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The Visual Novel

xion5139
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:07 pm

paarfi wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:36 am
I passed your question about the money to Fred. He said a lot of it has gone into production, into paying for tools and software and for music production, and also that taxes were not insignificant, not to mention some money held aside for the rewards. He didn't mention it, but I'd expect that some went to support Fred and family while he put his main business (the comic and store) on hold and worked on the visual novel instead.
Paarfi can you ask Fred that if a lot of the money has gone into production why is it that after almost five years only one hour of gameplay of Piro has been produced? The original promise of this kickstater for $20,000 was two playable characters with 4 - 6 hours of gameplay per character. Can you also ask Fred if he deliberately over promised on the kickstarter to raise money to pay for medical bills and to put his family first?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:11 pm

Perhaps the timeline needs refreshment ... ?
2013
28 of Feb : under [1355] he mentioned Sarah's health and some of his;
10 of March : heart catheterization rant / the procedure (rant under [1357]);
4 of April : rant under [1358] after the procedure, some links there explain some more of the history;
17 of April : shares he's well enough to sit down and draw.
13 of May : shares under [1361] he was back to old normal.
7 of June : briefly shares financial concerns (also under [1361]), no indication of any 'deep trouble' though, just something he wants to fix by going back to work
19 of June : Kickstarter funded.

2014
Jan 21, rant under [1383] - some mention of how it's a lot of work to do VN, and the book, and re-drawing 59 comics;
(here in between - book, Warmth, also Megatokyo - e.g. redrawing/re-rendering of 59 comics)

So, thus far it's been about Fred's heart and embarking on the VN and other projects.

The production /artwork issues were covered pretty extensively by the Team members (post factum / recently), but some of that did also find its way into rants and comic updates timelines (31 comic updates including dpd-s in 2013, 35 updates in 2014, when the average update thus far was 122 comic page updates per year [that including dpd's and sgd's and guest comics too] [somehow the pretty cool effects of collaboration between Fred and Hawk of the Applegeeks faded on the way here too, so much less guest comics and/or filler art])

2015
5 Jun - [1428] - Endgames - Persistence posted as omake between chapters
24 Jul - [1429] - the 'serious family illness related AFK' drawing. Mentioning it 'starting' to happen a month before.
Further impact on the rate of comic page updates, 18 in 2015, 25 in 2016...
oh, yeah, 2016...
31 August - [1456] - on Fred's own parents condition.
and finally
21 Feb 2017 [1465] - embarking on Patreon, comic picking up speed until now.

I'll stop right here, this info is just what I pulled and looked up from Fred's rants and dates on the archives.

Does this timeline still look like a 'deliberate overpromise occured' to you ?
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legitalltheponies
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by legitalltheponies » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:22 pm

cidjen wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:11 pm
Perhaps the timeline needs refreshment ... ?
2013
28 of Feb : under [1355] he mentioned Sarah's health and some of his;
10 of March : heart catheterization rant / the procedure (rant under [1357]);
4 of April : rant under [1358] after the procedure, some links there explain some more of the history;
17 of April : shares he's well enough to sit down and draw.
13 of May : shares under [1361] he was back to old normal.
7 of June : briefly shares financial concerns (also under [1361])
19 of June : Kickstarter funded.

Does this timeline still look like a 'deliberate overpromise occured' to you ?
This would be the only amount of timeline needed to argue that case. I don't think that's what happened here though.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:40 pm

Me neither (the team were telling what was up with the VN project ever since, so it's not just Fred's word) that's why the second part of the timeline is also important.
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xion5139
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:15 pm

cidjen wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:11 pm
Does this timeline still look like a 'deliberate overpromise occured' to you ?
Yes because it clearly indicates there was health problems before the kickstarter ever started. After nearly five years they are not even close to completing the base game of two characters 4 - 6 hours each per character of gameplay that they asked for only $20,000 for. Fred deliberately over promised to get more money from his fans and used said money for medical bills and support his family instead of using it for game production. Why else is there only an hour of game play after nearly five years?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by legitalltheponies » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:45 pm

xion5139 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:15 pm
cidjen wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:11 pm
Does this timeline still look like a 'deliberate overpromise occured' to you ?
Yes because it clearly indicates there was health problems before the kickstarter ever started. After nearly five years they are not even close to completing the base game of two characters 4 - 6 hours each per character of gameplay that they asked for only $20,000 for. Fred deliberately over promised to get more money from his fans and used said money for medical bills and support his family instead of using it for game production. Why else is there only an hour of game play after nearly five years?
Nope.

