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YankeeBravo

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  1. I absolutely agree that if they were able to sit back, pay the bills and make the games they wanted, that's not a bad situation at all. I just don't know how sustainable it is. We've already seen cases where the Kickstarter well has started to run dry. So I'm not sure planning on funding future games/sequels through new Kickstarters is something that could be counted on long term. I mean, I suspect some percentage of people backed expecting a copy of Space Quest, or in hopes of the support leading to another Space Quest. Some percentage of those are likely to say "The new game's alright, but I don't know that I would've given as much in retrospect" regardless of how good the game turns out to be. There'll also be those that experience the game, decide it's nice to see the Two Guys doing games again, but the style /humor isn't what they remembered, or just isn't to their taste any more. As for gaining extra exposure....Particularly for a small/flegling company, good PR's crucial. Sure, there's a bit of latitude afforded that wouldn't be with large corporations, but initial impressions are very hard to overcome and the media has a very long memory when it thinks it's been mislead or taken advantage of in some way. Means future coverage can be hard as hell to get, so...Some of the early missteps they've had with the gaming press aren't helping in that regard.
  2. That's the thing, though. If the Two Guys and their backers want this to be something sustainable that can support sequels and new IPs (and possibly a return of a certain beloved IP), it HAS to grow. There will always be the Sierra faithful that are ready to put up money and do whatever else is necessary to see the return of favorite creators and cherished franchises they have fond memories of. That core can be counted on for support regardless of almost anything that may happen or any setbacks or upsets. Then there's the wider "general gamer" group that may have no idea who Sierra was or what made their games special. Like it or not, SpaceVenture and the others have to pull in this group to succeed with anything beyond a nostalgia-laden encore, of sorts. That doesn't mean pandering to "hardcore gamers" or "adapting to modern gameplay elements", but it does mean showing them that, "Hey, here's something special and totally worthy of your time and money." A demo is usually a good option for doing just that. I'm not at SDCC, obviously, so I don't know if the demo was actually shown off or not. If it was, the good news appears to be that no one's written anything so far. Now, I say that because it's possible I have the benefit of looking at it from a few different perspectives. I'm a lifelong Sierra fan, but I also spent more than a decade working as a reporter for various outlets. I've since been pushed to the "dark side", working in Communications/Media Relations for a Fortune 500. So...It's hard for me not to look at this and think 'if I'm doing a write-up, what am I calling out...' Hey, don't worry about me thinking you're bitter, Troels. And don't worry about giving offense. In my professional life, if you don't develop a thick skin you're not going to have a very good time. Now, I don't know what your concentration was in (Communications is a very wide field), but I'm sure at some point you were introduced to an old axiom along the lines of "Perception is reality." If your coursework included at least a course or two in marketing or PR, you're also probably familiar with the concept of managing expectations. I mention that because, to me, there's a dropped ball when there are explicit expectations set on June 16th (given as "facts", no less) with mention of just "polish" remaining and what's released on July 16 with caveats essentially being a list of 'that stuff we told you to expect? Forget all that, here's what's missing'. If I were a reporter who happened to be covering SDCC for whatever reason and happened to have been following SpaceVenture as well (or a writer from a gaming publication/site), my first question would have been, "So what happened in the last month to change the delivered demo?" I also feel that perhaps there's a bit of misunderstanding with the "heavy public rotation" comment. I understand you're viewing it a backer demo for the purposes of getting a polished demo ready to go out. The point I think you're missing is for all intents and purposes, whatever is being shown off in the SDCC booth IS the public demo. It's the first any member of the public or media has actually seen of the SpaceVenture project and for it to have been introduced in the state it is does SpaceVenture a disservice. I'll be honest, I'm still not entirely sure how I managed to get those crates to move around other than furious clicking that apparently finally hit the right 'hot spot' on the crate, and that's just one example. I really don't mean to come across as just attacking the whole thing. There was a lot to like with the art, and that narrative that did make it into the demo. And of course, the scoring was phenomenal, right there with music from the Sierra days. It's just that all of the things it does right can quickly be offset and overshadowed by the rough state it's in and the handling from the PR perspective. But, like I said....Just dropping in my couple cents based on my experience and perspective, so...Don't read too much into it.
  3. I actually had to go back and double-check after playing through the demo/prototype/whatever, myself, just to make sure I hadn't misunderstood or misinterpreted anything. It's right there in print in previous updates as well as in the update announcing the download availability, specifically, here: With the previous comments about holding off on the demo for polishing going back to May, and the mention of showing it off to the media, I don't think it's unrealistic to have had higher expectations, particularly since Chris explicitly outlined what to expect in early June and didn't bother to mention problems cropping up or the like until the mention of bugs and no voiceovers in the release announcement. Just to me, it raises questions as to what's going on over there and is a clear indication Chris is in way over his head if he's taking this demo/prototype to the general public and the press.
