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Ross's fun-filled Beg-A-Thon!

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Although I think it's very wise to refuse Father's offer, I kind of dislike this jumping down his throat. Ross asked for ideas in the blog post. To most of us it's obvious he didn't mean out of the blue financial planning offers, but still. The kind thing to do with weird offers is start with a polite "Thanks, but no thanks."

 

Maybe Ross has had a problem with windfall vultures in the past that make people feel angry about strange offers, I dunno.

The way Father presented his idea was as well as jumping down a throat too. You greet someone than you just go straightforward to: "Show me all your bills I want to know your detailed expenses."

That's not Ross responding, only SBritton and me.

Anyone with a common sense would not ask for public display of Ross's personal finances. It was like a credit card salesman approaching you randomly in the street. Not cool. I would write more on this but I may come out rude, since it pisses me off.

 

Alright. First of all - I'm sorry. I guess my eagerness to help got me in a "credit card salesman" groove and me trying to be as straight forward as possible came across very rude, weird and way out of line. Again - I'm sorry. I hope you will not hold it against me.

 

Second. I still think a volunteer development team with a clear plan to follow would be a benefit. So I would still love to hear any thoughts about this idea.

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Speaking not-on-behalf of anyone, I appreciate the eagerness. But, it wasn't pitched very well.

 

Most, if not all, of what you said would be much better as a private email to Ross himself. It's not so much that you're asking for personal details, but you're asking for them on a very open and public platform. What you're suggesting would be better as a private correspondence between you and Ross to negotiate a solid plan.

 

Ross does have a few people on board, and he will likely create a pretty decent team once the ball really starts rolling. If you have experience with things such as finance, or technical/admin work, you can always email him offering him your support. Whether or not he accepts it is a different matter, but as far as I know, Ross is definitely open for ideas. :)

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What taxes do you pay and what social security or health coverage you have ?
I can say that I pay about 1,034 zloty a month (little under $300, depending on exchange rate) in social security and health coverage in Poland each month. That's going to be the same for pretty much anyone self-employed. Beyond that, I don't think my girlfriend would be comfortable with me revealing everything else, plus some expenses fluctuate.

 

Here I'm going to ask you for a plan.
Imagining project percentage updates is kind of meaningless. I'm years off. That's the best way to look at it. This is going to be the longest video I've made and in a different engine. I have a lot of experience making machinimas and I have done some things in Unreal, so I have an idea of what's needed, but trying to accurately assume projected deadlines just isn't very realistic right now. All numbers would have to get shifted every time I make a new Game Dungeon, or have to spend half the day downtown taking care of paperwork. Here's something worth keeping in mind: Out of successfully funded kickstarter games that come to market, virtually ALL are over deadline. You're talking like I've never planned anything out. I have lots of things planned already, but frequent status reports would only slow things down and be inaccurate. I really doubt the movie is going to come out before 2017 and it's highly possible it will be after that. I got setback a lot this year due to various things, but I'm going to keep working on the movie regardless.

 

Also, I was re-watching this and I know Ross said he's not much of a buisness person but I had an idea, I'm sure im not the first person to say this but couldn't you do something like physical DVDs, especially for The Movie. I would definatly buy a Freeman's Mind DVD box set. I know there are usually extras or something but in all reality, just being able to plop a DVD into a player would be awesome. Only other web series I can think of that did this was Red vs. Blue, but seriously, it would be awesome.

 

Though if you wouldn't do a DVD box set for Freeman's mind I would without a doubt suggest doing it for The Movie. Like have it free digitally, but if you want a physical copy, you're gonna have to either download the movie and burn it to a DVD yourself OR you could pay $10 plus shipping to get the DVDS, some extras, and maybe even DVD cover and box art. You'd still have everything for free online, just a little more for the physical thing.

Sorry, but it won't happen, that would be an issue with copyright from Valve, you'll just have to live with being able to download them for free.

 

no matter how clear he was on it just being a prediction, would turn into a "Hey you promised the movie at this time, and you're not done!" thing.
Yeah, that's my main concern. Here's a good way to look at things: I ABSOLUTELY will try my best to get the movie done faster than Freeman's Mind was.

 

Keep up the great work
Thanks, I have a bunch of stuff coming for this month.

 

Ross: your content is awesome and I'm really happy to see so many people are willing to agree with their wallets. I hope the donations are removing some of the burden from your shoulders! I know I work better when I've got less stress. Any time I find myself with a few £££ spare I'll be throwing them in. I've watched your stuff for years, almost all of it with an ad-blocker enabled, so I figure I owe you anyway.
Thanks, but I really meant all I said in the video, I see this whole thing as pressing my luck, people have no OBLIGATION to watch the ads, if I really expected people to cough up money, I'd put it behind a paywall or something. I'd like as many people to see the videos as are interested and if I can find someway to stay afloat, then mission accomplished.