All it says is that Fred had health problems before this started. I don't think there was a deliberate anything that happened here- no one could have expected the amount of money that came in and I think a lot of the promises came with overexcitement and the belief that they'd have the resources to do more things with more money.

Paarfi gave a good breakdown of why there isn't a game. It's because the dev team was trying to make something that didn't match their skills and resources. Fred basically is trying to animate the first part of the comic with a combination of way more art than he can deliver and programming that is far more complicated than if they had tried to do a traditional visual novel. That's why there isn't even an hour of play at this point.

xion5139
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:18 pm

legitalltheponies wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:45 pm

Nope.

All it says is that Fred had health problems before this started. I don't think there was a deliberate anything that happened here- no one could have expected the amount of money that came in and I think a lot of the promises came with overexcitement and the belief that they'd have the resources to do more things with more money.

Paarfi gave a good breakdown of why there isn't a game. It's because the dev team was trying to make something that didn't match their skills and resources. Fred basically is trying to animate the first part of the comic with a combination of way more art than he can deliver and programming that is far more complicated than if they had tried to do a traditional visual novel. That's why there isn't even an hour of play at this point.
It says clearly more then just Fred had health problems and that there were financial concerns. They can't even produce the base game with all the money they received though. Where did all that money go because it sure didn't go into production because as Paarfi said they only have an hour of Piro gameplay done after nearly five years? Fred has been working on this comic for many years and knows how much he can do. Fred deliberately over promised because he had medical bills that needed to be paid and to take care of his family.

If you want to defend a man that received a quarter of a million dollars making a lot of promises he hasn't kept then go ahead. Many of his fans want some answers because we haven't got anything for nearly five years.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:11 am

Fred mentioned financial concerns from what I saw on the rants, a total of one time.
You are trying to give it more meaning than it deserves - he was sick, then he got better, and then he wanted to make up for the lost value by embarking on something new - that is what I see as an outsider. Wanted to get back to work and emerge by leading something. Is that a bad thing? Don't we all fantasize about having some business leadership, owning a company, sometimes? He didn't have to, he had some, a microsized company but still.

Besides where does anyone say that the KS money is all gone? There is a specific mention that there is a pool of it set aside for the rewards. All Fred now needs to have, is time to fulfil them.

Also where does anyone say that nothing is being done for the VN project any more? Even the team members say that they would not consider continuing given the circumstances, but it's Fred's project and he did not give up on it. Not Fred's words, mind you.

So there is little defense, but at least there is no need to be cynical about it, or accuse him of being one.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:54 am

cidjen wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:11 am
Fred mentioned financial concerns from what I saw on the rants, a total of one time.
You are trying to give it more meaning than it deserves - he was sick, then he got better, and then he wanted to make up for the lost value by embarking on something new - that is what I see as an outsider. Wanted to get back to work and emerge by leading something. Is that a bad thing? Don't we all fantasize about having some business leadership, owning a company, sometimes? He didn't have to, he had some, a microsized company but still.

Besides where does anyone say that the KS money is all gone? There is a specific mention that there is a pool of it set aside for the rewards. All Fred now needs to have, is time to fulfil them.

Also where does anyone say that nothing is being done for the VN project any more? Even the team members say that they would not consider continuing given the circumstances, but it's Fred's project and he did not give up on it. Not Fred's words, mind you.

So there is little defense, but at least there is no need to be cynical about it, or accuse him of being one.
How many times have we heard Fred puts family first over the years? He had a decrease of income and medical bills he needed to pay and a family to take care of. Wanting to get back to work is a good thing but over promising on something one knows they cannot deliver is wrong. Fred deliberately over promised on the kickstater because if you look at the comic that had been going on for 13 years at that point the kickstarter was release there is no way Fred to draw and illustrate all that in a little time of just a little over six months. To quote the kickstater page "We've done the numbers and worked out an estimate of the amount of character artwork, backgrounds and CG event works the game will require. We've set the release date to be more than six months from when substantial work will begin (when this Kickstarter is over), which i feel will be enough time to do all the work required, but as with any creative endeavor some of it might take longer to produce than hoped." Somehow after nearly five years and they only have one hour of game play done with only one character anyone would begin to wonder.

Misappropriation of funds for the production of this game and used to pay Fred's families medical bills is illegal and Fred can face jail time for doing such if it comes out he did.

The kickstater money is gone minus whatever Fred has put aside for the physical rewards that will never be released apparently because it has been said Fred can't afford to put aside the comic anymore and the store so that means the money is basically gone. Why you think they lost their primary developer?

