Author Topic: State of the DLC  (Read 49959 times)

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Offline Strife

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State of the DLC
« on: June 06, 2016, 05:25:36 PM »
Hello everyone! I've been quiet on here for a while so I thought I would swing by and let everyone know that I'm still breathing. My crew and I have been making some good progress on FP2 behind the curtain, and we've just started to fly our voice actors down to Texas to record the dialog. I haven't been showing off much of the game because I really want it to feel like something near-complete when I record gameplay footage. What I can say though is that I genuinely feel like FP2 is leaps and bounds ahead of FP1 at this point in its development.

Of course I have something else I wanted to talk about instead - the DLC for Freedom Planet 1.

I plan on making a more public announcement about this soon when I have solid dates, but I'm postponing DLC work indefinitely while I work on ports to additional consoles. The good news? Freedom Planet is coming to a new console in the future. Which one it is shall remain a mystery for the time being.

The bad news? At this point, Freedom Planet's engine is in a state where I worry about what adding extra content would do to the original experience. With that in mind, I have an idea I wanted to run by the Kickstarter backers who may be floating around here.

I am considering breaking off the DLC characters into their own standalone games that are more simplistic than Freedom Planet but better suited for their unique abilities and story perspective. There's a couple reasons for this.

The first reason is that our initial contract with MP2 Games has been fulfilled, so if we want to update the game any further from this point, we'll need create a new contract which involves paying out extra money. It makes sense of course; MP2 has moved on to other projects and they need to be fairly compensated for taking up extra time to come back and help us. It does of course bring an economic factor into all of this which complicates my ability to keep adding content to FP1.

The second reason is that I'm not happy with how Torque plays in the existing stages. He feels wonderful in his intro stage because it's designed specifically for his abilities and weapons, but he feels unwieldy elsewhere. This is one of the reasons why I planned for him to have a lot more schmup segments than the other characters, but that doesn't mask the less-than-ideal experience of his platforming stages. It's less of a problem for Spade but he still has a few trouble spots, and I would also have to give him new bosses in many of the existing stages since it doesn't make sense for him to have to fight some of them.

Putting the characters into new games would allow me to use a new engine so I wouldn't have to rely on a third party for ports, and I can comfortably switch to text-based dialog so I don't have to worry about the availability of the voice actors. I can also reuse art assets from FP1 to cut down on development time.

Again, this is just something that's been on my mind and I don't know if I'll go through with it yet. It might be better to just keep working with Spade and Torque as FP1 DLC, but I figured I'd put my thoughts out there so that our backers know where things stand right now.

Cheers~

- Stephen

Offline ElectricSparx

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 05:33:44 PM »
Strife is still breathing? Oh good, I thought I'd have to ask someone to perform CPR.


Jokes aside, I think that a lot of people enjoy how Torque plays already for the most part.


Spade, however, well, we don't have a Spade beta yet.


I just want the DLC to be fun.
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Offline Treya

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 05:54:27 PM »
If you fix these major bugs/enhancements:

No more Brevon 4 RNG at the beginning.
Millas shield burst deciding not to work sometimes
Millas Adventure mode skipping a level
Odd FD3 aftermath cutscene shenanigans (with Milla)

You would still need to renew the contract anyway. I would be rather salty to be left on the edge for a broken builld, which is split apart for Milla players at the moment.

EDIT: Torque feels so integrated to the main story that it doesn't exactly feel right for him to have his own game. Plus the beta and all makes it feel like he's meant to be there. I don't think it would hurt to make him less clunky to control (a little more speed and the ability to shoot upwards diagonally in midair, perhaps?).

If you're gonna make a Spade spinoff game, at least keep slope physics. They're fun.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 06:08:46 PM by Treya »
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Offline Eltro

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 06:02:56 PM »
If putting Spade and Torque in separate games is being considered, it wouldn't hurt me to purchase those extra games as long as it's reasonable. Plus, it's cool that you might be using a different and more comfortable engine for those potential games if it happens.

