and cancelling titles. Schafer did.


And for those who don't know. Double Fine isn't using Kickstarter for Psychonauts 2. They're using FIG. Its basically Kickstarter but owned by indie developers, of which Tim Schafer is one of.

This will either be the Tim Schafer success story, or the Molyneux-style hermit ending.
No, but Square has been mucking up lately when it comes to the PC porting and pissing off even their franchise entitled fanboys. Pretty much all known Japanese publishers are messing up after that just realized Steam is a thing in the West(ex. Konami but...fuck Konami). I'm seeing a trend of renown publishers and developers getting too greedy and too cocky with their releases. Kickstarter is starting to remind me of Steam Greenlight now that I think about it.

I won't deny the FF7 remake is going to make Square appear good again, even if the game ends up sucking - the cynic in me says that they won't care, they have made money.
 

MoltenSilver

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Feb 21, 2013
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Loonyyy said:
MoltenSilver said:
2. I don't see what is shocking or even 'wrong' about this. Consumers don't care when someone else's money is at stake but do when theirs is? Well colour me surprised!
What's shocking is that so many people can fail to read the details, terms and conditions on sites they sign up for, and are still using Kickstarter as a store for games.

It is pretty funny watching the KSes hyping themselves up to get people interested to donate, and then having to deal with that following through development though.
While you're absolutely right about the stupidity and deserving consequences of failing to understand the Terms and Conditions, it is extremely hard to feel empathetic to the hype machine's side either when they do essentially pitch themselves more like a store than a concept. Once upon a time I would've written it off as just ignorant and/or lazy people getting exactly what they deserve, but I've felt far more charitably disposed towards people who get suckered in given that the video game industry as a whole has long since crossed (and then threw up on and otherwise defiled) even the most wildly stretched interpretation of caveat emptor. It boggles my mind that some of the things perpetrated on Steam, Kickstarter, and by AAA publishers can't be legally considered fraud.
 

T_ConX

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Mar 8, 2010
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Let's get one thing straight:

Backing a Kickstarter (or IndieGogo, or GoFundMe, or Fig, or whatever) is the same thing as pre-ordering, but worse. You could pre-order a game that's slated for release in the next three months and still be almost completely sure that it will be out on time; but a Kickstarter? No. No, no, and no.

I mean, how is it completely acceptable to shit all over a triple-A releases pre-order scheme, but not the crowd-funding scheme of a semi-indie dev with a bad history of blowing past deadlines. I mean, Tim Schafer isn't Peter Molyneux bad, but it sure seems like he's trying...

My favourite feature on Kickstarter is how they don't let campaigns change their delivery dates. You can still go to the page for Double Fine Adventure and see that they expected it to be out in October of 2012. Keep that in mind when he says 'we are estimating that Psychonauts 2 will be finished for a release in 2018.'

I've only ever backed two. The first was Torment: Tides of Numenera back in the summer of 2013. It was promised for December 2014 but has been pushed back to 2016.

The other was the English translation of Clannad, which seemed like a safe bet. The game already existed, all they needed to do was translate the whole thing and OOPS, it got knocked back a month and OOPS, it's on Steam but the physical versions don't ship until February.

I'll buy Psychonauts 2... when it comes out.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Miyamoto apparently never played DNF.

tippy2k2 said:
EDIT: Now that the actual comic is up, that absolutely makes sense. Everyone's 100% on board with gambling away money when it's not their money that is being gambled...
Also, there's a contrarian streak that supports sticking it to the man, whether the man deserves it or not.

As a feminist, I approve. >.>

Fox12 said:
Nothing changed. Kickstarter simply removed the curtain hiding the creative process, revealing all the ugly grease and stains that go into making a game. Guess what, guys? The creative process is messy, and there's no guaranteed way to know how long it will take you to complete a project. That's why I was fine with Red Ash, and that's why I'm fine with psychonauts 2.
I would normally agree with you, but I don't like Tim or his games, therefore this completely validates all the bad things I've said about him.

In a more serious tone, part of the problem is exactly that: that people can see how the hot dog is being made. The other major part is that people are already looking for excuses to form hate mobs.

Darth_Payn said:
Well, better a dev studio burn through their publisher's money than mine straight out of my bank account.
Then don't back games on kickstarter. Or nay other crowd funding source. Because this is pretty much a given.

Krige said:
And oh yeah, Tim Schafer, since this is a whinestrip about him specifically is at this point nothing but a scammer, he did not deliver a complete, polished product since, well, Psychonauts, and even that one is debatable.
And that's become fairly industry standard, which would kind of make the industry at large scammers. Yet rather than actually doing things like not buying poorly polished, unfinished or broken games, people pick out individual targets and then act like they're the problem. And even if one guy goes down, we systemically throw our money at these so-called "scammers" and then act surprised when the same thing that's been happening for years doesn't magically right itself.

I wonder why....

JimB said:
I have to do a double-take every single time I look at that second panel because no matter how many times I look, before I take that second look, my eyes are convinced the dev is shoveling babies into that furnace.
It's only in there for a single frame. Good eyes.
 

Krige

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Oct 27, 2010
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Something Amyss said:
Miyamoto apparently never played DNF.
And that's become fairly industry standard, which would kind of make the industry at large scammers. Yet rather than actually doing things like not buying poorly polished, unfinished or broken games, people pick out individual targets and then act like they're the problem. And even if one guy goes down, we systemically throw our money at these so-called "scammers" and then act surprised when the same thing that's been happening for years doesn't magically right itself.

