Author Topic: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again  (Read 4773 times)

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Like planet annihilation?

Yeah, that sort of thing. Realistic graphics are . . expensive. Maybe toon shaded isn't that much better, I don't know, but I think you can get a better looking style for less money with toon shaded. With the same amount of money, realistic might just look mediocre.


If NGMT or whatever is right and they don't really have much industry experience, are they going to do well? I mean, if one were to take say one of the successful hi-definition mods from HLP, say Blue Planet or Diaspora, and if someone did a kickstarter and these mod teams suddenly got a million dollars would they know how to best spend it?

Modding Mechwarrior 4 or whatnot in your spare time, and building a game world from the ground up as a full-time job seem like two slightly different animals. Heck working professionally (full time) on a project, compared to in an amateur way (part time) is a challenge regardless of the project or medium. Anyone can dabble here and there in their spare time for fun, but sitting down 5 days a week and working 8 hours a day or more is something else. Just even the weight of expectation alone is HUGE. If you have 400K of someone else's money, and they're all asking you what the hell is going on, could you handle it?

Even those FTL guys, who had most of a working game already, and probably less money via KS were super stressed to get their game out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8ebemSIWP0 (decent interview with them).

EDIT - It's a good interview except for the woman's inability to say "niche" correctly  :mad:

« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 05:33:32 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 

Offline iVoid

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Very valid points made there. Some people just regard modding as an entryway to the actual gaming industry, the guys at mektek seem way too eager to do just that, judging by their history.

Their previous abandoned projects don't look good on their record, but I got to admit that the footage they showed got me excited, and the features they promise also look very promising if they do manage to pull it off. Fast paced mech action with completely destructible enviroments and melee attacks does sound really awesome!

 

Offline yuezhi

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
I only see one person ranting.
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Offline The E

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
If NGMT or whatever is right and they don't really have much industry experience, are they going to do well? I mean, if one were to take say one of the successful hi-definition mods from HLP, say Blue Planet or Diaspora, and if someone did a kickstarter and these mod teams suddenly got a million dollars would they know how to best spend it?

Speaking for myself, the answer would be "hell no". None of the BP team members has any sort of experience budgeting a game; and while I do believe that we have a solid set of skills to make something enjoyable, we're not even amateurs when it comes to the business side of things.

Successful Kickstarters in the 7-digit range need a few things. For one, a good pitch. Two, a team with a proven track record of delivering the goods. Mektek ... kinda aren't either of those. Hell, the MW4 Mercs open release was mismanaged from start to finish, as far as I am concerned, from the hilariously bad installer to the way they were actively prohibiting user contributions.

That, to me, is a severe black mark against these people, and I trust NGTM-1R more than I would them.

(Also, note how hilariously underfunded the project is. Even the usual last-minute boost you're usually seeing on kickstarter isn't going to save them)
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Offline Spoon

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Did anyone linked these here yet? http://youtu.be/tEODw4lIDwE
http://youtu.be/-CdcMXSbHFQ


Edit: Yeah I guess they already got sorta linked with the kickstarter page link.
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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
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 :D)


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 :)

 
Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
....why are people from another website trying to make arguments about their game on a different website they likely never heard about until that forum post?

Are you trying to accomplish something?
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Offline Black Wolf

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Most likely he's trying to get his campaign funded. Kickstarter campaigns live and die by community involvement - this kind of thing isn't just common, it seems to be practically required. It's not atypical at all.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
[modhat]I'm going to choose this thread to remind everybody that meaningful contribution to the discussion is encouraged.

Casting aspersions upon the motives of a new poster that is contributing meaningfully to the discussion, and doing it with a significantly above-average quality post, is not meaningful contribution.

In essence, it appears to me that Agronarch is indeed trying to accomplish something: Constructive discussion and clarification of the circumstances surrounding a project that he is personally involved in.  He will not be harrassed for that.[/modhat]

 

Offline SypheDMar

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
[modhat]I'm going to choose this thread to remind everybody that meaningful contribution to the discussion is encouraged.

Casting aspersions upon the motives of a new poster that is contributing meaningfully to the discussion, and doing it with a significantly above-average quality post, is not meaningful contribution.

