Author Topic: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.  (Read 18390 times)

Offline Rythe

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2015, 02:14:08 PM »
Well, as an update on November Doom, the Rock Paper Shotgun community has already given up on the Star Wars Battlefront game via its beta. The vocal types over there are expecting it to fizzle out in a month, and I get the sense from their complaints that the doom and gloom they're expecting isn't far off. Then again, it's stripped down model could appeal to people who breath Star Wars and live nothing but Twitch.

That's a bummer, actually.  But the system requirements on that thing for the minimum are kind of nuts.  I've been trying to mostly game on my laptop so that I can get away from my desktop when I'm not working.  I guess a 1GB card is anemic these days, but jeez.

You know those moments in Star Wars where Rebel Soldiers or Storm Troopers rush onto the scene and get mowed down by laser fire? Battlefront is faithfully recreating that experience in the sections available in the beta, if the players were those Rebel Soldiers or Storm Troopers getting mowed down. Except for brief periods after you wander over a vehicle power up, then you get to play at being the mechanical war demons spitting out great swaths of that laser fire until the gerbils manage to take you down - also faithfully recreating an experience from Star Wars movie moments.

The problem appears to be that spending the vast majority of your time as movie cannon fodder gets old for most people. They're hoping other game modes provide different experiences.

As for the RAM, yeah, it's all about them textures these days.

Yeah, I saw that too.  For the record that's really not my sort of game and not the sort of thing that we're making here.  That's way more like Rygar from what I can tell, and that was never anything I got into.  My favorite SHMUP was Tyrian.

But really, I need to stop saying that word I think, because this is really more of a dual-stick-shooter than a SHMUP.  It has SHMUP elements, but it's more of a dual-stick shooter in a roguelike structure, with shmup-style enemy patterns.  Of course playable with keyboard and mouse as well.

Oh, twin stick shooter with a heavy dose of bullet hell and roguelike. I gotchas. :P
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 02:24:34 PM by Rythe »

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2015, 02:42:20 PM »
honestly I haven't really heard anything good about the new star wars battlefront from what I saw of jesses e3 coverage all they seem to have done is take things out for no reason and add nothing to it );
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Offline x4000

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2015, 03:08:10 PM »
As someone else who suffers from PTSD and chronic stress/anxiety symptoms on a daily basis, I definitely understand what you're going through.

Sometimes the best solution is to just put your life on hold and deal with your own mental and emotional health, but unfortunately that doesn't seem like much of an option for you. Sadly, sometimes these mental problems boil under the surface for countless years, and by the time they have been recognized, one already has too many life responsibilities to adequately address them in a relaxed, stress-free environment.

Just wanted to let you know that you're not the only person in the forums suffering through this.

Buddhist philosophy/psychology has been one of the major motivating factors that has allowed me to survive through this daily trauma, and one thing it teaches is that the ego is the source of all our problems. You've made a point several times in the last couple days that you were beginning to attach your own self-worth to the outcome of this game, and it's good that you recognize the danger of that tendency.

I wish you the best Chris, take care of yourself.

I really appreciate it -- all of that.  It's something that I've been struggling with for decades, though I didn't start getting any treatment until late 2011.  I've known for quite some time that I get too much of my self-worth wrapped up in individual games, and that's one of several reasons that we put out so many games in 2013.  That strategy did not really work from some other standpoints, though (just general schedule, finances, stress of other kinds, etc).  So we had to shift to something else.

One of my long-term tricks for dealing with deadline stress that I've used for years is to just take a day off and observe that the universe doesn't explode.  Then I can resume the following day without so much tension.  In some respects that's kind of what this break from SBR is.

I can't overstate how puppy-like happy I am to be working on this other game at the moment, though.  All the stress from earlier in the week has melted away, and I'm just really refreshed and excited.  Still dealing with fallout from it like exhaustion, etc, but that's small potatoes comparatively.

All throughout the SBR process I have relatively been taking better care of myself.  In some past projects -- most of them, really -- there came times where I was working from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep, with a two hour break to play with my son and eat and see my wife, etc.  I've been waaaay better about that this time, and have been making sure to take time for myself in the evenings even when there is a deadline looming.  Ultimately my productivity remains higher over the course of a week when I take an hour or so to just play some other games or whatever in the evening rather than using that hour to work yet more.

