Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Canned Karma, Mar 28, 2012.
To release the game.
You missed this.
I reckon the staff still passionately believed that the project would end up being completed but started to realise after the release it wasn't going to be the case. Bit like how you can stretch out a relationship that you know is going to fail but do your best to save it because you're in denial.
But they said they lost the drive to continue the game over a month ago, some of them. What gives?
It's just denial. I mean how many of use have not bothered to see our partner because we gotten sick of them but can't quite face the fact that the relationship is over because we remember the good old days and hope they might come back and be in full swing again.
To be less snarky:
A. We weren't aware (at least I wasn't) that Scanline, CN or anyone else was "no longer interested" before the alpha was released. If they had issues with how things were going, I was never aware that they wanted to quit over them.
1. We weren't aware that LOst would take that long to finish the release.
2. We didn't know there were issues with the exe after testing many WIP builds and the final leading up to release.
3. We didn't know that LOst would completely leave us hanging when asked to fix it.
I hope that answers your question about making the topic or whatever. If it doesn't then god help you.
I plan on releasing my assets, and detailing the work flow on my website. I hope the others would plan to do the same since it couldn't possibly harm anyone to do so.
It's the least I can do for the 'community I don't have enough posts to be part of'.
So as a team, you guys sucked at communication? Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to go closed after all? I hate to lash out with a sharp tongue but seriously. You'd think that teammates would be aware of other teammates lack of desire to continue working on the team's project. I hope one of the lessons carried onward by you guys is how to communicate within a team.
I will say this: Where do you get the idea that it is my job to know whether someone wants to continue or not? As long as they produce assets and meet deadlines, why should it be my responsibility to probe the rest of the team for interest levels?
In this case, it was the burden on those who were deciding to leave to let the team know, and if they did, I wasn't aware of it.
Even if the others don't want to publicize their stuff (Which means no staring at Tails sprites for me D: ), I'm excited to see yours. I loved Emerald Hill's art, I am dying to see what was done with Casino Night, the real Hill Top assets, Mystic Cave's assets, and hopefullt some assets from levels that were in the beta and planned to be in the game (Wood Zone being my favorite) and even Sky Chase.
I think it's assumed that the S2HD team were friends on some level. That's usually the case when people are working as a team on a hobbyist project.
Not me. :specialed: It's easier to just dump them when they're being annoying. I can't say it's easy to dump a project like that though.
I don't know what it is with this community, and I'm not taking jabs at specific people here, but a lot of projects fall apart after a while. When is the last time someone released a finished fangame? Yet I see a lot of other games made by a few nerds at home that don't fall apart, whether they're original indie content or other fangames. It makes me ask the question "What are they doing right?" Because you'd think a place like Retro with a focus on programming/hacking would have an easier time getting some kind of project finished than a lot of other places, but it seems to be the other way around most of the time.
Sorry if that's off-topic.
I think, by now, the only question left to ask is this: Where IS LOst right now?
I mean, he hasn't said anything, defended/apologized for his actions, said random stuff not related to the thing, or even been seen at all really since this madness began. I mean, he's posted in other threads, but he's completely ignored and ditched everything that happened since this began. I mean, ya think he'd at least fess up to the mess he had a part in causing, right?
I mean, even he eventually is gonna get curious and inevitably post a "hai gais, what's going on here? :v: " type of post, right?
Right now, that's the only thing still bothering me.....that this dude hasn't responded the entire time, or even will respond to any of us period since then.
I'm going to quit posting about team stuff now, because I believe everything that should be said has already been said. those of you who are hanging around here for some kind of insight to some conspiracy or drama or whatever; you will never find it. We were a bunch of guys who got together and made a demo of a game on the internet, and things didn't work out. That's really the entire story.
LOst is the only remaining mystery to all of us here, and perhaps apart from the game or it's assets, the only thing worth discussing.
All right, one of the questions that's come up is why we didn't release the game sooner if, for all intents and purposes, the game itself was pretty much ready to go as of January 15th, 2011? Short answer, we had assets but no playable game. The long answer goes back almost a year and a half.
Rewind to late 2010. People were desperate to see what we actually had worked on since the teaser preview we'd put out March of that year. We really wanted to have a playable release for people to see, but the answer we kept on getting throughout that year was that the engine was coming along soon, and that we'd be able to play the game once a couple more things were taken care of (We quickly got used to that response, and that's another topic of conversation entirely...). Needless to say, by the holiday season we were really wondering exactly when we'd be able to even play the game ourselves. Vincent and LOst set a deadline of January 15th to light a fire under the team and really get things moving. And that certainly happened -- with scanline and CN. When it became frighteningly clear that we would not even have an internal build of the game to play in early 2011, and no solid idea on when that would really be (most of us lost count of just how many "internal programming deadlines" came and passed without result), scanline and CN put an insane amount of work into creating a trailer from scratch to show the world what the game would eventually look like. If this wasn't a testament to their skills as artists, I don't know what is.
