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Remember the Space Quest series from Sierra's duo the Two Guys From Andromeda? Well they are back & making a brand new SpaceVenture™!
10,809 backers pledged $539,767 to help bring this project to life.

October 16th Update: Where we've been and where we're at!

Posted by Two Guys From Andromeda (Creator)
52 likes
Attention dear and faithful backers. I wanted to spend some time updating you on a lot of what is happening on the project. This includes some things that have happened in the past, happening right now in the present, and hopefully will be happening in the future. It is no secret that the SpaceVenture project has been behind and we wanted to explain why this is and how we are working to get things back on track.
 

QUICK CLARIFICATION 

 Before I give you details, let me start by saying this. We are not broke and we are all still in this 100% and will make this game become a reality even if it kills us. 

THE CHOICE OF WORKING WITH A CUSTOM TEAM 

After the successful funding of SpaceVenture, Mark, Scott and myself (Chris), had multiple bids from companies wanting to help develop the game with us. Unfortunately, after Kickstarter and Amazon got their share of the money, along with having quite a few declined transactions, and budgeting our Kickstarter rewards, hiring a development studio to help us was not affordable. We budgeted our money based on what we brought in from Kickstarter, and decided to hire our own developers to help do the programming for SpaceVenture. 

During the Kickstarter, we made it known that we had chosen Unity as our engine of choice for developing SpaceVenture. A huge part of that decision stemmed from wanting to create the game on as many different platforms as possible. No doubt that the game being available on multiple platforms was good all around, partly due to gaining us more backers that were interested in seeing the game on other platforms, but also in garnering future sales for the game. Needless to say, we stand firm behind this decision, but we do want it to be clear that there was quite a learning curve for everyone involved that proved more daunting than expected. 

As for hiring our dev team, we hired two developers to begin with, one being a senior developer and the other being under his management. In the visual department, we’ve always had the talented Mr. Crowe overseeing everything involving artwork, and we hired a lead character artist/animator and contracted with other artists to help with character design and modeling.

The humor infused story of the adventures of Ace Hardway and his little metal apprentice Rooter, Mark and Scott have collaborated on story development in typical fashion. As Scott says, “Mark’s kickass art is quite a literally a canvas that inspires the narrative and dialogue, or whatever the kids are calling it these days, One of the very cool things that hasn’t changed from the early days of our partnership is that we inspire each other. As has always been the case some things are very fluid during the development process. Don’t be surprised to see the part of the game that was demo to have evolved. We intentionally have very slow setting concrete.” It was a no-brainer to bring in Ken Allen for the music and sfx when he expressed interest given our history. He’s back in peak form if not better than he was in the days of Space Quest. These things allow us to have a compact team that’s very effective.

All of us on the dev team have worked really hard to pump-out the highest quality code and assets, but the biggest snag we ran into was programming. Though our programmers were busting tail trying to get things done, there was so much that still needed to happen foundation wise before we really had anything to show for ourselves. We decided to hire another programmer to work with our team to help move things along faster. He was another very talented developer that was able to help immensely due to the fact that he had experience in dealing with event driven systems. The three programmers together made a big difference and a lot of the foundation code needed for SpaceVenture was finally completed. Having a good event driven system in place has been critical for us in order to have code that could continually be reused throughout the entire creation of the game. In other words, we won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we need to make the character interact with things. 

Once we had a big portion of our foundation code written with an event driven system in Unity, we were able to start plugging in all the visual elements that Mark and his team had completed. This is where the demo started to take shape which came out in July. The single biggest number one thing that has slowed us down is in having to deal with building the foundation underlying code of the game. That is also part of the problem with having a lot to show on the Kickstarters updates. It’s not that we haven’t wanted to show you all kinds of amazing things that are going on, it’s that a lot of the progress that has occurred have been focused mostly on the underlying programming components. 

Here is a summary of some of the recent project accomplishments:

  • Event Driven System that is invaluable for reusing programming elements within our game engine  
  • Custom built narrative editor used to easily manage all game dialogue  
  • A newly designed working solution that makes implementing cut scenes much easier
  • The original demo code has been updated to be much more stable and is being utilized for the rest of the game. Though it is not a priority, we do plan to eventually re-release an update with a more stable version of the demo for backer testing.

THE BACKER WEBSITE 

One thing for sure I would personally like to get moving along better is the SVRewards website. I might have to get the SQ3 skumsoft whip out in order to make it happen, but I’m gonna be pushing to get the team to start posting more frequently. Be on the look out for a lot more activity coming your way! 

