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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#451
To BFett: not a problem!

To outlander4: Thanks for the kind reply! :) But you see, that's exactly what I mean about mixing personal/professional stuff. I don't think Josh's idiosyncrasies (i.e. "that's not how Josh rolls") should matter. That's the kind of personal stuff that I am not willing to jump into. That's the type of thing I hear in a chat about a personal friend; I never ever hear something like that about a professional game dev. But your idea of a couple of screenshots would be a fine way. Sure, they would raise tons of reactions here, but to those Josh can just not reply or say "progress is being made". Easy win-win: he keeps saying the same he is saying about the game, but people get a very minor feedback at least.
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#452
To Dinosawer: Thanks for the nice approach. I myself was not complaining about your post either. You've been most polite and I kindly appreciate it! So, I was not talking about Josh's past issues. About those, I am fully supportive! The community is the one who mixes. Examples: people have replied to my complains mentioning, in Josh's defense, his alleged stubbornness, his way of taking decisions, his way of thinking ("hos his brain works"), Josh's particular ways of working, etc. I never ever heard before of developers using personal idiosyncrasies to justify something. But he is not doing that: we here are! We are mixing personal and professional, not he! :)
I don't have to like that decision, but since it's one he made for his own mental health I don't think it's my place to criticise it.
After all, since we believe he's working hard, what need fulfil the updates? It would satisfy our curiosity and crashing for shinies, yes, but do we need that more than we need him actually working healthily?
How in the name of god, posting a couple o miserable screenshots, or even less, a few lines here and there about the game, just like any usual indie dev, could be unhealthy or put unnecessary pressure on a professional dev? Giving one miserable something about the game here and there in a year is not the same thing as asking him to go back to the unhealthy crazy loop of pleasing people all the time. It's just asking for a small normal feedback. That's part of the profession. That's not unhealthy or puts unusual pressure. I super respect Josh, and the biggest proof I can give to him is to not be condescending. To not treat as if the least tiny things normal in a developer's life would be an insurmountable pressure.

Sure, he had a very very hard half year. But exactly because of that he should have been more cautious before choosing to leave people in the same void during the other half. In the end, the choice to keep that way summed a whole year without not even a couple of lines on the game - what is just bad practice for an indie dev, not to mention a crowdfunded one.
Last edited by Kimny on Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#453
Yeah, you would think that. However, Josh seems to be unable to give small updates - which might not seem logical to us.
I'm not a psychologist, but I think it's like asking an alcoholic why he can't stop after one glass. It might not be logical, but people aren't always logical.
He might get over that in time, but it doesn't seem he has yet, so for now I'm happy to wait.
Warning: do not ask about physics unless you really want to know about physics.
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#454
Kimny wrote:...snip...So, I think it's time to stop pretending otherwise and start criticizing what he is doing....

And that will accomplish WHAT exactly?
Kimny wrote:It's very simple: he's been doing choices and following paths that deserve critics just as we would do with any developer.

Deserves critics? In your opinion perhaps, but not everyones opinion. We get it, you don't approve, so now what? Your "solution," is to badger him and make him feel guilty or something in order to try and force him to comply with your wishes?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#455
Kimny wrote:I never ever heard before of developers using personal idiosyncrasies to justify something. But he is not doing that: we here are! We are mixing personal and professional, not he! :)
There is not such thing as "mixing" personal and professional stuff; they are inseparable. You may want to keep both separated, but that's not how real life works. You may want to study a little more history if you are interested, particularly the lives of renowned artists and inventors, and how their personal issues affected their creations.
Kimny wrote:How in the name of god, posting a couple o miserable screenshots, or even less, a few lines here and there about the game, just like any usual indie dev, could be unhealthy or put unnecessary pressure on a professional dev? Giving one miserable something about the game here and there in a year is not the same thing as asking him to go back to the unhealthy crazy loop of pleasing people all the time. It's just asking for a small normal feedback. That's part of the profession. That's not unhealthy or puts unusual pressure.
I think it is. I can't speak for Josh, every person is its own universe, but I myself like to post pictures or write a little about my own project once in a while, or about the games I play and the movies I watch, but find it very stressful. Don't know why, but the work required to do so seems to be a little too much sometimes. Maybe you don't understand it, that's OK, but sometimes things that seem to be very simple to you may require a lot of mental and emotional effort to others, and particularly to require a lot of time (yes, even posting a single picture), which is a very important factor here.

