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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSuper Toaster X: Learn Japanese RPG: Devlog 99: Resource Management
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aamatniekss
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« Reply #440 on: May 01, 2016, 12:39:32 AM »

About those trading cards you actually only have to supply a small image (it was something like 200x180) and a full hd(1920x1080) image that would act as a zoomed version. Without the borders, as it would look weird with 2 borders, because steam adds those borders themselves, you only need the image.
And for the emoticons the base size is 18x18px and the 54x54x will act as a zoomed image, that people only see in their inventories.

I suggest you wait for when you're on steam, to do this anyway. They have a ton of different resolution requirements for all the assets, and it's kind of a pain to make them all. So if you make them all the wrong res now, you will have to redo.
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« Reply #441 on: May 01, 2016, 12:48:07 PM »

I blame Bakkusa ( Well, hello there!).

Thanks for the info though, always good to know. I'm sure I'll manage to integrate the art in the game.

I'm working on the game menu at the moment and it's slowly taking shape. User interface is something really tricky. I mean, it's something I thought would take me a short while to manage but it's not simple. Where to put everything while remaining original and respecting a "theme".



As you can see, you can equip a maximum of four different attacks with you in battle. Each one of the slots on the left are empty in the gif. You can then select the ability on the right and set it where you want in the slots to the left. I also added a window at the bottom right which describes each ability when selected.

I also added JobLeonard to the dojo due to his input for the game since its very beginning. I asked him what he'd like to represent him and he said a "panda" so that's what I did:



There are still some of you I'd like to include for your implication. Keep your eyes peeled!
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« Reply #442 on: May 01, 2016, 01:04:58 PM »

I will save it as meirl.png and cherish it forever
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Zizka
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« Reply #443 on: May 03, 2016, 11:13:00 AM »

As well you should friend!

Working on some new promotion on twitter in order to get the game out there. It's not working as well as I would hope but I need to keep at it. Never had to be more perseverant for something in my whole life. Competition is tough.


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io3 creations
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« Reply #444 on: May 10, 2016, 01:57:49 PM »

As you've probably seen people commenting in other threads, it's interesting to come across projects that have been in development for years ... and see progress or changes that have taken place. 

I've seen your avatar in some TIG devlogs but wasn't aware of your devlog.  I do check the Devlogs topic from time to time and haven't come across it yet.  You could certainly add the devlog thread to your signature to make it easier to find.  Wink  If I hadn't actually searched for it, I may not have come across it.  Yes, I saw the Twitter link but I'm not into that (yet).  To follow up from the discussion in the Tower of Samsara thread, I can understand what you mean by projects easily getting buried if not updated and why bumping a thread can be an issue.  I've been either commenting or subscribing to threads that I'm interested in and the thread that I follow is now 10 pages long in Notifications and Email.  I wonder if there's an easy way to see only the threads that you follow when those get updated ?  In some forums there are ways to do that but I haven't found a way to do so on TIG.   If this question isn't answered here, I'll post it under a general topic.  Compared to other devlogs, your devlog seems to have gotten quite a lot responses but there can be dry spells.  As others mentioned, a devlog is more about sharing about the development process and only if you're lucky do other type of developer exchanges happen.


I've only briefly skimmed through some of the pages so may have missed some things.

I personally, like the style.  Sure, it's pixel but even then I'd say it has a unique flavor - especially, due to the main toaster guy character. 


One definition of marketing is putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time.   Sounds like you want to make a learning game with RPG elements rather than an RPG game with learning elements.  If the game focuses on learning, then that can be trickier to market because it's primarily intended for those wanting to learn and those interested in a game won't be interested.  So, chances are the same approaches that work for marketing games (for fun) may not work for yours. 

In a way, that reminds me of Typing of the Dead.  If you are familiar with arcade shooters, you might guess that it's a spin-off of House of the Dead ... but instead of shooting enemies you have to type words quickly.  While the overall gameplay itself was exactly the same, the different core mechanic certainly differentiated the core/target audience.  Only those interested in typing would "play" it but those interested in the "fun" type of game would not.  I can't remember for certain, but I sort of remember that you could select difficulty right at the beginning.  This was mainly done by the game showing single characters or shorter words for beginners and longer words for those looking for more challenge.  In a way, this allowed the game to be flexible and everyone could experience the same content without having to skip any parts.  Not sure if that could be implemented for yours but might be good to think about since as was mentioned a few pages back, that could accommodate people with various skill levels.

At the moment, I'm listening to indie dev on youtube as I draw about getting noticed by the media. I find that the most challenging (to me anyway). I watch Vlambeer's presentation about this (it was about an hour long) and he had some interesting ideas. From what I understand, it's really about meeting people in person and real life interaction where the magic happens.
Are you saying you've never watched a movie solely because you saw only the trailer and the same thing with games?  Wink  Person to person may work and I'd say for certain things it is even the preferred approach but as long as you get the *right* message across for the *right* audience in a way that pushes the right buttons, then the communication mode isn't that important.