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Thanks, but I really meant all I said in the video, I see this whole thing as pressing my luck, people have no OBLIGATION to watch the ads, if I really expected people to cough up money, I'd put it behind a paywall or something. I'd like as many people to see the videos as are interested and if I can find someway to stay afloat, then mission accomplished.

 

That right there Ross, is why people are willing to pay you, cause you've put out so much content, not to make money, not to make yourself a big name, but just to entertain. I don't remember who said this and I'm likely butchering it, but here is a "quote" that sums you up well even if you might need to change some words. "I am a clown, and a clowns job is to entertain you, if I can make someone laugh, even just one out of an entire audience, then I've done my job." Seriously Ross, I've been watching your videos for years, if I wasn't a college student with very little disposable income I'd be giving you money for the laughs, the interesting thoughts you've provoked, and for the moments where your videos helped me smile a little more than i wanted to when things weren't great. You are an awesome dude Ross, and I enjoy every video you make, even if It's not my brand of funny because I can tell you worked hard on it, nothing you have done from what I've seen has ever been half-assed. That kind of dedication resonates, so when I see your donations are up to the 12k range I can't say I'm surprised, but I can say I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants to make sure your work continues as smoothly as possible.

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Thanks, but I really meant all I said in the video, I see this whole thing as pressing my luck, people have no OBLIGATION to watch the ads, if I really expected people to cough up money, I'd put it behind a paywall or something. I'd like as many people to see the videos as are interested and if I can find someway to stay afloat, then mission accomplished.

 

That right there Ross, is why people are willing to pay you, cause you've put out so much content, not to make money, not to make yourself a big name, but just to entertain. I don't remember who said this and I'm likely butchering it, but here is a "quote" that sums you up well even if you might need to change some words. "I am a clown, and a clowns job is to entertain you, if I can make someone laugh, even just one out of an entire audience, then I've done my job." Seriously Ross, I've been watching your videos for years, if I wasn't a college student with very little disposable income I'd be giving you money for the laughs, the interesting thoughts you've provoked, and for the moments where your videos helped me smile a little more than i wanted to when things weren't great. You are an awesome dude Ross, and I enjoy every video you make, even if It's not my brand of funny because I can tell you worked hard on it, nothing you have done from what I've seen has ever been half-assed. That kind of dedication resonates, so when I see your donations are up to the 12k range I can't say I'm surprised, but I can say I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants to make sure your work continues as smoothly as possible.

 

It also helps that he is doing something unique.

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"I am a clown, and a clowns job is to entertain you, if I can make someone laugh, even just one out of an entire audience, then I've done my job."

Sounds like Red Skelton...

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Imagining project percentage updates is kind of meaningless. I'm years off. That's the best way to look at it. This is going to be the longest video I've made and in a different engine. I have a lot of experience making machinimas and I have done some things in Unreal, so I have an idea of what's needed, but trying to accurately assume projected deadlines just isn't very realistic right now. All numbers would have to get shifted every time I make a new Game Dungeon, or have to spend half the day downtown taking care of paperwork. Here's something worth keeping in mind: Out of successfully funded kickstarter games that come to market, virtually ALL are over deadline. You're talking like I've never planned anything out. I have lots of things planned already, but frequent status reports would only slow things down and be inaccurate. I really doubt the movie is going to come out before 2017 and it's highly possible it will be after that. I got setback a lot this year due to various things, but I'm going to keep working on the movie regardless.

Awesome, the man of the house himself !

So here are my thoughts :

1) I don't think that you don't have a plan. I assume that you don't have a detailed managers plan on paper. When you are working alone or with a team of 4-5 people it seems unnecessary. But when your team reaches 20 or more people you have to have a managers plan. It keeps the project engine running even if you have to focus on other things.

That's when deadlines start to make sense. And that is why i asked for it. (Extra thought: I asked for percentages because from my experience they are the scapegoat of management world. Anyone with simple math skills can count them and they always sound cool.)

2)(This is for everyone coming out of the woodwork saying things like "Ross is not a development firm")Sit down. Grab your milk. And let your daddy holla at ya. I wouldn't be here if i didn't think that Ross would benefit from a volunteer development team. And I wouldn't be here if I didn't think it is possible to create such a team. Any creator who's audience can chuck 10k over a few days must have some very dedicated fans. And among those fans there has to be some that actually want to be a part of production.

Conclusion: I myself came out of the woodwork to present a few ideas that may help. The reasons why i didn't send this as an email to Ross was : a) I wanted to start a discussion, it would show all positive and negative aspects of my ideas ; b) I wanted to see how many people would actually be interested (aka. collect numbers);

I got too eager and didn't present my ideas in a best way but that doesn't mean they themselves are bad.