THOUGHTS ON WHERE WE ARE NOW 

The three of us are firm believers in accountability and we hope and know you all will continue to keep us accountable, but at this time, we can’t give you an ETA on when the game will be available. We know this will anger a lot of you, but that is anger we will have to suffer, because we are NOT going to put a game out that is of low quality and doesn’t meet the expectation that fans have waited 20+ years for. We have decided to wait until we have a much clearer view on when the game will be ready before letting everyone know another expected date of delivery. 

Hopefully you can see that we haven’t been idle throughout the entire project, like a lot of those that have voiced opinions, we are frustrated at the speed in which things have been moving, but on the flip side we will not jeopardize the quality of the game in order to meet deadlines. When SpaceVenture hits the market, it will be the game it should be. I have said many times, and the Two Guys are 100% in agreement with this, we want to make the existing adventure game fan base happy, but in order for us to succeed as a company we have to produce a game that also holds up by todays standards. 

We’ve worked very hard to manage things with the funds we’ve been given. Please remember that we’re NOT doing a remake here, this is a brand new game, with brand new characters and scenery. And although $539,000+ is a lot of money, and in our opinion, enough to make an adventure game, it also means we have to keep things small and manageable in terms of our dev team. I wish I could say we had investors lining up to help fund a proven development team for completing the game. I wish Mark and Scott had not blown the millions of buckazoids they made at Sierra back in the day on triple breasted women and Keronian ale, else we could have most likely funded this sucker ourselves to begin with. But I digress.. ;) 

All joking aside, in saying all of the above, Mark ,Scott and myself all want to let everyone know that we by no means think all the decisions we’ve made were perfect, but we have always had the best intentions for the project in mind, and taken a cautious slow burn approach because of technical problems. We’ve worked hard to keep our belts tight, made decisions as a team, and with the exception of those jetpacks we purchased, we’ve tried to be good stewards with the money you all have so graciously trusted us with. We also want to thank you so much for the patience that most of you have shown. We want to make a game that will blow you away with story, humor, music, graphics, and gameplay.

A SMALL CLIP FROM A CUT SCENE IN SPACEVENTURE

We wanted to share a small clip that demonstrates an in-engine 3D cut scene of Ace, Rooter, and "Scraps" rocketing their way home through a treacherous asteroid belt. This clip also features an inspiring score by our composer, Ken Allen. Don’t worry, this video is not too spoilery ;) 

NEW BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN '

Strap into your space jockeys and fly off into the nebulous with The Space Quest Historian, a bi-weekly show of all things tenuously related to Space Quest, SpaceVenture and The Two Guys From Andromeda. Soon the podcast will be available in iTunes, but for now, you can listen to the first episode HERE!

OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe's Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is on sale now for ($11.99) SALE 40% off. 

Jane Jensen's Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers -  Corey Cole and Lori Cole

AN UPCOMING GAME THAT WILL HIT KICKSTARTER SOON

Become a Reggae legend in "Bolt Riley" - A Jamaican adventure game by Adventure Mob 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Thank you so much everyone for all of your support!

Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope  

PS- I will be at the Geek Media Expo in Nashville TN from Nov 1st - 3rd and would love to meet some of you. Drop by and say hi if you can! :)


butt ventriloquist, Ohverture, and 50 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      yuvilio on

      Love the honesty, transparency and maturity of this post. Make it right, guys so that it leads to future projects.

    2. ☜☆RSF☆☞ on

      This has definitely been a popular update. ;-)

    3. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      "I don't mean to imply that the Two Guys are far from out of inspiration" ... that was SUPPOSED to read, "I don't mean to imply that the Two Guys ARE out of inspiration."

      That, my friends, was the result of two sentences that got spliced together by a man not suited for such advanced literary endeavors, and I think I need to call Jeff Goldblum over to have him fix my sentence-splicer, because a baboon just came apart in there.

    4. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      Very eloquently stated, Brandon!

      I can see the argument from an engineering standpoint: that you want to build something, you set aside the time it takes to build something, then you build it, and then you pat yourself on the back for doing a fine job in the time you gave yourself to do it.

      But I'm completely with Brandon on the aspect that rarely gets highlighted in the debate of games as "artforms." It takes imagination, first and foremost, and any author or screenwriter or painter will tell you that when the well of inspiration is dry, no amount of cajoling or unpaid bills or angry investors can bring that back. It comes in ebbs and waves and it's a fickle bitch, to be perfectly honest.

      And before you say anything, I don't mean to imply that the Two Guys are far from out of inspiration; thankfully, that's not the case, and not by a long shot. I've actually had the good fortune personally to see some of the stuff that goes on behind the curtain, including the plot summary, and trust me when I say the SpaceVenture is going to be one of those Anachronox things where you're gonna go, "Holy crap, I can't believe they fit all of that into one game."

