Hardcastle and Cromwell Abandoned: Release In-Progress?

Ideas and games that are not yet publicly in production. This forum also contains the pre-2012 archives of the Works in Progress forum.

Release the crappy unfinished work?

Yes
9
90%
No
1
10%
 
Total votes: 10

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DaFool
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Hardcastle and Cromwell Abandoned: Release In-Progress?

#1 Post by DaFool » Thu May 10, 2007 11:55 am

Firstly, I would like to apologize to Counter Arts and Alessio for the trouble they went through in helping me, hoping that this would turn out to be a complete project.

Nevertheless, the squad-battle engine version that Counter Arts has released (crosslinked in the battle engine topic threads) is useful so hopefully it sees some in-game use in the future, or elements of its programming.

As for the music, I promised Alessio that if I didn't release anything by the end of this year, then he is free to do anything with the music or release to the community. He did take the trouble to render and in many instances recompose the music, after all.

Well, it turns out even I can't wait a year, so I will be including the music unobfuscated if I release the unfinished work so that anyone in this community can use them, to add to the resources of creative commons music.

Well, I am ashamed, but at the same time I can't help but do some housecleaning. The primary motivation for this decision is this:

I found that a story filled with violence and satire is incompatible with my vision of the epic

That is why action films are short, and drama films are long. Epic films with violence still contain more drama than action. People can't stand too much action for an extended time, myself included. I should have known earlier, had I wanted to create an epic, I should have done drama instead.

So I have included a poll. If more people vote to see the horrendous effort I have done so far (uninspired really crappy writing that is nowhere near what I have promised -- not even in length), then I will contribute another entry for the Games Graveyard. Most of my discussion regarding my so-called 'progress' eventually never moved from flowcharts, scribbles, and handwritten dialogue... onto the Ren'Py script where they should have ended up (and I'm no longer motivated to gather the other materials besides the game directory, so please don't ask me to donate reference / project notes). But other than that, feel free to be inspired by whatever there is here (if any at all even).

If not, then nothing happens other than I probably won't work on H&C anymore. When the end of the year comes, according to the weird license of the music, it will be free for Alessio or the community to do as they please.

Yes, the music soundtrack actually is the element of this game that's mostly complete. Other than the title screen, I did not do any other final art...so consider it mostly a sound novel -- with reused graphics and photo backgrounds even. And the battle engine is not updated at all.

So consider that when voting. Thanks.

All this is part of my recent effort in trimming my projects down to what I do still enjoy. It means that in the future I can only contribute to projects that I really like. Also probably means that I should limit future projects to 2-month development cycles, so that I can complete the darn thing before I lose interest in it.

I'm currently writing something that has no violence, no magic, not even distinctly 'bishoujo' characters, but I'm giving it a lot of thought. It's for the Animax competition (mugenjohncel, Nafai, lordcloudx: realize the Philippines gets its own finalist, whereas Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia have to share one -- as such I just couldn't pass this opportunity...deadline is still May 31st) Despite the thought, I doubt my story will appeal to the Philippine judges (Quark Henares [film director], Grace Dimaranan [Philippines Animation Council]; Lenil Francis Yu [comic artist]), so it will most probably be released as a visual novel after I completed my submission.

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#2 Post by mikey » Thu May 10, 2007 12:19 pm

Housekeeping is good.

It's not so good when you have people involved already, so you can only hope you don't disappoint them too much - and if they aren't disappointed, then you will be instead - since that means they were never really with the project. It's a lose-lose situation.

Nothing is guaranteed though, and sure enough, everyone knows that. but it doesn't make it any easier to cancel a project.

As to whether you release it or not, you decide. It's probably more a psychological decision - if you want to put it behind you completely, throw it to the graveyard, if you still think about salvaging some ideas, then keep the script.

About music, if you're not going to use it, it would be the gentlemanly thing to do to "give it back" so that there's no need to wait until the end of the year.

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#3 Post by absinthe » Thu May 10, 2007 12:58 pm

I disagree that action needs to be short; I like long action movies! But I understand the difficulty of satire/absurdist humor -- I've never understood either the appeal of reading it or the desire to write the stuff.

And there's no shame in not being able to complete a work (says the girl who has been dawdling on a dozen projects). Sometimes it's just not in the stars, so to speak. Or ships pass in the night and you wake up one morning with the inability to so much as look at the project without feeling sick.

Are you sure there's nothing that could be compressed and compacted, designed as part of a story instead of the whole thing? (Can't say much more, but lordcloudx has done some interesting stuff like that; you may want to ask him about it.)

