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Landfish

Landfish.com

55 posts in this topic

No, I'm not plugging the site. Yours truly did all of the writing for the site, and so I'm asking you guys to go up and QA it for me. There are several spelling mistakes we're aware of already, but send them to me, along with the critique, to owen@gwar.net. Please don't spam my actual email address. (yes I do have a gwar email address... and I'm going to see them soon... ) Edited by - Landfish on 10/1/00 7:29:41 PM
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I presume it's laid out for 600x800 res? The layout and loading up times are brilliant! Although did you have to say "as the baddest of the bad" Hmmm, come on.

"So your the one that designed that game are you?"
*Gulp* "Umm, yeah"


Edited by - Paul Cunningham on October 2, 2000 1:06:17 AM
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at 800x600, in IE5, i get a horizontal scrolling bar (not much sticks over though, just a half inch or so)... it's a great lookin site, though. i didn't run into any problems, and the navigation is smooth...
overall, a great site, and a great idea/ideal..

oh, and on the philosophy page, the philosophy link goes to projects..

------------------------
IUnknown *pUnkOuter

Edited by - pUnkOuter on October 2, 2000 1:23:27 AM
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LOL!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!

Man, what a great logo!! After the wait, this had me cracking up! Love the fish artwork, and the projects artwork has just the right amount of tease.

I have both QA comments and a *BIG QUESTION* at the end.
Okay, here goes...

* QA MODE ON (accompanied by your favorite slick Sci-fi sound FX)

"Rest" assured, Projects Page: "This will be our foray into the world of "near" first person shooters, and reat assured"

There's some graphical artifact (on IE under Win98) above "Contact Us." I think it's the word "Projects"

I'm running 8x6 resolution, but I kept having to scroll right on most pages for the last word of the sentence. Only slightly irritating, but you want to look professional of course.

This is possibly touchy, but... under "Our Team" Shayna - "She thankfully brings a female assurance of quality to the team, we don't know where we would be without her." I'd recommend altering this part. You're highlighting a difference that could be construed as odd at the least, and somewhat sexist at the worst. From your writings elsewhere I get that you may believe that there are too few women on dev projects, but rewrite this sentence to insert some other minority group and you'll get what I mean: "Wavinator thankfully brings an African-American / Irish / Native American assurance of quality to the team..." It sounds weird, as if you're saying "hey, look, we're not sexist..."

Unless it's just for fun, consider tightening up the bios so we get an immediate sense of your qualifications. Anything to show accomplishment would be good.

Definitions, defintions, defintions! I kept running afoul of jargon terms like "near first person shooter" and "non-RPG."

This last one will sting a bit, so know that I don't intend harm but... hubris. The website conveys a certain degree of seemingly unfounded hubris. As a start up dev house, I know you want to project confidence. But until you've proven yourself I'm not sure you want the tone of "attitude" that several of the pages convey. (Even if you're Carmack, I don't think it's wise.) For example, the Intro pages states:

"The next revolution in games won't be another exponent of graphics processing. It won't be a shiny new interface toy that vibrates." - to which I say, 'oh really? How do you know?'

it then states: "The REAL revolution will require people brave enough to explore what makes a game really good, and how to make them that way" - to which I say, 'oh really? How do you know?'

Now, if you were touting some new technology, a great license, some core team with a solid track record of hits, I'd nod in agreement. But right now several assertions seem a bit overstated.

Compare this to Infinite Machine, a company I interviewed with awhile ago. This was created by Justin Chin, a designer with years of experience who I respect greatly. They're a small start up working with GT Interactive and have former Lucas Arts employees and the Unreal engine. They've got technology, and talent, but their tone is different. I think this is important for potential investors and employees alike.


Last point, that sort of relates to the above: "Show me the money!!!!!!!"

Let's say I was a VC with a quarter-mil available to drop on some game project. Somehow I find your page. But I find no business information. To an investor, how could you answer these questions:

"What is your technology?"