So I'm still waiting for thoughts (preferably arguments).

---------Argument section-------

Ross actually gave an argument:

All numbers would have to get shifted every time I make a new Game Dungeon, or have to spend half the day downtown taking care of paperwork.

Well this is a simple management issue: Ok. WHO WANTS TO BE ROSS ADMINISTRATOR DEPUTY / SECRETARY ?

There. Solved. (I would offer myself for the job, but I think I already gave a bad first impression). I know that this solution gives more questions (how much of actual source material should I reveal, should I employ him / her, make him/her sign a none disclosure agreement and pay him/her, how much should I pay, how much can I trust him/her. And The MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL : how much time this will take.) but a person with experience will probably answer them very quickly and / or propose a few solutions. In the end here is the math : if you spend, lets say 12 hours, evaluating all applicants, picking one, getting him / her up to speed and assigning him/her work and in the end they give you 24 hours of freedom then this is the way to go.

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Ross, take as much time as you need for the movie. I'd gladly wait an extra year or two or seven for it to be completed.

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I assume that you don't have a detailed managers plan on paper.
Look, I don't really want to get into this further, but I'll just say this much:

 

-I already have a project manager who has been very helpful.

 

-I've received many volunteer offers, whom I've been reviewing and my project manager is helping to take care of, however I'll ask for additional help as I need it. There's not a lot of sense in hunting for animators when you don't have any models for them to work with and may not for another year and a half or longer.

 

-The way you talk suggests you don't understand all that's involved with an extensive machinima project. I think Unreal will be better, but Source was a nightmare. The engine had so many bugs that had no explanation, some were so devastating they almost tanked the episode until I could invent a workaround. Valve themselves INTRODUCED a bug between Episode 1 and 2 that they haven't fixed to this day. What percentage of done is fixing a bug that has no known cause and holds up the entire project? One bug like this may take 15 minutes to workaround. Another one may take 6 weeks. Source Filmmaker when it was released (and still not by default, best I know) doesn't support physics, sprites, or global map-light realtime shadows. Why accrue extra accountability for your percentages that were based off not knowing that information? I'd rather just not give a percentage, than state 10% for 6 months, then suddenly change the number to 1% because of previously unknown variables. Stuff like that is terrible for morale.

 

-I simply can't afford to hire people except for specific jobs I can't do myself and there really is no substitute for from a volunteer pool. While I have raised a lot of money, I need to make it last a long time. Minimum wage comes to about 15k a year and specialized work is worth more than that. I couldn't even hire one person full time.

 

-Volunteers are notorious for flaking out. I've received over 100 emails before of people offering to help, giving me their past experience, examples, I say great, ask them to help on a simple thing to start out, I never hear from them again (I call them "the suicide note"). I want to say the "flake out" ratio on volunteers is something close to 80% or higher. Typically, the more complex the skillset, the more likely the person is to disappear randomly. So much of what you're saying is more akin to what you would expect from EMPLOYEES, not volunteers. I think the attitude you're suggesting can be potentially disastrous the more complex a volunteer project you have. Imagine every person you're assigning something can leave anytime he or she feels like it, and you may not have a substitute for them. I don't mean this in an unfriendly way, but your planning sounds like the classic scenario of a mod that's started and announced, but never sees the light of day (which is the majority of them).

 

Another way to look at it: Black Mesa has been in development since 2004, has had more interest and volunteer resources than practically any mod in the industry and STILL isn't done. They took 8 years to get the first portion out, I'm sure I'll be a lot faster than that for the whole project.

 

-The thing to take away from this is I'm the last line of defense. I have enough experience with volunteers and planning that I'll be able to handle whatever help I do end up getting (stable or not), but if anyone leaves, the movie will still get made. I've produced over a dozen fully-animated machinimas, which were akin to making small mods. I can't promise speedy operations, but I will get it made eventually. I guess you'll just have to trust me (or not) when I say that I've likely already thought about everything you're talking about years ahead of time and do have a plan that I think has the highest odds for success for my budget / situation.

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I guess you'll just have to trust me (or not) when I say that I've likely already thought about everything you're talking about years ahead of time and do have a plan that I think has the highest odds for success for my budget / situation.

 

Well you could just said so. Would have saved me a couple of posts. :)

Still it's awesome that you presented your case with solid arguments. That, more then anything else, I respect.

It's been fun discussing with you Ross and I'm really looking forward for the next Game Dungeon and (eventually) The Movie.

 

P.S:

I could offer my help, but I don't have any experience in the artistic department (animation, 3d modeling, sound editing, illustrating (or texturing)) or game engine bug fixing (i know C,C++ and Java, but not at an expert level and I mostly work with microprocessor programming so I think you get the picture). Still, holla at me if you don't mind an extra eager (if not experienced) hands or a coffee machine that automatically makes a coffee every two hours or something.