It looks like FP1's engine is so much of a pain in the ass, that it got to the point of potentially messing up the game if extra stuff gets added (which explains why a hub world, extra palettes, and quite a few other things were scrapped before release).
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Offline SuccinctAndPunchy

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 06:23:14 PM »
If you fix these major bugs/enhancements:

No more Brevon 4 RNG at the beginning.
Millas shield burst deciding not to work sometimes
Millas Adventure mode skipping a level
Odd FD3 aftermath cutscene shenanigans (with Milla)

You would still need to renew the contract anyway. I would be rather salty to be left on the edge for a broken builld, which is split apart for Milla players at the moment.

EDIT: Torque feels so integrated to the main story that it doesn't exactly feel right for him to have his own game. Plus the beta and all makes it feel like he's meant to be there.

I don't really want to empty quote stuff but I have nothing more to add other than to echo the sentiments of "please don't leave the game in its mildly busted state, it would be very annoying" and "the game who's story revolves mostly around Torque should probably have Torque's story in it"
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Offline Chromatrope

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 06:31:21 PM »
I don't really want to empty quote stuff but I have nothing more to add other than to echo the sentiments of "please don't leave the game in its mildly busted state, it would be very annoying" and "the game who's story revolves mostly around Torque should probably have Torque's story in it"

I can second this. While there are a lot of things I complain about that cannot be fixed (coughinputscough), what can be fixed should be fixed, and right now with Milla's adventure mode in a state of 'pretty severely broken', Milla's burst jumping being broken in the current build, Moonwalk glitch having suddenly become stupidly prevalent in the current build and the RNG fixes and stuff still not existing, the game definitely still deserves some TLC.

Offline Plom510

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2016, 06:55:54 PM »
I’m one of the Kickstarter backers that still hangs around here although all I really do is lurk. Anyway, I’ll try to give my opinions on this.

I’m not sure if making the DLC characters have their own standalone games would be a really great idea, but I know that there are a few factors that could justify this decision. Reusing FP1’s assets is already a good choice since that will allow few new assets to be made and in turn provide levels that actually compliment the DLC characters. One of my worries about this decision is length. How many stages would the standalone games have? If they would be short and not have a lot of story, I’m going to be honest. As a consumer, I feel like I’m not going to get a really good experience and just be left with something that I may only place once and put down. This is assuming if the standalone games won’t be free which I can safely say will be the case.

In my opinion, if I were to give a character their own standalone game, I would take advantage of it. Not just in terms of gameplay, but also in terms of story. By giving them their own games, I see a lot of opportunities you could use with them if you decide to go with that route. Sure it may take up a lot of work, but I feel like that It may be worth it in the end.

Of course, there is the alternative of trying to implement the DLC characters into FP1 effectively. If the problem is fear of breaking the engine, why not take the time to fix it? I can speak from experience that this isn’t very fun to do, but I know that in the end, it will definitely be worth it. Taking shortcuts tends to lead into dead ends from what I’ve experienced. I may not exactly know what the issue is with the engine in particular, but what I would suggest is maybe try to see how far you could go with implementing the new content?

There is only one real issue that I see with making the DLC characters have standalone games. Back in the Kickstarter, it was promised that Spade and Torque would be implemented into the game via a free update. I am indifferent on the decision of creating standalone games for them, but I cannot say the same thing with everyone else. Yes, there may be people who will not mind this decision, but there are those who do not like the decision but rather not be vocal about it. If standalone games are made, I fear that there will be people who will feel like the promises from the Kickstarter are broken. I can acknowledge that things can change over time, but it is still a good idea to keep those fans in mind.
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Offline ElectricSparx

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2016, 07:26:53 PM »
I’m one of the Kickstarter backers that still hangs around here although all I really do is lurk. Anyway, I’ll try to give my opinions on this.

I’m not sure if making the DLC characters have their own standalone games would be a really great idea, but I know that there are a few factors that could justify this decision. Reusing FP1’s assets is already a good choice since that will allow few new assets to be made and in turn provide levels that actually compliment the DLC characters. One of my worries about this decision is length. How many stages would the standalone games have? If they would be short and not have a lot of story, I’m going to be honest. As a consumer, I feel like I’m not going to get a really good experience and just be left with something that I may only place once and put down. This is assuming if the standalone games won’t be free which I can safely say will be the case.

