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Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Dr. Video Games 0031 posted:

Well, huh. So they have to lay people off now because they're essentially out of money already. If the kickstarter is a success, they may be able to hire some people back. If it's a failure, GPG may close its doors.

This is sad news, I'm a Chris Taylor fan and a fan of all of his games (minus Space Siege, which I don't think he actually had a hand in). On the other hand, you have to question the decisions that lead to this point. They seem to want to make a game that's well beyond their current means. I don't think the kickstarter will fail unless the community reacts negatively to the video and gets pessimistic about their ability to make the game, which would be fair. Or the community could rally behind GPG and try to support them and their game. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, and more than anything, I really hope GPG doesn't actually have to shut down.

I doubt they'd have problems reaching their goal, with or without the bad news. I suspect the problem is that they actually might require a whole lot more money than they're asking for, and at the current pace of funding they wouldn't get far beyond that million dollar figure.

This is a tough situation. Chris Taylor looked gutted.

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nessin
Feb 7, 2010


Macaluso posted:

What the gently caress? That's some really asinine justification for firing your entire team

Have you ever managed financials for more than just a small group project? If you're on the ropes, financially, that's exactly what you do. In an ideal scenario it means moving people to other projects, but if you can't make that happen (lack of projects, not enough funding on those other projects, already at maximum capacity, etc...) then you have to get rid of them. Sucks, but welcome to project management 101.

Edit:
The timing was really hosed up though. Should have gone for before the kickstarter, or tried to went for a smaller team working on smaller project to start with.

nessin fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 02:47

Yodzilla
Apr 29, 2005

Now who looks even dumber?


That was a pretty screwed up video. Goddamn.

FordPRefectLL
Dec 29, 2007
LL

Kenshin posted:

Well, to be fair it means he's paying them all of their owed vacation time and (it sounded like) a severance.

If he'd waited for the end of the month he wouldn't have been able to pay those and gone bankrupt.

This is true. I just talked to my friend (one of the people laid off) and he is receiving a severance.

Shalinor
Jun 10, 2002

Can I buy you a rootbeer?


Macaluso posted:

What the gently caress? That's some really asinine justification for firing your entire team
No, he made the right call. If he'd gambled on the KS funding and it failed, his entire team would have been completely screwed. Being laid off when you can still get severance, and being told why and how straight up, is waaaaay better than leaving one day thinking "gosh he says we're doing great" and walking in the next day to locked doors.

This way, everyone can immediately claim unemployment, and it's clear what their options are. They could work on the KS without pay - and many probably will, because this usually happens in a layoff like this only way less publicly - or they could move on, but no one is out on their rear end with nothing and no clue.

... that said, god drat, that is not an upper of a video. I was hoping he'd try for some kind of call to action, "look we can do this, here's the team saying they're committed to seeing the KS through!" but... Nope. Just a successful grown man breaking down because his company is falling apart

Shalinor fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 03:29

Al!
Apr 2, 2010



Shalinor posted:

This way, everyone can immediately claim unemployment, and it's clear what their options are. They could work on the KS without pay - and many probably will, because this usually happens in a layoff like this only way less publicly - or they could move on, but no one is out on their rear end with nothing and no clue.

I mean we saw the worst way to do it last year with 38 Studios, the company closes down and you find out they never paid your moving expenses, you have an extra mortgage, and your health insurance was cut off yesterday but your wife is due next week. GPG is saintly by comparison.

King Burgundy
Sep 17, 2003

"You can fight!"
"Thank you!"

Al! posted:

I mean we saw the worst way to do it last year with 38 Studios, the company closes down and you find out they never paid your moving expenses, you have an extra mortgage, and your health insurance was cut off yesterday but your wife is due next week. GPG is saintly by comparison.

Yeah, this is a far better way to go. Man that sucks.

NTRabbit
Aug 15, 2012


I've been in that position, with the not really knowing how bad things are, and it going from fine, to "the contract for the new project will be signed any day now and we'll be fine", to the lay offs, except I was in the first batch which means I got cut before the desperation for the new contract became common office knowledge. Getting severance is clearly the best way for it to happen, but that's some crazy timing on the Kickstarter.

The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008



I think he should have never gone to Kickstarter to begin with, it just seems like KS is not the right move for something like this when the company is in peril.

I do wonder though that with a bunch of these kickstarters for Adventure games and RPGs if publishers are taking a note of it. Its obvious it won't sell CoD level of sales, but its proven that there really is a market for these games.

Yodzilla
Apr 29, 2005

Now who looks even dumber?


PonchAxis posted:

I think he should have never gone to Kickstarter to begin with, it just seems like KS is not the right move for something like this when the company is in peril.

