Wadjet Eye Games Community Forum

Wadjet Eye Games => The Blackwell series => Topic started by: DaveGilbert on June 24, 2010, 02:00:02 PM

Title: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on June 24, 2010, 02:00:02 PM
Hi everyone! After about a month of mulling this back and forth and deciding what direction to take for the next Blackwell game, I am faced with a choice. So instead of flipping a coin I figured I'd approach you guys directly and ask what you think.

My question is basically about production values. Do they matter? There's no question that the graphics in Convergence were much prettier than the previous two. This did help the game sell more, but since the graphics cost more it made very little difference to my bottom line. This makes me wonder if the people who bought Convergence would have bought it anyway, pretty graphics or not.

So, I suppose the question I want to ask is... does it matter? As people who have bought the games before (and presumably liked them, since you are on this forum) what led you to buy them? Were you wowed by a screenshot? Or was it something else? Would you still buy a Blackwell game if I went back to the graphical level of (for example) Unbound, as long as it maintained the same level of quality in all other areas (like story, characters, voice acting, etc?)

This is an internal debate I've been having for quite some time, so I'd appreciate any feedback you guys have!

Thanks,

-Dave
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: litrock on June 24, 2010, 02:12:13 PM
If it gets us the next Blackwell game in a timely fashion, I really don't care about moving the graphical level back. I thought all the games were gorgeous in their own way. But in reality it's good design that matters over a base level of 'MOAR GRAFIX'. If the characters are good, well drawn, and the set design is interesting, so long as everything else remains the same how couldn't the game be awesome and on the level of the others? 

So ... no, I don't think it matters. Simple graphics can convey great things if used properly. It's a matter of making the most of what there is, not simply having more of it. 
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: playclever on June 24, 2010, 02:28:51 PM
Arriving via Twitter...

The quality of the first Blackwell was good enough for me, it's the art direction more than resolution or anything fancy that appeals.  If I cared about the graphics I'd imagine I wouldn't have got that far!

I came to Blackwell via The Shivah, and it's largely the story and the characters that make me so keen on a new one.  I say pick the elements that were most time intensive (I'm curious as to what they were) and go after them aggressively.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Pseudobushia on June 24, 2010, 03:22:45 PM
For me personally, what makes a truly great game is the voice cast. =)
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Lestaticon on June 24, 2010, 04:11:39 PM
Thinking back about that, the graphics update didn't do anything to fuel my final purchase. I actually liked the graphics of Unbound. Graphics are an interesting subject. I think it affects people in different ways, depending on their personalities. For me, a narrative game like Blackwell, graphics are not particularly important up to a certain point.
However, the voice work, story, characters, and gameplay are more important than advanced graphics in my opinion. Bringing back the same voice actors where possible or to reprise their role is also a huge plus as a fan of the series.

Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: AltMagOnline on June 24, 2010, 04:55:19 PM
This is a tough one really Dave. You know from my reviews on HardyDev that I think a 10/10 Blackwell game is only a matter of time.

Overall, do graphics matter? Well, not always, but for adventure games I would argue yes.

The rain effects in the most recent Blackwell game were amazing and really made me buy into the world as soon as I started playing. I also loved the graphical style: it just felt like a more commercial product than the previous two. I felt more involved.

Whilst people may have bought the game without these improvements, I am unsure about how another sequel, which doesn't use these improvements, would come across. I guess that is the trouble with sequels: everyone expects more with each installment!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Andrew Goulding on June 24, 2010, 07:59:10 PM
Point and click adventure games are boutique games in my opinion. They don't have mainstream appeal and we should acknowledge that.

For this reason I think you should experiment with charging more for your games if they require this to make their money back. I'd suggest going for a price point of $19.99 and not releasing through the casual portals.

And to the fans of Dave's games. If we all pay a bit more for Dave's games, it will allow him to continue making them at a good quality and frequency. Which will mean that the few developers still passionate about point and click adventure will have the ability to keep making them. I will gladly pay a higher price for a unique game in the genre I love the most.

