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Even if they wanted the "flashy 3D graphics" for some reason, it's still ridiculous.
Look at Tex Murphy: Project Fedora (Tesla Effect). Kickstarter finished roughly the same time SpaceVenture's did, for a pretty ambitious game. FMV adventure sequences, coupled with exploration and puzzle solving in a full 3d world with keyboard/mouse navigation (and even a golf simulator).
Game's produced by the experienced producers (and talent) behind Access Software's titles back in the day, and the game comes out more or less as expected after a shortish delay in May 2014.
Very well-polished, just like a retail release would have been back in the late 90s (only with 4K video and modern conveniences).
The problem here, is Scott and Mark got mixed up with some promoter/publicist that apparently wanted to try playing Ken Williams. The problem that immediately became apparent is he had no clue what he was doing, nor did anyone have control over project management/scheduling.
I mean, wtf? The first thing "Space Pope" (dunno who these Wikipedia "fans" are that call him that) does is start running around the country to every random comic-con/anime/game convention and spending money on various tchotchke like plastic "ID cards" and whatnot.
Meantime, here we are more than 5 years later with broken pledges, bullshit 'updates' like blaming the limited Voice Actor strike (against a handful of specific companies, of which GuysFromAndromeda is not one) for not having progress to show, long gaps between saying anything (despite all the promises of 'insider updates' in the Kickstarter) and a crappy Five Nights ripoff to show for it all.
This is the backed project that will forever stand as a reminder to myself not to get swept up in the wave of nostalgia-fueled fervor when handing over my credit card.
2012 was such a long time ago... I had way more hair, lol.
I mean, when a project takes so long that the technology it was started on is likely obsolete, one has to wonder whether progress is really being made.
At some point you're going to start losing work to the fact that you're having to port your efforts to newer versions of development environments and engines instead of actually working on the game. This is the problem I see with all the "Take your time and make something GREAT" comments - the technology field only works that way to a point, after which it becomes diminishing returns and ultimately no returns at all.
How many people who were committed to working on the project in the early stages are still interested or involved? How much money / effort is having to be spent recruiting new people, and how much equity (effort, labor, knowledge, and money) is lost to attrition? These are the problems that surface when you get to multi-year (especially beyond 4-5 year) timeframes.
Your article makes excellent points. This part really stuck with me:
" [Thimbleweed Park's Kickstarter] took place in December 2014, the game itself was released to rave reviews in March 2017, so it took about 2 and a half years to make. And it is a lengthy, complex adventure game in a way I don't believe SpaceVenture ever has tried to be."
I would prefer a lengthy game with complex yet entertaining puzzle design, a tight, polished script and simple graphics/animation over a shortish game with flashy 3D graphics, mundane puzzles and a script that feels like it was tacked on after-the-fact by a group of people who were trying to come up with (sometimes forced) gag after gag.
I have gotten the impression from various things I've read that significant amounts of the SpaceVenture writing work was farmed out to others, perhaps including to volunteers. As for how long this game will be or what the puzzle design will be like, it's anyone's guess.
Imagine what kind of AGS game hundreds of thousands of dollars could have made. Scott and Mark would likely have been able to spend a lot more time perfecting the writing and design. The quality of the writing and design could have been the priority.
Speaking of Scott, when was the last time he was working on this project full time? Was he ever? I understand that he wasn't involved much (or at all?) for part (or most? any?) of the last 5 years of development. For some reason this bugs me the most. If Scott (one half of the Two Guys) isn't actually involved much, then what was the point of any of this? I believe the attraction of this project was predicated upon Scott and Mark's coming together again to make something that recreates, at least in part, the old SQ-style charm and fun.
When I read "but at least even those bad games were delivered in the end" it sounded to me like you'd prefer the game rather sooner and bad, than (much!?) later and good (or at least better).
There just isn't a lot of manpower behind Spaceventure so development is slow.
E.g. if you'd made the same game as Broken Age with just a couple of people it may take decades.
You also mentioned Thimbleweed Park which is IMHO the best case scenario someone can imagine (although also this one was a little late). It was a small team but still quite a lot people involved. Also Ron doesn't even know how to design games and programming his own engines, he is also experienced in managing game development projects and budgeting, having his own company etc.
The team behind Spaceventure is much less experienced in some of those points so this makes everything take longer.
I think it is closer of being finished than it was 6 months ago. It just wasn't really that finished back then, I'd say it was bad judgement (you know, the last 10% of [game] software development takes 90% of the time).
Where did I say I prefer bad finished projects over late completed ones? The way I see it Spaceventure isn't any closer of being finished than it was 6 months ago. We don't really even know in what quantity the guys are working on this at the moment.
