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Default Mass Effect - New PC Patch Coming

February 2nd, 2009, 16:00
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
That's what sets Troika apart from the likes of BioWare and Bethesda, to which the business consideration - for me as a consumer - is so irrelevant it's not even funny.
But it is still a consideration or Troika would still be around hawking their wares. I understand where you going with this, but how would make a rpg you're proud of and keep your company afloat in today's market?

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February 2nd, 2009, 16:59
Originally Posted by Korplem View Post
I don't think they ever claimed the DLC would "bridge" the games together. IIRC the only thing they claimed was that it would introduce the bataarians.
Hmm, what do you make of this - While we've heard in the past that BioWare intends to support Mass Effect with release of "premium" downloadable Xbox Live content, speaking at GDC on the future of digital distribution, Muzyka elaborated, "With Mass Effect, the 360 game, we're planning on extensive post-release content bridging between storylines, bridging the gap between products".

Pretty straightforward, no? Moving along with some slightly less direct examples …

There's this - Ray Muzyka: "It has to be a really satisfying, climactic conclusion to the main game, but then there has to more beyond that for the second or third game. And also the episodic content between installments. Post-release content, we’re planning that as well."

There's this - “We’re doing a lot of post-release downloadable content on all of our PC titles going forward,” said BioWare co-CEO Ray Muzyka to me last week. “We think it’s a good thing to encourage players to make them want to buy a PC title. That’s ultimately the best, most successful path to prevent piracy — to have players that want your games, want to believe in them and think they’re high-quality and realize they’re going to get a lot of value out of them as platforms for long time afterwards.” Muzyka said “Dragon Age” — to be revealed tomorrow — will join “Mass Effect” as a BioWare game supported long after launch with new content.

In a similar vein is this - "…we have big plans afoot at BioWare for post-release and episodic content for upcoming cool BioWare games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Jade Empire: Special Edition and other upcoming BioWare titles, both on console and PC", BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka divulged in an interview with CVG which we'll be publishing shortly.

While those latter quotes are not direct promises, they strongly imply more than one bridge episode between primary ME installments.

So does this - Zeschuk: We see things like episodic game play, new forms of digital distribution. EA is embracing those things.

There's also this - "Now BioWare, based in Edmonton, is ditching George's franchise for its own epic space opera, which will have episodic interludes available for download in between the three major releases."

That one is not a direct quote from a Bioployee, but the writer certainly got the notion from somewhere.

Likewise with this - However, players should be prepared to take the game online, where they'll find downloadable content that will amount to stories designed to move the first game's themes of revenge over plot.

Another example of the phenomenon is this - In addition to plans for two sequels to complete a trilogy, BioWare plans to release episodic content via Xbox Live to fill in the story between each game, though these episodes are not essential for understanding the main plot line.

Now, apart from Muzyka saying it both directly and indirectly, how did so many outlets hear the wrong thing? I think at least one person in BioPR at the very least must have been communicating what generally was a pro-episodic company meme.

So I think there's no doubt more DLC was planned, and specifically as a bridge, but Bio just didn't or couldn't get to it. It's only in certain more recent articles that Bio begins to backpedal on the statements about DLC being both "bridgey" and plentiful.
Last edited by Penny; February 2nd, 2009 at 17:21. Reason: Fixed typos.
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February 2nd, 2009, 17:06
Originally Posted by Essaliad View Post
No, no. Then you are the one who's confused—or else delusional.

(Although, when it comes to cheap low-quality ice-cream, vanilla and chocolate are indeed not much different: both are too sweet, unpleasant, and leave a bad aftertaste in your mouth. In fact, why, you are describing Bioware's games perfectly!)
Of course, that would explain why they are so popular here, and in general. I guess that's also why you keep playing them.
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February 2nd, 2009, 17:09
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Also, War and Peace - when we honestly get down to it - is really, really boring, and ends with meandering and meaningless diatribes about the nature of historical progress. I dunno, it seems like an apt comparison.
You think? I kinda liked it, especially the meanderings and diatribes. I thought it was like one of those huge neoclassicist canvases depicting the Triumph of Victory or whatever, full of all kinds of shit going on that you can keep looking at for hours. Or like Bruckner's Sixth. You can just get happily lost in it.

