Do you ever worry about Scope Creep for the Em8er project?

greyscalemoon

Scout - Forerunner
Jul 4, 2017
8
12
3
#1
Let me preface this by making this clear outright: I fucking love Grummz. I love his work, and I love his repeated refusals to kowtow before mobs (especially the twitter-SJW mod that loves to try to cancel him whenever it's a waning gibbous moon).

Furthermore, this isn't truly a complaint, but I post it here to err on the side of caution in appropriate placement.



I'm thoroughly excited about the Em8er project and have supported since 2017.

When I see the various other endeavors Mark is spearheading in relation to the project, such as the tabletop RPG and the light novel, I'm just as much excited by their prospective fruition as I am afraid of their creeping of Em8er's scope.

Even if it is or isn't a valid example of Grummz' project management skills, I have to invoke Firefall. The prevailing belief in its wake, to make a very long story short, is that scope creep killed the game. Admittedly, I didn't play Firefall and learned of its demise after-the-fact - in post I've read both the anger-ridden bias from redditors/former staffers and the loyalty-driven bias of current Em8er staff (and I don't mean that insultingly at all). Even if the truth lay entirely on the former side, by the way, I still would ardently support this project and love Grummz.


To stop myself from rambling, I'm just curious if anyone worries that, as the Em8er project dips its toes in various waters, our game will be undone by the most endearing fault of any man: ambition.

Does anyone here fear that Em8er will go the way of the bus?
(I'm sorry, I had to... as an outside looking in that story is hilarious to me, regardless of where fault lies)

Much love,
A long-time Grummz fan.
 
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liandri

Omni Ace
Omni Ace
Jul 29, 2016
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Brisbane, Australia
www.youtube.com
#2
Having never played Firefall during the time when Grummz was employed there, I don't have much stake in any of the Firefall arguments. It was a solid, enjoyable experience when I started playing, and it eventually got worse until it died.

I always worry about scope- and feature-creep (No Mans Sky, Star Citizen), or if the game will just fall on it's face (Anthem). The idea of a PvE, Buy to Play, TPPS/FPS MMO with massive bosses, hundreds of players working together, RTS base-building elements, resource gathering and crafting systems, deep lore with an associated novel and table-top RPG, an open movement system with gliding and jetpacks... Probably quite a few other elements I've completely missed here.

It both gets me really excited, but also makes me nervous.

There have been other things worked on outside of the demos we don't have access to (Crodus' model had been in an unreleased demo apparently). What the Kickstarter perks are and when (or if) if the Kickstarter is successful will be the real evidence of whether or not we'll experience the creep. The current backing rewards don't seem too ambitious to me.

Also, yes, the bus story. I actually hope, if Crixa gets enough money, they commission a wearable Omniframe for events. That would be really cool IMO.
 

Vel

Firstclaimer
Nov 13, 2018
25
62
13
#3
Never played Firefall, Starcraft, WoW, or knew who Grummz was and having never followed the drama and only read about it years later after everyone cooled off, IMO, both sides were probably telling the truth. Take that how you want.

From the criticisms I've read in years old threads and articles, I'd like to think Grummz learned his lesson about over promising and feature creep since all the Indiegogos and such so far have been small scale, "Here's what we'll build at each milestone and if we don't hit it, we won't build it". So who knows, maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. The subscription model seems like a good idea - cosmetics for the faithful, almost $8,000 per month income flowing to the project (from something like 1,000 backers, IIRC); its optional, provides good value for the fans, and is a semi-reliable way to keep funding the game
That said, two things bother me. One, I wish he'd lay off twitter a bit. He gets really touchy sometimes, especially late at night, and it's off putting even if you agree with him to see the dogpiles his QTs can create. Two, I really hope he follows through with his old promises to bring it to Steam and doesn't create an Epic exclusive.
 

Thorp

Omni Ace
Jul 27, 2016
123
326
63
California, CA
#4
I'm not worried about scope creep killing Em8er. Grummz has been consistent in his asperations from the start. Additionally Grummz's work history provides validity that he knows how to manage his time, efforts, ect.

I'm unsure if I would say FF's demise was due to scope creep. I haven't read deeply into texts declaring the reason for FF's undoing but my perception from a player's viewpoint is most of the ideas were always there. Where FF in my eyes collapsed was in the execution to implement those ideas into gameplay (and listening to yes-men players). Surely a lot of blame can be put on the9 since most of killing blows happened under their watch but I do not believe FF had scope creep before the9.

