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Duke Grabowski, reviewed. (Don't get used to this content flood.)

07 Oct, 2016, 04:18 | Posted by: Remi
Does Jason have a life outside of Mojo? Judging by the two last days, the answer seems to be a resounding "no!" And what better way to reap from the man's sad little life than to read his Duke Grabowski review? If nothing else it'll make him feel good about himself. (We hope.)

What does everyone else think about this?

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  • Avatar
    Comment by: Jason | Posted 22 Oct, 2016, 14:20 | Quote

    DanSky

    We probably love so much Bill and Adventure games, we are blinded. I'm so disappointed by this game. Puzzles are too linear and there are no items to grab! Almost nothing, the inventory is quite useless.
    Background art is awesome but, I'm sorry, that's not enough.
    Another problem (also present in TOMI) is the episodes format: this make the game too linear, without the possibility to explore different islands/environments at the same time.
    Sigh, let's hope for improvements in the next eps.



    I don't think I'm blinded. I think I judged the game against what it set out to be, which is surely the only sensible criteria. The game basically consists of three main objectives which can be solved in any order, so your complaint about linearity is really a complaint about the game's size.

    The scope of Duke was made plain from day one. I'm sure Bill would love nothing more than to get cracking on a 20-hour adventure game, but publishers aren't exactly breaking his door down to finance those. The last publisher he was able to sign with was dtp back in 2008. And look at what happened with Duke - the team basically had to build a complete (albeit 2-hour) game themselves before a publisher even got interested. And as far as I can tell, the remaining episodes aren't a slam-dunk right now.

    This is just the state of the business, and Bill doesn't have the marquee of Tim or Ron in order to crowdfound a seven figure budget. Look at what happened in 2013 when he tried to raise a comparatively humble $400k. He didn't even come close. And that was for another bite-sized game - who do you expect to fund a full-sized one?

    With Duke he asked for $40k and that is all that was raised. That's nothing. In California that's probably not a competitive salary for a single junior programmer. When you subtract Kickstarter's cut and reward fulfillment, what was left probably went toward a few contractors getting paid less than their going rate to contribute a very limited amount of work. Grossman made a pass on the design in exchange for a favor rather than money. This game didn't even have opening and closing cutscenes until a publisher got involved.

    All signs point to Duke being primarily made by a three-man team with day jobs who worked on it on nights and weekends for 18-24 months until a publisher came along in time for the last coat of paint (and, fingers crossed, more episodes). The team said in the initial campaign that it would be a 2-4 hour game, and that's what they delivered, and that's what I reviewed.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Rum Rogers | Posted 22 Oct, 2016, 13:03 | Quote

    DanSky

    We probably love so much Bill and Adventure games, we are blinded. I'm so disappointed by this game. Puzzles are too linear and there are no items to grab! Almost nothing, the inventory is quite useless.
    Background art is awesome but, I'm sorry, that's not enough.
    Another problem (also present in TOMI) is the episodes format: this make the game too linear, without the possibility to explore different islands/environments at the same time.
    Sigh, let's hope for improvements in the next eps.


    I'm not Bill's #1 fan and I already pissed him off once for my overly harsh critics.
    This time's different anyway, and I'm with Bill: Duke's a fun 2-hours-stand-alone little game which you can buy for 5.99 on Steam.
    Don't forget Duke was born as a small project from KS, while the other episodes are a different matter.
    If the following episodes are going to be the same, then you're right.
    Let's just wait for now.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: DanSky | Posted 20 Oct, 2016, 21:48 | Quote
    We probably love so much Bill and Adventure games, we are blinded. I'm so disappointed by this game. Puzzles are too linear and there are no items to grab! Almost nothing, the inventory is quite useless.
    Background art is awesome but, I'm sorry, that's not enough.
    Another problem (also present in TOMI) is the episodes format: this make the game too linear, without the possibility to explore different islands/environments at the same time.
    Sigh, let's hope for improvements in the next eps.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Rum Rogers | Posted 08 Oct, 2016, 22:35 | Quote

    Jason

    Rum Rogers

    The Jason guy is probably someone else then :)



    Nope, it's me. I just brought the game up and noticed that I'm totally a hotspot in an adventure game. Totally forgot about that backer reward (been two years, after all), so that was a nice surprise.


    Hah, nice then!
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Jason | Posted 08 Oct, 2016, 21:54 | Quote

    Rum Rogers

    The Jason guy is probably someone else then :)



    Nope, it's me. I just brought the game up and noticed that I'm totally a hotspot in an adventure game. Totally forgot about that backer reward (been two years, after all), so that was a nice surprise.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Rum Rogers | Posted 08 Oct, 2016, 19:30 | Quote
    Yes, there's a Jennifer McMurray (is that correct?) and a photo of hers in the "Phatt Island" jail. If you look at it, it closes up and reveals a full painting (made by Bill I think).
    I recognized her because of the Kickstarter campaign she launched years ago, with full name and an avatar.
    Otherwise I'd have never noticed.

    The Jason guy is probably someone else then :)
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Jason | Posted 08 Oct, 2016, 19:02 | Quote

    Rum Rogers

    Also, Jennifer was there (maybe Jason also, I'm not sure about that).



    Hah! If I am there I didn't notice. Can Jennifer be identified?
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Rum Rogers | Posted 08 Oct, 2016, 13:26 | Quote
    Nice game.
    Completed in two hours (I wanted to be sure to hear every possible sentence).
    Also, Jennifer was there (maybe Jason also, I'm not sure about that).
    Waiting for more!

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