How do we know this is what he "began with?" Gas Powered Games has been around the block a few times, I'm sure they've made pitches and tried to work things out with publishers before this.

Sigma-X
Jun 17, 2005

"thats pretty much it, we all got high, it was sweet you should of been there"
"god damnt knuckles, your plan didn't do anything"


I didn't watch the video and am going off the kotaku article here:
http://kotaku.com/5977246/were-hear...dium=Socialflow

but this stands out as basically holding the game/people's jobs as some sort of kickstarter blackmail to me:

quote:

UPDATE 5: Taylor has made a lengthy statement via a video update to the Wildman Kickstarter page. He explains the reasoning behind the timing of the layoffs: If the company ran through the entire Kickstarter campaign and it failed, he says he'd have to let everyone go, shut the company down, and not give any paid time-off or severance. "That," he says, "I decided was not worth it."

In the video, Taylor goes on to ask backers if he should continue the Kickstarter campaign. "Now that the team has been laid off," he says, "should I continue the campaign to see if the numbers do improve, and hire them back at the end of the campaign if they still want to come back and if they haven't found jobs? Or do I shut the campaign down tonight, or tomorrow, and call it done?" Taylor then asks people to vote with their comments, and says they will tabulate them. "Do we kill the campaign, or do we keep it going? It's up to you."

I want to believe that Chris Taylor is an awesome amazing guy who would never think to do such a thing (and has merely had to let his PR guy go before he was able to warn Chris that what he is doing can be read so negatively). But I can't help but feel that, intentional or not, he's basically emotionally blackmailing the backers into supporting the game.

Dr. Video Games 0031
Jul 16, 2004



Sigma-X posted:

I didn't watch the video and am going off the kotaku article here:
http://kotaku.com/5977246/were-hear...dium=Socialflow

but this stands out as basically holding the game/people's jobs as some sort of kickstarter blackmail to me:


I want to believe that Chris Taylor is an awesome amazing guy who would never think to do such a thing (and has merely had to let his PR guy go before he was able to warn Chris that what he is doing can be read so negatively). But I can't help but feel that, intentional or not, he's basically emotionally blackmailing the backers into supporting the game.

That's kind of how business and employment works. Everyone's jobs are "hostage" to the success of a company. What do you want him to say? It's just the reality of the situation. Either the kickstarter is a success and people get their jobs back, or the kickstarter fails and they have to find new work.

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Yodzilla posted:

How do we know this is what he "began with?" Gas Powered Games has been around the block a few times, I'm sure they've made pitches and tried to work things out with publishers before this.

I think he was using "to begin with" as a figure of speech. As in this never should've been a KS at all.

Pyradox
Oct 23, 2012

...some kind of monster, I think.



PonchAxis posted:

I do wonder though that with a bunch of these kickstarters for Adventure games and RPGs if publishers are taking a note of it. Its obvious it won't sell CoD level of sales, but its proven that there really is a market for these games.

I think the consensus (or at least, what I've seen Chris Avellone and co saying) is that while impressive for a medium studio, ~$3 million from maybe 50,000 people is a drop in the bucket for publishers. They'll seriously start taking note if those games then sell half a million copies or more, but until they get to that ballpark it's not really a "proven market" on the scale that they're interested in.

Al!
Apr 2, 2010



Dr. Video Games 0031 posted:

That's kind of how business and employment works. Everyone's jobs are "hostage" to the success of a company. What do you want him to say? It's just the reality of the situation. Either the kickstarter is a success and people get their jobs back, or the kickstarter fails and they have to find new work.

Except in this case the company was so horribly mismanaged that people's jobs now depend on begging people for money, which isn't the most stable business model. I'm not sure how many of them would even want to go back to that company, but the video game industry is pretty weird that way.

Dr. Video Games 0031
Jul 16, 2004



In many of the successful projects we've seen, a company's success have hinged on the success of the Kickstarter. The difference here is that "success" has a different meaning, whereby for Wildman to be successful for GPG, it would have needed to be overfunded. It's very clear that they'd make at least a million dollars if they kept on trucking, but it's evident that wouldn't have been enough, otherwise they wouldn't be in this situation. I do not like the trend of developers doing this, and I feel like there had to be a level of mismanagement involved to get them to that point. I mean, the layoffs came the week the project launched, that timing is just the worst. But It seems awfully kneejerky to just proclaim that the entire company is horribly managed and nobody would ever enjoy working there based on such little information.

Bieeardo
Aug 21, 2000

Someone bold, someone blue, someone borrowed, someone new...


