by Two Guys From Andromeda
Life has a tendency of throwing a lot of curve balls at us. As long as you're still going, that's all I care about it. Just keep going. We'll be here.
Take your time and don't worry about us backers. We've waited so long for a new Space Questish game so a year more or less doesn't matter, :-)Life can be shit sometimes and there's nothing one can do about it. We still love you guys. <3
Shipping a much smaller game on all platforms is a super brilliant idea, a great way to test out your engine tech in the wild, and a great way to shake out any cross-platform release considerations. Terrific job team! My condolences out to our buddy Scott, from S.D., The Lurker, and little μSD (who's not so little any more, BTW!).
I have so many games in my kickstarter queue, it doesn't even register in my consciousness when one of the games drops a year inbetween ;-)
The gameplay video is really bad at showing what a game the mini-game is. I really don't get it !?
Keep going, 2 guys. I still believe in you!
Honestly I'd forgotten about this until I got the update. Glad you guys are still working on it, keep at it!
4 years and all we get is a simplistic clone of a budget game?
Man, I feel for your troubles... but this process has really illustrated the issue with this form of game production. The majority of the money is already in hand, no real incentive to complete the project. Not at the projected $1.99 price anyway. This model's not your fault, but it will definitely make me consider backing future projects of this nature.
Good luck with the families.
Space Quest IV was the first game I ever bought (I was 14 then, iirc) and many more followed.
I signed up for Kickstarter because of this project and until today I have backed a total of 22 projects.
So, you guys have been at the beginning of a couple of good things in my life.
I hope all turns out well for all of you.
I'm really looking forward to finally downloading and playing this, whenever this will be.
...very little to add to what was already said below otherwise, but of course my heart goes out to you guys; I can somewhat relate to how life can get in the way of things, and with such a small team this obviously leads to delays. Take all the time required to make this the awesome game you envisioned, I think we should all be grateful you are at least still in business and, most importantly, still communicating with backers; that is not always the case with Kickstarters.
The Cluck minigame looks like a blast! Waiting for a yes/no on the Steam key, but can't wait to try it out!
Something completely different: I noticed at least several spelling errors in the subtitles / on screen text in the videos:
Intro: "Well now...that's a whole lotta sq(u?)awk from (for?) a(n?) overgrown feather-brained poultriod (Poultroid?)." and a bunch of variations on two and three-dotted ellipses and comma's, periods and exclamation marks with and without spaces before or after etc.
Teaser: "The infrared sensor is great for spotting poutroids (Poultroids?) in the dark [...]".
And personally, I'd end the opening text in the intro on an ellipsis to lead into the game and homage the Star Wars opening crawls, but that might just be me.
I know, I know, nitpicking, but only because I care ;) These should really be cleaned up, at least for the final game, it's so easy to fix and has no place distracting from an otherwise fantastic game.
No worries. I'm in no hurry. I know how life can take a nasty unexpected turn in a heartbeat.
Just be glad that Scott, Mark, and Chris are still communicating with us. I've seen projects go completely dark and stop talking to backers. Some of them haven't done so for a year or more. Would it have been better to have heard about it sooner? Yes, of course. But that doesn't mean it's the end of the world. I still have faith that they'll deliver one way or another.
As Troels and others have said, there's a lot of perfectly valid points being made here. The way I see it is through the perception of these two points: they haven't abandoned the game at any point, and now have actually given a release date. I simply don't see this as a big deal like some others here might. Once the game is out and released this will all be mostly forgotten (except for the people who choose to insist that the game sucks horribly, whether it does or not, just because they were rubbed the wrong way about delays throughout the development process).
I'll say again, I do not need to know every little detail. At all. My perspective here is that we are not entitled to it, despite what we may feel for pledging money into development. I personally feel every update, no matter how big or small, is a bonus and any inside information whatsoever is privileged information. I'm happy with whatever I get even if that is nothing, so long as I know that the game is being worked on (which it has constantly). But that's my personal opinion and obviously others don't share that point of view.
Also, you're just stubborn if you don't think these kinds of things went on back in the day at Sierra all the time in greater numbers and severity.
Take as much time as you need, good luck.
Best of luck. Waiting another year is not the end of the world and the delay is completely understandible
There are a lot of good and bad comments. Most of them are respectful and justified. But con-sarnit if there still aren't a few out there who think Kickstarter is a "pre order" system. It's for "backing", just like Broadway "backers" put money in to a play, sometimes they're massively delayed, sometimes they fail. Be thankful you only risked a hundred or two dollars *MAX*. People invest their life savings into business ventures that fall over. Such is life.
