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When should the ESTIMATED release date be first announced?
Start of project 9%  9%  [ 3 ]
Estimated halfway point of project 11%  11%  [ 4 ]
Beginning of bug fixing 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Start of player testing 29%  29%  [ 10 ]
A few weeks or days before the definite release 49%  49%  [ 17 ]
Total votes : 35
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 Post subject: Quest for Glory II - Release Date
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:41 pm 
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In the past, there have been game release dates which were not met.  It seems to have become AGDI policy to not announce release dates until a time very close to completion.

Despite this, it may be a good idea to at least announce rough or estimated release dates to indicate a goal.  This way, even if the project slips past the date, it was still only estimated (not set in stone) and complaints should be at a minimum.  Do you agree with this?  Please vote and let everyone else know.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:40 pm 
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Personally, I think that PR, webdesign, and the release date should be the last things that are worked on by a game dev team. The release date shouldn't be released early, as it's likely to be missed; crazy stuff happens, and more often than not, fate will come up with some way to mock your deadline. It's best to tell the release date near the end, just before you release it.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:18 am 
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I agree with some of that but it seems that games are regularly announced at least a year before they are expected to be completed (much the same as movies).  As I posted in another thread, Googling for game "release dates" will result in dates up to the 3rd quarter of 2008.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:15 am 
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For a professional game, they have deadlines and release dates set by companies and a planned chart of when they want the game released to take advantage of whatever trends that usually hit in that particular Quarter, and they have budgetary concerns and games they want released and making money at certain times to bolster the overall wellbeing of the company. Plus, if they have a team that continuously drains money and misses release dates, they can cancel that project or fire those responsible, replacing them with someone who can do what they want. They can also motivate people through payment and other things so that they actually want to work so they can feed their kids. This makes a release date in the professional world pretty much reliable unless some of the above catastrophes happen (having to fire workers, money running out, etc.)

With a fangame, it's different. At the best, it's a hobby. People do it for free and for their own enjoyment. Therefore, you'd only work on it in your spare time. Therefore, release dates should NEVER be given because you don't know how much free time you'll have that you'll want to work on the game. Therefore, I advise not having a release date until your game is complete. Then, you can wait a few days, pick the day at your leisure, set up some mirrors, and then BAM! There you go. released right when you said it would be and everyone loves you for it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:44 pm 
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"NEVER?"  Be serious.  What if the game was completed but the team was waiting for one more server to host it on?  And really, don't you think people complaining about a release date being moved back reflects more on the people childishly whining than on the hard-working team, especially in the case of independent teams?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:18 pm 
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Yes, but why give yourself the headache? On IA we gave a release date of Winter 2005 for King's Quest III and we ended up releasing it a month and a half ago. About three weeks before we released it, we got a poster who called us unprofessional and immoral liars because we weren't done when we said we'd be done. We still get similar posts daily because we've yet to release the patch and the voice pack. Hell, there's a long-as-hell post in this General Forum right now titled "A Note of Disappointment" because AGDI hasn't yet released QFG2, and they haven't even given a fuzzy release date.

It's better to A) Not give yourself the headache and low self-esteem that comes with people accusing you of breaking promises, and B) Not risking any bad press by continually pushing back your release dates, thus making you look unreliable and like a stupid upstart. No thank you. It's much better to work without people hounding you.

I'm a fan of waiting on everything. In fact, I wouldn't even ANNOUNCE a game until you've got a script written and are well underway with the art and programming at the earliest. It's much more beneficial to work that way and you don't get people giving you crap all the time for it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:29 pm 
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Amen!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:59 pm 
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Kurdt wrote:
we got a poster who called us unprofessional and immoral liars because we weren't done when we said we'd be done. We still get similar posts daily because we've yet to release the patch and the voice pack

And you changed your policy because you agreed with them?  Don't you think that even if you never put out a release date that people will hassle you regularly that X amount of time has passed and "where the hell's my game?"

Quote:
It's better to A) Not give yourself the headache and low self-esteem that comes with people accusing you of breaking promises, and B) Not risking any bad press by continually pushing back your release dates, thus making you look unreliable and like a stupid upstart

Put the word estimated before your release date and the problem is solved.

Quote:
I wouldn't even ANNOUNCE a game until you've got a script written and are well underway with the art and programming at the earliest.

So, per your logic, why announce a game at all then?  Think of all the headaches and low self-esteem if it gets cancelled for some reason...

And what about if people don't like your game after it's released?  At some point you've got to accept that not everyone's gonna kiss your feet every day of your life, even if you're trying to do something cool for them.  People will be idiots.   People will expect unrealistic things.  Part of what you have to do as a developer is accept and deal with it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:26 pm 
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gamecreator wrote:
And you changed your policy because you agreed with them?  Don't you think that even if you never put out a release date that people will hassle you regularly that X amount of time has passed and "where the hell's my game?"

