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-   -   G3 and game development in general (split from news thread) (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2327)

Acleacius July 27th, 2007 05:15

G3 and game development in general (split from news thread)
 
Let's hope Deep Silver/Koch is a better company and treats PB better than thier previous publisher. :)

Anonymous July 27th, 2007 06:46

Sorry folks, but PB blew G3, not Jowood, they just sold it unfinished, which is bad enough of course.
Seriously, who would be dumb enough to ever buy a PB game again?
I mean, I am a programmer myself, and if I would stop fixing bugs in my software becuase I don't get money for fixing it, I can call it quits.
It is and has been PBs obligation to fixe their games, and of course they don't deserve any extra payments at all for fixing their mess, instead they left the game, their fans, their customers, because they coulnd't agree on payments with JoWood - how stupid and irresponsible and shortsighted is that?
Hello? Does that ring a bell? I do not know any contract details of course, but no matter how you turn it, the fact remains, that PB is not fixing their game because they don't tget paif for it.
It's like you have to pay for getting your brand new car fixed, because it is not running or not all features are availabe…

Sorry, but PB completely destroyed their reputation, and it is almost compeltely their own fault.

And yes, I do not feel like getting flamed by any PB fanyboy, that's why I post this anonymous! Call me a coward, I will not sue you…

xSamhainx July 27th, 2007 06:55

uh, whatever = ]

Acleacius July 27th, 2007 07:58

Anonymous
Ok, I will bite, give us a single piece of possibly (giving you lots of room, with possibly) credible evidence that PB was;

1. making decisions about release state status.
2. responsible for the Q&A and deciding which bugs to were priority fixes for release.
3. given a budget to buy the engine they originally requested, to make the AAA title they envisioned.
4. also I would like to see you come up with complete time table, of time spent on game development.
5. time spent on having to rebuild the engine because the publisher couldn't afford the engine they promised to fund, due to bankruptcy.
6. payments promised and payments received.
7. oh and just for grins if your really a programmer, why didn't you know devs are paid to fix bugs?

That's a short list, I have plenty more but these are all things you obviously would need to know to make half the statements you make, not including the ones you seem to be pulling out of your ass, Mr. Anonymous if that really is your name. :)

nessosin July 27th, 2007 10:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acleacius (Post 37575)
Anonymous
Ok, I will bite, give us a single piece of possibly (giving you lots of room, with possibly) credible evidence that PB was;

1. making decisions about release state status.
2. responsible for the Q&A and deciding which bugs to were priority fixes for release.
3. given a budget to buy the engine they originally requested, to make the AAA title they envisioned.
4. also I would like to see you come up with complete time table, of time spent on game development.
5. time spent on having to rebuild the engine because the publisher couldn't afford the engine they promised to fund, due to bankruptcy.
6. payments promised and payments received.
7. oh and just for grins if your really a programmer, why didn't you know devs are paid to fix bugs?

That's a short list, I have plenty more but these are all things you obviously would need to know to make half the statements you make, not including the ones you seem to be pulling out of your ass, Mr. Anonymous if that really is your name. :)

First of all I would like to state that I dont know the specifics of game-development. But according to my common sense and knowledge from the net:

Ad. 1 - I understand that PB did not have influence on condition of the game at the realse. But do you believe they didnt have strict date of realse on contract they had with JoWood? So if they(PB) didnt manage to fullfill their share of work then you call them victims?

Ad. 3 - I must say I am suprised that development team(PB) should be sponsored by the publisher as far as engine goes. Excuse me, are they programmers or not? Do you think that is obligatory that publisher buys engine so the developer could create game so that he(dev) would get paid more?

Ad. 5 - JoWood are banktrup? I recall interview with Rosenkratz and he stated that they(PB) wanted to achive more then they could manage.

