Author Topic: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.  (Read 4124 times)

Offline Tridus

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2016, 05:30:38 AM »
Always with the [redacted] around here.

[Redacted] is fun.  [Redacted] is life.
Actually no. It's only fun for the 2-3 people involved. Everyone else just sighs and rolls their eyes and the smug "neener neener I know something you don't neener neener".

^ This * 1000.

In the middle of a campaign where you are depending our help to get one game funded is an awful time to be teasing people about your insider knowledge of some other, unrelated project. Unless the goal is just to bewilder and annoy... in which case, mission accomplished.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2016, 05:40:13 AM »
Yet you don't even know what it is.   ;D

I'll tell you a bit about it.  You play as the [redacted]. You [redacted].  It's kinda like [redacted].

Maybe I won't tell you about it after all.  :D

The problem is, this kickstarter hasn't even ended yet, we have all put in so much work, and then you read comments like that, that make you question the commitment- like maybe Chris doesn't even want to make this game. Why should we all be busting our humps trying to sell this campaign when he's going to do that?


You're right, I don't know all the particulars of this new project proposal. But I think it's inappropriate at this time to do that in the middle of the campaign.
He's being realistic and throwing options out there. If the current AI War 2 Kickstarter fails, we need to fund AI War 2 another way. Making a smaller game, even a smaller game funded Kickstarter, is one way to build capital.

Oh right, I forgot Cinth was involved.

There is literally no faster way to make a Kickstarter fail than by talking about some other, unrelated game you want to make while in the middle of the Kickstarter.

Hell, Kickstarter backers hate it when you talk about another game before the crowdfunded game is *released*, let alone while you're in the middle of trying to fund it! I don't know what you folks are thinking, honestly.

Offline Misery

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2016, 07:02:30 AM »
There is literally no faster way to make a Kickstarter fail than by talking about some other, unrelated game you want to make while in the middle of the Kickstarter.

Hell, Kickstarter backers hate it when you talk about another game before the crowdfunded game is *released*, let alone while you're in the middle of trying to fund it! I don't know what you folks are thinking, honestly.

I hate to say it, but I agree with this one.

Particularly after having properly read through that update post just now...  I cant imagine that post as a whole did the KS any favors.  Not just because of the second project.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2016, 09:47:22 AM »
Always with the [redacted] around here.

[Redacted] is fun.  [Redacted] is life.
Actually no. It's only fun for the 2-3 people involved. Everyone else just sighs and rolls their eyes and the smug "neener neener I know something you don't neener neener".

^ This * 1000.

In the middle of a campaign where you are depending our help to get one game funded is an awful time to be teasing people about your insider knowledge of some other, unrelated project. Unless the goal is just to bewilder and annoy... in which case, mission accomplished.

+1


It would be weird on the forum to drop something like that. To drop it on the KS is a kiss of death. It feels like cognitive dissonance. "Very confident that this will succeed despite the odds; We are announcing on kickstarter a new game that will not be on kickstarter."
Announcing a revamped game with reduced goals is one thing (so your backers know to stay tuned for round 2). But that is it.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 09:51:55 AM by chemical_art »
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Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2016, 10:44:44 AM »
Chris was talking about other options they can do if the kickstarter fails, at least that is what I got from the update.

Offline x4000

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2016, 12:55:30 PM »
Cheers folks.  Boy I step out a bit and things catch on fire. ;)  I guess I shouldn't be tossing around flaming torches.  Various notes:

1. By all conventional metrics, the kickstarter campaign will fail.  Therefore it's up to us to talk about what we do in that event, and as much as possible what we're doing to prevent it from following the conventional path.

2. I am absolutely all about transparency, and hence talking about some of that stuff even when it's considered to be a bad idea in terms of PR.  I abhor the campaigns that "clearly" have no chance of success but are plugging away with random updates and such and seemingly not doing anything about their situation.