In my opinion, if I were to give a character their own standalone game, I would take advantage of it. Not just in terms of gameplay, but also in terms of story. By giving them their own games, I see a lot of opportunities you could use with them if you decide to go with that route. Sure it may take up a lot of work, but I feel like that It may be worth it in the end.

Of course, there is the alternative of trying to implement the DLC characters into FP1 effectively. If the problem is fear of breaking the engine, why not take the time to fix it? I can speak from experience that this isn’t very fun to do, but I know that in the end, it will definitely be worth it. Taking shortcuts tends to lead into dead ends from what I’ve experienced. I may not exactly know what the issue is with the engine in particular, but what I would suggest is maybe try to see how far you could go with implementing the new content?

There is only one real issue that I see with making the DLC characters have standalone games. Back in the Kickstarter, it was promised that Spade and Torque would be implemented into the game via a free update. I am indifferent on the decision of creating standalone games for them, but I cannot say the same thing with everyone else. Yes, there may be people who will not mind this decision, but there are those who do not like the decision but rather not be vocal about it. If standalone games are made, I fear that there will be people who will feel like the promises from the Kickstarter are broken. I can acknowledge that things can change over time, but it is still a good idea to keep those fans in mind.


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Offline Starturbo

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2016, 07:40:07 PM »
I'm honestly a bit disappointed by this, though I do kind of like the idea of giving the DLC characters separate games! I just hope they are a good length. They don't have to be as long as FP, of course, but I hope they're more than just mini games.

Though, I am worried that they will be stuck in development for a long time, as making more than one game at once can be difficult. Especially, if FP2 gets worked on more, which I'm assuming would be the case, to an extent. Still, it sounds like a good idea, and I hope it all works out!

Offline WhiteLilyDragon

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 08:22:10 PM »
There is only one real issue that I see with making the DLC characters have standalone games. Back in the Kickstarter, it was promised that Spade and Torque would be implemented into the game via a free update. I am indifferent on the decision of creating standalone games for them, but I cannot say the same thing with everyone else. Yes, there may be people who will not mind this decision, but there are those who do not like the decision but rather not be vocal about it. If standalone games are made, I fear that there will be people who will feel like the promises from the Kickstarter are broken. I can acknowledge that things can change over time, but it is still a good idea to keep those fans in mind.

Voucher codes of the side games for the Kickstarter backers, maybe? That way, it's economical for Strife to produce the games while keeping the promise of the extra content for backers who helped make Freedom Planet possible in the first place.

There has to be a way to make everyone happy regardless of what decision is made. In the meantime, this makes me wonder how much larger the scope of the stories for both Torque and Spade would be. Side games for them would open a lot of opportunities for a fun and conclusive tale that's not entirely tied down by the narrative of the first Freedom Planet. (Torque especially sounds like semi-prequel material.)
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Offline KIMGIE

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 08:25:58 PM »
Man, wish I knew about this game sooner. I would've loved to back this game.

Offline Strife

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2016, 11:40:28 PM »
I can second this. While there are a lot of things I complain about that cannot be fixed (coughinputscough), what can be fixed should be fixed, and right now with Milla's adventure mode in a state of 'pretty severely broken', Milla's burst jumping being broken in the current build, Moonwalk glitch having suddenly become stupidly prevalent in the current build and the RNG fixes and stuff still not existing, the game definitely still deserves some TLC.

Since I'm working with MP2 again for the next port, I should have an opportunity to comb through the engine and figure out what happened with Milla and other things. Beyond that, I dread the possibility of Torque and Spade's development causing similar issues to happen in the future which is why I thought of this compromise.

Honestly the only thing keeping me going with Spade/Torque at this point is because I was obligated to in the Kickstarter. I realized pretty quickly after I started working on them that it was too ambitious of me to include them as stretch goals, and the time and effort I've put into working on them could have been much better served polishing the experience of the original three characters. If it weren't for their status as stretch goals then I would have stopped working on them much earlier. I can keep going if that's what the Kickstarter backers want me to do, but it will take a long time because I don't want to settle for less than the best that I can do.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 11:47:06 PM by Strife »

Offline NBlast

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 01:36:12 AM »
What a strange situation that is.

