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RedTribe develops and releases Jumper for 360. Some reviews for your amusement :-)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/08 - 2:05 PM Permalink

Yeah, they were referring to me, the guy who works at Infinite, before that Krome. Was Glenn A because the there was another Glenn on the same team as me, who joined the company before I did and now that I've left Krome I'm back to regular Glenn again.

There's the backstory.

Submitted by Neffy on Mon, 25/08/08 - 2:43 PM Permalink

Ive experienced a great deal at Redtribe, I wasn't there from the start but I was there pretty early I saw out looney tunes and space chimps both had their problems that made me furious but I stuck them out as I see no benefit to running away. I know the reason we get bad press so does everyone else but we are working on fixing them and over the past few months Ive seen great change for good and bad. My personal working conditions are really good at the moment I'm finally learning what I joined up for and I have really great support in my team.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/08 - 3:38 PM Permalink

I tried contacting the phoneline regarding another, separate developer a while ago and was told that in order to lay a complaint that my name would come out of the woodwork.

I may have just gotten a crappy bureaucrat on the end of the phone, but I sincerely hope AU's worker rights continue to improve with their new govt.

Best of luck.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/08 - 11:34 PM Permalink

Maybe its because I have "tired developer eyes", but Space Chimps is mediocre. Not bad, just kinda on the lower end of average.

I think it's fair to say that Space Chimps is Redtribe's best effort yet, but then again (and lets be honest here), the previous titles didn't exactly set a high standard. I personally think that some parts of ACME Arsenal play better, and Jumper's combat mechanic is a good "salvage idea" of the (in my own words) "broken teleport mechanic", but overall Space Chimps is the better "complete package".

I say "Space Chimps is mediocre" freely as if it were nothing, but I do not want to belittle the efforts of those overworked individuals who got this game finished. They worked well into the night, and even weekends and public holidays, just to get it done. For that, they have my respect and admiration. It therefore saddens me to say that the game is average, but it is not their fault. At the end of the day, all of us are just working to a ridiculous deadline and just trying to get things done.

There was a time when even I had hoped that Space Chimps would do well, and held the Space Chimps project in high regards. Now, I'm just glad its finished.

-- Tired Redtribe Developer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/08/08 - 8:33 AM Permalink

who is tired.. and busted their ass to get the game finished. There are a TONS of talented people there, some of the best i've ever worked with in 10 years. Genuine talent.

You deserver a better company, with proper managment, processes and scheduling.

Build your resumes, update your folios and get out of there. You deserve better.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/08/08 - 4:41 PM Permalink

Space Chimps wasn't on a tight deadline, that's why its a more solid game.

As with a lot of development effort, time was wasted early on, but overall the game came together well in the end.

If we had had a bit more time it would have reviewed even higher, but that's always the case :) I'm really happy with the result. I think it's fair to say we were all very happy with Space Chimps in the end.

It would have been great to do more, but that's always the way you feel at the end of a project.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/08/08 - 11:54 PM Permalink

To quote a earlier post "They worked well into the night, and even weekends and public holidays, just to get it done.".

Suggest to me tight deadlines. I've worked for management who thought that was acceptable, and the games are crap as a consequence. I've noticed the studios that are exceptionally good to staff and have decent deadlines in AU tend to get high quality products out the door. You treat staff well, they tend to put that into the game I've found.

It's something all the games studios in australia are learning, and its generally a teething problem. As the earlier female employee of Red Tribe said you are making adjustments to the working conditions so hopefully we'll see the benefits in future good quality games.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/08/08 - 7:42 PM Permalink

I think this is often down to issues with the signed off, "agreed upon" design.

Often by the time the studio dept. heads, internal producer(s), publisher producer(s), publisher marketeers, etc have read, understood, asked for changes and eventually signed off on the design you're well into dev. and you either don't have enough time left to implement everything or worse, the changes to the concept make the gameplay rickety at best and broken at worst, and you hope to just fix it on the fly.

The two ways I try to avoid it are A) concise, readable design docs with any complex gameplay mechanic explained with diagrams/illustrations (leave the 83 pages of detailed background adapted from your awesome DnD campaign when you were 15 for a separate doc) and I usually do this after I've played stuff out using tokens/matchbox cars/action figures/Mr Potato Head.

OR the best option....

Really Basic Prototyping...

Before any art is done or any code is fine-tuned, you slap together a kludged-together version of the core mechanic(s) - no flow, no levels, no front-end, everything made from cubes and maybe it only plays for 5 minutes. You get it running on emulator or dev kit and the key stakeholders play it.