Summing it up I think that the faulty Gothic 3 is mainly due to some flaws in concepts(free-roaming gameworld like in OB, but with living felling of previous Gothics) and organistaion of work in PB. They just overestimated themselves and couldnt end what they begun in time. It is only in good will of the publisher to give the development team more time than it was previously agreed. And as far as i know JoWood created semi-amatour group of programmers to fix the game. So it seems that they care more than PB.

aries100 July 27th, 2007 11:09

If you read the statements from both PB and Jowood, you will learn (if you read between the lines that is) that Jowood sort of forced G3 out to the door, so that Jowood would earn (more) money and meet some sales figures for the release quarter. You will also learn that the patch 1.12 (released in dec. 2006) was scheduled to be overwritten by an expansion pack for Gothic 3, (or maybe Gothic 4).
But Jowood wouldn't hear of it. Instead they demanded that PB fixed the bugs in G3 (in engine??) with the same tools and engine that was used to build G3 with in the first place. PB wanted to take what they have learned in G3 and then use it for an expansion pack (which included the patch sort of) which then overwrite G3's masterfile correcting everything. Jowood was not interested in this?? WHY?? My best qualified guess would be that Jowood in nov/dec. 2006 already had decided to dump PB as developers for G3 games, and made it clear that they wanted a game for handheld platforms (or for mobile phones as it was revealed earlier this months). Such a contract don't just write itself, and it takes a lot longer than 5 months or so to negotiate such a contract.

You also have to realize that while PB is made up of people who really like their jobs, it also is business. And a business need money to survive. And I know (from PB's designers talk with fans on WoG) that some of them did spent their own free time on correcting bugs etc. in G3, working in the patch(es). However, there comes a time, when you have to say 'enough is enough'. And say to your publisher, Jowood, that you would like to get paid for your work, since you're a professional, not an amateur. And professionals do get paid for their work.

Also, there have no explanation from Jowood whatsoever, unless you count the varius press releases about PB and Jowood splitting up, while the PB's devs. have been more than happy to talk & chat with the fans on WoG and world of piranha.
[And even answering critcal questions as well….].

It has been known for some time now that Deep Silver/Koch Media is PB's new publisher. I hope for a scifi tech post apoc games that is isometric and turnbased, competing with Fallout 3 :p

nessosin July 27th, 2007 11:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by aries100 (Post 37591)
It has been known for some time now that Deep Silver/Koch Media is PB's new publisher. I hope for a scifi tech post apoc games that is isometric and turnbased, competing with Fallout 3 :p

NOOO! No sci-fi!! "Thy shall not pass!"

As for the rest you've got a point. But tell me one thing: How long have G3 been in development? I think( I dont have the strentgh to search, forgive me :) ) about 3 years. You know, publisher has the right to be fed up with a developer who is lingering with the work on finishing the game. And as you mentioned: its all about buisness and money, JoWood cant have been waiting for ages…

Not that I am pleased with JoWood and their decision but neither am I with PB.
I just think that, claiming PB is not responsible for the fault named Gothic 3(or rather its unfinished state) is just wrong.

GhanBuriGhan July 27th, 2007 11:45

Was Gothic 3 ever dealyed? I remember being very surprised at the announced release date, based on what we heard about the state of the game when it was shown at the shows. Comments by the press indicated a very unfinished game. If JoWood never allowed them a delay, than they bear some of the blame. If they did and PB still couldn't get their act together, than the blame is mostly with them.

Including a patch in an expansion (and not also as a free patch) is not really fair to your customers, so I am with Jowood on that one.

gaboru93 July 27th, 2007 12:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anonymous (Post 37564)
Sorry folks, but PB blew G3, not Jowood, they just sold it unfinished, which is bad enough of course.
Seriously, who would be dumb enough to ever buy a PB game again?
I mean, I am a programmer myself, and if I would stop fixing bugs in my software becuase I don't get money for fixing it, I can call it quits.
It is and has been PBs obligation to fixe their games, and of course they don't deserve any extra payments at all for fixing their mess, instead they left the game, their fans, their customers, because they coulnd't agree on payments with JoWood - how stupid and irresponsible and shortsighted is that?
Hello? Does that ring a bell? I do not know any contract details of course, but no matter how you turn it, the fact remains, that PB is not fixing their game because they don't tget paif for it.
It's like you have to pay for getting your brand new car fixed, because it is not running or not all features are availabe…

Sorry, but PB completely destroyed their reputation, and it is almost compeltely their own fault.