I want to read more about LT, I want to watch more videos and pictures, and I can mention it and talk about it, but what I don't want is to start demanding it. Josh health (every body's health) is more important that satisfy the selfish desires of a bunch of random people on the Internet. Besides, it doesn't matter what Josh gives us; some people will continued asking for more. (He posted a complete gallery full of screenshots, but people continue asking for one more picture, just one more, to make them happy.)

Josh is not your regular indie game designer (whatever you think that means). Like any of us, he has its own particularities and idiosyncrasies, and its not our job to tell him what he should do or how to do it. We can offer him advice and commentary, but at the end of the day it's not our call. People are asking for their own perception of what the "ideal Josh behavior" should be, but we are far from an ideal situation right now. Patience I'm afraid is not one of the most human characteristics.
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"Playing" is not simply a pastime, it is the primordial basis of imagination and creation. - Hideo Kojima
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#456
Kimny wrote:I don't know how many other different ways I can say I believe in him, I trust he is telling the truth, I trust his character, I like him, it's not a personal critique. Really, it's almost like it's necessary to spend paragraphs apologizing before making a criticism. And even I repeating all that in all posts, still one replies that I think Josh is lying, another replies saying I shouldn't distrust his character, another says I should shift to my personal life, you now reply as if I were trying to offend Josh.

I explained extensively in the other posts that on the contrary, I don't want to mix personal and professional. I really like Josh, trust him, etc, etc (second time in a post). I just think he has been in error in what regard not giving one piece of information during 1 whole year. Of course that is worth criticizing. And it's normal to criticize it. He is a professional, LT is a funded game. Sometimes it seems that taking 1 screenshot in an year, or even less, talking a couple of lines about the concrete game in an year, is to put super pressure or to ask Josh something very unusual. Indie developers certainly do not update on their games all the time as Josh did. Also as I said many times now, that's fine and I think he was very right in his change towards focusing in the game (I also have to repeat that all posts...). But it is not true that is normal and acceptable that indie developers go a full year without anything remotely concrete and behave as if it that was a plain fine decision instead of something to apologize for. Much less is usual that people are ok and even repeat in the developer's place that "progress is being made", that we should only thank Josh for everything nice he has (indeed) done so far or for not unplugging our critiques from a forum at the official page of the game!

It's very simple: he's been doing choices and following paths that deserve critics just as we would do with any developer. THAT is just what I meant by it's time to criticize Josh's approach to it. JUST that. But anyway, from now one I will reply with a signature that repeats automatically:I trust Josh's word, character and passion, I like him and admire him personally. Yet critique some of his decisions as I would do to other professionals (and that's a sign of respect). Btw, that's the third time self-justifing all that in the same post....
Hey Kimny, welcome :wave:

I like your mixture of respect and critique. I've no problem with it at all, and agree with you that it's been a rough and very-much criticism-worthy ride since last year. That's just the hard truth of it -- next time I make a game I'll be sure not to put myself into that position. But this time is difficult, I've made mistakes, had to go through mental issues, and had to spend a lot of time recovering from them and unraveling some of the poor decisions that I've made within the LT codebase during the time that I was losing my good judgement.

So the truth is, no, I don't have anything to show at the moment, at least not graphics wise. But there is a tremendously-good reason for that ;)

Spoilers!

Since people are getting angsty again, let me give some more detail on what I've been doing with LT. It's quite technical but very, very important to actually being able to finish the game. So remember how I used to have this concept of testing 'individual features' in sandboxes using LTSL? Right, well, that was all well and good. But at the end of the day, it actually wasn't all well and good, because, LTSL used the entirety of the game engine (liblt.so , liblt.dll, liblt.dylib depending on platform). It had no choice, because the game engine was one big blob. That means that, while each sandbox may only have called on particular features of the game engine, the entire engine was still there, in the background. Way too stuff was affecting the sandboxes simply because the engine wasn't separated, it was 'monolithic.' Changes to improve the functionality of one sandbox would end up cascading through the entire codebase and, far too often, breaking other functionality in other sandboxes. It was remarkably frustrating and time-consuming.