      Also, yay, post #100! *throws confetti* ;)

    5. Jason Ladouceur on

      Scott, Mark, Chris

      I have always had faith in you, back when space quest was big, back when you split up, back when space quest seemed to be all but forgotten except by myself and a few die hard fans. I pledged one hundred dollars from my own pocket because I had faith in you.

      After all of this, I need to tell you something:

      I have faith in you. I know who the people are behind this game, and they are the ones who made one of my favourite video game series to date. I know they will deliver the right product, and they will put out the product that is worth the money we paid for it. I have faith in you, and I know you won't let me down.

      Mop on, Broom Jockeys

      Jason Ladouceur

    6. Brandon Blume on

      @Necrosis Thanatos: Can I ask what it is exactly that you do in the software industry? Not to be rude or anything as I don't work in that area myself, but games are a bit different than standard software applications. This isn't just some program that needs to get done. Games are art and I'd think that art would probably be on a completely different playing field to software applications. It's not just about functionality and accomplishing a goal. Any programmer worth his salt could scrap together a few art assets via outsourcing to people who are not emotionally invested or passionate about the project, mishmash together a quick 3-act standard cookie-cut story based on a formula based on market research that is guaranteed to make a profit, create a few mediocre puzzles, grab some royalty-free music and sound effects, and get some lifeless voice actors to come in and rhyme off their lines without knowing in what context it is being said and for what purpose they are even for. (actually, half of that sounds an awful lot like the AAA game industry), but it wouldn't be a Two Guys game. It'd be crap.

      And besides all that extra passionate detail, games have to tell a good story, engage you mentally, emotionally, and aesthetically, be intuitive and not frustrating without being too easy at the same time, and suspend your disbelief. Perhaps games are less like software and more like movies, which frequently get pushed back, by the way. It's not about meeting programming deadlines, it's about creating a form of artwork that works and is exactly what the artists wanted it to be. It's based on inspiration which cannot always be summoned right out of your hat at any time. All the problems and challenges in creating something like art can't be solved and don't have immediate solutions right out the box. If they can, then they're just copying what's already been done and I don't want anything to do with a game that can't be original.

      I can appreciate someone in your position being frustrated by something similar to your own work not being punctual like you're used to, but, if I may say so, this is a whole different ball game and is on another level that you may not understand. This is entertainment. This is art. It just doesn't work the same way. I'd rather have a good game based on the artists' original vision that they've taken the time to work out exactly as they've wanted and that they're happy with, instead of something hashed together at the last minute that is released on time, works intuitively and fluidly bug-free, but is boring as all get out.

      In short, and this is only my opinion and I again don't mean to sound rude, just honest, may I submit that creating games may just happen to be a little bit harder than what you're used to doing? But if you're not happy with putting your money behind something like that then you really shouldn't be backing Kickstarter projects. I won't argue with you there. It is a gameble, but most of us knew what we were getting into. It just so happens that we know the developers of at least SpaceVenture and know they're work. They've got experience. And we trust them to see it through. Well, most of us seem to, anyway. As long as we keep a line of communication (which is hard to do!). If funding games isn't for you then please don't do it! That goes for anyone. Peace, man.

    7. Missing avatar

      Necrosis Thanatos
      Superbacker
      on

      @eXoScoriae: I couldn't agree with you more. I've backed 33 projects, all games, and not one has delivered anything yet. Not a single one. After reading this update, I'm done. No more Kickstarter for me. And it's the big names that have been the most disappointing. I'm a software developer myself, and missing deadlines and releasing buggy code is unthinkable where I work. You'd be fired without hesitation. I think the games industry gets away with this crap because "it's just games", gamers are mostly kids (in the public's eyes), and gamers are stupid enough to keep buying this crap because we have to have the latest so our friend's think we're cool.

    8. Andre on

      I am glad its looking worlds apart from the recent kickstarted Leisure Suit Larry game just recently released, The animation and overall looked half-assed in that game, from what I've seen in the little tidbits of screenies for Space Venture, I am happy, just show more of it!! lol.

    9. Hideo Kuze on

      sealofapproval.jpg

    10. Missing avatar

      Jabberwok on

      Good update. All I really want is to hear about the game and its development, through thick and thin. Not worried about the time frame. But more info, and especially more footage is great, even if it's just an artist working on a model for the game. I'm a junkie for that stuff.

    11. Eric L Beyer on

      Thank you for the lengthy and (very) open letter. I am among those who were wondering about the relatively lengthy delay-8 months and counting from the original ETA. But you did the right thing, addressing the issue head on and honestly. I look forward to more of the same as this project continues to move forward.