"What is your platform?"

"What is your business model? Distribution, sales, marketing?"

"It takes 2 years to develop your average AAA title, yet I see you're working on 3 projects. Which project are you focused on, how much is complete, and what major hurdles exist?"

"You seem like just a content house. How can you prove to me that you can execute, and that I can get a return on my investment?"


If you have answers to these questions, I think putting them up on your site would make landfish.com *MUCH* more substantial and professional in appearance.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Edited by - Wavinator on October 2, 2000 2:19:21 AM
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Landfish Quote"Landfish intends to add immense customization options and complex mission-based economic structure to the tired world of deathmatching."

This doesn''t sound as though it is interesting to deathmatchers, "complex mission-based economic" structure ??!

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Caution: This could hurt.

I tend to back wavinator quite a bit here. I got the impression that the words written were presumptive and over confident to say the least. You''ll see what i mean when you give it time. Good investors will have problems lending you money if you don''t seem down to earth. Unless you''re a very large group (30+) then most people won''t take you too seriously if your newbies and you''re going for 3 titles at a time and you''re saying that they''re going to be the best. A lot of what you say also comes across a if you''re putting down a lot of other peoples work who make games. This is bad, imho i think you should back other work done in the industry and be seen as a constantly rising star within. I''m not say you don''t ok, i''m saying that this is the way the webpage comes across.

It does require a lot more thought!

"So you're the one that designed that game are you?"
*Gulp* "Umm, yeah"
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Worry not, I am not offended. The egotism on the site reflects my real-life egotism I''m sure you are all familiar with. To eliminated it would make it into brainless corporate-speak, I might as well be "providing solutions". I know the weaknesses of the current level of hubris, but that doesn''t make me any less right.

We aren''t working on three projects simultaneously. We have tenative designs for three projects and are completing them one at a time. The represent a natural evolution in the complexity of production and sales technique. Tahnks, BTW, we knew the page needed explainatory text, but now I know what to put!

I expected you to miss the Revolution Wav. We''re not selling a new technology, we''re selling the old techniques that have existed in all other media, and after the initial dust settles, these techniques determine sales. Always. Look at my team! Writer, Cinematographer, Musician, Artist. Very little emphasis on code or technology, even though we COULD argue that end. Ît''s okay, I don''t want to misinform possible investors. they should know EXACTLY what they''re getting into.

Lastly, I don''t expect all 3 titles to be great. I expect them to be DIFFERENT, and my sole job on the team is to make sure they are. Something you should all know by now I''m suited to do. Making them good is a different insinuation entirely, but still one I''m prepared to make. But that happens during production...
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"What is your technology? What is your platform?"

Landfish is positioned to produce games for multiple platforms including all UNIX-based systems, MAC OSX, all major console platforms, and all Windows OS. If so, we will be positioned as one of the sole providers for games the first two mentioned.

"What is your business model? Distribution, sales, marketing?"

Sales, distribution and marketing will be handled through whatever publishing/marketing firm is best suited to the task. Intra-venture cooperation is a definite possiblity. Creatively, we follow the decompartmentalized CLueTrain Buisness model, financially we use traditional budgeting techniques.

"You seem like just a content house. How can you prove to me that you can execute, and that I can get a return on my investment?"

We''re a content house with programmers, graphics artists and musicians. We have completed demo projects that have remained unreleased for legal reasons (we are not incorporated). It can be proven that games sell best when they contain new experiences for the player, and that we have in abundance.
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quote:
Original post by Landfish

Worry not, I am not offended. The egotism on the site reflects my real-life egotism I'm sure you are all familiar with. To eliminated it would make it into brainless corporate-speak, I might as well be "providing solutions". I know the weaknesses of the current level of hubris, but that doesn't make me any less right.