In essence, it appears to me that Agronarch is indeed trying to accomplish something: Constructive discussion and clarification of the circumstances surrounding a project that he is personally involved in.  He will not be harrassed for that.[/modhat]
Thank you.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Same thoughts here. That's not how we should welcome people.

Agonarch, I wish you guys luck.

  
Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
I'm familiar with Hard-Light, I played a good amount of FS1 and was one of the sadly too few people (like I'm guessing pretty much everyone here is) that bought FS2.  I've played a bit of the newer open sourced stuff (I especially like the wing commander saga mod - the mission where you have to abandon a station is one of my favourite game moments of all time).  I have no doubt there are plenty of people here that have blown me to shreds online.

I never signed up to the forums, because I've never really had anything relevant to say.  There were some things that needed clearing up here and that's why I came - it's unfair to our guys (and you guys) to leave accusations unanswered if they're wrong, that's all.  I never meant any offense by my visiting here, only to respond to dispel the confusion and allow you guys an opportunity to ask further questions if you wanted - the thread does seem to be Stompy Bot/Mektek related, after all :D

If you don't want to ask about HG that's fine too, you're welcome to ask me about Freespace if you prefer, that's not really derailing the topic, there's been a lot of activity in that IP on the legal side of that recently that you might have questions about (honestly a bit surprised that wasn't the first thing that anyone said to me :)).

 

Offline The E

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Oh yeah, Agonarch, we heard that Stompy Bot made a bit for the FS trademark a couple months ago. What made you do that, given that you were nowhere near owning the IP or any of the other relevant bits of the franchise?
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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
I'm not sure about the why 100% as it wasn't me behind it, but I can say that with the trademark and IP licensing we'd be able to develop a Freespace game at some point in the future.  I think that the plan was to at least try to reassemble the rights so someone could develop it again, even if it wasn't us (we'd be wanting to hire some of the old Volition guys before we went anywhere near that route anyway, it's a long way off from any perspective).

The IP was split into multiple pieces until recently which prevented development of a game without getting multiple licences.  Now, for the first time since the early 2000s someone has them all (Interplay) so there's reasonable hope again, it's much easier to license from one entity, if they'll do it.

For the Trademark we applied for August last year, I'm a little concerned they didn't oppose it (I would've expected either Interplay or THQ to).  I guess we get to find out what their intentions are now, as the new rights they acquired are the development rights - they could theoretically block Freespace development using that if it's what they were after doing.  I'm hoping the tiny sale price was reflective of THQ "giving" the rights to Interplay and covering lawyer costs rather than of Interplay not valuing the property.  The whole thing makes me a mixture of nervous and hopeful, as Freespace was always the ugly stepchild to Descent from Interplay's perspective back when it was being released - I'm hoping that's reflective of the old Interplay and that has changed with the time that has passed - but they have both the ability to build a new game or shut it down now.

You guys (or, the FSO guys) should contact Interplay - see if they're willing to license it to you!

I'm not kidding, I really think someone should do it before Derek pops up again.  I'd back a Hard-Light/FSO kickstarter if you guys did that. :)

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
I answer a lot of GBLs concerns

Thing is, you really don't. I did follow that thread and he noted that. You don't here either.

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.

Tangential non-answer. Not related to the point made or even related to the initial reveal problems. The initial reveal trailer issues are unrelated to the use or non-use of UE4, and indeed considering what was done there most commercial modelling programs could have created the content portion of that video. I'm not kidding when I say I could enlist one of our modelers for day to make a model and install my copy of Cinema4D and make the eight seconds of content in the reveal trailer in...24 hours?

Indeed, if you were actually having some kind of (irrelevant to a rendered trailer, I repeat, rendered) UE4 troubles, the fact they impacted at all on the creation of this trailer suggests poor planning and poor choices on how to create the trailer.

3: Inexperience:

You're modders. You're not game builders. Read The E's posts earlier in the thread. Also there's manifest inexperience in how to crowdfund displayed, manifest inexperience in how to run a website displayed (again, the lack of password retrieval option), manifest community management inexperience (different things being told to different people, basic questions on the FB page ignored for weeks, trying to crowdfund a free-to-pay game).

4: Incomplete Projects:  Almost all the claims I've seen of this seem to be unfounded

Ironically, you actually failed to answer GBL in that thread when he offered counters. He noted several times that your answers did not even shift the blame off Mektek on the surface.