On that note, please check out Jolly Rover: http://www.brawsome.com.au/JollyRover.

Sorry Dave, couldn't help giving it a plug =0).
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Nadif on June 24, 2010, 11:19:30 PM
Hi Dave,
I've been an admirer of your adventures since your early AGS times. I loved both Bestowers and Two of a kind, a lot; as a matter of fact, now that I remember, I came to know your work back with" the Postman" in the RON series. So you can easily imagine that I don't give a damn about hi-res graphics or fancy special effects. You are one of the most amazingly talented guys in today's adventures business, and that's because you're great at creating a story, shaping up characters that make us feel, writing meaningful dialogs, creating brilliant puzzles inserted in a smooth gameplay... do I need to go on? As far as I'm concerned, you could as well design the next Blackwell games in 320x200 EGA and I would eagerly play all of them straight away.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on June 25, 2010, 05:48:47 PM
Thanks for the responses, everyone! As I've progressed with this game development thing, I've spent a lot of time debating what my next move should be, or what the fans and the audience could want. It's very interesting hearing your thoughts, so I'm probably going to be asking more questions like these as I go forward.

@Pseudobushia
Hah! Recording the voice acting is my favorite part of production!

@altmagonline
That's been the main source of contention! I would love to continue the series in the "convergence" style and it would be painful to turn back the clock production-wise. Normally you expect to see graphics improve over time, although nobody seemed to mind the graphics in Unbound.

@Andrew
Charging you guys more is not something I'd want to do. I am considering doing what I did with Unbound. I.e., Lowering the production values but also lowering the price to compensate. Both me and the customers benefit. I pay less to make the game and the customer pays less to buy it. Unfortunately, the end result isn't as slick and pretty.

Oh and everyone, you should totally go and buy Andrew's game (http://www.brawsome.com.au/JollyRover).

@Nadif
Thanks! It's always nice to meet people who have been following my stuff since the "Two of a Kind" days. And the fact that you remember "Postman" takes me back. It's been... gosh, ten years since I wrote that thing. Yeesh, thanks for making me feel old. :p



By lowering production values I'm not considering turning Rosa and Joey into stick figures (although that would be an interesting style on its own!). The style I'm thinking of going for is along the line of Ben Chandler's work (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rdaj8cE2nE) (Ben's actually on board to work on another project of mine). His style is very simple, but very evocative. But we're still in the early stages, so as with everything... we'll see!

Keep your thoughts coming, guys.

Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: myhatty on June 26, 2010, 03:52:19 AM
i don't mine the graphics i mean all these people are mulling over what the trees look like when its the story that counts with me can you bring back zoogle and what about  a cell phone i have so many ideas bt ill keep them to myself as you probably don't care
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Shany on June 26, 2010, 02:57:06 PM
I also wouldn't mind going back to Unbound style graphics. Like Nadif, I became a fan after playing the RON games, and that was because of the characters, writing and puzzles.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Igor Hardy on June 26, 2010, 04:17:16 PM
This will be less about what I like myself, and more about what I think the majority of players likes...

Graphics are definitely very important, especially if there are already expectations built towards them. I believe a lot of people would feel they're not treated fairly, if the new Blackwell didn't match the standards they came to expect after Convergence.

So if possible I'd really recommend keeping ProgZ for the animations, as well as including the character portraits (which add a lot of personality to the characters). I wonder though if there isn't a way to make the work on the backgrounds simpler and less artistic without that becoming awfully apparent to most people.

One of the things I really like about the games (particularly Convergence) is that they are so strongly based on New York City and despite some stylization feel very real. Maybe this time around instead of completely repainting real life locations you could create (at least some) backgrounds through just tinkering with photos. Even a game like Gray Matter doesn't seem to be above that. But maybe the idea is foolish and getting good results with this technique in low res wouldn't be cheaper at all.

Also, I know very well I'll be dead as soon as some pixel artist happens to read this suggestion.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: starrynight on June 28, 2010, 04:45:12 PM
Arriving via Twitter as well....... (meant to response a while ago and forgot!)

