Jonathan Conley

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About Jonathan Conley

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    Ranger School Dropout

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    Seattle, WA

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    PC and Console gamer

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  1. MoH: Warfighter

    I'm not just saying this because I'm bitter: I honestly cannot tell the difference between all of these big shooters. If you showed me footage of MW3, MoH, BF3 and any other game from that genre, and cut them all together in a montage, I would just assume it was a trailer for a single game.
  2. Suggestion: Soundtrack

    This 2-Byte guy wouldn't happen to be "you", right?
  3. Thank You, Backers.

    I usually wander off into the woods with a pack, some basic survival supplies and a big knife. But yes, you are on the right track.
  4. So what now....

    I can't say for certain if we'd ever entertain the notion of revisiting Kickstarter. I suppose we could have no self-respect and continue to throw it out there until people get tired of it and fund it just to make it stop? It certainly seems unappealing, to be honest. It was a draining experience, and it feelsbadman.jpg for obvious reasons. If we ever revisited that again, we would certainly not do it anytime soon. Once we have more to show, we may consider it. Otherwise, it seems like community funding isn't in the cards for a game like this. We'll see. For now, it's back to the grind -- after a little break, that is. Thanks for believing in the project, either way.
  5. Thank You, Backers.

    So, first and foremost: we didn't make it to $425k. We made it to $111,111k. I'd like to, on behalf of our small team, take the time to thank everyone that contributed to our campaign, regardless of the outcome. First of all: every bit of money helped, and some of you definitely "stepped up to the plate" in that regard; we're truly humbled by those of you willing to go that length for something you believe in. Your dedication to the genre is exactly what we'd hope for; it's simply a pity there aren't more of you. Also, thanks to people like zoog, who took their time to become a makeshift PR machine. You did an excellent job, and we will always appreciate and remember your dedication. Seriously, a huge thanks for helping out and producing your fan video. Please join me in offering a huge thanks to our moderators, for helping us relaunch the site and manage the influx of traffic. Thanks to Whisper, NYR, Aldous, Mono and everyone for your continued support. You guys are instrumental in running the site, and we appreciate every bit of help. Who knows what the future may bring. Hopefully, money. We're currently exploring our options and re-evaluating our approach. For now, we all have some personal life things that we need to catch up on, that we've been putting off for at least a month or two. Once we recoup and regain our sanity, we will hop back onto the bull and give it another go when the time is right. Please, continue to spread the word about the game, and welcome newcomers. At least we've attracted some refreshed interest, especially from awesome and influential guys like Chris (Sidestrafe). I hope that we can have more to show you in the near future. Thanks again.
  6. Plan B

    I don't think we'll be doing any cross-country fundraiser dinners. That's kind of what the Kickstarter was, only, tremendously cheaper and more effective.
  7. Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers

    I've been keeping my eye on this one for a while. I definitely look forward to playing it soon. Great art direction and music, I agree.
  8. That sounds a bit like a precursor to Natural Selection's "Commander" (who could assume the Commander's Chair module, and play the game like an RTS). I've always loved things like that. I especially loved the "Specialist" game mode from Infiltration; where a specialized player avatar is the only one who can complete objectives. The Specialist was randomized at spawn, armed with only a handgun, had limited stamina, and wore a physical ballistics vest (which made him easier to spot). Players could kind of "game the system" and loan him weapons, which was interesting. It added a unique "escort" function to a game mode that was very similar to 1-flag CTF. That kind of stuff is definitely something I'd like to explore, once the main game mode is completed.
  9. Also, they have scripted events like "turning on a light", but you still pick up items like a hoover. It's not a "corridor shooter", and yet, you're following around a completely scripted character, and interacting with completely scripted events. I get it. As a developer, I understand the limitations and the problems. What bothers me is the marketing ######, and the smoke and mirrors carnival rides. I just don't get the appeal of watching hundreds of monsters run by you, if there's no actual threat. I'd rather be in that same situation, where I'm simply attempting to avoid a single, active AI monster. I'm not "immersed" by scripted events. But I suppose, judging from sales figures of games that focus on that, and my current predicament, many still are. It's unfortunate for a number of reasons. One of them being: I've always wanted a realistic post-apocalyptic shooter.
  10. Freeaim ?

