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mstark

Dev Team Sharing the Process

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Since the kickstarter ended, the flow of updates and information has dropped severely, which is fair enough, the dev team is busy making the game now, rather than advertising it. The weekly newsletter is great, but I have to say that, to me, it feels like the developers have now slipped in behind closed doors, possibly unintentionally. Part of the reason behind the crowd funding was not having to do everything in secrecy.

 

We get to hear hints about the work that is happening, awesome effects being tried out, systems being developed, and solutions being tested through the occasional interview (most recently the TotalBiscuit one, the hints dropped in it triggered this thread), but we don't get to see any of it!

 

Maybe it's a case of "we'll show something when it's ready to be shown", but, frankly, that's not quite as transparent a development process as I was hoping for. Why not show us the demos you come up with, share videos and tests, failed or successful, that you like for some reason? Even share some spectacularly failed renders!

 

Now, I really don't want to sound like I'm speaking for everyone, but... we are all great fans, we are aware of that it's work in progress, and I think we will behave fairly well (I might regret saying this ;) ) even if the dev team shows us something we don't quite like. We'll even understand if something that looks awesome in a test doesn't make it into the final game for x reason. What's keeping it from happening? It'd also make it possible for us to create more relevant discussions here on the forum.

 

Maybe there really isn't as much material to show as is hinted by (I mean, they may be running lots of tests, but they may not produce publishable results in the shape of screenshots or video), or maybe it's kept for the documentary? Or maybe it's too time consuming to spend the time writing up updates?

 

Am I just being impatient? :teehee::cat:

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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You may also be underestimating the amount of work that goes into the simplest of demos. Where I work we have a sprint demo every month; just deciding what to demo and making sure everything's there to demo takes a non-trivial amount of time. (Worth it, though.) If I had to make a video of it and plop it on YouTube every week, I don't know how I'd manage to get any actual coding done.


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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You're both right.

 

I'm just very curious about what the dynamic lighting tests with moving torches looked like :).

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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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If the developers were spending a lot of time here, I'd be concerned. Development often takes dedicated focus, and I suspect that following a forum board, with all its vagarities of opinions, may be an unhelpful distraction. Frankly, I'm surprised they have been posting as many updates as they have, since other KS projects post a lot less frequently. (But I'm certainly not complaining about what they have presented. :) )

 

In a certain sense, a logical target audience for the KS updates may be the people who actually didn't contribute to the KS (as was pointed out in this Gamasutra editorial). Updates are probably useful for generating buzz, and perhaps for performing a sanity check with the KS contributors.

 

My 2cp worth.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Weeeell... might be something to look into at a later stage. And I think we already are a part of the process as well but that's a vague fluff theory I've got. Got my suspicions, though I don't really want to discuss them.

 

@rjshae: But there is so much design material on these forums! It's like copy+paste and then clean it up~tweak it for P:E. It's insane how much material there is. I could write several novels myself by using the material that exists here! And they'd all be real good.

 

I hope that Obsidian uses these forums, and I'm sure they are doing it. Maybe even with a word document on a second screen where they write up lots of junk and stuff that we say which they then flesh out and transform. Adam asked about Gods in the latest update did he not? That thread is filled with juicy God ideas by now ;)

Edited by Osvir

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Hey mstark I feel your pain, but I genuinely think they'll share when they've got something worth sharing. Then again, I'm not much of a techie type myself so I'm probably more patient and only want to see crunchy stuff my little brain can process.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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I totally understand were your coming from bro, I think we'd all like to see how the games progressing and join in the process. But yeah, like everyone said the devs are busy right now, we just have to be patient.

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Am I just being impatient? :teehee::cat:

No, you're being greedy.

 

Just kidding. :)

 

I don't completely disagree with your point. Whenever I see transparancy being pitted against just about any other method of operation, I'll side with transparancy. But.... I think we're currently getting a reasonable amount of it. The weekly updates already contain many magnitudes more information on the development process than I've ever seen any game company give this early in development. (although failed renders, and rejected concept art/ideas would be awesome to see, and there's probably a ton of it laying around that they could show right now)

 

 

If I were to suggest some sort of improvement on the process, though, I'd say that it would be a great boon if people like Josh, or Adam, or Tim or whoever, take turns spending a little more time here, on these threads, engaging us, asking and answering questions, etc. It doesn't have to be an extra 40hr/week part of their job, because that would be silly, but just a few hours a week (perhaps on weekends) would make a huge difference.