And yes, I do not feel like getting flamed by any PB fanyboy, that's why I post this anonymous! Call me a coward, I will not sue you…

Know what? i really hate guys like you that think they are smart and shit!
If you know all about PB then you should know that PB was rushed by Jowood! so it is logically that the game had some flaws! so stfu and if you are so smart why don't you just repair the game… seeing you as Mr. Programmer and all…

Acleacius July 27th, 2007 12:22

Appoligies for the long post, please feel free to skip it or get popcorn. :)

nessosin
"First of all I would like to state that I dont know the specifics of game-development. But according to my common sense and knowledge from the net:"

Works for me. :)
"But do you believe they didn’t have strict date of realize on contract they had with (edited) :) former publisher? So if they(PB) didnt manage to fulfill their share of work then you call them victims?"

Humm, strict? Well I would imagine that had a date certainly and I bet they missed at least one.
Well, it all depends on how they got there, whether PB is a victim or not, I guess.
I certainly am no expert but I know from PB's works they are certainly capable of AAA title work based on their attention to things like detail and innovations, made long before other AAA games have picked up on it, a few examples are AI, full speech and geo-architecture.
Now give that PB processes skills as good as any top game developer, we have to ask ourselves why have there games come out buggy and incomplete, finances is the only answer.
Unless you would care to detail a few items in there games you would have cut out to save time and there for development cost.
Now their first game doesn’t really need to be discussed imo, as it was obviously their first attempt and was ground breaking game as were all their games, since obviously on first attempts you cant possible know how much time it take to make a ground breaking, since it's never been done.

" must say I am suprised that development team(PB) should be sponsored by the publisher as far as engine goes."
Well I get surprised all the time, with things I didn't know, welcome. :)

Everyone whom paid attention to RPGs, knew PB's abilities after G1, especially publishers, though it was quirky (my reference to lack of control options) in some regards it was clearly amazing in almost all aspects, but could they do it again?

Only very few established devs retain full control over their Intellectual Properties, why?
They can't self finance themselves, so how do they get publishers to back them finically give some rights away?
We clearly see the former publisher claiming right's to the World of Gothic, how did they get those, right’s?
Even PB has said they have some right's, its because the former pub financed the games.

"Excuse me, are they programmers or not? Do you think that is obligatory that publisher buys engine so the developer could create game so that he(dev) would get paid more?"
Depends most times, yes the pubs finance buying a new engine or dev cost of making one.

Now on to Gothic 2, bigger better (subjective) but no doubt that the world, graphics, number of individual NPCs (more writing and scripting) and longer game, so big and better. :)

How did they do it, same why they did G1, very small talented group (19 iirc), they rebuilt the engine and made a more successful Gothic 2, granted there were still problems getting out of the EU market, but once again PB is only partly responsible, since they didn’t feel comfortable speaking English to any of the English game site, but the majority of the problem is the pub, they handle distribution.

So with one of the smallest dev teams in the world PB did it again, they out did devs that had 10 times the budgets they did (an example would be Morrowind), and yes they had delays, but were talking 2 of the most innovative RPGs made on the whole, at time of development.

Acleacius July 27th, 2007 12:24

I hate having to cut out Smilies, on RPGWatch since it's easy to mistake, banter with hostility, so I divided up my too long of a post, so I could keep the smiles. :)

Now on to G3, bigger team, maybe outside contractors but for the most part still the same 19 key devs, working their asses off in a house, where many sleep and live I hear.
Now I am too tired to look it up (4:30am) but I remember PB saying G3 this time is an all new engine, when they started giving interviews, near release of NotR, remember hearing how they were shopping engines and 3rd party programs.
How could they afford this, paying the salaries, engines and 3rd parties, G2 and NotR were hits but they still didn’t break the big markets and how did the former publisher get right's to the world?
The pub financed the development of G3, now to your last comment which pretty much proves it. :)

"(edited :) ) former publisher are banktrup? I recall interview with Rosenkratz and he stated that they(PB) wanted to achive more then they could manage."