While I noticed the difference between the level of graphics, it's definitely not something that would have encouraged me to or kept me from buying a Blackwell game. The Blackwell series is (as other people have mentioned) so strong in terms of story and voice acting that I would buy them no matter what. I've been hooked for a long time and it doesn't really have much to do with graphics.

Keep up the great work! REALLY excited to hear you're working on a Blackwell game again.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: rockford on June 29, 2010, 02:32:37 PM
Hi!

Ive just seen on adventure-treff.de in the News that you are asking the fans about graphics and production value of your games.

I am new to your games. First I bought Puzzle Bots (the game you publish). After that I bought Emerald City Confidential which disapointed me only regarding the distribution channel and had nice graphics, a great story but was a little too easy. Next thing I did was downloading the demo of Blackwell Legacy unfortunatly the demo had not really a riddle to give an impression how it would play but I bought it anyway. It took me a little time to get used to this pixelated graphics, they really look a little, lets say: unusual on 22" wide Screen. So and that perhaps the point: I am 36 years old and started playing computergames when such lowres graphics (and even lower) where standard but what about new players? The first impression you get is from the graphics. Most of the younger players would not even give these games a try if they see them. For me that  not really was the point to buy the games because I hoped for a good story, but I am a long term adventure gamer and I know that good graphics do not allways make a good game (For example look at Paradis from White Birds). I think good graphics will attract new players for sure. The difficult question is if enough new players will be attracted to "pay the bill", not easy indeed. 

Greetings
rockford

ps: Ill only give Jolly Rover a try if its avaible on CD or a decent download service that does not install stupid nagging software like steam. Bought one Steam Game ... never again, my computer belongs to me not to valve or anyone else.... The ordering over plimus worked well, hope you keep that. Cant wait for a new Blackwell game :)
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Pretty Sammy on June 29, 2010, 10:46:40 PM
Hey, this is my first post on the forums! ^^;;;  Wouldn't have figured it'd be a response to the creator.

For me, the graphics in an Indy game aren't nearly as important as writing and voice acting.  As long as the graphics aren't distractingly bad, I really don't mind. :)  I liked all three games' graphics, despite the difference in quality between them. 

I do like the "portraits" that accompanied Legacy and Convergence, but I realize they must cost money. :)  I'd miss them if they left, but they weren't HORRIBLY missed in Unbound.

So in short, graphical prowess isn't that important to me when purchasing a game.  As long as they're passable and cohesive, I don't mind the quality much at all!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Linnet on July 02, 2010, 09:54:25 PM
I didn't mind the graphics of Unbound per se, but I did miss the portraits during dialogue that were in Legacy/Convergence. If you could keep the emotional detail in those, while easing off on the location detail, I personally would be happy.

OTOH, screenshots are what sells games on most sites. Before you get a chance to see the gamplay/hear the characters, you will see example screenshots. If you like what you see, you might read the copy/play the trailer. And if you still like what you see, download the demo.

I did love the locations of Convergence. The diner especially. But mostly I just want more Rosa. The way you've written/designed/cast her is very rare in video games and I enjoyed them a lot.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: solunaris on July 03, 2010, 01:37:00 AM
Honestly it was te storylin that did it for me mostly. Just that everything about blackwell in general caught my attenion. And the graphics in unbound aren't too different from the old styl kings quests game I'm use to playing so I don't mind them over all. I did enjoy the graphics of convergence but I would have bought it either way just to continue the story being told.

New Graphics or Old Graphic. As long as I get to hear Joey call Rosa, Brigheyes, Darling or some other Joey endearment I'm all good lol.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Zapatos on July 03, 2010, 05:21:05 PM
Like everyone else who's answered, what really makes the Blackwell games for me are the writing and the voice acting, and neither of those rely on the quality of the graphics.  If the next game was a bunch of stick figures standing still on the screen, I'd still buy it for the story...and the chance to hear Joey and Rosa banter!