Hahaha, okay, I'm glad I didn't outright offend. That was not my intention.

quote:

I expected you to miss the Revolution Wav. We're not selling a new technology, we're selling the old techniques that have existed in all other media, and after the initial dust settles, these techniques determine sales. Always. Look at my team! Writer, Cinematographer, Musician, Artist. Very little emphasis on code or technology, even though we COULD argue that end. Ît's okay, I don't want to misinform possible investors. they should know EXACTLY what they're getting into.



*big sigh*

I spent too much of today wandering around the industrial office park where I work embittered over the notion that the game industry has become too corporate to support creativity. It is my most FERVENT wish that you are right, but **everything** I have seen so far tells me that not only will the revolution be televised, it'll be brought to you live by Coke and Motorola!!!

I worked in the industry for four years. This is pissant time compared to some people I know (Atari 2600 guys!!!) But it was enough to completely *sour* me on the economics of the whole endeavor. I left because the pay is crap and business is brutal to creativity. In design everyone's an expert, nothing's provable on paper, and the only thing the suits respect is precedence. Success isn't just a matter of hope, it's a matter of technology, talent, and the luck of whatever cosmic forces you may believe in.

How much do you think your first game will cost? Think about the guts of it, the stuff inside. Think about how many hours. The assets. The QA cycle. Think about your team, your effort, and your project as if you were one of those poor saps coming off the transports on Omaha beach. I'm serious. What's going to stop you from getting it between the eyes? Do you have something that others don't? Do you know something that they don't?

Honestly, I'm serious here. I'm most dangerous to my own projects when I refuse (which unfortunately happens from time to time) to look this ugly question in the face.

I'm not telling you that "it can't work." Hell, anybody can say that. But if you plan to swim all the way upstream and make it, what makes you different? Can you prove that fish has legs?


--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Edited by - Wavinator on October 2, 2000 12:04:36 AM
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"The real revolution ain''t about the booty size, the versacis you buys or the Lexus you drives..."

DJ Vadim & (Sarah?) Jones on "Your Revolution" (based on the The Revolution will not be televised.)
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A mentor with startup experience and a close contact at a venture capital firm.

Seriously, give me more of those questions, they''re really going to round out the site. Where were you when we were making the thing? Any form of preparation will vastly increase my chances here.
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Alas, Landfish.com is not perfect; so we will be making some changes. The about page text is likely to change, as are one or two things on most of the other pages. I''d like to keep this thread around for more feedback, so can the moderator please leave it open? Oh, wait, nevermind!
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quote:
Original post by Landfish

Worry not, I am not offended. The egotism on the site reflects my real-life egotism I''m sure you are all familiar with. To eliminated it would make it into brainless corporate-speak, I might as well be "providing solutions". I know the weaknesses of the current level of hubris, but that doesn''t make me any less right.



Problem is, by reading your site, seeing this "we have great a vision" talk without actually delivering, goes for a low credibility. Be humble until you actually have something to show.

The fact that you use so much time at gamedev actually lowers the credibility further as you possibly can''t be using all your time on the projects. Don''t misunderstand me, we all love you to have you hanging around here spreading your ideas, but it doesn''t actually produce games.

quote:

We aren''t working on three projects simultaneously. We have tenative designs for three projects and are completing them one at a time. The represent a natural evolution in the complexity of production and sales technique. Tahnks, BTW, we knew the page needed explainatory text, but now I know what to put!



Stay focused. Work on one title only. Ditch the others.

quote:

Lastly, I don''t expect all 3 titles to be great. I expect them to be DIFFERENT, and my sole job on the team is to make sure they are. Something you should all know by now I''m suited to do. Making them good is a different insinuation entirely, but still one I''m prepared to make. But that happens during production...



A title is always going to be a lot worse than you imagine, so if it is not perfect in your mind (while doable - a hard combination) ditch it. As said above ditch the two worst projects and keep the best.

I you do not intend to listen to me Landfish your team is running a very high risk of becoming one of the other 99.9% wannabe teams that never complete anything - believe me I have been there.