Anyhow, so I'm gradually getting where I want to be mentally with all this.  This is a really stressful business!  There's a reason you don't see a lot of long-term developers who actually hang around -- at least not compared to the number who make one game and disappear even if that game was successful to some extent.  But I definitely wouldn't want any other job at this point, so I deal with it as I go.

As for the RAM, yeah, it's all about them textures these days.

Yeah, I saw that too.  For the record that's really not my sort of game and not the sort of thing that we're making here.  That's way more like Rygar from what I can tell, and that was never anything I got into.  My favorite SHMUP was Tyrian.

But really, I need to stop saying that word I think, because this is really more of a dual-stick-shooter than a SHMUP.  It has SHMUP elements, but it's more of a dual-stick shooter in a roguelike structure, with shmup-style enemy patterns.  Of course playable with keyboard and mouse as well.

Oh, twin stick shooter with a heavy dose of bullet hell and roguelike. I gotchas. :P

I'm really surprised they can't just include lower-res textures as an option, though.  A half-scale texture is less than one quarter the ram of a high-res texture.  Ah well.

From what I read on Forbes and Kotaku, balance issues aside it looks like Battlefront is really fun for people.  The unlockables sound stupid and the vehicle controls sound off, but hey it's beta.  All of those sound like minor problems in the grand scheme of making a game like that.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2015, 03:54:29 PM »
As someone else who suffers from PTSD and chronic stress/anxiety symptoms on a daily basis, I definitely understand what you're going through.

Sometimes the best solution is to just put your life on hold and deal with your own mental and emotional health, but unfortunately that doesn't seem like much of an option for you. Sadly, sometimes these mental problems boil under the surface for countless years, and by the time they have been recognized, one already has too many life responsibilities to adequately address them in a relaxed, stress-free environment.

Just wanted to let you know that you're not the only person in the forums suffering through this.

Buddhist philosophy/psychology has been one of the major motivating factors that has allowed me to survive through this daily trauma, and one thing it teaches is that the ego is the source of all our problems. You've made a point several times in the last couple days that you were beginning to attach your own self-worth to the outcome of this game, and it's good that you recognize the danger of that tendency.

I wish you the best Chris, take care of yourself.

I really appreciate it -- all of that.  It's something that I've been struggling with for decades, though I didn't start getting any treatment until late 2011.  I've known for quite some time that I get too much of my self-worth wrapped up in individual games, and that's one of several reasons that we put out so many games in 2013.  That strategy did not really work from some other standpoints, though (just general schedule, finances, stress of other kinds, etc).  So we had to shift to something else.

One of my long-term tricks for dealing with deadline stress that I've used for years is to just take a day off and observe that the universe doesn't explode.  Then I can resume the following day without so much tension.  In some respects that's kind of what this break from SBR is.

I can't overstate how puppy-like happy I am to be working on this other game at the moment, though.  All the stress from earlier in the week has melted away, and I'm just really refreshed and excited.  Still dealing with fallout from it like exhaustion, etc, but that's small potatoes comparatively.

All throughout the SBR process I have relatively been taking better care of myself.  In some past projects -- most of them, really -- there came times where I was working from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep, with a two hour break to play with my son and eat and see my wife, etc.  I've been waaaay better about that this time, and have been making sure to take time for myself in the evenings even when there is a deadline looming.  Ultimately my productivity remains higher over the course of a week when I take an hour or so to just play some other games or whatever in the evening rather than using that hour to work yet more.

Anyhow, so I'm gradually getting where I want to be mentally with all this.  This is a really stressful business!  There's a reason you don't see a lot of long-term developers who actually hang around -- at least not compared to the number who make one game and disappear even if that game was successful to some extent.  But I definitely wouldn't want any other job at this point, so I deal with it as I go.

As for the RAM, yeah, it's all about them textures these days.

Yeah, I saw that too.  For the record that's really not my sort of game and not the sort of thing that we're making here.  That's way more like Rygar from what I can tell, and that was never anything I got into.  My favorite SHMUP was Tyrian.

But really, I need to stop saying that word I think, because this is really more of a dual-stick-shooter than a SHMUP.  It has SHMUP elements, but it's more of a dual-stick shooter in a roguelike structure, with shmup-style enemy patterns.  Of course playable with keyboard and mouse as well.