    12. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      @tobi/@william: Actually, SpaceVenture *does* use the same engine as Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded ... well, in a sense. They both use Unity. Mainly because of the cross-platform benefits. But just in terms of UI, there is already a world of difference between LSL:R and SV, and it's going to get even bigger.

    13. William
      Superbacker
      on

      @tobi
      Its a good thing they didn't try doing that, because of all the fallout with that one guy trying to cause trouble.

    14. GroovyDad and the Slap Me Some Skin Kids on

      @Tomimt How did I miss this?? Thank you!

    15. Tomimt on

      @Christopher G: you already can buy a shirt: http://guysfromandromeda.com/store/

    16. GroovyDad and the Slap Me Some Skin Kids on

      Thank you guys for the update. Would there be a way for us to maybe pitch in a little more? Maybe offer a t-shirt, jock strap, aquacalc, or something else that wee could purchase?

    17. David Van Buren on

      Thank you for taking your time to make it right.

    18. Brendan Sydney Hughes on

      I've been waiting 20+ years for a new Two Guys game. I'm pretty sure a little longer won't make a difference.

      Actually, after 20+ years I'd rather have the game you guys want when it's done, rather than a game you're not happy with a little bit sooner.

    19. Missing avatar

      Michael Mendelsohn on

      A videogame project taking a long time doesn't mean it's not worth the wait. Case in point: Kentucky Route Zero. Their Kickstarter ran in January 2011, with a ridiculously low budget, and a game promised in 9 months. Then there were 20 months of no updates on Kickstarter, but the first act of the game came out in January 2013, with four more acts promised for the rest of the year. When the April deadline for act 2 went whistling by, @cardboardcompy started tweeting tantalizing screenshots (mostly cut to vertical strips that revealed next to nothing) for each day act 2 was late, with the number being at 29 when it came out May 31st. They're working on act 3 now, no date set (having learned the lesson of two months of crunch mode, presumably), promising on Steam to deliver the remaining acts "over the coming year". Yeah, it's amateur management at its worst, but the game they're putting out is so beautiful that it'd be difficult to call it a failure in any way.

      Now, Spaceventure compares favorably to KRZ: the team is just as dedicated, but it's larger and more experienced. Also, there are biweekly updates instead of radio silence, so the outlook is pretty much ok from my perspective. Just keep posting some snippets of art and music to show us you're not sitting on your hands over on Andromeda! Another possibility would be to reveal how you're tracking project progress internally, and share some of that. I'm not saying you need to break it down into a "percentage done" gauge, but some numbers that keep going up would give us the same amount of satisfaction (or trepidation) you get when you see anything grow that you helped sow the seeds for.

    20. Two Guys From Andromeda Creator on

      New content on the backer website: "SpaceVenture Playthrough Commentary with Chris Pope" http://bit.ly/19NyRDV

    21. Missing avatar

      Gareth D Edwards on

      Honestly, all projects go long and have cost overruns and suchlike. I'm unsurprised, and if folks expect something like SpaceVenture to be on time they've probably not been paying much attention to how things go on Kickstarter.
      Thanks for the update. I fully support "it'll be ready when it's ready." Take your time and make it the great product we all know it can be.

    22. Khalaq on

      I loved this last update. I loved hearing about the difficulties you all encountered and how you dealt with them. I loved hearing about all the progress you've been making, I loved hearing about your commitment to quality above and beyond any deadlines. I'm not worried about the eventual success of this project because you guys are forthright and honest about what's going on, you have the talent and steadfastness required for success, and you have your priorities straight. I only wish my personal finances didn't suck so badly that I can't throw more money at you right now. P

    23. Frederik Olsen on

      @Benjamin: It's gonna be on iTunes sooner or later. I think that gives one an RSS feed to subscribe to. Not sure, though.

      And I agree - February 2013 always seemed a bit too optimistic. Loved the update, though. I'm still very excited about this game, and now I'm even more confident they're gonna make it. It's gonna be a sweet day when that box o' swag finally arrives.

    24. Justin
      Superbacker
      on

      Eh, Feb 2013 was a garbage date to begin with. Seriously....8 months to create a game from scratch including the engine plus all the management tools to go with it??? Come on! I threw out that date as soon as I clicked pledge.

      Leave your pie in the oven for however long it needs. We all know what your awesomeness can deliver so let's see that full potential!

    25. Chris Brown on

      Thanks for the update! I didn't realize I was supposed to readying a pitchfork. I'm glad you guys are working hard on the game and managing the budget. Kickstarter projects tend to have more idealism than business savvy, so SpaceVenture is in better shape than most.

