Ladies and gentlemen, gather 'round for a tale that will make your jaw drop and your head shake in disbelief. We're about to dive into the twisted and tumultuous history of The Day Before, a game that went from being Steam's most-anticipated MMO to a bland survival title that managed to kill an entire studio. Buckle up, because this story is a rollercoaster ride through a world of mismanagement, creative chaos, and disappearing directors.
1: The Brothers and Their Chaotic CanvasOnce upon a time, in the land of Fntastic, two brothers named Eduard and Aysen Gotovtsev embarked on a journey to create The Day Before. But little did they know that their creative vision would be a never-ending carousel of chaos. They had a small-scale cartoony survival game with zombies in mind, but the brothers couldn't resist the temptation to borrow ideas from other popular games. It was like they went to a buffet of gaming trends and couldn't decide what to put on their plate. GTA Online, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Baldur's Gate 3, Hogwarts Legacy, The Division...the list goes on. It was a mishmash of inspirations that left the developers scratching their heads.
2: A Symphony of Over-Scoping and OverworkingIn the world of Fntastic, design specs and targets changed faster than a chameleon in a crayon factory. The poor developers had to constantly adapt to the whims of the Gotovtsev brothers, who seemed to have a new favorite game every week. Work was thrown out with reckless abandon in pursuit of ever-elusive goals. The creative direction was so haphazard that one designer discovered, through trailers no less, that the game was supposed to be an MMO. Surprise, surprise! It wasn't an MMO at all. Talk about a plot twist.
3: The Wild West of Work CultureIf you thought the creative chaos was bad, just wait until you hear about the work culture at Fntastic. Unpaid volunteers, exploited newcomers, and employees burdened with debt through work equipment contracts paid off via their salaries. And let's not forget the fines. Yes, fines for unsatisfactory work. Can you imagine being fined $1,930 for a voice performance that didn't meet their standards? It's like a twisted version of The Voice where failing to hit the right note costs you your livelihood. Crunch culture was the norm, with employees begging for a few hours of respite just to take a shower or have a decent meal. They say diamonds are made under pressure, but this was just ridiculous.
4: The Great Bug Hunt and the Vanishing DirectorsAs The Day Before's launch loomed on the horizon, disaster was brewing beneath the surface. Testing? Who needs that when you can have just five testers? Scratch that, make it four after one poor soul got fired for finding a bug. It's not like bugs are a big deal, right? Well, apparently the lead developers didn't understand what would happen when a server was full. Surprise, surprise (again)! Connection issues plagued the launch, leaving players frustrated and perplexed. And where were the Gotovtsev brothers during this chaos? Absent, of course. They vanished like a magician's rabbit, leaving the team to fend for themselves.
5: From Failure to "Hate Campaign"As The Day Before's ship sank faster than a stone, Fntastic issued a statement blaming it all on a "hate campaign." Oh, the irony! It's like blaming the iceberg for sinking the Titanic instead of admitting your ship was poorly designed. But fear not, for the Gotovtsev brothers returned with a new plan: mobile games! Because what better way to follow up a disastrous MMO than by diving into the world of tiny screens and endless microtransactions?
A Lesson in Game Development Gone Awry
And so, dear readers, we reach the end of our tale. The Day Before will forever be remembered as a cautionary tale, a shining example of how not to manage a game development studio. It's a story of mismanagement, creative confusion, and vanishing directors. Let it serve as a reminder to all aspiring game developers that a clear vision, a healthy work culture, and a touch of sanity are essential ingredients for success. May we learn from the misadventures of Fntastic and ensure that future games don't suffer the same fate.