Oh, twin stick shooter with a heavy dose of bullet hell and roguelike. I gotchas. :P

I'm really surprised they can't just include lower-res textures as an option, though.  A half-scale texture is less than one quarter the ram of a high-res texture.  Ah well.

From what I read on Forbes and Kotaku, balance issues aside it looks like Battlefront is really fun for people.  The unlockables sound stupid and the vehicle controls sound off, but hey it's beta.  All of those sound like minor problems in the grand scheme of making a game like that.
by the way I remember you mentioned something about getting blackouts if you don't mind me asking is that due to the stress game making or outside influences or both? also if stars was making you as stressed as you say then perhaps you should have taken a break earlier just my 2 cents there really.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2015, 04:15:34 PM »
Both, really.  And the blackouts were only coming in the last two weeks or so, for the most part.  I wasn't losing consciousness, just vision and very occasionally some muscular control.  Edit: often not even all my vision.  Just half of one eye, or all of one eye, or half of both.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #65 on: October 09, 2015, 04:43:43 PM »
Both, really.  And the blackouts were only coming in the last two weeks or so, for the most part.  I wasn't losing consciousness, just vision and very occasionally some muscular control.  Edit: often not even all my vision.  Just half of one eye, or all of one eye, or half of both.
well I presume you already saw a doctor about that so I won't nag to do it but though this just reinforces that locking stars away was a good idea.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2015, 05:00:56 PM »
Yep, several.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2015, 01:09:24 AM »
Well, as an update on November Doom, the Rock Paper Shotgun community has already given up on the Star Wars Battlefront game via its beta. The vocal types over there are expecting it to fizzle out in a month, and I get the sense from their complaints that the doom and gloom they're expecting isn't far off. Then again, it's stripped down model could appeal to people who breath Star Wars and live nothing but Twitch.

I only just noticed this comment, and all I have is a resounding "HAH!" as a response.  That game, I've been warning people about that game for a freaking year now, but nobody listens to me, nope.  Despite things like, I dont know, the absolute greed-driven disaster that was Simcity, for instance.... among other examples.  EA has been *nasty* lately, and they've been proving how bad they can be over and over.  This game, frankly, was doomed from the moment of conception.

And going and looking at some of the comments and such about that beta, well.... it sounds worse than I'd thought.

It'll sell, there's no doubt about that... EA could get people to buy dead birds, really, they've MASTERED the art of getting people to buy their stuff...  but if there ISNT about 5 bazillion things wrong with it, I'll be all sorts of very surprised.  Most likely though, I'll be kinda entertained.

This is why I ignore hype, for the most part, unless a developer has already proven without a doubt that they can pull off something amazing, big stupid publisher or no big stupid publisher.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2015, 11:52:16 AM »
Well, as an update on November Doom, the Rock Paper Shotgun community has already given up on the Star Wars Battlefront game via its beta. The vocal types over there are expecting it to fizzle out in a month, and I get the sense from their complaints that the doom and gloom they're expecting isn't far off. Then again, it's stripped down model could appeal to people who breath Star Wars and live nothing but Twitch.

I only just noticed this comment, and all I have is a resounding "HAH!" as a response.  That game, I've been warning people about that game for a freaking year now, but nobody listens to me, nope.  Despite things like, I dont know, the absolute greed-driven disaster that was Simcity, for instance.... among other examples.  EA has been *nasty* lately, and they've been proving how bad they can be over and over.  This game, frankly, was doomed from the moment of conception.

And going and looking at some of the comments and such about that beta, well.... it sounds worse than I'd thought.

It'll sell, there's no doubt about that... EA could get people to buy dead birds, really, they've MASTERED the art of getting people to buy their stuff...  but if there ISNT about 5 bazillion things wrong with it, I'll be all sorts of very surprised.  Most likely though, I'll be kinda entertained.

This is why I ignore hype, for the most part, unless a developer has already proven without a doubt that they can pull off something amazing, big stupid publisher or no big stupid publisher.
aboustley agree with this in every way I was hoping ea wouldn't ness up this game but that's because I love this series and was hoping  that the 3rd iteration would be worth me playing which so far from I've seen it doesn't really.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2015, 12:25:06 PM »
Well, as an update on November Doom, the Rock Paper Shotgun community has already given up on the Star Wars Battlefront game via its beta. The vocal types over there are expecting it to fizzle out in a month, and I get the sense from their complaints that the doom and gloom they're expecting isn't far off. Then again, it's stripped down model could appeal to people who breath Star Wars and live nothing but Twitch.