    26. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      Was there ever a definitive release date set for SpaceVenture? I honestly can't remember (and I'm not about to check through 80+ updates ;) ), but as far as I know, there was only talk of loosely projected deadlines.

      It's a shame that SpaceVenture would get lumped in with other game projects that failed or mistreated fans, because the last thing the Two Guys want is to disappoint anybody. I don't mean to sound overly defensive, but it's also a case of a steep learning curve into, at the time, pretty untested waters. And maybe expectations were unrealistic. It's been a case of many lessons learned along the way.

    27. Benjamin White
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update, I really appreciate you guys keeping the backers in the loop. I've been part of many Kickstarters that took my money & left me in the dark until they either released or gave up.

      As for the podcast...Any chance for an RSS link?

    28. Frank Talbot on

      @Jarikith I kind of agree, but this game wouldn't have funded if they had tried to sell it as a "it'll be done when it'll be done" game. Most project creators know that, so they come up with an unrealistic estimated delivery date that's a) Far enough so that people understand there's a lot of work to be done and b) Close enough that people will pledge instead of waiting if it's ever going to come out.

      It's a practice that's very unlikely to change but it's annoying, especially with games like this one where the devs have a lot of experience and they pretty much got the exact amount they were asking for (so no 10x the budget which constantly requires managing the scope and the dozen of stretch goals + 10x as many backers to deal with).

      Of course I expect delays for some games, but the current trend is that 95%+ have delays, most taking more than twice the time that was originally planned. This is mostly for gaming related projects by the way, as pretty much every other category here has normal or no delays, even some very complicated technology projects.

      What's worse is that we're seeing quite a few projects who gets delayed like this one, then after a while they update everyone saying they're out of money, make another Kickstarter (see Star Command, Bionite Origins, Skyjackers, etc.), and/or finally cancel everything (Rain, Clang, Cult, etc.) or release a terrible game (Takedown, etc.).

      We've seen hundreds of KS gaming projects get funded but it's rare to find one with a happy ending, especially with the latest batch of games post-Double Fine's success. I'm really starting to think that while KS is great for a lot of project categories, video games might just be too complicated and expensive for crowdsourcing.

    29. Jarikith - SpaceKatta Hero-U AGL589
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm much more comforted in hearing 'We're not ready to say yet when the game will be out, we'll let you know when we feel we've got enough done that we'll be close to releasing a game we're proud of' than in hearing a constant stream of 'I'll be out next month', 'Did we say next month last month? We meant the next month after that' 'Okay well we really meant the next couple months after those two months'. A constantly changing timeline is much more a sign of bad management than a steady 'it's done when it's done' message. Keep working on it Guys. All things good are worth waiting for.

      I've always backed Kickstarters keeping a few key things in mind. Number one of which is Delays are inevitable (see Murphy's Law). Any attempt at a estimated delivery are as much of a wild stab in the dark and because something needs to be put in that field than a set in stone 'we know for a fact we'll be done on this date.'

    30. Vincent Prescious Altieri on

      Diablo 3 took like 5 years, and that coming from a major publishing studio, and when the game was finally released, it was a gigantic ball of suck.

      I think the key going forward here is under-promise and over-deliver. It would be great if say, hey, realistically, this game will take 2 years to develop, and it gets released in 1.

      With the time that goes by people just start to lose interest in general, or not really pay attention too much. I for one, haven't pledged for a game in awhile, and when I do, it's usually at the lowest possible level to get the game.

      For the Sierra alums, however, I was willing to go much more than that, given growing up with all the Quest games and all the fond memories I have.

      Thanks for the detailed update. Being honest and open is always the best policy. I look forward to an awesome game when it is finally released.

    31. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      What Tomimt said. I've been working professionally with social media, web design and mobile marketing for over three years now, and it doesn't get any easier trying to estimate how much time you need on a project. Sure, you have an idea, mostly based on how long it took the last time. But even with that experience, it's still more of a guessing game than anything else. Don't get me wrong; I don't think dev's should just take the money and spend however the hell long they please. But they should also be allowed some leeway when real life interferes.

    32. Don C - SpaceVenture Evangelist on

      ok, I was finally able to listen to the music in the clip above (which I'm now playing on and endless loop). I'm changing my position which I stated earlier. Give me this game NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW! ;)

    33. Tomimt on

      @eXoScoriae: great post which I agree with. This has had an impact on my pledging. I've pledged only three projects this year, of which one was cancelled, two I withdrew my pledge from because I lost my faith in their time estimations.