On some social media ( Twitter, YouTube, etc ) you can see the number of followers.  But here on TIG that isn't as obvious.   As many have mentioned in various threads that raised the same issue, often people still follow but only reply if they have something to say.  Also,

Is there a way to keep up to date with t


I've worked on a few projects where everyone did their part and everything worked out fine.  My situation might be the lucky exception.  Though, those projects were a few months long at most, in general it seems like for a long term projects it's better to work with a contract if you don't know the other people.

Having said that, there are lots of volunteering positions where people are still expected to follow certain rules and guidelines.  However, if those rules are not explicitly stated, then people can assume different things and can't be held easily liable.  But, again, that will depend on each person and sometimes even unexpected circumstance.


Seems like many people have their own preferences (or accounts) for various social media.   I'm still working on setting those things up (e.g. adding it to my profile here on TIG ) but have to finish a few things first before I get to my "non-Flash" game development.  Smiley  I have a few listed on my website and tend to get followers on a variety of them.  While I've been most active on Newgrounds and have most followers there, I do get some on YouTube as well.  I used to have a newsletter on a different website and will add that option again.  Twitter, Tumblr are also popular options (if they are updated).  Imgur also seems to be a good option for posting galleries - but the key is to make it somehow interesting if you want get featured (even within certain categories).


So, in a way your game is in a trickier situation compared to most games here on TIG as it seems like more of a teaching tool rather than a game and would need to find it's target audience accordingly.
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« Reply #445 on: May 10, 2016, 02:54:29 PM »

Hello io3 creations,

That’s a lengthy message you’ve written, thanks for your input, must’ve taken a while. I’ll reply to things I have something relevant/interesting to say.

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I've seen your avatar in some TIG devlogs but wasn't aware of your devlog.
I don’t actually participate much in other devlogs besides my own. I read other devlogs every once in a while but I find most games don’t interest me. That is not to say that they’re bad at all, I’m just really into experimental games and I find those to be far and few in between but that’s for another conversation but there’s a lot to say about this topic, the saturation of the indie by certain types/genres and how it impacts the industry as a whole.

I’ve added the link to the devlog in my signature, it was a good idea.

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 If this question isn't answered here, I'll post it under a general topic.  Compared to other devlogs, your devlog seems to have gotten quite a lot responses but there can be dry spells.  As others mentioned, a devlog is more about sharing about the development process and only if you're lucky do other type of developer exchanges happen.
Just to clarify, I won’t go into the thread bumping extensively in this topic because it would needlessly bumping over numerous replies and I’m against that, as you know. But if you create a thread about it I might write my two cents.

I do want to address something as clearly as possible however: my input regarding thread bumping/spamming in Tower of Samsara is not motivated by frustration regarding my own game. I’ve lead the same “crusade” on other forums at which I had no horse in the race so to speak. Besides, it would be petty to do so.

As I’ve mentioned, it’s always about finding a balance between individual interest and the interest of the community.
I am actually grateful about how many people have involved and interacted about my project. I feel like one of the lucky ones. I do take great care of replying to each comment and respect anyone who participates however so I guess what goes around comes around.

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I personally, like the style.  Sure, it's pixel but even then I'd say it has a unique flavor - especially, due to the main toaster guy character.  
Ah tastes and preferences! I personally think that pixel art is the most appealing aspect a game can ever have. No amount of 3d has ever been superior to good pixel art according to my taste. I was born and raised with SNES games, I guess it grows on you.

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 Sounds like you want to make a learning game with RPG elements rather than an RPG game with learning elements.
I’m going for the opposite actually so I guess I’m sending a confusing message about my objective. It’s definitely a RPG game with learning elements.

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Not sure if that could be implemented for yours but might be good to think about since as was mentioned a few pages back, that could accommodate people with various skill levels.
I loved the Typing of the Dead. That’s how I learned how to type. It might have influenced my on the subconscious level I would think.

Implementing different levels is not possible because of the nature of the game. More powerful attacks/weapons have more difficult/rarer word so I would need to manually handpick say, 3 different lists (beginner, intermediate, advanced) for each attack and that would become a nightmare to manage. Understand that those words will need to be changed as we go into beta testing so I’ll you imagine managing 3 different vocab list and tweak the powers of each list as well as fix the bugs and update art at the same time. It’s something I know I wouldn’t want to manage and it would take forever to do and postpone the game indefinitely.

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Is there a way to keep up to date with t
Part of your quote is missing.

As for the rest, it's good input and something I'll need to ponder over. Thanks for replying.
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io3 creations
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« Reply #446 on: May 11, 2016, 01:46:06 PM »

Yes, it did take some time, but I wrote it in here and there when I was taking breaks so it didn't seem that long overall.  Ooops! Originally, I wrote my reply in a text editor and posted it by copy and paste.  Looks like I moved that part near the top and for some reason forgot to remove it from there. 

