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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#196
Jaga wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:11 pm
I guess what I'd like to convey here is more directly for Josh, and comes as a bit of life wisdom (as I'm nearing 50 now and have plenty to give). That would be: for your own good, both personally and professionally, and the success of your career moving forward.. put your foot down with your subconscious and give yourself a deadline. Don't waffle on it, don't marginalize the need for it. Figure out what *absolutely* can't be avoided to finish the game, get people working towards a specific set of goals, and get LT pushed out. You can work on 1.1, 1.5, 2.0, etc after the fact. The more you delay, the more you hurt your baby, and in the long run.. yourself.

The last thing I want to have to do, is add LT to the list of Cube World, Kenshi, and the many others that have faded into memory. Many of us won't be around if it takes another year or three. Help us keep LT off that list.
I very much agree with you, Jaga. He's working toward specific deadlines now, at least, but he hasn't wanted to release any of them to the public because he's so bad at meeting them. Releasing a set date would only serve to make people shake their heads and declare he'll miss that one too. :P I think things are on the right track, though, and I'm trying to help steer him gently where I can, especially where the public is involved. Speaking of which, you make excellent posts, and I really do hope to see more of you in the future. :) It's always valuable to have people of wisdom around, and you seem quite level-headed, too.

I don't think LT will turn into Cube World - Josh has far too much passion for it, and I think he understands now that PR is important, and not something he can just set to the side for a couple years while he works on the engine. PR, after all, helps define not only how successful your game is, but how successful you are in the future with future job opportunities. As an example, not many people would hire Wollay for their game, I think, seeing how he did with Cube World. Josh seems to understand that now.

At the moment I'm pushing gently toward an early beta, but we'll see how that goes. There's not currently enough game to qualify as a beta, now that Josh has had to rework the engine to something that would actually run. In the near future, though, it's possible. (but as always, I can't make promises.)
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#197
It's great to see level-headed replies out here, thank you both for chiming in.

With regard to Josh and his anxiety.. I can understand. And at the same time, I should offer a counterpoint to that anxiety... By continuing to delay the game due to "not wanting to push due to anxiety", you are going to create even more anxiety down the road, just in a different form. Josh -clearly- cares deeply about the game. It's his baby, and rightly so for him to feel that way. But more delays don't necessarily mean a better game, just more breathing room to get what's planned done. And when those delays continue to happen due to a relaxed development environment, the game is what suffers instead of Josh.

Of course, when the game suffers instead of Josh, whom do you think will suffer later? That's right - Josh will. He must want the game to succeed, and the only way to really see that happen at this point, is to firmly decide when it's going to be done. That 'when' isn't a list of features and 'whenever they are complete', it is a 'when people are going to be able to download the game'. If the game continues to spiral into the pit of 'what the hell happened to LT?', it continues to reap negative feedback, feelings, reviews, etc. And that will hurt Josh down the road just as much, when he looks back at it and resigns himself to 'it was a nice try, I just didn't think about the schedule like I should have' sort of thoughts.

At this point it has to be looked at not with anxiety, but rather as a challenge: meet a date you set for yourself. Concrete feature list (barebones if necessary), concrete date. If it slips a week or two, fine. If it slips a month or two, maybe. If it slips any more than that, you've messed up on the list and date. As you are in control of that, there should be no reason to slide so far. The planning and inclusion of a feature set that may not be realistic are probably what are to blame at this point, more than anything else.

There's another way to handle this of course. Josh could relinquish the reigns, give overall project management to someone else, and drop back to being a coder/graphic artist. He'd be under pressure to get specific tasks done by that person, but that's usually how it goes, especially when your project is behind greatly. It would alleviate the need for interfacing with a PR person, and managing a schedule all by himself. But it also takes the project out of his hands, something he may not want to have happen. At this stage, I think you have to either set a deadline, or have someone else do it for you.

In retrospect - 1 year was clearly underestimating the project greatly. 2 years may have also been an underestimation. 3 years was definitely doable based on original scope. 4 years would see a nice product released. 5 years (which is coming up in roughly 5 months) should be a milestone not missed by an indie team on a project funded on KS. I think we'll be lucky to see even a working Beta by then, and that makes me sad. The engine might be robust, dynamic, and highly usable. But the backers didn't fund an engine, they funded the game. So at this point we may have needed 40% engine development and 60% game development. What we have is probably 70% engine development and 30% game development. So we have twice that much left in game development to get caught back up on before it's ready. That could amount to another 1-2 years. It's too long, in my humble opinion.