No, we never changed our policy. We've always predominantly been a "when it's done" company. We thought we'd be done by Winter '05 and we got a little ahead of ourselves. Naturally, real life got in the way. When this happened, it further cemented in our brains that we'd NEVER make the same mistake again. I mean, in one thread we said "QFI will probably take us a year to make," but we qualified that with, "that's a year of working on it, not a year in total. In total, it will probably take longer, but we'll be devoting a combined total of one year of our lives to QFI interspersed with some time doing other things." That's as close to a release date anybody's getting from us for a while.

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Put the word estimated before your release date and the problem is solved.

Oh, you obviously have never had a game project that's had any attention before. The problem with estimated is that people will always skip over that part. They'll nail you to the wall regardless of whether or not you say estimated. It's not fair, but it's what happens. Don't believe me? Try it yourself and get a fanbase riled up for it. You'll see what I mean.

Quote:
So, per your logic, why announce a game at all then?  Think of all the headaches and low self-esteem if it gets cancelled for some reason...

You know what? That's a genius idea. If I were you, I'd not announce the game at all until you've got it in your hot little hands. You can make posts on art and programming boards with screenshots to assemble talent and attract people that can help you, but other than that why announce it? It doesn't help you at all. All it gives you is a bunch of annoying whiners going, "Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet???"

Quote:
And what about if people don't like your game after it's released?  At some point you've got to accept that not everyone's gonna kiss your feet every day of your life, even if you're trying to do something cool for them.  People will be idiots. People will expect unrealistic things. Part of what you have to do as a developer is accept and deal with it.

This is true. For everyone who loves the game there is someone who doesn't. This cannot be helped. If it could, I would advise doing so. However, until the moment it's released to the masses, you control what happens to the game. Why traumatize yourself by willingly submitting it and yourself to criticism before it's even seen the light of day?

Remember, you make games because it makes you happy, not because you want to get accolades. By your token, if you care so little about what people think, why would you seek to announce the game and give release dates? Neither of those things further the progress or have anything to do with the creation of your game and are purely for the people you hope to have as fans when the game is released. If you care so little for their opinions, why throw them a bone at all?

Essentially, anyone who posts release dates is setting themselves up for a fall. It's much better to tell people you're making a game and give them monthly or bimonthy updates saying, "I'm still making the game" so they know you're still around. Anything more is just asking people to hound you on it. In fact, that alone will get people hounding you on it. Why submit yourself to avoidable pressure? And if you really don't care what others think, why would you seek the publicity of announcing it in the first place? In the end, it's just more headaches. That's it, Amen, I'm out!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:34 pm 
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Kurdt wrote:
By your token, if you care so little about what people think, why would you seek to announce the game and give release dates?
You don't see the contradiction in your statement?  The point of providing information that people want is because you do care.

Your choice is to punish everyone because the bad guys complained.  Because people whine, you give in.  You don't take into account that the good guys will thank you and encourage you on when your release date slips.  So why satisfy the bad guys at the expense of everyone?  (Well, that question is rhetorical because you've already answered it but it stands anyway.)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:59 pm 
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Sorry but you shouldn't have to use your time to post every little detail of the games' progress when you could use that time to further the process. We at IA do care about the fans and don't ignore them, much like at AGDI. There really isn't at all a need to update reguarly because it is slowing down the game progress and you may want to please the fans but you don't want to spoil it.

I've never seen any point in updating the journals unless you've reached some kind of a mile stone in the game, for example; say you've completed all the background art for Llewdor in KQ3, that'd be worthy of a news update. Yet say you've removed that bush from the path because it didn't look good and the same kind of crap everyday, is there any point? No, because it is pointless to waste time with small details when you could save up for a large update.

Now, with AGDI's case, have you ever had the slightest clue that they're not a major coorporation and just a bunch of fans who want to remake games in their own time rather than as a professional job? Like us, we all have other lives. The reason why professional game companies have release dates is because not only do they have a lot of skilled and class people on the job, it is their job. They don't goto work and say, "You know, I'm not going to do anything today, I'm just gonna sit back and watch some TV" because that would get them fired. With small groups like AGDI and IA, they can take breaks and not have to work on it constantly because it's their choice, and not only that but they can have more important things to do such as work, family or education. Big companies can rely on release dates because the people working on the game are getting paid to work their asses off in getting the game complete for the 7th of November. We don't get a penny for what we do, so you must be thankful in what we're doing because we are doing this for you, it's not essential to use to do it but we do it anyway.

There's a huge difference between Sierra and AGDI/IA, and if you've read the above of if you aren't an idiot, you'll know the difference straight away.  We do our best to get these games in top quality, and when Sierra had nearly 50 employees on each project, all getting paid and working equal hours on it, we've got about less than 10. 10 people with other lives who are using their own time to please the community and I think support would benefit here rather then constant criticism because at the end of the day, it won't help the process of completion in any way and it just shows there isn't much respect anymore for people who could easily use that time to do other things to please themselves, but they are using that time to make the fans happy and when the game is complete, you will be happy and forget about the time it took.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:58 am 
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Quote:
Your choice is to punish everyone because the bad guys complained.

