Author Topic: This IS a dinosaur game!  (Read 5586 times)

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2016, 10:01:44 PM »
I'm not really looking for a title that rolls of the tongue easily (per se).  I'm looking for one that grabs your attention and throttles it.  That reviewers and players who see it in stores or in emails go "what the heck?  I gotta click that..."

As to looking like a dinosaur, yes you will look like a dinosaur.  Will you have feathers?  That... we are working on for a number of angles.  No promises just yet, but I hope to have something really awesome on that front.  Not to show this week, though.


1 fair enough

2 well if were talking genetically engineered ones then id say it makes more sense(with the limited context I have) to say no although I've always liked the theory that birds are descended from dinosaurs it would please me greatly to have concrete evidence that my ancestors were dinosaurs.
c.r

Offline mrhanman

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2016, 10:05:07 PM »
I like the name.  Especially if it describes an action I'll get to take in game.  8)

Offline x4000

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2016, 10:13:45 PM »
I have some fear that this course of action is symptomatic of the Starward Rogue/SBR approach.  Namely, you make a smaller game to help out with a bigger game (financially in one case, developmentally in the other). But then the smaller game ends up not doing what you wanted it to (because difficulties in development and the market are both difficult to foresee).   Then the larger game--and hence the company--is put into jeopardy by the failure, delay, lack of sales/marketing, etc. of the smaller game.

Let's be blunt:

1. Last October, I had the choice of going on with SBR and beating my head bloody against the wall.  In the same timeframe we would have run out of money, and I don't think that we would have had a good game.  But aside from not having a good game, we also would not have had Starward Rogue.

2. As it stands, whether or not SBR ever sees the light of day is really kind of unrelated to Starward Rogue and how well it did or didn't do.  The art in general is complete for SBR.  It's had an enormous amount of work into it.  The problem is that I can't make it work.  Much as it pains me to say it.  I had hoped that the break while working on Starward Rogue would give me time to have a breakthrough, or get refreshed on the whole thing, or something.  But no dice.

3. Right now, the fate of SBR hangs on whether or not Keith can make it work in some fashion.  Aka, he's taking my design and then ripping apart many parts and building something else.  My thing didn't work.  Can he make something out of all those expensive components we created that functions?  We shall see.

4. Aka, yes there was a financial component to the decision to put SBR on hold.  But there was also a large "I am freaking stumped by this game" component.  I don't really like saying that, and I've beat around the bush on that some in the past, but I'm being blunt at the moment.  I had hoped that Starward would buy me a whole lot of time to figure things out with that game without the pressure of money, and yadda yadda.  There were a whole lot of things that the failure of Starward caused, but among them was/is not any sort of jeopardy for SBR.  The fate of that one was already in "R&D hell" prior to Starward.

5. When it comes to Starward, it was on an insanely rushed time schedule and required developing out fresh assets for a ton of stuff.  It also contributes nothing back into any future game of ours.  Aka, pieces that we made for Starward are not now being put into SBR.  Pieces from an older version of TLF went into Starward, which was great, but that was pulling from the past, not pushing to the future.

6. When it comes to Raptor, this is actually a building block for Untitled Survival.  It's a deviation, sure.  But probably 70% of the work done will feed right back into the survival game.  The other 30% doesn't, but even then will help give us practice and knowledge in this area and will thus make certain other aspects of the 3D survival game go faster.  Yay with pushing things forward!

7. But also this game pulls from the past, so it can happen very quickly.  A lot of the things I've been working on for the survival game up until now play into this Raptor game.  Which means it's not another month before I can start showing any respectable footage, for instance.  Which means we can start banging the marketing drum super duper early, for instance.  We can do previews, including hands-on ones.

8. After the end of the Raptor project, we wind up with a fun game that we can sell and that I also want to play.  AND we wind up a lot further along the path toward the survival game.


So yes, they are similar situations on the surface.  But the actual details are pretty different! :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2016, 10:15:40 PM »
I like the name.  Especially if it describes an action I'll get to take in game.  8)

It mostly describes the inciting event that begins the game.  >D
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Offline Castruccio

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2016, 10:29:29 PM »

So yes, they are similar situations on the surface.  But the actual details are pretty different! :)

Very good, then.  Go with your gut and make this work.  I certainly don't oppose that.  It sounds like you've got up a good head of steam on these two new games, and you're excited to develop them.  That excitement alone should make them better games than SBR would have been if you had started right back to work on it after Starward. 

