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 Post subject: Please Shut Me Up
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:20 pm 
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Joined: December 6, 2016
Posts: 65
The biggest issues with the development of PAL is the management of the project. They keep admitting that progress is slow... but why is it slow? Granted, this is a free game, and people are working on this just for fun... But when I work on "just for fun" projects, I'm way more into it than other work! Willing to work nights and weekends because the work itself is fun. I strongly suspect that this isn't fun at all for the people working on it.

Do you remember how we waited a year for the proto-battle system? Do you remember how we waited a year for free exploration? Do you remember how buggy these things were? This isn't the work of strongly motivated people. This is the work of people who waited until the last moment because they didn't want to work on it.

Now, I'm not going to pretend I know why the game isn't fun to work on. It's just clear from the actions of the people working on it that they aren't filled with passion for this anymore.

But then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they really have spent the past three years aggressively writing the heck out of the game. But then shouldn't something have happened when they cut the scope of the game from 3 years to just one? And then there's the most troubling sign that nothing is happening: the lead artist's isn't doing livestreams on twitch anymore. That was our one way to support the game... and our only real proof that the game was being worked on, at all. Sure, it's easy to say that they're working on behind the scenes stuff... but anyone who has seen the Spoony Experiment, we all know this can be code for "I'm not doing anything"... but it's trickier than that.

When the site went down, and when it went back up, we were told "why would we bother doing that if the game was dead?" I can tell you why: the devs believe what they're saying. They believe that this has just been three years of hiccups. They believe that if they just keep going, the game will be fully released when it's ready. But that's just not how the world works. It's no different than the person who says that they'll clean their room tomorrow. They say it to get people off their back, and when they say it, they can really mean it. But tomorrow comes, and the room doesn't get clean.

I don't think this game is beyond saving. There's still time to turn this around. There's one thing that can fix all of this: accountability. Deadlines are the worst, but they are necessary to get people motivated to get stuff done. When you have an infinite amount of time to do something, it will take an infinite amount of time to get it done. Even if deadlines are arbitrary, they still work. Why don't we try something? It's almost July... let's set a goal: The next demo will be released by August 31st. The demo will contain a full month's worth on content. Not only that, but by July 31st, there will be an announcement on the homepage saying that we should expect the next demo by the end of August.

Now, I'm not your boss, so of course you don't have to do this. But if you don't do this, you all need to admit to yourselves that nothing is happening, and that the game will never be finished. It's a challenge, but you can do it. Shut me up and put me in my place by restoring all of our faith in you!


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 Post subject: Re: Please Shut Me Up
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:36 am 
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Joined: June 29, 2019
Posts: 1
As someone who actually played the game and loved it, I STRONGLY agree with this. Not only did I play this game, I made a series and uploaded it to my Youtube channel (which soon was deleted because I didn't make anymore parts to it because the game wasn't getting updated), and to look back on a game that I enjoyed so much and see how nothing has come from the game really makes me sad. I don't feel as though the devs will restore this, and in all honesty, I'm kinda sad that they probably won't. I think there is hope, but it is very unlikely.


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 Post subject: Re: Please Shut Me Up
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:51 am 
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Joined: July 10, 2016
Posts: 54
If they let some rando give them a deadline they'll get harrassed to hell and back by everyone else demanding constant updates and releases.

Have you ever worked on a "just for fun" project as large as this? It quickly stops being fun once you stop working on the exciting, big picture features and have to do the 99% of the inbetween stuff.

Work is work and work is exhausting and we don't know anything about their other life commitments, we have no idea how much time in a given day or week they actually have to split between a hobby project and just having free time.

Further, pulling out a date out of thin air and demanding 4x the content of the previous demo be done in two months is ridiculous, when they already have to rewrite the intro for Ethan's and others' routes. You have no idea the current state of the project and if that 'deadline' is remotely feasible.

(Besides, less than two weeks ago the lead writer/artist announced his intention to get some progress done)


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 Post subject: Re: Please Shut Me Up
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:57 pm 
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Joined: December 6, 2016
Posts: 65
Aerik wrote:
If they let some rando give them a deadline they'll get harrassed to hell and back by everyone else demanding constant updates and releases.


Oh, I agree. That's why I didn't do this 3 months ago. I really hoped I didn't have to. I'm aware that I'm a jerk for doing this.

Aerik wrote:
Have you ever worked on a "just for fun" project as large as this? It quickly stops being fun once you stop working on the exciting, big picture features and have to do the 99% of the inbetween stuff.


I have. This is why I know the importance of deadlines. The deadlines make the boring parts fun. Now, it's a challenge, a goal. You get a sense of accomplishment more often. It also makes you feel more alive. I don't know how to describe it. Do you know that feeling when you watch a scary movie, and you're suddenly more aware of the world around you? Deadlines (when used properly) invoke those same feelings (to a lesser degree). Working at max capacity will also create a state of "flow", and the deadline forces you to work at max capacity for a short time. It can't be explained, it can only be felt.

Aerik wrote:
Work is work and work is exhausting and we don't know anything about their other life commitments, we have no idea how much time in a given day or week they actually have to split between a hobby project and just having free time.

Further, pulling out a date out of thin air and demanding 4x the content of the previous demo be done in two months is ridiculous, when they already have to rewrite the intro for Ethan's and others' routes. You have no idea the current state of the project and if that 'deadline' is remotely feasible.


That's true. I don't know their life commitments. I gave them (assuming they waited for SGDQ to end before working, and using today as a recovery day) 62 days. According to the credits page, we have 6 writers (VisualJae, dmjh93, Skye, Soundwave, ScottpilgramFMAB, and Kranyak... although I'm not going to count dmjh93 because they'll have to split their focus with other aspects of the game), and 2 coders (gouki, and Steve). Assuming people work an hour a day on this (on average), that's 310 hours of work on story boarding/writing, and 124 hours of coding by the deadline. Don't forget, a "month's worth of content" doesn't have to be that much. They don't need to script every hour, or even every class. You can have days of unused "free exploration" events that could have been missed (If you go to the pool on one day, you didn't go to the library. On another day, the library event can be recycled, and the pool be closed in the demo). I'm not suggesting that it will be easy, but it won't be insurmountable. In 300 hours, you can learn enough to become a level 1 CFA, and qualify for a job that pays 60k a year. 300 hours is not too unreasonable.

It doesn't have to be perfect, they can always fix things later. If they can't fit in Ethan right now, they don't have to. If they write something that doesn't quite make sense, that's ok. If the battle system has a bug, it's not the end of the world. The point is to do something, and not nothing. The longer they wait before releasing anything, the higher our expectations will be, and the less likely that they'll be able to meet our expectations. And that will kill the project. It's the sort of thing that eats away at your resolve, until you know there's nothing you can do to please people, and then you can't be motivated to work (I strongly suspect this is what happened in 2017, and 2018). However, if everyone knows that the devs only had 2 months to make things work, we'll lower our expectations, and be happy if anything is released in such a short period of time.

Aerik wrote:
(Besides, less than two weeks ago the lead writer/artist announced his intention to get some progress done)


I'll believe that when I see it. I'll keep a twitch tab open for you dmjh93.


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