Author Topic: This Just In - News As I Get It:  (Read 2806 times)

Tsetra

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This Just In - News As I Get It:
« on: 2008-11-02 21:49:38 »
Posting this because there's been so little communication within the team lately I felt it necessary. This is my response to Mesden's latest email:



To be honest, I've felt from day one there wasn't nearly enough prep time. I'd just barely settled in and began working on the script and all of a sudden "OK folks we're recording next week". That clusterf***ed everything for me, and I can't afford to crunch extra time on a hobby project when I'm personally struggling to pay bills at the moment. Some time to get far ahead on the script at my own pace, which was considerably faster before the recording started and put me behind schedule, would have probably solved the issue of me not getting scripts in.
This put all the voice actors on an annoying stop and go schedule, and the pressure put on made the project not fun anymore. This isn't anybody's job. It was fun at first, and if you hadn't noticed, things roll more quickly when it's done for fun.
 
Everything was started way too quickly and put on a corporate-like schedule. We started with an iffy sound editor, I was still trying to get a process going for dumping script and adding dummied sections, many voice-actors weren't sure of themselves and we just sort of "settled" for certain roles I felt, and we were told to make it work. This is a hobby project. You have to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. You can't just wear at your voice actors. For example, if we had the first 5 scenes COMPLETELY polished to a shine before hand and fed them to the voice actors, it would have played off their excitement and they would have finished almost all of them in far shorter time than we've progressed currently. Then they would have their unwind time while we got the next series of scenes ready. You can't just tell everyone to record their lines because there's nothing you have to make them listen except the fun of the project. Once that fun is gone, as had happened long ago now, they have absolutely no reason to listen to you.
 
Not enough ground work was laid before the project started. Not enough communication between you personally and your top people. That you didn't talk much with dziugo is a catastrophe. You, Marcis, Dziugo, and myself when I was more actively involved should have had regular communication. Marcis was telling me just the other day how discouraging the lack of communication was on him. We had no regular program to work off of either.
 
I guess the too long/didn't read version of this is, we started before we were ready. Trying to save time at the beginning resulted in us wasting enormous time in the end.


> Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 13:58:03 -0800
>
> I've tried you guys,
>
> This Project has come to the point where people just don't want to do it
> anymore. Revisions are being Requested not because you can do better,
> but because of technicalities which arose during the Recording, and
> people send these to me regardless, thinking that they will be accepted
> anyways when they know I'll just send the Recordings back.
>
> We've worked so hard and I want to continue, but everyone else is just
> ignoring my E-mails, and delaying everything to the point where nothing
> is getting done in such a large amount of time.
>
> I'm not sure what to do... I want to continue, but so many others
> don't... People have spent countless, exhausting hours working on this
> Project, I don't want to stop, but with so many people just ignoring it
> like this, what choice do we have? What does everyone else think? How do
> we get around this?
>
>
> [Mesden]


End of email. Bottom line is this guys: I think if we want to salvage what we've got, right now we need to completely grind to a halt for a minute and sort out how everything is going to work. Right now we're a ship ran by a blind and deaf crew and nobody knows where we're going. We need to refine what we've got right now, get a system going to process future scenes faster that everyone involved in the technical aspect is in on, and just stop with the revisions for a second because right now we're not ready for them and the current system has jaded the voice actors.
I know a lot of us are annoyed at Mesden's constant harping but he's extremely into this project and we should appreciate that dedication. In turn Mesden, if you're going to direct, you need to accept the responsibility of that mantle and keep in constant communication with your key teammates, respect your voice actors' schedules, and try your best to make everything as easy on them as possible to make it enjoyable. Some of us have very active lives, but even so, I think I can speak for most of the people on the team when I say we won't slack off and infact will work with enthusiasm IF the process is good and everyone is shown you yourself are also dedicated and not just shouting orders. And that dedication starts with communication and knowing what everyone is doing, first and foremost.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: 2008-11-02 21:52:29 by Tsetra »

dziugo

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Re: This Just In - News As I Get It:
« Reply #1 on: 2008-11-03 06:48:33 »
I'll just say that I'm not letting go. If you're still on it, I am too.

Though I must say that it really puzzled me, when one day Mesden asked (in your name, I thought) when the software would be delivered to you, and then it turned out that you didn't get the answer. I believe that he just forgot to tell you, happens to everyone I guess.

Marc

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Re: This Just In - News As I Get It:
« Reply #2 on: 2008-11-03 15:29:59 »
Hey guys

To those who will read this thread my personal biggest issue is with the lack of communication.  I've mentioned this to Mesden not that long ago that I thought the lack of communication was detrimental to people's motivation (as I'm fairly involved with this one so I have a rough idea of what's going on but I'm sure most actors are in the dark).