Very little is getting done with the game after five years there has been little produced.

Why are you defending Fred so much after almost five years of nothing but nothing. At the rate they are producing even the base game part one will take an additional 35 years. Based on the fact 5 years of developement equals to one hour of game time. I dunno about you cidjen but some backers put a lot of money into backing this game and they deserve respect and are getting none.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:15 am

xion5139 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:54 am

Misappropriation of funds for the production of this game and used to pay Fred's families medical bills is illegal and Fred can face jail time for doing such if it comes out he did.
Yes but we don't know that for sure and how much was used - I saw somewhere a construct like 'supported himself and family' when he had little time to do comic and art for sale - does not mean he used ALL of it. TLI and negative bias, hello ?
The kickstater money is gone minus whatever Fred has put aside for the physical rewards that will never be released apparently because it has been said Fred can't afford to put aside the comic anymore and the store so that means the money is basically gone. Why you think they lost their primary developer?
Again it seems to me like you're overstating the blame through negative bias.
Very little is getting done with the game after five years there has been little produced.
That is what everybody can see. Including Fred and the team. They stated that numerous times and apologized. Some of it would be better off as an Official Statement, maybe accompanied by a Plan Going Forward. But this is all we got - so that's what we got to use to deduce the run of events.
Why are you defending Fred so much after almost five years of nothing but nothing. At the rate they are producing even the base game part one will take an additional 35 years. Based on the fact 5 years of developement equals to one hour of game time. I dunno about you cidjen but some backers put a lot of money into backing this game and they deserve respect and are getting none.
I stated that before, I will repeat : I wasn't even around reading MT (call it a webcomic readers' hiatus) when KS occurred.

Because it's the overly negative bias and blaming it all on medical events I'm against.
I am not against making inquiries or more official statement(s) or demanding respect and making good on the promises; I don't know the man personally, all I know is of how he wrote about it and how his team describes him - doesn't look like a cynical money extorting con to me. Call me naive all you want, but a cynical con would have disappeared with all of it or whatever's left long time ago.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by paarfi » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:12 am

legitalltheponies wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:45 pm
I don't think there was a deliberate anything that happened here- no one could have expected the amount of money that came in and I think a lot of the promises came with overexcitement and the belief that they'd have the resources to do more things with more money.
This is entirely correct.
legitalltheponies wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:45 pm
of why there isn't a game. It's because the dev team was trying to make something that didn't match their skills and resources. Fred basically is trying to animate the first part of the comic with a combination of way more art than he can deliver and programming that is far more complicated than if they had tried to do a traditional visual novel. That's why there isn't even an hour of play at this point.
This too.

The extra money was, counter-intuitively, a big part of the problem. Fred felt like he needed to produce a game that was good enough to justify that kind of funding, and that kind of support. That was a big driver behind the massive feature creep that set in, with the "slow animation" and other things. Plus he promised way more with each additional stretch goal than (in hindsight) it turned out we could deliver.

There wasn't any malice here. Fred was completely inexperienced at game development and got in way over his head. When things go wrong, Fred's instinctive reaction is not to take a step back and reassess, but to put his head down and just work harder. That kind of mule-headed determination is why the Megatokyo webcomic is still going after 18 years (and all the difficulties of the last 10), but that didn't work as well with game development.
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by Rowandoll » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:45 pm

Then, again, a post-mortem published on kickstarter:

-What happened
-What went wrong
-How the money was spent
-What was learned
-What to expect from the modified result
-What's going to happen to people that paid for physical rewards. Even and especially if the answer is 'nothing'.

Considering that this series involves characters harmed and running from fandom, and how awful and toxic fandom is...A 'zero is what you get' response would be in-theme at least.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:20 pm

cidjen wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:15 am
Yes but we don't know that for sure and how much was used - I saw somewhere a construct like 'supported himself and family' when he had little time to do comic and art for sale - does not mean he used ALL of it. TLI and negative bias, hello ?
Well considering nothing much with the game has been produced a game that was supposed to be released in 2014 and the fact that Fred can't afford to put the comic or the store aside anymore says they burnt says the money is basically gone.

Again it seems to me like you're overstating the blame through negative bias.
So this entire thing should be blameless no one's fault walk away and say oh well?
That is what everybody can see. Including Fred and the team. They stated that numerous times and apologized. Some of it would be better off as an Official Statement, maybe accompanied by a Plan Going Forward. But this is all we got - so that's what we got to use to deduce the run of events.
Fred doesn't have a plan and he clearly should have thought of something after nearly five years. It was made apparent during the kickstarter by making more and more stretch goals to get more and more money out of his fans with clear indication of how he was going to execute all of it.
I stated that before, I will repeat : I wasn't even around reading MT (call it a webcomic readers' hiatus) when KS occurred.