Edited by Stun
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I'm glad to see a sensible discussion in a thread that could potentially have turned very bad :)

 

I'd love if the devs showing more forum presence, but there are many hours required to follow the forum closely enough to get a feel for what to add to a discussion. It's already quite apparent that they read the forums very carefully (several of their updates and interviews touch directly on issues that have been discussed extensively on the forum prior to the update, to the point where it can't just be coincidence). But I do agree it'd be nice to see more of the Developer green around, voicing their thoughts on issues, it might help keep some discussions from straying in ridiculous directions :p.

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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Yeah, especially on threads/debates about the more contentious issues, like that giant thread we had a while back about Vancian casting vs. Cooldowns on spells. Sawyer came in, engaged us, told us what the plan was, and voila -- discussion on the issue settled itself down. Some people moved on, unhappy with the plan, while others moved on, totally giddy about what they just heard. But both sides got their curiousity slaked.

Edited by Stun

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Didn't they say they were planning to move to a monthly update system after the KS ended?

 

The last 5 updates were October 30th, November 9th, 15th, 20th and 27th. I think that qualifies as pretty regular even if some of them were small updates.

 

I think it feels slower since the KS ended because every day during the KS there was a lot of activity, excitement and interest just because there was a countdown on. Now the countdown has been reset and is at 16+ months, that's a slow countdown to watch tick away.

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I'm glad to see a sensible discussion in a thread that could potentially have turned very bad :)

 

I'd love if the devs showing more forum presence, but there are many hours required to follow the forum closely enough to get a feel for what to add to a discussion. It's already quite apparent that they read the forums very carefully (several of their updates and interviews touch directly on issues that have been discussed extensively on the forum prior to the update, to the point where it can't just be coincidence). But I do agree it'd be nice to see more of the Developer green around, voicing their thoughts on issues, it might help keep some discussions from straying in ridiculous directions :p.

 

I think that's one of the reasons of green involvement, or where some green is needed. It is like the Hammer of Rightfulness, part of the job. It'd be cool with some ninjas though :ninja: :ninja: :ninja: (because a ninja is never alone)

 

I'm reflecting on the title, "Dev team sharing process". Turn it arond, "Forum sharing process". I've got some pretty wild ideas that I'm putting out but I have no idea how it actually works entirely in development in a company. I can only phantom a concept of what it requires, the project organizing, job placements, deadlines, communication, material (so much material :o). I've played around coding a little bit, managed to say "Hello World" with programming after some hours. Played around with different 3D art tools, played in different editors, done some easy insignificant modding. Most of my knowledge is from what I've read on wikias, forums, tutorials and some programmer and ex-schooled designers (1 is studying ZBrush and is an amazing artist). There are tons of different assets in each and every one of these tools (Editor or Utility). TONS.

 

To the point, forum sharing the process is that we throw ideas at Obsidian, how much help are we, really? How much do we help?

 

1. "Paladins are awesome!" <- is true from how I view them.

 

2. But does it say that the Paladin could be of a specific order meant to cleanse and purge, fanatically hunting down innocent men, women and children, believing they are spreading the Justice of [God] as if they were on steroids and hallucinations of grandeur?

 

How much does it help?

 

I like to think: A lot :) and if we aren't helping I like to think that Obsidian will say something, or if there is some way to help out more effectively and better. Obsidian always has Final Word and I also like to believe that they know that they aren't obliged to use anything written here (regarding the latter, I know that others feel differently, this is just my personal opinion).

 

Yeah, especially on threads/debates about the more contentious issues, like that giant thread we had a while back about Vancian casting vs. Cooldowns on spells. Sawyer came in, engaged us, told us what the plan was, and voila -- discussion on the issue settled itself down. Some people moved on, unhappy with the plan, while others moved on, totally giddy about what they just heard. But both sides got their curiousity slaked.

 

The Law of the DM rules these forums after all, and we've got a good DM.

Edited by Osvir

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