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May 20, 2013 - the leisure suit larry beta results

Hey gang,

know we’ve been sending you a lot of Kickstarter updates so far and for that, I want to first apologize.  We’re nearing the end of the project, and we want to keep you up to date with the information as soon as it hits our desk.  This is in an effort to be as transparent as possible while creating what we hope is the single best Leisure Suit Larry project in the entire history of the franchise.

I want to start off by thanking our 4k+ beta testers who have uncovered more GREAT bugs than any internal or external QA department I’ve ever worked with in my entire career.  This is largely in part due to the amazing work of QA Manager Jeroen Dekkers, and lead testers Tom King, Justin McMenamin, & badass “woman in gaming superstar” Serena Nelson.  Without each and every tester, Lead Tester, and QA Manager, the game would not be getting all the fixes you’ve found and continue to find.

Here’s the problem, and thus this unscheduled Kickstarter update:  due to the pure number of bugs found in the PC version alone (Mac version is being tested now,but not via Steam), we’re having to delay the game, yet again, until the end of June.  I can’t tell you how many phone calls, arguments, and heart breaking conversations I’ve had with my advisors on this.  I SERIOUSLY wanted this game out by the end of May because we’ve postponed it more times than Larry’s been rejected.  Ok, well, maybe not THAT many, but still….we’ve had some delays.

I want you to know this decision was not made lightly, and I’ve consulted with advisors inside the company and outside the company…with Al, Josh, distributors, our QA Manager, testers, marketing people, “stake holders,” board of directors, etc.  The bottom line is, it’s just not ready for prime time.  Sure, we COULD release the game at the end of the month, but we’d be shipping it with bugs.  Things like: the wrong line being spoken, Larry walking through a table in the cabaret, missing sound effects in the tutorial, no music in certain spots, and Larry’s scaling needing fine-tuning.  While some of these may seem trivial, we have ONE SHOT at getting this game right, and it will set the bar for quality for all future Larry games to come.

The first one to bring up the suggestion of delaying the game was Josh on Thursday of last week.  We’ve fought, laughed, cried, and argued over what to do for two full days and came to the conclusion you’re reading now.  Josh offered to write this update to you since it was his original idea, but I told him “the buck stops here” and it was ultimately my call, and my responsibility to tell you and the rest of the world.  I am not proud of this decision, but -- and please trust me when I tell you this -- having considered every single possible outcome, I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to give N-Fusion one more month to finish the game.  There’s a good possibility that we MIGHT be done before that, but we want to give the game enough time to fix ALL the bugs, and put as much polish on it as possible.  Nobody is holding a gun to our head and saying “YOU NEED TO RELEASE THE GAME FOR CHRISTMAS” or anything like that.  I’ve always said “we’ll ship it when it’s ready,” and it’s simply not ready (as much as I wish it were….trust me).  

I’m sure there will be community backlash and I’m sure I’ll get more hate mail because of this, but please understand, this really is the best thing for the game, for Larry, for future versions of Larry, and for you, the person who took a HUGE risk on us in hopes we’ll deliver to you what you firmly believed to be the game we’re making.

I’m sincerely sorry and I hope this decision is the correct one.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you understand.
From my heart,
-Paul

May 14, 2013 - kickstarter bonus update: the pc beta is here!

If you pledged at the $75 level or above, this update is for you. If it’s not, forgive the intrusion. Next time, maybe?

Hello, Larryettes, and welcome to the great Leisure Suit Larry 1 Kickstarter Beta!

Let’s take care of some necessary paperwork.

First I need to inform you that the keys are for the PC build *only* tonight. First Paul, then me, then N-Fusion spent all of last night and all day today trying to get the builds uploaded to Steam, but it’s a very strange and complicated process, and no matter who tried it, there were timeouts and multiple other issues. Sending the Mac version is even more complicated than sending the PC version, so N-Fusion is working on that (they are amazingly patient people), but it will probably be a few days before the Mac beta build is up and available. Hey, welcome to the never-dull  world of game development.  We love and want only the best for our Mac users, and the delay is unavoidable. Hopefully, it will be a very short one.