Jacob Marner
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Believe me, I understand what you mean. But the only real way to prove you can get something accomplished is to accomplish something, so it really doesn''t matter what we say until we have.

I check GDNet every time I check my email. Since most of my job is done through email, this means I do a LOT of work. Keep in mind that other than conceptual design work, my only job is to make sure people follow through.

What you have said WOULD concern me if it weren''t for the amount of momentum we have in this project. My team is consistanly dedicated and we''re always making progress, especially in the form of mistakes. I have no fear of it going nowhere, because I''m the person who''s job it is to make sure that never happens.
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Landfish, don''t just brush me off; I mean it seriously, if you do not ditch all but one of your projects, you will almost certainly fail.

All teams have great momentum at first but as time goes, and you or the other team members aren''t earning any money (or are you?) the drive will stop unless you stay really focused. However, if you all get money for what you do it helps a lot, otherwise people might suddenly loose interest - and they will - and you too for that matter sooner or later. The question is - will the game be complete for that happens?

Jacob Marner
www.rolemaker.dk
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The artwork rocks. But just a little point - it wouldn't hurt to make the background images a bit wider (maybe 2048, just blank area). I use a fairly high resolution, and they tile at the right edge. I don't think it would increase the file size dramatically.


Edited by - zephyr on October 3, 2000 10:50:29 PM
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Landfish : Just a quick question, take it at face value and don''t read too much into it. It''s just a thought that came across my mind while reading through this thread. Do you ever get tired of people telling you what you can''t do?
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quote:
Original post by felonius

Stay focused. Work on one title only. Ditch the others.




Now, if I as a writer were to follow that policy I would never be ready to start a new project when I finished the previous one. I have a novel in progress, 2 unrelated short stories in progress, vague outlines for 2 more novels, and a bunch of random ideas that will eventually get incorporated into something. I get the most work done overall by working on whichever project I''m in the mood for just then. In most creative processes there comes a time when you''re stuck for inspiration and you just need to put that idea away for a while so your subconscious can work on it. But meanwhile you need to do something else so you''re not wasting your time.
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That''s a good point s&s. Coming up w/ ideas for several different projects is different than actually implementing them. I don''t think it should hurt to at least think about a few different projects. Trying to actually develop several projects at a time is crazy of course.

"'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree
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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow

Now, if I as a writer were to follow that policy I would never be ready to start a new project when I finished the previous one. I have a novel in progress, 2 unrelated short stories in progress, vague outlines for 2 more novels, and a bunch of random ideas that will eventually get incorporated into something. I get the most work done overall by working on whichever project I'm in the mood for just then. In most creative processes there comes a time when you're stuck for inspiration and you just need to put that idea away for a while so your subconscious can work on it. But meanwhile you need to do something else so you're not wasting your time.



Well, if you never complete any of your many projects you might say that you have wasted all your time all along. Want counts in the real world is what you *complete*. One completed project is worth more than 10 uncompleted ones - except of course that you might have learnt something in the process.

I don't know if writing novels and computer games really compare. A computer game takes 20+ man years while a novel at Steven King writing rates takes much less than one man year to do - and the smaller the project the bigger the chances of completion.
Furthermore, novels don't have the risk of becoming outdated as computer games does, so you can't let a game wait too long before it doesn't really matter anymore whether its done or not.

So I will repeat: Stay focused or fail. I really mean it. Don't even think about other game project before you are at least half way through with the first one. You should focus on adding quality and content to the first one not to future ones that might never be.

I have been part of several project myself that failed for various reasons including:
* Being too ambitious, so it took to long and people lost interest.
* Being to unfocused; different people wanted the game to go in different directions.
* Taking too long, so it was outdated before its planned release.

Of course, these problems are a lot less if people on the project actually get paid money while they work. That can really help motivation and the chance of getting done.

Jacob Marner


Edited by - felonius on October 3, 2000 11:21:33 PM
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