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Johnathon

SpaceVenture's Backers... Where are they hiding?

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There were large sections of "get to know" in some of the commentaries (including the Chris @ Oakhurst photos), but this is a great idea. I like Chris and feel that he's brought a lot. In particular, one would have to be completely blind to not have noticed the storm of press & attention he arranged after the Great Blackout (and 218K debacle), which essentially saved my favorite Kickstarter project of all time. Not everyone was as involved in the day-to-day of the campaign, as a backer, but I, and a few dozen others, were deeply involved. In fact, it is, in large part, those individuals who've resurfaced here, and integrated into the forum communities.

 

I agree with the sentiment that the SpaceVenture web presences are fractured, and I disagree with the assertion more central organization wouldn't work for the project. I can see how (specifically) a private forum community would be insufficient for every aspect of backer/dev interaction (in particular, reward fulfillment), but having the production diaries and concept art presented in weblog format seems a misstep. Forums, with integrated polling, are perfect for posting, discussing, and voting on concept art (including IP.Board, running here). I don't find the wordpress sites particularly awful to look at (I kind of like them) but they are awkward use and navigate in comparison to a streamlined approach, on at least a single website. I've four sites to follow for SpaceVenture; Kickstarter, SQN, SVRewards, and GFA.com... in fact, GFA.com may as well be two separate sites, the way they are divided. This is a big headache.

 

I love the content, though. :)

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There were large sections of "get to know" in some of the commentaries (including the Chris @ Oakhurst photos), but this is a great idea. I like Chris and feel that he's brought a lot. In particular, one would have to be completely blind to not have noticed the storm of press & attention he arranged after the Great Blackout (and 218K debacle), which essentially saved my favorite Kickstarter project of all time. Not everyone was as involved in the day-to-day of the campaign, as a backer, but I, and a few dozen others, were deeply involved. In fact, it is, in large part, those individuals who've resurfaced here, and integrated into the forum communities.

 

I agree with the sentiment that the SpaceVenture web presences are fractured, and I disagree with the assertion more central organization wouldn't work for the project. I can see how (specifically) a private forum community would be insufficient for every aspect of backer/dev interaction (in particular, reward fulfillment), but having the production diaries and concept art presented in weblog format seems a misstep. Forums, with integrated polling, are perfect for posting, discussing, and voting on concept art (including IP.Board, running here). I don't find the wordpress sites particularly awful to look at (I kind of like them) but they are awkward use and navigate in comparison to a streamlined approach, on at least a single website. I've four sites to follow for SpaceVenture; Kickstarter, SQN, SVRewards, and GFA.com... in fact, GFA.com may as well be two separate sites, the way they are divided. This is a big headache.

 

I love the content, though. :)

 

I guess this is my issue too, I don't feel like I have one central place to go and see what's going on with the project. I usually end up coming here since I assume that any big news will end up being posted by someone.

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:y:

 

 

 

(slaps forehead) Poor Chris. :P

 

Not that your impressions and opinions aren't valued, but I just have to be laughing my ass off now, not only at what you're saying, but at exactly "how" you're saying it. He must hear (read) his name preceded by the word "that" and followed by the word "guy" about a hundred times a week. It's quite sympathetically laughable.

 

Sincerely though, I don't mean to criticize you. I just find this amusing; but I must also tell you. Chris is a great Space Quest fan. I know it's not the public's job to know who EVERYONE in Hollywood/Gaming is (the technicians, and the cameramen/women, etc.), but contrary to common misconception, Chris is quite a seasoned professional in the industry. He's done plenty of work for Disney aside from the Two Guys.

 

But, the part you'll care about more. His fanship for the series goes way back. He even visited the Oakhurst location back when he was 16.

 

Furthermore, as others have pointed out before me, The Two Guys are accustomed to working their magic on their own terms and behind the scenes, without the pressure of 10,000 Ken William proxies egging them on or bugging them with questions; hence, I presume, Chris as the in-between public relations specialist. It's a different age and time. The Two Guys are adjusting to working for a mass of kickstarter funders. As Scott says, he's a stand up guy, and I'm certain they know what they're doing by having him hired on.

 

If I may say so, in light of having respect for your opinions and first impressions as a fan, people (all of us in general, and I INCLUDE myself, when I'm not conscientious of my instinctive first-thoughts/impressions) tend to worry too much and be too critical before having all the facts/sense of things as they are.

 

Imagine yourself, as a sculptor, for example, knowing your tools and knowing your assistants and employees, and having much experience, but also needing that special time to yourself, to work your magic, without distraction, and constantly having your boss or your clients hovering over your shoulder and pestering you as to why they're paying another $10 per hour for a laborer, or why the thing isn't done yet, or why you're using this tool instead of that.

 

The way I see it, we know what Scott and Mark are good at, and we either have faith enough in that and take things on their terms... or we don't. If we make suggestions or comments, it's probably best to phrase things a little more carefully or think more first, lest we risk accidentally insulting or turning off someone who may "seem" insignificant to us; yet actually is more fit than we are to take on the task/position that has been assigned to them.

 

Feel me?

 

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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I see your points regarding these.

