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The Visual Novel

TheOneElectronic
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The Visual Novel

Post by TheOneElectronic » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:44 am

I just want to know what happened. I think we're owed that, at least.

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paarfi
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by paarfi » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:39 am

TheOneElectronic wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:44 am
I just want to know what happened. I think we're owed that, at least.
Sorry, I understand. I haven't posted any updates lately because there really hasn't been anything to talk about. I've been poking Fred to post a Rant or something that covers the visual novel among other things. He's been putting that off while he gets some other things straightened out with the store and such. But hopefully he can do that soon.

The MTVN is not quite dead (yet). We do have book 1 of the Piro canon route nearly done. It's actually kind of fun, and at least an hour's worth of game play. Our current intention is for Fred to finish cleaning up some of the artwork, and then push that out to people. It's not nearly what was originaly envisioned, but at least it will be something.

As for what happened, well, it just didn't go well. Inexperience with game development; Fred learning to delegate and work with a team; major feature creep; a big underestimation of the quantity of artwork required; the realization that only Fred could draw stuff that looked "Megatokyo"; and lots more. By the time some of these issues had improved, the Megatokyo comic had been neglected for too long and Fred couldn't afford to work on the game fulltime anymore.

Things had still been progressing slowly for a while. But then last year our main programmer left the project, and that brought things to more of a halt. I think I can figure out how to get things ready for a release, but probably not much more beyond that. I'm hoping Fred can finish the art cleanup the first half of this year, and then we can try to get something out to folks.

Beyond that, well, I think that will likely be it. Fred will be unhappy about that. He's used to being late (though it embarrasses him how much everyone else is used to that from him as well). But he's also used to getting things done eventually, and I just don't see how that's going to be possible here.

Again, I'm sorry.
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Rowandoll
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by Rowandoll » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:18 am

"Beyond that, well, I think that will likely be it. Fred will be unhappy about that..."

-Fred- will be unhappy? $300,000 was contributed to this. That's a lot of money to just shrug off and say 'shit happens'. I'd love to see what went where, and compare it to the end result.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by paarfi » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:21 am

Rowandoll wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:18 am
shrug off and say 'shit happens'.
If I gave the impression that that was Fred's attitude, then I did a very poor job of explaining. If Fred were capable of thinking that way, he wouldn't still be doing megatokyo after 18 years. Fred wants to keep working on the visual novel. He feels he's made a commitment.

The attitude that you were perceiving is from me, not Fred. I manage a software team in real life, and if this were my project and my business, I'd have pulled the plug long ago. Sometimes projects fail, in spite of everyone's best intentions and efforts. Nobody is ever happy when that happens, but you need to redirect scant resources to something more productive.

I was a major backer of the VN, and aside from Fred and maybe one other team member, I don't think anyone has put more time and effort into it than me. But at this point, I'd rather have Fred spending his time putting out more MT comics than keep working on the VN. At some point you have to get real about it. I don't expect Fred to agree with me though.

Edit:
changed "listen to" to "agree with". Fred does listen to me, but we don't always agree. Which is totally cool; it's his business.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by Rowandoll » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:17 pm

"He feels he's made a commitment."

He did make a commitment. He solicited funds, gathered backers, on the promise of a completed project. In order to gain funding, he promised different tiers more than just the game; He promised real physical products. In order to obtain funding in excess of the target, he promised additional content. In return, backers have received little communication with promises, not of content, but of communication at a future date. Communication, essential to a kickstarter project, was thrown to a forum that for a long time was nothing but Russian spam, rather than the actual kickstarter board. The problem is that this behavior doesn't feel like a team of people that got in over their heads and failed. It feels like something else, and it really saddens me if it's true. And for those that expected something physical in addition, it stings just a little more. Nothing upon nothing.

I don't want my money back; I backed some famous vaporware projects. Just an explanation from Fred as to what went on, where the money went, and what others can learn from this endeavor for future projects. Real transparency, even in failure, benefits everyone.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by TheOneElectronic » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:21 pm

Rowandoll wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:17 pm
It feels like something else, and it really saddens me if it's true.
Yeah, I can't help but feel rooked. That's a lot of money for absolutely nothing in return.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by paarfi » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:04 pm

TheOneElectronic wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:21 pm

Yeah, I can't help but feel rooked. That's a lot of money for absolutely nothing in return.
I'm sorry. You have every right to be unhappy about this. No one is happy about it, especially Fred. I hope that when we get a release out of what we have so far, that it will make it feel a little less like "absolutely nothing".
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by Rowandoll » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:29 pm

"If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they'd like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding.
It's not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator.