5: Lying to Dreampod fans:

It's literally on the second page, actually, and you're like "IT'S TWO MONTHS" and I'd point out it's actually only ten pages regardless of time, but in brief they thought vehement rejection of pay-to-win while at the same time offering full arsenals to everyone who does in fact contribute money to the cause constituted dissimulation, and there are other commentaries on waffling or contradictory answers. (For example the game will/will not get made depending on the failure of the kickstarter. Both answers have been given on different occasions, more than once.)

EDIT: Actually I'd also note there's some interesting commentary from DP9 employees there as well where they say they're not very well-informed on how HGA is progressing, which is strange for them to say and strange as a thing for either side to tolerate.

EDIT THE SECOND: I should also mention this is despite the fact that DP9's 2IC as of last September became Stompy Bot's marketing director, making the story they aren't closely coordinated seem more like a desire to cut ties or under-the-bus-throwing.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 10:30:20 am by NGTM-1R »
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Offline yuezhi

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Oh boy, there goes the neighborhood. Still I was wondering about that preview or rather that "12 seconds of fancy logo in flash".
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Offline FireSpawn

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Due to the fact that no one else has done it....

:welcome:


I'm not too sure how I feel about you guys going after the FS IP and I'm rather dubious about HGA so I'll just wait until it's out before passing judgement. I do have to ask though, will there be any actual gameplay footage any time soon? I'm not talking about scripted stuff using the engine, but footage from an actual match. Because proof of progress like that would probably help your company's position in regards to this.
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Offline iVoid

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Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Huff! I'm SO glad this turned out alright... It was indeed a stupid thing for me to post a public message in a thread from another forum, things could have got out of hand... But it seems that not only that was avoided but the FS community has also got some useful information about the FS IP! I'm so glad :D

And this is exactly the kind of response I expected from an admin, I'm glad my faith wasn't misplaced.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 03:48:14 pm by iVoid »

 
Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Thing is, you really don't. I did follow that thread and he noted that. You don't here either.
You say this - but I obviously can't see where this is or I'd have answered it.  Please be specific - I'm assuming the rest of these are related to this?

Tangential non-answer. Not related to the point made or even related to the initial reveal problems. The initial reveal trailer issues are unrelated to the use or non-use of UE4, and indeed considering what was done there most commercial modelling programs could have created the content portion of that video. I'm not kidding when I say I could enlist one of our modelers for day to make a model and install my copy of Cinema4D and make the eight seconds of content in the reveal trailer in...24 hours?

Indeed, if you were actually having some kind of (irrelevant to a rendered trailer, I repeat, rendered) UE4 troubles, the fact they impacted at all on the creation of this trailer suggests poor planning and poor choices on how to create the trailer.

OK, I perhaps wasn't clear enough here - the reveal video wasn't the priority at this point in time, fixing the playable demo for GDC players was.

You're modders. You're not game builders. Read The E's posts earlier in the thread. Also there's manifest inexperience in how to crowdfund displayed, manifest inexperience in how to run a website displayed (again, the lack of password retrieval option), manifest community management inexperience (different things being told to different people, basic questions on the FB page ignored for weeks, trying to crowdfund a free-to-pay game).
I get the impression you've not actually been reading the previous posts, I'll try this again anyway; Some of the old team are modders, trying to break into the industry, sure.  Many of our team are not that old team - one of our team started ubisoft montreal, another guy was the creative director for Crysis and Farcry - I don't know how much more "game builders" you want.  The crowdfund I have already talked about.  The line about different things being told to different people you are just going to have to give me an example of, because I'm not aware of that happening so I can't respond usefully.

Ironically, you actually failed to answer GBL in that thread when he offered counters. He noted several times that your answers did not even shift the blame off Mektek on the surface.
It's not about shifting blame, it's about clearing stuff up so people can have a better understanding of what's going on.  I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but if you have something specific, please ask it without such generalisation so I don't have to hunt through everything, find something I might have maybe missed, then answer that question, hoping it was what you were talking about.