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That right there Ross, is why people are willing to pay you, cause you've put out so much content, not to make money, not to make yourself a big name, but just to entertain.

 

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First up glad the fund raising is going well for you Ross! You always deliver quality content that I'm happy to consume, and so it's nice to see you getting your due.

 

As for things you can do prize wise, have you thought of offering something to do with game dungeon?

 

Perhaps after x amount of dollars have been reached give us a poll with a certain number of games on it, and let us vote for the one we'd like to see next?

 

Or maybe even take it further, and allow someone who went above, and beyond on donating pick a game to be reviewed for it (with restrictions of course to make it more in line with normal GD reviews. Like short game, obscure, and so on)

 

That way it's stuff that wouldn't take much time/effort on your part?

 

Edit: I also realized I was not enlightened on whether, or not I could defeat you in Kombat. No sweep kicking in corners.

 

Also bonus donation dollars for referencing Vampire: Masq. It's probably one of, if not my favorite game of all time to be honest. The modding community keeps it alive, and I end up replaying it, and then remodding it probably every 6 months.

Edited by Guest

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Hey, Ross! First, let me apologize for my english in advance :) I want to give you some advice - one of the problem is that you don't make any content that can be really massively popular. Your popular videos are - either HL-HL2 related or about a bit obscure games, like in the GameDungeon. Well, HL is pretty popular game, but its popularity is declining, and it isnt what it used to be, say, back in 2007. So, you have to start one more series, that will have a potential to become a view-attracting machine to your channel - review new games! Or, do anything at all, but with New, Hot games that are on #1 popularity right now.

Ok, I may sound like i'm over-confident in what I'm saying - but theres a reason for that, I have a pretty big experience in internet and social media marketing, although in Russian market, but internet and its inhabitants are pretty the same everywhere.

And, I don't wont to sund like what you do right now is bad - no, it's super good, and I like your content a lot, but sometimes, in order to make money, you have to do not what's best, but just what is popular.

PS you've got my 20$ ;)

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do anything at all, but with New, Hot games that are on #1 popularity right now.

Sorry, but I call bullshit. The whole charm, the whole attraction of Ross's work is that he doesn't give a f*ck on what is popular. Always remember what Stanisław Jerzy Lec said - "Shit must have a good taste, because billions of flies can't be mistaken". It doesn't matter that his videos don't have much views. The recurring success of his fundraisers proves that a small group of utterly devoted fans is much more valuable than a multimillion herd of sheeple.

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Hey, Ross! First, let me apologize for my english in advance :) I want to give you some advice - one of the problem is that you don't make any content that can be really massively popular. Your popular videos are - either HL-HL2 related or about a bit obscure games, like in the GameDungeon. Well, HL is pretty popular game, but its popularity is declining, and it isnt what it used to be, say, back in 2007. So, you have to start one more series, that will have a potential to become a view-attracting machine to your channel - review new games! Or, do anything at all, but with New, Hot games that are on #1 popularity right now.

Ok, I may sound like i'm over-confident in what I'm saying - but there's a reason for that, I have a pretty big experience in internet and social media marketing, although in Russian market, but internet and its inhabitants are pretty the same everywhere.

And, I don't wont to sund like what you do right now is bad - no, it's super good, and I like your content a lot, but sometimes, in order to make money, you have to do not what's best, but just what is popular.

PS you've got my 20$ ;)

I'm somewhat often a bit irritated when I see people advising Ross when it sounds like they think he's a novice here ;) . Even if you have good intentions and know the market... It's like you don't realize and appreciate that Ross has been on YouTube for about 8 years now (I guess ;)) He's an intelligent man with experience and creativity and he realizes many aspects of existing on YT and in media and that there are much more popular YouTubers, as well as good ones that struggle to get popular. Also, some people don't realize how much work and polishing (because he's in Poland ;) hehe) a video requires. The quality you see in each video is a result of meticulous work. And even for an experience editor it takes some time.

From my personal point of view, a big help is making his videos more popular and just, honest, technical help when he asks for one. Hands for work, just hands to work that he can rely on.

 

In general, it's good and I'm always overwhelmed how many good and kind people like Ross's shows and creativity! :o The Donations... I've always kept on saying that people love Ross :mrgreen:

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Uh, I apologize for sounding like I have no appreciation for Ross and his work then :) Of course I do - I am a fan and I think what he does is brilliant and far above most even much more popular youtubers. He's the only one that to this day haven't made a one not interesting video, to my taste (even his videos where he asks for money are entertaining! Who else can do that?) .

I should have structured my post more as a question, which it really is - "why you don't do that?" than a direct "hey, you should".

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