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Default Chaos Chronicles - bitComposer Interview @ RPGCodex

August 9th, 2013, 03:19
RPGCodex has a exclusive interview with bitComposer's Board of Director Wolfgang Duhr about the legal problems of Chaos Chronicles.

Coreplay have stated that the dispute between yourself and them started in September 2012, when bitComposer failed to pay on an agreed milestone. Is this accurate? If so, then presumably you were upset or disappointed in how development had progressed - are you able to tell us anything about that particular milestone and the relationship between BitComposer and Coreplay at the time?

WD: The dispute started at the beginning of December 2012, when a Coreplay lawyer and investor presented a completely new contract, which was quite different from the original terms to which we had agreed. While Coreplay and their investors were ready to increase the budget from their side, they were not able to present a new milestone and budget plan showing the additional features they wanted to include. On the other hand, Coreplay did not match the originally scheduled milestones, and because of this uncertainty, we were not able to continue from our side – never mind the fact that such a change would have to be approved by the FFF Bayern. At that time, the Goldmaster was planned for January 2013, but the complete project was already behind schedule.​
Visit RPGCodex for the complete interview, and thanks go to Grunker for sharing the link.


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August 9th, 2013, 03:19
I can just see Wolfgang biting his lip with most of these answers. I love how he sarcastically repeats and acknowledges the insults the Codex throws at him. Nice.

Saying they didn't force a March 2013 release and only asked for an action plan for a march and/or june release is typical manager speak. That's what an executive says to the manager when he really means "I want it done or heads will roll".

Still hate bitcomposer.
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August 9th, 2013, 04:25
An interesting read. I don't think it's as easy as "evil publisher".
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August 9th, 2013, 07:21
Somebody needs to get those guys out on a golf course and playing a few rounds together…
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August 9th, 2013, 07:28
Good interview from codex.

From what I understand their new Shareholder/lawyer is to blame for this not bitComposer.

The legal injunction was necessary, as their new lawyer and shareholder had a very unusual view of the contracts we had previously entered, and Coreplay planned to finalize and release the product without our involvement.
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August 9th, 2013, 08:59
I find it strange how people can put so much energy into hating a publisher/company/whatever. Doesn't people have bigger issues in life?

When one knows next to nothing about a conflict I think it is better to ask questions, instead of spreading vitriol due to drawing quick conclusions.

Probably a complex situation, with mistakes made on all sides. Some legal and some in dealing with the conflict.

Edit: agreed on it being a good interview.
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August 9th, 2013, 10:57
Well, for the chaos chronicles part… it is rather interesting to be sure… just the fact that he accepts this interview means that he cares I guess…

Either way I just couldn't ignore this part:

For all of us, it would have been much easier to take Jagged Alliance 2 and do a 1:1 version with up to date graphics and keep the rest as it was.
Why the heck didn't you do that, in that case?
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August 9th, 2013, 10:58
A very, very interesting read and a good, as-objective-as-possible interview! Kudos, Grunker and RPG Codex! And a big thank you to bitComposer for taking their time and answering those questions (a big plus for the direct and candid way they answered, a small minus for sidestepping the Citadels question, though).

So, the plot thickens. The Evil Publisher is possibly not as evil as thought and the poor, long-suffering devs aren't possibly as innocent as they claim. To top it all, a third party enters the scene, a shady character with lawyers (those harbingers of doom and despair) who's been lingering behind the scenes and who may very possibly be the main culprit in this mess afterall. And through all this gloom, a tiny spark of light still glows, a slowly dying ember of a possibility that Chaos Chronicles might still be released. What will happen next? Only the gods of fate know…

"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
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August 9th, 2013, 11:20
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
A very, very interesting read and a good, as-objective-as-possible interview! Kudos, Grunker and RPG Codex! And a big thank you to bitComposer for taking their time and answering those questions (a big plus for the direct and candid way they answered, a small minus for sidestepping the Citadels question, though).

So, the plot thickens. The Evil Publisher is possibly not as evil as thought and the poor, long-suffering devs aren't possibly as innocent as they claim. To top it all, a third party enters the scene, a shady character with lawyers (those harbingers of doom and despair) who's been lingering behind the scenes and who may very possibly be the main culprit in this mess afterall. And through all this gloom, a tiny spark of light still glows, a slowly dying ember of a possibility that Chaos Chronicles might still be released. What will happen next? Only the gods of fate know…
Nicely written, you really make it sound like a movie… regarding the Citadels part, from what I've read.. the biggest problem is actually not that it is released in a buggy state and too early, but rather most reviews don't even see a good game beneath that. So I guess that was a choice between releasing or not releasing at all… I guess probably the best choice would've been to just can the project.. but then probably they'd get a "The evil publisher canned our project" kind of thing and no money, now they probably got a little money, and the same amount of bad reputation as if they had canned it.
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August 9th, 2013, 11:32
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Originally Posted by bitComposer
For all of us, it would have been much easier to take Jagged Alliance 2 and do a 1:1 version with up to date graphics and keep the rest as it was.
Why the heck didn't you do that, in that case?
They probably thought they could do it better and/or sell more by changing certain parts.
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August 9th, 2013, 11:54
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
They probably thought they could do it better and/or sell more by changing certain parts.
Well, I guess that proves we are not dealing with the brightest people in the industry
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August 9th, 2013, 12:36
JA 2 certainly wasn't considered a commercial success. Otherwise we would have seen a true JA 3 many years ago.
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August 9th, 2013, 12:57
Well, the sir-tech games might not have sold that well, but I guess the main problem was how long they must have taken to develop considering how complex they are.

