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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Hello my friends, it has been a long time!

As you all know, my project "In The Line Of Fire" was not successful on Kickstarter.
What you all may not be aware of is the circumstances behind the campaign, and the state of affairs during that time.
I began this project as a labor of love, with no deadline in mind; I simply wanted to create the very best Dreamcast game the homebrew community has ever seen.

When Wilson, the 3D artist and myself began working together, I was not fully aware of how desperate his financial situation was.
Truth be told, if I had really known his situation from the beginning, I would not have got involved with him at that point in time.
He was and is a very talented artist, but he was struggling financially, and that is a very dangerous thing when I consider my situation at that time.
I have never relied on "In The Line Of Fire" for financial reasons, but for him, this project was life or death.
Because of his financial situation, Wilson forced me to launch the KS campaign, even though I pleaded with him to wait until spring of this year to make more progress and establish more media presence.
As things turned out, I was very rushed and had little time to dedicate to the actual KS campaign.
When the project failed, Wilson abandoned the project, leaving me with no choice but to move on.

That said, this projects failure is nobody's fault but mine, and that has been a very hard thing for me to accept.

Even though the campaign failed, things did not turn out poorly for me; I was contacted with a job offer that I could not turn down.
Now, I am currently working as an IT Administrator, coding for multiple platforms, and making much more money than I was last year.
As a result, I have no time to continue focusing on development on the Dreamcast.
I have learned a lot in my time here, and I will always cherish the time spent coding for Dreamcast, and I will always appreciate the community here.

With that said, today I am releasing the last alpha build of "In The Line Of Fire" to the public, mainly for those who supported our campaign.
This build is from January 2nd of this year; the last time I wrote code for the Dreamcast.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3TQw7 ... sp=sharing

Thank you all for following, and I am very sorry to our fans that were expecting something more.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:29 am 
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Good to hear from you again, and congratulations on your new job. I'm assuming some of the exposure from "In The Line Of Fire" had influence on someone? If so, I wouldn't call anything a failure.

Thanks for the Alpha build, I'm looking forward to giving it a test run.

Leaving the community will be our loss (completely understandable though) but you've left us with some amazing code to play with in our spare time, and for that alone I'd like to say thank you once more.

Good luck and all the best for the future (don't forget to pop in here if you ever find the time). :grin:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:36 am 
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Best of luck PH3NOM! Thanks for all your contributions!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:33 pm 
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At first, I thought this thread solved the puzzle. But there's still a missing piece…

Before the Kickstarter campaign began, Wilson contacted me about finishing Fightoon. During my e-mail exchanges with him, I've started getting a disheartening impression that he didn't actually care about Fightoon, and that he only cared about the money that could be made from releasing it.

When the Kickstarter campaign for In The Line of Fire launched, I wondered how was he going to work on both games at once. Wilson had already told me that he was a professional developer with experience as lead artist on a number of mobile games. He's not a hobbyist working out of pure passion like most DC homebrew developers; he's also business-oriented. So, I was sure Wilson knew that the campaign was rushed, and that he knew this could harm the funding. Also, December is usually the last financial month of the year in South American countries (he's also South American), so it's very common for commercial service contracts to end by the end of each year.

Judging from the impression I've got from his e-mails before then, it seemed to me that Wilson was not actually working with Josh; he was working for Josh, under some kind of agreement that would end by the end of the year unless the Kickstarter funds were obtained. Business are a cold subject, and purely business-oriented people are not going to make sacrifices to save a project, no matter how good or revolutionary the project is.

I backed off from working with him because I realized what would happen: He wouldn't be willing to wait for me to finish my game properly if the deadlines weren't met, this would put a lot of pressure on me and the result would be a fucked up game… or another failure to release the game.

This pissed me off when the Kickstarter campaign for In The Line of Fire failed. But I wasn't explicit about it because despite having a strong impression about everything that was happening, there still was some chance that I could be wrong because none of the facts I knew were fully unambiguous. And when I first read this thread, I thought I had judged Wilson too harshly, because his financial crisis that Josh mentioned seems to explain why Wilson focus so much on the money. Saving his life would be a noble reason to be so strict about the projects he works on.

However, afterwards I've realized that… Wilson never told me that he was in a life-or-death situation. He was ready to jump off of Josh's boat and drag me to the same situation without telling me anything.

That fucker is a scammer. Fuck his fucking shit.

He may not rob people of their money, but he robs them of their trust, and puts the responsibility for his problems in their shoulders. Little slippery piece of shit.

Josh, now I understand why it was so hard for you to come back and talk about what happened. Everything was too subjective, and if you said anything negative it would be your word against his, so you got confused and took all the blame upon yourself for fear of being unfair, because you're the project leader. I went through the same when Fightoon failed. And it sucks.

