1 (edited by Cheeseness 2012-06-19 20:20:00)

Topic: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I have the immense pleasure of presenting my latest "cheese talks to" interview, where I throw questions at and get answers from none other than the grand poobah himself, rlk!

In the interview, we look at Neverball's inspirations, origins and evolution, how its community has grown over time, and what it's like to hand a project over to be community driven.

Part 1
Part 2
A big long, juicy answer about Neverball's history up to 1.5.0 that was a little bit big to fit in the interview itself

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did. It's been fantastic to get rlk's thoughts and perspectives on the project we all love so much.

Thanks to everybody for being patient, and a super massive huge thanks to rlk for his time and for bringing all of us together!

Edit: for anybody new to this thread, who's confused by the first bunch of posts, I initially posted asking for additional "community questions" to add to my interview. When the interview was completed, I put the interview links in the first post.

Cheese
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cheesetalks.net

2

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

yes. i want to ask rlk why he called "Neverball" the game.

~DEV

3

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I quite liked Super Empty Ball, except that is a little close to a SEGA IP.

I think Thwomp might be copyrighted too... geeze!  mad

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

4

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Is that a question?

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

5 (edited by themacmeister 2011-09-26 09:02:14)

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Oops!

One question I would really like an answer to, is this:

"Did you think Neverball/Putt had reached a level of stability and maturity, ie: it was completely finished, when you ceased active development, and handed the reigns to the community?"

Apart from some "under the hood" small changes, and a few new levels, it has not really moved forward since 1.4.x. I have had an uneasy feeling that this was RLK's baby, and the community would turn it into something he would end up disliking. I have always thought the last RLK release was "the perfect game". EASY, MEDIUM and HARD RLK levels, and then one nightmarish levelset of MYM's. I think that release was certainly accessible to anyone, and was what it was, and for a time -- was loved by all.

Having recently unlocked the final level of Super Meat Boy, I know that I am addicted to frustratingly difficult, but ultimately rewarding gameplay. I was also an addict of Super Monkey Ball, Bit.Trip Runner, World of Goo and FLaiL.

Next question:

"Do you think the 'frustration factor' of Neverball/Putt's gameplay has stopped the games reaching a mainstream level of popularity and longevity?"

and my next question:

"Was there any envisaged gameplay, that due to coding or mapping restraints, never made it into the game?"

and my last question:

"What was the most positive/negative feedback you ever received regarding Neverball?"

That is all I can think up at the moment. He has answered most of my questions already, which makes this all seem a bit weird. I remember that his posts were the most explanatory ever on this site, leaving no doubt to his intentions or methods.

Anyway, here's to RLK!  <clink>

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

6

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I'll pop that in (and yours too, ht-never). I don't want to start a discussion till after we get rlk's responses, but I don't really agree with you that Neverball hasn't moved forward since 1.4.x

Cheese
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cheesetalks.net

7

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I meant "for the better" in general. I actually think than Nuncabola has pushed development forward the most since RLK's semi-departure.

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

8

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

There were a couple of bits that overlapped with questions I've already shot through to rlk, so I won't include them. Do you mind if I do some paraphrasing for the ones that will go in?

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

9

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I just want to chime in and say that I think parasti has actually pushed things forward most. Elviz has made loads of great contributions (directly and indirectly) in his own way, but parasti has dedicated an immense amount of time and work into "Neverball" proper. I'm not talking trash about Nuncabola in any way, it's fantastic and has helped move Neverball along. (not to mention nevermania), but we are talking about Neverball.

I totally get what you're sayin', macmeister. I just wanted to be sure to include props to our lead developer.

Anyway, sorry for the drift.

I was always curious to hear more of rlk's perspective on community development in general. ie. what it offers to the community, it's role in forming a community, and its role in perpetuating the life of an evolving piece of open source software (game or otherwise).
It's arguable that if rlk had put down Neverball and not invited us to carry it forward it would still be frozen in time, with perhaps less of a vibrant community. The way I see it, there are foibles and messy things about community "anything", but there also comes with it a community in a more tangible sense.

10

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

That's precisely why I had rlk on my list of people I'd like to do an interview with, tones.

It would be great if we could keep the discussion on question related points to a minimum until we get answers from rlk. For the sake of the interview, I'd rather than he was answering our questions, not our attitudes/opinions (which is hard for me because I'm very opinionated lol).

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

11

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

paraphrasing +1

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

12

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Oh hey guys, I have Cheese's questions here in my inbox, and I'll write something up over the next couple days.

13

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

If you send it through and I don't reply within a day or two, assume it's slipped me by and give me a nudge.

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

14

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I've been writing quite a lot.  Most of my time has been spent on the first question, documenting the history of Neverball from Puttnik through 1.5.0.  Sorry it's taking so long, but if it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well.

15 (edited by Cheeseness 2011-10-08 22:57:16)

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Definitely! I'm actually pretty excited about this.

I also have a couple extra 'community questions' from people not on the forums here - I was going to send those through along with any followups I had to your answers to the original questions.

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

16

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

rlk wrote:

I've been writing quite a lot.  Most of my time has been spent on the first question, documenting the history of Neverball from Puttnik through 1.5.0.  Sorry it's taking so long, but if it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well.

Should be a good read.
Looking forward to it! big_smile

17

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I've updated the first post with some URLs. If you don't want to scroll up, you can start here. big_smile

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

18

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Sorry I took so damned long with that, everybody.

19

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Worth the wait, rlk.
Thanks for taking the time to make it so detailed and thorough.

20

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Super Mario Galaxy, Katamari Damacy

mind blown!

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

21

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Finally, some recognition as a pasta weaver!

This has been one of my most enjoyable interviews to date. So many awesome little details and pieces of trivia. I was a little blown away when rlk sent me the footnote that's at the bottom of the Neverball History page.

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

22

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Facebook integration, f yeah!

23

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

I have one additional question: Was the "collaborative in-game editor" idea sarcasm/hyperbole, or was it serious?

I know I'm not the only one who's been on and off thinking about an in-game editor, and the idea of collaborative stuff always makes me excited >_<

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

24

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Cheeseness wrote:

I have one additional question: Was the "collaborative in-game editor" idea sarcasm/hyperbole, or was it serious?

I know I'm not the only one who's been on and off thinking about an in-game editor, and the idea of collaborative stuff always makes me excited >_<

Hyperbole perhaps, but not sarcasm. I felt the question could have two different interpretations: 1) Name the first thing that could be easily implemented, 2) Name the first thing you wish could be implemented.  The answer to the first question is boring, but the answer to the second question might be interesting, so I chose to answer it that way.

A 2012 Neverball would indeed be collaborative, and an in-game editor would be a natural extension. Unfortunately the 2003 Neverball isn't designed around that objective, so it's really more of a "would" than a "could".

25

Re: An Interview With Neverball's Initial Developer (updated!)

Truth be told, flights of fancy were what I was after, because those are what are inspirational - it was a great answer that evoked (at least in me) exactly what I was hoping for.

"Neverball 2012", sounds like an awesome reboot title :b

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net