Man, and I thought Wildman was a ridiculous, unlikely premise to begin with, but it just keeps getting worse out there. Of course they're not going to kill the Kickstarter-- hope springs eternal, and the comments section is filled with the same people who bit in the first place.

Sigma-X
Jun 17, 2005

"thats pretty much it, we all got high, it was sweet you should of been there"
"god damnt knuckles, your plan didn't do anything"


Dr. Video Games 0031 posted:

That's kind of how business and employment works. Everyone's jobs are "hostage" to the success of a company. What do you want him to say? It's just the reality of the situation. Either the kickstarter is a success and people get their jobs back, or the kickstarter fails and they have to find new work.

Most businesses don't go to public fundraising, lay everyone off, and then tell the people they're soliciting for funds "if you care enough and give us enough money, some of them will get their jobs back."

I totally get the reality of the situation, I've been in the games industry for 6 years. I think it has been done without tact or care, and comes off as a callous manipulation rather than even basic planning.

It isn't like this surprised GPG. They didn't wake up one morning and go "oh poo poo, the sack full of paychecks is empty!" They could have started the kickstarter a month earlier, and not gone public with their intent to lay people off if it was unsuccessful.

Reason
Sep 10, 2006


Yea I kind of feel like they're trying to guilt people into backing. If you give us money, we will give these people their jobs back! Look at those poor people with no jobs. Poor them.

Milfay
Jun 9, 2006


Dr. Video Games 0031 posted:

The difference here is that "success" has a different meaning, whereby for Wildman to be successful for GPG, it would have needed to be overfunded. It's very clear that they'd make at least a million dollars if they kept on trucking, but it's evident that wouldn't have been enough, otherwise they wouldn't be in this situation.

This is what makes me hesitant about the project. If you're clearly going to need 3 million to make the game you're showing then make that the goal from the beginning. You can't rely on stretch goals when only 4 games have really gotten up to that 3 million level. I don't want to back the project for a million and find out later that wasn't enough to get it done. I hope if works out for him though it would be sad to see a 15 year old studio go under.

epitasis
Jul 26, 2012



Isn't it like against the Kickstarter terms of service to put a funding target at a price lower than is necessary to deliver the product? poo poo is all super shady.

Edit: Not in so many words, but if they can't make the product even if it hits their target then they're gonna be responsible to refund the donations all the same.

epitasis fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 05:22

Mr.48
May 1, 2007


The sad part is that if he had done a kickstarter for Kings and Castles, a game that many people are already waiting for excitedly, they wouldn't have had any problems funding it.

Edit: Oh, and Cassielle if you're still reading this:

I checked out the game and there is a one huge flaw that I think will prevent many people from enjoying the game:

In the item descriptions it uses properties like "small bonus to X". This will piss off pretty much every ARPG fan because we like to compare loot and want to see the exact numbers on item properties. Give us the exact percentages and numbers on the magic item properties and every Diablo fan I know will buy this for their tablet.

Mr.48 fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 07:29

Pyradox
Oct 23, 2012

...some kind of monster, I think.



Mr.48 posted:

The sad part is that if he had done a kickstarter for Kings and Castles, a game that many people are already waiting for excitedly, they wouldn't have had any problems funding it.

According to his twitter he would've "had to" set the target to no less than $3 million, so yeah, he probably would have some trouble.

Hakkesshu
Nov 3, 2009

All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.


I don't understand how continuing is even an option at this point. Let's say it reaches 1.2 million or something; that clearly isn't enough to keep the studio running at full capacity, so what's he trying to accomplish?

coffeetable
Feb 5, 2006


Hakkesshu posted:

I don't understand how continuing is even an option at this point. Let's say it reaches 1.2 million or something; that clearly isn't enough to keep the studio running at full capacity, so what's he trying to accomplish?

A nice mansion in South America?

bubbabrigs
Oct 17, 2012

by T. Mascis


At least he is not pulling shady practices like Curt Shilling did with his crew on Kingdoms of Amalur. His people are getting severence and openness and honesty. I have to respect him for that.

XboxPants
Jan 30, 2006

FUCKING MAGNETS, HOW DO THEY WORK?!



Hakkesshu posted:

I don't understand how continuing is even an option at this point. Let's say it reaches 1.2 million or something; that clearly isn't enough to keep the studio running at full capacity, so what's he trying to accomplish?

Maybe it's enough to keep it running at reduced capacity, or to try to keep it running a little longer and keep shopping it around to a publisher. Or maybe he's hoping he can get the 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever million and hire everyone back. I can't hold it against him for holding onto that hope.