I do have some concerns about Em8er though I'm long past worrying about Grummz's multitasking. When I first signed onto Em8er's member list I too was concerned the multiple projects (novel, tabletop, Em8er) would distract, slow, ect the output of the final Em8er product. However I concluded that all those extra projects are what any game needs to be successful. A virtual game needs lore which a novel provides; it needs to make sense on paper which the tabletop reveals. Ultimately all these additional tasks funnel their polish into the Em8er final product. Understandably the time spent on the novel detracts time coding Em8er but frankly I understand from my own solo dev experience that time away from code is good for the soul and the code itself.

I do have ?2? concerns for Em8er and that is with the (1) art style and (2) how unrealized game features are joked about in Chief Chats.
1) I'm really not a fan of anime tropes. Grummz has said repeatedly that he's always wanted to make an anime game and that's okay, sure, but I'll succinctly say that I'm turned off by anime tropes. I dislike all the gasping, grunting, [example], all the flashy explosions yet the enemy is unphased, the outrageously unrealistic character postures/skeletons that would have any real human writhing in pain. I suspect this concern is going to persist until the Kickstarter trailer shows the concrete art direction; but the repeat statements that Grummz wants anime makes me uneasy.

2) My second concern is about oddball game features being so jokingly successful that they end up passing into Em8er itself. The future game feature of Shield Surfing wasn't originally planned for Em8er and at first I thought it was an oddball idea. I vaguely recall the conversation revolving around an anime that has "shield surfing" in it and the nostalgia memory of FF's Dreadnaught weapon shield bug which allowed the player to walk on their weapon's frontal shield as if it was a moving platform. At first I disliked the idea but in this one instance I'm actually glad Shield Surfing was joked about and later added to the pipeline because it will create a unique mek-frame element to gameplay (only Heavy meks will be able to shield surf) however it will still depend on how it's implemented in a way to not be straight up weird. There have been, in my opinion, some really silly ideas and I unfortunately can't recall any examples. I understand people are laughing and having a good time in chief chats but some of the oddball ideas in my opinion gain too much traction. Obviously what gets said in Chief Chat isn't final but oddball ideas getting echoed multiple times makes me nervous. I know listening to player opinions helps development evolve and adapt but I do see Oddball Scope Creep a recurring potential during Chief Chats...But maybe it's because I'm terrible at perceiving sarcasm. (I'm serious; I'm terrible at perceiving sarcasm).
 
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NF85

Commander
Jul 28, 2016
264
762
93
#6
Yes, and that is the reason to why i am a basic backer only, havent put a single euro in this game since the kickstarter, nor will i before the product is released.

This is at the core a kickstarter project and way too many of them either has too many stretch goals, or adds to mutch content thru additional goals during the campain, meaning development of what you actualy supported, the core of the kickstarter, gets massivly delayed due to all the other stuff that has to be made.
 
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Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
5,070
6,685
113
Island of Tofu
#7
This game is going to be big they have top quality team behind with a wealth of experience.
I have to admit at times i do worry but we worry like anyone does, because we care.

Once even suggested you could even get celebrities to back Em8er who are into games such as Terry crews, Jack black, Jamie lee curtis, Snoop doggy etc etc

That way we could get enough support, extra marketing and can help development and the future of Em8er too!!!
 

greyscalemoon

Scout - Forerunner
Jul 4, 2017
8
12
3
#8
I do have ?2? concerns for Em8er and that is with the (1) art style and (2) how unrealized game features are joked about in Chief Chats.
1) I'm really not a fan of anime tropes. Grummz has said repeatedly that he's always wanted to make an anime game and that's okay, sure, but I'll succinctly say that I'm turned off by anime tropes. I dislike all the gasping, grunting, [example], all the flashy explosions yet the enemy is unphased, the outrageously unrealistic character postures/skeletons that would have any real human writhing in pain. I suspect this concern is going to persist until the Kickstarter trailer shows the concrete art direction; but the repeat statements that Grummz wants anime makes me uneasy.
Your post was an enjoyable read, but you're exaggerating a bit there regarding the characters' proportions. None of the characters is outside the realm of reality. I've seen many a skinner woman with larger bust than Lucretia, who stands to be the bustiest thus far. Furthermore, the notion that big boobs = insufferable back pain is only true for those who don't train their latissimus dorsi (which is all too common among women who feel it's "unfeminine" to enlarge their muscles).

Again, invoking the example of Lucretia (and better yet, the brown-skinned unnamed mechanist with the killer abs), their proportions are actually far more reasonable than the average Western woman's (particular to sustain their boobage). Pull-ups FTW.

And to be honest, in 2020 putting a female with "unrealistic proportions" (a term I'm not a fan of as it discriminates against slender women with large busts IRL as though their body is obscene) in your fictional work will meet more vocal derision than the converse (since you mentioned anime, the existence of Uzaki-chan and the contrived "controversy" from Western twitter comes to mind).