I'd hold off on graveyarding it, unless you're 100% positive. A hiatus, with the understanding that you are allowed to choose not to return to it (otherwise you'll just feel like it's a black, leaden stone around your neck), would give you some breathing room. Sometimes it's just that you've looked at the project so much it makes you want to vomit, regardless of the real quality. And it sounds like you already have another project lined up? Maybe that'll cleanse your writing palate a bit and refresh you?

Definitely give any resources back if the artist would prefer; you can rescore the game if necessary but good will from artists is a valuable commodity.
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Re: Hardcastle and Cromwell Abandoned: Release In-Progress?

#4 Post by EwanG » Thu May 10, 2007 1:27 pm

DaFool wrote:All this is part of my recent effort in trimming my projects down to what I do still enjoy. It means that in the future I can only contribute to projects that I really like. Also probably means that I should limit future projects to 2-month development cycles, so that I can complete the darn thing before I lose interest in it.
I don't think you necessarily have to limit future projects to 2-month development cycles, but that you should get a feel for how much enthusiasm you have for that project, and what is the longest you're going to be willing to work on it, and then see if you think that length of time will let you create what you want. Or at least what you'd feel comfortable releasing.

As far as the "graveyard" goes, I think that would be a wonderful thing for the newbies to have access to. The more partial examples they have that they can pick up and build off of, the more likely that they will get involved. IMHO of course. Because there seem to be cycles of folks getting excited about wanting to create a game, but they aren't sure about their idea, and they don't know where to get the resources for it, etc. So having a partial game that they could possibly rebuild in their image is a great start. It won't be THE game of the year, but it may be the game it takes for them to understand how it all goes together so that they can really put together THE game in the future.

For that matter, I'd still like to see the community put on a contest similar to NanoReno where the restriction was not only one month, but that you had to use certain resources that were given for that contest. Sort of like the part of "Whose Line Is It" where they give you a prop and see how many things you can make of it. Particularly for folks starting out, having a construction set that they could just put together for an initial project would seem like a "win".

OK, time for me to get back to work, but hopefully this has helped you with your decision - whichever way you decide to go.

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Re: Hardcastle and Cromwell Abandoned: Release In-Progress?

#5 Post by absinthe » Thu May 10, 2007 2:16 pm

EwanG wrote:For that matter, I'd still like to see the community put on a contest similar to NanoReno where the restriction was not only one month, but that you had to use certain resources that were given for that contest. Sort of like the part of "Whose Line Is It" where they give you a prop and see how many things you can make of it. Particularly for folks starting out, having a construction set that they could just put together for an initial project would seem like a "win".
That sounds like a lot of fun! I second the motion... now where'll we find a poor sap -- er, I mean, volunteer -- to run it? I could provide some very simple blank template scripts...

Tangentially related to game graveyards (sorry if this is a bit of a hijack), is there any place for us to put finished scripts for people to look at? I released Eidolon with the script unobfuscated so people could use it for inspiration/help/point and laugh purposes, but I'm not sure anyone'll want to download the whole game just to get at it.
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Re: Hardcastle and Cromwell Abandoned: Release In-Progress?

#6 Post by Jake » Thu May 10, 2007 2:26 pm

Man, I can totally understand the motivation to drop a half-completed project. One reason I like to announce stuff to the world is just to keep me working on it; if NaNoRenO hadn't had so much last-minute interest and activity I quite possibly would never have got through MorningStar just 'cause it would have been too easy without a deadline to give up on it. It's a shame, but on the other hand you're never going to do your best work when your heart isn't in it. :/

To continue off-topic...
EwanG wrote:For that matter, I'd still like to see the community put on a contest similar to NanoReno where the restriction was not only one month, but that you had to use certain resources that were given for that contest. Sort of like the part of "Whose Line Is It" where they give you a prop and see how many things you can make of it.
I also like the sound of this, as it goes - I think it'd be a fun challenge, and that's the only reason I do half of the things I do. But I suspect a month would probably be far more time than was necessary for most people...

Anyway, if someone did want to organise such a thing I'd be more than happy to help out with artwork.
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#7 Post by DrakeNavarone » Thu May 10, 2007 2:28 pm

SH-SHOCK!! Not you too, DaFool!!! This was a project I was anticipating... oh well, it happens, (and since I've been in the same position) I won't force you or even try to convince you to keep at it. These things happen for a reason. But I will tell you I voted to see what you have. If I could, I'd vote a thousand times. This really is a project I want to see. Heck, I might even take it off your hands... a little project swap deal, maybe?