  4. I think most of the bugs and whatnot have long since been covered, but...Just a few points, particularly in relation to this. I know the "demo" is currently "backers only" through the SVRewards site, but...As I recall, wasn't a big part of releasing a demo now that Chris Pope wanted something to show off to the media and the general public at SDCC? If so, I'm hoping that plan has been shelved, because showing this to media isn't in the best interests of the Two Guys. Unless Chris Pope is showing a substantially different version of the demo, that is. I'm also a bit perplexed by the comment that it's the first cohesive bit that's been done and an effort to show backers the 'earliest beginnings'. Honestly, I wasn't expecting large studio quality and perfection from an early demo, but...I was expecting something approximating what we'd been told to expect. From the updates on Kickstarter about demo plans and the update last month, it sounded like things were in good shape and on target: What we'd been told to expect wasn't an "early alpha" or a "prototype" or "Living Concept Art", it was a polished demo that was to be introduced to the public and press. Obviously that wasn't the case as several items were dropped or missing, most noticeably the voiceovers we'd been anticipating. Two issues from that. The most pressing is if the demo is an accurate reflection of the status of the game's development, I'm concerned. There's a lot to like in the art style and the direction it's obvious the game's going in, but for things to have not progressed to the point were there's not more progress...It does make me wonder a bit about the last year or so and, to me, suggests there's no way we're going to see a finished, polished game before sometime in the first or second quarter of next year at the earliest. Don't get me wrong, being late isn't a bad thing at all, I'd prefer they take all the time they need. On the other hand, you guys absolutely have to get better at communicating with your fan base and potential buyers. Some of the blowback from the demo could have been mitigated and controlled if expectations had been set and managed. Just jarring when you're told to expect one item that's been delayed for "polishing" and are presented with a much rougher/earlier version without warning. The commitment to the two updates a month is a significant step in the right direction, but it defeats the purpose if updates are just convention appearances and plugs. Or generic reassurances that something's coming soon, just needs a little more polish. Know this last bit will be unpopular, but, to me, it's pretty apparent that Chris has committed the biggest mortal sin in PR and that's not to do anything that would give cause for mistrust or suspicion. Bottom line, I don't trust a word out of his mouth and, as I suspect I'm not alone in that opinion, nothing good comes of a company spokesperson with no credibility. Just my $0.02, so....make of it what you will.
  5. No worries on that front. Even if it had been a snide jab, I'd take no offense. Develop an extremely thick skin working in print journalism, so.... I will say the title worked. After all, it's an interesting thought and it is somewhat of an aberration given how active things were during the Kickstarter itself and more so when you compare it to the community that other projects have built up. As I recall, I think the SVReward site has had the "community" link coming back the forums here since I first saw the place in July, so it's not completely that people don't know about it. I do think that whoever's handling the community aspect for the Two Guys may not have thought things all the way through. From what I've seen, a significant problem is that everything's so fragmented. You have the SVRewards site, you've got the GfA site, you've got SQ.net (which I know has been around much longer) and you've got the "microsites" like the Andromedan Post (which I just learned about today, actually). So just there you've got potentially four different sites/places where news or other information might pop up with no (immediate) mention on the others. So, yeah. Obviously having an active community is more difficult in that type of situation versus something like DoubleFine where they had an established forum were everyone already knew they could go for discussions/information. Who knows? Maybe it'd have been better to have incorporated the SVRewards site with SQ.net and used forum integration for commenting rather than WordPress. Or maybe that was explored and just wasn't technically or logistically feasible. Bottom line: the lack of a centralized "hub" hurts, in my opinion. But an issue that's just as big, as was touched on earlier and before I showed up, is that there simply isn't a lot to discuss. Hell, the anecdote about Chris' flea problem got 17 responses with a lot of them actually cat related, so...That suggests to me that people are willing to discuss, but it's just not going to happen until there's a steadier flow of things that CAN be discussed. Which ties in to my last point. It's taken papers a while to learn this and it's one of those things that everyone already knows as a matter of common sense, but....We spend a LOT of money commissioning research on how to drive traffic to our publication's webite (for ad impressions, as well as traffic numbers). The big factor to not just getting massive page views but building recurring traffic/community is to have fresh and exclusive content that can't be obtained anywhere else. Obviously, the Two Guys have a lock on the "exclusive content" portion. What needs work is the "fresh" angle. When you know you're only getting something new maybe once or twice a month, you're not going to be hitting the site every day or even once a week. Not saying they need to have updates every day, but if they're serious about building a community, they need much more frequent content updates with material the fosters discussion. Once a fledgling community's there and has things to discuss and debate on their own (as with Wasteland 2) you can ease off on the frequency of updates somewhat. Again, just a few thoughts from my perspective.
  6. Actually, a few points that I see here. I'm one of those 10,000 or so who've largely been "lurking", at SVRewards, the project page, here and at the GfA site. The earlier posts are pretty much dead on. SpaceVenture has more or less gone "dark", so there's really not a lot to talk about. Look at the SVRewards site...I was extremely excited to get the e-mail back in July about the thing opening up, and looking forward to the project diaries and all the rest, but really...There's just not much to discuss. I know that there's a lot of planning and plotting and other preproduction discussions going on, but still, a couple posts a month isn't going to drive a lot of discussion or community involvement, particularly when half of them are 'What's Chris doing on the marketing front' type posts. I'm hoping the Two Guys have changed their minds on timeframes since the HTML5 thing blew up and the Feb 2013 date's out the window. Not just because it gives them more time to deliver a quality product, but because I'm sitting here thinking 'What happened to those Kickstarter incentives?' Don't get me wrong, I'm not in it for the incentives, I was putting in money to see a new SQ-style game from Scott and Mark regardless. However, they did come up with some pretty cool incentives for the campaign, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to twinges of "buyer's remorse" at kicking in at the level I did with none of this "concept art voting" or "discussions with Scott and Mark" anywhere in sight. Hopefully that's still in the works at some point down the road. For the time being, I'd definitely like to see more regular updates. As things stand, SVRewards and the other site are one of those 'Haven't checked in a while, let's see if anything's new' rather than somewhere I go regularly as I do with DFA or Wasteland 2 or Tex Murphy. Just my couple cents on the 'Why is it so dead' discussion, for whatever it's worth.
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