I haven't been really playing games for a while.  You can only play GTA, Battlefield, etc so much before certain gameplay formulas become repetitious.  As a visual person, seeing different visual styles and themes is like taking a mini-vacation mental experience for me.  So that's why I'm following quite a few projects here and at other places.
 There are still some interesting projects that provide new experiences but I mainly follow projects for the visual aspect.  Also, I like to help others and that's one of the main reasons why I follow.  In general, I'd say what goes around comes around and have both gave and received various forms of help ... but there are times when we have to learn certain lessons and things can become very "interesting". Grin

By experimental games, are you referring to games that take existing formulas and change only a few things little bit or are really "out there"?
I have an idea for a game that's in part puzzle and part something else (don't want to spoil the surprise Wink )  that might fit that bill.  I'll be starting it soon (read: might be a couple of months) and will do a devlog. If you're interested, I can let you know.

Though, I have only been able read a few pages/posts (due to time), I still wanted to get an idea about your approach since your game is somewhat different due to its educational aspect and how you approach that.  I have a few ideas that are also along the lines of edutainment ... but for many reasons I have to focus on a few other things first.  I've seen projects that used gamification as a motivational aspect to help people accomplish things.  If you have any resources, links for similar topics and ideas about edutainment, let me know.


Oh, there's a Patreon link, too.  Smiley   You could add that to the signature and perhaps use urls similarly to:
Follow Super Toaster X at  Twitter    TIG Devlog / Devlog   Patreon

That way, if you start Kickstarter or Steam Greenlight, you can easily add those links as well. Wink


Ah tastes and preferences! I personally think that pixel art is the most appealing aspect a game can ever have. No amount of 3d has ever been superior to good pixel art according to my taste. I was born and raised with SNES games, I guess it grows on you.
Interestingly, I personally have a sweet spot for low poly 3d. Grin   Possibly for similar reasons though.  As I posted in another thread with examples:
https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45904.msg1244377#msg1244377  I grew up with Commodore 64 and have seen the evolution of graphics from simple Pong like "rough" pixel to finer and finer details.  But it was the beginning of 3d graphics that left a huge impression as those were something very different from anything before.  Sure, low poly and also low frame rate, but it represented something new and exciting and maybe something more.  Of course, that's only one aspect and as mentioned, I can enjoy many different visual styles as longs as other aspects such as color theme, details, etc  work well.


I’m going for the opposite actually so I guess I’m sending a confusing message about my objective. It’s definitely a RPG game with learning elements.
At this point if typing is still required and not an optional feature, then the game could still be perceived as more of an educational tool with RPG elements.  It might sound like a strange idea, but if I was trying to maximize financial profitability, then I would make the educational / typing aspect optional.  However, given your current approach, that probably isn't really possible ... but may be something to consider for later.
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« Reply #447 on: May 11, 2016, 04:42:04 PM »

@io3 creations:
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By experimental games, are you referring to games that take existing formulas and change only a few things little bit or are really "out there"?

As much out there as possible actually.

I don't know if you've played Hotline Miami? That opened my eyes. This game wasn't just a game like GTA or Mario, it transcended that, it was beyond, it was, well, art. It had its own vision and the atmosphere was just so coherent and out there and everything perfectly like masterfully crafted puzzle. Don't Starve also fits in that category but to a lesser extent however.

You know what those two games have in common? Character, tons of it. When I browse around other games, I don't understand why we have so many games with Japanime characters, this lifeless style with all the characters looking exactly the same. I feel like it's creative suicide. Hotline Miami and Don't Starve or on their own ground as far as this is concerned. I personally wouldn't touch a game with Japanime characters with a ten-foot pole, no character.

I would say the vast majority of indie games provide a new layer of paint on something that's been done to death. The first iteration of my game was just that, just another platformer with a different layer of paint on it. I found the concept of my game insipid and boring.

Another game which I thought would break the mold was Masochisia by oldblood. You can find the devlog somewhere around. The premise of the game was daring and the art unique. Unfortunately, I didn't end up liking the game (not that I thought it was bad or anything like that) because it turned out to be more of a visual novel than an actual point & click. The idea of to tackle various aspects of abuse head-on was courageous an innovative. I was hoping that his next project would push the boundaries further but unfortunately for me, it didn't. That's ok of course, he should work on what he finds interesting but I was hoping he would be one of those devs that's going the whole nine yards in game innovation. So I'm keeping my eyes for the next pionner.

Enter the Gungeon is a good Binding of Isaac derivative. It's fun, it's good, it's entertaining but it's by no means out there. It's no pioneer in my opinion. That's what I'm looking for: pioneers, risk-takers. Yeah, I'm rambling here but I can do whatever I want, it's my devlog!  Toast Right

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I have an idea for a game that's in part puzzle and part something else (don't want to spoil the surprise Wink )  that might fit that bill.  I'll be starting it soon (read: might be a couple of months) and will do a devlog. If you're interested, I can let you know.

