Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition

Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition

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l'Original Jul 12, 2014 @ 3:49am
So how can we help the developers "un-♥♥♥♥♥♥" themselves?
This game so far has a fairly good premise, gameplay style, etc. that it had become noticed around the indie media for over a year. Lately...that potential has been increasingly overshadowed by terrible PR, replacing player anticipation with either apathy, horror, or outright hostility.

The latter is a particular problem with any media that relies on word-of-mouth as its greatest advertisement and selling point; once those following your game personally are mocked by those they have spoken to glowingly about the title, and the title somehow falls through in some way, it reflects back upon the one who was spreading the news to others. That in turn affects primary but also secondary and tertiary media contact sales.

That isn't going to work for long in an indie environment, and would cause issues with future title publication.

Here are a few things that might help out, some giving some immediate aid and others that will just take time for the reputation to be rebuilt.

1. If you are to expect to make this into a living, act like it.

Just because you are indie does NOT mean that you can act as if it's not important or doesn't require as much, if not more, effort as a corporate developer position. As indie, you are having to perform multiple roles for which you are probably not trained for, never did any intern work in or course work for, and so the challenge is much greater.

2. Get some QA. A person to bounce things off of to see if it makes sense to them or horrifies them. Someone to be your personal ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ to try to nitpick your company's standards before they are seen by the public so they aren't a publicity issue.

That really is what professional publisher QA should be - check EVERYTHING so that it doesn't later come back and bite the publisher in the ♥♥♥, whether it be the decorum of the developer, the standards of development, or flaws in the game. In this, you are quite fortunate to be in this era of computing, and also unfortunate. You do have the ability to update your software much faster, but on the same note, so will your mistakes be seen around your potential audience that much faster.

3. Both developers each make a new, separate Twitter account for business matters, separating business and personal. Do this yesterday.

Personal can still reflect back a bit upon the company, but business should be just that - when you're typing onto those business accounts, mentally put the big boy pants on and try to sound at least halfway as officious as those cabbages in Congress. Hell, I think anyone with a bit of effort could do better than them lately.

It becomes a mess of keeping up with a developer when they post important news to their Twitter that can be lost amidst a tweet once every few minutes while the site perhaps sees an update once every month, leading me to my next point.

4. Update your site regularly to accurately reflect the state of the game. This includes mentioning that MP is not a go, because according to the site's news section unless you dig into the comments, it still is. Do this yesterday.

5. Accept your failures in grace and show your willingness to work from them. This is a real pain in the ♥♥♥, and how you rise to that challenge can hurt or help in so many ways.

There will be for a while folks who just learned that MP was cut from the game, as they just had your site on bookmark and followed just that, and react in ire. Instead of that brewing up to another storm of irate developer replies, it might be best to draw up some better response guides for you both to use, and will require clarity and forthright communication across all of your media outlets so bounce them off of your QA. Ban and delete only builds a worse reputation over time and starts to turn the forum into a graveyard nobody wants to post in.

6. Do not be afraid to reach out for help, even if it seems like you may be admitting failure in some way.

Even other indies can offer advice on how to fix a problem if you but mention it - indies LOVE to play other indie games, and the mention that you're having a problem getting a particular newly-developed aspect of your game working right could draw in that help. At least people would see you trying, versus months of "definitely a thing that is happening" and could see evidence for an honest effort. Otherwise, it just looks like you're stringing people along for more sales based upon that imminent feature...until suddenly "Oops, can't do it. Sorry."

And then a bit of a minor point here,
7. I noticed from a bank account screenshot some expenses that should probably not be made from an account used for your business. Again there, separate business and personal, and not just for tax filing reasons.

Folks, please keep this thread rather helpful as there is another one for detailing how the developers did things wrong - this one is to help them recover from all that.
Last edited by l'Original; Jul 12, 2014 @ 3:51am
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Showing 1-15 of 49 comments
Bosper Jul 12, 2014 @ 8:34am 
TL;DR

But you seem to confuse the developers of Paranautical Activity with developers who actually give a ♥♥♥♥.
pUnk Jul 12, 2014 @ 8:58am 
lol you write this gigantic thing about how the devs can help themselves then ark is just like

good plan if only the devs gave a ♥♥♥♥
l'Original Jul 12, 2014 @ 6:14pm 
It isn't all that "gigantic" compared to a lot of things (including in-house dev communications and some of the developers own posts uh..."explaining things"), but I had hoped to cover most of the points they could easily do with reasons why for them, and how those points could help out the developers if they wanted to actually "make a living" from creating indie video games. I boldfaced the important points for a brief skim if necessary.

Probably a little too late, and they probably might not care given their ego involving other things, but I figured I'd give them a chance since I do see some potential that might be salvageable. If they really don't give a ♥♥♥♥, then that's on them and I wish good luck on them finding a new career, because so far this one's been heading into the toilet waiting for a Phil Fish rage flush. :tgrin:
Last edited by l'Original; Jul 12, 2014 @ 6:18pm
Chewy102 Jul 12, 2014 @ 8:36pm 
Can someone fill me in on what the ♥♥♥♥ this is about? Every time I come to these forums I read a lot of hate and don't know why.

I for one think this game itself is rather nice. Short and kinda easy to get overpowered but damn fun and thrilling to see what you can do when under pressure. Great for just getting out of a pissy mood by working it out. So I see no reason for hating the game. What am I missing?

