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Default Gothic - Divorce Drama Update

May 25th, 2007, 22:55
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Okay, thanks for the explanation. I was of course paraphrasing everything.
PB announces their divorce and JoWooD hastily counters by announcing G4 and confirming that the community means everything for them and the patch will come.
I think this can be seen as "stealing the thunder", although it doesn´t really matter. It´s quite obvious both are trying to say what the fans want to hear. How much truth is in it? Everybody can form his own opinion about this.
Ah…. I get what you were trying to say now. Sorry. Your use of stealing the thunder seems appropriate to me now.
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May 25th, 2007, 22:56
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
What comes to pb, well they aren't innocent, but atleast they aren't pretending something..
What? If there is one party here that has been pretending something over the last few months then it's PB. JoWood stayed silent during all that time. They said nothing at all. But PB pretended to be working on a Gothic-related product (their "next project") and the patch simultaneously for months.
They lived in a lie - day after day after day that they posted to the WoG forums!
They are the champions of pretending and make believe.
As it turns out now, they have most likely not written a single line of Gothic III-related code since the 1.12 patch that came out around x-mas.
I'm with narpet whether anyone fucking cares or not. I'm not going to ever buy a product of PB or JoWood again. Play their games… maybe… but there's not going to be any money involved. The only thing that could change my opinion is a Gothic III patch and I don't give a fuck who funds it or who makes it or who releases it in the end.

Seriously, what gets to me is the dishonesty of PB. If they would have stepped forward at some point several months ago when they started working on their new project and said "tough shit, folks, this is a business world and there ain't gonna be no more G3 patches because no one is paying us anymore" then that would have been totally fine with me. But to pretend day after day that everything is rosy and then to drop the bomb on the community like that… well, that's just dishonest, shabby, disgusting, lame and outright gay.
Sure, there was supposedly an NDA (how convenient ) but then they should have just STFU and not pretended as if work on Gothic-related stuff and the patch was progressing as normal because it wasn't months ago already.

PB can go and eat some major as far as I am concerned.
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May 26th, 2007, 01:04
I think some people need to calm down. PB screwed gothic 3, well, atleast it didn't turn out to be what they wanted, but hey, everybody makes mistakes. They have proven before that they are good game devs (though they do have to comunicate more with english speaking forums), and I'm sure their next game will be great. I would recomand PB to release demo much before they release game itself, so if it's really good and bug-free, people can see that.
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May 26th, 2007, 02:12
narpet, I agree with almost everything you posted. The best message you can send is to immediately return a terribly buggy game. Not buyingis something the publisher cannot address correctly. Returning creates costs. Massive returns makes the retailers unhappy. Which makes the publisher think twice about shipping crap again.



Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
So PB has been working on Gothic 4? They intended to release a massive patch for the third game using the stuff for the fourth game, including a new game engine? Well, that actually does make sense, and it's worked out well with other games in the past.

Still, that's not the same as working on a patch. Not exactly.
As I understand it they assumed JoWooD wouldn´t have agreed to a massive patch alone. Thus the budgeting as part of the next project. Implementing everything in G3 and then doing it again for G4 would have been double work. The other way around they would have developed G4 and just ported the updated features over. Then a few weeks of cosmetic changes like floating trees and the patch would have been ready without many costs.
What they didn´t understand early enough is that JoWooD wants to go multiplatform and low budget. They don´t want a PC-only G4 with an updated Genome engine.

I suppose they will just have to put that development work toward the new project. Otherwise it all goes down the drain since they're not doing Gothic 4 after all. What else can they do? That sounds like their best option.
I suppose they tried to stay as flexible as possible with the stuff they did during the negotiations. Now they´ll sustomize it for a new IP. PB posted their new project would be "back to the roots". Smaller, deeper, closer to Gothic 1.
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May 26th, 2007, 02:49
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
What they didn´t understand early enough is that JoWooD wants to go multiplatform and low budget. They don´t want a PC-only G4 with an updated Genome engine.
That's right but it seems to me like PB themselves did not want to continue using Genome either. As Mike from PB said in that post today… "This 'return to old virtues' would -according to our estimates- not have been possible with the technology behind our latest project [Gothic III]".
In other words, they realized that Genome is a POS and that they needed to drop it ASAP. Sorry to use this graphic example but I think it's a pretty accurate picture: PB kind of shit in their own bed and then realized that the smell isn't pretty and that it would be a good idea to change the sheets .
The big problem they were facing: How do you sell the idea of an engine rewrite (time-consuming, possible delays, high risks etc) to your publisher who has just funded one technology (Genome) for the past three years. I'm sure that Genome was originally supposed to last for a while. JoWood probably expected at least one add-on and one sequel and PB probably did, too, originally… before they realized -too late- that they were digging their own grave with Genome.
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May 26th, 2007, 03:06
That´s not the way I understand it. I think PB decided to upgrade Genome. More features to add hand-made content, more flexibility, better and more comfortable tools, optimized workflow, more speed.
If they couldn´t finish one engine in 3 years how could they write a new one in 6 months? I remember at the presentation in the Audimax of the Bochum Uni PB repeatedly talked about generated content as the solution to rising development complexity (they probably meant "costs" but wanted to avoid to talk about money). Genome was created with the idea of generated content in a simulated world in mind. It turned out such technology is not understood yet.
Do you remember what a buggy mess Gothic was and how much bigger G2 was, on a higher content niveau? I think that´s where they are now. The technology is ready to produce a great game quickly.
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May 26th, 2007, 03:41
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
That´s not the way I understand it. I think PB decided to upgrade Genome. More features to add hand-made content, more flexibility, better and more comfortable tools, optimized workflow, more speed.
If they couldn´t finish one engine in 3 years how could they write a new one in 6 months?
Well, maybe they stopped dancing with the (swamp) weed and actually concentrated on what the hell they were doing for a change?
Well, seriously, I don't think that it is completely impossible to write at least the skeleton for a new engine in 6 months. As Mike said, they "set the course" for the new project over the last few months. But he also said that the new game exists "only in their heads" at the time. Slightly conflicting statements. Do they really have anything tangible (updated Genome or skeleton of a new engine?) or just a concept? Who knows?