However, that being said, the graphics upgrade in Convergence really helped the whole atmosphere of the game.  Like all the others, I love the portraits of the characters, and I actively missed those in Unbound.  And beyond that, I honestly don't know if the final confrontation in Convergence would have been as tense or as powerful without the rain and the gorgeous backgrounds and the fluid character animation. 

Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Purplerabbit on July 08, 2010, 06:25:30 PM
Haven't checked in for a while and there's new posts!
I must say I would buy any Blackwell game (or WEG game for that matter!) no matter how it looked.
However, as you know, I keep a close eye on what people on BFG are saying and I know that they do not like it if a game looks dated.
So, I guess it's really are you making it for the fans or would you also like to get casual gamers looking for a good game in that net? Because they are great games, but some people just can't see past the graphics. I've seen some quite nasty posts about only playing for a few minutes and quitting because of the look.
Hope this helped and give us the next game soon!  :-*
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Purplerabbit on July 08, 2010, 06:36:19 PM

By lowering production values I'm not considering turning Rosa and Joey into stick figures (although that would be an interesting style on its own!). The style I'm thinking of going for is along the line of Ben Chandler's work (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rdaj8cE2nE) (Ben's actually on board to work on another project of mine). His style is very simple, but very evocative. But we're still in the early stages, so as with everything... we'll see!


I like that style muchly!
And I like the look of that game. Summer 2010? We're there!  :D
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on July 08, 2010, 06:39:44 PM
Interesting point, Purple Rabbit. I'm well aware of what the BFG folks say (I lurk on the forums but I don't post much!). It's very interesting to read what the mainstream audience says about Convergence (that the graphics are beautiful) versus what BFG says (that the graphics are horrible horrible horrible!). It made me realize that no matter how nice the low-res graphics are, they are *still* going to be low-res graphics and a lot of people can't look past that. So rather than focus on making a pretty game, I would much rather focus instead on making a better game.

Speaking of which, the design work on the next Blackwell game is going well! I should have some news about that soonish.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Purplerabbit on July 08, 2010, 06:49:53 PM
Oh yeah, I completely understand the games are not made for the casual portals, but (IMO) it would be a mistake to completely discount them. You know you have real fans on there (like me!) and they would love to buy the games directly from here, but some of them can only afford the $6.99 price tag. I think I have bought them all from you, myself, but it must be a boost to the books to have a large number of people buying, albeit at a lower price.
Yes, HOGs is where's it's at at the moment, but people are also calling out for a darned good point and click because these come at a premium and so not many make them to the casual portals (understandably).
I don't know if you read the article by Joel on Gamezebo about the decline of casual games, the points you've made are exactly the ones being made. People do need to be prepared to pay more for a quality game, but they either refuse through stubborness or these economic times are stopping them.

Anyway, enough rambling! Looking forward to the news!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on July 08, 2010, 06:53:00 PM
Oh don't get me wrong, I'll put my stuff on BFG as long as they'll have me! :) I just don't design the games with that audience in mind.

To everyone else - again, this thread has helped me a *lot*. It's definitely given me more confidence about lowering the production values. The game might not be as pretty, but it's definitely shaping up to be a better game. It's amazing much freedom I have now when I don't have to skimp on adding new locations because of how much they cost.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: gracenakimurafan on July 09, 2010, 10:10:03 AM
Hi everyone! After about a month of mulling this back and forth and deciding what direction to take for the next Blackwell game, I am faced with a choice. So instead of flipping a coin I figured I'd approach you guys directly and ask what you think.

My question is basically about production values. Do they matter? There's no question that the graphics in Convergence were much prettier than the previous two. This did help the game sell more, but since the graphics cost more it made very little difference to my bottom line. This makes me wonder if the people who bought Convergence would have bought it anyway, pretty graphics or not.

So, I suppose the question I want to ask is... does it matter? As people who have bought the games before (and presumably liked them, since you are on this forum) what led you to buy them? Were you wowed by a screenshot? Or was it something else? Would you still buy a Blackwell game if I went back to the graphical level of (for example) Unbound, as long as it maintained the same level of quality in all other areas (like story, characters, voice acting, etc?)