It's literally on the second page, actually, and you're like "IT'S TWO MONTHS" and I'd point out it's actually only ten pages regardless of time, but in brief they thought vehement rejection of pay-to-win while at the same time offering full arsenals to everyone who does in fact contribute money to the cause constituted dissimulation, and there are other commentaries on waffling or contradictory answers. (For example the game will/will not get made depending on the failure of the kickstarter. Both answers have been given on different occasions, more than once.)
OK, so I mistook this thread for a different thread and hadn't read through it all, which was fortunate for me, because I ended up looking through the whole thing to see what you were talking about - Please, Please be more specific, or I'm not going to be able to afford the time to have this conversation.  I don't see any indication of lying, there's one pointing to a comment which says something like "If we can't get funding, then the game will not be made" and another comment that says "Development will continue if kickstarter fails".  Those comments were assembled a little out of context, and both are true - one refers to funding overall, and the other one refers to kickstarter funding.  I can only find one example of this, but I can see how that would be confusing.  Matches are governed by a maximum threat rating, so you might have all the guns in the world, but you can only take a certain amount into an actual match for balance.  That's like saying if one team has 2,000 of every weapon in stock in the loadout screen on freespace and the other has only 1,000 of each that the team with 2,000 of each has a significant advantage, which just isn't true (it's not that simple).  If they have more options initially then that's an advantage, but a small advantage that dwindles to nothing as the other player builds up the loadout they want is far from "pay to win" (it's not like the tables can be tipped with more money).

EDIT: Actually I'd also note there's some interesting commentary from DP9 employees there as well where they say they're not very well-informed on how HGA is progressing, which is strange for them to say and strange as a thing for either side to tolerate.

EDIT THE SECOND: I should also mention this is despite the fact that DP9's 2IC as of last September became Stompy Bot's marketing director, making the story they aren't closely coordinated seem more like a desire to cut ties or under-the-bus-throwing.
I'm not really in touch with Mason (their art director) but our Directors are regularly in contact with Robert from DP9, and I semi-regularly work with Jason Dickerson (the DP9 line editor).  I don't know about other members of our team, but there is a fair amount of collaboration from what I can see.  I think he was simply saying he wasn't informed on those particular issues which were being discussed, which is very likely the case.  If you're referring to "DP9 employees" and meaning more than that one guy, please, again, point out where.

I'm not too sure how I feel about you guys going after the FS IP and I'm rather dubious about HGA so I'll just wait until it's out before passing judgement. I do have to ask though, will there be any actual gameplay footage any time soon? I'm not talking about scripted stuff using the engine, but footage from an actual match. Because proof of progress like that would probably help your company's position in regards to this.
Thanks for the welcome! (and thanks to everyone else who's welcomed me here)

About Freespace, we're not planning on going after it from here, and have no intention of trying to stop Interplay or anything like that.  At the moment, I don't think we have the team we'd need to do Freespace justice - I'd be wanting to see some of the original Volition guys hired before we even tried to tackle it, assuming we could license it from Interplay.  This isn't a short-term goal, there's bound to be a ton of info that comes out before anything like this gets into the works.  The important thing is that someone has it.

We're working on a new gameplay demo as our main priority at the moment, but I'm not sure how public it'll be initially (investors will need to see it/demo it first), but after then hopefully we'll be able to show it off.

Huff! I'm SO glad this turned out alright... It was indeed a stupid thing for me to post a public message in a thread from another forum, things could have got out of hand... But it seems that not only that was avoided but the FS community has also got some useful information about the FS IP! I'm so glad :D

And this is exactly the kind of response I expected from an admin, I'm glad my faith wasn't misplaced.
Thanks for the invite :)

I really don't see the harm in this, though - I'm not trying to cause any problems, just looking to give better info where it's needed.

Oh boy, there goes the neighborhood. Still I was wondering about that preview or rather that "12 seconds of fancy logo in flash".
I really don't know - I'm surprised myself they didn't at least pan around the gear, have some smoke, lights, that kind of thing (we had all of that working).  The point was to indicate the Mektek Studios team were working with Stompy Bot on Heavy Gear, though, and it did do that (at that point in time the only official info was that stompy had the HG games license, nothing about the game, that it was in development, on UE4 or anything).  Unofficial leaks were all over the place, so none of that was news to most people who were interested, though.

 

Offline iVoid

  • 26
Re: Stompy Bot Productions Strikes Again
Yes, you're not doing anything wrong :) The only potential problem was that since my message was public, someone more immature could see it and come here looking for blood. I should had been more patient and just sent you a PM, that's all :)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:37:30 am by iVoid »