You're fine. Don't worry about your reputation, or about how much everyone likes your work; those are unaffected.

Good luck on your new job, and feel free to go back to developing your game whenever you have some spare time, if you want to. We'll always be with open arms to welcome you.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:47 am 
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Appreciate the update on this PH3NOM. I'm sad to hear you won't be developing the game any further but it's understandable. I'm hopeful we'll see something like this on the Dreamcast eventually. You've at least proved that indie devs can do a lot more than a simple shmup so thanks for that! :-)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:31 am 
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DC sceneS love you PH3NOM.
Thanks for all.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:32 pm 
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mankrip wrote:
However, afterwards I've realized that… Wilson never told me that he was in a life-or-death situation. He was ready to jump off of Josh's boat and drag me to the same situation without telling me anything.

That fucker is a scammer. Fuck his fucking shit.

He may not rob people of their money, but he robs them of their trust, and puts the responsibility for his problems in their shoulders. Little slippery piece of shit.



I've worked with them both. I just volunteered to do a website but it was clear that Wilson approached it as for profit. He does the graphic bit and expects the coder to do the code in a timely manner.

How is that a scam?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:25 am 
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cube_b3 wrote:
I've worked with them both. I just volunteered to do a website but it was clear that Wilson approached it as for profit. He does the graphic bit and expects the coder to do the code in a timely manner.

How is that a scam?

Coding is an unpredictable activity; even the most professional AAA studios suffers delays, and having backup plans to deal with those is a must. This is common knowledge.

Being professional is being reliable. Wilson was not open about inevitable circumstances that would conflict with delays, and in doing so he made it impossible for PH3NOM to anticipate what could happen and develop a proper backup plan to keep the project alive.

Developing a game along with a whole new engine from the ground up is not the same thing as combining a bunch of assets & scripts from an online store into Unity and calling it a day. It's not just about plugging stuff together, tweaking and balancing known elements. And specially in the case of platforms with so severe technical restrictions as the DC, it requires a lot of thinking outside of the box. Such projects can not be operated like an assembly line, and it's morally dishonest to expect them to be, specially when working with inexperienced developers.

By not disclosing his harmful circumstances, the picture of the situation that Wilson painted was not reliable. He was not reliable for the work he offered.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Hey everyone, I am a game private and independent game investor within the scene. Been around for several years operating as a shadow investor (anonymous to the public). Currently I am and have been investing into Isotope Softworks (devs behind Hypertension: Harmony Of Darkness) since late 2015

Anyways, I had supported the project 'In The Line Of Fire" months before the kickstarter went up, particularly financially supporting Wilson and the game to keep the project from going south. When the kickstarter failed. I tried everything to convince him not to leave, even offering a better rate of pay per my investment contracts. In the end he decided to leave along with the music guy, leaving Phenom with a doomed project.

I feel partly responsible as me and Phenom were unable to have more contact besides a couple of email exchanges. Maybe I could have saved it. Good luck man, hope your future endeavors pay off.


~Lotus

Any devs with innovative Dreamcast games (3D, Online play, Open World, ect) please PM me, and we might be able to work something out


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Thanks for informing us about what happened, Josh.

I don't think anybody here had any doubts about your reputation.
People just thought you were depressed about the KS failure because you worked so hard, some even wondered whether you got sick or died.
But nobody entertained the thought that you were just in it for the money or anything like that.

I personally know that you have inspired a lot of people in this community.
Just recently I showed some of your Portal- and Quake-like videos at a hobbyist game developer conference and people came to understand the appeal of developing for an old game console like the Dreamcast.

Just like you I recently got a much better job offer and I'm incredibly busy now, so I understand the priority shift as well.
I hope life's going well for you and wish you a lot of luck with your further career!


To Wilson:
It's fine if you don't care about the platform, video games as a medium or even your profession as an art form at all and the term passion is not part of your vocabulary, although I personally can not imagine that to be a very joyful life.
But if you're in it just for the money, you should be clear about that, so that people know how to incorporate you into their projects.
I also don't think it's very business-savvy to develop for a niche platform with experimental technology to pay for your daily bread as your bank account is empty.
If you had told me about your financial situation when I recommended Josh to you, I would have advised you not to develop the game with him.
Not because he is incapable, quite the opposite, but because the game could have been a commercial failure even if the project went well, and failure would have terrible real life consequences for you.
As Josh said, your situation also put a lot of pressure on other team members.