This is an internal debate I've been having for quite some time, so I'd appreciate any feedback you guys have!

Thanks,

-Dave

Is the art really that expensive? No offense meant, but the graphics in AGS games are almost exactly the same as games made in the 1990s (Gabriel Knight 1 and Beneath a Steel Sky for example). I didn't think that they would need so much... expertise for lack of a better word. I thought the 'poor starving artist' stereotype had a bit of truth to it. I would still play the next Blackwell games regardless of the graphical style because I want to know more about the Blackwell family and Joey Mallone and I like the voice acting talent.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Fan#42 on July 16, 2010, 09:28:35 PM
Hi everyone! After about a month of mulling this back and forth and deciding what direction to take for the next Blackwell game, I am faced with a choice. So instead of flipping a coin I figured I'd approach you guys directly and ask what you think.

My question is basically about production values. Do they matter? There's no question that the graphics in Convergence were much prettier than the previous two. This did help the game sell more, but since the graphics cost more it made very little difference to my bottom line. This makes me wonder if the people who bought Convergence would have bought it anyway, pretty graphics or not.

So, I suppose the question I want to ask is... does it matter? As people who have bought the games before (and presumably liked them, since you are on this forum) what led you to buy them? Were you wowed by a screenshot? Or was it something else? Would you still buy a Blackwell game if I went back to the graphical level of (for example) Unbound, as long as it maintained the same level of quality in all other areas (like story, characters, voice acting, etc?)

This is an internal debate I've been having for quite some time, so I'd appreciate any feedback you guys have!

Thanks,

-Dave

I personally loved the graphics found within the first game of the Blackwell Legacy series and believe that they should remain consist throughout. (Though Unbound is obviously an exception for it was appropriate for the setting; less refined almost maniac mansion-isque type of graphics for a game set in the past. I would love for that particular style to return to the series; I can't count the amount of times I spent watching Lauren Blackwell festering her bad habit only to eventually have it smother under her foot.) Having said that I was somewhat disappointed upon playing Blackwell Convergence to discover that some of the cast members as well as the overall art direction had changed significantly since the first installment.

Of course, due to the nature of the developing indie games, I understand that this can't really be helped.

But what actually lead me to finally purchase Blackwell Legacy as well as future installments within the series was the cover for the second game BlackWell Unbound: The image of Lauren Blackwell and Joey Mallone watching the sun set over New York with cigarette in hand, in addition to the chilling synopsis that accompanied had created a sense of loneliness and inexorable angst for the living, which to me was a feeling that was simply unheard from a video game; I knew I had to play this game.

I have bought Blackwell Legacy and Blackwell Unbound along with their individual soundtracks because I whole heartedly believe that investing in these games will lead to unique and exceptional works of electronic entertainment as a result of creative freedom as we have seen in games in the past. So to a certain extent, yes I do believe the production values of the Black Well Legacy series matters. Because the quality of the artwork, the character animations, the environments as well as the music reflects that extraordinary amount of effort you put into each of these games overall.

With that said, I wouldn't mind playing a game with the same art direction that you've established in Legacy and Unbound, as long as it remains consistent. :)
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Rognik on July 18, 2010, 11:08:32 AM
Is the art really that expensive? No offense meant, but the graphics in AGS games are almost exactly the same as games made in the 1990s (Gabriel Knight 1 and Beneath a Steel Sky for example). I didn't think that they would need so much... expertise for lack of a better word. I thought the 'poor starving artist' stereotype had a bit of truth to it. I would still play the next Blackwell games regardless of the graphical style because I want to know more about the Blackwell family and Joey Mallone and I like the voice acting talent.
The problem is just that, though. It's been over 10 years since the heyday of point and click adventure games, and there is little replayability for them. That's why there are so many hidden object or shoot-'em-up games; they can make the graphics better and they can be played over and over again. Meanwhile, story takes a bit of a backseat.