That's the same reason I like to read really obsessive forum threads too, like a few here recently. The full human condition in all its g(l)ory.
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February 2nd, 2009, 17:37
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
You think? I kinda liked it, especially the meanderings and diatribes. I thought it was like one of those huge neoclassicist canvases depicting the Triumph of Victory or whatever, full of all kinds of shit going on that you can keep looking at for hours. Or like Bruckner's Sixth. You can just get happily lost in it.
Maybe if you look at it that way. Tolstoy obviously had some major megalomania issues, and while that would become more blatant later in his self-invented variation of Christianity, it did shine through in War & Peace's later bits. I thought Anna Karenina was a superior novel to begin with, but War & Peace is definitely brought down by the ranting. I mean, even if you can appreciate it an sich - I can't, you can - it is so wildly inappropriate to not just put in a book but actually repeat over and over the last 5 or 6 chapters…the mind boggles.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
But it is still a consideration or Troika would still be around hawking their wares. I understand where you going with this, but how would make a rpg you're proud of and keep your company afloat in today's market?
I don't know, that's why I specifically said from a consumer perspective. I get where BioWare and Bethesda are coming from, obviously, Bethesda is swimming in gold-plated tubs filled with cash by now, great for them. But as a consumer, I'd rather have on Troika than Bethesda and BioWare put together. There's more value for me in the three Troika games than in all Bethesda and BioWare releases put together. Then again, I think I dislike the Bees more than most, but still - what do you prefer as a consumer, a developer that gets you a few brilliant potshots (ignore the bugs for a moment) like Troika or a relentless IP-gobbler monophilosophy developer like Bethesda that you will never get rid of? Choice is easy for me, but that might well just be me.

As for the keep afloat question, I don't think that's feasible until the gaming industry restructures. Look at it this way: Microsoft just effectively closed down Ensemble, other than a small group rounding up Halo Wars. Not because Ensemble was leaking money, but because they weren't making enough money fast enough. Same for Troika - longterm sales are meaningless. The industry is structured for big-time AAA hits like BioWare makes, 25+ million USD budgets that need to sell a million copies just to break even.

It's kind of odd that in structural diversification, the gaming industry has regressed since the days of BIS. Interplay's eventual demise was unrelated to Interplay TSR/BIS, while the funny thing about that studio was its ability to create B-roll titles with little upper management interference that always broke even at the least. One could say it's the times that make such a thing impossible now, but when people say that they mean it's console dominance that makes it impossible, as the fee-based sales model almost automatically forces one into either extremely low development budgets or extremely high sales projections.

It's a sad state. For a good chunk it's just the way it is, for another chunk I expect it to slowly turn around as base development costs lower and the PC regains some validity as a platform. We'll see.
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February 2nd, 2009, 18:00
Originally Posted by Penny View Post
So I think there's no doubt more DLC was planned, and specifically as a bridge, but Bio just didn't or couldn't get to it. It's only in certain more recent articles that Bio begins to backpedal on the statements about DLC being both "bridgey" and plentiful.
Plans can change. Bio's situation and their options are different now. Maybe they decided their resources are better spent on other projects.
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February 2nd, 2009, 18:04
Originally Posted by Stormwaltz View Post
But let's play devil's advocate for a moment. Suppose they were vehemently opposed to the buyout. Would you expect them to issue a press release saying "Yeah, we're pretty bummed about this, and though we expect the worst, we're going to hope for the best?" That sort of high school passive-aggressive stuff doesn't fly in the business world. Under EA - a publicly traded company - saying something like that would directly affect the perceived value of the company's stock. That would be, as they say, "legally actionable" by EA.
No, of course I don't expect that. I may not have inside information, but I'm not blind to politics - though I despise the concept.

I'm just saying their attitude was such that I honestly thought it was completely amiable and that they made the deal gladly.

If this was forced upon them, I'd expect a somewhat less enthusiastic and more neutral disposition. Something which didn't inspire legal action, without misleading the audience - intentionally or unintentionally.