Second, and almost as important:

If you have the LSL:R alpha version already installed:

You probably have noticed that Steam is already updating your version of the game.

Unfortunately, Steam will not uninstall the alpha version before installing the beta version. This is not what we want . To ensure that you’re getting the beta and only the beta, you need to uninstall the game completely from your system. Delete the folder that contained the game, just in case your uninstall process didn’t get every last file. We don’t want any junk files left over that might result in “false” bugs.

Only after you’ve uninstalled the game should you log back into Steam and reinstall the game.

If you do NOT have the LSL:R alpha version installed, and/or if you have never gotten your key:

 

You will need to go to the ReplayGamesInc.com website and log in so that you can get your Steam key. Then you can proceed directly to Steam and download the game.

Now, on to the bug reporting guidelines and procedures.

There are literally thousands of you beta testers, and just a handful of us whose job it is to sift through the bug reports, organize them, assess their severity, and get them to the dev team. So we’re trying to streamline this by doing what we need to do to avoid duplicating bugs.

First: what is a bug?

For the purposes of this beta test, a bug is a mismatch between the way the game is clearly supposed to work and the way it actually does work, and which can be reproduced.

Examples of bugs:

  • Larry’s mouth doesn’t move when he TALKs to the Clerk.
  • When you LOOK at Larry’s wallet in inventory, it disappears.
  • When talking to Fawn in her close-up, she suddenly becomes Jasmine.
Again, you have to be able to reproduce a bug. If you can’t reproduce it, don’t report it…unless/until  you figure out how to dependably reproduce it. Irreproducible bugs are the equivalent of telling a car mechanic, “My Volvo makes a little whirring noise about once every 500 miles, and usually I’m the only one who can hear it. Please get rid of that noise.”

Examples of not bugs:

  • I think the icons should be in alphabetical order.
  • Faith has a straight Southern accent. Shouldn’t it be more Southeastern?
  • You’re using THAT logo in the opening credits? Wrong, wrong, wrong! Don’t you guys ever learn?
  • These are what we call “enhancements,” and we already have more ideas for enhancements than we can possibly use in a dozen bigger-budget remakes. But we can always use legitimate bugs.

    Second: How do I report a bug?

    1. Go to the Replay Games beta test forum.
    2. Check the KNOWN BUGS thread that’s pinned at the top of the Forum. Make sure your bug hasn’t already been reported! This is so important to keeping the beta test streamlined that I’m wriggling around in my seat just thinking about it.
    3. If the bug is already listed, there’s no need to report it. We’re on it.
    4. If the bug is NOT already listed, find the subforum that, in your best judgment, mostly closely corresponds to the bug you found: Installation, Animation, Sound, the translation of a particular foreign language (there are sections for each language), and so on.
    5. List the following information:
      • A one-line description of what's happening;
      • A brief summation of what you think should happen instead;
      • The operating System you're running on: Windows XP/ Windows 7 / Macintosh;
      • The screen resolution you’re running in;
      • Steps needed to reproduce.
    6. That’s it! If we need more information in order to tackle the bug, we’ll contact you!

    Now…head over to the Replay Games website and grab your keys! Last one to post an authentic translation bug in the “Polish Language” subforum is a rotten egg!
    Josh & Jeroen

May 13, 2013 - the erotic rites of the biweekly kickstarter update

Good day, Larryettes.

I'm making this very short since I just updated you a few days ago.

The PC version of what we're calling the "Kickstarter Beta" is being built as we speak. After that version's built, the Mac version will follow later this evening. Both versions will be uploaded to Steam immediately.

Don't worry. There will still be a DRM-free version of the finished game available. The Steam requirement is for the beta only; we need to do what we can to keep the game from being pirated before it's even out.

Items uploaded to Steam take a number of hours to become available, so it will be tomorrow before you'll be able to download your beta version. (Remember, only people who pledged at the $75 level or higher have access to pre-release versions of the game.)