Since I haven't given my opinion yet, I'll agree that having low-res art isn't going to make or break it for me. In fact, while I won't deny that the art was significantly better for Convergence, I barely noticed it as I played. I doubt even going back to look it over again will I stop and think, "Hey, the artwork is really good." So long as there isn't a pixel hunt in the graphics, it's good enough for me.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: imperatis on July 22, 2010, 06:20:30 PM
Honestly, I often go back and play 8bit, 16bit, etc just for the storyline.  It's really all that matters to me.  Games can be pretty, it's a plus, but it's certainly not an attraction.  It was the concept and characterization that originally brought me to Blackwell, and it's what's going to keep me here.

If you want to cut back graphics to save some dough, it matters not to me. Besides, it's very possible Convergence didn't sell more because it was prettier. I'd like to think it sold more because we all told other people to buy it because it's awesome.

/2 cents
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: cmilano on July 25, 2010, 10:23:18 PM
Hi! I registered to the site to answer this question solely. I'm a big fan of Blackwell series.

For me the selling point of the games are in the storyline, the script, and the direction.

Graphics are important sure (to potentially lure in new customers, say), but no matter what, sustaining the sprite 2D graphics style is equally as important (it's part of what Blackwell is). I know of another series that changed to 3D after its first 2 games, heck I know I didn't like it but I bought it anyway because I am a loyal fan.

So let me put it this way. No matter what approach you take, I *believe* the returning fans would be happy to follow. As for attracting new people, you've got to have more than pretty cover and presentation. So yeah, cutesy sprites from Unbound and Legacy ftw. I noticed more details in graphics in Convergence by the way, it left such an epic impression that the face of the dead actor is still stuck in my head.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Jackie on August 02, 2010, 01:35:57 AM
I never saw the questions that you asked, Dave but I'm going to have to say that I bought the games because it was the type of games that I liked.  Lots of times, I have found that too much graphics slows the game down and makes it hard to play.
Jackie
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: chellethecat on August 02, 2010, 03:34:35 PM
I've gotta agree with pretty much everyone else - story is the most important thing for me. I can get past pretty much everything else if there's a good enough story behind things. Of course, the only other thing that could ever bother me is a non-issue from what's been said, and that'd be someone else doing Joey's voice. :D
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: jellobell on August 04, 2010, 06:13:20 PM
I love this series and I can wholeheartedly say that I will buy any Blackwell game you put out, with or without Convergence's upgraded graphics. However I'm saying this as a current fan of the series. I only discovered the series a short time ago, when I saw a few screenshots of Convergence. I now know that the series is awesome because of the engrossing story and characters, but what caught my attention were the upgraded graphics. I think the best bet would be to strike some kind of balance between sacrificing production values for increased development time/value, but in the end I (and apparently most of the other thread contributers) will be happy as long as future Blackwell games are on par with the rest of the series in terms of quality.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on August 04, 2010, 08:00:33 PM
Since you guys all posted in this thread, you all get to hear it first. As you've probably read elsewhere, I'm definitely working on the next Blackwell game. And as for graphics, I'm working with Ben Chandler. Over the last year, he's made a big splash in the indie adventure game scene with tons of simple-but-evocative games like Eternally Us (http://www.bigbluecup.com/games.php?action=detail&id=1303) and Featherweight (http://www.bigbluecup.com/games.php?action=detail&id=1231). It's been fun to work with him so far!

Anyway, thank you again to everyone who posted here. Especially those who joined this forum specifically to do so! Reading all your comments has given me renewed confidence that continuing this series is the Right Thing To Do. The game has shaped up to be much longer then the others, and I've made an effort to put as much emphasis on gameplay/puzzles as well as the story, which has always been the common critique of Convergence.

There will be more info, soon! As well as a little contest.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: sierramindy on August 20, 2010, 12:48:07 PM
Another Blackwell game! I'm on cloud 9 from finding this out just now, hard to type but I'll try. Make it your way, Dave. I still remember how I was "wowed by a screenshot" from The Blackwell Legacy and I have remained wowed by everything Blackwell to this day. This is the best news I've read this year. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on August 22, 2010, 07:37:34 AM
Oh, and as an aside... this whole thread is a bit moot now. My friend Heriberto (creator of this amazing piece of fanart (http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/mayoco/project/media/fanart4_heriberto_valle_martinez.jpg)) has hooked me up with one of his artist buddies who will be producing really sweet backgrounds for a very very reasonable price. So, yay on that score.