To people new to the community who don't understand what's going on:
Josh aka Ph3nom has been and will stay an integral part of this community and deserves our trust and I have no reason to believe what he said is false.
He has dedicated his passion to this community for many years and contributed more than most.

Wilson Guerero was an unproven individual who I forwarded to Ph3nom after he offered to work as an artist.
He also did not mention his purely financial motivation to me and that he is pressured on time.
In fact, reading his original post, one might forgive me that I thought he is passionate about Dreamcast development and wants to create a work of quality instead of a quick game release that makes money.
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=103856&start=0#p1049118
Quote:
The main thing I want is to work and release a 3D game for the dreamcast (my favorite console of all times), so if we decide to release it for free for whatever reason so be it, or if for any other reason we decide to go commercial (I like this one a bit more)


If you want to work with Wilson, I suggest you limit the work to non-creative artwork with clear specifications on an outsourcing basis, e.g. for a set of assets, instead of a long-term partnership.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:49 pm 
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Before I say anything I just want to say. I have worked with most indie developers. I work in PR/Marketing, most here know that is what I do professionally as well however with the Dreamcast scene, it is not something I look to monetize, I know how little money there is. However, the work we do here is awesome and I think it would help my future prospects to have Alice Dreams Tournament, Elysian Shadows, SLaVE etc on my CV.

I approached Militia Studio to assist them with marketing. Once Josh reciprocated I established communication with the three people involved and started pitching ideas. As far as communication is concerned, PH3NOM disappeared really early. The last message he sent me was on December 20th.
> I was trying to get an interview done for a website that would attract some attention towards Militia Studio.
> I was building them a website
> I was also designing a logo for them.

Josh essentially connected me with Wilson and checked out. I wanted to develop a portfolio website. Featuring PH3NOM's past work as Militia Studios history. This would have provided them some history for their KS. I poured many hours on the website that I offered to host for free!

Even after the Kickstarter ended, I was talking to Wilson, as he fervently struggled to get the project to move forward without PH3NOM. On February 10th 2017 I reached out to you, Mankrip for assistance with finishing the project as Wilson informed me PH3NOM was not communicating.

I should also add here that ISOTOPE was working with PH3NOM to help fix 3DGE so that Slave could finally be released but he checked out of that project... Corbachu was really stressed out.

I don't want to throw PH3NOM under the bus. But I worked with both of them and Wilson retains communication with me, yet I haven't heard from Josh since December 20th.

Further more, He did work on the project from for a full year. Think about it from a designers perspective, SLaVE put Jay Townsend on the map but in good faith he agreed to do it exclusively on Dreamcast which destroyed any momentum he had going as a game developer. The game was scheduled to release on April 2015. In the time since I have enrolled for a degree in Digital Media and graduated.

Hopefully the scene hasn't heard the last from Wilson, maybe when he is financially more stable he can team up with someone else though I doubt he would work with any project without a deadline. Deadlines are important.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:50 am 
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cube_b3 wrote:
Before I say anything I just want to say. I have worked with most indie developers.

In that case, by default, you should know that all this is just history repeating itself.

cube_b3 wrote:
Deadlines are important.

If anyone thinks deadlines are important when it comes to developing software for the Dreamcast console (commercial or not) they need to take a big step back and have a seriously good look at life in general.

Anyone care to comment on the Alpha build of "In The Line Of Fire"? That public release may be the last we see from the project.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:35 am 
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True, we have encountered these cases before.

Look, we know deadlines are never met. Year after year, game after game. Things get pushed. But that is usually because of poor planning. For example, I can barely write HTML and CSS. That is the extent of my knowledge but I told Studio Gyro they won't be able to release ES team but GyroVorbis just scoffed and said something to the effect of, he had a job previously and now he is doing it full time so it can be done.

I was with them and saw how they were functioning and a burnout was inevitable.

The thing is when you go commercial.
When you ask for people to pre-order/crowd source your product.
When you have hundreds of case studies in front of you.
You should be able to plan with deadlines in mind.

An artist from of mine, was going crazy that her business card was not looking good. She needed to make a pattern design for the background and she hadn't done that before and I sent her a tutorial and she couldn't get the result she wanted. I told her to take sometime, it is a personal project, you can grow, learn better yourself. She replied, "I gave myself a deadline, I will send it to the printers today." I respect that. Her card doesn't look that good. But she gave herself a deadline and delivered. I respect that.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:40 pm 
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I was crushed when this was canceled Josh. I have been a huge fan of all of your work over the years, even when you were doing Half-Life DC mods.

If anybody could make a successful commercial 3D FPS on Dreamcast, I knew it would be you. It is very unfortunate the circumstances that conspired against your project, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

I seriously hope you consider revisiting this game again in the future.

