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

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

Post by Serjo » February 17th, 2017, 11:49 pm

Stumbled across a 2015 interview today:
Originally slated to land last December, the game's release has been moved back to this year, all so that the team can meet the ambitious stretch goals the community voted for with its wallets.

https://www.redbull.com/za-en/torment-t ... -interview
What a wild ride it's been.

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

Post by esest » February 18th, 2017, 11:42 pm

Serjo wrote:Stumbled across a 2015 interview today:
Originally slated to land last December, the game's release has been moved back to this year, all so that the team can meet the ambitious stretch goals the community voted for with its wallets.

https://www.redbull.com/za-en/torment-t ... -interview
What a wild ride it's been.
Q: "The scores for Wasteland 2 were good, but not quite perfect. What have you learned from that? What are you doing to make Numenera and even bigger success?"

A: "It's not the scores that are most important to us, it is the reception from our backers. While of course we hope that others enjoy our games, we're making them for our backers. Through their responses to our updates and videos (and later through our Alpha Systems and Beta Tests) we can know that we're on track."

for me you say?

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

Post by Omniknight » February 19th, 2017, 12:34 pm

Colin McComb wrote: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.
It is one thing to eat crow, apologize, and promise to do better as you did in the KS update. That's all well and good, but it is another thing entirely to actually follow through with that promise. That's the hard part when the news will again cast inXile and TToN in a negative light, but that's the true test of your sincerity.

So, here's an opportunity to show the lesson has really been learned: Why is there still no developer comment on the status of the following despite numerous recent fan inquiries here and on other forums (Reddit, RPG Codex, etc)?
These are not nitpicking inquiries. There are clear indications from the status of the near-complete beta (both in-game and via data mining) that the very significant items above have been severely neutered or even outright cut from the game, despite some still being listed as core game mechanics on the TToN website.

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

Post by anonymous6059 » February 20th, 2017, 5:17 am

Omniknight wrote:
Colin McComb wrote: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.
It is one thing to eat crow, apologize, and promise to do better as you did in the KS update. That's all well and good, but it is another thing entirely to actually follow through with that promise. That's the hard part when the news will again cast inXile and TToN in a negative light, but that's the true test of your sincerity.

So, here's an opportunity to show the lesson has really been learned: Why is there still no developer comment on the status of the following despite numerous recent fan inquiries here and on other forums (Reddit, RPG Codex, etc)?
These are not nitpicking inquiries. There are clear indications from the status of the near-complete beta (both in-game and via data mining) that the very significant items above have been severely neutered or even outright cut from the game, despite some still being listed as core game mechanics on the TToN website.
I just wanted to repost this in the hopes that Inxile will come clean before the 28th. I've lost all faith in this company now. People should know what they are buying. Inxile's disingenuous marketing scheme is marginally fraudulent. They sold us on these features and refuse to admit that they do not exist. I feel betrayed and ashamed for trusting Inxile.

I loved the novellas and I think this game will be decent. I just can't accept how Inxile has lied, mislead, and ignored their backers.

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

Post by Woolfe » February 20th, 2017, 3:54 pm

With one week from release, they aren't going to comment. What is the point. They can't fix it now. They will release, then people will pick it apart. Then we will likely here comments as to why etc.
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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Jernaugh » February 22nd, 2017, 7:43 am

Omniknight wrote:
Colin McComb wrote: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.
It is one thing to eat crow, apologize, and promise to do better as you did in the KS update. That's all well and good, but it is another thing entirely to actually follow through with that promise. That's the hard part when the news will again cast inXile and TToN in a negative light, but that's the true test of your sincerity.

So, here's an opportunity to show the lesson has really been learned: Why is there still no developer comment on the status of the following despite numerous recent fan inquiries here and on other forums (Reddit, RPG Codex, etc)?
These are not nitpicking inquiries. There are clear indications from the status of the near-complete beta (both in-game and via data mining) that the very significant items above have been severely neutered or even outright cut from the game, despite some still being listed as core game mechanics on the TToN website.