Well, depends what you mean by puzzle but if it's exploring uncharted territory, I'd be interested. I hope it's something new, visual wise of story wise or just about anything really.

About the Patreon, I'll likely shut it down soon so no point in putting a link just yet. I'll just use a KS instead.

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Interestingly, I personally have a sweet spot for low poly 3d.
I honestly think it has something to do with our respective childhood. Sort of acquired taste.

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At this point if typing is still required and not an optional feature, then the game could still be perceived as more of an educational tool with RPG elements.  It might sound like a strange idea, but if I was trying to maximize financial profitability, then I would make the educational / typing aspect optional.  However, given your current approach, that probably isn't really possible ... but may be something to consider for later.

I have very modest expectations financially wise and I'm not willing to compromise the concept of the game in order to make more cash. I didn't get in indie gaming for that. Suppose I got rid of the typing, the game is just Super Mario RPG with a new coat of paint, not a compromise I'm willing to make.

Nah, niche games are where it's at!  Kiss Well, hello there!

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« Reply #448 on: May 12, 2016, 11:53:43 AM »

This game looks amazing.. I must admit that you are very creative.. I really like toaster guy.
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« Reply #449 on: May 12, 2016, 01:01:10 PM »

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I loved the Typing of the Dead. That’s how I learned how to type. It might have influenced my on the subconscious level I would think.
(Oh, saw it before but forgot to comment on it.)   What are the odds of that you actually "played" it! Grin   


I see what you mean about experimental games.  Yes,  I have qute a few ideas that have different game mechanics that haven't been done (or at least I haven't seen it) and have the potential to offer something different.  For who exactly ... that remains to be seen.  Smiley

I've come accross the Masochisia devlog shortly after the game was released as the devlog seemed quite interesting with the game making and releasing details.  Actually, the game is on my "to check out" list as I like the visual style and also am curious about certain aspects of the game.  Or rather as you mentioned it's not as much about the game aspect but rather the characters/story.

Interestingly, now that I think about it, it's been definitely a few years that I've played PC type games.  I've watched many walkthroughs/gameplays when the game style or story was interesting or I was curious how they implemented certain game mechanics.

The Japanime character thing is intersting.  Of course, on one hand, every day more than 200k noobs are born.  Since, for them everything is new. Concepts, ideas, gameplays that many have seen plenty of times ... are still "new" so that's why the same things can be regurgitated and still sell.  I've seen many different styles and some worked really well but others not so much.  My guess, is that those Japanime faces are what seem to work well enough to maximize target audience, much like pop music, so it's a safe(r) bet.  When you run something as a business and your (and others') livelihood depends on it, there are different things to consider.  If something works then others will also do it ... so it seems like those Japanime characters still works for a large enough audience if they are used.

But if the financial limitation isn't there than it's easier to go with your own vision - which (financially or popularity wise) may "make it" ... or not.  I also prefer to follow my path rather than go for popularity.  In some cases it actuall worked well ... in others not so much.  If I follow my path, I have a good "feeling" that both of those aspects will work out for some of my games. Grin


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I honestly think it has something to do with our respective childhood. Sort of acquired taste.
There might be some nostalgia feeling to it but in my case it's something "more" than just acquired taste.  I remember how excited I was when I first saw games or movies (e.g. Tron) with those types of graphics and that haven't been the same with other styles.  True, there were many others that were exciting ... for a while and those somewhat faded over time.  Maybe one day when we have a better understanding of the brain might yield some insight into some of the processes that excite / move us and can have better answers to questions like that. Smiley
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« Reply #450 on: May 12, 2016, 04:20:07 PM »

@BeetleKing22:

Thank you! I don't think it looks amazing just yet but it's getting there with more and more practice.

@io3 creations:
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But if the financial limitation isn't there than it's easier to go with your own vision - which (financially or popularity wise) may "make it" ... or not.  I also prefer to follow my path rather than go for popularity.  In some cases it actuall worked well ... in others not so much.  If I follow my path, I have a good "feeling" that both of those aspects will work out for some of my games.

Well you have no choice to follow your path or you won't have any motivation I don't think. Money never, ever sustain motivation for long. It's not in the nature of the creative process. It doesn't mean that you can't make money making art, it just means that it can't be your main source of  motivation. The more personal the project the more motivation you have. Motivation isn't important, it's everything.

If you have motivation, you won't need skill, you'll just naturally practice to reach the level you want to reach. Everything will be flowing, coming naturally, like breathing.

That's why going for another Minecraft clone for the sake of that's what the hip kids want to play at the moment won't work out unless there's *some* sort of motivation.

Anyways, it's not that those games are bad by any means. Some of them are beautifully crafted. That's beside the point though.