Fergus Mac Roich
Nov 5, 2008



It's kind of funny looking back at what Obsidian were saying about their kickstarter. They set the goal to around 1 million and weren't even totally sure they'd make that. Everyone told them, "Oh, of course you'll make it, you're Obsidian, come on now." But now we see what happens when you try to assume something like that and make a mistake. Obsidian were lucky that they really were(and are) that beloved and had a project with that much potential.

Senator Government
May 26, 2006

Mr. Tax and Spend


Yodzilla posted:

It especially doesn't help when three of their last four games fell flat of their face. Space Siege, Demigod and SupComm 2 were pretty much DOA. I have no idea how successful AoE Online was but it seemed neat enough. Shame it was a F2P title.

Sadly, AOE Online is shutting down a bunch of servers and has officially announced that there will be no new content made in the future.

Hakkesshu
Nov 3, 2009

All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.


XboxPants posted:

Maybe it's enough to keep it running at reduced capacity, or to try to keep it running a little longer and keep shopping it around to a publisher. Or maybe he's hoping he can get the 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever million and hire everyone back. I can't hold it against him for holding onto that hope.

I don't know, man, when holding onto that hope potentially wastes over a million dollars worth of people's good will, I'm less inclined to give him a shot.

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



bubbabrigs posted:

At least he is not pulling shady practices like Curt Shilling did with his crew on Kingdoms of Amalur. His people are getting severence and openness and honesty. I have to respect him for that.

There is nothing open and honest about what Taylor is doing. He lied about the goal for the project, he would have lied about the layoffs if Kotaku hadn't broken the story, and he's told 3 different news outlets 3 different stories about the state of the company.

Fergus Mac Roich posted:

It's kind of funny looking back at what Obsidian were saying about their kickstarter. They set the goal to around 1 million and weren't even totally sure they'd make that. Everyone told them, "Oh, of course you'll make it, you're Obsidian, come on now." But now we see what happens when you try to assume something like that and make a mistake. Obsidian were lucky that they really were(and are) that beloved and had a project with that much potential.

Maybe, just maybe, there actually exists a large market for PC-centric isometric RPGs. The most disappointing thing about GPG's kickstarter is that it's just another MOBA styled game.

Al Baron
Nov 12, 2007
They were all out of Marquess.

The Sonic Fan Remix guy apparently wants to do the same thing with Daytona USA in The 90's Arcade Racer.





Iacen
Mar 19, 2009

Si vis pacem, para bellum



The genre doesn't really speak to me, but those screens are gorgeous, goddamn!

E PLURIBUS ANUS
Jan 18, 2009

Oh, no, no! My friend is gonna kill you.
I'm just gonna watch.


I'm copy-pasting a post I made in TVIV about the VGHS season 2 kickstarter. Please back if you can, if not because VGHS season one was interesting television (if not fully realized television), then because the people behind this project are goons who do pretty awesome work.

Occupation posted:

Hey so just getting the word out.

INTERNET SUPERSTAR Freddie "freddiew" Wong makes youtube videos. They're always really cool looking and have amazingly well-done special effects, usually video game related. For example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7MDMdfcRfI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgVHzNwthC0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaVxulsgH_A

He's also a goon, goes by MrSpiffy.

Anyways, he and a bunch of his friends created a webseries last year titled Video Game High School. Here's the thread for it. In a nutshell, the show is a parody of 80's high school movies with the context of it being set in a world where video game e-sports have become so popular and competitive an entire educational system now exists to train kids how to own at the HALO and whatever.

It stars a bunch of Youtube celebrities, most notably Brian Firenzi of 5 Second Films fame. Brian Firenzi is a really, really great comedian- I've linked his work in the thread before, but here's some other videos for you to get a sample of his comedic talent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMzVNdWgHsA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYHWtmFqO-0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TfBuL1cm1E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ysyZF-DZFY

VGHS season one was a...flawed but interesting experience. It had a lot of unbelievably, ludicrously poor plot points, dialog, and acting, but it also had some genuinely brilliant, exciting, and moving sequences and scenes. The quality fluctuated pretty rapidly, oscillating from "really good" to "astoundingly terrible" almost on a scene to scene basis, and some of the casting decisions were brilliant (pretty much every single time Firenzi or Freddie's brother Jimmy Wong is onscreen it's hilarious), and some were befuddling (Johanna Braddy as the female lead was just...yeah, not very good). Anyways, most of the kinks got worked out as the season progressed and nearly all of us who actually stuck with the show until the first season ended agreed that VGHS was in a solid place at season one's end.