Hell, I just released a total conversion modification for Battlefield 2 of the Korean War called Battlefield: Korea. The project was started in 2005, abandoned in 2009, and a year ago in April of 2016, I got a huge amount of motivation and worked on it for 9 months straight and released the first ever release on Christmas day 2016. I continue to develop it to this very day, and will do so for many years to come. It is my passion, and my hobby. So I know, if somebody like me can get something out there after a decade or more of being in development hell, I know someday you might be inclined to do the same thing.

Shameless plug if anybody is interested.
http://www.moddb.com/mods/battlefield-korea

All I want to try and say is, that no matter what, this community is like no other. We are all very tightly knit, and we have known each other for years. We love you as a brother and close friend Josh. I seriously hope you continue this project in the future.

Sincerely, your friend Anthony


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:25 pm 
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bogglez' advice is the best.

Bilal, you asked for my e-mail in a pm mentioning that you were in talks with Wilson, but you never mentioned exactly what you wanted:
Quote:
I am in talks with the artist of LOF.
What is your email?


Anyway, by then he had already talked with me, and he already knew I wouldn't be available to give assistance with finishing ITLOF. I don't even have time to work in my own projects right now.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:26 pm 
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PH3NOM, I love and respect you man, I really do... but I think you're making a mistake.

I had been out of touch with the Dreamcast scene for a few years while I was focusing more on the PC-side of Elysian Shadows development. As soon as I returned to the scene and was catching up with the Programming Discussion board, I immediately noticed you and your work. For me, you came out of nowhere and were really one of the few developers who was still actively seeking to push the limits of the console. Your work has been phenomenal, and even though you slightly intimidated me, I felt an immediate sense of respect towards you and what you were doing. You were like having another BlackAura/BlueCrab around, in my mind.

Fast-forward to now... I had known that your R&D work on the Dreamcast was leading up to a game, but I didn't know much else about it, and I certainly had no idea that it was about to be a Kickstarter. I was honestly horrified for you when I heard that it had launched. Not because of anything that you did or did not do, but because I've been through Kickstarter, and I know how it works. Because I knew immediately that even though In The Line of Fire absolutely 100% deserved to be funded on Kickstarter, and with any justice on this planet it would have been, that it basically did not stand a chance in hell. I felt immediate compassion and sorrow towards you, and I'm not sure if you could feel it from our correspondence or not. I seriously tried to do everything in my power to help out, but the influence of a DC developer with a late Kickstarter was not going to be nearly enough to amount to anything.

The Kickstarter was a mistake, and it's a mistake that I see people making all of the time. ES was no accidental success on Kickstarter. It was not something that we just threw up in just a week or so and hoped the best for. It was something that I had consciously worked towards over the span of 3+ years. It was something that I had researched extensively and meticulously and had planned every little aspect of. Whether we like it or not (I don't like it), Kickstarter is a popularity contest... It is not thanks to my coding abilities or ES as a game that ES was funded (as much as I wish it was). It was a result of my extreme press and PR campaigns working up towards the KS. I had been building an audience on YouTube for years and years, had been guest speaking on podcasts, had been giving lectures and presentations at high schools, university, and gaming conventions, and had been hyping up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and G+ for YEARS. That's the ONLY way that we were BARELY able to make it, and I knew that it would be the ONLY way that In the Line of Fire would have made it.

Now that I know the circumstances around the Kickstarter's launch, it all makes a little more sense to me. Why it was hasty and out of the blue... I felt a disgusting sinking feeling in my soul when it was all over, because I more than understand what it feels like. I remember checking our KS a million times a day and obsessing over every single little contribution. I remember agonizing over it every night, too anxious to sleep. I remember a clear point in time when the projections were showing that we would not make it, and I just remember feeling like my entire world was over... A game that I had poured my heart and soul into for years and years failing and dying in front of everyone on Kickstarter... how could I ever recover? How could I move on? How could I ever work on ES again, let alone be a game developer or have anything to do with the Dreamcast scene after something that was so dear to me had died before my very eyes?

Fast forward a couple years, and I have experienced worse than I would have ever known. That Kickstarter has cost me all of my best friends. It has cost me my reputation. It cost me my health and sanity for a little while, and it sent me spiraling into a true, chemical depression and turned me into a pill-popping addict.

I made some grievous mistakes with our Kickstarter, and I humbly accept them. I was so focused on just getting that funding and quitting my job to work full-time on ES, that I was completely blind to the fact that I was the only competent programmer on a team for a game that was audacious enough to encompass an SDK, an engine, and a game all supporting half a dozen consoles or more. I relied on my "best friends" who had no real coding experience whatsoever to somehow magically help me make this thing happen, and I wanted it so badly that every time the doubts would creep up in my head, I would convince myself that they didn't matter, and that because I wanted it so badly, I would make sure that it would all work out, no matter what.. and surely it would? I had 1.5 years to do it. Isn't that long enough to recover from a fuck up?