If the problems are severe enough that the creator can't fulfill their project, creators need to find a resolution. Steps should include offering refunds, detailing exactly how funds were used, and other actions to satisfy backers. -Kickstarter"

So let's hear from Fred, as promised at the beginning of this month. He's the one with the $300K after all.

"I am very open and public with things as i work on them. I can usually be found working live on my JustinTV channel where people can watch me draw and color stuff live. I often post screenshots and share examples of works in progress on Facebook, Tumblr, PIXIV and Deviant Art. I also like to keep people posted on what i'm doing via Twitter. As work progresses on the game, i will be constantly sharing how things are going. - Fred, on his kickstarter"

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:19 pm

paarfi wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:39 am

As for what happened, well, it just didn't go well. Inexperience with game development; Fred learning to delegate and work with a team; major feature creep; a big underestimation of the quantity of artwork required; the realization that only Fred could draw stuff that looked "Megatokyo"; and lots more. By the time some of these issues had improved, the Megatokyo comic had been neglected for too long and Fred couldn't afford to work on the game fulltime anymore.
How about you tell the truth that Fred got sidetracked with health issues of his family and used the kickstarter funds to pay for medical bills instead of game development. How much money does Fred require to work full time on this game exactly? He got $299,000 minus kickstarter fees out of only $20,000 he said he needed for the project. What does Fred need a half a million dollars or more to work full time? How much does his comic actually bring in a year? Tell the truth Fred isn't even working on the game part time. After almost five years of development there is no reason why you only have about an hour of game play done for this. How come other indie game companies are able to produce more content without all the money Fred received and don't tell me inexperience because many of them are also and they at least put out something with far less money or no money from kickstarter. Care to explain why the physical rewards for this haven't been shipped out yet and never will be. Does physical rewards have anything to do with game development or did Fred over promise on what he said he could deliver to milk his fans to pay for his families medical bills?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by legitalltheponies » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:53 pm

Fred in the comments section on kickstarter wrote: This was more about the way the VN will probably be released than than it has to do with the idea of anything being 'canceled'. We lost our primary developer in the fall of last year and we have had to re-assess much of what we've been doing so far with the design and feel of the VN. This loss had a big impact why I haven't been able to show continuing (albiet slow) progress on the art for the game. Paarfi was talking about how we might be looking at our initial release of the game to be limited to the standard (Piro) canon route with branches. This does not mean that anything else has been canceled, just that we are looking at releasing paths of the game in stages rather than trying to wait to finish all paths to be able to release a first part.

Losing our developer was difficult and it was entirely my fault. It has required me and my remaining team to look long and hard at how to address not only how to continue from here but into the problems that have bogged down production on my end. I don't want there to be a jaring difference between the current feel of the game and what we do from here onward. Our initial goal was to make this something more than a 'talking head' game with very static sprites and our primary developer did a fantastic job of making this happen. In moving forward, I don't want to lose that, but I am going to have to try to simplify some of my approach to be able to move forward without getting bogged down in producing unique artwork that is only used once or twice in the game. We are also looking at how to release the game in smaller chunks that would fit together as a whole. For a branching game, this is a challenge, but I think it can be done well and within the scope of our original plans.

I apologize for the lack of updates on the VN - Losing my primary developer was very difficult and it has made it hard to determine how to move forward. I'm a comic artist, not a programmer, and my lack of experience with how to put a game like together has been the biggest impediment in this game. There is a lot more to it than just slogging out artwork. I want to say a big thank you to my developer who got the game to where it is now, and also to my remaining team who will be working with me from here on out.

My first goal of the year was to increase production on the main Megatokyo comic, which I have done. The next goal was to move forward and ahead with the VN work once I had my revised production well under way. I apologize for not provoding an update - I wanted to have our revised approach under way to include with that update. Our team has some of its own concerns too. Paarfi feels that we should focus on only the main Canon route and has concerns about more distant milestones (which is reflected in his forum post). I feel this is a good approach to getting a first part of the game out, I have no intention of this being the only path we produce.