I remember at the presentation in the Audimax of the Bochum Uni PB repeatedly talked about generated content as the solution to rising development complexity (they probably meant "costs" but wanted to avoid to talk about money). Genome was created with the idea of generated content in a simulated world in mind. It turned out such technology is not understood yet.
*must resist more jokes about (swamp) weed usage*

Do you remember what a buggy mess Gothic was and how much bigger G2 was, on a higher content niveau? I think that´s where they are now. The technology is ready to produce a great game quickly.
Yes, I remember that but I don't think that the situation can be compared. If everything that we have heard about the engine is true then it is a nine-headed hydra monster. Remember how they were talking about the need for 12 hour+ compiler runs for every new build/version of the world? And how that turned bug fixing into a living nightmare since you could never just make a quick change and check for the results but always needed to do a full compilation run? And all the posts where -especially- Ralf from PB explained why the engine couldn't do females very well and why it couldn't render hair very well and why it didn't support more detailed models and why it didn't/couldn't do this or that etc?
All of that always sounded to me like the engine was fundamentally flawed in every possible way. A beast that just can not be controlled.
Gothic I on the other hand never had any fundamental flaws. It mostly had the usual scripting bugs where some quest/world triggers wouldn't work correctly but it never seemed to be messed up at its very core like G3 does.

That is why I believe that they dumped Genome and began to develop a new engine. PB has been emphasizing "back to the roots" repeatedly over the last few weeks. It would almost seem more likely to me that they pulled the Gothic II engine out of the archives and made a plan how to merge it with the good and useable stuff of the Genome engine or -yeah- maybe they just built a skeleton for a new engine from all of their combined past experience and are now showing it to publishers to secure funding for a project based on this all new tech.
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May 26th, 2007, 07:49
I believe they have a *new* engine because Jowood has the rights for the *old* genome engine.

-> the new engine must be an improved genome engine with a new name.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 26th, 2007, 08:39
Well there's no way they're creating a new engine and making a new Gothic game in only 6 months, that isn't realistically possible.

It's possible they're going to license an existing engine.
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May 26th, 2007, 10:44
jowood are a bunch of somethings. first the spellforce franchise and now the beloved gothic. well since pirahna bytes has the talent not them i can hope for the best. personally i would die to see them create a futuristic game. heck they could even create a cool hybrid like a modern/futuristic arcanum where magic and technology fuse. gothic has always reminded me of the movie no escape and i wouldn't see why they don't try something like that.
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May 26th, 2007, 11:54
I still don't understand why PB is working on a new engine already.

Wasn't the engine one of the reasons why Gothic 3 had so many bufgs and was delayed after all ?

I'm a bit confused now.
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May 26th, 2007, 14:27
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Wow…

Moe's really falling to the Codex side of gaming. Should we schedule an intervention, or Darth Maul him and dump the bits down the nearest conveniently-placed bottomless bit?

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Roof and doorway, block and beam,
chase the Trickster from our dream.
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May 26th, 2007, 14:38
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I still don't understand why PB is working on a new engine already.

Wasn't the engine one of the reasons why Gothic 3 had so many bufgs and was delayed after all ?

I'm a bit confused now.
Perfect world of programming: You build an experimental version of the software, get it working, and find out all of the complications that get in the way of making things work the way you want. The more complex the software (and Genome looks mighty complex), the more of a mess that experimental software will be. Then you completely rebuild that software from the ground up, and do it faster than it took to make the experimental version.

Real world of programming: You build the experimental version, and schedules and the management dictate that you ship the horrible, buggy mess instead of spending another 1+ year to rebuild the whole thing from the ground up like you want. Then you do the complete rebuild for the 2.0 version, which still has problems, only not so severe. That's why most non-game software doesn't hit their stride until you see the 3.0 version (or at least a fully patched up 2.0 version).

