GarageGames Community is Dead

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by joshuadallman, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. joshuadallman

    Original Member

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    Hello everyone! I've been a long-time member of this site, but have rarely posted or trolled due to being an active member of the GarageGames community, where I started out as an indie in 2004 (and I worked for them for 2 years as a game producer).

    As some of you might know or have heard, GG just rolled out a major site redesign, which expunged all indie games and community features from their site. This was too much for me and I have left the GG community. If you're interested, here was my farewell blog post:

    http://www.garagegames.com/community/blogs/view/15999/

    Meanwhile, I am busy finishing off my casual puzzle game, "Dragon Hatchery," as well as continuing to seek publishing opportunities for my 3D online artillery shooter "Shelled! Online." Check out my website at www.redthumbgames.com if you're interested in hearing more about them, otherwise I'll post more details as more happens.

    Cheers,

    Josh
     
  2. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I thought GarageGames had disappeared years ago.
     
  3. tolik

    Original Member

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    Why bother with all the pesky kids who require 10000% support with cheap indie license and complain about crappy documentation and bad D3D renderer in T2D when they could focus on post-acquisition priorities with InstantAction and bigger games they need to have for it? Wouldn't you do the same?
     
  4. joshuadallman

    Original Member

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    No, I wouldn't do the same. But then, I'm more of a grassroots indie. I believe in small teams, small games, small budgets (if one at all), and the creativity of the indie industry segment. I'm stoked to see the rise of small Flash games within the indie movement. InstantAction should have 100 games up on it, not 6. It's all so very underwhelming. So much for "changing the way games are made and played."
     
  5. WaveRider

    Indie Author

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    Actually they just received the GameDeveloper Frontline Award for Game Engine of the Year 2008. No small accomplishment considering the runner-ups were Crytek's CryEngine, Unity, and Valve's Source.

    Personally, I was really dissappointed with their 2D engine, but apparently their Torque Game Engine Advanced is really coming along.
     
  6. joshuadallman

    Original Member

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    True, but you could also say the only reason they won was because Unreal was ineligable for the category because they won the bigger "Hall of Fame" accolade.
     
  7. KNau

    Original Member

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    Hell, since they started I've heard nothing but complaints about their community. I suppose it's better to trash it altogether than to only offer half-assed support.
     
  8. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It'd have to be a massive leap to win engine of the year if you go by any of their previous 'engines'.
     
  9. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Indeed. The community was terrible - literally a handful of people and that's about it. I posted for help on the xbox version, it was shockingly bad. The samples didn't even run out of the box, who the hell tested it?
     
  10. Dark Octave

    Dark Octave New Member

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    Yeah, it's pretty sad. I've been with the GG community since 2003 or 2004 creating music and sound effects for teams here and there. I learned a lot, met some great people, some of who I'm still friends with today and made rent on many occasions because of GG.

    I probably slowed down around late 2006. That's when I noticed things starting to drop off. Then GG staff started leaving one after another and I knew something was up.

    And eventhough I haven't been as active on GG latley, I've always felt a sense of obligation to the community. I wanted for GG to be the first place I announce my new company and first game title. Kind of a small dream I've had for years that may not be possible anymore.

    As for Jashua, I agree. They seem to have abandoned indies and their original mission to support the little guy, with their new business model and web site. But they haven't been "Garage Games" for a long time anyway. Part of me is sad but another part of me understands. Maybe they haven't looked at all the options to keep their indie community whole or are unwilling to, but with as many huge companies dropping like flies just last year alone, GG has to do something to survive, right?
     
  11. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    I haven't been on it in awhile, but that's awful news. Not hard to believe, just... awful :(

    I *like* the 2d engine. But, I also like eating raw fish - so take that with a grain of salt.
     
  12. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    Huh.... I just logged on, and everything seems to be more or less intact, if changed.

    Ummm... You did click the little arrows on the left of the sections to explode the forum lists, right?
     
  13. tentons

    Indie Author

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    The Unity3d authoring tool 2.5 will be released for Windows any day now (previously it was Mac only), and that will be the end of the Torque/Instant Action engines IMHO.