How much time is enough time? During the production of SV many other projects of similar or even bigger scope have been completed. Some good, some bad, that is the nature of game development.
But given that they've already used 5 years on this, we should have a pretty concrete idea on what is really happening with the development. But we don't really. All we know is, that is has been tough and I don't really even believe we will be seeing a release of SV during this year nor even the next.
I'd be happy to be wrong, but at this moment nothing is pointing towards that.
@Tomimt: I'm not sure what's the point in this. They are clearly still developing the game, it's just going slower than some people would like it.
Referencing your article:
Why would you prefer bad but finished games over this one which has the possibility to be a good game or at least not a bad game? Why would you be less disappointed when they would release a bad/unfinished/buggy product just so that SOMETHING is released? This doesn't make sense.
This is assuming you aren't very old or terminal ill, i.e. you will likely live to see it's completion, or failure. And then making post-mortem articles makes more sense.
For the 5-year anniversary, I made this lengthy blog post for my biggest disappointment in crowdfunding: http://playernone.blogspot.com/2017/06/spaceventure-my-biggest-kickstarter.html
We've now passed the five year mark, and it's nearly three months since the last update. Time for another one?
I hope not, Tom King!
@KSimms: Don't worry, Amy Schumer won't be in SpaceVenture to talk about her vagina.
Half a decade later, and here we still are. No new release date either. A 7th grader at the time this Kickstarter was funded would now be ready to start his freshman year of college.
Anyone have any info on the voice actors? I read that Scott Murphy was a great admirer of Amy Schumer, sadly. Even if, according to official updates, Scott Murphy may not be doing much with this project anymore, I just want to register an unofficial vote against casting Amy Schumer, in case Scott Murphy ever got the idea in his head to try to recruit her to record dialogue for the game.
Slow down the development, you're rushing this game and it will cost quality.
Ugh, I had written a longer comment and it got messed up and only posted "I agree." To sum up I don't believe the game will be released this year.
I wonder how they're still able to pay people and keep development going.
August 14, 2016:
"Guys we are going full throttle trying our absolute best to get the game done by November. Fingers crossed... we are well on our way."
"The game script is getting closer as well and we are talking with the Los Angeles voice studio that we will be using to record our voice actors in."
November 21, 2016:
"Most of you have probably guessed that the game is still not quite ready yet, there is no beating around the bush on that..."
"...we know you all are wondering what is going on. The game is still being worked on every day, but obviously we are gonna need more time..."
"But we did want you all to know that [Scott Murphy] has had to take some time away..."
March 21, 2017:
"We are pushing as hard as we possibly can to not keep up this pattern [of missing deadlines], but hope you all will understand that we are not going to give another deadline out until we finish a lot of the items..."
The November 2016 update also said they are hoping Scott Murphy will be able to rejoin the team full time. There is no mention of the last time Scott Murphy was working with the team full time, if he ever truly was. Other updates lead us to believe that Scott Murphy hasn't been contributing much (or contributing at all) to game development since 2014 or earlier, though it is hard to know for sure what the truth is. In August of last year, at the same time they said they were three months away from a finished product, they said the game script was still being worked on.
While we're waiting for the undoubtedly imminent update, check out Paradigm which was made for 5% of SpaceVenture's budget in two and a half years by one person, and I suspect is much better than anything that's ever likely to emerge from this project.
And I just looked. One single update in 6 months. That's what we've gotten not exactly one of substance either.
More than 2 months since last update and a few days from half a year since the last "release date", We deserve something. You're not done yet, that's fine, but don't just shut us out like this.
We should be getting a new official Kickstarter update from the SpaceVenture team no later than May 21. They can't fall back into the long stretches of silence routine. Doesn't have to be a long update, but there needs to be something. What has been going on the last 2 months?
Also, we need a full report on exactly what Scott Murphy has done on this game. How long was he actually involved? We've received mixed messages about this so far, and they need to come clean. No more evasion. I'm not talking about Murphy's personal life. I'm talking about his work on the game.
The SpaceVenture team needs to tell us who all has contributed to the writing and design and how they all have contributed. This game was billed as a Crowe-Murphy reunion project, but in the years since funding, info about Murphy's exact involvement has been hidden from us, and writing work may have been done by others most of us had never heard of.
I personally recruited many people to back this project years ago because I believed it was a special occasion, in which the original minds behind Space Quest would be writing a new game. But if others have been doing more of the writing and other design work than Murphy has done, then what was the point of making a big deal about the "Two Guys" reuniting?
From the updates I see that the art and animation look great. The person doing the character design looks to be getting the job done well, adding some sexiness, which is always good. Space Quest series did have some sexiness, by the way. Hopefully PC feminism garbage doesn't infect this new game.
