Just a thought...

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ToddSmithComposer
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Just a thought...

#1 Post by ToddSmithComposer » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:11 am

Right, so I had a thought (and if this is in the wrong place I'm sorry haha)

This forum has a huge amount of talented members. I came here looking for something to do and I find a huge community of amazingly talented artists, coders, writers and composers that have just blown me away.
I could be out of line when I say this, or you could have already done this before (I can't find anything) but have you ever thought about combining you forces of the entire forum to create an amazing VN?
I'll give an example:

If anyone has played 'Katawa Shoujo' before, you will know it is amazing :p . However, even though it was created by 4leaf studios, it was made by most of the /a/ community on 4chan. Some of the art and story dates back to 2004 and earlier, and was put together by a team of 21 people.

I reckon with the talent and ability of this website, we could easily create a VN that would surpass anything that Key, Navel or any other production company could do.

Just a thought :p

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Re: Just a thought...

#2 Post by MaiMai » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:16 am

Everyone is different and not everyone will work well with each other on this site. We all want to make different kinds of stories. There have been group collaborations in the past so it's not completely impossible, just a nightmare to organize. I believe there was a collection of KNs put together in one game called The Cute and Fluffy Project with stories made from different people on this forum, but that was made years ago.

The point is, it's nice to dream, but it's also good to start small and work your way up to the top.
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Re: Just a thought...

#3 Post by Reikun » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:20 am

I don't mean to shut you/your idea down, but this has been tried a few times since I've joined this forum and it never seems to go down well. One ongoing attempt at a huge collaboration that's seems fairly active (though not publicly active recently) is Dream's Dénouement, so you may want to check that project out.

It's true that LSF has a lot of talented and excellent people in the community, but at the same time we can all be very opinionated and tend to clash/get heated in discussions too. Lots of creative people =/= automatic good match for collaboration on a creative project. Large projects coordinated of the internet can be very difficult to manage especially if the contributors are volunteers. If you'd like to work on a team with others you can always advertise yourself in the Recruitment forum.
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Re: Just a thought...

#4 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:21 am

The forum has and it generally ends up in a disaster ^_^;

The thing is, while we have the skills and theoretically we could make something super polished and amazing, we are humans and humans need more than that. Personalities clash (dramatically), people have different preferences and ideals, people have different ways of working, the list goes on. We have people sitting on different sides on pretty much everything, so the likely hood of getting even small groups to agree on something is very low.

Teamwork is pretty much THE most crucial part of making a VN with more than one person. Even slight dissonance between people can blow out and cause people to lose interest. I always recommend that no matter what size the group, always insure that people are on the same wavelength. It's not a question of skill, but one of interests. You could have the best artist, writer, programmer and musician team up and nothing will be produced if they all argue about what they should do.

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Re: Just a thought...

#5 Post by LVUER » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:39 am

Katawa Shoujo takes a very long long time to finish. It shows you just how hard it is to collaborate making a single game, especially a lengthy one. It's almost a miracle that Katawa Shoujo can be released. And that game will be the last of 4leaf studio ever made (or so I heard).

But don't let my words discourage you. I just want to make a little reality check for you. If you really want to collaborate making a single game, then go for it!

Just some advice I can give to you:
- Try releasing some games by your own first. Preferably short ones that can be finished under several months. This will build up your experiences and reputation. So that when the time comes, you know exactly what you need to do and trust so that talented people will flock to you.
- Build only a small team. Katawa Shoujo's 21 people team is potentially disastrous. They're simply too big and you can end up spending more times managing people rather than actually making the game. And some people can pull out/disappear for whatever reason and this can ruin the whole project. CLAMP is just 4-man team and even professional VN studios don't have that many people.
- Have a clear schedule and deadline. Prolonged project can lead to its hiatus... hiatus means dead in most free projects.
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Re: Just a thought...

