Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

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Lix
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Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Lix » January 31st, 2017, 6:26 am

In an exclusive interview with Eurogamer.net, creative lead Colin McComb has offered a heartfelt apology to his fanbase:
Torment: Tides of Numenera dev issues apology for missed stretch goals

Torment: Tides of Numenera developer inXile has issued an apology, following the discovery that certain stretch goals promised in the game's then-record-breaking 2013 crowdfunding campaign have not materialised.

The discovery was made using leaked Achievements from the final game, due 28th February on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The most notable omissions include missing companions - I'll discuss those in detail further down, underneath a statement inXile has sent me, so I can keep any potential spoilers out of the way - and no Italian language support. If you are an Italian backer and this is a deal-breaker you can now claim a refund.

But the most glaring issue is not the missing content - which some inXile staff members have tried to explain on the company's forum and on Reddit - but that backers, people who funded the game, are only now finding out, off the back of their own detective work no less. Why didn't inXile say something before?

Torment: Tides of Numenera creative lead Colin McComb replied.

"We did have to cut some content, and had to make some difficult decisions based on lengthy internal prototyping, budgeting, and scheduling considerations," he told me. "Some of our initial ideas didn't pan out as we had hoped, and some of them would have cost us content that we felt was more important for the overall experience of the game. Game development is never a straight line, and it's extraordinarily rare for a project to go unchanged from vision to completion.

"We should have communicated the cuts earlier," he added, "when they happened. Unfortunately, because we were busy finishing and polishing the game, we neglected to reach out to our community and explain the changes that were necessary. Please know that we absolutely and sincerely apologise to our backers for that lack of communication.

"We're extraordinarily grateful to all our backers who made it possible for us to get this far. We are currently considering ways to integrate ideas that didn't make it into the initial launch, and we promise that any potential future expansions or content will be made available for free to all backers."


http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017- ... etch-goals
There you have it - they wanted to communicate the cuts immediately, but they were too busy making the actual game. Now can we move on from this topic once and for all?

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Firkraag » January 31st, 2017, 6:38 am

Lix wrote:There you have it - they wanted to communicate the cuts immediately, but they were too busy making the actual game. Now can we move on from this topic once and for all?
It seems unlikely on mere basis, that people will be catching up gradually and everyone would feel up to task of sharing their opinion.
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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Ranneko » January 31st, 2017, 6:46 am

If only they had some way of reaching out to backers, some kind of update mechanism they could use....

Seriously why are they continuing to avoid actually notifying backers? Why was the last campaign update in December?

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Lix » January 31st, 2017, 6:56 am

Ranneko wrote:If only they had some way of reaching out to backers, some kind of update mechanism they could use....

Seriously why are they continuing to avoid actually notifying backers? Why was the last campaign update in December?
It's possible that there's some sort of technical issue that's preventing them from accessing their Kickstarter account.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Lord of Riva » January 31st, 2017, 8:52 am

Whats your point with your statement lix?

its great that they apologised and its appreciated. I for my part never had ill will towards InXile but i still feel that unless the communications improves a lot for BT 4 and WL 3 i will not back them again. Not out of Malice but simply due to the fact that at that point i can just buy it day one *shrug*

Im not at all fed up with the cuts, even though the Toy, the companion i looked forward to the most was cut that happens im well aware of that. BUT

The Italian localisation is definitely all kinds of bad, in that case they should have lived with their promise and make it even if it wasnt worth it.
Now a lot of the backers are simply left out, the information if the italian market warrants a localisation should have been available way earlier.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by CottonWolf » January 31st, 2017, 9:36 am

Lix wrote:

"We should have communicated the cuts earlier," he added, "when they happened. Unfortunately, because we were busy finishing and polishing the game, we neglected to reach out to our community and explain the changes that were necessary. Please know that we absolutely and sincerely apologise to our backers for that lack of communication.

There you have it - they wanted to communicate the cuts immediately, but they were too busy making the actual game. Now can we move on from this topic once and for all?


Hah. No. That's clearly a lie. How long would it have taken to send out an update? Do you think that they didn't know that there would be cuts in December when they sent out the last update? Really? Maybe they didn't know the full extent, but they absolutely must have known there would be some.

I don't even care about the cuts, it's just terrible behaviour not informing people and hiding it. And as Ranneko said, they've STILL not sent out an update about this.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by anonymous6059 » January 31st, 2017, 12:47 pm

Lord of Riva wrote:its great that they apologised and its appreciated. I for my part never had ill will towards InXile but i still feel that unless the communications improves a lot for BT 4 and WL 3 i will not back them again. Not out of Malice but simply due to the fact that at that point i can just buy it day one *shrug*
My sentiments exactly. I'm not asking for a refund, but I will never back another game. It is Day One deals from now on.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Colin McComb » January 31st, 2017, 1:28 pm

You totally have a right to be disappointed with inXile's communication. I'm not here to argue with that, and if it's a dealbreaker for future crowdfunding for you, that's something inXile will have to live with.