Oh come on. It's really not the bad punishment you're making it out to be. It's no big deal. If you have trouble waiting for the game that's not our problem.

The whole bad guy thing is relative. Right now I'd call you the bad guy for complaining about there being no release dates or updates because of the 'bad guys' when it's just as easy to say nothing, let everyone be happy, and let them work on the game and get it released at the exact same time it would be released anyway even if you DO complain. Why be so selfish?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:13 am 
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MI, I'm sorry to hear you're such a fan of "shut up and put up with it," especially considering that you look like a person who likes expressing himself. I guess avatars and aliases can be deceiving though.   (Funny, too, how we're on a forum.)  And selfish?  How so?  In the end I'm not here to change anyone's mind.  I was just curious about people's opinions and why they chose them, hence the poll.

Broomie, I'm familiar with the differences between AGDI and companies like Sierra.  I also didn't mention updates anywhere in my posts.  But I do agree with you.  There's no point to doing weekly or daily updates.  Check in once a month to let everyone know you're still breathing and you're peachy.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:30 am 
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gamecreator wrote:
MI, I'm sorry to hear you're such a fan of "shut up and put up with it," especially considering that you look like a person who likes expressing himself. I guess avatars and aliases can be deceiving though.

I have my limits, dude. One of them being I know when to quit pestering and pushing for things that make no difference in the end. Regardless, this isn't about expressing yourself, this is about keeping on and on when the decision has already been made. It becomes much more than annoying (let alone pointless). Even to people who aren't on the team.

Quote:
And selfish?  How so?  In the end I'm not here to change anyone's mind.  I was just curious about people's opinions and why they chose them, hence the poll.

Then why judge them and give sarcastic remarks? Or condemn a group of people, who do what they love doing for free, for their choice of actions? If all you're doing is asking out of curiosity.

Quote:
Broomie, I'm familiar with the differences between AGDI and companies like Sierra.  I also didn't mention updates anywhere in my posts.  But I do agree with you.  There's no point to doing weekly or daily updates.  Check in once a month to let everyone know you're still breathing and you're peachy.

But what is the point in doing that when everyone knows you're still alive anyway? We all know it'll get done. This isn't like Kippesoep and his SQ2VGA remake. The boys and girls at AGDI have already released 2 games with a 3rd game under Himalaya very close to release. We all know that we can trust them by their word because of what they've accomplished faithfully in the past. So we know QFG2VGA will get done as well. We don't need any more updates.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:06 am 
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Oh lord.  The drama.  You say you've had enough and then you join the debate in the third person.   :lol   Good job.

My points have been made and if no one cares to seriously further address them then I'm done with this thread.  Thank you to Vroomfondel and especially Kurdt for sincerely addressing my questions.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:12 am 
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Drama? I was telling you why I hold my opinion...like you requested.

Whatever.

And you still haven't answered my question:
Quote:
Then why judge them and give sarcastic remarks? Or condemn a group of people, who do what they love doing for free, for their choice of actions? If all you're doing is asking out of curiosity.

Doesn't say a lot for you and your intentions by not answering.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:47 am 
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Maybe you should reread the thread.  I didn't put AGDI or AI down (in fact, I called them hard-working in my third post).

Are you done throwing accusations out?  If not, do me a favor and PM me.  There's no point dragging this out here.  It's way off-topic.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:23 pm 
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Ok, I apologize for that. Last night I wasn't in the best of moods. Shouldn't have gone on like I did.

But I still think you are being a little insensitive as to how a team operates. I'm involved with a small group of people on a project and we haven't even announced it at all yet, let alone given updates. And it is a lot easier to work without having the pressure of impatient waiting fans drooling and begging at you all the time. And once it's released it's done and they suddenly have a free game. It's a lot easier than making them wait for you. Any form of update slows the progress of the game and in the end doesn't matter once the game is released since they all forget about how long it took, as Broomie said. I think we're lucky for what we've even gotten so far in that respect.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:29 am 
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I say "A few weeks or days before the definite release".  No sense in getting everyone fired up about a game when at any time something can go wrong.  Software in general ends up being delayed... better not to set expectations too high and then have to let them down.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:49 am 
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Well I'd announce it when most of the testing is done so you don't get people excited and then keep bugging you "Are you done yet?". That and I wouldn't do another april fools joke like with the kq2vga voice pack. Once was amazing, twice is annoying.


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 Post subject: rememver how long the old quest for glory took
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:53 am 
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almost aobut 3 years I think. It will be done when it's done, or my not get done at all depemds on the bugs and the gliches.


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