I only just noticed this comment, and all I have is a resounding "HAH!" as a response.  That game, I've been warning people about that game for a freaking year now, but nobody listens to me, nope.  Despite things like, I dont know, the absolute greed-driven disaster that was Simcity, for instance.... among other examples.  EA has been *nasty* lately, and they've been proving how bad they can be over and over.  This game, frankly, was doomed from the moment of conception.

And going and looking at some of the comments and such about that beta, well.... it sounds worse than I'd thought.

It'll sell, there's no doubt about that... EA could get people to buy dead birds, really, they've MASTERED the art of getting people to buy their stuff...  but if there ISNT about 5 bazillion things wrong with it, I'll be all sorts of very surprised.  Most likely though, I'll be kinda entertained.

This is why I ignore hype, for the most part, unless a developer has already proven without a doubt that they can pull off something amazing, big stupid publisher or no big stupid publisher.
aboustley agree with this in every way I was hoping ea wouldn't ness up this game but that's because I love this series and was hoping  that the 3rd iteration would be worth me playing which so far from I've seen it doesn't really.

Sadly that just seems to be the way it goes with a ton of games these days... I dunno about everyone else, but the whole freaking industry just disappoints me in recent years.  It's how I ended up finding Arcen's games, for example... I'd gotten just too fed up with mainstream crap, so I made the switch to mostly doing indie games on PC (before that, I was at least somewhat more of a console gamer).  Found the first Valley game while it was being made, and everything just ran from there.  And found a variety of other games and devs that I like too.

And really for me it's just sooooooooo much better.  It's been awhile since I've had a disappointing moment from an indie dev; they dont have some greedy publisher shoving them around, after all.  And if they DO make a mistake, it's genuinely their mistake, not because some corporate twit made a decision that made no sense yet had to be followed. 

In all honesty, I kinda feel sorry for those that are actually DEVELOPING Battlefront; there's a really high chance that EA has forced them to do a ton of things that they didn't want to with this game, as seems to be the norm with major publishers these days.  Well, I know *I* would be frustrated as all hell, in that situation.  The damn jerks...  And for a game that's been so DESIRED by gamers as a whole for such a long time, too.  It'll be the extreme disappointment of Simcity all over again.  I'm still not entirely over that.  It was... infuriating, to say the least.  Still is.

Offline Tolc

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2015, 06:32:03 PM »
Well, I guess that's really for the best. Even though I had more fun with the game since the introduction of the acts, it still felt quite unfinished. And a break from it will be good for both the game and your sanity and health. I'm still excited for what it will eventually become, though, and you can't make me not play it once in a while in the mean time  :P So, I wish you all the best with your interim game (rogue-like....yeees, I'm in for that. I only have 10 other rogue-likes in my game library :)) and with your health (those symptons don't sound fun at all  :()

Yeah, I agree with Misery. I get way more enjoyment out of indie titles nowadays than I get out of AAA titles.

Offline Despayre

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2015, 10:21:33 PM »
Well I am glad you are making this decision.  As an ex professional designer in the game industry I know what it feels like to be too close to a project and have it start affecting life outside of work. Burnout is never good. You're doing the right thing for yourself and the game, I'm sure you'll both be better off for the delay. Good luck with the next game, can't wait to check it out!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 10:24:18 PM by Despayre »

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2015, 01:38:25 PM »
I think your decision makes a lot of sense. Even though I'm not beta testing SBR, I was worried by the changes that were being made to the basic gameplay late in the game. These strategy behemoths take a lot of time to tweak and adjust -- just look at [At The Gates](http://www.atthegatesgame.com/) made by Jon Shafer -- this puppy's been in the works for a LONG time, and it's still being tweaked (actually, also check out the amazing UI he developed while you're at it). In general, I think that the more revolutionary a game is, the more you can afford to release it in an unpolished state, since the mechanics alone will draw people and there's no point of comparison. A turn based strategy game needs to really get the mechanics down because it'll be immediately compared to hundreds of other games.