Now maybe you’re not familiar but the former pub suffered great financial losses and had to restructure financially, during the early part of dev of G3.

Now PB had already set the design process in progress clearly since they were looking for engines and 3rd party software, but all of a sudden PB decides to rebuild the engine, why?
Is it possible the now bankrupt pub, couldn't afford the new engine, since they had to restructure and let lots of people go from their jobs?
What do you do when your potentially biggest Original Property budget is cut?

Humm, PB hard working mofos whom can build their own engines, oh I know we (pubs) could save millions of UP front cost by rebuilding the engine.
Humm, wait but the game is designed to have a completely open-ended world, plus improved graphics and many others, how can we do this with this G2 engine, humm there goes the timetable.

"They just overestimated themselves and couldnt end what they begun in time"

Why? They had done it twice before, made innovative successful games from scratch.
While certainly they had delays, cut content and not fully developed continent on each game, name a small independent team of devs that has achieved what PB has, not many if at all.
So here is the publisher their BEST chance to have a AAA successful title and financially suffering for at least 2 years during the development of their potentially most successful game and it's almost ready.

So a few things are clear PB given enough time can make a RPG, at the very least as good as and maybe better than any other dev, including ones with staffs over 100, they for the most part have proved that with their record. :)

Now the former publishers record, (oh this will be fun :) ), now financially restructuring (BTW if there is a more accurate word for Bankruput/Restructing, let me know, this is what they call it here in the US) and with a no very good at ALL record of rushing out buggy games.

Humm, a publisher that needs money badly to settle debts NOT of PB's fault, Holiday Season coming, potentially biggest selling game they have ever published almost finished, what you gonna do?
You push it out the Freaking Door and Fix it Later, as the publisher you set the date, you ALONE know the true playable state of the game and your BROKE.

Or perhaps like the team actually doing ALL the work, whose property you LEACHED on to and then Couldn’t afford to finance, you work you asses off wait till the game is finished and release one of the greatest RPGs to date.

Now tell me again, what happened. :)

gaboru93 July 27th, 2007 13:00

wow! you did explain alot of things in your big post! that i can say…

Dhruin July 27th, 2007 13:18

Eh, they've got my money. I loved Gothic and G2+NotR is in my top handful of gaming experiences ever, so I can accept they made mistakes with G3.

PB vs JoWood is pretty irrelevant* but I figure PB will return to their roots and likely produce some excellent Gothic-inspired gaming while JoWood will try to exploit the Gothic brand with derivative second-rate material.

*For what its worth, JoWood published the game and claimed ownership of the brand, so it's now their baby to patch. If you own it - you fix it.

Just for accuracy in the ensuing arguments that are obviously coming, PB definitely had considerable time extensions. I don't think you can argue — and PB has admitted — they made mistakes.

—————-

As a side issue, I've been interested to see several programmers come out over the last couple of months and essentially say they program in their own time to finish/fix assignments.

I find this interesting because this isn't my personal experience. I don't claim to be an expert but have worked in IT (hardware) for the past 10 years and have several times installed and supported installations in conjunction with custom software developments. In almost every case, the software side ran well over time and required additional investment. In my last big project, the client walked away from a significant investment after repeated injections failed to produce a finished product and the developer ultimately wanted anoher huge extension (along with the payments for the additional 6 months work).

Perhaps my clients just picked losers, perhaps their contracts were weak, perhaps Australian programming practices are different…I'm not doubting the individuals who posted but I'm not convinced overall.

Maylander July 27th, 2007 13:33

I completely agree Dhruin, that is my experience as well. I work as a developer, and even though I do work overtime to complete code and make sure things are solid, I certainly do not go without pay for longer periods of time just to patch something up. I really don't think PB is in a position to keep paying their developers if they lose their financial support, and you just can't expect developers to work with no pay - they do have bills to pay and mouths to feed, you can't exactly let your family starve just to complete a patch.

Also, keep in mind that game development is not like normal development. These guys already work 10-12 hours per day, so they can't do it in their spare time - most of them have no spare time as it is. In fact, quite a few game developers live in their offices (they have bedrooms/kitchens in their office building and sleep over more often than not).