In the meantime, here's an explanation - not an excuse - if it helps you understand how these things happened.

We've been heads-down for about a year and a half now. Once we were content-complete, we moved immediately into polish and iteration (and press/publicity). This involved not only coordinating and overseeing programmers, designers (level, narrative, system, etc), and artists, but also coordinating with our publisher, manufacturers for physical goods, and running the extensive testing necessary for a game of this depth and complexity. I can't speak for the producers' mindset, but from the design side, we were so focused on delivering a game for the backers that we weren't thinking about, you know, communicating with them.

I don't have access to the KS account to provide a backer update on my own recognizance. The producers guard that access closely, and frankly they were probably wise not to give it to me (KICKSTARTER UPDATE #WHO KNOWS: "Hey, backers! Colin here! It's midnight and I'm drunk! Let me tell you some stories!..."). However, I do know that they've been working their butts off too. Eric Daily is laboring extraordinarily hard to keep all these moving pieces going smoothly. Eric Schwarz is wearing, oh, let's call it FIVE different hats. Thomas Beekers largely transitioned off Torment and onto preproduction for WL3. In between all their other responsibilities, it just wasn't foremost on their minds.

But hell, it probably should have been.

Like I said, this is an explanation. Not an excuse. Just so you can see where our heads were. We'll have a KS update out later today.

In the meantime, like all of you, I was bummed out about some of our cuts, most especially about the CNPCs. We had some neat stories planned, and I'm still hopeful we can add them back in. Nothing* would make me happier.



*I can actually think of a few things that would make me happier.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by GavinJF » January 31st, 2017, 1:34 pm

Colin is being SLIGHTLY too modest here. In addition to his duties as a creative lead, he was the lead writer as well. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he spent 2016 so underwater that the Deep Ones rolled over on him in their sleep.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Lord of Riva » January 31st, 2017, 1:40 pm

Dont worry guys i am pretty sure nobody thinks that one of you is directly responsible for this. i for one believe that TTON will be excellent :)

Just keep polishing that thing up and then take a few days off. Towards Release is always a really stressful time.
then, for the future Im looking forward to the Updates of WL 3 and BT 4 the things happen can be made but its only really a mistake if they happen again.

That said, you guys should reconsider biting the bullet on the italian translation, at least in my humble opinion :P


Looking forward to release :)
Last edited by Lord of Riva on January 31st, 2017, 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by CottonWolf » January 31st, 2017, 1:41 pm

That's reasonable. It's just been a bit exasperating. Especially considering that there are people who probably don't speak English well enough to get the full experience out of the game, and haven't known that the translation in the language that they speak has been cut, so that they don't even know that they maybe should be asking for a refund. Better late than never though, I guess. Thanks for addressing it here directly.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by RadonGOG » January 31st, 2017, 2:24 pm

Colin McComb wrote:(...)
Thanks for that explanation. I´m pretty sure some people will hate it and will call it an excuse, but I dislike such exaggerated and negative views.

Anyways, InXile as a whole company should do a manifest, a constitution, whatever you wanna call it after Torment got shipped. Write down what will be your companies pillars. What you will do in general, what you won´t do in general, what might happen although you dislike it and what won´t happen although you´d like it more if it would!
Maybe this will be enough for you to get the faith back that many around lost...

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Jernaugh » January 31st, 2017, 3:16 pm

Thank you very much for this statement. A lot of things become clearer now - limited access to KS backer updates, a team with no dedicated PR member (whether as a part- or full-time role) and a hell of a lot of work on everyone's plates. Optimal conditions for impaired decision-making and diffusion of responsibility if I've ever seen them. It's an excellent sign and a mature move to step up and explain these issues, especially if you're as passionate about making a good game as you have always said you are - this kind of admission must be painful, and I sympathize. I also appreciate the fact that multiple team members have weighed in here, regardless of how briefly. I look forward to the KS update and hope you'll cover the big questions that have come up for everyone, even those who didn't even know they were being asked. I believe you've struck a very important note here, one that I missed in my own thinking about this until recently: the anger is very much about the way communication was handled, significantly less (though still somewhat) about the cuts themselves.