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2016, 10:35:14 PM »
I like the name.  Especially if it describes an action I'll get to take in game.  8)

It mostly describes the inciting event that begins the game.  >D
does that mean your a raptor? that's pretty rad.
c.r

Offline Aklyon

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2016, 10:53:50 PM »
i think it means we're an Emergency Raptor, not just a raptor :)

Offline tombik

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2016, 11:10:55 PM »
Sorry that I always sound negative, but I think you also need this feedback.

Even though "Sir, You Are Being Hunted" is a good name, and I also think it is funny as a name, I also think it is one of the reasons that the game was not a hit.

I did not know about the other Raptor games though, so you are right to not pick something that resembles my abbrevation.




Offline Misery

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2016, 11:28:40 PM »
I have some fear that this course of action is symptomatic of the Starward Rogue/SBR approach.  Namely, you make a smaller game to help out with a bigger game (financially in one case, developmentally in the other). But then the smaller game ends up not doing what you wanted it to (because difficulties in development and the market are both difficult to foresee).   Then the larger game--and hence the company--is put into jeopardy by the failure, delay, lack of sales/marketing, etc. of the smaller game.

I've had concerns on this one myself, all of which I've already brought up during looooong email strings, and there's a couple of points on this one that are very different from how Starward went:

1.  Far as I know, there arent 10 squillion people working on the dinosaur game.  There were a TON of people involved with Starward, and while I"m not a money scientist, I suspect that was a huge part of the cost of the game.

2.  It's not the only thing going; the... other Starward thing, I'm not sure what to call it yet... is also going.  That's one that Chris isnt doing directly... it doesnt eat into his time... but is instead being done by a few of us that worked on the main game.  Again I dont entirely understand the financial aspects of it, but from what I was told, the basic idea I'd gotten was that THIS one isnt risky.    Chris could explain that better though, if I try to it'll just get a confused mess going.

3.  I'm assuming that the survival game isnt being put completely on hold during this?  I could be wrong.  And Keith is still hard at work on SBR.   With Starward, ALL of the resources were dumped into one game that didn't have enough time.


Again, someone can feel free to tell me how incorrect I am if I've gotten that stuff wrong, but that's what I remember from discussions.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2016, 01:17:11 AM »
Misery, I think this one is more like "R&D for the Survival one."  Its not that it's on hold, but that everything that goes into this game will also go into the other game.

Offline x4000

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2016, 01:22:07 AM »

So yes, they are similar situations on the surface.  But the actual details are pretty different! :)

Very good, then.  Go with your gut and make this work.  I certainly don't oppose that.

I appreciate it. :)

It sounds like you've got up a good head of steam on these two new games, and you're excited to develop them.  That excitement alone should make them better games than SBR would have been if you had started right back to work on it after Starward.

Yes, definitely for sure.  I've finished games before when I was in "I hate this now" mode, and the results are not what I want.  I mean, sometimes you just have to power through.  But if the game is not working yet, you need some kind of passion to figure out why and fix that.

i think it means we're an Emergency Raptor, not just a raptor :)

Indeed!

Sorry that I always sound negative, but I think you also need this feedback.

I don't recall you always being negative, and I certainly don't take someone pressing a point as a bad thing.  I agree, I need feedback from people who don't just say "yes that's brilliant Mr. Lucas!" or "ehhh, whatever, sure." ;)

Even though "Sir, You Are Being Hunted" is a good name, and I also think it is funny as a name, I also think it is one of the reasons that the game was not a hit.

I don't know.  I know it got a lot of attention partly for the name and the strange style it had.  I think the game's lack of hitness, if that was the case... hmm.  There's not a polite way to put it.  I try not to critique games by other developers.  At any rate, I think the game experience was not all that it could be.  I personally didn't find it very fun to play, which is about all I'll say there.  And I recall a number of critics discussing how much time you spent creeping around in the grass, and how each section of the island was basically the same thing over and over again. 

Which might have been fine, had the core thing been more fun in a bubble-wrap-popping sort of way.  You can have something repetitive if it's darn fun to do.  Or you can have something that isn't all that fun to do in a moment-to-moment sense if it's leading through some interesting progression.  Ideally you wind up with both.

My opinion on that game was that... it didn't fully have either, at least not for enough people.  I think that's also why Shattered Haven flopped.  For some people they love it, and it's not a "bad game" any more than Sir is.  But you have to have pretty specific tastes.

Bionic Dues I think actively drove people away with the name.  And then the screenshots were all very dark and also did not pull people in.  And then the turn-based nature of it, etc, also is not to everyone's tastes.  So we really did ourselves in there.

With this particular name, I think we can get people to click in out of curiosity.  I think we can make press chuckle and take a look.  I think we can then intrigue them with the visuals.  And then hook them with the moment-to-moment gameplay.  That's the plan, anyway.

I did not know about the other Raptor games though, so you are right to not pick something that resembles my abbrevation.