Putting away the debate how exactly the new content should be delivered for side now. I believe that getting that DLC finally into motion is extremely important. It's essentially point of honour now and it would severely hurt Galaxytrails reputation in the eyes of many if something won't be done. That's why I believe that personally, I would be really okay, even if delivering FP1 obligations will slow down the progress on FP2.

Overall, I'm okay with DLC being separate games, but with the restriction that it will still be free for owners of the game and it will deliver a good quality gameplay. That's all I would like to see. How things would be delivered are secondary things.

Going the normal DLC route have benefits. Chroma and rest mentioned that there are still bugs in the mian release and those would be nice to be fixed eventually, so game would be left in the good state when development will be closed. I also don't mind FP1's Torque in the beta and seeing that he doesn't really need that much of attention to bring him to shippable state, I would say that those are strong point to keep everything in FP1 engine. As for Spade... I will be controversial here... While I believe that Classic mode Spade should be made one or the other way, many people would not cry too much if there would be no Adventure Mode for him period. Not many people care about the FP1 story anyway and especially Spade's characters. While I see the way to pull this story off really nicely, it would be also costly and, in my opinion, a bit of the lost cause. In the end I would be satisfied woth Torque's Story+Classic and Spade's Classic.

As for "separate game" route. I see one particular problem: how to deliver the goods logistically? Steam is no problem, you could put is as a separable executive in the game's folder and make a selection for a owner which game to start, but is it as easy with Nintendo? Would they allow giving essentially a free game to owners of FP1? Also, do you believe that you could pull off a separate games on the new engine with less resources and time consumption to make it? It seems a bit unbelievable - this could be considered a port of the whole game from MF2 to Unity.

There is also one trick that I could associate with the "Separate game" route. What if those side game would be free for everybody? Essentially - a big publicity and marketing stunt to boost interest in FP2 by putting a small, free game to everybody (or for a small fee for those that are not owning FP1). While costly, it possibly could be a good idea.

Offline Strife

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 01:50:03 AM »
If I go with the independent game route, the games would most likely be freeware, yes. Karma dictates it. If not that, then at the very least the original backers will be gifted free copies.

If they stay in FP1, it would help a lot if Spade only had a Classic mode, yeah. Mostly because of the extra time that would be needed to record unique dialog for his story scenario, and because it would make it more excusable if I kept his bosses mostly the same as the other characters with a few exceptions.

Since I'm not outright cancelling the DLC then I don't believe this will have any impact on the perception of GalaxyTrail. To be fair, we're already ranked pretty low on reliability because of repeatedly missing our release dates in the past. :P I plan on fixing this by simply not announcing release dates until we are 100% sure we can achieve them.
But in all seriousness, if for any reason our Kickstarter backers feel like we simply haven't done enough, I would be more than happy to give them a full refund of their pledge money, plus whatever else I can think to gift them.

I disagree with prioritizing the DLC. FP2 is my #1 priority right now. It would be an unwise business decision for me to put the sequel on hold while the rest of the team is working so hard on it and depending on me to do my share.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 01:54:44 AM by Strife »

Offline ElectricSparx

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Re: State of the DLC
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 02:22:29 AM »
Since I'm working with MP2 again for the next port, I should have an opportunity to comb through the engine and figure out what happened with Milla and other things. Beyond that, I dread the possibility of Torque and Spade's development causing similar issues to happen in the future which is why I thought of this compromise.

Honestly the only thing keeping me going with Spade/Torque at this point is because I was obligated to in the Kickstarter. I realized pretty quickly after I started working on them that it was too ambitious of me to include them as stretch goals, and the time and effort I've put into working on them could have been much better served polishing the experience of the original three characters. If it weren't for their status as stretch goals then I would have stopped working on them much earlier. I can keep going if that's what the Kickstarter backers want me to do, but it will take a long time because I don't want to settle for less than the best that I can do.


Honestly, I feel that people really want you to keep doing Torque and Spade as they are. Me, personally, I guess I wouldn't mind Spade only having Classic, though I feel his story would be the most interesting.
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