Will be checking back later this month!
Let's put it this way, I've seen projects with more reasonable delays than this that have gotten it far worse.
Tomimt: "So little complaining"? Where have you been the last 3 years? :P
Well, apparently this project takes some time. Complaining wouldn't help anything.
And what I see in the updates looks great, so I have no reason to make them or me feel miserably by complaining.
I'm happy as long as I will get it being still alive (in fact, I wouldn't even complain in case I die beforehand but that would be for technical reasons only).
Considering how late this project is, I'm surprised there's so little complaining. I'd figure it might be at part that a lot of people simply have forgotten they've even backed. A good few have even kicked the bucket.
You gotta back the complaners tier for the negative comment privileges, dude.
@antsbull so anyone complaining about a reward he paid for not being delivered years after the deadline is a troll; and anyone who paid less than you did is only allowed to complain less than however much you choose to. Ok, got it. Oh, and I have a cheap bridge for sale if it's getting too crowded under yours...
I wonder will i get this game in my life time.
Guys, play Paradigm. It encompasses the Space Quest humor more than anything.
@Sylvain Martel - shame you didn't! On another note, don't you find it funny how the people who do the most trolling and commenting on these kickstarters are the low-ball backers such as yourself?
Good luck with dev, I support you guys. Space Quest defined a sizable part of my childhood.
appreciate the update, thanks!
I wish I'd pledged at the level where you can participate in the conception of a death scene. I would have pitched one where Ace, upon exiting his spaceship on a planet, gets stomped by an angry mob of kickstarterers because he is late delivering the super-broom design he pitched for.
And in the background we'd see another line of angry KSers stomping another creator for delivering a product early but not as awesome as the "investors' wanted it to be for their 2 bookaroo bucks..
Frederick, bless your heart.
@KSimms: You could probably have done so without harassment, hyperbole and false accusations. Food for thought, I hope.
That said, great update, Chris et al. It's really starting to come together, evidently! Still really forward to playing this particular game �
Hey, everyone! A new update was just posted. We must keep on them to ensure that they know that posting updates less often than every 2 months is unacceptable. This means that their next update can be no later than May 21, 2017.
I applaud all those who take the time to post comments and say what needs to be said, even if it upsets some. This Kickstarter project has to fulfill its obligation to the backers, and we shouldn't be shy about reminding them of it!
I love reading the comments from other backers.
pretty sick some of these comments. have some fucking patience. the same people whining about the time taken to make a game are the same whiners who complain when a game is released to prematurely and contains a shitty ending or full of bugs. these guys are doing their best so show them the respect they deserve. I've been playing Space Quest since the first version came out, so I sure as hell will be waiting patiently for this one. just because you invested into this doesn't give you the right to treat them the way some of you are. be thankful and grateful for the body of work these guys have given us for the last 30 years.
Ok, you're 4 years over your original schedule and 4 months of radio silence since you announced you were missing the last last release date, but you don't want us to be negative. Fine, be more transparent. Why are you so far behind. Why did we get a release date of Nov. 2016 when voice acting and coding are still going on to this day?
I can't speak for anyone else but I never thought that you guys were just lollygagging and throwing parties, BUT we are your investors and we deserve answers, not silence.
Time for a #SpaceVenture update: "A walk around the Two Guys From Andromeda Space Dome" https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spaceventure/two-guys-spaceventure-by-the-creators-of-space-que/posts/1835581
"If anything, the experiment that was Kickstarter seems to have only proven to me how valuable publishers are in this equation and how few designers have the self discipline to work without one."
Sadly, with about hundred projects backed, I have to wholeheartedly concur. The number of studios knowing what they do and/or even talking to the backers you could count on ONE HAND.
4 years later, no game exists.
How do I ask for my money back?
Well.. The way I see it, rain or shine at least I got to be a part of Space Venture. I wasn't even around for the first Space Quest.
For me it would be like getting to see A New Hope, or Raiders for the first time in a theater.
Besides, I'm a lot happier about this then say.. Star Citizen.
Anywho, that's my two cents.
Thanks for the support, fellas.
Looking very much forward to the coming update!