And since you guys are so awesome for giving me so many kind words on this thread, here's a secret sneak peak at what the backgrounds will look like:

(http://www.davelgil.com/boe/dec/BD_shot1.PNG)

Not too shabby! If we can maintain this level of quality, I think everyone will be quite happy with the results.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Jackie on August 22, 2010, 01:55:19 PM
That looks awesome, Dave.  Thanks for sharing.
Jackie
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: sierramindy on August 23, 2010, 12:30:31 PM
Works fine for me...I'm so ready to start clicking away. I want to see what the sign says and check out those mailboxes and stuff, then go up those stairs, of course. This is truly great news, another Blackwell game, something I was afraid might never happen.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on August 23, 2010, 12:33:59 PM
Blackwell ain't over yet!  I might take detours to work on other projects (like Emerald City and Puzzle Bots) but I'll always come back to Blackwell in the end. :) 
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: SSH on August 26, 2010, 04:23:41 AM
The graphics in Bestowers of Eternity were good enough for me, Dave... :)
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: cmilano on August 28, 2010, 11:59:38 PM
That looks amazing Dave! Simplistic yet so many details - I'm dreading Rosangela's clothes though :P And yep, I know that is a subject to change since it's on early development stage.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Purplerabbit on September 02, 2010, 10:18:50 AM
Looking beautiful!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Stee on November 23, 2010, 10:23:56 AM
Bit slow on this one, but here goes.

Blackwell Convergence success partially resides on the quality of the previous 2 games. You'll probably find a large stock of sales came from people who invested their time and entertainment in the previous games. I don't know about anyone else, but for me Blackwell 4 is already sold.

In terms of production values and your bottom line, it's not something I can comment on as I don't know the ins and out of your sales figures. Have a look through your previous sales for Blackwell 1 and 2 (I know im being lazy with titles) and match up what information you may have available on buyers to blackwell 3. If most people that bought 1 and 2 first bought 3 next then its clear its the quality of the product itself not the quality of the production.

If I could give you any advice, it would be to maybe put some money into marketing the brand. Send promo copies to games magazines, invest some time and money maybe into popular games websites.

Perhaps a big step in the right direction would be to get your games up on Steam. Also maybe Direct2Drive, Impulse, GOG and a few others that people use.

I think the way forward for your games (and I suppose ultimately the bank account) is to get the products out to a much wider audience. I found you through AGS and via Bestowers of Eternity and Two of a Kind, as did by the looks of things a lot of other members.

On another note, it may also be worthwhile looking at alternative engines for your games. As much as I am a fan of AGS and the games made by it, there is only so much you can do with an old engine. There is probably a big market for these games on other platforms that you should be able to tap into with ease.

In short look at what other indie developers are doing, and make a judgement on what your next step should be. Telltale feature prominently on Steam, and as a result of their success (which arguably is due to them having funds to buy up a popular title by Lucasarts). Hothead Games got their title on Xbox 360.

Just some stuff to ponder over. If you need to talk more about this stuff give me a shout over pm or something. I'm no expert but I'll do my best.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on December 29, 2010, 08:09:58 PM
And I'm a bit slow to respond!  Regarding Steam, I'd loooove to get Blackwell on there, but they aren't buying.  Too low-res and niche for their audience, despite it sustaining my company for about 4 years!  Oh well.  While it would be nice to gain the exposure on Steam, any customers I get would be Steam's audience and not mine.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: StingingVelvet on February 24, 2011, 09:29:48 PM
Way too late now obviously but I really like the high-res art.  Call me a bad old-timer but I think the crisp images add to the cinematic presentation.