We're also preparing a list of instructions and known issues. Definitely read 'em over; this'll save you both time and frustration down the line.

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. By this time tomorrow, the game should be on your hot little hard drive.

All my love,
Josh

May 10, 2013 - semi-biweekly kickstarter update

Happy Friday, Larryettes on this side of the International Dateline.

Those of you who read all the way to the bottom of my last update may've read this line:
"If all goes according to plan, you can expect the beta next week (week of May 6th)!"
Well, we're pretty much at the end of the week of May 6th, and those of you who pledged at the Alpha/Beta level (and above) haven't received your beta invitation yet. (For those of you who are still wondering why you didn't get an Alpha version: when we Kickstarted, access to the Alpha/Beta versions of the game came only with a pledge of $75 or more.)

We're now shooting for Monday, May 13th, to release the beta. We've had some interesting hiccups in the past couple of weeks...one of which was breaking Unity. (It seems that no Unity game has ever had more than about 3,000 lines of speech before, and we have about three times as many.) We also wanted to get *all* the final speech into the game before sending out the beta, and the last of the "pickups" was only recorded today.

We'll announce it here when the beta goes out. It will include French, Italian, German, and Spanish ("FIGS"), and we're hoping for a Mac version as well for testing.

If you're one of our Beta testers, when you receive your email invitation, please be sure to read the materials very carefully. We will be looking strictly for *bugs* at this point, as opposed to suggestions for enhancements. (We've fielded and taken into consideration thousands of enhancement suggestions over the course of the project, especially after releasing the Alpha, but now it's time to concentrate on finding and squashing bona fide bugs.) The instructions we send will tell you how to download the beta, where to report the bugs, and what format to follow in your bug reports. We'll also be sure to tell you what bugs we already know about, so that you don't waste time writing up a beautifully-crafted report for a bug we've already identified.

So cross your fingers for a Monday release. We're shooting hard for a May 31 ship date, so that should give us almost three weeks. We're anticipating that'll be doable, because the beta you'll receive is going to be pretty darn clean.

In other news: our Box Art contest on the Replay forums ended this past Wednesday, and we're still debating the winner. Those of us who have hair (that disqualifies Al and me) are tearing it out trying to pick the best. We'll have a decision for you next week.

And in the meantime, just in case you haven't seen her yet, here's Larry's new love interest, Jasmine, exactly as she'll be seen in the game!

Talk to you next week!
Josh

April 29, 2013 - young biweekly kickstarter

Greetings and salutations, Larryettes.

Let's keep this short and sweet, shall we?

  1. Al Lowe has been in Berlin at the Quo Vadis conference, and gave a speech that was the runaway hit of the show! At least, that's what Al said!
  2. We've been sending the Collector's Box art to various e-tailers who, although selling only a non-boxed digital version of the game, like to - or insist on - a mocked-up box for their websites. Since a lot of people have seen the Collector's Box art and thought we shouldn't be using it for marketing purposes, we're going to start a contest (today or tomorrow) for all aspiring commercial artists. Details for the contest can - or shortly will be - available on the Replay forums, https://forums.replaygamesinc.com/. There will be a separate subforum just for this contest; there, you'll be able to find the exact rules, and you're free to post your submissions on the forum for critique (although official entries will need to be sent directly to Replay per the rules you'll find on the Contest subforum).
  3. Al recently gave an interview, and in it, he's quoted as saying that LSL2 might be out by Christmas. Don't you believe it! We dispute the accuracy of that quote! LSL2 is a much bigger, more complex game than LSL1, and work on LSL2 has scarcely begun. The interview must've taken place in Amsterdam, which might explain the author's wishful thinking.

    I guess that's it.

    Oh, right, one other thing:

  4. If all goes according to plan, you can expect the beta next week (week of May 6th)! That's right, IT'S COMING! OH, MY GOD, IT'S COMING!

And on that note...
Josh