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Old 12-10-2005, 02:28 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesarbittar
then again, gathering all the publicity lead to the big following, and this was what ultimately saved the project. Otherwise, if we had kept the low profile, and not be known by a lot of people, we would still be shut down. Vivendi reacted directly to the press and the fans.
Cesar,

You may very well NOT have been shut down. Notice that the other fangames, all of whom are being much more circumspect about both their publicity and/or their titles, have not received C&D letters.

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Originally Posted by cesarbittar
Having had a change of name before wouldn’t have changed things. We would have still gone through this. The Cease and Desist would have come whether our name was King’s Quest IX or not.
Until you can (if you're allowed to) or choose to tell us what you know of why you received the C&D letter, the only evidence anyone has is that you have had to change the game's name to satisfy Vivendi...a suggestion that I'd made to you years ago, and which you replied would hopelessly confuse your fans. Think of how much less you'd have been confusing your fans if you'd done this two years ago.

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Originally Posted by cesarbittar
Personally, whether it’s called “King’s Quest IX” or “The Silver Lining”, I still fail to see your point.
Cesar, I warned you -- over and over -- that the name most likely WOULD matter to *Vivendi* and, lo and behold, it very clearly DID matter to Vivendi, since they are forcing you to change it. So...it really didn't matter whether or not YOU understood the point. People in the industry clearly understand it, and I regret I didn't have the words to convince you at the time, which, in the long run, might've saved you, the team, and the fans a lot of headaches.

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Originally Posted by cesarbittar
And by the way, Roberta has seen more than what you think she’s seen. Her blessings have come not only once, but repeatedly over the years. Both from her and from Ken. You can ask them so you are clear of doubts.
I believe you. I don't see what that changes, though, as regards this discussion.

--Josh

Last edited by Josho; 12-10-2005 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:16 PM   #42
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@Cesar - well done. You may remember me as the storyboard artist Ben B who you contacted at the beginning. I'm so happy to hear it's all worked out for you!
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Old 12-10-2005, 04:21 PM   #43
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Josh has some good points there. Sierra/VU are more concerned about the use of the name Kings Quest then they are of the use of a name of a character or location. Because the name belongs solely to them, so you can't just do whatever you want with a project this big and put everyones hard work in the mouth of the lion and hope he wont eat it, if you understand what I mean.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:03 PM   #44
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yes, and that would have been a way to go...

However.... if we had gone that route, we wouldn't have the generous license we have now that allows us to go public on the matter. Because we decided to go big (which was our intention since day 1), we've gotten this far, and even farther, but I can't really divulge other stuff.

Headaches? No... this is actually the best thing that has ever happened to the project.

And, yes, this was exactly what we were going for. We didn't expect it to happen this soon, though.

Now, two years ago it would have matter because we weren't known. Now, everyone basically knows what "The Silver Lining" is.

And, yes, the name matters to Vivendi, of course. However, they would have still noticed us. They would have still shut us down at one point down the line. I'm surprised that you can think that by keeping a low profile and having a different name a huge company as Vivendi won't notice at any given point. They may *not* care, but high quality products such as Space Quest 7 or our project, and even large projects such as Hero6 are all known by Vivendi. The problem presents when these games are getting close to their release date. These companies HAVE to protect their copyrights. It's completely natural and they are in all their rights to do so.

In any case, we decided to take a different route and you always disagreed with it, Josh. At the end, because we did what we did we now have a legal license that allows us to use and expand the KQ universe at will. We were asked (and helped) to make as much publicity as we could on the topic and we are now all around in the big medias such as MTV, GameInformer, Computer Gaming World, IGN, etc, etc, making more and more people aware of our product and giving us the chance to do as much publicity as we want to, so that many people can play our games. On top of that, we stand on very good grounds with Vivendi and we have all sorts of contacts in the company. And, then there's that I'm not allowed to discuss. We got pretty much what any fan game would love to have. And I'm not trying to come off as stuck up here, but I'm happy for my team, cause the decisions we directors made, ultimately lead up to the best thing that could have ever happened to the project.

We thank Vivendi for giving us this chance. They undoubtely are one heck of a great company!

Oh, and by the way, we still get to use "King's Quest" in our title. The full name is "The Silver Lining: A game inspired by the King's Quest Series"

So, again, what's the problem?

César Bittar
Phoenix Online Studios

Last edited by cesarbittar; 12-10-2005 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:54 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by cesarbittar
Oh, and by the way, we still get to use "King's Quest" in our title. The full name is "The Silver Lining: A game inspired by the King's Quest Series"
That is absolutely, stunningly hilarious to me, since that is almost EXACTLY the wording I suggested to you years ago. I suggested that you take any reference to King's Quest and move it to the SUBTITLE, to REMOVE the numbering from the title so that it did not sound like you were attempting to be the "official" next game in the series, and to use wording "inspired by" or "set in the King's Quest world" so that you could still identify strongly with the series without trying to sound like you owned the KQ license.