Because it's the overly negative bias and blaming it all on medical events I'm against.
I am not against making inquiries or more official statement(s) or demanding respect and making good on the promises; I don't know the man personally, all I know is of how he wrote about it and how his team describes him - doesn't look like a cynical money extorting con to me. Call me naive all you want, but a cynical con would have disappeared with all of it or whatever's left long time ago.
The medical issues are most likely where the money went because it sure didn't go into production with an hour of gameplay done after nearly five years. Fred isn't saying hardly anything or has come up with much if any plans in nearly five years why is that? There is no reason why the base game shouldn't be done with just two main character after almost five years and a quarter of a million dollars. He might as well have disappeared cause we are basically not hearing much of if anything from him. He still conning people from his patreon and the people that still blindly support him and his comic. How many years of nothing but nothing should we wait exactly with all the money given to Fred till we can be allowed to suspect the money went other places then game development?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:28 pm

paarfi wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:12 am

The extra money was, counter-intuitively, a big part of the problem. Fred felt like he needed to produce a game that was good enough to justify that kind of funding, and that kind of support. That was a big driver behind the massive feature creep that set in, with the "slow animation" and other things. Plus he promised way more with each additional stretch goal than (in hindsight) it turned out we could deliver.

There wasn't any malice here. Fred was completely inexperienced at game development and got in way over his head. When things go wrong, Fred's instinctive reaction is not to take a step back and reassess, but to put his head down and just work harder. That kind of mule-headed determination is why the Megatokyo webcomic is still going after 18 years (and all the difficulties of the last 10), but that didn't work as well with game development.
So now you all blaming all the extra money for the problems when somehow you can't even get the base game done with all the money you received? After almost five years has Fred not thought that maybe it isn't working and something needs to be changed? Why did Fred start the Visual Novel up was it because he had medical bills to pay and lost income due to not working. How come if a lot of the money has gone into production as you said that there is only one hour of gameplay done of one character after nearly five years? Did Fred deliberately over promised because how did he calculate that he would have the first part done in a little over six months and almost five years nothing?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by cidjen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:05 pm

xion5139 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:20 pm
cidjen wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:15 am
Yes but we don't know that for sure and how much was used - I saw somewhere a construct like 'supported himself and family' when he had little time to do comic and art for sale - does not mean he used ALL of it. TLI and negative bias, hello ?
Well considering nothing much with the game has been produced a game that was supposed to be released in 2014 and the fact that Fred can't afford to put the comic or the store aside anymore says they burnt says the money is basically gone.
I said that before, I will repeat here: we have too little information to say that for sure.
Again it seems to me like you're overstating the blame through negative bias.
So this entire thing should be blameless no one's fault walk away and say oh well?
I did not say that, didn't I ? What happened to 'don't assume malice on what can be explained by other means well enough' ? (mildly speaking))
That is what everybody can see. Including Fred and the team. They stated that numerous times and apologized. Some of it would be better off as an Official Statement, maybe accompanied by a Plan Going Forward. But this is all we got - so that's what we got to use to deduce the run of events.
Fred doesn't have a plan and he clearly should have thought of something after nearly five years. It was made apparent during the kickstarter by making more and more stretch goals to get more and more money out of his fans with clear indication of how he was going to execute all of it.
I stated that before, I will repeat : I wasn't even around reading MT (call it a webcomic readers' hiatus) when KS occurred.

Because it's the overly negative bias and blaming it all on medical events I'm against.
I am not against making inquiries or more official statement(s) or demanding respect and making good on the promises; I don't know the man personally, all I know is of how he wrote about it and how his team describes him - doesn't look like a cynical money extorting con to me. Call me naive all you want, but a cynical con would have disappeared with all of it or whatever's left long time ago.
The medical issues are most likely where the money went because it sure didn't go into production with an hour of gameplay done after nearly five years. Fred isn't saying hardly anything or has come up with much if any plans in nearly five years why is that? There is no reason why the base game shouldn't be done with just two main character after almost five years and a quarter of a million dollars. He might as well have disappeared cause we are basically not hearing much of if anything from him. He still conning people from his patreon and the people that still blindly support him and his comic. How many years of nothing but nothing should we wait exactly with all the money given to Fred till we can be allowed to suspect the money went other places then game development?
Disappeared in plain sight ? Hey this is not a movie or a visual novel, it's the life itself.