Best of luck with all the hard times guys! :(
I totally understand this delays the project and I don't mind waiting as long as it takes. I'll enjoy the game whenever you guys are finished.
@KSimms: I agree with you that this is information that should have come out a long time ago, not after the fact like this. There's nothing that can be done about that. I will, however, say that the game's development was not "abandoned" for the better part of the year. Work has been going into the game every single day. Just not at the speed that everyone hoped or wanted, because of said difficulties. Even though Scott was for the most part absent, it's not like he just threw his hands up and said, "I'm taking time off." He was there in body, but not in spirit. As you can imagine, it's hard trying to write funny dialogue when your mother is withering away in the next room and you're running on a maximum of two hours of sleep a day.
I suspect the rationale for waiting so long to tell us all about the factors causing the delays over the last year was that, if they'd come out and said it right away, people would have immediately jumped the gun and written the game off as dead, despite the fact that, as I say, work was still going into the game. I think they wanted to give us some reassurance that the troubled days were more or less behind them before coming out.
Whether that was the correct approach, well, I can see your point and I think I see theirs as well, if it indeed is the case as I surmise. So that's that, really.
best of luck i'm sorry for all the personal issues, truly. I haven't written this game off exactly, but it is so far delayed it is hard to hold enthusiasm.
To those saying that backers and others are not entitled to know about these personal issues and that it is somehow "insensitive" to insist we should have been told earlier: you are both sorta right and also very wrong. You are right that we don't need to know all the DETAILS of the personal problems and family health issues. But you are damn wrong to say we shouldn't have been made aware a long time ago that there were factors causing the game's core development to essentially be abandoned for almost a year, if that's what happened.
Let me show you how it could have been done months and months ago: "Due to personal issues/family health problems, the game's development will be postponed. In our bi-monthly updates we will keep you posted on when development resumes. Please know that we are committed to finishing the game, but right now we need to take care of personal business."
Notice how no details were included.
Everyone wishes nothing but the best, health-wise, for Pope, Mark, Scott and their families. But bringing up those health problems shouldn't now be used by some as a shaming device to silence people's legitimate concerns about why the game development had been partly abandoned without informing backers. It's like saying, "how dare you criticize their actions... they are dealing with serious health problems. shame on you!" Honestly, my response to such comments: cut the holier-than-thou crap.
And some here have suggested that updates so far have been "upfront" and have shown a lot of transparency. Seriously? To be nice, I don't want to say that the updates have been dishonest, but it appears they've been less than candid. We're now learning that Scott Murphy, for a significant amount of time, hasn't really been working on the game, if I'm reading this right. It seems like this not-so-minor detail could have been mentioned a long time ago.
Finally, keeping backers informed isn't just a good idea because backers are entitled to honest updates (which they are); it's also a good idea if you care about building trust and a good reputation in the larger gaming community. Looking like you had been giving blatantly misleading and/or incomplete updates over a long period is damaging to your reputation.
Thanks so much for all the well wishers. And for the record, every single piece of feedback is being read. We appreciate you taking the time to write it, the positive and the negative. Also, just so we're clear, we are looking into the Steam keys for backers. Thanks again everyone!
I threw together a little something really quick about the update for Cliqist. Here's my thoughts on the matter in around 350 words: http://cliqist.com/2015/10/01/sci-fi-comedy-spaceventure-gets-tentative-release-date-mini-game/
My thoughts are with Scott, and thanks to the whole team for being up front and honest throughout. We are all backers and in this together. Nothing is more important than our real lives and family and I'm prepared to wait as long as it takes for a quality product. I have absolute faith that this will be a fantastic game.
Also typo in intro cutscene video at 1:02 - says "recon" instead of "reckon"
Typo in the gameplay video at 0:44 - says "poutroids"
I'm psyched for the fact that we get an actual release date. I don't see how it's any of our business what's personally going on in Mark and Scott's (and Pope's, for that matter) lives. Saying it's "wrong" that none of this was let out of the bag sooner seems frankly insensitive and entitled at best. $550k is not a lot considering the state of the industry and they're operating as an indie developer which means things don't always go smoothly. Yes, other devs on KS have delivered more in a timely manner...but nobody works the same. I consider the 2 Guys' campaign and development far more trustworthy than a lot of others I've seen. They've always released interesting material when they did do an update and they've always been transparent about the current state of development (which does not include nor have anything to do with personal life traumas and troubles).