The point is that on one hand you have sequels to something that was once successful (clones and derivatives) and on the other hand you have originals. We're all attracted by different things, I'm on the lookout for originals, sort of like Masochisia was at one point. I can't help but sigh when I read: "game like Zelda"... Don't we have enough of those?

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Maybe one day when we have a better understanding of the brain might yield some insight into some of the processes that excite / move us and can have better answers to questions like that.

But you know, sometimes, hand drawn just looks better than 3D (from the movie Berserk:


vs





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« Reply #451 on: May 12, 2016, 09:40:00 PM »

@BeetleKing22:

Thank you! I don't think it looks amazing just yet but it's getting there with more and more practice.

Personally I like the simple style and smooth animation and I like the theme of the game... It seems you are putting your souls to this game.. I see a lot of creativity.

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« Reply #452 on: May 13, 2016, 12:00:54 PM »

@Zizka

I read a similar article a few weeks on motivation vs inspiration.  The author used the term motivation as something external and inspiration as something internal and the same way you described. It is the inspiration (i.e. internal motivation) that will keep us moving in the long term.

I'd say many people have dreams but few take on those dreams/inspirations and become "crazy enough" and go through and learn lessons before becoming "lucky ones".  I've met quite a few but most people tend to play it safe.  Maybe that's one reason why many people tend to stay with safe themes and repeat what's been done.  Or maybe that's what really inspires them. Wink

Speaking of marketing (again), you need to send the right message to the right people.  That also means, it can be beneficial to disqualify people and send messages that lets them know quickly that the game isn't for them.  In a way, you can thank those people for saving you the time of looking more into the game and then finding out it's a Zelda like game.    In some sense, you could also ask "How many more love songs do we need?" or as my dad asked when Interview with a Vampire came out, "How many more vampire movies do we need?".   Though it's not my thing, can you imagine how many people would've missed out on the Twilight series? Grin   But, that's the "curse" of having seen and experienced too much.  Less and less things will seems original and unique.  Or may just take more effort to find things that we find original.


Overall, in terms of details, it's possible to create the same image in computer as with hand with the right shaders or extra work but that often just isn't used.
For that reason, I agree that there's something different (and often better) to hand drawn animations.  One major difference is that hand drawn animations have a certain "roughness" to them.  The hand drawn outlines are not perfectly uniform while in most 3d animations the look is very consistent.  Also, shadows tend to be applied based on how the artist wants them to be but with 3d, it's all based on a more realistic approach of actual physics based calculations.  That gives hand drawn styles more freedom.

Speaking of styles, I also enjoy the simple black and white styles of many daily comics.  There's something about the simplicity and lack of detail or maybe the aspect that how minimalist can you get and still convey the same idea or information when you're creative.
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« Reply #453 on: May 13, 2016, 02:08:11 PM »

I've decided to delete devlog 82 which was a mistake and based on anger. It was a mistake on my part and it wasn't professional. It wasn't the right thing to do.
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« Reply #454 on: May 13, 2016, 10:40:34 PM »

First of all, everything is looking slick so far! Your game has a lot of charm to it, it has a special vibe about that you don't find very often... can't really explain it.... But I love the animations for the toaster, they're pretty cute!

Now, sorry to hear about your programmer situation! I'm not going to lie, there was one time I kind of stopped contacting someone I was doing music for, but it was a for-fun thing and the person making the game was very picky(at one point it got to the point where he felt a single note was weird, and I ended up sending like 6 variations of a chord and then he ended up just going with what I had originally) At that point, most of the soundtrack was "done" but I couldn't handle it anymore and didn't want to sound like a jerk saying "you're too demanding." But I've also been on the receiving end, the project before that one I was doing the music and had like 70 something songs done for it, the developer didn't reply for quite a few months, but eventually he got back to me and told me he was having some real-life problems and had to stop making the game(understandable, but it would be nice to have some notice!)

However these were not paid for things more for building skill and trying to get better at making music, not quite as serious as you're about getting some real talent! So it's not as if I took payment and ran, or signed a contract and stopped, and I was a young, irresponsible dummy then, though that doesn't justify it you know?

It could be a variety of reasons why your person won't talk to you that are beyond your control. Could be tornado ravaged his/her town, couldn't pay the bills on time, could be a medical crisis, maybe the person went to jail! Literally anything, however unlikely it is. I know you're frustrated, you have every right to be, but don't be so harsh! Wink 90% chance like you're saying, the person is just flaky and couldn't commit to it, but then there's the other 10%...

Either way, good luck finding a new programmer!
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« Reply #455 on: May 14, 2016, 03:00:18 AM »

@swordofkings128:
First of all, thank for your kind words. I'm glad you like the art, which is what I get the most positive feedback about. I hope the game ends up being attractive to people too Kiss!

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At that point, most of the soundtrack was "done" but I couldn't handle it anymore and didn't want to sound like a jerk saying "you're too demanding."