The funny thing is, I personally see what you call the "downward slide" (and I call "streamlining") as starting with NWN. But I'm a real old school RPG'er. I sit on my porch with a cane and a C64 shouting about the kids these days and their fancy-schmancy Fallout 2. In my day, we had Wasteland, and we loved it!
I started gaming in '81 - so I'm right there with you. Though I think the first CRPG I fell in love with was Bard's Tale.

Anyway, streamlining is a tricky word because it's not necessarily what I'm talking about. It really depends on the motive for the process. If you're streamlining to improve the GAME - then that's great and there are countless examples of that being successful, like the WASD movement scheme made mouse/keyboard the number one way of controlling first person perspective games.

However, if you streamline to improve SALES - then that's not necessarily a good thing for the GAME.

Kidding aside, after every game, BW - like most companies - does a post-mortem to judge what did and didn't work. Over time, those have focused us down to a few key "pillars" and strong points that we focus on. You can Google to see how much of that is in the public domain. If something's confidential, I don't want to take the rap for spilling it. Obviously, a relatively linear, story-driven plot with Luke/Han/Vader dialogue trees are a big part of it. Bethesda does non-linear, story-light worlds, Square-Enix does (by my personal standards) animated films interrupted by turn-based strategy games. We're somewhere between the two.
I don't think it's fair to call Elderscrolls games story-light. They do have a lot of story actually. In my mind, it would be more accurate to call them story-poor or writing-crap, because they're simply not good writers.

Anyway, I understand and appreciate that process. However, I don't think I understand why you had to simplify and "do away" with deep and interesting RPG mechanics just because you dumped or lost the D&D license. Your strengths are clear enough - but to forget such essential basic appeals of the typical RPG was a bad judgement call from where I'm sitting. It might not be a problem for the casual gamer - but for passionate gamers, it's really sad that Jade Empire and Mass Effect have such ridiculously boring and simple mechanics underneath the production values. At least, that's what I think.

My point is that the games we make today are a result of that post-mortem winnowing process, focusing down on what made the game unique and successful. When I first played KotOR and NWN (before I worked here) I was surprised at just how structurally simple they were. Like I said, I've been playing these games for 20 years. I hesitated to open locked doors in KotOR because I still expected that 10 hours down the road, that decision could bite me in the butt
.

I'm not sure I agree that NWN was structurally simple. In terms of campaign and story presentation - sure - but in terms of overall technical flexibility and complexity it's FAR beyond Baldur's Gate. The fact that it's a huge CRPG with both cooperative/competitive multiplayer, as well as a deep construction set with an added DM mode is simply amazing. I think that's one hell of a structural step forward over Baldur's Gate - which with its Infinity Engine never handled multiplayer that well. But it DID have a much superior campaign - but I don't relate that to structural superiority.

KoTOR, though, I agree with to an extent. It's obviously compromised to fit the Xbox format and perceived audience. But I still think the quality of the D&D rules implementation and the overall setting and story/NPCs was of the usual high Bioware standard. Much better story than JE/ME anyway, in my opinion.

For as long as I've been here, BioWare's mandate has been to make huge, "event" triple-A titles - we don't do "The Lady With the Dog," we do "War and Peace." (Sonic Chronicles was a first experiment with
Yeah, but you don't really need to insist on that mandate if you can't improve your games along with it. At least I don't think so.

The BW that made the Baldur's Gates was about 50 people in a run-down building infamous for its lack of air conditioning or functioning toilets. Today's BW is ten times that size, with offices in Edmonton (3.5 stories of an office tower), Austin, and Montreal - the last a small satellite studio that hires local talent to make game cinematics for the other two offices. Just think about that. We have an entire office that only produces cutscenes. That's how expensive and complicated it is to make a story-driven triple-A title for today's gamers.
My point is that Bioware never HAD to get that big, and you don't HAVE to focus on a few mega titles - you could instead adapt to smaller markets and make greater games with more modest production values. Not every game MUST look like a Hollywood movie. The investment just needs to match the potential market.