I dow ish there had been more updates, but then....I also don't care. I'm happy to know that they're very busy working on the game and making it the best it can be without having to take the time to inform me on that process. But that's me and not everybody shares that opinion.
I don't think it's difficult for them to provide Steam keys, though. But then I totally wouldn't mind paying for a Steam key if it meant quickening SV's development by helping a bit with a little extra coin (and I mean little!). Somebody corrext me if I'm wrong, but I assumed the stuff about not getting a Steam key was in reference to Cluck's game not SV.
God bless you Scott, Mark, and Chris. I lost both of my parents to cancer even though it does not run in my family. And Scott, I apologize for not replying to the posts that you made on my twitter account. My family and I were on vacation visiting family when you posted and I just forgot by the time got home. Just so you know that my daughter had raised not only more money for kids with cancer than any other kid in her school. But she raised more money than any other class total as well. All by going door to door and approaching people in grocery stores.
You guys are going through fire to get this game made, and your perseverance will only make it more of an accomplishment once it is released to your fans.
With all the people leaving excuses for the guys (and I still stand by it that I wish them all the best and that they will recover from their personal traumas), I will just point out that for instance Jane Jensen managed her stuff.
She got a similar amount through kickstarter, she delivered frequent updates (with real content) and admitted early enough when things took an unexpected turn.
As private as she is as a person on one side, she managed to put out when professional things went down the drain.
And she delivered, of course not on time, but she did, with the extra tiers, with the physical goods etc.
So, again, saying for more than a year "Everything moves smoothly... and we're doing good" is simply wrong.
This game can still be a classic, and classics are worth waiting for.
Looks great guys! Update us when you can.
Let's get some perspective here. We were promised a game. We were not promised when. I can agree that the rate of communication has been less than immediate, and that's partly due to the fact that we're dealing with two developers who were accustomed to stay behind the scenes and not show their work before it was (nearly) complete. I know Chris Pope has been pushing for more information coming out, but it's not something the Two Guys are comfortable with. Getting an update like this is a sign of great transparency and I imagine it wasn't easy convincing the Guys to come clean with what's been going on. I've talked to Scott and Mark on numerous occasions. They're private people and airing their personal grievances is not something they enjoy. And I can respect that.
That said, I am on Pope's side about wanting more information coming out, as I imagine all of you are, because we're dealing with a new type of game development: One where developers don't lock themselves in a room and come out 12 months later with a game, with the only oversight being zealous executive producers attached to a big company. We're now dealing with indie game development in a social media age where EVERYBODY is looking over your shoulder. And, frankly, I agree that we're entitled to more information about what's going on, but I also think the Guys and the Pope have been more than forthcoming with that since the start of this year. The updates have been more frequent and chock full of goodies about what to expect. Better late than never, I say.
You can brand me an apologist and a sycophantic fanboy. Hey, it's in my "title" as Space Quest Historian, so of course I'm on the Mark & Scott train all the way. But setting that aside for a minute, I'm thinking that those of you complaining about the Guys' "inability to plan" have very little experience in creating games yourselves. When you guys raise half a mil (believe it or not, that's not a lot for a game dev budget these days!) and set out to create your own game with a minuscule fraction of the resources that Sierra put behind their games back in the day, let me know how that turns out.
@Josh: If they weren't serious, wouldn't canceling the project have been way easier? I mean, you get all the money, you're free of all your obligations towards your backers, and most of them will just shrug and move on.
Instead, they took time to sit down and write this update, Scott shone a floodlight on some deeply personal issues, and they finally set an official release date. Off the top of my head, March this year was only ever mentioned as a "We think we're ready"-date. Not "We know we will be ready", which is the case here. They must also have known how some people would react. If they weren't serious, it'd have been easier to shut up and let the project die.
I get why you're disappointed (I am too), but I do think blaming the Guys for not being serious is more than uncalled for. Bearing in mind what PCJ wrote about people paying for a game designed by the Two Guys from Andromeda and not Chris Pope, can you pinpoint any events that have delayed them that have actually been IN their control?