...obviously this is a topic I can wax on about, but I wasn't expecting to see myself bring up Grummz' characters doing pull-ups, so I'll stop myself here for now, ha.
 

Wyntyr

Omni Ace
Jul 26, 2016
4,682
9,367
113
Florida
#9
The Kickstarter, IMO, needs to knock the socks off folks since the game is being crowd funded v/s going to a publisher. My feature creep concerns are primarily post KS but pre-launch. As for anime, Em.8ER's art style is not that. Judging the art style by the outfits subscribers will get at launch, which is quite understandable as they are the most visible art pieces available to view, will get folks into trouble. Those pics are from various artists and are those artists art style, not Em.8ER's. As for character creation, there will be sliders for a number of body parts and keep in mind that the character has to fit into the Omni Frame so there will be limits to them. What those limits will be is only known to the Devs at this time. :)
 

Thorp

Omni Ace
Jul 27, 2016
123
326
63
California, CA
#10
Ya I'll admit my verbage was exaggerated; writhing in pain is an exaggeration. However nobody can deny that the images that just don't add up without biomechanical issues being somewhere. I didn't say anything about proportions. I said the general flexibility from one bone to the next of their skeletons doesn't work without pain concerns.

insufferable back pain is only true for those who don't train their latissimus dorsi
sure with upper and mid back pain lat pulls could help but I'm talking more about low back and hypermobility or hyperlordosis of the low back which the Em8er art has. Saying "only true" is an overgeneralization; it could be due to improper pelvic tilt that's affecting the thoracic curvature or a more complex physical pathology.

In my 7 years of medical bodywork the larger chested women almost always have back pain just they don't always tell you until you ask them directly. If you're solving all back pain with Lat pulls then I'm surprised however I would consider if these women are doing other movements that are camouflaged in the Lat pull (they may be performing a pubic bone lift with their abs which flattens their lumbar as the abdominals activate).

The Cameron scientist skin is probably the most safe skeleton structure we've seen in the artwork if you leave out that her ankles plantarflex beyond 180 degrees while in heels. All the other skins I expect to have issues if they were real.
 
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liandri

Omni Ace
Omni Ace
Jul 29, 2016
116
264
63
25
Brisbane, Australia
www.youtube.com
#11
We need to upgrade our skeleton's boob tonnage capacity for bigger boob.

The art will turn some people away. Grummz has already mentioned that the skins leading up to and after the Kickstarter will be more lore-friendly and sci-fi. I'd hazard the guess that the forums will get another scrub and the end models in the game will be affected by that 'waifu switch' or whatever that idea was (an idea that I am 100% behind).

So long as there isn't any loli content like some anime-style games, I'll continue backing the project for better or worse. It looks like a lot of fun, even if I had never played Firefall.

I stand by my post earlier; see what happens at the Kickstarter.
 
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Thorp

Omni Ace
Jul 27, 2016
123
326
63
California, CA
#12
I too am 100% behind the waifu switch and it's a big reason why I backed Em8er.

After thinking about what I've posted already I suppose I can boil my concern to this and admittedly it's on the real life personal perception side:

Real life societies have pointed fingers at magazines for showing models that are too perfect. That these magazines showing unreachable personas are having negative impacts on mental health.

In my eyes of concern for Em8er it's not the proportions. Em8er is not a role model and people aren't going to look at it as a role model. However Em8er's monthly skin art has the all too familiar unhealthy stature that I see in my career every day and I ponder how it will translate into the Em8er character models. People are this flexible. Real people can contort themselves. My concern is the normalizing of these postures. I fight every day to solve people's pain and consequences caused by these passive muscle postures. It's a real life issue. Is Em8er going to normalize this with its character rigs?

Yes, Grummz wants to break the shyness of female proportions in his game. I'm fine with that especially with a waifu switch. I hope when the characters are modeled and rigged that they can represent a realistic healthy biomechanical structure.
 
Likes: liandri

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
5,070
6,685
113
Island of Tofu
#13
However nobody can deny that the images that just don't add up without biomechanical issues being somewhere.

I hope when the characters are modeled and rigged that they can represent a realistic healthy biomechanical structure.
I saw this and was thinking body changes some might even have augmentation i think the woman in the 50s/80s looked great but that's just my opinion and the men in the 30s/90s did too.

https://greatist.com/grow/100-years-womens-body-image#1

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-perfect-male-body-changed-2017?r=US&IR=T


Since this is the future what if they had inflatable boobs/pecs/butts i am reminded by the mask.

Since we can change our look and style couldn't we have either of these to be biomechanical efficient, and have those that are not the imperfections are perfections for some!

We could say that if the person has big breasts/pecs they have nano tech support that keeps them up.
aaaah good nano tech!