      A lot of devs clearly miscalculated the time what it would take them to finish the game. Of course in some cases it was unavoidable, when the original goal was avalanched byt a lot of extra cash and the games got a lot of additional stuff (Double Fine, Wasteland 2, Broken Sword 5), but the delays do seem to be more of a rule even with games that barely got their budget.

      From this you can draw couple of hypothesis: 1) It is hard to estimate how long doing something takes, even if you do something you know (I agree with this one, as estimating time is difficult)

      2) The devs intentionally mislead people in the fear of that no-one would back 3-year project. (might be in some cases, but in most cases I've seen the devs have said it many times that the project may and will dealy if more stuff is added.)

      3) Experience doesn't seem to make time estimation any easier, especially when you take new platforms in equation. Both experienced and mew devs can either underestimate or overestimate the needed time. (I recall some study about this actually, people tend to underestimate, you should always multiply the estimated time by 2)

    34. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      I agree, too many Kickstarters wind up not coming to fruition. A lot of that has to do with bad management, or squandering of funds, or just a bunch of unfortunate circumstances coming together with no back-up plan. While SpaceVenture hasn't been immune to unfortunate circumstances, there is no bad management and no squandering of funds happening.

      You're also right that it shouldn't be the norm for projects to be delayed. But I also think it's unfair to expect that just because a project got funded that implies smooth sailing from that point forward to delivery date. Every project, even major gaming projects funded by major gaming studios, can come a long way and suddenly bite the dust, just because someone stuck their head in and decided to either axe it or do something horrible. (Warcraft Adventures springs to mind.)

      I wouldn't lump SpaceVenture into the category of "bad management casualties" just yet. The Pope has been very frugal managing the money from the Kickstarter and the Two Guys have said that there is nothing wrong with the man's abilities to act as a producer for the game. It's hard to be "honest" about the projected expectancy of development (how did the word "honest" get in there? Isn't "clairvoyant" more appropriate?) from the outset of development. I don't think it makes the Two Guys dishonest or untrustworthy to accept that even the best laid plans get derailed.

    35. Frogacuda on

      I feel like this project needed/needs a producer more than anything. It's not that there's any lack of talented people working hard, but there's a real need for organization, planning, and scheduling that just isn't there. I know the Two Guys were always the "make it up as you go" types, but that's a lot harder to do now than it was then.

    36. Frank Talbot on

      @eXoScoriae, great post and I agree 100%.

      My stats are :
      88 Kickstarters backed
      77 Games
      45 Funded
      4 Delivered (and Giana was 99% done so it barely counts)
      4 Cancelled or where the creator hides from KS and ignores everyone

      Out of the projects that were funded but not released or cancelled (yet), I'd say a solid 90% have been delayed with no ETA. I'm feeling lucky when the alpha is released when the full game was supposed to be released.

      Needless to say that while I used to back at least one new project a week at some point, I'm now at one maybe every 3 months, and I usually back at the lowest possible amount giving me the game. I know that pledging has risks but they're not worth taking anymore. There is no accountability on KS, no support on their end, so when a project creator just takes the money and run, you're out of luck (check projects like Rain or the Limb.al if you want to see some disasters).

      So back to SpaceVenture, I'm like you. I'll wait, but because I have no choice. There's no point to complain too much to these guys about the delay, I'll just add them to the list of people I can't trust and one of the many reasons I believe KS will soon fail.

      I've seen similar trends with projects that should get funded but aren't. Sure, new consoles are coming soon so a few people might be saving their gaming budget to get one, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the people that helped those previous KS success stories have given up and aren't spreading the word anymore or backing.

      Anyway guys, thanks for the update and for trying to be kind of transparent.

    37. Rob Merritt on

      Thanks for the update.

    38. eXoScoriae on

      Kudos to all the patient folks out there, but there is something bigger here that is being missed. The credibility of a kickstarter backed game has been severely damaged by the massive amount of projects that hit last year, and have left so many people hanging. Great looking games based on past franchises like General Chaos are going unfunded, and I suspect a lot of it has to do with people like me who have dozens of funded projects, with only a handful of actual "finished product" to show for it.

      Considering how many of these games were headed up by people who have been in the business for so long, I have a little trouble buying the constant notion of delays and budget issues. While I would like a quality game much more than a buggy game, it doesn't change the fact that to get to that quality game means stretching things out way beyond their intended measure. There seems to be a rash of irresponsibility on the part of a majority of the initial kickstarter projects.

      Clang!, a project by the well known Neal Stephenson and endorsed by guys like Gabe Newell, is in complete limbo at this point. A very buggy demo was released at the approximate time they ran out of funds, and now it is a game of them trying to find investors who are willing to back a game that uses a 3rd party peripheral (one that will be helplessly outdated by the time the game is ever finished... IF it is ever finished).

