Disclaimer: My involvement with VBA consisted exactly of helping circles fix a few git issues. I have little to no stake in this game.
I poke my head into the various biltzes organized on the forum, on our discord server, etc occasionally. One thing I’ve noticed is that, for at least the full projects, at least one of the organizers seems to have some expectation of quality coming into it. Whether that be writing, map quality, whatever – the organizers have some idea of what the final project is going to be, as far as it being “finished” goes. And this idea happens to be in everyone’s heads before the “blitz” is done.
If you ask me, there’s nothing blitz about that. That’s a semi-curated community hack. And that can be fine, provided that the organizers are actually willing to stick it out (from what I’ve heard of Resonance, most of them weren’t). Everyone is actively working together to reach some semi-realized “final product”, and I get the impression that people expect it to look something like Void’s Blitzarre Adventure.
I followed VBA a bit more than I’ve looked at any of the others, so I can say this with a bit more confidence than anything else – the highest expectations VBA were held to, internally, were that the game wouldn’t crash too much on a “reasonable” playthrough, and that the game would be theoretically beatable. That’s it, really. From my memory, a few last-minute tweaks were made to achieve this, but for the most part the first release wasn’t changed much from “the least-buggy least-unbalanced combination of the community submissions”. Of course, the final release of VBA was generally more polished by scriptwriters, bugfixes, balance tweaks, etc, but that’s beyond the point (if it were up to me, I would never have touched the project beyond the initial release, and forced any script/balance/etc changes to be released as a fork) – the original project only became what it did because Circles held everyone to a very strict deadline. In fact, I’d argue that’s even why it’s called a “blitz” – it’s a tight-ish deadline, so you have to blitz a bunch of chapters quickly to get anything out at all!
Let me reiterate that there’s nothing inherently wrong with trying from the get-go to assimilate a bunch of community-submitted chapters into a semi-cohesive result. A little-known fact is that Dream of Five was birthed from the ashes of an old Serenes Forest forum hack attempt. But I think many people looked at VBA, saw that it was Good-ish and was (allegedly) the product of nothing more than a bunch of middling hackers throwing chapters at a wall. What a lot of people don’t see is that the project now known as Void’s Blitzarre Adventure went through a more traditional polish round by the team, and from what I could tell, that was controlled much more tightly. Making the game actually cohesive wasn’t really a concern until after every chapter was in (or even until the first release was out!)
This is incidentally why I think resource blitzes are dumb. The whole “quantity > quality” idea works for chapters because the end goal is to create a full hack, and the bare minimum for a hack to be playable is pretty low (“stable enough to play through most chapters without crashing”, “not blatantly unbeatable” and “not eyebleedingly shitty graphics”). What’s the end goal of, like, a mug blitz? A picture book? A meme mug repository? I agree with @FPzero’s comments in that if the goal is to create a large collection of usable mugs, then the mug blitz has completely failed that purpose (who wants to sift through 50 “garbo” mugs to find one that actually works in a non-meme hack?)