Hi guys, Agonarch from Mektek here,
Firstly, I am not a warrior, I am not here to fight - just to answer questions and clear up information that is wrong. It's more for giving people who are out on other peoples forums arguing a chance to get some truth from a dev, at least then the conversation can continue with facts in place.
That said, I'm not sure quite what I have to answer - if you follow through the threads posted by NGTM you'll see that I answer a lot of GBLs concerns in there, he had made a couple of incorrect assumptions based on the information he had when he made a lot of those early posts but it got cleared up by the end. It's long, but if it's going to be quoted you should at least focus on the more recent stuff - the stuff posted here was posted after it'd been cleared up and was taken from a few days before I posted so I guess NGTM hadn't reached that point in the thread when he quoted it (to clarify this, I'm not accusing him of cherrypicking, it's a very long thread with some huge posts - I don't mean to imply anything or cause any offense).
I think I covered a lot of this over at dakkadakka, but I'll do quick answers for you anyway NGTM to clear a couple of things up here for you or other people who don't want to trawl through dakkadakka;1: Timer Release:
This was a big issue for us and sucked up a lot of time in those early delays while we got it fixed. Basically what happened was our part on the cloud hoster fell over during the spike, they never gave us a reason why but they did refund us a little money, at least. I don't know if I should say who we were using for cloudhosting, but it wasn't someone small who you could reasonably expect this might happen with; I can say that it's a two syllable word, first being a synonym for "tiny" and the second rhyming with "oft"2: Initial Reveal:
It wasn't malice or inexperience that caused the problems here, though you could argue it was a misspending of time perhaps. UE4 is a bleeding edge, in development engine, and when things change you need to either adapt everything to the new core of the engine if its serious or rewrite to better fit the intended design (so it'll be easier to adapt to future updates). The point of the Mektek reveal was to officially state what Mektek was working on and who they were working with, it wasn't given as much time as it perhaps should've been, but I thought it did achieve the goals it was intended for.3: Inexperience:
I see this claim thrown around by old Mektek fans a lot - mektek themselves have a great deal of experience (some of the core team members have been working on MW4 for 10 years, let alone work done as a studio more recently http://www.mechjock.com/
), and the new members of the team hired on from HG have experience making previous games such as MechWarrior2, Heavy Gear, Heavy Gear 2, Crysis, Farcry... I don't argue that we have no problems, but I wouldn't list inexperience as a concern. This seems to come exclusively from people who've known Mektek a long time, and I'm new to the team - is there something I'm missing here? How come the MechWarrior and Heavy Gear guys get this making a mech game when MWO (the "Duke Nukem Forever Multiplayer" guys) didn't?4: Incomplete Projects:
I went through this on DakkaDakka, and got GBL to name them then went through them with him. Almost all the claims I've seen of this seem to be unfounded, though there is some grain of truth with Solaris Assault Tech. SAT marks the one project shelved in over 10 years before being released to version 1 (and it was mainly for legal reasons, not sure what you'd want us to do there) - that's a very good
record, not a bad one, especially for a group that started as a mod team. Legal issues aren't an issue with this project, so a similar thing isn't likely to happen.5: Lying to Dreampod fans:
You are going to have to be specific here - I don't even know where to begin answering this one. You've linked to a 3 months long thread of people speculating about stuff that hasn't been released as being proof, but I don't see anything in there that seems especially relevant (it did point out to me that a lot of the information we're releasing isn't reaching that group, though, there's very recent complaints in there about the game being online only, for example, which it isn't - those complaints come from after we "cleared that up" which, apparently, we didn't
There are categories of things where I do feel we've done things wrong, but these aren't them and you don't bring them up here. I'll go through the ones that I can think of;
Our kickstarter pitch was confusing, and the projections given as "stretch goals" weren't clear - the initial big goals represented having those things complete by Dec 2014, which would mean in some cases (like singleplayer) hiring another dozen or so people (a 20+ hour campaign is very different from 3 hour episodes). It wasn't clarified that those goals would be worked towards whether or not they were met - people assumed they'd only get those things if those points were reached when the truth is that we'd work towards those as we had the money to - it's our fault that people made that assumption (that's the assumption I'd have made, too) based on the fact that I think they were actually listed as "stretch goals", and that's what "stretch goals" typically means.
I think the language isn't humble enough considering we're asking for money - the goal with crowdfunding is to get money and feedback from the players of the game directly, so we don't have to make concessions to an investor that make the game more "mass market friendly". The issue people face with investors is they do their best to make predictions on what will make money - strange genres like sims have so few releases it's hard to predict profit, and if you go back a few years to when the market was much smaller you can see why someone who's watching the profits might say people want to buy FPS (it's easy to compare because there's lots of them recently, less risk with the predictions). I don't think we ever say why we're coming to crowdfunding, and I think we should.
In spite of the above concerns, a lot of the information that there is available still isn't making it to fans even if they are following us semi-regularly. I don't think there's enough information released overall anyway, so people missing some is something we need to address at the very least.
A lot of this is covered in a great deal more detail at dakkadakka, and I'd rather be answering questions that are coming from you guys than going over the same stuff again. That said, if there is something you think needs more detail, feel free to ask. I have to admit, I didn't think it'd be Heavy Gear that I first came over here to talk about