 

I'd like to clarify my choice of title when I decided to make this thread. It was worded kind of cutsie-wootsie front line newspaper, I suppose. I probably should have thought about that a little more before posting it. I do think it's obvious enough, however, that my use of the word "hiding" wasn't/isn't intended to insinuate the bulk of the backer's as being deliberately anti-social. I also don't want you, here, getting the impression that I'm trying to insinuate that you are trying to suggest that I had intended such, solely b/c of my explaining it here. In fact, the only reason I feel like clarifying it is because, since the post was started, the degree of backers that have suddenly appeared here to state their case and reasons for silence.

 

In other words, and in greater explanation, the backers are not judged by the extent of their postings and as I've said before it's none of my business what they want to do with their free time. The reason I started this thread was because I was curious: for, given 4 months of time, even with a little activity as of late, I found it odd that only about 20 people total had posted in those 4 months. You'd have thought a bunch more would have at least posted at the initial topics/concept arts when the site first became active. I now attribute that prior believed-to-be phenomenon to the fact that there was a serious issue with the emailing system, apparently.

 

If I had to give my take, I'd say things are just taking longer than the 'Guys wish to deliver/organize all this. For that I cannot provide any excuse, explanation or wise opinion b/c it is not my arena. It's just when I read people suggesting negative things about people they don't even know (like elbowing and trying to steal the show) that I get a little pissed. That's one of my personal pet peeves. There's a big difference between me expecting everybody to admire and be as enthusiastic as I am - the people running this project and the project itself - and me expecting others to maintain a minimum level of dignity and common sense (the two are as far apart as it gets).

 

But all of your points are valid ones. I'm sure it'll all be delivered; maybe just not as quickly as we'd expected. We all do, of course, have every right and freedom to criticize and make suggestions regarding any aspect of the project and it's delivery. That's all part of the business/game.

 

Peace.

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I see your points regarding these.

 

I'd like to clarify my choice of title when I decided to make this thread. It was worded kind of cutsie-wootsie front line newspaper, I suppose. I probably should have thought about that a little more before posting it. I do think it's obvious enough, however, that my use of the word "hiding" wasn't/isn't intended to insinuate the bulk of the backer's as being deliberately anti-social. I also don't want you, here, getting the impression that I'm trying to insinuate that you are trying to suggest that I had intended such, solely b/c of my explaining it here. In fact, the only reason I feel like clarifying it is because, since the post was started, the degree of backers that have suddenly appeared here to state their case and reasons for silence.

 

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.

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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).

The way it was explained to me: Guysfromandromeda.com is for the company GFA LLC, not SpaceVenture itself - we're currently working on tweaks to re-orient that more appropriately. SVRewards.com is the rewards site for the backers who pledged $15 or up ($30 or up for pre-release access) to get access to the diaries/chats/voting. There have been some diaries up, not as many as I would personally like but they've got to spend time actually designing the game I suppose. I know chat is on the way, I set up the page this week and Chris just announced it. Voting is going to be further down the road.

 

The Andromedan Post is for news about not only SpaceVenture but the Sierra community in general.

Like you said, SQ.NET has been around longer than any of the other sites and isn't under GFA "jurisdiction" (I do admin all of these sites, but that's where the control sharing ends). SQN has more of a fan-based/community-operated focus than the other sites.

 

We're taking all of these ideas into consideration when talking about where we need to go with the websites. So keep it up - thanks!

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I do believe/agree having real-time syncing between all the four sites (probably with this one serving as the main "node," b/c it has been around so long) would help. Perhaps that's too easy for me to say, b/c I don't know what labor that entails; but it seems it was done quite promptly between this place and twitter, and facebook, and the virtual broomcloset. It goes without saying that obviously non-backers wouldn't have access to the rewards site, but perhaps seeing more of it synced across the remaining websites would draw more attention.

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Some really good posts in this thread; would love to see another interview with Chris, without wishing to place too much of the focus on his good self.

 

Thanks to Pcj, Troels and Chris for doing such a great job behind the scenes, mainly for free/not much too..

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This weekend I switched around the layout of GuysFromAndromeda.com so blog posts are more prominent. The GFA site will continue to be about general goings-on with the company/podcast.

 

I hope this helps with any confusion. At this time there aren't any plans to tie in SQN more directly with the GFA site(s) - eventually I'll have to work something out for the SQN badge reward but one thing at a time...

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I have no idea why (at least) the rewards site isn't seeing more attention... after all, people paid for that access!

I dunno about that, now. I didn't pay for behind-the-scenes peeks; I paid to get the damned game made. :D

 

In my case, I've been *intentionally* avoiding most Spaceventure news and sneak peeks. Why's that? Because the Spaceventure is a once-in-a-lifetime, bonafide *treasure* - not just some new game - and I want NO SPOILERS WHATSOEVER. I intend to savor the game like some super-expensive French dish you pay 100 dollars for at a fancy resturant, and the best way to do that is to go in completely blind. No previews, no knowledge of voice acting casts or concept art or anything of the sort. I want to boot up the game eventually and be knocked on my ass by it because every single thing in it is delightfully unknown ahead of time. :)

 

The only reason I'm not doing the same thing with the LSL remake is because I've already played the original inside and out. :P In this case, it's like one of those "restore an old car" shows - it's fun watching them take the classic game and pour so much effort into making it shine for a new generation.

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