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Default Bioware's Stanley Woo on the rushed dev cycle

March 16th, 2011, 16:25
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
As far as expansions go, I thought it was solid, and, unless you're under the effects of some powerful hallucinogens, I don't see how you extrapolate DA2 from it…
It's a reference to DocNarrative's earlier post.
Yeah, Awakening did not sell well on consoles from what I understand. That probably solidified the new direction in DA2.
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March 16th, 2011, 16:28
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not at all sure that EA is responsible.

More like the merging of the EA norm with Bio management.

I think the doctors want to be rockstars - and EA just wants to be EA
And here I thought doctors were supposed to be smart…
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March 16th, 2011, 16:37
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
It's a reference to DocNarrative's earlier post.
Got it. Should have guessed it was due to sales. I must be slipping.
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March 16th, 2011, 18:29
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Imo, I think a lot of people were simply burned out on Dragon Age at that time.
^This. I think maybe it's time to think about playing it now that it has been a year.
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March 16th, 2011, 20:52
Stan's comments here, and in the other thread in which I posted about DA2, it certainly seems like the Bioware devs. know something is wrong, very wrong with DA2 e.g. the direction the game, the franchise has taken. It also seems like Bioware (yes, maybe even the senior management?) need new and old gamers to protest and post criticism of the game on the Bioware forums.

As I understand it, the romance now features people, npcs, being in bed with their full armours on? To me, this clearly reads like the management in both EA and Bioware want to avoid having another Fox News incident (like the one that happened with the first Mass Effect game…)

I have no idea of many copies Awakenings sold on consoles or how many copies Awakenings sold for pc. However, I find it interesting that EA and Bioware obviously still think that console players are 16-25 year old adoloscents who have an interest in blood spatters, boobs, and fast paced action. Assasin's Creed, Heavy Rain and other console games beg to differ, I find. Console gamers today are as diverse as people playing pc games. As for Awakenings, I liked it a lot. And I don't understand why people didn't like it?

As for the Bioware devs. not beeing happy about the direction of DA2, I can surely understand it. The decision to make the game a certain way to appeal to more people, the mythical creature? that is the casual gamer. I really fear that EA, and Bioware's management have made a wrong decision here. Maybe the casual gamer, or the gamer playing Call of Duty will try the game out for about ½ an hour, or maybe 1½ hour, and then leave it. The reason, I think this will be the case is this: Call of Duty gamers will maybe? get a little bored with the story, the dialogue, the characters. I'm not that sure that Bioware's new direction with first telling the legend, then making a character, then playing it real, won't get the targeted audience, the CoD players, to quit, after the first part of the game. Time will tell, I suppose.

The above is by no means an attack on CoD players, I also play Call of Duty games sometimes; it is a really great game - in its genre. And yes, there are some similarities between the gameplay, and some (very) minor similarities between the quest or mission structure. And yes, weapons can be upgraded to, armours, too.

People, especially in a creative industry, need to be able to feel happy and great and good about their work. If they don't, they end up not working at their best, and the result will be - mediocre - at best.

However, I do understand why Bioware, (and EA) made the game the way they do. And, like I've said before, I'm thankfull for the story in this game: No secret order. No saving the world. No ancient evil. This is a story-line that has been done - to death - so many times that is now has become a story that is a mockery of itself, a kliché. That's why I like the story in DA2….

Having only played the demo, unfortunately, I really can't say anything about how the execution or design has been implemented (made) in the game. But from the demo, I played, DA2 looked like itself, and by that I mean, it looked similar to DA: Origins. And I do like the new clean interface, the new art direction, the fact that there are no skills, and the way the user interface is presented.

I'm sure, though, that DA2 would have benefitted, from another 3-6 months of development. It would have been a better game, and have received better review scores, and this in turn might mean more sales. Time will tell, though, how many copies DA2, will sell…

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March 16th, 2011, 21:31
I wonder those who really played the game and those who make deep comment on it but just played the demo. Lol well ok I haven't finish it yet, so I won't comment more.
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March 16th, 2011, 21:59
It's really not a bad game, it's just a disappointing game and the reason for that is obvious cut corners and short development time.
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March 16th, 2011, 22:07
I finished it twice already.Its disappointing. Wont go on a rant when everything has already been said three or more times. The bottom line is it was rushed to finish it.

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March 16th, 2011, 23:29
Played twice and disappointed, interesting concept. Yes some obvious point showing it's been rushed on corners. But it has also many points quite polished and I doubt a lot that fill the holes would have changed much the gameplay.

A good example is making significantly well the skills, and avoid area and dungeon reuse so making quite more area, plus adding significantly more items. I doubt a lot this could fit with 6 more month, and I doubt that just adding that (but the skills is a huge point so it's ambiguous) would really change the gameplay.

EDIT: I don't want mean they should not have put the 6 more month, they probably should have done it to avoid some of the bad review and players comments. But for me as a player, that would not change much and I don't care that those rushed corners are filled or not.
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March 16th, 2011, 23:43
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Played twice and disappointed, interesting concept. Yes some obvious point showing it's been rushed on corners. But it has also many points quite polished and I doubt a lot that fill the holes would have changed much the gameplay.

A good example is making significantly well the skills, and avoid area and dungeon reuse so making quite more area, plus adding significantly more items. I doubt a lot this could fit with 6 more month, and I doubt that just adding that (but the skills is a huge point so it's ambiguous) would really change the gameplay.