I have, for a while now, fully expected this to be the most disappointing game I backed. When I back projects I don't expect them to ever be finished, but I put money into them in the hopes that maybe something cool will come out of it. Mostly, though, I just did it to back people I enjoyed all those years ago- the work they did having some significant impact on my life. I don't regret it- even for this game.
I feel for your lives, but everyone has stuff going on. I can't sugar coat things- I wasn't raised to. Your excuses fall limp to me. They all indicate these issues were ongoing well before this project was ever pitched on kickstarter and have been ongoing even since. It also implies you never intended to take this project seriously to any significant degree (or even to the degree your fans who gave you money would have implied by your pitche). This is what I find most disheartening about this.
You can look at my history if you want. I don't make trolling or mean comments, so I hope you know I mean what I say and I don't have ill will towards anyone. I do sincerely wish you all better times ahead- I myself having gone through my own really terrible stuff over the last few years that may go beyond your pleas of humanity.
I fully do not expect this project to be completed in any serious capacity and if/when it is I expect this to ship with the level of care I suspect it's being given (which is to say I think if it does launch it will be incredibly disappointing to anyone who sincerely wanted a new Spacequest type adventure game).
I am certainly to being proven wrong, but this update only really seems to have proven what I've assume for a long time now on this project.
To be clear I'm not really angry about the game and won't care what it becomes (although if it's good that'd be awesome and I'd love that of course)- as again I didn't back with the assumption anything would happen because I don't see Kickstarter as a place for that. These excuses though ring hollow to me. Their are newer, younger developers who have made games similar to the old Space Quest games in modern engines in a third of the time this project is coming along with a significantly lower budget than what this game has accumulated.
All I mean to say is these excuses seem like smoke. "See us as people so you aren't angry."
Don't give these people bull*. Don't blow smoke. If you want to be honest release a game worthy of these people's money. If you knew already you're real life was too much to handle you shouldn't have asked for money in the first place. That doesn't come off as a human thing to do. That comes off as conniving and attempting to appeal to peoples good nature when it comes down to the wire.
I legitimately wish you all the best. But do not be fooled. I am incredibly disappointed and disheartened at the lack of care and respect that is shown in this information. Ya'll should've known better.
First off, I'm sympathetic to both Mark and Scott's situations, life can be shitty sometimes.
I will say as much as I love their work back in the 90s (Space Quest 3 and 4 are still favorites to play to this day), this has been a perfect example of why they needed Ken Williams and the Sierra managers to keep them on track.
As for PCJ's comment, I agree I sure as hell didn't pay for anything from Chris Pope. So I'm hoping they aren't saying a chunk of the budget went to letting Chris decide he didn't want to work for the last however long.
Especially since he's done a pretty shitty job in the whole "coordinator/PR" thing in actually delivering any meaningful updates or any of the diary stuff committed to in the Kickstarter.
I knew there wasn't a chance in hell the game was coming out this year like Chris claimed in his update in July, but I don't think any of us realized that for a big chunk of the year, the game was abandoned.
The fact that none of this was communicated sooner is a big breach of the trust backers have placed in the project, to say the least....Given the loss of trust, I'm at the point where I think it's probably appropriate to invoke Kickstarter's TOS and call for an audit of the project's finances. I'd certainly be more than happy to kick in toward the expense of contracting an independent accountant if others are interested.
We are looking into giving backers Steam keys. Thanks for bringing up the concerns. I would also like to say, though we are considering the price of the game, it will probably be sold for $1.99
I won't comment on your personal life issues as this shoulnd't concern us. I'm sorry for your trouble and I'm ok with waiting a little more.
That said, I don't understand why you made some decision about rewards. You got backers that has been with you waiting almost patiently for a game and now you start taking back something from them just because you have the means to do that. Wouldn't it be better to compensate for the delay and add instead of taking back?
Steam keys doesn't cost you. There're no real reasons to not to give that to backers.
GOG keys works similar too, and you told in the faqs that you intended to use gog to release the game. People also backed with that information in mind.
Beta test is also another concern. It is a reward backers paid for. If you are not able to give that reward, and no, faking it with a shorter one doesn't count, you should find another way to compensate that reward. That's the first suggestion on the kickstarter agreement: author who fails to deliver the rewards should try to find a way to properly compensate the backers in another way that satisfy them and utilmately issue refund if a better way is not found. In this case for instance you could give, if backers agree, an additional copy of the game to the ones that pledged for a beta. Just an idea.