Here's my opinion: it's not always binary: a) I quit without saying a word b) I tell the guy: "you're too demanding!". There's also c) giving a notice that explains that for personal reason, you do not wish to be involved in the project anymore. I've had a programmer quit before, two in fact, but they were very polite and, well, respectful about it. They gave me a notice and were just good people all around. I don't hold any grudge towards those two programmer because they didn't ditch me without a word. I know that I would've preferred c) in that situation but that's just me. But honestly, wouldn't you if you were in his shoes? Just something to consider.

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But I've also been on the receiving end, the project before that one I was doing the music and had like 70 something songs done for it, the developer didn't reply for quite a few months, but eventually he got back to me and told me he was having some real-life problems and had to stop making the game(understandable, but it would be nice to have some notice!)

Ok here though, I call bullshit (on his end, not yours). That's a pathetic excuse if I've ever read one. Some people are just so quick to be irresponsible and think other people "will understand" because... because? "Oh, yeah, I stole your game concept and sold it for cash but you know, I really needed the money because I had personal problems." No really, no.

How long does it take to write the sentence: "I have personal problems, I need to stop all this." I'm a fast typer but I would say on average less than 10 seconds. You're telling me, that in months, he couldn't find the effort and time for 10 seconds not to leave you in the dark? Ok come on now, let's not be naive here. Now there are 2,628,000 seconds in a month, you're saying he was gone for months on end, so he had what, billions of seconds and he couldn't find ten? What was his personal problem? He got his hands chopped in a land-mower accident? If you were to tell me, he didn't want to explain to me on the phone the personal reasons which would've taken him hours and hours to write, fine, I can understand that. But a single sentence? No excuse whatsoever. None at all. My opinion anyway.

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However these were not paid for things more for building skill and trying to get better at making music, not quite as serious as you're about getting some real talent! So it's not as if I took payment and ran, or signed a contract and stopped, and I was a young, irresponsible dummy then, though that doesn't justify it you know?

I think deep down you know it was wrong regardless, despite the reasons. I don't want to come up high and mighty. I've messed up plenty of times and still do. It's always nice to hear: "Sorry what I did to you, I regret it." and I'd like to think I apologize when I wrong someone. You know, a sincere apology instead of a cheap excuse. I would take this as a learning experience: "I'll never go dark again, if only because that's the right thing to do." I really take this "going dark" at heart because it feels so bad when you're on the receiving end, especially it's not because there was a fight or disagreement that the person just vanished.

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It could be a variety of reasons why your person won't talk to you that are beyond your control. Could be tornado ravaged his/her town, couldn't pay the bills on time, could be a medical crisis, maybe the person went to jail! Literally anything, however unlikely it is. I know you're frustrated, you have every right to be, but don't be so harsh

Whenever we, as people, try to understand why something happened the way it happened, we consider a variety of possibilities. When making an assumption, we'll naturally go for what comes instinctively as the most likely. So I would side with the 90% this time around that he's just flaky. If the tornado turns out to be true (he somehow managed to reach his google chat and block me before being swept away in the sky), I'll apologize for having been so tough on him. You know, not everything should just be accepted regardless of what was done for humanitarian reasons. Everything hints that he just decided to vanish without taking responsibility because he knew he would get away with it without any consequences. As far as I'm concerned, that was an asshole move and should be treated as such, I don't care about his reasons.

Well, the new programmer is doing a really good job so far, so I'm optimistic. 



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swordofkings128
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« Reply #456 on: May 14, 2016, 04:54:46 AM »

Absolutely I'd prefer C! Anyone would(and I think most would prefer B over A). As to whether or not it was bullshit, who can say. It was released as a demo after he finally got back to me. All the links to a download are broken sadly...

And yes, what I did with the other project was wrong, it was a mistake, something I've learned from and wouldn't do again because really, it's a shitty thing to do! At the time, I had some personal things I was going through and, at the time, thought that made it okay. But as you said, it only takes a couple seconds to send message, and no amount of rationalization can change that, so in the end it was a shitty thing of me to do no matter how what angle it's examined from.

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Whenever we, as people, try to understand why something happened the way it happened, we consider a variety of possibilities. When making an assumption, we'll naturally go for what comes instinctively as the most likely. So I would side with the 90% this time around that he's just flaky. If the tornado turns out to be true (he somehow managed to reach his google chat and block me before being swept away in the sky), I'll apologize for having been so tough on him. You know, not everything should just be accepted regardless of what was done for humanitarian reasons. Everything hints that he just decided to vanish without taking responsibility because he knew he would get away with it without any consequences. As far as I'm concerned, that was an asshole move and should be treated as such, I don't care about his reasons.

Well, the new programmer is doing a really good job so far, so I'm optimistic.