While we're on that subject, what about Araiah? Will you still be working on that, too? I thought the original intent was to incorporate it into H&C, but maybe that changed. I don't really mind if it dies a second death, but I am curious.
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#8 Post by PyTom » Thu May 10, 2007 2:30 pm

You could create a section (maybe renpy/scripts/Scripts) on the wiki, and post scripts there.
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#9 Post by DaFool » Thu May 10, 2007 2:42 pm

I'm contemplating now polishing the thing and wrapping it up quickly before releasing (not too much, knowing that I don't really like to touch it nowadays, but I don't want to release something half-assed either...so I'm thinking of 3/4-assed might be ok)

Heck, with an open-ended kinetic novel it could 'technically' be a complete game even...just with the excuse that the story still has lots to be told, whatever.

I am just embarrassed now at the dozen or so pages of the original work in progress thread, and how much planning and discussion was put into it (reminds me of the Zettai Shoujo fallout)
While we're on that subject, what about Araiah? Will you still be working on that, too? I thought the original intent was to incorporate it into H&C, but maybe that changed. I don't really mind if it dies a second death, but I am curious.
Sorry, Drake, it does seem so. I will have to de-link Araiah and will probably repost the script asking for help on it (I have thought about continuing the scenario but actually haven't added any writing to it) -- unless that separate Game Graveyard subforum is made, then we can migrate it, Mr. E's game and other threads to it.

So...maybe if it's just 1 or 2 CGs...and maybe reworking 1 or 2 of the soundtracks...hell I'm getting a bit motivated now (thanks for the feedback)...
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#10 Post by monele » Thu May 10, 2007 2:43 pm

Mmm... I have no idea DaFool... The graveyard project from Mr. E spawned another project in my head... so if it does the same with your project for someone else, all the better, right?
But if you *do* want to reuse stuff from this, maybe keep characters and some story idea and recycle it... then releasing it would kinda spoil the new project I think ô_o...

I like the idea of this new contest ^_^

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#11 Post by mikey » Thu May 10, 2007 4:28 pm

I like the idea of the Graveyard.

It can really help getting over a project, get it out of your system.

There would have to be some rules, such as that everything must be provided unobfuscated and that people are free to take up the projects (or simply "steal" their ideas and assets). If you'd share graphics, they could be used by anyone as well, same with music.

Otherwise the Graveyard would be just a repository for unfinished works, which isn't the point.

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#12 Post by DaFool » Thu May 10, 2007 4:50 pm

Actually...(man I have to make up my mind)

Keeping Araiah in would make this game a Double-Graveyard Feature. If it's just to stick a character similar to the Tsuina one in, a bg or two...

I couldn't keep the pace in that story (writing is my weakness), but perhaps someone else can, but presenting them with a Ren'Py script with thousands of lines isn't the way to attract help...but seeing it in-game will perhaps...

As they say, you must dress the corpses nicely before giving them a proper burial.

The fact that I'm still willing to work on a few things before totally abandoning it betrays that I probably still have some feelings for this project...like a mother sending her children away and making sure they are equipped before getting remarried.

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#13 Post by mikey » Thu May 10, 2007 5:26 pm

DaFool wrote:...like a mother sending her children away and making sure they are equipped before getting remarried...
Unrelated, but still amazing - it's just a sentence, but in an instant I could see a whole game in that metaphore of yours. Don't do this to me... :oops:

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#14 Post by yummy » Thu May 10, 2007 7:09 pm

monele wrote:Mmm... I have no idea DaFool... The graveyard project from Mr. E spawned another project in my head... so if it does the same with your project for someone else, all the better, right?
But if you *do* want to reuse stuff from this, maybe keep characters and some story idea and recycle it... then releasing it would kinda spoil the new project I think ô_o...

I like the idea of this new contest ^_^
Gaah same here, I came up to revisit one of my story arcs :D If I finish my game... Well you might see it ^^ (I'm too dedicated to drop it and I won't ever hehe)

The idea of a graveyard doesn't quite appeal to me because it would only end up like a pile of junk. I don't mean that what would be published in this graveyard would be junk, but the whole thing would be like visiting an antique... Just random parts of unfinished stories, untold stories that were parts of hope.
I personnally think that what you don't publish is still yours, and it can be quite useful someday.

For example, an old manga of mine, drawn on a crappy writing pad became a main part of one of my story arcs (at least virtually, it's not fully written yet).

Nevertheless, you may always publish what you want, after all I'm not the one who decides, and even create tutorials for those who aren't quite so used to using Ren'Py as yourself.

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#15 Post by Recca Phoenix » Thu May 10, 2007 9:03 pm

I would personally rather wait to see your finished vision. Even if it's a long time.

I usually don't release demos because people (not forum people, friends mostly) tend to start nagging me even more to finish after they've played the demo. On the other hand, demos are a good way to get feedback about things you're unsure about before you release the finished product.

But in the end, it's up to you.
This project actually reminds me a lot of my own next project, HARTBREAKER (this is pure coincedence, really ^_^;;;;) but I am really looking forward to seeing it in action. It's just I would much prefer a completed product.

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