After season one wrapped Matt Arnold (the showrunner) and Will Campos (head writer) went back into the writing room and really hashed out the major problems of season one. Those two guys were also goons and they also participated in the thread, so we (VGHS thread posters) made it pretty abundantly clear what we felt they did wrong.

They came back and nearly every announcement they've made about the direction they're taking season 2- less serialized, more episodic format, they're rewriting a bunch of characters (most notably Johanna Braddy's), full-length 22-25 minute episodes, less action sequences, a bigger focus on external conflicts over internal ones, a better explanation of VGHS' internal logic- was in direct response to one of our complaints. Although they've stayed pretty firm on a couple of (in my opinion) issues- most notably the horrible puns and gimmick characters- they've directly addressed so many problems or complaints that I had, and I was extremely critical about the first season, that I'm pretty excited for season 2.

They launched a kickstarter for season 2 of VGHS, where they're asking for $636,010 - exactly how much they spent creating VGHS season one- to produce 6 full-length (23-30 minutes) episodes of season 2. They used KS for season one so they're pretty reliable and they'll deliver on their promises. I urge anyone who can to back- the show, despite its problems, has a ton of potential and it will be a true loss not to see that potential realized. It'll also mean that a bunch of people I find really funny, like again Brian Firenzi, won't be getting work and that'll suck.

If you're still hesistant, or even if you're not and you're just curious why I would sperg the gently caress out about some video game webseries so much, I urge you to watch the first season (that's a link to the season one playlist on Youtube). If you don't like Youtube, the entire first season is available on Netflix as well. Now, again, the show's first season is significantly, significantly flawed but enough's there that's interesting and it improves so drastically as the season progresses that I would say it's definitely worth your time. Also, the entire first season is 9 episodes and barely over two hours long, so it's not some massive time investment either. But yeah, if you can please back the VGHS season 2 KS, those guys deserve it and they're all pretty cool people.

So uh yeah

E PLURIBUS ANUS fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 23:02

field balm
Feb 5, 2012


I have been after a game like this for ages, arcade racers are my favourite thing. If this had multiplayer in it's base goal I would be donating - without that it is a lot less attractive. The graphics are really, really polished and authentic to the genre.

101
Oct 15, 2012


Vault Dweller


Occupation posted:

VGHS season 2 kickstarter

Thanks for the heads up. I never backed season 1 but I'm sure going to pitch some money their way this time

epitasis
Jul 26, 2012



VGHS was a total surprise to me since I'd never heard of it until it turned up on Netflix. Remarkably well done considering how easily the subject matter might have made it totally unbearable. Instead it was self-aware and cute-funny, with the impressive special effects and good chemistry between the actors really making it worthwhile.

That said, it seems to me it's going to cruise right through its goal for Season 2 and given that it will end up being free, none of the reward tiers really motivate me to donate. Not that I have any better ideas or anything, but nothing there really strikes me as worth overpaying for.

Maybe I'm overconfident - I'll definitely chip in some money if it's necessary in the home stretch.

Doom Goon
Sep 18, 2008


Wow, pretty crazy that Sega guy's doing something else. A (talented) fan obsessed. Also, OUYA. Do a shot or whatever.

NeonCowboy posted:



I hope it's not a breach of the rules to do a quick re-post here, but the free game that I've got going on IndieGoGo has been getting some really great reviews. You can download it at:

http://www.actualsunlight.com

It's not a game that I think anyone would be inclined to believe is good based on the screenshots (including the ones I posted earlier) so I'm hoping you guys will instead believe some of the other people who've played it.

Reviews (Some contain spoilers):

IndieStatik: “Actual Sunlight is the hardest hitting game about depression I’ve ever played.”

TorontoThumbs.com: “It’s not often that a game makes me sit back and say ‘whoa’.”

TPReview: “It might be the most profound and personal game I’ve ever played.”

To be honest, I'm not really too wound up about the fundraising campaign, and would totally love it if you guys would just check it out, play it, and share it with anyone else you think it might resonate with.

Thanks!

Hey, I thought this was pretty good! Anyone else give it a try? Not much of a "toy" game, you could compare it to To The Moon. I could definitely see how it is hard to shop, I kind of want to not say anything about it...

Zeether
Aug 26, 2011


Al Baron posted:

The Sonic Fan Remix guy apparently wants to do the same thing with Daytona USA in The 90's Arcade Racer.






I'm very much considering backing this because the fact that Sega never ported Daytona USA HD to PC was a big disappointment to me and this just seems like the perfect tribute. Hope it can hit the goal though because while I know Kicktraq isn't accurate it shows it failing

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A Steampunk Gent
Oct 15, 2007


Isn't he the furry paedophile dude, or was that another Sonic fangame creator?

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