Gorath July 27th, 2007 14:02

Three short comments. I´ll split the thread later today.

1. PB did indeed get more time than originally scheduled. A year or so.
2. PB admited that they´ve made serious mistakes. The project was simply way too big for them.
3. It was mentioned in both the GameStar and PC Games wrap up articles, with PB as source and undisputed by JoWooD, that PB at least (!) paid the last couple of patches out of their own pockets. Both mags used different expressions. It´s even possible PB paid for all patches.

Acleacius July 27th, 2007 14:11

I have no doubt what so ever I will buy PB's next game and with 99.9% accuracy never buy another "former publisher" product, ever. :)

The only Dev I have ever heard of that made a full patch and orginised the soruce code to release for free is Nihilistic, for Redemption, and the crowd goes wild! :standing ovation: :)

Edit
Dhruin
"As a side issue, I've been interested to see several programmers come out over the last couple of months and essentially say they program in their own time to finish/fix assignments."

I can't speak for your examples but often times if that is the case, at least here in the US, they had a contract, that included, say for example the program and 1 year of maintence.

Edit
Gorath
"PB at least (!) paid the last couple of patches out of their own pockets. Both mags used different expressions. It´s even possible PB paid for all patches."

Wow, those guys never cease to amaze me., now I know of 2 Devs that are damn dedicated to their works. :standing ovation: :)

Alrik Fassbauer July 27th, 2007 16:04

Oh, nice, any new news about PB, and promptly a new discussion on G3 pops up …

I just wanted to add the the German magazine I think it was PC Games tested the "Gold Master" or so, but found just too many bugs so that they just couldn't believe that this bug-infested copy was actually meant to be a "Gold Master" !

They demanded fixing the most bugs, which was actually done, and THEN the "real" Gold Master went out !

Gryniaris July 27th, 2007 16:34

Only 2 simple facts.
1. PB was working in Milestones. To be paid must have the gold status of the game. So they rush the game out to take money. They are guilty for that period !!
2. Jowood is well known for forcing the devs to rush their games out. He take the money for the well-sold G3-mess and have to pay for the rest, but he took the honey and he snap his finger at his costumers…you know were :biggrin:
So they both scre.. us.
The next time I will personally, taste the sweet before the payment, for both of them..:greengrin:

BillSeurer July 27th, 2007 17:40

The above descirptions of "what happened" are pretty funny given that no one but he principles really know and neither is going to tell the full truth.

From 25 years of work in software development this is the usual scenario:

Guy with idea (gwi) meets guy with money (gwm)…

gwi: Hi! I have this great idea for this new software. (describes it)
gwm: Interesting. How much money and how long do you need?
gwi: Uhh, err, 5 years and, ummm, 5 million dollars?
gmm: That's too long and too much money. Do it in 3 years and 3 million and I'll pay.
(gwi and gwm go back and forth a bit)
gwm: OK, we've settled on 4 years and 4 million.
…4 years later…
gwm: Time's up! Where's the software?
gwi: Wait! Wait! We're not done yet. This is a lot harder than we thought!! We need 9 more months and another million.
gwm: Argh! You have 3 months and 1/2 million. Get it done.
gwi: Sigh. Ok.
…3 months later…
gwm: Well?
gwi: We're almost done. We just need another 3 months!
gwm: Time's up for real, ship what you have. We spent 3.5 million on this already.

The problem is that when doing something really new developers and publishers really have no idea how long it will take. Toward the end you run into Mythical Man Month problems (adding more people to a late software project tends to make things worse). The developers will always want more time. Years more. The publishers have sunk a lot of money into this thing and want some payback. Now. Neither one is more guilty than the other.

This is another reason that publishers like to milk an existing franchise. It's a lot easier to predict the cost (time and $$$) for something that you are already familiar with.

Squeek July 27th, 2007 18:16

25 years is a lot of years to have been developing software, Bill, so OK, you definitely know what you're talking about. And that makes perfect sense.

That needs to change, though. Really. Quality should be a concern to both of those guys from the start. I don't have any specific ideas, myself, but maybe you software industry veterans can come up with something!


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