#6 Post by SundownKid » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:50 am

ToddSmithComposer wrote: I could be out of line when I say this, or you could have already done this before (I can't find anything) but have you ever thought about combining you forces of the entire forum to create an amazing VN?
The problem is that forum-wide projects rarely turn out to match the skills that are put into them. People like to work on their own ideas and everyone has their own idea of what they want. For example, I might want to do an adventure game and someone else would want to do otome. They might be girls who like otome better and I would want to do a ren'ai game instead. It's just easier when you have a small team on the same wavelength than a large team with everyone doing what they want.

Indie games that aren't VN's have a similar problem. Namely, people won't spend any amount of time programming something that they're not passionate about, or getting paid for.

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Re: Just a thought...

#7 Post by PyTom » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:13 am

[ Wrote this, and forgot to submit it. Better late than never? ]

We've had people try to do this.

While it sounds good, in practice forming a game around a community is a horrible idea. You fairly quickly get people at odds with each other over what the game is about, how their parts should work together, who should be in charge, and thousands of other issues. Without a strong shared central idea to guide them - which is what KS had in the Raita comic - things tend to fall apart.

LSF, in general, is a somewhat lousy place to recruit, I think, unless you're paying to hire someone. That's because many people here are already working on games, and the ones that aren't tend to be friends with other people here, and are likely to partner with them. I suspect LSF works best when teams from outside come here to talk about the form.


BTW, starting a forum-wide project is more-or-less against the rules.
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Re: Just a thought...

#8 Post by MaiMai » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:18 am

Also timezones. If you're working with people over the net and we're all in different countries... Yeah, productivity would be a tad bit difficult in that sense.
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Re: Just a thought...

#9 Post by dramspringfeald » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:35 am

*raises hand*

Actually I've been looking over it and well they have all fell apart because as a friend put it "Too much Circle Jerking lead to a collapse of total suck." and that is why she left the whole thing behind.

While crude her point remains valid, There was no structure and too many cooks in the kitchen with too few workers. They all wanted their own project done their own way and too many people arguing the same thing. Trust me, Read the replies after mine you'll see what I mean.

There has been NO discipline, No one taking charge and after a few weeks they just... meh off and go back to their many unfinished projects.

the best option would for one of the mods or a REALLY persuasive Member to push a project (probably not their own) for the forum to do. Just to see it get done. We have plenty in both W.I.P's. and it would be awesome to see them come to life just because.

Hell if we had each member work on 1 or 2 parts it would take a month. Call it Amalgamation or something.

*Takes a breather and waits for the Ban... again*

MaiMai wrote:Also timezones. If you're working with people over the net and we're all in different countries... Yeah, productivity would be a tad bit difficult in that sense.
Not really, Most international Companies work on either GMT or The time zone of their respective headquarters. This lets everyone set up and turn in their projects in on time and keep progress moving. I prefer GMT because Noon on Friday MEANS 12:00(+/-0 GMT)On a Friday. Once everyone is "working on one time zone" it's quite easy.
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Re: Just a thought...

#10 Post by SundownKid » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:26 am

Fangames are probably the only large-team games that may be able to be finished on zero budget. This is because everyone has the same general idea about how it should work and a strong admiration of the source material. But even then, Katawa Shoujo was still a little strange because it had a different writer for each route. So, even if it does get finished it can be a patchwork creation without strong oversight.

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Re: Just a thought...

#11 Post by LVUER » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:59 am

dramspringfeald wrote:
MaiMai wrote:Also timezones. If you're working with people over the net and we're all in different countries... Yeah, productivity would be a tad bit difficult in that sense.
Not really, Most international Companies work on either GMT or The time zone of their respective headquarters. This lets everyone set up and turn in their projects in on time and keep progress moving. I prefer GMT because Noon on Friday MEANS 12:00(+/-0 GMT)On a Friday. Once everyone is "working on one time zone" it's quite easy.
International companies... but we're not or/and working on one. We're all just a hobbyist who works for free. That means most of us also have a RL job(s) or school/study to do. Meaning that it's almost impossible to get out of our normal sleeping habit to just working collab with someone else.