    This feature was in an earlier build of the game, but so much of it was broken, that we ripped it out and started anew. One of our programmers is currently working on resolving this issue, and is adding free-aim, as well as working on our holographic sight so that it behaves more naturally. Unfortunately, it is crunch time at his day job, and he's working 18 hours days, trying to pay his bills. When we have something to show, we definitely will. But all of this is planned, yes.
  11. Plan B

    Bonjour, et bienvenue. Je vous remercie pour votre soutien. The issue with your friends is troublesome; so please, allow me to explain things, that you might pass along to them. Games are difficult and expensive to make. The fact that there are so many released, does not excuse that fact. Game Development is a large industry. Simply because there are thousands of games made every year, does not mean that they don't take hundreds of millions of dollars to produce, or hundreds of man hours. It does not mean that they are simple to produce. Most large game companies employ at least 250 people. Some are in the thousands. That's how these game companies are able to churn out a huge game like "Call of Duty" every year. They put a large number of employees to work, and they work them to the bone, in something we call "crunch". What's that? Well, "crunch" is basically 18+ hour long days, where developers are asked to go home at midnight, only to come back at 7AM to start work again. They are tied to their desks, eat poorly, and do nothing but work on the game until it's finished. You barely have time to eat, let alone, shower and spend time relaxing. Some people just sleep in their cars, or at work, because it's too dangerous to drive home when you're deprived of sleep. It destroys your personal relationships, but it's how the majority of studios operate; it's a professional sweatshop, but the money is worth it, so people put up with it. This usually happens in the last three months of development, during the "push" to a stable "Release Candidate" (or "Gold Master"). The "push" comes from publisher pressure. The publisher gives you a set amount of time, and a set budget, and it's up to your managers to ensure that the company remains solvent. The publishers dangle your paycheck with something they call a "milestone". If the "milestone" is not met by an exact date, the paychecks don't come in; sometimes, a game is even cancelled at this stage. That is how "Call of Duty", "Battlefield", and every other big game gets made. Retailers are depending on contracts negotiated by the Publisher, and so, the developers are worked to the bone to make these unrealistic deadlines. The first thing that happens in game development is budgeting and releasing window planning. It's always "business first" for big companies. They don't say, "just ship BF3 when it's done", they say, "BF3 needs to be out by Fall, so we can make all of that Christmas money." Their last concern is in squashing every bug, or in adding unique features at the last minute. You know those companies that "take too long" or that "produce vaporware"? The ones that your friends maybe get upset with? That's because they keep their sanity, and work normal hours. You know "Valve Time"? That's because Valve is self-funded, and doesn't answer to publishers (ironically, they make so much money, they could probably afford to buy out most of the publishers, if they felt like it). Companies like Valve, Blizzard and so forth, release games "when it's done", simply because they can. They could delay a game for a decade, and it wouldn't matter at all. Either way, we are neither of those. We are a small company of just a handful of developers, working in our spare time. We can appreciate that people "want to believe" by "playing the pre-alpha". The thing is: this would ultimately hurt us. Gamers aren't patient (as you can see), and they certainly aren't very understanding of incomplete products. A "pre-alpha" basically means "It boots, but nothing is close to being finished. You can play around a bit, but you will probably find some catastrophic, game-breaking bug quite easily." It's not something we'd want to release to the public, for very obvious reasons. Developers are critical of their own work. We are uncomfortable as it is, showing anything unfinished, because people that aren't game developers will tear into you. Most gamers don't understand the way that games are made, the budgets or the resources needed to pull it off. So how can we expect them to be appreciative of a pre-alpha, that's full of bugs? A Typical Day in the Life of a Game Developer Gamer (G): "That shadow on that rock over there, in your [screenshot/movie/build] doesn't look right." Developer (D): "We know, it's pre-alpha. Many things are broken, or buggy." G: "But it doesn't look right. Here are some wikipedia links to rock shadows." D: "Thanks, we get it. We're aware. It's just not a priority right now. There will be time for this kind of stuff, much, much later." G: "No, but look -- I went outside of my house and took pictures of rock shadows so that you can see how your rock shadows are weird. Notice how my rocks look normal, and yours look weird? Here, give me a second, I'll go take more pictures." D: "It's a bug with the lighting engine. We'll fix it later. Bigger fish to fry. No need for more pictures. It's documented." G: "How come that other game, on the same engine, has better-looking rock shadows? Aren't you using that same engine?" *This is the part where any other developer just blocks you, and refuses to continue the conversation* D: "Not every game running on the same engine uses the same tech or the same programatic solutions. That other game actually uses a third-party lighting solution that doesn't have that issue; but it costs a lot of money, and we can just fix that bug ourselves, when we're closer to release." G: "But how come you don't just use that other thing?" D: "Money." G: "Oh, okay. I'd really like it if you fixed it, though." D: "We will. I've already said that we will. I've just said that we will." G: "Okay, but, <insert_company> said that they'd fix a similar bug in <insert_game>, and they never did. And that bug really bothered me and my friends, and if you want our support, you'll do right to fix that bug." D: "Great. Well, we're not <insert_company> and we didn't make <insert_game>. So, just trust us? We'll fix it when the time comes, but we've got a game to make in the meantime, so..." G: "I don't know if I can just trust you, though. <insert_company> hurt me so many times." D: "Okay? Well, we won't? That's all I can say?" G: "Awesome! Thanks! You guys are the best!" D: "No problem." *on week later* D: "Here's some progress we wanted to show you guys. There was some concern about a minor lighting bug with our rock shadows, so, we went ahead and spent a whole week fixing it. Hopefully, it doesn't get broken as the game progresses. It probably will. But, here you go." G: "The way that the leaves move on that tree doesn't look like real-life." D: "It never can. It never will. But there's actually a small bug with the way that the engine is rendering <insert_engine_rendering_function>. It will be fixed when the company that created the engine releases a patch in a few weeks, so it's a non-issue for us. Also, games will never completely mimmic reality in this, our lifetime." G: "You should fix it, though. Here's a picture from wikipedia on how leaves should behave. Also, here's a youtube video, in HD, showing leaves." *the cycle repeats, ad infinitum* Releasing a public pre-alpha so that people "can believe" would be counter-intuitive. We'll release something when we're confident in releasing it. Cheers.
  12. Blackhawk or Blackfood?