At this point, not a single person on our team had actually played the game. There was no working game code. It would not be until July of 2011 that we had our first internal staff build of S2HD, and that was limited to basic movement with Sonic on non-animated tiles. The next three months saw more visible (and playable) progress on the game than the last two years combined. And even this was fraught with arguments on why certain assets that had been sitting completed for well over a year were not implemented when there was no reason for them not to have been. It's equally notable that only one person was doing any real work during this period of time, since the artists were tired of working on assets that had no guarantee of ever being seen (Hill Top's assets are the chief example of this, unfortunately). The last 'deadline' that was posted internally was for the end of October. By that time, we more or less had a build that could be released. It just would have been a very, very, very quiet build.
All the work had been done on the player interaction and game coding. The sound coding had not even been touched. Given that audio programming was not one of LOst's strong suits, and we'd already worked with Saxman in the past on object editors for level layouts, we contacted him again to see if he would be interested in helping out with audio. Soon after the start of 2012, we had a sound engine for S2HD thanks to his efforts, and a truly impressive one at that. The problem was getting his sound engine integrated with LOst's game engine. If the writing wasn't on the wall before, this is when it became crystal clear. After numerous messages questioning what the progress had been made on the integration were met by silence, we were notified that LOst was working on his own sound engine, but that it would probably 'take another three months before it will be ready'. Despite the fact that we had an excellent sound driver ready and waiting, it was not going to be included in S2HD.
This was when we first banned LOst from the staff forums.
A week later, after a frenzied series of emails between himself and Vincent notifying him of 'rapid progress' made on the sound driver, LOst was unbanned, if only so he could post up his latest build of S2HD with audio. It wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination, especially not compared with what Saxman labored to create, but at least we had something resembling a completed demo build that could be released.
As some have pointed out at length, giving one person all the keys to the kingdom in a project like this and being made totally reliant on them to produce is a very bad idea. Without LOst to compile builds that were in code only he knew in formats only he used, all stored only on his computer, we could not release S2HD to the public. At the very least, I will thank LOst for not deciding to disappear before the demo was released, otherwise no one would have ever gotten to play the game at all. The final build that was released represents a number of compromises made at the very end when things were coming completely unglued for us. It ultimately wasn't worth it for us to continue fighting over things we doubted we'd ever see a resolution for, or weren't willing to wait additional weeks/months/years for them to come about.
Let me be very clear that the team members were by no means all at each other's throats. All of us on staff leadership continue to be very good friends beyond the project, and have been for a long time now. All our frustrations were directed at one person.
Regarding assets: we're leaving that up to the artists. If they want to release what they worked on, it's their call as we feel they should have the final say over the work they spent so many hours on. Should someone still have a working link to the community database where art was submitted during the project's infancy and wants to start another project based on that, by all means go for it. We don't have those assets, as none of them were used in the demo.
To those looking to begin their own project, community based or otherwise -- insist on a high degree of communication and accountability from those you work with from the very beginning with regular, peer review of the work being done. Above all else, there should be no I in team. This has been our most painful lesson.
Wow, that update post broke my heart, which goes out to you guys. I did not realize that the demo version was probably as much your first time of really playing the game as it was ours. No wonder you are all so proud of it. I am terribly sorry for denouncing that in any way.
Ok then what about Synergy and his 3D special stage engine? What about the 3D work that I take it you were doing? I mean if we can't get the main gameplay then what was stopping from this becoming independent from it?
It's practically there and would have been amazing to have a super slick special stage that could have had fixed physics like jump height, 3 player mode, online competition and even a level editor to upload and compete against people with. Surely this can be done even without LOst.
There's nothing stopping Synergy from continuing that independently. Throughout last summer and fall I was in contact with him, but I haven't heard from him since before the holidays. I know he has a working engine that can support 3D models, and I created 3D models of the main three characters to be used. We ran into numerous problems importing the rigged characters from the modeling package I was using to the one he had access to, and never found a good workaround for it. I'd certainly love to see Synergy's work put to use in the future, given the amount of time he spent on it. To my knowledge the only thing keeping that from happening now is available time for him and someone who can work out the problems with getting animated models to function properly in his engine.
That's pretty awful... In retrospect, why was LOst given so much power? From the sound of it, it looks like he was pretty incompetent as the project's programmer for quite a long time. Why didn't you guys either try to get someone else to do it or force LOst to have the project be more transparent?
I hope Synergy does make a return and salvage some of the greatness this project could have been.
He wasn't paid anything, but the principle is the same. Another one of the major lessons learned.
Have to say, while I feel extremely sorry for the staff members (outside of LOst) for what has happened, I'm somewhat annoyed at the fact the official trailer's gameplay footage was fake. It's not something that angers me or anything, but I just don't enjoy feeling like I was deceived.
Yeah, I knew this was going to happen.
You just don't kick out the main programmer, and expect to continue okay.
But to get to the point, you're not going to be posting S2HD's death as news,
since it's just on life support. And that gash is just a scratch.
Now listen to me: This project needs to be transferred back to community asap, and those art resources, meta data, music, etc. needs to be put on a special database. If drx doesn't mind , I'd like to update inker. Keeping the resources locked down is just as bad as LOst keeping the code locked down.
Though, if to get to the resources, I have to reverse engineer LOst's file format, I'll do it.
As for the engine, after two years the obvious answer should have been: Open source, OpenGL, no shaders, C, and a simple custom script engine a~la what Taxman does, in order to allow anyone, programmer or nonprogrammer, to add to the project.
I have skeletal animation code working from my psp game. Be sure not to lose those models though.
This game doesn't need any crazy engine.
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