Even after personal accounts from people about the video we still can't just talk about the game. Have to have drama cheerleaders. Fine, I give up, let's talk about it.
I give two shits if anyone wants to critique anything I've ever done. I'm a professional designer in a public facing job, if I didn't have thick skin about it I'd have quit for another career a long time ago. If you don't like my work, then feel free to say so. I've heard it all. And my ego isn't so big that I can't hear good ideas too, if you have a good suggestion and I'm free to take advantage of it then hat tip to you, and I'm going to use it.
That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt my feelings, I just get over it.
I've never been shy about critiquing other things, and I'm not a fucking hypocrite, so go ahead, give me the same treatment. Look back through this thread, please point out where I've ever freaked out over people saying harsh things about the playfield or backglass. I'll admit it if I'm wrong, I can't remember doing it. Prove me wrong though. Plenty of people had comments, shouldn't be hard to find them.
I never attack people personally. It's never personal. I had harsh things to say myself about Game of Thrones for instance (I was hardly alone in that!). I never said anything but respect for Greg Freres as an artist and a person.
And you know what? I found out that he was really taking the criticisms personally, and so I apologized to him, in person, at Expo. Not behind a keyboard anonymously. Because I felt like maybe I'd contributed to that, and crossed the line into being actually mean spirited. I critique because I want things to be better, not because I want to tear things down. Upsetting someone you admire doesn't feel good, at least to me. I had to rethink things.
I've tempered anything I've said since then, it was a learning experience, I can't lie. Greg told me a lot about what they went through on GOT, and man, it didn't sound easy at all. I thought I knew a lot about working with big brands. I was wrong. Pinball is something else. I can admit to being wrong, I sure as hell don't know everything.
And I'm learning that first hand on Alien. Do I wish that things were different on this game? Absolutely. Of course I do, I wish we had all kinds of freedom. The Alien standard backglass isn't even my design, I just remade something that someone else started. I tweaked the details as long as I was starting from scratch on it, but it's not my work. Doesn't matter that it's not mine, just made it the best I could given the reality of things.
If a hand drawn playfield, from me, or even someone with more talent than I have, was an option I'd gladly make that happen. I'm the creative director on this game, if part of that mean directing another artist to do some of the work that would be fine. Unfortunately the process didn't allow for that. It is what it is. You might not want to hear it, doesn't change the facts.
The final package is going to be great, I truly believe that. It's taking forfucking ever, it's been frustrating as hell, and yet there's still a killer team doing really great work, and it sucks that we can't show the progress.
So I get the frustration. Truly. I share it, and if I was free to say more I'd give you an earful, believe me.
Meanwhile people just want to make it personal, and I'm burned out on it. Can I handle it? Sure. But it wears you down, and sucks the fun out of everything after a while. I've spent over a year of my life trying to help Alien come to life, and people want to attack my job. Spread lies. Put words in my mouth. Come at me personally. I'll ignore a lot, but only so much. If you want my attention badly enough you can get it if you try hard enough. Come after me hard enough and I'll give up on ignoring and push back. That's as much as I'm going to say on the topic, some things don't deserve attention given to them.
I honestly feel like just shutting down my Pinside account and walking away, I'm sick of feeding this. I dunno, maybe that sounds cowardly, but fuck, I have a life and I'm busy with it, and I just don't need this kind of drag on it. It's just pinball, it's supposed to be fun. Talking about art is fun. And if it gets a little bitchy and whiney hopefully we can learn and dial it back. And I truly believe that games are better for our complaining now.