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 Post subject: A (kinda long-winded) thanks to AGDI for QFG2...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:24 pm 
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Hiya.  

I found this forum several years back (2002-2003 IIRC) and learned about this wonderful project.  I  skimmed the forusm for awhile but didn't join - i just waited and agonized over its release rather impatiently (but rahter prudently avoided criticizng people who are freely giving of their time to revive it :P )

Then for a few years I uh, forgot about it, yeah.  Probably for the best, sincee it saved me alot of agonizing (and you guys from me snapping and complaining irrationally! )  Sometime in 2006-2007 I rediscovered it (and the agony came back.)  I browsed the forums again for awhile, then joined, mainly to thank you guys.

I appreciate you guys decided to revive this game so that it matches the rest of the series.  In fact you guys encouraged me to break out my old copies of the game and re-play them.  And in the meantime, I eagerly await the release of the game.  I also appreciate your patience with the rest of us (including the impatient ones) while you put the final touches on to make the game perfect for the rest of us.  I admit to being impatient like the rest, but I understand why you haven't released it yet, and I'm content to wait.)

Apologies if this comes off as fawning, I was just trying to hopefully convey my appreciation for you - you dont seem to get enough positive feedback as you should for your efforts.  So again, deep and heartfelt thanks for your years of effort at reviving this wonderful game for the rest of us to enjoy.

(I also bet that once you DO release the game, even those whiners you've dealt with will be fawning over you.   :P )


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Welcome to the forums and thanks for the kind words.

We're working on it as hard as we can. The game is getting more and more refined each day.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:58 pm 
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Oh I'm sure you guys are working on it as hard as you are able.  I've been following the "errors we've encountered" thing.  Seeing those kinds of things really make you realize just HOW complicated game making can be, even just the "bug finding" because there's got to be god knows how many permutations of things you can do ni the game in a single screen.

Really, having read that stuff is what really impresses me with your efforts and makes me be patient.   I don't think I could do that, myself.

If you don't mind me asking, how long has the testing been going on?  Did you guys end up having as many bugs as you thought there were, or did you not have any expectations?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:48 am 
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Yeah.  It's truly one of those things where you really don't know how hard it is unless you're actually there.  There are hundreds of variables which can affect each other and it gets truly insane.  I'm just trying to get a basic platformer game coded but even the simplest mistakes can make it a nightmare.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:37 am 
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The bugfixing stage is the least transparent phase in the entire development process. You never know how long it's gonna take until you're finished with it. We didn't expect it to take this long ourselves. I think this "second phase" of game development is often overlooked by fans and developers alike. Lots of people think that if the backgrounds are almost done and most of the sprites are created, the game's only a month away from being finished. Not so.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:23 am 
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Bug fixing stage being least transparent makes a lot of sense. But just out of curiosity, how long does it take professional developers like Sierra to relase a game (for example, how long did it take them to start and release QFG4)??


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:20 am 
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Not nearly as long as a fangame takes, but those games usually start out with an experienced and paid team for both programming and QA. And the later games still tend to ship with grave bugs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:23 pm 
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Quote:
for example, how long did it take them to start and release QFG4


Quest for Glory 4 was rushed out for a Christmas release, when it was originally under development and Sierra at the time where using a new experimental version of Dos, so the bug count was fairly high.

There where some patches released for the game to counter the bugs and eventually it was redeveloped into a CD version where some time was spent in ironing out the original bugs and adding some speech to the game.

Try playing it under DOS Box with all patches applied and i dare you not too find at least one bug in the game!

Even with all it's problems QFG4 is with out a doubt a gem in the series
matching the style of the first game but with a darker edge.

It almost makes me wish that the Coles would give up retirement and join the Fan Game Community!

I know that Hero 6 could sure use their help....

but to answer your question about game development it really is a question of economics.....if you have enough resources to throw at a project, have a quality control team and are driven because you know it will feed your kids, then the release date will probably be a lot sooner than later.

If you are working on the project in your spare time, to resurrect a since past but well loved genre whilst transitioning from free projects to paid work in the very competitive computer game market......well that might be something else all together.