Right now there are just metric tons of games coming out, and most of them have pretty samey names.  They fit to a certain mold, at least.

I recall that we got a ton of attention for the esoteric A Valley Without Wind from the name alone, although that was a very different time period market-wise.  I think that worked really well.  What really flopped was that the execution of the first game left a lot to be desired for many people.  So... that happened.  Other people were happy with it, but still.

I am not saying that "In Case Of Emergency, Release Raptor" is the only possible name that could possibly work for this game.  However, I do feel like the name needs to be something very unique that makes people go "what the heck?" and click in.  Anything that's too short can sound campy, or bland, or like we're talking about airplanes (Raptors).  Our absolute #1 enemy right now is obscurity, and that's true for all the devs.  So doing whatever we can to make games that stand out in every way and at least get people to give them a glance is a big deal.

Like I said: that doesn't mean "this name goes with me to the graaaave, I will have no other." ;)  But it's the best by a country mile that I've seen for it so far, and it makes a lot of people chuckle, and more people seem to like it than not, it passes the test with my wife, and so on.  If someone has a more perfect name, I'd love to have it -- I'm down for that.  But the names of our games have a lot of pretty stringent requirements just because of the way the market is.
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Offline x4000

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2016, 01:29:16 AM »
1.  Far as I know, there arent 10 squillion people working on the dinosaur game.  There were a TON of people involved with Starward, and while I"m not a money scientist, I suspect that was a huge part of the cost of the game.

It didn't help, but honestly it actually DID help.  Heh.  Most of the added people on Starward were part-time, and compared to our general overhead, everyone we added cost less than an added month of development.  So by adding a ton of people I did spend a ton more money, but not as much as an extra month would have cost.  And the game was way better because of it.

Now granted that's just a whole other story entirely.  Apples and oranges, because Starward is inherently the sort of game that requires a ton of pretty unique content in terms of loot, enemies, etc, etc.  Nature of the beast.  With this game, it's more about really polishing the heck out of the core mechanics and then giving enough interesting situations in which to exercise them that it's worth a low asking price.

2.  It's not the only thing going; the... other Starward thing, I'm not sure what to call it yet... is also going.  That's one that Chris isnt doing directly... it doesnt eat into his time... but is instead being done by a few of us that worked on the main game.  Again I dont entirely understand the financial aspects of it, but from what I was told, the basic idea I'd gotten was that THIS one isnt risky.    Chris could explain that better though, if I try to it'll just get a confused mess going.

Right, the expansion for Starward, plus the post-release content.  You guys are doing the post-release content for free (which I can't thank you enough for coming out of the woodwork to do so), and the expansion content is something that will be royalties-based.  So you all share in the success (or lack thereof), but it doesn't cost me anything upfront.  Although it does cost me artist-hours from Blue, but she's part of our general overhead and so it's only an opportunity cost of what else she could be doing, and not a new cost.

And Keith is still hard at work on SBR.

Yep.  And if that doesn't work out, there's something else for him.  Though I am very hopeful.

With Starward, ALL of the resources were dumped into one game that didn't have enough time.

Yeah, for sure.  Honestly I think the release state of the game was great, but we didn't have that time for marketing, pre-release reviews and previews, etc.

Again, someone can feel free to tell me how incorrect I am if I've gotten that stuff wrong, but that's what I remember from discussions.

You pretty well got it!  Except...

Misery, I think this one is more like "R&D for the Survival one."  Its not that it's on hold, but that everything that goes into this game will also go into the other game.

Yep, that.  The survival game is "on hold" in a kinda loose sense.  Aka, I'm not working in that project for the time being, and won't be for a while.  But the code and whatnot that is being developed for Raptor will be mostly fed back into the survival game.  And the added experience from working on the Raptor game will enhance our speed on the survival game.  And there was much rejoicing. ;)
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Offline Amitiel

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2016, 04:40:29 AM »
So... robot dinosaur dating sim, right?

Offline Misery

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2016, 05:29:02 AM »
Huh, interesting.

I always find that kinda neat, that code from your previous games very often is then usable in your later games.  That must help a TON in getting things going faster.  As far as I know, many devs rewrite from scratch every time.  Well, the ones I'm familiar with anyway. 


Now, my big question on this one:  Replay value.  What kinds of things might this one do to increase that?  That's probably something people are going to be definitely wanting out of this, and I think alot of fans of Arcen expect it at this point, as that's usually how these games go.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: This IS a dinosaur game!
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2016, 12:12:26 PM »
So... robot dinosaur dating sim, right?
could be Chris hasn't given any clues as to what the gameplay will actually be about so there's nothing saying it couldn't.
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