This is something I can get behind. A list of this kind at release would be a good step forward. It would be a demonstration of inXile's commitment to better communication. It's an unfortunate thing that such a set of comparisons with what might have been colours a game's release, but I don't think it's avoidable in the current situation. In the future, making the malleability of a project like this one clearer at the outset while keeping up a better flow of communication will obviate the need for such things mostly, I think.

People will always be more unhappy with the result of a development process if they are made aware of good stuff that they're missing because it got cut. That is something backers need to learn as much as devs do. That doesn't mean the result is bad, but it might be a hidden cost of crowdfunding that needs to be addressed...

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

Post by Serjo » February 22nd, 2017, 8:53 am

Will my Steam Early Access saves keep working in the final release?
Any saves made after the Tidal Surge update in December should work with the final release!

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=17148
That dispels people's hopes about getting additional early game content in the final version. The Stronghold will be what it is (a summoning ball for your companions), there will be three Foci to choose from, your Foci will not affect your dialogue options, there won't be any meaningful faction system, and the Legacy system has been considerably stripped down. It's still possible that some of those mechanics will expand during the mid-to-late game, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

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

Post by Serjo » March 1st, 2017, 10:24 pm

Sear made another comment on Steam:
Hi benzeneboy,

Thanks much for the feedback and review! I just wanted to take a moment to respond to a few of your points. We're gamers too and we certainly understand your passion and dedication!

...

2. Game development is an extremely iterative and creative process, and as developers, not all of our ideas end up working out for any of hundreds of different reasons. First and foremost, though, cut content does not mean that the game got smaller or "less good" - rather, we focused our resources on other aspects of development that made more sense, or changed or moved things around to better fit the game's overall vision.

Crowdfunding and open development reveals how games can change over time, and many the early Kickstarter claims ended up sounding much better on paper than reality. We absolutely understand that making changes to content after we've talked about it can be frustrating for fans, and we can always communicate changes and the reasons behind them better, but every decision we make is to ultimately benefit the game as a whole.

Once again, thanks for your insightful feedback, and I hope this sheds some light on some aspects of the game you feel strongly about!

http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/7656 ... r_response
I hope the bolded part means that they'll be improving their communications with the community for their remaining crowdfunded projects.

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

Post by Dork Mage » March 2nd, 2017, 4:38 pm

Don't expect it. BT4 has little (practically no) feedback. Same for WL3.

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

Post by eNTi » March 3rd, 2017, 12:18 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?
Next time someone asks me for a blanket cheque for their vision I will be to busy playing other games... or rather working to be able to pay for those games. They clearly didn't know how to make a complex system actualy work. They thought it would be easy and then found... well... software development is hard (and it is) so let's cut all the hard stuff we have no solution for (that is everything people care about) and just ship the game like it's 1999. You know... just say it "didn't fit with the vision" or some bullshit. They will buy it and it's not as if we have anyone to answer to. So we throw away all the interesting complexity of creating a living and breathing world and get more jaded story writers to make up more contrived world building to hide it. The story and the theme will be so hard to understand people won't notice the game mechanics are boring as fuck.

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

Post by daedalusAI » March 3rd, 2017, 2:18 am

eNTi wrote:
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?
Next time someone asks me for a blanket cheque for their vision I will be to busy playing other games... or rather working to be able to pay for those games. They clearly didn't know how to make a complex system actualy work. They thought it would be easy and then found... well... software development is hard (and it is) so let's cut all the hard stuff we have no solution for (that is everything people care about) and just ship the game like it's 1999. You know... just say it "didn't fit with the vision" or some bullshit. They will buy it and it's not as if we have anyone to answer to. So we throw away all the interesting complexity of creating a living and breathing world and get more jaded story writers to make up more contrived world building to hide it. The story and the theme will be so hard to understand people won't notice the game mechanics are boring as fuck.
I find that one sentence intriguing in his statement:
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
Let's break it down:
  • You were busy finishing and polishing the game - and yet there are very serious issues with translations making the game unplayable among other problems
  • You had a campaign to raise money while promising features tied to certain money goals and close to release you're like "Too bad for your money that you did pledge to reach a certain feature - but removing this or that was really necessary, just believe us"
  • How can you sincerely apologize and hope people will forgive you when you drop such a bomb as mentioned above with cutting features - and now with release it's plain obvious that certain parties were incapable of delivering an impeccable translation as the base requirement for a text-heavy game?
Sometimes I really do wonder why certain jobs in the gaming industry like PR/QA or others require a plethora of requirements that you have to bring along - when the end result is something like this with unwillingness/incapability of proper communication and you get translations out of google translate.