I am sorry for the internal issues here (which are my own fault) but much like Megatokyo itself I have no intention of 'canceling' anything. Thank you for your patience, and I will provide more information and a progress update soon.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:25 pm

xion5139 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:19 pm

How about you tell the truth that Fred got sidetracked with health issues of his family and used the kickstarter funds to pay for medical bills instead of game development. How much money does Fred require to work full time on this game exactly? He got $299,000 minus kickstarter fees out of only $20,000 he said he needed for the project. What does Fred need a half a million dollars or more to work full time? How much does his comic actually bring in a year? Tell the truth Fred isn't even working on the game part time. After almost five years of development there is no reason why you only have about an hour of game play done for this. How come other indie game companies are able to produce more content without all the money Fred received and don't tell me inexperience because many of them are also and they at least put out something with far less money or no money from kickstarter. Care to explain why the physical rewards for this haven't been shipped out yet and never will be. Does physical rewards have anything to do with game development or did Fred over promise on what he said he could deliver to milk his fans to pay for his families medical bills?
Your cynicism is misguided.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:42 pm

cidjen wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:25 pm
Your cynicism is misguided.
Not misguided. For nearly five years the backers of this kickstarter have waited for something anything to show for the money that has been given to Fred. For nearly five years we heard a lot of excuses. After five years I find it troubling that there is only about an hour of gameplay and none of the physical rewards have been shipped out which has nothing to do with game development. Fred has been given over 10 times the amount of money he asked for. We all have problems in our lives but we still do our work because most of us don't have people giving them a quarter of a million dollars.

Fred Gallagher I ask you this after nearly five years how long do you expect your fans to wait for the game they gave you a lot of money for?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by legitalltheponies » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:39 pm

xion5139 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:42 pm
cidjen wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:25 pm
Your cynicism is misguided.
Not misguided. For nearly five years the backers of this kickstarter have waited for something anything to show for the money that has been given to Fred. For nearly five years we heard a lot of excuses. After five years I find it troubling that there is only about an hour of gameplay and none of the physical rewards have been shipped out which has nothing to do with game development. Fred has been given over 10 times the amount of money he asked for. We all have problems in our lives but we still do our work because most of us don't have people giving them a quarter of a million dollars.

Fred Gallagher I ask you this after nearly five years how long do you expect your fans to wait for the game they gave you a lot of money for?
There isn't an hour of gameplay. Here's what Paarfi was saying at the end of September:
The whole visual novel project has not gone as anyone had hoped, and I can tell you for sure that no one feels worse about that than Fred. We're close to having something that we can release to backers. It's only book 1, Piro-route, with no story branches, which is a small part of what was originally planned.
Looking at Fred's most recent unofficial update, I don't think he intends to discuss where the funds went. I don't think that us posting here is going to change that.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:12 pm

I said misguided.
Because contrary to what you are saying, there was information around, posted by someone from the team, findable by whoever asked or took the time (apart from that ks forum post I linked, that I took entire 2 minutes to find then some more to read through the k.s. thread till I found it) there were rants and even in-comic text description, in form of various DPD's.

And this was me who wasn't even around reading MT at the time (let's call it a hiatus). I only rejoined reading not so long ago...

Note that does not mean that you don't deserve to know what happened with the money. I am not saying that.

Also note I am not Mr. Gallagher's spin doctor. Or even a member of his team.

But digging into the man for not disclosing the health issues, as you (@xion5139) tried to imply, seriously makes your judgement questionable.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:38 am

legitalltheponies wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:39 pm

There isn't an hour of gameplay. Here's what Paarfi was saying at the end of September:
The whole visual novel project has not gone as anyone had hoped, and I can tell you for sure that no one feels worse about that than Fred. We're close to having something that we can release to backers. It's only book 1, Piro-route, with no story branches, which is a small part of what was originally planned.
paarfi wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:39 am