The (unfortunately) few times i've managed to get this happening on a project, we knew within 5 minutes if it was gonna be fun, how much fun it was gonna be, what would make it funner and if it sucked, how we could start it un-sucking.

So few Australian studios do it because they see it as an affront to their 'l33t sk1llz' or maybe they think it's just time wasted? Every other creative industry has a version of it, but we wanna get straight to finalising code and art - that we throw out later or redo 52 times to make it fit the changing goal posts after we've finally worked out some central element suxs.

So without knowing ANYTHING about any design process at Red Tribe, and without pointing the finger, my experience has been that improper design process (sometimes designers suxor, sometimes it's out of their hands) is responsible for more crapness than tight schedules ever are.

Takes breathe...

Excuse post length, just wanted to share.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/08/08 - 9:27 PM Permalink

I've seen developers cause a similar thing.

In a previous project I worked on, the engine developers decided to make this big fancy game engine at the same time as the game proceeded. Had lofty ideas of what was correct code, and how the "tech" should work. Ignored advice from the game teams completely. Flop for the game there as well..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/08/08 - 10:17 PM Permalink

I'd say that having a moving target was what plagued Space Chimps and ACME Arsenal. You couldn't count on anything being "locked down" or "signed off", because the producer or publisher or some other higher power would always turn around and say something else, or have secret meetings where something huge would be decided. Protest is futile... "this is what we promised. We need to do this".

Realistically, you're going to get these problems to varying extents no matter where you go. So although Redtribe has its share of problems, I certainly wouldn't say that they are unique to Redtribe.

If you go by the review scores of past games, you might think that Redtribe are improving. Well, I wouldn't be so sure... To be quite honest, I think the reviews of Space Chimps have been suspiciously generous, but then again, I have "tired developer eyes". Redtribe are improving, or at least trying to improve. I guess we'll all have to wait for the next release to find out. But I think history has a bad habit of repeating itself...

Anyway, isn't this thread about Jumper? I thought it was an alright game. I think the combat mechanic that the designers came up with was pretty good given the source material.

It's fun to spot weird things in Jumper. In the warehouse level, there are chunks of metal attached to a hook being suspended by thin air. Yes, thin air. We affectionately call these "sky hooks". A workstation in an open area of the warehouse that can only be reached by teleporting? How do the (non Jumper) workers get up there to use the computer?

One of the complaints about Jumper was that all the characters looked the same; you couldn't tell the playable character apart from the enemies. We actually noted this during development, but outside forces insisted that they be kept that way.

The 2D "comic" style FMVs didn't make much sense at all, and I think I prefer it that way. Its got a "so-bad-it's-good" quality to it.

So yeah, I think Jumper turned out OK for what it was. Big mistake to charge full price for the game though.

-- Tired Redtribe Developer

PS: I don't what project the other Red Tribe developer worked on, but need I remind you of the "big decision" about two months out from the Gold milestone? You know, the one that made people work late, on weekends, and on public holidays? Didn't help that the publisher was absolutely clueless.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 9:55 AM Permalink

I think the reason why the Space Chimps gameplay is good is because we prototyped a lot of that early on. The prototyping really helped in this regard.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 9:57 AM Permalink


In my experience there are some game companies that don't allow constant changes from publisher.

A example just recently, a project my company is doing is closing towards gold. The publisher came back with all these "nice" fancy changes. The producers went back and went "sorry, its towards gold, we can maybe make one or two changes, pick them". This compromise avoided the whole weekends lost scenario.

It just takes a decent producer with a good relationship with the publisher to avoid those scenarios.

My previous employer the CEO dealt mainly with the publisher, he had a lot of backbone when it came to making sure his staff weren't getting hammered. Plus he knew how to negiotiate deals decently in the first place.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 10:42 AM Permalink

I agree, a good Producer is so vital! I've worked under about four different producers now - two had a backbone and weren't afraid to tell the Publisher or designer 'no, too late', and the other two were complete yes men (which seems to be the result of most producer-schools). Needless to say, the two projects with the backbone producers had less overtime, fewer problems, and were much better games in the end. The other two projects had people working endless amounts of overtime for a never-ending stream of meaningless changes until it seemed like development was on a treadmill instead of actually moving forward.

Sounds like RedTribe might have those issues? Sucks if that's the case. The internal Producer should be on the team's side, not the publisher's side. As unfair as it might be to blame management for everything... well, they're management. The buck has to stop with them, and if it doesn't, it just proves that they were bad managers looking out for themselves instead of the team.

...That got off topic, sorry. /rant.