    That is strange. I'm not sure whats causing that. Searching on tapatalk for "Blackfoot" brings up that (correct) link, with "Blackhawk" in the title. We'll look into it, thanks.
  13. Some statistics and possible answers?

    Thanks for trying, ICRage. Nobody said you ever had to pass any sort of IQ test to gain access to the internet (unfortunately). Try not to take all of those responses personally, but feel free to correct people, so they don't go on, perpetuating misinformation. As disappointing as it is to accept: some people are genuinely daft and need to have their hands held through even the most basic of things. The best you can do, is seek out like-minded, smart people. Easier said than done, on the internet, but I'm sure there are others like us that we just haven't reached, somehow.
  14. I've bought snake oil before.

    We share similar opinions about what has happened in regards to that franchise, and with what the industry in general has decided to develop. It's not ideal, and it's not what we'd like to be playing ourselves. Until you guys (all gamers that are into military games) stop buying products like BF3, because it "looks great, but let me down", none of these companies are going to stop churning out the same formulaic titles every year. They don't care that you don't like their game after you've purchased it, because they know you'll just purchase the next one, anyway. They already have your money, and if you stop playing it, so what? There are millions of new players every time they release a new game. EA didn't "get ahold" of BF3 -- they actively designed it to be the way that it is. EA owns DICE. It's not like DICE developed your "dream game", and then, EA came along and ruined it. Everything that's part of that game was designed that way for a reason, with input from EA's publishing arm. This is sort of an issue that hurt our KS campaign. Many people would say, "I love everything about this, but <insert_game_title/publisher> burnt me before, so I refuse to contribute, because I can't be let down again. But like I said: it looks so amazing! Good luck!" Well, we're not EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Codemasters or any of the other companies that have put out products you weren't happy with. So why are we left on the vine, for something another company did? That sort of mentality is almost completely exclusive to this genre, by the way. It has always bothered us, because to our team, it's so obvious: those other companies don't even make these types of games anymore. So why does everyone continue to give them $60/yr, "hoping" that the game is "finally what we wanted", only to come back disappointed, telling us "you're our last hope, but, I'm not going to give you $15 to see this through"? It's like George Lucas constantly re-releasing CGI'd versions of the original "STAR WARS" Trilogy, hoping that it will finally just be the cleaned up THX Remasters of the original, unaltered films; only to be disappointed when they find out that he removed Mark Hamill and replaced him with Jar Jar. I stopped buying those sets, years ago, for that very reason; and yet, so many people continue to buy it, knowing they will be let down. Stop abusing yourselves. We've been fairly transparent with our plans, our design and our costs. No other game developer does this, by the way. What's sad is: it seems it would've been wise to just keep everyone in the dark with vague information and marketing. I've always hated that kind of stuff, which is why we chose to do things a bit differently with a kind of "no ######" approach; but it seems like there really is something to that marketing machine, huh? "Disappointing" wouldn't even begin to describe my thoughts on that. Co-Op has been planned from the start. I have the exact fond memories as you, in respects to co-op campaigns in games like OGR. I would trade every AAA game released this year, for a single, military FPS co-op campaign that focuses on realism. That said, the PvP portion is the easiest to develop first (fast turnaround), and so, we wanted to have something for everyone to play, while we built the co-op portion (with AI and everything nice). Some didn't understand that, and some are just so hostile towards the term "PvP" that they blew it off before even reading about it. And yet, that doesn't stop them from jumping online to blow off some steam, playing some BF3 (which has two layers of DRM); all the while, complaining that it's not the game they want it to be. Needless to say: it's a bit frustrating. At the end of the day, making a game costs money. Making a game like this, costs lots of money; more money than people are comfortable admitting or accepting. Our KS budget is actually razor thin. That's something that, surprisingly, gamers don't really understand. To many of them, they view something like "acquiring a license to a major engine" as something that anyone off of the street can just go and do. Our team works on this game in their spare time, when they finish work with their day jobs. Some of us do contract work for other game studios, some of us still work at big game studios, and some of us have left the industry and just taken up something else while working on this. Instead of coming home and getting to "unwind" with a game, we build one. Instead of being the best husbands, friends, partners or contributing members of society, we're glued to our monitors 24/7. Sometimes, our personal lives suffer for that, and we need to take a break. We want this game to happen just as much as anyone else that has expressed interest. We're ultimately just building the game that we've always wanted to play. Honestly, if we just broke even, but had a game to play, that would be fine with us. It would be unfortunate to not make any money, because then we couldn't continue to make new content or games, but at least we'd have that one game to play, for years and years. We want it. We just need help to finish it. We need money to hire people that won't just work from passion alone, money to buy nice things (an AI solution), and we need a bigger community that can understand what it means to be an indie developer. I get the cynicism. I get that many people "just want to wait". They want to wait for the game to just magically appear, some day; they want to wait for someone else to do it, hoping that some other big developer will "see the light". The trouble is: how long have we waited for that to happen? There comes a point where you need to stop waiting for things to fix themselves, and to start fixing them yourself. That's what we're trying to do -- we just need more people of that mindset.
  15. Making of an AK-74M for Ground Branch

    Beautiful weapon models, guys.