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

Post by Sarakash » March 3rd, 2017, 6:05 am

daedalusAI wrote:
eNTi wrote:
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?
Next time someone asks me for a blanket cheque for their vision I will be to busy playing other games... or rather working to be able to pay for those games. They clearly didn't know how to make a complex system actualy work. They thought it would be easy and then found... well... software development is hard (and it is) so let's cut all the hard stuff we have no solution for (that is everything people care about) and just ship the game like it's 1999. You know... just say it "didn't fit with the vision" or some bullshit. They will buy it and it's not as if we have anyone to answer to. So we throw away all the interesting complexity of creating a living and breathing world and get more jaded story writers to make up more contrived world building to hide it. The story and the theme will be so hard to understand people won't notice the game mechanics are boring as fuck.
I find that one sentence intriguing in his statement:
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
Let's break it down:
  • You were busy finishing and polishing the game - and yet there are very serious issues with translations making the game unplayable among other problems
  • You had a campaign to raise money while promising features tied to certain money goals and close to release you're like "Too bad for your money that you did pledge to reach a certain feature - but removing this or that was really necessary, just believe us"
  • How can you sincerely apologize and hope people will forgive you when you drop such a bomb as mentioned above with cutting features - and now with release it's plain obvious that certain parties were incapable of delivering an impeccable translation as the base requirement for a text-heavy game?
Sometimes I really do wonder why certain jobs in the gaming industry like PR/QA or others require a plethora of requirements that you have to bring along - when the end result is something like this with unwillingness/incapability of proper communication and you get translations out of google translate.

I absolutly agree with your analysis. Furthermore, I like to add the fallowing question and this isn´t a rhetorical one, I am serious:

When where certain cuts decided (The companions, for instance ?) Two years in development ? Three ?

Because I really would like to know at which point this "earlier" might have been!

Because, as a side note, Chris Avellons involvement or rather him designing a companion was the strech goal which got me pledging.

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

Post by bunker » March 12th, 2017, 5:32 am

Oh no :o

So let me make some analogies and see if it would still sit right based on the originial appology in the beginning of this thread:
Crowdfunding backer = Investor - with limited claim on resulting product
Crowdfunding backer = Producer (according to TTON Kickstarter page "YOU are our publisher")
Crowdfunding page = Basis for the product to reward backers with = Contract (may be open to renegotiating if Investor is properly notified, otherwise refundable) Kickstarter calls these promises, backers gives money based on those promises. Closest analogy to me is a contract.
Kickstarter recomendation = Underpromise and overdeliver
Communication policy = (from KS page: "...we can spend 100% of our efforts making the game with an open dialogue throughout the process")

If I was a developer, project lead or any other position at Inxile, would any of these be appropriate behaviour?

"We neglected mentioning to the Investors for a few years that we are skipping parts of the contract. And we just apologize at the very near end if the Investors discover it without us mentioning it."

"We don't mention anything to the producers during development that we are skipping parts of the contract."

"We'll apologize without any other reason than 'we were to busy with unmentioned stuff to tell you we are not doing what we promised so you would invest in our product' "

"We won't need to keep track of what we promised on the Contract [Crowdfunding page] during the development process because we can apologize at the end instead of keeping a dialog open with the investors. They'll still invest in our next product."


Sorry Inxile and Brian Fargo, I don´t think you really understand crowdfunding or the importance of communication with your investors. Because the worst thing at this point is that, as per Brian Fargo, you'll keep the same team and move them gradually to the next product. So it looks to me that you are likely to repeat the above mistakes again.