Gothic 3 was the experimental mess that PB and JW had to ship. Taking everything they learned there, they should be able to create a whole new engine that has the same complexity as Genome, but it will be faster, stabler, and doesn't demand 2 GB of RAM (or maybe it will, since it probably won't ship for 3+ years).

Observation: It sounds like lots of people are interpreting PB's "return to our roots" remark as them saying they're going to create a new engine on the same technical/graphical level of G1 & 2. They won't. It will be Genome 2.0.

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May 26th, 2007, 16:54
Originally Posted by Stanza View Post
Perfect world of programming: You build an experimental version of the software, get it working, and find out all of the complications that get in the way of making things work the way you want. The more complex the software (and Genome looks mighty complex), the more of a mess that experimental software will be. Then you completely rebuild that software from the ground up, and do it faster than it took to make the experimental version.

Real world of programming: You build the experimental version, and schedules and the management dictate that you ship the horrible, buggy mess instead of spending another 1+ year to rebuild the whole thing from the ground up like you want. Then you do the complete rebuild for the 2.0 version, which still has problems, only not so severe. That's why most non-game software doesn't hit their stride until you see the 3.0 version (or at least a fully patched up 2.0 version).
I don't know if you're a programmer, but that's not the real world. In the real world, rebuilding the whole code from scratch is NOT a good idea. In the real world, programmers invent new bugs with every new software, so rebuilding doesn't save you any time at all. Bugfixing the so-called "experimental version" (whatever that is) is the right way.
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May 26th, 2007, 18:11
It's not a universal rule either way. Sometimes you have to rebuild from scratch, sometimes it's better to fix what you have. It's very easy to tell which is which, but unfortunately only after the project is finished. The tricky bit is making the right decision at the start of the cycle.

I know, because I've been involved in projects with all of the four possible outcomes (rewrite/should have fixed, fix/should have rewritten, rewrite/right decision, fix/right decision).

Thing is, you don't always introduce new bugs when rewriting. A good team will learn from its mistakes, not only at the code level but also at the process and practices level. That means that by the third time around it will have adopted working practices that yield code that's much, much higher quality than the first time around, and will be able to produce it a good deal faster too.

The upshot is that… software only really hits its stride when it hits 3.0, whether it's done by fixing or rewriting. If you have some really experienced people on board, you might be able to get there by 2.5 or (gasp!) by 2.0. Even if your team is all veterans, version 1.0 will be as much about them coming up with a way of making their respective ways of doing things work together as producing code.
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May 26th, 2007, 23:32
I am a programmer. I spend all of my time taking 3rd party hardware and integrating it into existing software security systems, so I do tend to forget that there are programmers out there in the world who get to have the blissful experience of writing all of their own code.

Dealing with hardware is the worst-case scenario, since you have to work around all problems in the control software, and all of the limitations/warts/brain-damaged-design in the hardware. It's not until you've completely implemented everything and gone through extensive SQA until you really have enough grasp of all the problems, mapped out all of the incompatibilities, and are ready to sit down and design a more efficient and robust control system. Only you can't, since you need to ship what you already have.

The best cases aren't that bad. The worst… Well, suffice to say, those make me contemplate getting a frontal lobotomy and finding a job writing database software or something else where there is nothing new under the sun.

The Genome engine tries to push state-of-the-art graphics, across multiple generations of graphics cards and system specs, using the latest features of DX 9 that are inconsistently supported across all of those systems and add-in cards. PB should have been able to leverage their experience from G1 & 2 for inventory, dialog, world, and other "standard" gaming systems. But the renderer was whole new tech, and deals directly with hardware, making it exactly the kind of system that demands a throw-away development phase for you to figure out how to do things the right way. It's also the part that is the most make-or-break component in whether the game even can run on someone's system.

And confound it, you're making me sound like I'm defending PB instead of trying to provide a helpful answer to a question.

And beyond that, can you imagine how boring this side discussion must be to non-programmers?

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May 27th, 2007, 00:36
In my opinion, I just thought about the time-consuming factor.

Wouldn't it be more time-.consuming to build an all-new engine instead of fixing the old one - supposed it can be fixed after all ?
(I fear this might be another question … - Is it even fixable ? I mean the G3 engine.)
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May 27th, 2007, 00:42
Originally Posted by Stanza View Post
Wow…

Moe's[sic] really falling to the Codex side of gaming. Should we schedule an intervention, or Darth Maul him and dump the bits down the nearest conveniently-placed bottomless bit?
… hey, it's not my fault that they got this 'poo' emoticon here . I was looking for a vomiting one but that doesn't seem to exist, unfortunately.
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May 27th, 2007, 00:54
Wow, Mo as a closet Codexer!! What an incredible thought!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 27th, 2007, 01:12
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Wow, Mo as a closet Codexer!! What an incredible thought!!
You're making me desire a proper vomit smiley more and more .
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