My main advice for the next game is to zero in on the core mechanics that need to be fun, and the things that could be simplified. You guys have a tendency to create overly-complicated mechanics or stories that then need to be connected somewhat unnaturally to gameplay mechanics. The main example that popped into my mind right now is the mechs in Bionic Dues. I fully expected (as I'm sure every other player did) to have 4 bots to control. Since you determined mechanically that only one bot should be controlled at a time, having 4 bots didn't really make sense. Why wasn't it changed to having a transformer robot with 4 forms?

Anyway, I think that one asset you have here is a lot of smart, helpful people on this board. The problem is that relying on forum posts gives you a really bad skew. Many people don't have time to write long posts, or don't feel as strongly as other people about certain points. I think (non-anonymous) surveys might work really well here. You could list every system, and let people tell you if they thought those systems were fun, well polished etc. Since you tend to have such an open development process, you could even get feedback on your design document. Surveys could really eliminate the shouting match that happens when you post a change and then want feedback.

Another issue that I remember coming up a lot in previous games is that there will be a design issue, at which point everybody will give their loud opinions on the forums. You'll go away for a bit and say you've come up with some solution but want to code it first, and then you'll come back and the solution will be... mediocre. It does the job, but it creates other problems. But it's already coded, so you're not going to criticize it, and certainly it's not worth getting into a forum shouting match with other beta testers over it. Stating your solution before coding it, and then making a survey about it to find the potential faults, could really help avoid that. You could then discuss the results of the survey in a forum thread to allow the crowd the cross-polination needed to pinpoint the design flaws. It'll hopefully allow you to crowdsource the potential issues in your proposed solution before you've needed to code them or even worse -- create art for them.

The bottom line is, iterations are expensive once you have a lot of good art, which you must have in order to compete in today's market. A huge part of iteration is getting feedback from many people, because as the dev your natural human biases act up everywhere. That's difficult to do in a tiny company, and the other difficult part is, how to use the limited resources you have to iterate efficiently, and with as little materialization as possible.

Sorry for the rambling post.

Offline x4000

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2015, 02:57:12 PM »
Wow AtG is looking good these days.  I haven't seen it in a while, since around the time I was on Shafer's podcast and chatting with him more.  Time flies.

Anyway, points taken on things needing time and polish, and that's basically been the goal.  For the interim game that we're working on, focusing in on the core fun is our immediate goal.  That's a lot easier in that genre, whereas with strategy it's almost impossible: the fun is in the interplay of the complex systems, and if those aren't there can you really say it's fun?
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Offline Bluddy

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Re: Whoa, this game is coming out in 2016 now? Well, it's for the best.
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2015, 03:28:06 PM »
Great. And also, I don't have a good answer for how to cut through many complex systems to find the fun factor. I think you really need to nail down the core game loop, and state how it would be different, challenging, and rewarding, but that's easier said than done.

For this upcoming game, I would recommend starting 'alpha' immediately. I understand you not wanting to have details leak out yet. However, it's basically just you and Keith working on design, and you guys are in the thick of it creating the stuff. You need fresh eyes and brains to give you constant useful feedback, and the earlier the better. So pick your favorite forum goers, get them to swear allegiance to Arcen (or sign an NDA or something), and put them in a private forum where you can use their brains to test designs, ideas and iterations, even at a basic, primordial level. (Plus, I really think surveys are a good idea to get everyone's opinions equally). This should make it so that by the time you're ready to produce art/code, you've already nailed down a lot of the concepts, at least partially, and you know which parts work and which parts don't. By the time you're ready for real alpha, you'll recognize a lot of the feedback and know what really needs time.

Oh here's another point, this time criticizing the forum goers. It's very easy to get carried away in flights of fancy as a commenter, coming up with loads of new ideas that may or may not be realistic to implement. I think each commenter wants to feel the affirmation of having *the* idea that was chosen by you to be in the game. We all seek approval, after all. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I think this is detrimental to the kind of feedback you need, especially early on, since it causes huge tangents rather than focusing on direct feedback on different aspects of the game and whether they're working. Ideally, there should be one forum for feedback (and this is something I think surveys are also very good for) and another forum for ideas, where once you are looking for an idea, you (the designers) can wander into this forum and read up on some ideas that could be useful for solving issues.