Oh, I didn't know he blocked you, my bad! I missed that bit. In that case, I think it's safe to assume he was flakier than a bowl of cereal. Being blocked is strong enough evidence for that, so I think it's deserved harshness(as if what I think matters in any of this!) Awesome to hear your new programmer is working out well so far, and I we're all looking forward to seeing what comes out of it! :D
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oldblood
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« Reply #457 on: May 14, 2016, 08:21:37 AM »

This may come across as negative but its just my honest perspective from the outside looking in. I'm hoping you will find this encouraging to continue to develop your abilities as a Producer/Project Manager but I will be honest on where I'm seeing gaps here.

Just playing devil's advocate here but I know a LOT of people that are simply not comfortable in front of a camera. I don't know why you would find that puzzling, it's a fairly common trait. You're almost making fun of this in your devlog which I find a bit disconcerting. If a team member that you're not paying isn't comfortable with something, you should be supportive of that.

Having moved through 4 programmers now, have you considered that perhaps you may need to evaluate the way you're managing this project? I've never worked with you, so I'm not trying to insinuate you're being too demanding but clearly there is a disconnect between your expectations and everyone whose worked with you. So at the very least, there are clearly gaps between your expectations and what they feel like they should be doing on the project. Your devlog feels very angry and all the blame seems to be squarely on the shoulders of the programmer(s). You say it barely phases you when they quit, but reading through that devlog- that was not the impression I got.

I would utilize this time for some self-reflection on your communication and expectations. Perhaps your communication is perfect but your expectations are too high? Perhaps the other way around? Perhaps you're managing this all perfectly and just having bad luck with turnover? Regardless, at this point- I would evaluate my process if I was you because there are clearly disconnects. So he went dark, are you insinuating he owes you more than that? Why does he owe you anything? Is this paid work? Is this his job? No, this is your game. Your dream. He simply was helping you.  These are people who've dedicated time from their own lives to build YOUR dream, YOUR game- and frankly, they may never see a penny from it. These people deserve your respect and appreciation.

EDIT TO ADD: I very much am wanting this game to be successful for you and to see you go on to become a successful developer. I do hope you can continue to evolve yourself and the game as you hit these walls and keep pushing forward. Your persistence and dedication to this project is inspiring.
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alvarop
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« Reply #458 on: May 14, 2016, 09:29:42 AM »

Might I add, that if I was a potential programmer for this project and I saw that you would speak ill of a team member when something goes wrong, I'm not sure if I'd be motivated to work for / with you.

I'm not saying you're in the wrong here, but there are ways to deal with this type of issue, which pretty much play into these managing skills which may be, as oldblood said, what is causing the same issue over and over again. Might be a good time for some introspection, it never hurts.

Another perspective on this : what good is it for someone who is interested in this project, to see a drama article instead of a progress one? Not only it isn't very interesting, but it casts a bad light on the project (and you) as a whole. When things go wrong, you gotta come out of is as the better man, always.

I know you're doing your best, and I hope this project gets back on its feet, soon. Please take this as constructive feedback. Good luck Zizka!
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« Reply #459 on: May 14, 2016, 12:48:05 PM »

@alvarop:

As usual, thanks for your honesty. I'll answer as openly and honestly as I can.

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Might I add, that if I was a potential programmer for this project and I saw that you would speak ill of a team member when something goes wrong, I'm not sure if I'd be motivated to work for / with you.

From the bottom of my heart, I have no regret about writing about what happened in devlog 82. I wouldn't overly advertise for it but I have no regrets about it in any way, shape or from in the slightest. Game development isn't always sunshine and rainbows and I want to be 100% transparent about the whole thing. You're right, discussing disappointments are not necessary the best ideas PR wise. I was aware of it when I wrote Devlog 82 but decided to go for it anyway, accepting whatever consequences that might have (EDIT: grammar).

One one hand, some people will think that I should keep those sorts of events to myself. On the other hand, people like myself will appreciate the full transparency of what's going on.

I wholeheartedly condemn going dark and disappearing regardless of the context. I stand by my guns on this one. Yes, I realize this make me come across as hard to work with but that's ok, I can live with that. I set to others the standards I have for myself.

I realize I might also give the impression that I blame the whole world for whatever happens to the project but, well, I don't. The thing with introspection is that, by nature, it's not necessary obvious to the rest of the crowd whether or not you're doing it.

I think my shortcoming was not having a fully detailed designed document. I've learned a lot from that last programmer leaving. Not having a precise enough list of tasks to do led to a lot of changes taking place a long the way which required some backtracking for the programmers involved.

As for the rest, I've respected the requirements of the last programmer to a tee, in the very minute details. I was always available and took as much time as was necessary to help him out. I made every single modifications to files as was requested on his part.

@oldblood:
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Just playing devil's advocate here but I know a LOT of people that are simply not comfortable in front of a camera. I don't know why you would find that puzzling, it's a fairly common trait. You're almost making fun of this in your devlog which I find a bit disconcerting. If a team member that you're not paying isn't comfortable with something, you should be supportive of that.