That's when the real hell began. My best friend of years was nowhere to be found. I was having to do my job, which was already more work than I had anticipated and his. When our musician saw that things were not materializing as quickly as he wanted, he immediately jumped ship without so much as a word of warning before publicly distancing himself from the project on his website. For the remaining team mates, it only went downhill from there. We were essentially just me and a single artist working our asses off, with the artist not being paid for the vast majority of his work while my best friend was being paid to not produce shit... Bitter arguments over money ensued, as the two of us didn't think he was carrying his own weight, then suddenly one day I wake up to him ripping out the build server, taking the desk our artist was using, taking routers, ethernet cables, chairs we were using, and literally pulling the rug out from under us without so much as a single moment's heads up to commit the code or art we were working on.

That was it. A childhood friendship completely destroyed. I haven't spoken to him since, and I swear to god, I will never speak to him again after that. I felt betrayed. I felt hurt. I had trusted him and was left with not a single line of code that was worth reusing and a gigantic amount of money that he had taken from our funds to do absolutely nothing. I became depressed and anxious as the deadline drew nearer. I began consuming copious amounts of adderall and vyvanse just to keep up the pace. My stimulant consumption got so bad that I had to start abusing pain killers just to handle the come down. What did it matter? It was only temporary. Thousands of people had trusted me with their money, and I didn't want to let them down. Some temporary substance abuse wasn't important if I could hit the deadline.

After deteriorating physical and mental health and essentially burning out, we still couldn't hit the deadline. That's when the real pain began. That's when the emails, the comments, the private messages, the Facebook posts, and the articles all started piling up. People were calling me a thief, telling me that I had robbed them, telling me that I was a fraud and that I had probably never even intended to develop ES, while I was one of only two who bothered to stay and didn't take their money and contribute nothing. I can't tell you the empty feeling that I felt. I had failed myself, I had failed everyone on Kickstarter, and EVERYONE it seemed hated me. I'm not one to care all too much about public image, but after going from indie rock star, being invited to gaming festivals to guest speak, and being on top of the world to sinking to failure and a thief within the span of a year, it had a profound effect on me and only pushed me deeper into despair.

Suddenly I was a joke. I was a loser. I was a laughing stock. My own parents went from seeing me as something of a visionary to a sad man who never grew out of wanting to make video games. I was living off of my fiance, and her parents despised me for it. I felt worse about myself than I had ever felt at any other time in my life, and I was beginning to resent the very work that I loved more than anything, and that to me, was the saddest part of all.

To have something be such a massive part of your life, to have it always be there for you no matter how much life has sucked, no matter how much a girl has broken my heart, ES was always there to be this pure, untainted, beautiful thing that served as an antidepressant and a moral compass in my life, and as much as I was coding like a robot, it had lost virtually all meaning to me. Sometimes I went so far as fantasizing how liberating it must have felt for the other team mates who just jumped ship and shrugged off the pain and torture. They were free from the public hate and the guilt while I subjected myself to it every day...

To make matters EVEN WORSE, I a good friend and business associate of mine who we'll just say was in a very esteemed position of an indie development studio and company had seen that we were struggling and had negotiated a deal for ES. Patrick (our artist) and I were going to make GREAT money, we were going to give them 35% of the net profits, we were going to be absorbed into their team, and we were going to form a legit business and use our engine and SDK to power other games we made moving forward. We had a secure future for all of us, and finally everything was going to be okay. This plan was literally going to be the only thing that saved us. We lacked money and we lacked human resources. This plan offered us both.

Another beacon of hope came from OUYA. We had worked SO HARD becoming the largest ever recipient of OUYA's "Free the Games Fund," and it looked like Razer was actually going to make good on the contract. That was it. A free $150k in two $75k lump sums. All they needed was a development plan and some deadline dates. I had asked my future boss and company head to work out the details of our deadlines with Razer, because he was the one in charge of the money and resources. He happily did so. I was offered a signed contract for a salary, we negotiated a detailed contract for ES, and everything seemed to be going smoothly.

And we lived happily ever after, right? Wrong. After 8 months of being strung along with promises that were never delivered to us, nothing EVER materialized from it. The deal that was going to save us all went nowhere, and to make matters just that much fucking shittier, the deadline that I would have NEVER agreed to had I known this deal wouldn't happen was missed, because we didn't have the team or resources that we were promised. What happened? We lost $150k.