I've spent the past few months, in particular, completely changing this problem. LT is no longer a 'monolothic' engine but rather a compartmentalized ('micro') engine, comprised of many interlinked object files, each of which are independent from most others. Blah blah blah, technicalities. Why should you care? Why am I not able to show screenshots of this?

Here's the beauty: there are no screenshots of the game simulation, of the AI, of the core game logic, etc in isolation -- and yet, I can develop them in isolation because one does not need graphics to develop any of these critical pieces of the game!! 'Sandboxes' are now simple console programs that give me readouts of market data, faction stats, etc etc. They have no concept of graphics. OTOH, the asset generation algorithms, which are a heavy WIP at the moment (I hope to be able to show you all some output as soon as I finalize the structure of the algorithms), need graphics but no other concepts from the game. They are simple graphical sandboxes to view single models, just like Maya or something of the sort.

So. The game? Here's the deal: you won't actually see it until the component pieces are finished. At that point, we will wrap the player interaction layer over all the components, and that will be the LT alpha.

That's a high-level look at what's going on right now. Frankly, I'm really excited about it. On a day-to-day basis, it makes me a lot more comfortable to be able to work towards a specific goal without touching code that needn't be touched. In general, it makes me quite a bit more productive. It might sound like another one of my little 'perfectionist' tendencies, but, in fact, if one considers the complexity of a monolithic engine vs. a micro engine, roughly-speaking, it's the difference between quadratic O(n^2) time to develop and linear O(n) time -- that's because the separation of dependencies ensures that touching one piece of a micro engine doesn't cause a cascade effect that breaks all the other pieces. This is the epitome of the "wall of separation" concept that every good CS student should learn, but which I really failed to do well during my first attempt at structuring the LT engine.

"Ok ok ok very technical, much wow, BUT I STILL WANT TO SEE THE GAME AND STUFF." I know. Once I have asset generators in good shape, I'm going to stop being so stingy. I will be showing example assets as they come out of the pipeline when that pipeline is of sufficient quality. But, once again, as I have hinted at before, the next time you see a shot of the whole game (not just graphically, but including interaction and gameplay) will essentially be very, very close to BETA.

Did that make any sense?? I hope so! :geek:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#457
I just want to add one more thought. For those of you who remember the original "Limit Theory" and where the name came from (the Theory of Nonexistence of Extrinsic Limitation -- scroll down to "The Meaning of Limit Theory"), it is actually critical that I implement the philosophy of Limit Theory in my work on Limit Theory. This game cannot be brute-force made by one person. It is only by the coalescing of a million tiny 'insights', the breaking down of a million tiny mental barriers, that a game like this can be feasible for a small team. Naturally, most of those insights are not graphical, but technical (or artistic-technical). We're all tired of hearing about the technical, but, at the end of this project, when Limit Theory is out and in your hands and you're making your way through a beautiful universe doing whatever you please, you'll have one and only thing to thank for that: those insights. Not a hundred artists, not a massive development team with a massive budget, but an engine and game built off of 3+ years of recursively searching for elegance in each piece of the game. When you are playing LT, you should thank the Limit Theory :)

The dev style is the embodiment of Limit Theory, and the release of LT is intended to be a 'proof' of sorts. The name was chosen as such from the beginning to reflect this concept :) Again, for those who haven't been with us since the beginning, go back and read the post I linked. It should tell you all you need to know about what's happening right now. I am searching for the final insights that I need :geek:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: The Beginning of the Golden Days!

#464
Thank you Josh, that's a really interesting piece of information! Like the info about your office and setup now, it's great to find out details of what you're doing or how you're doing it.

I want to be clear about two things though - first of all, this kind of debate repeating itself is absolutely one of the things I was hoping to avoid, but clearly this is still a touchy subject with many of us. I'm very glad Josh doesn't have a problem with it, that in itself is a very encouraging sign of Josh-progress!

The second thing I want to be clear about is that this is still not a progress update: it is great having new information, but equally, if nothing had been done all year, exactly the same report could have been made now and been exactly as accurate. It does indeed seem that we have to live in this state until closer to Alpha or Beta!
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