Per my statements in the "Has the Toy been cut?" thread, it does look like a sensible statement is being made in a timely fashion, so I will remain a backer for future projects. Good on you! This whole thing was unfortunate and should not be repeated, but I am confident that you'll improve on what went wrong with this experience. The really bad part is the Italian translation, I think - no other change in the game makes it effectively inaccessible to certain players as a whole. If Techland is doing the localizations, perhaps we should also be directing feedback on this to them. Otherwise - if you can improve your backer communication in the future, I think a lot of people will be willing to accept that projects change in the making! Tell us these risks up front and let us know when our expectations need to change and you'll do fine.

Now cheers on the home stretch, guys! Less than four weeks of crunch to go. Don't let it get you down!

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by GavinJF » January 31st, 2017, 3:38 pm

Jernaugh wrote:Per my statements in the "Has the Toy been cut?" thread, it does look like a sensible statement is being made in a timely fashion, so I will remain a backer for future projects.
Whew. Your backer character* is one of the favorites, so I'm glad. It'd bum us out to hear people talking about him and know that you were unhappy with us.

*If you don't have a backer character, then we have a HELL of a coincidence on our hands.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Firkraag » January 31st, 2017, 5:24 pm

:D :D
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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by sparkee666 » January 31st, 2017, 6:27 pm

I like that the bloom was expanded because I think that area is more interesting than the oasis, but I was hopping for more companions.

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by anonymous6059 » January 31st, 2017, 6:55 pm

Colin McComb wrote:You totally have a right to be disappointed with inXile's communication. I'm not here to argue with that, and if it's a dealbreaker for future crowdfunding for you, that's something inXile will have to live with.

But hell, it probably should have been.

Like I said, this is an explanation. Not an excuse. Just so you can see where our heads were. We'll have a KS update out later today.

In the meantime, like all of you, I was bummed out about some of our cuts, most especially about the CNPCs. We had some neat stories planned, and I'm still hopeful we can add them back in. Nothing* would make me happier.
The communication has been bad. I know you guys are busy and I can see how these things happen though. As long as the game is good I'll still happily purchase Inxile's games in the future, likely the digital deluxe *day one* deals. However, I don't regret backing this game. In fact TToN's story is so good I feel like I've already gotten my monies worth. The novellas have really captured my fascination and enthralled me like nothing else. I'm constantly in awe of how deep the story goes. Every twist and turn in Sagus Cliffs is lavished with legend and tales interwoven magnificently. You have really created an entire world and I can't wait to see it come to life on Feb. 28th. :D

Keep up the great job, but do tell someone to hire a new PR guy please. ;)

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by fairfax » January 31st, 2017, 7:16 pm

You guys need a PR person or agency, because this was terrible. How do you announce that the italian localization has been cancelled 4 years after promising it, and then immediately suggest the players could do it for free instead?

Re: the oasis:
The previews mentioned that you reach the Bloom in the last third of the game, yet somehow it's "much larger" than the second major city you had promised? It can't even be as large as the Bloom. I don't believe this. Unfortunately, however, we don't know what the Oasis was supposed to be, so none of us could dispute that claim even after release.

Also, what about the other stretch goals that haven't been confirmed yet?

Soundtrack recorded with a live orchestra
Player Stronghold
Brian Mitsoda's contribution
Hall of Lingering Reflections
Castoff’s Labyrinth Secret Meres
Lacunae

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by anonymous6059 » January 31st, 2017, 7:23 pm

fairfax wrote:
  • Hall of Lingering Reflections
  • Castoff’s Labyrinth Secret Meres
  • Lacunae
I don't want to go into spoilers here, but I think these have already been seen to some extent. You yourself have shown Mere related assets which specify how you get to certain areas. The Lacunae could be seen in a earlier beta version I do believe. I think the hall of reflections was also in the beta. Isn't the Labyrinth technically the player's stronghold as well?

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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by cryocore » January 31st, 2017, 7:57 pm

Too little too late.

Communicating to backers should be a priority whenever anything significant changes.
Its obvious that its not a task included in sprints, and not something was considered important to anyone in inXile. Brian for one talks a big game about backer appreciation, but that sounds hollow.

I don't blame any of the TToN devs for this, your job is to make the best game possible, but senior producers, and Fargo himself have an obligation to communicate to the backers that funded this project.

To Colin and the rest of the development team, you have my respect and thanks for addressing this, and all of your hard work. I am sure the game will be great.

To senior management you have lost all of my respect as a backer. I have already removed my backing from Wasteland 3, and am still awaiting a response from Support about addressing my issues with TToN, and am seeking to remove my backing from Bards Tale as well. I will not be fooled twice.

I put the blame squarely at the feet of Brian Fargo. It really puts the fate of Interplay back in the day in context. And to this day we've heard nothing from him.

I cannot in good conscience be a backer to a company that treats backers in this manner. So I will not.

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