The MTVN is not quite dead (yet). We do have book 1 of the Piro canon route nearly done. It's actually kind of fun, and at least an hour's worth of game play. Our current intention is for Fred to finish cleaning up some of the artwork, and then push that out to people. It's not nearly what was originaly envisioned, but at least it will be something.
So there is an hour of the game done after five years. How long will the rest of the game take at this pace?
legitalltheponies wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:39 pm
Looking at Fred's most recent unofficial update, I don't think he intends to discuss where the funds went. I don't think that us posting here is going to change that.
There should be some accountability for how the funds are used. Where are the physical rewards promised they have nothing to do with game development no reason they cannot be produced and shipped out?
cidjen wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:12 pm

But digging into the man for not disclosing the health issues, as you (@xion5139) tried to imply, seriously makes your judgement questionable.
@cidjen How many updates have we had over the years citing health issues? We get a sorta update in the comments now explaining the reasons for the delays but fails to mention the numerous health issues. How much are health reasons delaying this game being made exactly is it the main reason? So care to explain how my judgement is questionable for questioning why there is only an hour of game play after almost five years?

@Fred Gallagher have you realized that maybe some of your backers might have health issues as well or other issues and cannot wait around indefinitely for you to make this game that you got a quarter of a million dollars to make. Your staff didn't sign up for that either especially after almost five years. You received a quarter of a million dollars to make a game not so you can have the luxury of putting family first above work because many of your backers don't have that luxury with their own lives.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:34 am

xion5139 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:38 am
cidjen wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:12 pm

But digging into the man for not disclosing the health issues, as you (@xion5139) tried to imply, seriously makes your judgement questionable.
@cidjen How many updates have we had over the years citing health issues? We get a sorta update in the comments now explaining the reasons for the delays but fails to mention the numerous health issues. How much are health reasons delaying this game being made exactly is it the main reason? So care to explain how my judgement is questionable for questioning why there is only an hour of game play after almost five years?
Because health issues like that, they don't usually simply 'go away' otherwise than the 'terminal' way ? They are persistent till they die ? Speaking from experience seeing, living with one till the end. No experience with the heart issues (lucky me) and my SO is healthy (double lucky), but living with the family member terminal sickness is something I can understand. And it's not like there weren't any updates on that over the years either. This kind of chewing in, equaling the health issues to any other that were encountered on the way, is, IMO, misguided.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:24 pm

cidjen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:34 am

Because health issues like that, they don't usually simply 'go away' otherwise than the 'terminal' way ? They are persistent till they die ? Speaking from experience seeing, living with one till the end. No experience with the heart issues (lucky me) and my SO is healthy (double lucky), but living with the family member terminal sickness is something I can understand. And it's not like there weren't any updates on that over the years either. This kind of chewing in, equaling the health issues to any other that were encountered on the way, is, IMO, misguided.
@cidjen People can get better even with heart problems. Is it misguided to question where the majority of the delays for this game are coming from? Do you just give money over to people who promise you something and five years later have nothing to show for it? Maybe you are the misguided one who has mental issues if you feel you shouldn't ask questions after five years of nothing.

@Fred Gallagher if you want to put family first why not quit your job and become a home maker or just stick with making your comic forever? Why start a visual novel game project if you have so many health problems and other issues and unable to fully commit to it. Tell me sir how exactly did you ever expect to complete this game with the $20,000 you asked for? How come with over 10 times that amount you are still unable to do it?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:54 pm

I did not mean the heart disease.
I see you don't know what you're talking about.
Go read and search, come back when you do know what you are talking about.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:27 pm

cidjen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:54 pm
Because health issues like that, they don't usually simply 'go away' otherwise than the 'terminal' way ? They are persistent till they die ?
cidjen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:54 pm
I did not mean the heart disease.
I see you don't know what you're talking about.
Go read and search, come back when you do know what you are talking about.
This letter is friendly.
Can you tell me how I am misguided by asking about how health issues that are delaying this game when they appear to be significantly delaying this game? It has been mentioned that Fred does have heart problems. Do you feel that all the health issues cited over the years that they should all be checked into hospice care because there is no hope for them? You obviously are on Fred's side a man who received a quarter of a million dollars and has given the people that gave him that money nothing after almost five years. Should people blindly just give money to anyone no questions asked? Should Fred have the convenience of putting family first because he has a quarter of a million dollars? Can you explain to me why exactly none of the physical rewards for this kickstarter have been shipped out? Can you answer my questions cidjen?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by legitalltheponies » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:41 pm

cidjen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:54 pm
I did not mean the heart disease.
I see you don't know what you're talking about.
Go read and search, come back when you do know what you are talking about.
This letter is friendly.
Please be less cryptic about this, I can guess at what you're referencing here, but it's not inherently obvious.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 pm

I did not mean the heart disease of Mr Gallagher. He got better and that is widely known.
Neither did I mean the illness of his wife, she too got better, though that illness is imo more grave and dangerous than the first one.