So the question is what are you willing to give up, in order to see the game come out quicker...?  

Why don't you buy a copy of their commercial game - Al Emmo - http://www.himalayastudios.com/wq.htm , who knows it might even fill in the time whilst you wait for QFG2 VGA to come out,
it's one way to show your support and the extra cash might even help speed up their development a little...

When you've finished why not try some of the other games that are being brought into the market place like Broken Sword - Angel of Death
http://www.broken-sword.com/

If you like adventure games....buy them it will bring the market back to life and who knows maybe more of these remakes will make an appearance.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Erpy wrote:
The bugfixing stage is the least transparent phase in the entire development process. You never know how long it's gonna take until you're finished with it. We didn't expect it to take this long ourselves.


True, but it also sounds like these things might be hard to anticipate too.  I mean you guys must also keep wondering "Did we miss something?"

Quote:
I think this "second phase" of game development is often overlooked by fans and developers alike. Lots of people think that if the backgrounds are almost done and most of the sprites are created, the game's only a month away from being finished. Not so.


Also true, and probably due to the fact (as Katta Master noted w/ QG4)  companies release games alot buggier than they could be.  It wasn't always that way -  I remember in the eighties when you had alot simpler games like Ultima or Wizardry - bugs and errors were fairly minor.  Even games like KQ1 and stuff were pretty bug-free.  

I remember reading long long ago that a reason later games were so buggy was because of the increased complexity and size of games - makes sense, but deadlines also seem a reason.   Alot of companies of course want to push out their games by a certain time for various reasons, so they of course set deadlines (which can be modified, but only to a point) - this of course gives the professional programmers only a certain amount of time to design and make and test the game, and with a big game this can certainly impact its quality.

That's also another reason differing fan games from many commerical games - no absolute deadline requirements, so you're free to ensure quality.  But fans are probably more used to "commerical" method,  so they fail to understand WHY its taken so long for the game, especially during the testing process.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:23 pm 
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Assume a programmer makes $15/hr. This equates to $600 a week, or $31,200 per year. Assume you have a crew of 5 programmers. This means your programming budget is $156,000 per year. When the people writing the checks have to cut that kind of money off the profit of the game, they decide to start pushing deadlines. This is only taking into consideration a team of 5 people. Imagine what the numbers would be for a full blown team of programmers, artists, animators, plot writers, musicians, etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:47 am 
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Or cases where they may have to "extend" the deadline/development schedule in working with the game (anyone heard of "Duke Nukem Forever?  :rollin   Seriously, I could really imagine things being worse than how long we've waited for QFG2)  

Its alot like moveimaking in that regard, I suppose.  The companies want to make money, and that usually means they end up making compromises (sometimes more than others.) before a project becomes too costly.  Sometimes its more efficient for them just to release it buggy and then deal with the problems after the fact (not that I am defending the process  - I understand it, but I've long hated it myself.)

Really, I can put up with the wait if it means a better game in the end.  Even if there are moments of weakness when I do wish it would be done ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:08 pm 
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If I was getting paid $15 an hour to find bugs in the games I make, you betchyourass I'd be pumping out bug reports like I was a wolverine on crack.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:31 pm 
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That's 15/hr for programming, not bug finding. :P

Now that I think about it, is 15 bucks/hr what a programmer could expect to make, or is that more of a "for the purposes of my analogy" number?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:01 pm 
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Ummm... that's a "for the purpose of my analogy" example. I'm not a professional programmer. I honestly don't know what they'd make.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:49 pm 
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navynuke04 wrote:
Ummm... that's a "for the purpose of my analogy" example. I'm not a professional programmer. I honestly don't know what they'd make.

You're way, WAY lowballing it. A professional, contracted programmer working for a client could easily expect to make $100+ per hour (these days ... I don't know what that translates to in the late eighties working for companies like sierra).

At issue would also be what your company charges the client for your time, versus what they pay you for your time. In the case of a video game, they're trying to pay the staff the least amount possible whilst charging the highest price possible (and still sell like crazy) to get them the best profit margin.


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