@Talvieno - As a sidenote, I was a senior moderator/community rep for a popular sandbox game in Early Access on Steam, for several years. I'm no stranger to the need for PR, and a positive forum for fans to use. That's why I cared about keeping both posts here open, for the rational thinkers at least. :)
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#198
I'm hoping that this next dev log sheds some light on exactly where the development process is at this point. I would love to see engine work finished up for the most part by the end of this month. From there I'd like to see a 80:20 ratio of game play development to engine work so that an incomplete beta is available by the beginning of 2018. By that point it should be possible for Josh to continue to add features while also getting feedback from beta level backers.

Assuming all goes well, with that schedule it may be possible to see full release prior to 2019. Especially now that Josh has two other talented men working beside him.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#199
BFett wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:39 am
I'm hoping that this next dev log sheds some light on exactly where the development process is at this point. I would love to see engine work finished up for the most part by the end of this month. From there I'd like to see a 80:20 ratio of game play development to engine work so that an incomplete beta is available by the beginning of 2018. By that point it should be possible for Josh to continue to add features while also getting feedback from beta level backers.

Assuming all goes well, with that schedule it may be possible to see full release prior to 2019. Especially now that Josh has two other talented men working beside him.
While this might be my personal opinion, it strikes me that Josh may be stuck in "school projects mode". He's been doing weekend teaching, and now a 3-week summer camp (?) where he taught. Most of what I've seen for LT over the years has been engine development, systems development, and overall development of approaches to how systems can work. It's like most of it remains a school project, and not progress towards a complete and playable game.

Not trying to cast negative light on Josh (I've tried to stay level-headed and respectful in this topic), but at some point you have to move out of school, and into "real life". You can't afford to look at real-life work as a theoretical "what if we try.." scenario, but rather a "I need to do this.." task. And as real life is driven by deadlines (paychecks from your employer, paying monthly bills, etc) the need to get out of that school mode is even more important.

According to the devlog, our two new team members are working for little money (or as an intern?). I am nervous about their view of LT as a project, and if they see it as learning, or as a school project in some way. It's much harder to commit to something you have to see through to the end (work), as opposed to school projects.

Just my latest .02
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#200
The environment needs to be taken into consideration though. Josh is working at a tech park along with other programmers. The tech park wants projects to get released and likely has conditions that each occupant must follow. The other two programmers are under the same rules as Josh.

Of course my assumptions may be incorrect. I really have no idea what Louisiana Tech Park expects from its occupants.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#202
Jaga wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:43 am
In retrospect - 1 year was clearly underestimating the project greatly. 2 years may have also been an underestimation. 3 years was definitely doable based on original scope. 4 years would see a nice product released. 5 years (which is coming up in roughly 5 months) should be a milestone not missed by an indie team on a project funded on KS. I think we'll be lucky to see even a working Beta by then, and that makes me sad. The engine might be robust, dynamic, and highly usable. But the backers didn't fund an engine, they funded the game. So at this point we may have needed 40% engine development and 60% game development. What we have is probably 70% engine development and 30% game development. So we have twice that much left in game development to get caught back up on before it's ready. That could amount to another 1-2 years. It's too long, in my humble opinion.
The development cycle for this game has gone way longer than anybody wanted or expected. We're looking at a 2020 release which is downright crazy.

The thing is, Josh hasn't intended to drag this out this long. He has make some bad choices and perhaps was more than naive when it came to certain things. The problem with engine development however, is that if your engine doesn't support your game, there is not much point in piling on the game play.

It seems Josh and team are really pushing for a working beta now. Hopefully the days of programming off lucid dreaming and hunting for the "elegant code" are over. It seems real world Josh is in control now.

The backers (at least most of them I am willing to bet), put their money down for a sandbox space game, not a personal programming sabbatical. As I said, it seems real world Josh is aware of this.
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Re: The General Unhappiness Thread

#203
I do enjoy reading your posts zant and btw i totally agree!

Working game as-soon-as-possible is the flavour now. Having said that people have suggested some really neat game ideas over the years on these boards and it would be a BIG shame if at least some of these ideas weren't included in the game at some stage.

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