If it's the MP deal, I never thought that was going to happen in the first place. The maps are to small and the mob/bosses would have to have at least 2X the HP if not 4X to account for just one extra player while keeping them a threat. To be honest PA didn't feel like a game at all that MP would fit into.
pUnk Jul 12, 2014 @ 8:43pm 
Originally posted by Chewy102:
Can someone fill me in on what the ♥♥♥♥ this is about? Every time I come to these forums I read a lot of hate and don't know why.

I for one think this game itself is rather nice. Short and kinda easy to get overpowered but damn fun and thrilling to see what you can do when under pressure. Great for just getting out of a pissy mood by working it out. So I see no reason for hating the game. What am I missing?

If it's the MP deal, I never thought that was going to happen in the first place. The maps are to small and the mob/bosses would have to have at least 2X the HP if not 4X to account for just one extra player while keeping them a threat. To be honest PA didn't feel like a game at all that MP would fit into.
the game isnt the main issue from what ive seen its the devs disrespect, false advertising, and random banning
l'Original Jul 12, 2014 @ 9:13pm 
Indeed, the game isn't the main issue, but the game IS the main reason why anyone is giving them ANY slack whatsoever. For the first few months of this game's public presence, it looked quite promising...then started to slide in the PR department.

Look for the forum thread with the same censored word in the title as this one for more info.
l'Original Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:23am 
Originally posted by k0rd:
Hi Mandrake.

Not to get this conversation way off topic, but when I first saw this post I noticed you were playing starbound, a game that arguably suffers from each of the points that you raise here (especially the points concerning unresponsive/apparently uncaring developers).

So is it really their general lack of responsiveness to you that has you upset, or what?

See the thread I just mentioned in my previous post. While I am sure that every indie developer has some shortcomings and could use a bit of the above advice (and probably more) the list of what the above may help to fix is...remarkable, to put it nicely.

If the issue were a simple lack of responsiveness with Code Avarice, then it wouldn't be such a problem. As much as Starbound has a few problems, the difference is really leagues apart, as I don't recall Tiy ever telling anyone to go kill themselves in reply to update impatience.
Last edited by l'Original; Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:33am
pUnk Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:31am 
Originally posted by Mandrake:
Originally posted by k0rd:
Hi Mandrake.

Not to get this conversation way off topic, but when I first saw this post I noticed you were playing starbound, a game that arguably suffers from each of the points that you raise here (especially the points concerning unresponsive/apparently uncaring developers).

So is it really their general lack of responsiveness to you that has you upset, or what?

See the thread I just mentioned in my previous post. If the issue were a simple lack of responsiveness with Code Avarice, then it wouldn't be such a problem. As much as Starbound has a few problems, the difference is really leagues apart, as I don't recall Tiy ever telling anyone to go kill themselves in reply to update impatience.
the main developers of starbound dont even work on it now btw they hired another group after the one of the koala releases
l'Original Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:38am 
Originally posted by PUNK{NINJA}:
the main developers of starbound dont even work on it now btw they hired another group after the one of the koala releases

Quality of updates to be determined, indeed (which is what I was looking into, btw), though I thought they hired another team to work on another game alongside Starbound, not that the new team was taking over Starbound's development. I could be wrong on that, and if so, could you please provide a source.
Last edited by l'Original; Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:40am
pUnk Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:47am 
Originally posted by Mandrake:
Originally posted by PUNK{NINJA}:
the main developers of starbound dont even work on it now btw they hired another group after the one of the koala releases

Quality of updates to be determined, indeed (which is what I was looking into, btw), though I thought they hired another team to work on another game alongside Starbound, not that the new team was taking over Starbound's development. I could be wrong on that, and if so, could you please provide a source.
i couldnt find it online but i remember seeing that on the update news for starbound
l'Original Jul 13, 2014 @ 1:10am 
Originally posted by PUNK{NINJA}:
i couldnt find it online but i remember seeing that on the update news for starbound

There might be a bit of confusion regarding the assembling of their team to the UK while hiring on another team for their pirate project (which Tiy is designing for as well). I just flipped through their news items (pardon if I missed anything) to see and it appears like their London office is still working on Starbound. Communication, updates on a regular basis, etc. all seems to be there, as well as GeorgeV, Armagon, kyren, Omnipotent, metadept, Tiy, etc. with Supernorn adding to the SB development though being primarily on the pirate game development team.

This is the first mention of the secondary team that I can recall/find offhand:
http://playstarbound.com/the-future-of-chucklefish-and-starbound/
David Jul 13, 2014 @ 4:05am 
We've tried buddy, oh we've tried from the start. Developers will never change, just don't even bother.
A Spooky Ghost Jul 13, 2014 @ 9:33am 
Originally posted by Paperthintelevision:
If I saw the dev in real life I would challenge him to fisticuffs. and judging by his cartoon drawings of himself, he looks like a scrawny kid. that's how real men solve an arguement.

I'd roll my eyes at this except that both of the developers have gone on "you wouldn't be able to beat me in a fistfight" rants to multiple people
pUnk Jul 13, 2014 @ 9:35am 
Originally posted by A Spooky Ghost:
Originally posted by Paperthintelevision:
If I saw the dev in real life I would challenge him to fisticuffs. and judging by his cartoon drawings of himself, he looks like a scrawny kid. that's how real men solve an arguement.

I'd roll my eyes at this except that both of the developers have gone on "you wouldn't be able to beat me in a fistfight" rants to multiple people
id love to see all these rants are they on another forum or something
A Spooky Ghost Jul 13, 2014 @ 9:36am 
Mostly on twitter
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