Well, I know I backed because you are my heroes, and nothing you will do can change that don't worry. Life sucks a lot, that's why video games are awesome.
Scott...prayers for you and your family. Mark...I didn't even know...glad Sandy is ok...
I don't know how the accounting where the money went will help - the problem isn't that the team is broke, the problem is that the Two Guys' both had personal issues that prevented them from designing the game. No one paid for a game from Chris Pope, they paid for a game from the Two Guys. Hopefully that's what we get in the end.
I think you could go a long way posting an exact account of where $500k went to ease people's fears. The situation you are describing is a bunch of people working for free, and not even using that cash as a salary so they could work full time.
I dunno guys, I get bad things happen, but 2012-2016 to develop a game that technologically others have done in a single year raises some major red flags.
@Alien Invader - I chat with Scott on Twitter/FB and I knew about his issues with his mom/health care/etc. You put 2+2 and get 4.
Life Happens. At least we know they didnt' take the $$ and run (like some have done).
My dad died of cancer and I got cancer (at the age of 31) since this campaign started in 2012. Thankfully, I beat the cancer, but I still worked through it all. Don't understand how one year of family problems could delay a game nearly 4 years from the original promised date. I don't expect to ever receive this game at this point.
I'm happy to see an update co-written by Scott and Mark. I've long believed that Scott and Mark should be communicating with backers at least now and then. Having them kept behind a curtain for so long made it seem like they had something to hide.
I'm also sorry to hear about their personal family problems. Hope things continue to improve for everyone in the coming months. Still, I think that, if there were outside issues affecting development in a major way, backers should have been informed A LONG time ago. But I guess it's better late than never.
Here's the thing that I have to express: Scott Murphy seems like drama, drama, drama. He has a long history of publicly trashing former colleagues, and it seems like he always blames other people for his problems. Have you guys seen his Twitter account? Apparently he has had plenty of time to tweet. His behavior often seems unprofessional and immature and, dare I say it, Paul Trowe-esque. Perhaps I'm totally wrong and Scott just gives a wrong impression online, but he seems like a very difficult person to work with.
We've all known people who seem to constantly have excuses for why they're late, why they couldn't pay you back, why they didn't finish their work, who complain constantly about the boss, etc. It's always the same from them. I have little patience for them.
Mark Crowe and Pope seem to have handled themselves well, though.
The truth is that I am not really bothered if the game is late or even very late. But it would be a good idea to keep backers and others up-to-date on an ongoing basis with more candid updates.
As long as the project is moving forward, even slowly, and as long as the team never quits, then the project will continue to have my strong support and the team my respect!
Per Kickstarter they did intend to create a legal obligation to complete projects, but were *hoping* people weren't going to go nutso making demands of creators who attempted to fulfill their obligations in good faith. Which, even if this project goes South, is clearly not the case. We have a reasonably steady stream of deliverables to look at. Those didn't just create themselves.
"We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill."
Keep plugging at it guys. I wish there was some way I could help.
Give us Steam keys for the minigame, Guys. It's free. Many of us, myself included, are probably willing to open the wallets and help out a little bit more, but trying to nickel-and-dime us on a minigame we've already paid for years ago is tone-deaf as all hell. Knock that off.
Otherwise, great work. And my deepest condolences to Scott.
By the way, to those spouting the terms of service, they have changed since this project funded. Mostly, to protect the backers from fraudulent creators. That is not the case here, so deep breaths everyone...
Mark and Scott... Wow! Rough stretch and I am glad to here that you are regrouping. I am so sorry to hear what you have gone through.
November 2016 sounds good to me.
@Greg: Oh, I know about those two court cases. However, those were exceptional examples and I don't see anything here to warrant seeking legal action. Also, Kickstarter won't do shit about MIA Kickstarters. But then what the hell do I know? I didn't study law. And the last time I checked there was no contractual obligation between backers and project creators.
I'll direct you to this piece I wrote not long ago. http://cliqist.com/2015/09/09/perils-mia-kickstarters-legal-implications/
Is there a time frame on nostalgia? When it's done, I want it to be good. Maybe some of you are new to video games on Kickstarter. I've had about 10% hit their projected timeframe. Every one of them was better for the delay.
They promised a game and haven't broken that promise. Last I checked we're still working on it. The ETA slipped a few years due to the events explained, yes. You'll still get your game once it's done.