So at the end of it, I had lost my best friends, my reputation, my self-image, my health, and my passion. I gave up a high-paying job and a career as an engineer who was on the fast path to management and was instead a broke has-been with the added guilt of living off of my fiance's paycheck. But I just couldn't give up. I couldn't. I knew how many people I would be letting down, and more importantly, I knew that I could never look at myself in the mirror again. I knew that I could never look at a Dreamcast, never play another great game, and never feel that random urge to create or code something without being crippled by the stabbing pain of what I had given up.

It was hard, man. It was so fucking hard, but here I am today, happy as fuck that I stuck with it. The first step for me was finally forgiving myself and allowing myself to move forward. There are dozens of people talking shit about me right now on our Kickstarter page, which I've learned to no longer torture myself with. We're still only a team of 2, but I know inside of my heart that we're both doing 100% everything we can do deliver these people this game, and no matter how much hate I get, I can at least look at myself in the mirror and stand proud, becasue I know that to this day, I'm still holding on after all of the shit I've been through. I know that I'm doing the best that I can do and that eventually, some fucking day, we will make it, and all will be forgiven. I found myself a comfortable position in academia, finishing up my masters and starting a PhD, allowed myself to gain financial stability, and continued working.

But let me tell you what the most profound and important part of that slow climb out of hell was for me. I started to remember why I was here to begin with and started to realize that I was letting everyone else ruin the thing I lived most in life for me. Coding has always been a burning passion for me, something that just soothed my soul and comforted me like a drug. It's something that has made me the person who I am today, and turning my back on that would be turning my back to myself.

I started to realize that I was letting the things people said and thought about me ruin my passion for me, and I truly believe you might be in the same situation. Whether it's your own guilt for some perceived shortcoming or failure that you believe is your burden to bare or whether it's the baggage that you have begun to emotionally associate with your project and work, don't let that shit ruin the thing you love, man.

The Kickstarter? You have failed NOTHING. You are still one of the most talented developers the scene has ever seen. NOBODY who has ever seen your work sees you as any level of a failure. You have our undying emotional support, man. The people who are shit talking don't know or understand what it means to put your blood, sweat, and tears into creating something. They are people who have no concept of what it means to achieve the kinds of things you have.

if I'm being completely honest, one of the reasons your Kickstarter was so personal to me and why I really, REALLY didn't want to see it fail, is because of the guilt. I have to bear the guilt of knowing a project like yours and a developer like you did not make it on Kickstarter, and while I truly feel that I too deserved it with ES, I fucked it all up after the Kickstarter while you weren't even given the chance... Maybe it should be you here and me there? It's a really, really hard pill to swallow.

Looking at your work, there is no way you were here doing what you did because of them. You are a back-end R&D low-level guy like me. Your work wasn't necessarily flashy. You were optimizing geometry throughput on a nearly two decade-old console. You just don't do work like that for the approval or for the respect of others. You do it for the most important person you can possibly do it for: you. You do it, because it is badass shit that needs to be done.

I'm sorry to ramble on like this, man, but I truly believe that your loss does not mean that you have to walk away. I just cannot see someone with the passion that you've demonstrated not some day regretting that decision or at least feeling that fire inside to dev later on... This just feels impulsive to me, and while I can empathize probably more than anyone with the emotional aspect of what you've gone through, I promise you that once the wounds turn into scars, the passion and fire do return.

Regardless of what you do, you will always have a friend and an admirer in me, man. I wish you nothing but the best of luck and humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you've given to this scene. You're a success story to me.

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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:51 pm 
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I think PH3NOM saved himself from any embarrassment by letting the Kickstarter die.
If anything I see people still clamoring for more LOF.

Also Falco, you are already aware that your former team members stay in touch with me and do reach out for help with PR. I do hope you can find resolve with them. In business, it isn't personal. A leader has to grow professionally and simply (easier said than done) learn to work with the strengths of members in his network.

You say Tyler was useless, yet his departure destroyed any momentum you had going. He wasn't bringing the physical effort, but apparently he was still an asset as even the desk Patrick used belonged to him. Instead of conducting yourself, however you conducted yourself, maybe you could have set up a different method of remuneration for him one based on milestones achieved rather than time spent.

I could go one by one and evaluate all of the members but I fear you may perceive that as being condescending which is definitely not what I'm trying to do.

I run a very small PR company. I rely on a small network of friends to get things done each bringing their strengths and obstacles. I deal with all of them differently. I have friends that I know I can rip them a new one and they won't abandon me but end of the day their quality of work will be worse because ridiculing a partner or even an employee usually doesn't work. More often, whether I am paying them or not (usually I don't), I have to take a more intellectual approach.