Look, I hear you. I said that before - you do have the right to hear the answers - I never denied that, and have no intention to.

But, on what ground do you still assume there is or was malice going on? Because from what we can dig out [the publicly avalable info, rants and answers] , *I* just do not think I could assume that.

But, are you now suddenly speaking in the name of people who Fred is 'conning' out on Patreon, of all things?
Maybe better ask them first, what they feel about supporting Fred, given his past, or if anyone is doing it 'blindly', and how many of the KS backers actually still do back him over there.
(no snark intended here, it is an interesting question to set actually)
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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:27 pm

cidjen ok well keep defending Fred. Some of his backers don't have the luxury to wait indefinitely for this game to come out.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by AzurePanda » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:06 am

At this point my hopes for the VN are basically nil. I would LOVE to be proven wrong, of course. My biggest concern atm is either getting a FULL refund, or having my physical rewards shipped out as close to immediately as possible. I'm sick and tired of waiting. I'm done with wondering. Do one or the other...

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by legitalltheponies » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:31 pm

AzurePanda wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:06 am
At this point my hopes for the VN are basically nil. I would LOVE to be proven wrong, of course. My biggest concern atm is either getting a FULL refund, or having my physical rewards shipped out as close to immediately as possible. I'm sick and tired of waiting. I'm done with wondering. Do one or the other...
Physical rewards aren't going to ship out and depending on how much you pledged, there might well not be enough for a refund. It sure would be nice to have a detailed breakdown of costs and whether refunds are still a possibility, but here we are.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:22 pm

legitalltheponies wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:31 pm
Physical rewards aren't going to ship out and depending on how much you pledged, there might well not be enough for a refund.
Where has it been said anywhere that physical rewards aren't going to be shipped out?

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by NinjaDefenestrator » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:40 pm

xion5139 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:27 pm
cidjen ok well keep defending Fred. Some of his backers don't have the luxury to wait indefinitely for this game to come out.
Are you dying? Maybe Fred can talk to you about how some of the story was supposed to go or add you to the beta testers, if that’s why you are insistent about receiving your rewards soon.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by AzurePanda » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:52 pm

NinjaDefenestrator wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:40 pm
xion5139 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:27 pm
cidjen ok well keep defending Fred. Some of his backers don't have the luxury to wait indefinitely for this game to come out.
Are you dying? Maybe Fred can talk to you about how some of the story was supposed to go or add you to the beta testers, if that’s why you are insistent about receiving your rewards soon.
You shouldn't have to be dying to be sick and tired of waiting when it is 5 years later and still NOTHING

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by NinjaDefenestrator » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:59 pm

No, of course not. But this poster indicated they didn’t have the luxury of time, so it’s a legitimate question.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by Gerakis » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:55 pm

You know, I've been reading this comic for so long, I can't remember when I started. When I saw the Kickstarter, it was an insta-back for me. It's been awhile, but I think I backed at the $75 tier. Then I shelved the project in the back of my mind. Seeing how it's apparently been five years (wow does time fly!) since the Kickstarter, I must say that I'm feeling okay. I've backed other projects at that have failed and/or defrauded users (Tales from the Wasteland anybody?), but with regards to the VN, I don't feel like Fred purposefully cheated or anything. It feels to me more like life sucker-punched him in the gut and then kicked him when he was on the ground. I do hope things turn out better for Fred and his family, and I do hope the VN gets completed one day (I'm a patient man). But in the end, life goes on.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by xion5139 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:23 pm

NinjaDefenestrator wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:40 pm
Are you dying? Maybe Fred can talk to you about how some of the story was supposed to go or add you to the beta testers, if that’s why you are insistent about receiving your rewards soon.
No not currently dying although was in a bad car accident and also hit by a car as a pedestrian recently. I am currently fighting a legal battle that could very well land me up homeless and if that happens I won't be able to play this game if it does ever come out.

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Re: The Visual Novel

Post by paarfi » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:43 pm

xion5139 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:23 pm
No not currently dying although was in a bad car accident and also hit by a car as a pedestrian recently. I am currently fighting a legal battle that could very well land me up homeless and if that happens I won't be able to play this game if it does ever come out.
Wow. Sorry to hear that. I had a bad car accident 6 years ago. The medical bills and months when I couldn't work probably would have ruined me if I hadn't had good auto and health insurance, and so many people can't afford that. Best of luck to you.
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