I meant the illnesses of their parents, and how they progressed, actually. Go on please, read and find what was being said about it and when, and the timelines of that. That is the least cryptic I dare to be.

Also I still do not mean to say, that you don't deserve to know, what happened with the money.

Only that given what is known, digging into them for not disclosing the health issues, and even worse, connecting that to any money movement, is a misguided move, some would even call that mean. (And it's not like it wasn't disclosed really, numerous times)

I repeat, I am not even a member of the team and I wasn't even around reading the comic when the KS campaign was on.

Hopefully this is more clear now.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:44 pm

cidjen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 pm
Only that given what is known, digging into them for not disclosing the health issues, and even worse, connecting that to any money movement, is a misguided move, some would even call that mean. (And it's not like it wasn't disclosed really, numerous times)
My question is how much are the health issues delaying this game compared to other reasons stated. We get a sorta update and they mention numerous issues but none of the health issues and as you said they don't simply just go away. Why hasn't the physical products been produced or ship after nearly five years? Fred has received a quarter of a million dollars out of the twenty thousand he said he needed for the project. They could easily produced the physical goods and ship those out to people so they would have that done and people would have something. You know what is mean taking peoples money and giving them nothing after five years. Do you not believe in accountability cidjen? I know I remember reading a post about Fred using shipping funds paying for medical bills.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:47 am

Well that is my point...
The health issues don't just simply go away, therefore there's no point dwelling about them over and over. They are more than just an eater of time, they are an emotional drain. Repeatedly dwelling into that territory with such questions is just terrible. So unless they post anything to go with that, we have to assume that nothing has changed in that area.
Apart from that, they are also a family with a child, with all the distraction that comes from that.

Am I surprised this game took so long to produce so little? I am, but so I think is everyone.
Do I see the connection between the health issues and the speed of development? Yes I do but so does I think everyone.
Do I need to be posted regular updates on whatever progress is being made? Well I wasn't a backer myself, but I think you backers definitely deserve to be told something. And same, I believe thinks everyone.

Do I need to read any regular updates on how the health issues are intermixed with that ? No, I Do Not. it would be much more tiring to post these, so I accept they can post anything they want about it, including nothing. Not that I don't care - but I accept their decisions. Forcing them to do it, is what I think is misguided. This is what I think. Do you understand now?
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:26 am

@cidjen When I heard that they only had an hour of gameplay done after nearly five years of development I got upset. I am wondering what they are doing with their time. I seen many other new indie game companies produce visual novel games in less time and even with voice acting. I do agree that hearing about health problems all the time is tiring but lets face it that it is the most likely the number one biggest thing delaying this game being made. If we were to go your path we would get less and less updates till nothing is updated at all and Fred throws in the towel. I do question Fred if he really made unrealistic stretch goals to get more money from his fans. Lets face it this game will never be all that was promised to us regardless if we get anything or not.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:43 am

@xion5139 : If they posted about health problems more than they post about other issues, that is, if the health issues became a dominant excuse, I would have been less understanding than I am; I can't tell how much less understanding would I be, but I have a feeling, that so would others who care about it;

By all means do make inquiries to Mr Gallagher or his team (he has a team, you know that) for more regular updates. We know he wants to make the updates more meaningful, it's been said in various places. He said so, his team said so. If you think, that what they say is not enough to clarify, make inquiries and ask questions. You do have right to do it.

Just don't force the health issues to appear there more than they really have to.
Because if they do become dominant, as I indicated above, that would really be really sad.
How the health issues have affected Mr Gallaghers' primary business, comic and merch, it was already explained in lots of places and is already sad.

And I do not have a desire to feel more of this kind of sadness or add to it.
Excuse me the terrible cliche and pun reuse, but this isn't what attracted me to this story. I'm not that kind of a fan.
Scanlation to polish

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