Now, if you had done something more than apologize, like explaining how you would improve in the future, you could have been able to draw me in to investing in future games. An apology needs a promise on how to improve if applicable. This could for example have been:
  • We'll track what game features were promised on the backer page (contract) in our development process. So if we cut a feature (trash a story card in Scrum for example), you would timely notify the backers/investors of the change, not at the end of development.
  • We'll keep track of how much work we have done, what pace we are working at and regularly estimate what features won't make it into the game based on that. We'll notify the backers/investors if those promised (backerpage or other media outlet) features will not make it into the first release of the game.
  • We'll focus on promised features in backer updates, not just on fun other stuff developed, anecdotes and other fluff.
Note that I leave room for promised features to not be in the final product above. IF it is handled properly.

By now, your crowd funding trust account with me is empty and I'll evaluate your games after release in the future. It pains me a lot since Wasteland was my most favorite game of all time. Trust is the first important thing in crowdfunding. I may not even care about the features you cut, but if you expend your trust with your lack of honesty and communication, you are done in crowdfunding for me.

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

Post by Dork Mage » March 12th, 2017, 6:28 am

In some ways they are done with crowd funding as they have moved to Fig....

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

Post by Aotrs Commander » March 12th, 2017, 8:40 am

A friend of mine has a saying "it happens. Sometimes with an "sh" in front it."

Mistakes were made, but hopefully, this means you gentleman and ladies will know to bear that in mind for next time.

I am sufficiently happy with TToN, that (unless it somehow becomes instantly terrible when I fire it up shortly!) that - especially since you are working fix stuff - it is not going to put me off or anything.

(I, in fact, propably wouldn't have even noticed the cut content unless it was being discussed; largely because I only pay half-attention to story-ish things so as to be unspoiled for the release.)

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

Post by SagaDC » March 12th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Dork Mage wrote:In some ways they are done with crowd funding as they have moved to Fig....
It seems like they've been slowly moving away from fully crowdfunding their games for a while now.

Bard's Tale IV, for example, used a "fund-matching" system where they put up an equal amount of their own money to help fund the game's development. It still relied on crowdfunding, because they wouldn't have put up any of their own money if the game hadn't been successfully funded in the first place, but it was a step toward tempering it with self-funding.

Wasteland 3 appears to move even further in that direction, because from what I understand they already secured something in the area of six-million dollars for the development of the game before they started the Fig investment campaign. It seems likely that the game would have been developed even if the Fig campaign had failed, albeit with less features and less polish.

As it stands, they did pull an extra three-million dollars from the Fig campaign, but the bulk of that money is actually from investors rather than backers. All told, it seems like conventional backers make up for roughly 10% of the game's total funding, and that percentage is only going to go down as they begin securing funding from other sources (such as Early Access sales, preorders, or related merchandise).

It's also interesting to note that, unlike the previous three projects, the Wasteland 3 project was a lot lighter on specific promises - likely to avoid the sort of lashback that Torment is currently getting. Likewise, the stretch goals were much less ambitious, making it far less likely that they will end up interfering with the development of the core game.

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

Post by IHaveHugeNick » March 12th, 2017, 1:16 pm

Fig investors won't give them a dime if expected returns don't look promising. Between Torment's commercial fiasco, BT4 having no real commercial appeal, they have very little chance of getting anything crowdfunded, fig-funded, or funded at all in the future. WL3 got funded because previous game sold well, but they don't have anything else like that in their portfolio.
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Re: Colin McComb apologizes for missed stretch goals - "We should have communicated the cuts earlier."

Post by Serjo » March 12th, 2017, 1:26 pm

It's become common for sequels on Fig to show how much revenue the previous game brought in, so that investors can make an informed decision. It currently seems unlikely that they would do this for Torment 2.

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

Post by D-D » September 18th, 2017, 11:12 am

Monty Markland is admitting some of the blame for TToN's production problems:

Image

7 Metacritic points is a lot, would have made a big difference for sales...

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

Post by Firkraag » September 20th, 2017, 6:21 am

Shit happens.
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