@KSimms: I’ve checked in from time to time and you are always on here spewing gossip and garbage and crying and complaining about how butt hurt you are about this project. Frederik painted an excellent picture depicting the lack of credibility you actually possess and I think I can pretty well speak for the majority of people on here who without a shadow of a doubt consider your opinions to be on par with white noise. Troels has been such an asset to this community from creating content through his remarkable passion for this series and it’s creators and has gone above and beyond to connect with others who share his enthusiasm. Where’s your podcast? Where’s your interesting and intelligible content? Where’s your hoodie for sale? You are the cockroach of this community and I for one am sick of your grossly uninformed and adolescent views crafted to poke and prod the individuals you once loved and gave money to in the hopes that they could allow us a chance to revisit those fleeting childhood years. Where’s your team spirit? Where’s your pride? Why can’t you encourage instead of tearing these people down you spineless worm? It’s a game. You have clearly demonstrated your lack of fanboy endurance to everyone here and have made it abundantly clear as day how dissatisfied you are with the progress. So congratulations you are officially a broken record. The more you speak out the less I and everyone here actually thinks of you, I promise. It’s a choice everyone here has to to make to bring good energy to the table and to have some dignity yourself and others. Please just try a little harder in life for everyones sake and more importantly yours.
@Troels: Thanks for everything you have done in this community and for being a phenomenal source of information and entertainment. You are a bright spot for the majority of people here and I commend you for all of your inspiring and seemingly tireless efforts, unlike that nobody, KSimms.
@ksimms the only good thing that has come out of this kickstarter (so far) is the Space Quest Historians podcasts. He kept his promise and provided (in my opinion) some great interviews with a touch of humour about the space quest series. You should read a little bit more about him and his association with the space quest series before belittling him and thinking he is just in it for the buckazoids. He was into space quest series well before the "World Wide Web" was even a glint in Tim Berners-Lee eye.
"I don't mean this to be any kind of personal attack on Space Quest Historian..."
@KSimms: That's ripe, given that you've only accused him of...
a) not being funny
b) being an SJW
c) being a scam artist
The latter on the sole basis that YOU hadn't heard of him until his name was associated tangentially with SpaceVenture, and therefore, his entire podcasting and YouTubing career must surely be a scam. Which one of those three is related to the only thing you have any right to bitch about, namely this project being massively delayed, and that there is a lack of communication from the developers?
I've been in the Space Quest community on/off since circa 2002, and have known Troels since that time. I haven't heard of you until this Kickstarter campaign, though. Care to tell me who you are?
On second thought, don't. Your comments tell me a lot, as does the fact that you would rather drag someone you don't know through the mud with your speculative "not personal attacks" rather than take the high road and ask for a refund.
SpaceVenture update planned to hit within the next couple days. Stay tuned..
For what it's worth, Troels (the Space Quest Historian) has been a vital part of the Space Quest community since 1995. He launched one of the first Space Quest sites (Wilco's Domain) and wrote the massive Space Quest FAQ that's still floating around online today. He's someone who a lot of folks in the Space Quest fan community have known literally for decades.
He may be a jerk, but he's not a Johnny-come-lately, scam artist, or vulture.
(He's not a jerk either, but I don't want this post going to his head.)
@KSimms: You're funny. Maybe you should be writing for this game.
FYI, the price of my "merch" is the minimum allowed by Zazzle.com, and I make no profit from it.
eXoScoriae makes a lot of good points. I've become disillusioned seeing a lot of what has happened.
Another thing that bothers me is seeing the number of people try to exploit Sierra series in order to promote themselves and jumpstart their almost nonexistent game developer careers. Some unfinished "fan or tribute projects" have appeared to be little more than marketing vehicles for the "tribute" creators, who have required e-mail addresses for updates that never seem to come. It reminds me of political campaigns that solicit online birthday greetings from voters; they'll say, "fill out this online card to send a birthday greeting to Candidate X's wife," but all the campaigns are doing is just building contact info lists to be used in future campaigns and, in some cases, to sell to other campaigns.
In SpaceVenture updates, we've been introduced to people like "Space Quest Historian," an apparent would-be game developer whom I'd never heard of before backing this project. "Space Quest Historian," it turns out, sells a "Space Quest Historian" hoodie for $57.95. No joke. He is also selling overpriced mugs, mouse pads, t-shirts, etc using the "space quest" historian name, and he apparently has other merchandise with a King's Quest character Cedric the Owl lookalike depicted. There are also overpriced "Astro Chicken" sweatshirts for sale, but who knows if they're being sold by the self-appointed "Space Quest Historian" or someone else. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.
I don't mean this to be any kind of personal attack on Space Quest Historian, who, deep down, may be a lovely person with a sweet heart, but I do not respect what he and others are doing.
Anyway, it seems that the vultures have come out to pick the bones off the Sierra corpse. Unscrupulous people seem to be trying to squeeze a few bucks out of Sierra nostalgic fans, while riding on the backs of others.
Oh, and still no official SpaceVenture update in nearly 4 months. The lack of timely updates speaks volumes, unfortunately.