I rely on an artist to draw a logo for a client that I can trace and color the best one in illustrator.
She's not delivering, we've got money on the line. The client will cease to do business with us.
I could nag her like a parent that she's not working or I could try to initiate a dialogue without pointing any fingers, I need her more than she needs me. I have to engage her and get to the root of the problem. She's failing one of her classes, I put my friend hat back on and find out where she's struggling, see if I can help and get things back on track.

This is an embellished example and it might not even be a good suggestion. But it is how I have taught me to conduct myself. You could read a book on leadership or some autobiography of an entrepreneur of your choosing.

Communication is one of the many important things a leader needs to excel at. Having worked with PH3NOM and you, I can say both of you left a lot to be desired. Especially, as I worked with both of you for free and only out of respect towards the contributions you've made to the scene.

I think all of us regardless of the careers we are in have to teach ourselves to be better communicators and leaders. I still struggle with it. Please don't construe anything I've said here has any ill intent towards you or Josh.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:12 am 
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cube_b3 wrote:
Also Falco, you are already aware that your former team members stay in touch with me and do reach out for help with PR. I do hope you can find resolve with them. In business, it isn't personal. A leader has to grow professionally and simply (easier said than done) learn to work with the strengths of members in his network.
Yeah, but not because you ever had the honestly to disclose that fact. This is something that I had the opportunity to find out after having you push my team around to create content specifically for you (because you are too good for our standard content), then having you create an article that was just as much focused on the project of our former team-mates as it was us. What's even worse is that you had the audacity to make an extremely unfair comparison and then tell me that ON A SEGA FAN SITE their little Game Maker project was more relevant to your fans than us creating entire SDK for the Dreamcast platform or our work with ElysianVMU and bringing Dreamcast content elsewhere. Yes, I'm quite aware of the fact that you are their little errand-boy now, but I was still pretty shocked, as even for you, this was an all-time low. You are the same guy who has always had an ulterior motive in any Dreamcast-related dealing I have ever had the displeasure of affiliating with you over. You are the same guy who was attempting to steal team mates away from Elysian Shadows since even before the Kickstarter.

What you did the other day on Sega Nerds is the most disgustingly morally reprehensible thing I've ever seen in all my dealing with the press. You led a team on and made them produce content for you, just so you would have an excuse to promote a game that you are affiliated with that has nothing to do with this scene on a site you moderate for. Then you had the audacity to misrepresent the truth and to never disclose any conflict of interest... and the ONLY thing that I even asked after your disrespectful display was for you to accurately portray our project and its scope, and even that was too much to ask of you.

cube_b3 wrote:
You say Tyler was useless, yet his departure destroyed any momentum you had going. He wasn't bringing the physical effort, but apparently he was still an asset as even the desk Patrick used belonged to him. Instead of conducting yourself, however you conducted yourself, maybe you could have set up a different method of remuneration for him one based on milestones achieved rather than time spent.
Do me a favor? Don't try to act like you know what the fuck you're talking about. You were never involved in our development. You weren't present in the room that we all worked together in for nearly a year. Your only knowledge of anything comes from some butt-hurt ex team mates whose only unifying goal is to make me look bad... and the fact that you, a supposed proponent of the DC scene have your head so far up their ass that you are doing their dirty work after they took money from a Kickstarter and produced nothing is beyond reprehensible to me.

Tyler's departure "destroyed" our momentum? What the fuck are you even talking about? Seriously, since when do you think you are qualified to weigh in on something like this? Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because we aren't as active on YouTube as often these days (as we would rather spend more time working on the game and the content that we DO make has a much larger audience) that this has affected the development at all, and ESPECIALLY don't think it had anything to do with Tyler. How can it have anything to do with Tyler, when he was already not even present during the last several videos? He was basically already gone. Yes, by your logic, he was an asset to us. He let us borrow chairs and routers. DEFINITELY worthy of being a team member, taking thousands from the Kickstarter, running off, and contributing nothing.

After Tyler's departure, in a single month, I had implemented more than what he had done during his entire time on the team. I had implemented 4 player coop. I added bloom lighting. We had more gameplay completed than EVER. You know why you THINK it killed our "momentum"? Because we don't spend as much time in the limelight anymore, because we're sick of dealing with stupid shit like this and people who think they know more about a situation than they actually do, and we're sick of dealing with corrupt press like you.