3. That said, as much as I value transparency, there are certain things that I simply can't tell you about.  Various promotions or deals with partners both existing and potential, various contacts we're trying to leverage amongst both other developers and the press, and so on.  In some cases I'm literally under NDA to not talk about those things, and in other cases it's just really, really not cool and a breach of trust to some extent to talk about them with any specifics.

4. So why mention the stuff from #3 at all?  Because, frankly, people come to their own conclusions about kickstarters based on percentage funded by x number of days left, so the assumption in general with backers or potential backers is that there is going to be a failure unless something happens.  Rather than pretending ignorance of that, I prefer to address it, and insofar as I can, explain the vague shape of what we're trying, at least.

5. Further, I am constantly getting the question of "what happens if the kickstarter fails," and there are a couple of options for that, which I feel it's more responsible to lay out.  If this kickstarter fails, we can't afford to have both Keith and I working on AI War, for one thing.  Not at first, anyway, unless we get a publisher or whatnot.  So taking a chance to explain a bit about what I'd be doing to fund myself is I think relevant.

6. Further further, if we reach our kickstarter goal, I've wanted it to be clear from the start that the budget there doesn't cover Blue and myself for the same duration as Keith.  Stretch goals, sales during or after early access, and expansions post-1.0 will all be things that are able to bring us back in.  But making games is expensive when you actually pay people reasonable amounts, and I've wanted to be really clear from the start of the kickstarter that I'd be working on something else with Blue -- not with the KS funds -- a while after we get into EA if this thing funds at the basic level.  Because, planning for success but not wild extra success, I don't want people getting mad 6 months from now when I'm working on another project to support myself.  To keep the budget reasonable, that was always part of the plan.  With that in mind, particularly combined with the things above, it only makes sense to me to address it now.

7. Going even one more step, the idea of offering this as a backer tier reward so that it's even more palatable to potential backers is something that seems reasonable at the moment given that we're in a pickle.

8. As to the riskiness of this project, it's something that has a straightforward vertical slice that is either fun or not.  It can then be developed out further from there, but it's not a big investment in terms of my time to get an initial prototype together, and it helps to focus on more than one thing at a time.
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Offline Xgamer4

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2016, 01:14:42 PM »
For what it's worth, I appreciate the honesty. Yeah, the situation looks dire. Anyone with even a passing interest in Kickstarter knows that. But seeing your hedged bets is a nice thing as a backer, just because it gives me an idea of what you're doing. Then I'm also fine with not being able to mention specifics. I just like to know that you're doing *something* behind the scenes.

As for Reverse AI War... It's just a hedged bet. I'm not entirely sure how the most-most-recent update that goes into details on it is going to play out, admittedly, but I think offering it at one of the tiers would go a ways towards alleviating that.

It's a bit of a conundrum for ya, honestly. I like knowing that you're working on the project, and trying to support the kickstarter. I also like knowing that you're hedging bets in case it falls through... but at the same time I'm not sure how I feel about you actively working on a hedged bet that's unrelated to the project. Even though I know full well it's not realistic to expect you to work on the project and Kickstarter absolutely all the time. So make of that what you will.

Offline x4000

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2016, 01:39:20 PM »
Totally understood, and that's a reasonable reaction for sure.  For what it's worth, I'd say 95% (if not more) of our collective effort is going directly into this kickstarter.  That other 5% is various contingencies and hedges.
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Offline ptarth

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2016, 01:59:16 PM »
It's the sausage making problem.

Making sausage is complicated, dirty, and complicated.
Almost everyone says they want to see how the sausage is made.
But when they do, well, it usually turns out very poorly.
If you lack prior sausage making experience or even this particular type of sausage making experience, it is easy to take things out of context or to assume your knowledge generalizes more than it really does. And that results in a lot of bad feelings.
So then you have the question: Do you keep the sausage making method a secret? (i.e., what basically all companies (including video game companies) do?) or Do you share the method (e.g., design document of doom). Or some combination, and then where do you draw the line between the two?

