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Author Topic: Net Gain: Corporate Espionage in 2043. Development probably abandoned.  (Read 41238 times)

jhxmt

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Likewise, glad for the update - keep on chugging!  :)
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askovdk

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Thank you for the update.
I'm sorry to hear that you have been so deep down, but it sound like both you and NetGain is heading in a good direction again.  :)

(And also thank you for reminding us that behind many apparent  *** money grapping *** EA development stop ** scams(!!) lies a reality of desperation, depression and broken dreams.  :'( So again, great to hear that you back.  :D )

Consider leaving a link to this update on the Desura news. I can understand if you prefer to wait till you have a nice updated version, but I believe that letting people know that there has been trouble will make us just the more happy when the update comes (instead of perhaps thinking: "?? so long silence, and then we don't get moar??" )
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BlindKitty

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I, too, am very happy to hear from you - and I completely understand the problems you faced. But rest assured that we are all backing you up! Waiting for a great game is not so bad - probably much better than playing a bad game. ;)
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Retropunch

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Would just like to also chime in to say how happy I am to hear it's back in development.
I also think it's a good idea to spread this news as widely as possible - it's always very worrying when devs just go quiet.
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With enough work and polish, it could have been a forgettable flash game on Kongregate.

EuchreJack

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Glad to hear things are still going.  You might benefit from setting an end point: Gameplay of X level by Y date, then you can walk away.  If you implement mod support, you can let the player base fill in some of the content.

I'd still like to throw money at this game.
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nenjin

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SB just put out a backer update.

It puts into formal words what many had already assumed: he and the project had fallen on hard times.

He's brutally honest about how things have gone since he went dark, to the point if you're looking to have your confidence in the game built up, this isn't going to do it for you. I get this is a message he felt was obligated to send, rather than he wanted to.

Essentially, he has to find full-time work to sustain himself, both financially and in terms of his sanity and motivation. Development has become a bit of an Ouroburos with the understandable impact on his confidence and drive to have something to show. He lost the help he hired (and spent Kickstarter money on), has gutted and re-written the game more than once by now, and so he's sort of back to Square One. Penniless with a half finished framework of a game.

So the plan has pretty radically changed at this point:
1. Find work.
2. Reobtain financial stability.
3. Work on Net gain as time allows.

So....yeah. Not what anyone wants to hear, but it's the truth and I'll take that. He could have, as some Kickstarters have done, just fled the scene entirely. So I respect him for owning up to the way things went, and for refusing to let go of development, as tempting and sensible an option as that is right now. But as someone who carries their failures around with them for a long time, I think I get that admitting defeat isn't an option. The ghost that would haunt him for that would ultimately be worse for him than what he's currently going through.

I can't lie and say that I'm not disappointed, but I feel like I can wait as long as it takes for him to pull things together again. My Kickstarter money....I guess if it played any part in him learning, failing and eventually succeeding to release a Net Gain he's happy with, it was money well spent.

To SB, it sucks but that's life. Just remember to can your ego, the part where making you feel bad about failing further inhibits you, and you might find the mental peace and space to approach development as something fun and liberating again, instead of grueling and imprisoning. Just stay in touch and let us know the progress you end up making.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 05:43:51 pm by nenjin »
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jocan2003

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Well ill give him that, he rose up and spoke the hard sounding truth and have my respect for that. When i spend money on kickstarter i consider the money lost anyway so i dont get my hopes up and then down again. If it work perfect but if it doesnt, well doesnt affect me as i went in thinking it would fail anyway. Im a grim guy but that money was basicly spare money i had.

Now as for the game i can wait all the time in the world for the game to be delivered. Also the difference between a master and an apprentice is that the master failed more often then the apprentive ever tried!.
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sparkbolt

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Hey guys!
So yeah, the backer-only post pretty much sums up what I posted here last time, except I've acknowledged I have to find full time work and rebuild my warchest, instead of this unsteady practice of building debt and trying to find contracts which seem to be only making up for the time lost trying to land them, for a zero sum resolution.


It was more out of obligation. Not to say I didn't want to say it, to let people know what was going on, just that the shame of admitting defeat and personal issues to a thousand strangers and close friends and family is pretty intimidating. I considered editing it out, but couldn't think of a way to give the full context for what was happening without being open about everything.


I didn't so much lose the help as Morgan just had to go back to school, and honestly the cost seemed to be higher than the development gotten for it, since I had to pay him a decent amount (even with a portion of his pay being from future sales) while my own time was costing me well below minimum wage. Of course the cost of living below the poverty line started to outweigh the other advantages. The guilt of falling behind led me to run in Crunch Mode for years, but with that nasty spiral of doubting my work much of it was wasted effort.


The game isn't a total mess, though. IT still has (most) of the things from the last build, and quite a few features past that, but the heart of it has been a mess from trying to figure out how to best make it all work.
That's the Aspect system, the tags that you add/remove to targets, that enable different actions, that alter the rules and so forth. It's been difficult to create, due to it's complexity and interactions with almost every element, and my initial inexperience with programming things this complex was definitely a hindrance. My recent research has given me some solid ideas for resolving this, though, and it's starting to fall in place.