That's ok, you can be honest and confront me. That's why I'm glad alvarop hangs around, he doesn't just tell me what I need to hear but has the courage to step up.

There are some assumptions in your message which I'll address.

a) you are not (might not have been) supportive of people being on camera.

When I was preparing for the KS, I asked everyone if I could put a picture of every person involved. A person refused. I said. That was it really. No one was forced to do anything.

The camera was a simple request. There was no pressure in accepting in any way shape or form. Here's the chat:


That was it really. That was the last time I heard from this person. He disappeared and blocked me after. Some people might think that asking if it would be permission enough to ask to be on camera for the KS is reason enough to quit without saying a word and that's their opinion. I don't. I hold other people to higher standards than that.

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Having moved through 4 programmers now, have you considered that perhaps you may need to evaluate the way you're managing this project? I've never worked with you, so I'm not trying to insinuate you're being too demanding but clearly there is a disconnect between your expectations and everyone whose worked with you. So at the very least, there are clearly gaps between your expectations and what they feel like they should be doing on the project. Your devlog feels very angry and all the blame seems to be squarely on the shoulders of the programmer(s). You say it barely phases you when they quit, but reading through that devlog- that was not the impression I got.

I haven't moved through 4 programmers. Two of them quit, one of them disappeared and I am currently with a new one.

What angers me is not the person quitting, is the way that person quit. It's not related to that person in particular, I find that going dark and not explaining why you're leaving is a shit move, regardless of the person who does it. I had a programmer leave because he said he had no emotional attachment to the project. I was disappointed but, hey, at least he did so in a respectful way. That's it really, that's all I'm asking for.

If I were to poll the community as to whether they would prefer if:
a) the programmer quit without saying a word
b) gave notice prior to leaving in order for the project manager to set things in motion

I would bet my bank account 90% of the poll would choose b). I'm just like everyone else about this.

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So he went dark, are you insinuating he owes you more than that? Why does he owe you anything? Is this paid work? Is this his job? No, this is your game. Your dream. He simply was helping you.  These are people who've dedicated time from their own lives to build YOUR dream, YOUR game- and frankly, they may never see a penny from it. These people deserve your respect and appreciation.

We've talked about his before and never reached an agreement about it. You've presented the same rationale before and I still respectfully entirely disagree with you. We are at complete opposite when it comes to the nature of work and being paid for work.

I teach languages in real life. I am the only one who works extra hours helping students every single week at my college. I don't care how much of my time it takes, I just want them to succeed. This time is not paid for. I do it for the idea that I want to help those people succeed. I've volunteered hundreds of hours in my life teaching languages to poor families who couldn't afford a teacher.

You seem to imagine that if a person decides to get involved in a project they're just being altruists and are doing me a favor and that I should accept to be treated in any way they deem worthy because they're doing it "for free" (we'll get back to that later). People contact me very often to work on this game... with their own set of demands. Some of them are asking for 50% of the sales and the KS. Does that sound like altruism to you? Technically, if I were to sell the game, 30% would go to steam (according to my research), 50% to the programmer, this leaves 20% for me and the composer. Does that sound like generosity to you? It doesn't to me. So yeah, the whole "hey, they're doing you a favor, so they don't owe you anything" line doesn't really fly with me, not a big [censored] long shot.

I've had one programmer who wanted to work on the game for free. I insisted that I wanted to pay him but he repeatedly refused. The rest of them know what they're doing, trust me. Not that there's anything wrong with it but yeah, as far as taking it like a dog because they decide to get involved in the project, well, I disagree and that would be a euphemism of intergalactic proportion.

People who have applied to work on the game more or less have the same idea: "Your game looks really advanced, I've worked on other games where people quit and disappear but this one looks legit and you seem dedicated. I'd like this and that to work on it, is that ok?" Interestingly, people apply because I just don't vanish which according to the people who have applied (10 programmers applied recently) has happened to most of them. So going dark seems to be endemic and pissing everyone off in the indie collaborations.

We'll never see eye to eye about this issue olblood but I appreciate your input regardless. We just have opposite values about this and that's ok.

Choosing to be involved into something doesn't mean that you can just do whatever you want on the premise that you're not being paid right away. I realize that volunteering/being paid profit share has the corroding self-implied idea that it can therefore be inferior work, not having any need to be held to any professional/ethical standards. That's something I strongly disagree with as I put into practice into my real life.

If a person were to contact me and say: "Hey, I'd like to program the game but I'll disappear whenever I want and will do subpar work because I don't have a check right away" my answer would likely be : "Well, you can fuck off then." Also, keep in mind that people who just vanish are usually too chicken to actually tell you why they want to quit so you can figure out a solution, they'd rather just disappear because that goes along with the concept of simply not caring about others and running away.

That's my take on things. I don't impose it to anyone, that's the way I was educated. I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm right, but we certainly don't agree about the nature of collaborations between human beings.

Thanks for writing.




  
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