      The biggest one of all, Double Fine's adventure, has also run out of money and is now operating on the cashflow of Double Fine's other games. Hence tactics such as the DF Humble Bundle sale to get more Broken Age preorders and make a few bucks off their other games.

      Wasteland 2, Banner Saga, Moebius, Carmageddon, and several other smaller titles comprise that first wave of games that have long since been delayed. Then there was the entire second wave with Godus (which seems to be in permanent development), War for the Overworld, Hero-U, and Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse which are all just starting to pass their due dates.

      All in all, I personally have backed 75 projects, of which about 55 were successful and about 45 of which were games. Of that 45, 34 of them have passed their due dates, with about 1/3 of those over a year late.

      So yes, delays happen - but they shouldn't be the norm. When backing a project, I shouldn't have to look at the due date and add a year or 2 to whatever date is currently listed. Many people only back a handful of projects, and have since stopped backing completely. It has created an environment where it is MUCH harder to get a game funded these days via Kickstarter... which is somewhat disappointing considering just how much originality was brewing here just a year ago.

      Developers using kickstarter need to start being a lot more honest with themselves and allowing a lot more room for error. Pad release dates to account for a few delays and pad the budget so that every dollar isn't automatically assigned to something the moment it rolls in. If money is left over at the end, then good for you. That is much preferred to having no money left, and an unfinished game (right Neal?).

      Am I fine with SV taking longer? Sure.. I mean.. it's not like I have much choice in the matter anyways. Is the constant delaying of a majority of games announced on kickstarter becoming a problem. Yes. It is one thing to give a few games a pass, but I am not willing to give every game on kickstarter a pass to be late. And that means trusting fewer games, which means putting less money up front, which means kickstarter suffers as a viable platform for independent releases. Every project that has been delayed shares some responsibility for that.

    39. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      @Jason Joyce: I see what you're saying about getting to see more of the project and getting SVRewards.com up and running again. Chris is pushing the rest of the team to show more -- so far, only Mark has been posting stuff on SVRewards.com and he's already reluctant to show stuff for fear of spoiling any surprises. It has to get more active, which they're all aware of and in agreement on, and I've even suggested them to just take blurry pictures of their screens showing bits and pieces with scan-lines and everything where you can't really see what's happening except that SOMETHING is happening ...

      Because I do understand that you (plural) want to see more of the game and also to have an idea of where the project is in relation to where the Two Guys THOUGHT they were going to be this far down the road -- because that way, you can sort of extrapolate, with the delays they're experiencing now, how soon the game might be ready for public consumption. Sort of guessing your way to a release date, I guess? I think you're barking up a tree that's not really a tree there, however. While there's a firm grasp on story, budget and so forth, a big goal in the SpaceVenture was also to get back to the seat-of-their-pants design philosophy that permeated the first three Space Quest games. So, I don't know if they had a specific timeline with milestones and so forth, but I don't think they ever did. Probably an overarching "this is what we'd LIKE to have accomplished" internal schedule, I'm sure, but nothing that wasn't flexible or could be completely revised if need be. I'm guessing here, 'cos that's how I'D do it, anyway. All I know is that they wish they were farther along on the programming side of things, because that's also holding up the writing while the narrative editor is being finished and implemented, but on the story and artwork side, things are powering along at full throttle, and have been all this time. I think it's just been hard getting Mark to show any of the stuff, because it's all out of context and enigmatic if he just shows bits and pieces, and it may give away too much if he shows big, finished pieces. And Scott is not in a position to show stuff that he's working on, because, like I said, it's being held up by the programming side of things. I did hope to get Scott to elucidate more on Ace's character and what kind of guy he is, however, so maybe that's something coming in the future: more background stuff about characters and such.

      You're absolutely right, though: At some point, it becomes a question of "how much longer can we drag this out?" And therein lies the balancing act of never ALLOWING it to come to that point. Keeping everyone's eyes on the road and focused on the important stuff is Chris' job, and the Two Guys' job is to crank out the creative stuff. So I have confidence that they'll never let the project get to the point where it's languishing or taking overly long.

    40. Jacob Diemer on

      Thanks for the update, a little disappointed I'm not playing it yet, but I understand that's how it goes.

      Hopefully all the engine work will make SpaceVenture 2 a lot easier & quicker to make & release!

    41. Jason Joyce
      Superbacker
      on

      @Troels

      To clarify, I wasn't referring to this update when I mentioned posting for the sake of posting.