Also JA:2 kept selling for so many years.. there are still people buying it and it is still available for sale.

If they had ( with permission ) used all the community patches, updated the graphics and changed a few things. Also perhaps add a few easy ( optional ) campaigns for beginners. I am sure they would have gotten fantastic reviews, more sales, and according to above a cheaper budget as well.
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August 9th, 2013, 14:12
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post

Why the heck didn't you do that, in that case?
For the publisher: Realtime will sell more!
For the developer: Doing a straigh remake is creatively boring!

And thus…
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August 9th, 2013, 14:13
We'll see what that Space Hulk studio does with the license.
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August 9th, 2013, 15:57
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
When one knows next to nothing about a conflict I think it is better to ask questions, instead of spreading vitriol due to drawing quick conclusions.
How dare you try to bring a cool and rational head into the internet!
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August 9th, 2013, 17:44
If I understand correctly this is likely an issue about timing. Developer seems to undertook more than it can chew. A role playing gamer knows that old school cRPGs takes time to develop. 2 or 3 years optimum. So turning a game from a simple action RPG to a complex hardcore RPG without adding extra time seems amateurish. I think devs couldn't assess this at the beginning and when finally realised that they can't finish the game all things went to hell.

I think that developer is lying and at this point game is far from completion. No one wants to throw his/her years of efforts for a near completion product.

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August 9th, 2013, 18:22
I agree - the game is likely not finished and possibly very unpolished. If that is case it would make further development hard to arrange, since I don't imagine anyone would want to fund it with legal situation up in the air.
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August 9th, 2013, 22:20
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Nicely written, you really make it sound like a movie… regarding the Citadels part, from what I've read.. the biggest problem is actually not that it is released in a buggy state and too early, but rather most reviews don't even see a good game beneath that. So I guess that was a choice between releasing or not releasing at all… I guess probably the best choice would've been to just can the project.. but then probably they'd get a "The evil publisher canned our project" kind of thing and no money, now they probably got a little money, and the same amount of bad reputation as if they had canned it.
Graphics was good. Don't know about gameplay, but the music was very off, uninspiring, boring.

Developers are horribly late / cannot accomplish milestones, not keeping their promises, which were unrealistic in the first place and naturally the publisher runs out of the planned amount of money.

Lack of talent always results in bad self-management, the team has bad reactions to interested parties/investors/publisher.

This is why bigger companies require developers to have finished games on their resume.

They were trying to win the Olympics with a mediocre team.
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August 10th, 2013, 10:46
Short Response in the Codex thread.

Peter Ohlmann (aka HobGoblin42) of Coreplay:

So, I finally found time to read this interview in full length and without hurry.

And after reading some posts, I noticed that some guys here already hit the nail with their assumptions about the reasons.

Regarding the bitComposer interview: I wouldn't say, his statements and facts are completely objectionable or untrue.

What is the difference between journalism and public relations? As PR guy, you keep the good parts and skip the negative when speaking/writing about your company.

This interview is pure PR. Not answering to questions regarding obvious negative issues (like Citadels).

Talking about our game, let's start with some quotes from the interview:

"We decided to start with Jagged Alliance first, as income from this project would ensure the additional investment we would need to do the full production of Chaos Chronicles, which started end of 2011."
"The full production of Chaos Chronicles began in 2011, based on the prototype from 2010"

First of all, it's interesting to see that he mentioned this date twice.

Some facts about Coreplay: most of our projects since 2009 have been developed in cooperation with bitComposer ('Fit For Fun', JA:BiA, JA:Crossfire, 'Chaos Chronicles').

In this time, between 10 and 12 people worked here at Coreplay - that was the whole studio.
With those people, we completed two games in the last 2 years: 'Jagged Alliance: Back in Action' and 'Jagged Alliance: Crossfire' and we started one: 'Chaos Chronicles'.

Until February 2012, we developed the game "Jagged Alliance: Back in Action" (started end of 2010).
After its release, we continued with updates, DLCs, MapPacks (Point Blank, Shades of Red) for JA:BiA until April 2012.
Until end of July 2012, we developed the add-on called "Jagged Alliance: Crossfire".

Another quote from the interview: "The only thing we asked the team was to come up with a plan for a release in January 2013 (as originally planned) [..]"

Do your math and you will see.

But at least, now we all know how PR works.

That's all information from me at the moment.
For a publisher it can make sense to throw garbage on the market. No trial version and no reviews at launch time are good indications for that. Just to get a quick buck/euro until everybody realized how bad the product actually is (STEAM definitely needs to introduce refunding). One publisher cancels crappy projects and nobody will ever hear about it, other publishers just put it on the market.

JA:BiA had a trial version and everybody could test the game before spending money (one reason why calling JA:BiA shovelware is fundamentally wrong). And that's why I would always defend JA:BiA despite all trouble with bitComposer.

But for developers (especially small studios), releasing an unfinished bugfest can be a total desaster. It ruins your biography, it ruins your team motivation and you will lose your original intention to make games at all. In many case you will lose your company or job as well.
And most important of all: as developer you invest so much energy, time and passion into a game, seeing all this work going down the toilet can be very frustrating.

I am very sorry for the devs of Citadels, no matter if the incomplete state of their game was their fault (probably) or not.
PS:
Internal side-discussion at the Codex:
Saying "Shit" without being moderated makes them a world wide unique superior forum. -> I nearly spilled my morning coffee on this one while laughing

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; August 10th, 2013 at 11:30.
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