After some thought, I think there's somebody missing for this project, which is a project communicator like Halkun was for Q-Gears.  I'd be willing to do that and send out weekly updates and keep people involved and in the loop in what's going on.

I also agree we should pause, regroup and get feedback from each voice actor on why they're in this thing in the first place, what they expected out of it and what could be improved for their experience as this thing is all about them.

As for the schedule, I have to disagree with Tsetra though.  Even though I agree more planning would have been beneficial, I'm one to feel that sticking to a set schedule would actually be beneficial for the project, but a project-wide schedule as you then see progress on the whole and you see yourself moving toward your target.  The progress at the start was stellar but slowed down to be almost non-existant now and I think it's because we didn't set ourselves clear milestones at the beginning though that's no fault of anybody as we're all learning here.

So I think we should contact each voice actor to get what their thoughts are on this, fix lingering issues, make sure everybody is on the same page and move forward.

I also personally would do the game in two passes.  First pass would bring the whole game to completion in a short (short being taken in context here, I'm not speaking 2 months from now) being easier on the revisions so as to really act out the game.  Then, we play the game, collectively spot any rough spots with Mesden at the helm, fix them and release.

That would ensure two things : faster schedule means the game has higher chances of being completed so there's a lower likelihood of people leaving before completion.  It also means actors will be able to see the result of their work and what needs to be corrected with it because, as it stands now, revisions feel very static and a pain.  If we put them in context, then they feel more natural and we'll be able to see how they can make the game better.  Since we're also changing lines from scene to scene, we won't get sick of the previous lines and we'll be more open to rework them properly.

This is just my thoughts though.  This is a group project and everyone's opinion matters so let your opinion be heard!

Graycascade

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Re: This Just In - News As I Get It:
« Reply #3 on: 2008-11-03 22:42:37 »
Being one of the voice actors, I agree that the first thing you ("you" being everybody involved in the technical and planning stuff) need to do is make a series of "final decisions" about how things are going to run and then hunt down each voice actor and communicate to them exactly what's going on and see if they're still on board.  A coordination manager or project communications director or whatever, someone who sends out weekly updates, would be fantastic b/c I've gone for weeks at a time wondering if this project was still on(I don't have very many lines, particularly at the beginning).  If there's any roles you feel like you've had to "settle" for....idk, it's not really my place to say, but it'd be cool if this ended up being as cool and good as possible.

Just my thoughts.

Tsetra

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Re: This Just In - News As I Get It:
« Reply #4 on: 2008-11-09 09:40:01 »
jack.o.lantern and I have been discussing some ideas about this and we've come up with some great ideas that I think will mesh well with what has been suggested here so far.
For example, we've come to the conclusion that a website for the project may be necessary for several purposes including:

News Updates. Instead of mass emailing members of the team repeatedly, a website with a front page full of headlines I'm sure would be a relief to everyone. It would also be it's own form of instant communication. So long as you know the website, you're always kept in the loop on news.

Status. We'll be able to keep track of who's not caught up on their lines and WAIT so nobody falls behind. It's obviously a nightmare having more and more work piled on you, to the point you say screw it and quit. Again, it's instant communication as everyone can see it and know where we stand.

Script Repository. We could store scene scripts here available for all members of the team. This open sourcing of the script would also make it easier for anyone to add their input on anything that might need changed. In my case, working on restoring dummied areas of the game, you all would be able to see what I'm up to, keeping you in the loop as well. If you don't like what you see, just say something. If you want to dump some script, email it to the webmaster and he'll post it.

The website in itself would essentially be the "project coordinator" without the need for anyone to constantly send emails. So if anyone is a savvy webmaster, this is your calling.


Furthermore, the scene system would receive a revamp. It's unrealistic to continue working at the current pace. Both jack.o.lantern and myself feel work would progress just as quickly, if not faster, if actors were sent a small number of lines to complete in a given time period. We're talking, maybe ten. Something you could do in a single quick sitting. If this could be done at a rate of roughly every other day, this would be super painless and still speed along in all reality. If a voice actor got to feeling ambitious and wanted to do more, hey again, the script would be readily available for you to see on the website and you could go on ahead as far as you so wished. But the only mandatory thing would be the smaller chunks. I personally think it would make this enjoyable again.

Thoughts?

Edit: So that's it huh?  :|
« Last Edit: 2008-11-11 06:46:50 by Tsetra »