EDIT: I don't want mean they should not have put the 6 more month, they probably should have done it to avoid some of the bad review and players comments. But for me as a player, that would not change much and I don't care that those rushed corners are filled or not.
Well glad you enjoyed it. Its still disappointing in every way. Over-hyped and doesn't deliver on that epic story told over 10 years.

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March 17th, 2011, 01:18
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well glad you enjoyed it. Its still disappointing in every way. Over-hyped and doesn't deliver on that epic story told over 10 years.
You still played it two times, for me that said all behind the words.

And anyway you think that add skills back from DAO, avoid duplicated area, add more items, provide full equipments to companions, or fill any of the other clear rushed points would change your feeling? I doubt a lot.

You don't like but played two time, and the links between the liking you pretend have and the rushed elements need a quite clear explanation.
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March 19th, 2011, 16:53
Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
So why does Bioware give itself these incredibly short development cycles then? Oh, that's right. EA is calling the shots now. And next time they'll have an even shorter cycle.
As others said, fast-turn production cycles aren't inherently bad - in fact, sometimes the quest to 'do next gen' can cause more issues and lose focus, etc.

That said, this move to homogenize all games to action-based, story-driven 'cover shooters' (sometimes with swords & fireballs) with a few dialogue options and so on has seemed to succeed for EA, but they are really not doing the math very well.

Sales are dropping on games while the main console (X360) for this generation is increasing sales … and PC gaming saw a 20% worldwide increase in sales last year (19% outside of China). They are already seeing the impact of their mainstreaming efforts, and it will only get worse.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Nothing.. Awakenings was quite good actually.

Imo, I think a lot of people were simply burned out on Dragon Age at that time.
Exactly - Dragon Age is a huge game, and they were releasing DLC quests at a pretty fast pace and then a huge - and EXPENSIVE - expansion within 6 months? If I wasn't a mindless RPG whore I would have thought twice before pre-ordering!

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March 19th, 2011, 17:00
I suppose "huge expansion" is ironical, if not my comment is I don't think I ever played a so short expansion, even those of NWN1 seem to me bigger.

Other than that you are quoting general PC sells but what's behind those numbers? Organization making those numbers seem have discovered only recently there was PC digital sells. Are all games that contributed to this increase really more streamlined and console like?

I wonder why players would buy the pc version of a console like game when he could buy the version of one of the multiple consoles he owns.
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March 19th, 2011, 18:19
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
I suppose "huge expansion" is ironical, if not my comment is I don't think I ever played a so short expansion, even those of NWN1 seem to me bigger.
Think of it this way:
- Bioware has stated that Call of Duty and Farmville are actually RPGs of the type that prepare players for the sorts of games they are trying to make.
- Awakenings is longer than every game in the Halo franchise combined.
- so …

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March 19th, 2011, 18:34
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
- Bioware has stated that Call of Duty and Farmville are actually RPGs of the type that prepare players for the sorts of games they are trying to make.
Wait, stop, hold on…

Did you actually write this, or did my crazy pills kick in? You could not possibly have just put those words, in that order, into a sentence, on purpose.
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March 19th, 2011, 18:41
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
Wait, stop, hold on…

Did you actually write this, or did my crazy pills kick in? You could not possibly have just put those words, in that order, into a sentence, on purpose.
Not sure what you mean but Bioware have said this. They have also said the RPG has to evolve or it will die.
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March 19th, 2011, 18:45
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
Wait, stop, hold on…

Did you actually write this, or did my crazy pills kick in? You could not possibly have just put those words, in that order, into a sentence, on purpose.
I wrote about it here, and here is one quote from Melo:
We have data that shows there are a lot of people that enjoy playing RPGs although they won’t necessarily call them RPGs. They’ll play Fallout, Assassin’s Creed and even Call Of Duty, which have these progression elements – you’re putting points into things – but they don’t necessarily associate that as an RPG. So we think that if we expand that out we’ll attract a much bigger audience.
And another from Laidlaw:
For me, I guess, fundamentally, there are more people who are ready to play RPGs than realize it. These are people who will play FarmVille. These are people who have shot enough people in the head that they’ve leveled up in Medal of Honor. They’ve gained XP and have received awards as a result. That’s an RPG mechanic. They’ve played [Grand Theft Auto] San Andreas and they’ve run enough, and gotten buff enough, that their endurance is a higher. They’ve leveled.

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March 19th, 2011, 18:53
So…everything is an RPG…

Great.
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March 20th, 2011, 00:13
Bellow the quote, where Farmville is quoted as a RPG? It is quoted only to symbolize a lambda player.

And even in case of COD it isn't quote as a RPG, but as having some RPG element through the medal system earned through experience.

There's a huge difference between that and pretend Mark said they are RPG.

For me, I guess, fundamentally, there are more people who are ready to play RPGs than realize it. These are people who will play FarmVille. These are people who have shot enough people in the head that they’ve leveled up in Medal of Honor. They’ve gained XP and have received awards as a result. That’s an RPG mechanic. They’ve played [Grand Theft Auto] San Andreas and they’ve run enough, and gotten buff enough, that their endurance is a higher. They’ve leveled.
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March 20th, 2011, 04:05
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
There's a huge difference between that and pretend Mark said they are RPG.
Sure you can nuance the quote, but I think the shifts to Dragon Age 2 back up my opinion. This is the core Bioware attitude:
there are a lot of people that enjoy playing RPGs although they won’t necessarily call them RPGs

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