"Why me who need to make game at night, study at noon, and sleep at the afternoon? Why not the other guy do it?"

I was the only few guys from GMT +7:00 so I know this problem. This is one of the reason why I become the mod, so while other mods from the other side of Earth sleep, I can take care some things for them.
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Re: Just a thought...

#12 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:19 am

LVUER wrote:
dramspringfeald wrote:
MaiMai wrote:Also timezones. If you're working with people over the net and we're all in different countries... Yeah, productivity would be a tad bit difficult in that sense.
Not really, Most international Companies work on either GMT or The time zone of their respective headquarters. This lets everyone set up and turn in their projects in on time and keep progress moving. I prefer GMT because Noon on Friday MEANS 12:00(+/-0 GMT)On a Friday. Once everyone is "working on one time zone" it's quite easy.
International companies... but we're not or/and working on one. We're all just a hobbyist who works for free. That means most of us also have a RL job(s) or school/study to do. Meaning that it's almost impossible to get out of our normal sleeping habit to just working collab with someone else.

"Why me who need to make game at night, study at noon, and sleep at the afternoon? Why not the other guy do it?"

I was the only few guys from GMT +7:00 so I know this problem. This is one of the reason why I become the mod, so while other mods from the other side of Earth sleep, I can take care some things for them.
Ah, totally off topic, but I don't think time zones are really that much of a problem. In fact, I think they can be a good thing. I've generally worked with people in America (mostly the mid south) so they have been 10-11 hours behind me making us direct opposites of the day. Sure it's a bit annoying when you want to talk to someone directly and they are asleep, but with the internet it's not like you can't send them an email. The helpful parts is that while you aren't talking, you have time to work on your own stuff, which can boost productivity. I get stuff done while they sleep, they get stuff done while I sleep, and then we send them and discuss. The weekends are generally available for longer conversations since our sleeping patterns are more relaxed. And I think it's good for partnerships/friendships if you aren't in constant contact so everyone gets a breather and some time to think :)

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Re: Just a thought...

#13 Post by Victoria Jennings » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:02 am

Projects like Dream's Dénouement, where everyone contributes a small piece rather than working full-time, seems to me the only plausible, workable collaborations. There'd have to be one or two central figures that have the final say in/lead the production, or, as the people above me have said, there'd be constant bickering and in-fighting.

The premise sounds nice in theory, but in practice, it'd be a mess.

Kind of tangential, but it'd be interesting to have a competition of sorts wherein creators are thrown together into teams at random and must find a way to cooperate with each other in order to successfully produce a game.
Last edited by Victoria Jennings on Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Just a thought...

#14 Post by Tempus » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:31 am

Auro-Cyanide wrote:It's not a question of skill, but one of interests. You could have the best artist, writer, programmer and musician team up and nothing will be produced if they all argue about what they should do.
I strongly agree with this. It's better to have a few amateur devs working together who like and respect one another, as well as have a common goal, than to have devs who are highly talented in their respective areas, but unable to find common ground. Also, some of the talents may be mismatched. Picasso and Rembrandt are both artists, but I'm pretty sure discrepancies between their work would be apparent, assuming you were able to get them to work on a VN together. (And assuming they liked each other. And lived in the same era. And weren't dead.)

I also think smaller teams just work better. I've been on big 12+ teams and found that there's usually 2-4 heavy lifters who do 95% of the work anyway, only their time is split by trying to manage the others as well. The bigger the team gets, the more important communication, and management in general, becomes. Big teams aren't impossible, but someone needs to be in charge, there needs to be screening processes (the lack of which is often why big teams are so big; they just accept anyone), and someone dedicated to organising shit.
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Re: Just a thought...

#15 Post by pwisaguacate » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:01 pm

This is what happens when OP makes a cheerful but totally wrong-sounding post, especially with that second to the last sentence.

Surpassing major companies for free within a few years is far-fetched. Also, LSF isn't a large population to find collaborative members from either (paid or not).

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