You are defending a guy who rather than working would commit newline characters, just so that the GIT history looked like he was doing his job. You're defending a guy who, when confronted with having a drug problem and even being told ALL HE HAS TO DO IS SHOW UP AND PLAY SEGA GENESIS and prove that he's still willing to be a part of this, decided to not bother showing up for work. You're defending a guy who lied to every one of our faces about coming into work on days when we were all sitting there literally waiting for him to show up. You're defending a guy who had no problem making a paycheck doing nothing while our artist didn't make a dime and worked his ass off. You're defending a guy who after quitting like that, went on to spread vicious lies on Reddit using fake accounts that were total bullshit.

cube_b3 wrote:
I could go one by one and evaluate all of the members but I fear you may perceive that as being condescending which is definitely not what I'm trying to do.
Your arrogance and narcissism is absolutely astounding. You can "evaluate" a team who was working together in person for years before you had anything to do with us, and with your impeccable social skills cast a judgement on what truly happened in the situation and who is the one at fault? Have you even heard the way you speak?

cube_b3 wrote:
I run a very small PR company. I rely on a small network of friends to get things done each bringing their strengths and obstacles. I deal with all of them differently. I have friends that I know I can rip them a new one and they won't abandon me but end of the day their quality of work will be worse because ridiculing a partner or even an employee usually doesn't work. More often, whether I am paying them or not (usually I don't), I have to take a more intellectual approach.
I'm aware of your PR efforts. They're the same efforts that wasted a considerable amount of my time when I was preparing to launch the Kickstarter for ES. They're the same efforts that basically downplayed everything we were doing and claimed we would never make it without your divine guidance. They are the same efforts that are "too good" for Adventures in Game Development, yet that's the entire reason we were funded to begin with, and they are the same efforts that have been so fucking butt-hurt ever since then that have pitted you against me in some kind of passive-aggressive pissing contest. You're just pissed off that ES didn't need you, and in the ultimate cosmic irony, as your Sega Nerds article demonstrates: YOU are the one who needs ES.

...which makes sense. The game you represent is honestly the best indicator of what exactly happened. 5+ ex team mates working on an RPG Maker Game in Game Maker... While Patrick and I are working on a 2D/3D RPG built from the ground-up with skeletal animations, rigid body physics, dynamic lighting, particles, 3D audio, supporting 5 other platforms, and are releasing an entire cross-platform SDK, multimedia development framework, and VMU emulation system... Don't listen to a word I'm saying. Let our work speak for ourselves.

Do not try to offer advice to me on taking an "intellectual approach" when you have never been anything but dishonest. I would much rather have complaints about "omfg he's so mean to me! he won't let me take money and do no work!" than have any complaints about my honesty or integrity. This isn't just me, either. Almost everyone I've talked to who has worked with you says the same kinds of things... I'm just the one with the loud mouth. :)

If you were ACTUALLY good at your job, you would have realized that despite the fact that I cannot stand you, I have ALWAYS gone out of my way to promote any project that you have been attempting to help out within the scene when you asked, and I had just assumed that you would return the same courtesy. Now you have lost my trust and have misled my team and I. Do not ever ask us for a PR shout-out again.

PS: just so you know, you are defending a group of people who did nothing but talk shit about you... but hey; you're all two-faced, so you probably make a perfect team.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:19 am 
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Hey, Patryk from ES here. Kickstarter is very all-or-nothing, regardless if you succeed it or not. As we at ES learned, sometimes even if you do succeed, you can still fail as Falco described beforehand. At the time I had 3 years of experience as freelance artist in gamedev, Falco had twice or more of that managing software projects and still look how it all ended up. I'm glad you got a stable job and can continue working on a project, I wish you swift progress on your game :)

As for you, cube_b3, I see that you still take every single opportunity to try to take jabs as ES, even if it means derailing other dev's topics. You speak of behaving professionally, but seems like you should heed your own advice yourself; openly antagonising devs at every single step, while being a head of a pr firm AND a magazine surely can't be good for business? That's all I'm going to say, in the end it's "The line Of Fire" topic, not "ES team vs Belial public shoutmatch" topic.


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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:24 am 
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Patryk is right. I'm out. I didn't come here to talk shit with Bilal, even though I bit my tongue and desperately REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to do so, seeing as he's in the same self-righteous "throw myself into the middle of something that doesn't concern me" situation with their project... unfortunately my will isn't so strong when someone instigates.

Bilal, I'm cutting you and the rest of the B team off. You are only antagonizing us in a pathetic attempt to use their prior connection with ES as a PR excuse, because without riding our coattails, you're nothing but another dime-a-dozen RPG maker game... Try building your own audience for once, and leave us the fuck alone. I'm done being used as an obscure Game Maker game's link to relevance within the DC scene. I truly, sincerely, REALLY mean it when I say that I want absolutely nothing to do with any of you.

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