Maybe an option for either/or in the future?
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Midnight_Knight on July 16, 2011, 10:21:23 PM
Hi,Dave..:-)
(I can't resist and must ask-Are You related with Ron Gilbert..?..:-))
Well,You was askin' about quality and what makes people to buy Your games..let it put this way-I'm Your big fan for very very long time/remember still the first game with Rose and Joey "Bestowers Of Eternity"..? I wrote reviews of Blackwell trilogy for Czech players(watch out for Dave in next ten years,he'll be famous as Al Lowe or Benoit Sokal...and some more stuff in this sense),what catch my eyes on Blackwell for the very first time was the story.I'm the old school gamer,not lookin',if there are 16,256 or million colours in the game...I'm allways lookin' for the story.And Your stories are damn good.Keep this way in all Your next games in the future..:-) BTW Aren't You thinkin' to the future about some longer game...?
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on July 18, 2011, 12:00:35 PM
Heh.  Nope, I'm not related to Ron Gilbert.  As far as I know, anyway.  Maybe LucasArts did some kind of genetic cloning experiment with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman and I was the result!

In any case, thanks!  "Bestowers" feels like an ice age ago. :)
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Livie on July 26, 2011, 09:28:12 AM
And we appear to have - at least sort of - the release date! According to Dave's twitter account we're looking at early October: http://twitter.com/#!/WadjetEyeGames

Here's hoping!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on July 26, 2011, 09:32:03 AM
I neither confirm nor deny anything. :)

But yeah.  Late September/Early October seems like the best date to shoot for.  It's right after PAX and right before all the xmas releases start their PR campaigns.  You should see an official announcement in September.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on October 17, 2011, 05:19:27 PM
This thread was first posted over a year ago and it's interesting to read the replies again, now.  It's a bit late, but thanks again for all the feedback.
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Tiggum on October 18, 2011, 11:56:54 PM
Bestowers Of Eternity

What is this and where do I get it?
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: DaveGilbert on October 19, 2011, 01:40:24 PM
I refuse to actually acknowledge that this game exists, but maybe you can find it somewhere. (http://www.oneonlinegames.com/download/bestowers-of-eternity) :)
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Toilet on December 18, 2011, 09:43:05 PM
As far as production values go I am fine with the production values the way they are with the exception of one thing which really griped me in Blackwell: Deception.
The character portraits were really bad cartoon caricatures, compared to the animated pixel made portraits in Blackwell: Convergance they dont hold up, its the same story with the "myphone" thing it gave me no reason to ever visit Rosa's Apartment.

If you are going to go with an artstyle inspired by 90's point & clicks dont have a exaggerated, cartoonish character portrait with greater production values than the actual game! Deception did it the right way, it reminded me of Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Father which is a good thing.

The music works and is one of the best parts of the game, stick with that.

ps. I just finished all the games and made an account just to post this. Heed my word well, point and clicks are my favoirte genre. I have played alot of them.

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Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: vissa on February 13, 2013, 06:40:29 PM
Ah well, I guess it's a bit late for an answer, but still...

I seriously love oldschool graphics. When I played Convergence, I was a bit disappointed that you decided to make graphics newer. I loved the most graphics from Deception especially the Jamie's "you-sure-you-want-try-hitting-on-me?" expression. You gotta be totally like - wow!

So - I prefer oldschool and I think that it sticks the best with the climate of Blackwell Legacy!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Serkunet on February 22, 2013, 05:25:37 PM
At this point, I've played enough Blackwell to know that graphics don't matter to me anymore, yes I did very much enjoy the graphics in Convergence but I would've bought it regardless of the lovely art it had. Love the Blackwell series too much to not purchase a great game!
Title: Re: Question for the fans!
Post by: Loner on May 20, 2013, 12:50:16 PM
The graphics were fine but there wasn't enough of a difference between Legacy/Unbound and Convergence/Deception.  So if you have to downgrade them to Unbound reduce the cost, then that's fine too.  Unbound was actually my favorite because of the atmosphere from the ambient music in Lauren's apartment.  Oh and Lauren's cool attitude and composure and sexy voice.