As to the rest of your message -- and your previous message in which you talked about taking an intentionally risky route -- well, it sure sounds now like you intentionally went for getting Vivendi to shut you down as a publicity stunt, as a means to promote the game with the hopes that your fan base would provide a strong enough show of support to rescue the project. If so, I'm impressed that you'd take that gamble. Seems like an unutterably cruel thing to do to your team and your fans, though. I see where our management styles differ, that's for sure.

And I now understand why you decided not to go the route I was suggesting. I wish you had mentioned, two years ago, that this was your plan all along. Not sure why you didn't.

--Josh
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Old 12-11-2005, 02:51 AM   #46
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You mean you guys planned this all along? I never thought KQIX would pull such a publicity stunt like this and almost screw up the whole development of the game.
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Old 12-11-2005, 03:32 AM   #47
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sometimes I say way too much, so... I'll pull back

Last edited by cesarbittar; 12-14-2005 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 12-11-2005, 06:34 AM   #48
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I don't know too much about the gaming industry, but this looks to be a win-win all the way around. Vivendi gets much publicity for it's upcoming compiliations and future games, with minimal work. And they get to look like a company that cares about it's customers all at the same time.

For the Silver Lining and its creators, obviously the game is a quality piece of work, otherwise Vivendi wouldn't have given it the greenlight, and the game and it's developers have gotten a ton more publicity openly then they would have if they had choosen to fly under the radar and tried to get the game released secretly.

As for us the gamers, well we get a quality product made by people who truly loved what they were doing and put their blood, sweat and tears into it.

Kudos Cesar and team for taking the big risk and achieving the big reward!
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Old 12-11-2005, 06:55 AM   #49
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César, I must say I'm flabbergasted at your views of what is and what isn't fair towards your fans, but it's up to you to choose your marketing strategies, and I restrain from commenting any further.

What I will comment on (and - I want this to be clear - whereas the above paragraph was my personal opinion, the following I say as a moderator of this community), is accusing Josh of namecalling and patronizing your team. He did it neither in this thread, nor, as far as I remember, anywhere on these forums. Therefore, I'd appreciate if you either responded to him appropriately wherever that happened, or provided a link for all of us to see what you're talking about; otherwise it looks as you were having some kind of personal crusade. So far, everything he said here not only is within borders of critique you must expect when working on any kind of art/entertainment, but also shows he had indeed warned you of this turn of events long ago (unless you claim he lies, but you didn't do that).

That's all. I sincerely hope your game will turn out great.
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:15 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Josho
No, what Phoenix should have done in the first place was NOT thumb their noses in Vivendi's face by calling their project "King's Quest 9" and garnering as much prepublicity as they possible could.
Well, whether or not that was a mistake (and it sounds from what we're told like not calling it KQ9 might not have been sufficient to avoid the C&D), it doesn't make Vivendi's actions right. Clearly the issue was negotiable, so why go straight for the close-down, instead of entering into negotiations?

I don't know whether to be impressed or put off by Cesar's admission of a deliberate strategy of brinkmanship. In either case, I don't think it's wise to brag about it on a public forum. If Vivendi gets pissed off again, they could point to it as evidence of bad faith. In general, I think fan games need to preserve at least an appearance of innocent naïveté, or risk that game companies adopt a "we don't negotiate with terrorists" mindset.

I'm happy the project has been revived, and look forward to "Shadows". I have to admit that I found the script excerpts posted on the AGS Forums underwhelming, but hopefully the game will have an overall higher level of quality.
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:46 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire
Josh has some good points there. Sierra/VU are more concerned about the use of the name Kings Quest then they are of the use of a name of a character or location. Because the name belongs solely to them, so you can't just do whatever you want with a project this big and put everyones hard work in the mouth of the lion and hope he wont eat it, if you understand what I mean.
Um...so since "Space Quest" isn't actually owned by Vivendi, but rather by Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and since Vivendi doesn't seem to care about the characters (of which in Space Quest only Roger Wilco is Vivendi property), SQ7 should be fine?
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:25 PM   #52
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I know that SQ belongs to Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and that Sierra asked permission to use the name every time they wanted to make a new game.

So Vivendi has no rights over 'Space Quest'? Somehow I don't think thats true.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:28 PM   #53
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They only have claim to Roger Wilco, but it seems they don't care about the characters. Or maybe it's that they don't have any trademarks for King's Quest except for the game's actual title...
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:28 PM   #54
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Plenty of things have been taken out of context here, and things have turned somehow out of hand, whatever there must be discussed about team matters or personal issues should not be addressed in a forum like this.