I wonder why....
Oh yes, yes, I can see it now! Tim a good boy, he dindu nuffin, he's just a poor victim of the system!

Not. He's an asshole and though why people still give him money is a fairly good question, it does not make him somehow not a valid target for criticism. I personally have not given him any money due to his behaviour so there's no "we" in here, only "you".
 

SNCommand

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Aug 29, 2011
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I think the issue is how much money Tim Schafer got for his project compared to what he asked for, and then he asked for more, which I don't particularly mind considering people always misjudge the amount of funding that is needed, but then the man throws a big party shortly afterwards, which just makes one believe the man is completely awful at handling money

And then of course Spacebase df-9 happened, I think people got really burned by that one
 

immortalfrieza

Elite Member
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May 12, 2011
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runic knight said:
Lets see, take a system where the consumers are simply waiting on a product to be finished to buy it and know full well the developers have publishers watching progress with full control over the budget in the end and with no financial risk to themselves or their friends and with a company's own greed and business sense being used to anchor expectations and prevent intentional scamming, and compare it to a system where the consumer pays it all upfront on promise alone, has absolutely no control over the funds once they pay into it, and there is no force with vested interest in making sure the money paid in results in something, outside the developer's own conscious.

Gee, I can't imagine why people would react differently to those obviously entirely equatable experiences.

Even without taking into account Tim Schafer being the specific person of interest, the simple difference in accountability alone is enough to warrant people responding differently. You put someone in charge of finances and who is incentivized to actually hold onto accountability into a Kickstarter campaign (such as, say, having to pay people back if unable to deliver on promises), and you'll see people happily treat both situations with the same "they'll finish when it is perfect" approach. Til then, you will get a hell of a lot of distrust at the people selling promises. Sure, some kickstarters do pay off, but pretending that not treating a kickstarter promise the same as a publisher-backed and invested-in project is startling or hypocritical really just makes you look intentionally dense about the entire idea.

People give more leeway when the promise of product is backed by basic reliable production history.
People give more leeway when their own money isn't on the line.
People give more leeway when there is accountability to a finished project.
People give more leeway when they can see what they are buying at time of purchase.
Exactly. Accountability is a necessity for just about any system and when there is none people are going to abuse that system for all it's worth. These developers can promise whatever and can ask for a million dollars to develop [INSERT THING HERE] and then throw it all into hookers and blow for all they have to care and all the backers can do about it is rage and whine at those who might as well be blind and deaf for all the difference it makes. Big surprise, when people don't have any reason whatsoever to actually follow through on their promises they tend not to you know, ACTUALLY DO THAT!

If, on the other hand, Kickstarter campaigns were required to GIVE BACK the money that is given to them to the most feasible extent possible and even be jailed if they don't provide exactly what they promised as it should have been in the first place Kickstarter campaigns would not be getting the distrust and hate it does because it WOULD NOT have a reputation for being filled with buggy half assed releases and unfinished projects and the people who put up the campaigns would try a LOT harder to be more accurate about how much money and time they require and actually deliver. People like Tim Schafer would not be releasing crappy games they obviously hardly even worked on and thus comics like this wouldn't have a reason to exist.
 

f1r2a3n4k5

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Jun 30, 2008
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It's one thing to be constrained by your boss and resources and time and make a lack-luster product. Then, there's someone else to blame and a sense that "this could've been better, if only."

But Tim basically got to write his own budget for his last Kickstarter. And then got an order of magnitude more than that. The only restriction was him.

Plus, I feel like there's this general aura of dipping into the cookie jar too frequently. Kickstarter is exactly that, a Kickstart. I don't think it was ever envisioned that the same 3-5 big names would treat it as their personal piggybank.
 

Ryallen

Will never say anything smart
Feb 25, 2014
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The way I see is that with Kickstarter, they already have the money that they need by pitching what should already be a complete idea, with all the design choices made, story and lore written, and basic general idea in their head and on paper, with the only thing needing adding being the creation, which usually involves the coding, modeling, and whatnot to bring the characters and environment to life. Whereas with AAA games, they start with an idea and need the time to bring all the pieces together, because as far as I can tell, most AAA games start with one idea, and they don't have our money yet. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that with Kickstarter, they have the money already, so from the backer's perspectives, they should keep up whereas with AAA games, the people who didn't preorder are waiting for what will happen when it comes out.

At the same time, however, games that have been delayed for a long time can possibly come out really shit. Duke Nukem Forever is the most prominent example, as that game was stuck in dev hell for about 13 years or something. Spore was also a game to be delayed repeatedly, and it ended up being mediocre. Daikatana was another one, which went down in history for being such a massive dissapointment. Too Human was in dev hell and we all know what came of that game.

looks at Zero Punctuation

There are also Kickstarter games that have been delayed and ended up being good as well. Pillars of Eternity was delayed, apparently. People are still excited about Mighty No. 9, at least as far as I can tell.

As for Tim Schafer himself, I didn't grow up with his games myself. I played Psychonauts in a Wal-Mart once when I was a child, and that was the extent of my experience with him, and I liked it if only because there was a melee attack, when all the games that I had only let me use ranged attacks, which I didn't like to use ammo for. What I CAN say, however, is that the company has made three games on its own since Broken Age that didn't suck as far as I know, and he's still asking for funding. Either he needs to advertise for the games better or he just doesn't want to spend the company's money to make what may well be a game out of its era.