    The community is small but friendly and will grow exponentially when this new version comes out.
     
  14. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    Oooh... Shiny!
     
  15. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I popped in a long time ago and found it full of nothing but no-nowt fanboys whose idea of game development was asking how to script a different weapon from the one in demo.

    So I downloaded torque (original) and found it laughable. It wasn't an "engine" but just a game without the game code.

    So I mailed Jeff Tunnel asking him if he might be interested in publishing some of my own stuff that wasn't torqued but was above the quality threshold of the rammel on display there (I was far more politic than that), and he basically wrote back telling me I was an arrogant idiot thinking I could do better and he didn't want to speak with me again.

    Oh well. :)
     
    #15 Applewood, Jan 15, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  16. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I thought the same about the engine - it was really just a flexible game. I like my engines to need not a lot of code to draw something on the screen.
     
  17. Cevo70

    Cevo70 New Member

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    Welcome - I started my initial quest over there and found it really dry. Much better support communities out there (like this one).

    Nice resume man - Shelled looks awesome. (saw it first on GameTunnel) Think I need to give it whirl. :)
     
  18. LionCirth

    LionCirth New Member

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    Just my 50c

    I personally like TGB and I am currently enjoying my time learning it.

    I also like the community, seem to get an answer whenever I need one :)
     
  19. WaveRider

    Indie Author

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    Wait... what? seriously?
    This is awesome news if it's true, I'm gonna need some proof though. Where are you getting this info from?
     
  20. bamfina

    bamfina New Member

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    I would like to offer the opinion that the GarageGames community is not dead.

    That's not to say we haven't stirred up some controversy on our site recently. First, as has been mentioned, we won the Game Engine Front Line Award for 2008. And true, although, Unreal was not nominated since it was being put into the Hall of Fame, we beat out CryTek, Source, Gamebryo, and Unity, all of which are robust engines in their own right. The reason we won? Because enough game developers chose TGEA 1.7.1 over these solutions. That in itself implies our community is not dead.

    Second controversy, we are experimenting with really bumping up the quality and feature set of our next engine, Torque 3D, in its next release, and in doing so, we are considering an increased raise in price. We feel we can provide a much better experience with more resources at our disposal. Of course, this has the chance to impact our community, which is why we opened up the conversation to our entire user base, exposing plans to change licensing and pricing months in advance of the actual engine release. The reason? We wanted to loop our community into our plans, and use their feedback to make the best informed decision possible with our user base. If we truly didn't care, why bother taking the risk on all the negative PR now? We could have waited until release and just came out with a huge sticker price that no single game developer could afford. That would have been bad news for us and our customers, so we went the risky talk-about-it-now approach instead in the hopes our community would understand and help inform our decision.

    And the final controversy is the new website, which we launched on Tuesday. Our old website has been cumbersome and in need of a face lift for some time. We cleaned a lot of the old, out-of-date links up, and gave it a new face. Some people like it. Some don't. The vast majority of our users are in the middle; they're cautiously optimistic that changes are for the better and want to see some immediate improvements. The web team has been working around the clock to address their concerns, and we're aiming for the next version of the site to address their concerns no later than early next week. Here, the proof is in the pudding: if you think we'll live up to our word, you'll stay. If not, you won't. Only time will tell, but since I have an inside look at the dev plans, I feel confident the website will be better than ever before for game developers to showcase their games.

    So are we stirring up a lot of trouble? Certainly. We've been known for that. But the community being dead? There certainly is a lot of noise going on, for a dead community. ^_^ In fairness to the OP, I know there are changes that have been made that may not be palatable to our entire user base. We did take a lot of our third party content off our website, mostly games that hadn't seen a high enough download rate to justify the resources to keep them on our site. We're honestly doing the best we can to showcase all of our 3rd party products better, and to do so, we needed to cull our list.

    If you want to join in the conversation, feel free to hop on any of the threads happening on our site and let your voice be heard. Or e-mail me directly if want to talk directly to a GarageGames employee about the recent changes: deborahm@garagegames.com.

    Cheers, and no matter how your game gets made, continue to make great indie games!

    Deborah Marshall
    Torque Product Group Manager
     

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