Replace sausage with any complex process.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2016, 03:32:33 PM »
I appreciate the honesty Chris. But the venue where a statement is made matters as much as what is said.
The kick starter landscape is littered with successful campaigns where the developer cut short development of the promised project so as to pursue a new one. This is one of many factors that has reduced the audience compared to years ago. Stability is key when it comes to matters such as this. It is completely ok to talk about the potential future of the game in question if the kickstarter does not succeed. But talk of any other subject raises red flags.

The forum, for the most part, is a very developed group in that we have an idea of each others histories. One of the benefits of being together for years. So it is completely reasonable to discuss what is normally internal affairs such as potential hedge bets. But the kickstarter audience is not that at all. Without the luxury of such a history, and a history of past developments going off the rails toward a new development for other games, new backers are going to be put off by such a discussion.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2016, 03:37:44 PM »
It's a fair point to make, for sure.  In a lot of ways the message I'm trying to get across is:

1. This is a cool thing that you might like.
2. This isn't going to be coming out of this kickstarter's funding.
3. The existence of this is part of what lets the budget be lower, since Blue and I don't have to be covered for the whole project duration.
4. While point #3 is not ideal, it's being fiscally responsible and definitely not violating #2, which is the biggest thing.  And also see point #1.
5. Since we're trying to entice backers in general, the possibility of giving this away at some higher tiers (I dunno, above $65 or something) makes a lot of sense to me.

Reverse AI War discussion is not going to dominate the remainder of the AI War II updates we do by any stretch.  Nor are general hedging and kickstarter strategy notes, either.  It's mostly about AI War II, one hopes! ;)
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Offline Tridus

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2016, 04:11:22 PM »
I agree with chemical_art. On the Kickstarter page, an entire update about some other game just sends the wrong message. The message I get from it is "we're interested in making this other game". That is the absolute wrong message to be sending.

I get that contingency planning happens. That's fine. You shouldn't be advertising it. You really sholdn't be using a sales pitch for game A to talk about game B. Potential backers hate that. It's a mixed, confusing message. Either you're pushing this Kickstarter, in which case you should be pushing it, or you're pitching a different game, in which case you should cancel the Kickstarter.

There's such a thing as too much transparency. You're on the wrong side of the line now. It's hard to encourage friends to join me in backing this when they turn around and ask if this is for AI War 2, or "Reverse AI War".

Offline x4000

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2016, 04:26:05 PM »
Have they actually asked that?
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Offline Tridus

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2016, 04:40:47 PM »
Yes. People naturally look at the updates to see if a campaign is active (and that has been well done), and the first update you see right now is about Reverse AI War. One of them wants to know if that's a game mode or a stretch goal.

Fundamentally, the job on crowdfunding is sales. You can't sell one thing by talking up something else, because that's the thing the sales pitch is now about.

Should you be thinking about it, internally? Sure. Just like talking to potential publishers or partners, that's sensible business. Telling us about it is confusing and frankly not very good sales. You certainly shouldn't be having people tease us about it with [redacted] nonsense, either. Aside from confusing the sales pitch, it sends the wrong message.

You bust that stuff out if that becomes the new plan, and not before. Until then, if you're not talking about AI War 2, don't talk. You can acknowledge that it's an uphill road now, without talking about other games. That's Kickstarter 101.

I hope you take all this the way it's intended. We are day 1 backers here. We want it to succeed. If that means you need to suppress your usual tendency to be open and transparent about everything, we will forgive you. :)

Offline jenya

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Re: Reverse AI War? Please don't do that.
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2016, 04:46:55 PM »
I'm curious about new game. As it will be on a planet, what projection it will use? Would it be isometric, or something more esoteric, like dimetric?
http://www.significant-bits.com/a-laymans-guide-to-projection-in-videogames
http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/5199/pleasing-isometric-hexagons