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Net Gain: Corporate Espionage.
Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!

Mephansteras

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Glad to hear the project is still moving forward, even if slowly!
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jocan2003

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I am waiting eagerly for this game as it makes me think of beyond protocol agent system where your agent was quite powerfull and unique, could improve stats etc Was very deep.
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Quote from: LoSboccacc
that was a luky dwarf. I had one dabbling surgeon fail so spectacularly that the patient skull flew a tile away from the table.
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DF doesn't mold players into its image - DF merely selects those who were always ready for DF.
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Minecraft UI is very simple. There's only so many ways you can implement "simple" without copying something. We also gonna complain that it uses WASD?

puke

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I'll still buy it when it's ready.
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Retropunch

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I'm sure people have already said it, but it always bares repeating: A good game is well worth waiting for.

No one minds having to wait another year (or two, or four) for it, as long as it does get done and it gets done well. I'd only suggest to keep people up to date with fortnightly or monthly updates (even if it's a paragraph or two just saying I've thought about....' or whatever) so that we know the project isn't dead.

Take as long as you need, just please don't let it die!



 
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With enough work and polish, it could have been a forgettable flash game on Kongregate.

Geneoce

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PTW. Been looking for a game like this, could be a good play come 2016-2017.
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I don't care that the vacuum people are promising a blowjob machine in the future. I'll buy it then if they ever deliver.

askovdk

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Yes, this project has some good and very unique ideas.
I very much like the 'information economy', i.e. specific information gained in one area can be transformed (with a loss) to different information. That fits my impression of covert networks, where you can build up influence, but once it is used on a specific hit, then that source is blown.

I would personally like this extended in Net Gain, so you can plant cells (in regions / cooperations / market sectors) to gather non-specific strength (owed favours, black mail, financial pressure, ...) and this can then be transformed before and during a mission. Having a large strength in a given area gives you a higher exposure, and as covert agents this should result in lesser defence in that area.
(My current pet project (that will probably never leave my notebook) is a boardgame with this mechanic.)
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sparkbolt

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Hey all! Posted a new update on the KickStarter. Short of it is I landed a job and I've been adapting to the changes, starting to get some development time on weekends, maybe a few weekday evenings in a bit.
Also making a small change with some notable impacts: You only have one "primary" cell, and support cells (1-3 operatives) that do things over time, like gather intel or secure a safehouse for a region. (More on that below)


I very much like the 'information economy' ... I would personally like this extended in Net Gain ...
That's all pretty much in there already! you can gather Sigma on any target (including regions, markets, relationships). Sigma is basically the sum "point" value of the intel, schedules, favours, moles, and etc that you've set up/discovered relating to that target. Sigma - on a target - is the sum of your actionable resources you can bring to the table. In a location, this can be used to gain sigma on related targets - uncover who's passed through that territory, detail local federal security schedules, infiltrate a local politicians campaign - or to expand a safehouse. On a corporation it gain intel on their connections - uncovering access to their company assets, executives and stores of more liquid capital. On an industry it can raise/lower market wealth -cause crashes and sabotage factories or boost commercial interests and sudden stock rallies. On security it can bribe off detects or increase conflict hits - hire a mole to let you in, or target them for mortar fire.
Operatives can collect as much sigma as they can hold on to, but the longer they operate in an area the more heat they'll gain, and you'll have to offset by sleeping the cell or devoting more resources to the safehouse infrastructure/network.


Kickstarter Post Snippet:
One of the main ideas is one that's been in the back of my mind for awhile; the player has a single "primary" cell. You'll still have satellite cells of 1-3 operatives, that'll do "persistent" jobs (running a safehouse, listening post, trailing politicians, brokering intel, etc), and operatives can still switch in for any role, you can pick up freelancers, swap out ops on retainer... but your primary cell is your main big team, the operatives that do the big, daring missions!


This actually solves a lot of other problems as well: the player's spends more time and can get to really know his primary team. The player no longer feels the need to spread out with multiple smaller teams that just get outmatched and killed. With that, the game can also be better balanced against the one team. There won't be Stories constantly pulling the player's focus back-and-forth between cells, instead focusing on the single mission as it unfolds (and keeps its dramatic tension). Players will be more likely to advance time to move between the plots in a mission, which helps space out events, allow the world to adapt and react to stuff the player does, assets to develop, resources to accumulate, so on. I think this'll even help the ops who get assigned to the support jobs; instead of making operatives bridge the gap you can tailor someone to be the dedicated safehouse operator for your team.


So I'll be making a few changes to get that, most of it will be tweaking profits->budgets->salaries, challenges for a team, and changes to the UI/menus. The gameplay focus will still be on implementing Stories, the events triggered by mission plots, news stories, skill tests, certain aspects, etc. They have to most potency with delivering narrative and setting content, and offering unique gameplay options. Once the framework and a good number of rules are implemented (the different ways Stories can impact the world), they will be an easier way to provide you all with more frequent content: they're fun and easy to create, and I've got notebooks full of them!
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Net Gain: Corporate Espionage.
Cyberpunk Espionage Strategy by Level Zero Games!
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