With that said, I aim for Josh Mandel to reconsider this attitude about speaking his mind without control about the things he asumes about our team and the development of such, I do remember when Mr Mandel was part of the staff, and I also remember sometimes how this attitude stopped communication way back then, it was somehow a bit strange to have someone we looked up to being just like that towards our staff. We did appreciate you, and we did listen to you until things got out of hand and communication didn't seem to be properly pleasant to have a discussion with you instead of being commanded.

I would appreciate that Mr Mandel would stop posting about things he has absolutly no knowledge about, when he was on the team he glanced out fairly part of what the team is nowdays as well as what we aim or what we want, you are no longer part of the team, so please stop just making things worse and try to get this out of hands into things you believe should have been but they are just not. Wether you like it or not, Cesar Bittar is our lead not Josh Mandel, whatever imput you said before, it was heard, now I just don't understand what is going on about all this mild pseudo negativity towards whatever we have done, we might be new in this field but we are Phoenix Online, not Josh Mandel, obviously, so we clearly have different views about so many different matters.

Personally, I must state clear that regardless Mr Mandel has explicitly said whatever he felt like it previously about our approach, you Mr Mandel have been talking about my development as such, I am the one in charge of whatever marketing move there might be, as well as being able to brag about having over 7,000,000 hits average every month, about being able to appear over Mtv, Game Informer and whichever else we are. I will not fall into the same game telling you what to do, instead, I am here apologizing for maybe not having the best work enviroment before, but from then to now, we have moved on a lot I do know so because I've been part of the team even way before you were briefly part of it. I respect you, so I hope you at least think twice before posting anything that would still affect negatively my team or myself, because I wouldn't expect any less from you, in fact I still want to continue respecting you as the professional you are, not a forum troll.

Thank you for all the work you did for us, and the support you had for us then. For now, all I beg is for your understanding and if you just dont support us anymore please then restrain from making unpleasant statements that obviously does good for noone.

To the fans, I do not want you to take whatever has been said between Mr Bittar and Mr Mandel to heart, they're both into a discussion where things have been obviously taken out of hand. KQIX, now Silver Lining has not been a stunt and we have not played with anyone, whatever Mr Mande might asume or think it's just that, a thought, whatever we have done or we thrive to do is, clearly, different, we do not have time in our lives to go around scheming plots about how to destroy dreams of thousand of ppl out there just because we don't have anything better to do, in fact, if we have been together for so long, if we have done what we have have been because of YOU guys, not because we have been paid or if ever we expect to be paid out of this. In fact, the fans have been the fuel to the staff whenever we felt like we couldn't continue anymore, just a quick stop to the forums we felt like it's not only us, it's everyone out there who really want this to happen, so it motivated us to continue, and when everything happened, it was the fans who made us go back to it making VU at least CONSIDER to talk to us. Thanks for everything, and I expect whatever doubt, question you might have, feel free to ask before you asume.


Thanks for reading such a long post
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:39 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcj
They only have claim to Roger Wilco, but it seems they don't care about the characters. Or maybe it's that they don't have any trademarks for King's Quest except for the game's actual title...

So is that why VSB & SQ7 hasen't been canned yet? So in theory, anyone can make a Space Quest fan game/sequel/remake without being chased like KQ9.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:39 PM   #56
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Plenty of things have been taken out of context here, and things have turned somehow out of hand, whatever there must be discussed about team matters or personal issues should not be addressed in a forum like this.
Sorry, but maybe you should have stopped at this before then proceeding to do the opposite.

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Old 12-11-2005, 12:43 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Spitfire
So is that why VSB & SQ7 hasen't been canned yet? So in theory, anyone can make a Space Quest fan game/sequel/remake without being chased like KQ9.
Well, that's my guess, anyway. The fact that they were "aware of SQ7" and haven't done anything says a lot. And once Roger, Jr., takes the limelight, Vivendi shouldn't be able to do anything.

I'm not really sure, but it's just my opinion. We can hope.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:45 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Lucien21
Sorry, but maybe you should have stopped at this before then proceeding to do the opposite.


That's what I wish myself, but I keep running into posts like this too often to be true. So obviously I can't continue to sit back as some fans in here started to take words out of THAT conversation out of context.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:54 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by pcj
Well, that's my guess, anyway. The fact that they were "aware of SQ7" and haven't done anything says a lot. And once Roger, Jr., takes the limelight, Vivendi shouldn't be able to do anything.

I'm not really sure, but it's just my opinion. We can hope.
BTW, Has VSB found a decent animator yet? I hope I won't be playing a game with such lovely background art and stick figure flash animations.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:58 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire
BTW, Has VSB found a decent animator yet? I hope I won't be playing a game with such lovely background art and stick figure flash animations.
Datadog (aka Chris Ushko; from the KQIX team) is our primary character artist. And Marty, our background artist, has been helping with it some, too. But more, the merrier! If anyone's interested in helping, please let us know.

We're looking at stuff like:



And better.
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