      It was clearly needed, even if it was short on specifics in some instances. I meant more in terms of the idea of getting SVRewards more active. Again, posting for the sake of posting seems a bit of a wasted effort, so...I don't know that I'd want to see a schedule set in stone, as such. Maybe more just a concerted effort to push out the neat details and concept/ingame shots where and as they become available.

      A little bit like the early days, in other words.

      In budgetary terms...My point was I'm sure there was some leeway in planning to allow for delays and obstacles, however...When you have a project that doesn't have continuing revenue streams....While it's nice for the team to hear "Don't worry about, take your time" from the fans, it's worth pointing out and acknowledging that it eventually gets to the point where "take all the time you need" becomes a balancing act with "How much longer can we afford to pay the bills/keep the lights on?".

      That being the case, it'd help to have an idea of where the project stands in relation to where Scott and Mark had anticipated being at this point and whether (at this point) they feel there's enough of a buffer to absorb any additional delays/roadblocks that may be encountered as the project progresses or whether they're looking at a scenario where they may have to seek additional funding.

    42. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      @Jason Joyce: You're right; just posting something for the sake of posting isn't really that earth-shatteringly interesting. But posting something for the sake of letting people know that, yes, the project is still alive and work is being done on it, that's far from inconsequential. Up until this update, there was too much radio silence from the Andromedan bunker, leaving people to make their own assumptions about the game's status and the financial side of things.

      Budget is tight on the SpaceVenture, as it is with most endavors funded through Kickstarter, and SpaceVenture *only* has the Kickstarter money to go on: no already-released titles to generate revenue, no third-party investors, no publisher looking over their shoulders. On the other hand, the budget is also very well planned: neither the physical rewards for us fans, nor the voice talents, are in any danger of being shuffled around.

    43. Jason Joyce
      Superbacker
      on

      Well...I guess I'll be the voice of dissent here.

      The music and art in the clip are stunning, no doubt about that.

      As for the update itself, the little bit it goes into is pretty much what I had suspected the case to be, so...No surprise or outrage there, no fears.

      However, while I'm sure the Two Guys plan to do everything they can to see the project through, the update falls short on laying out exactly what the situation is as things stand now and moving forward.

      Saying 'don't worry about release dates, polish things up and release when it's ready' is all well and good as far as it goes.

      The problem with that is, while they may not be out of money right now, more time costs more money unless people start working for free/shares of future earnings/royalties/etc.

      And it's pretty evident from what was said regarding the outcome of the Kickstarter and the loss of one of their contract programmers due to having to accept another contract that there are tight budget constraints with SpaceVenture.

      My worry is that with such tight fiscal restraints the kind of technical hurdles the project's run into could be an issue. I also kind of wonder about the impact on the impressive voice talent signed on for the project if they haven't already been taken care of. Even if a couple of them might be willing to work for peanuts due to Chris Pope's help in the past with twitter/sites, some of those people aren't cheap.

      As for future updates, more content on SVRewards would be fantastic, but as for a set update schedule like the Kickstarter updates, I'm of the school of thought that if you don't have something substantive or at least somewhat relevant to say/share, skip it. Posting an update just so you can say you met a self-imposed posting schedule is rarely worth the time it takes.

    44. Sean on

      Delays happen. Frankly this is the one of the most open/honest descriptions of whats been going on in a software kickstarter that ive seen since I started backing projects. im excited to get the game when its good and ready, and I wish you all the best!

    45. Missing avatar

      Michael Mendelsohn on

      Gotta love the space cow on the bonnet!

      From what I could gather, the Kentucke Route Zero guys had a lot of trouble getting up to speed with Unity as well. I'd love to see your Unity adventure framework go open source when this project's done - maybe you can find a way to do that? It would also help fan-made adventures. After all, the appeal of an adventure game lies mostly in its writing and art.

    46. Matotron on

      I am resigned to the fact that this is going to happen to every game I've back on Kickstarter, so not upset as it was as I expected. Though that in it's own way is disappointing.

    47. Missing avatar

      Usman on

      You need not be scared to post accurate information regarding delays and such. The adventure game collective tends to be more mature than most fans. Most people simply appreciate honesty, openness and realistic time frames. If you resorted to "it will be ready next month" for the next 12 months then I am sure people will get more irate than being told they need to wait 12 months.

    48. Troels Pleimert - Space Quest Historian on

      By the way, if any of you want to get on the podcast, send me your mp3's or wav's of yourself. You can either talk about the topic in the podcast (delayed games), or -- since the next episode is coming out on October 30th, the day before Halloween -- you can just tell me a spooky spacey Halloweeny story. Check out this thread on SQN for more info: http://www.spacequest.net/index.php/topic/662-space-quest-historian-podcast-episode-1/