Thus there's a spiral; as games become more expensive to make, each one has to sell more to break even, so they have to appeal to a broader population of gamers, so they have to lose some of their nichier accouterments. This isn't just the case with RPGs; you can see a trend of "consolization" (as some have called it) across all genres.
Yeah, that's the crappy and unnecessary spiral I'm talking about. It's only necessary in the minds of greedy people. There's no rule that says you MUST invest big and earn big. Invest small and earn small is a possibility as well. If you have a huge team, then spread it out a bit more perhaps. I think it's a dangerous loop of greed that can only end badly in the end - to hunt for the ever more aesthetically pleasing and impressive game that gets more and more hollow over time. You're forgetting basics and you're trying to make games into something they never really should be - aka movies. Games are unique and in my opinion should keep to their strengths. Mass Effect is much more like a movie, which is why so many people like it. People like movies, true, but we already have movies - why convert games to that format? That's ignoring the strengths of games which go beyond merely "interacting". The same thing is happening with so many games these days, like Bioshock which was also highly praised. Why? It's a great movie but nothing but a mediocre game that failed to live up to the shock legacy.

The irony is that these movie elements are responsible for a HUGE amount of the costs associated with making these AAA games. You never needed that big a market - you just got more and more greedy and now you need fans from all over the entertainment spectrum to cover your investments.

Note, that when I say "you" I don't mean you personally. I'm talking about the general attitude of the big shot developers like Bioware.

You could make the argument that BW made the wrong choice a long time back. That instead of making "event" RPGs, it should have continued to make titles designed exclusively for the RPG niche, like Black Isle and Troika did. You see the likely outcome of that option just from the studio names. (EDIT: Which Should not be interpreted as disrespect of those guys - I still have Fallout, Fallout 2, Arcanum, and Vampire: Bloodlines installed on my home machine.) At any rate, it's been too late to do that for many moons.
Something like that - but let's not oversimplify and think of mass market versus niche. Something like The Witcher proves there's a reasonable big middle-market for deep and rich gameplay.

I don't know if this necessarily answers your questions. Anyway, as my sig notes, I don't speak for the company. This is all just my own musings.
I know I will never get a straight answer and I understand why - so no worries. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain some of this to a random whiny ex-fan. Few people would bother, so I thank you.
Last edited by DArtagnan; February 2nd, 2009 at 18:18.
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February 2nd, 2009, 18:30
You're personifying a company again. I can't imagine that things are that easy. If BioWare had targeted smaller audience, I'm afraid they'd end up in a coffin like many before them. Because, you see, those smaller audiences have only become even smaller over time. What you'd end up with would be more along the lines of what you find with current indie developers, quality-wise.
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February 2nd, 2009, 19:02
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
You're personifying a company again. I can't imagine that things are that easy. If BioWare had targeted smaller audience, I'm afraid they'd end up in a coffin like many before them. Because, you see, those smaller audiences have only become even smaller over time. What you'd end up with would be more along the lines of what you find with current indie developers, quality-wise.
I'm not personifying a company.

It's simple logic and it's been true for many generations, and it's not just about the gaming industry. It's about the human obsession of bigger = better.

People can apparently only think in terms of black and white, huge and tiny.

There are middle-markets of all sizes.

As I said, look at The Witcher if you need an example of a middle-market success.

The PC audience has grown immensely and most of it is casual, but there are still hundreds of thousands of hardcore gamers. Games don't get more expensive to make all by themselves. Human beings are making that happen by competing with the Hollywood industry and believing they MUST outdo themselves in terms of production values.

But it IS possible to make a good looking game without going overboard, and you don't NEED the mass market to make a profit. You just have to contend with not being incredibly flashy and super popular and apparently that's hard to let go.

That's what I'm trying to say and the only thing preventing the big shots from going that way is nothing but themselves.

You wouldn't end up with indie production values and the reason that's what you're thinking is once again the black/white mindset. Think back to the 90s when developers were still passionate about evolving genres and they were able to contend with minor "hits" because there were fewer gamers, but they were also more demanding. That kind of game is unthinkable now, because people are so saturated with this lie that everything has to be so big and expensive. But you know what, those people playing System Shock, X-Com, Master of Orion, and so on are STILL here - and maybe even more have joined us. You don't HAVE to invest more today - because you didn't back then. But don't forget games weren't cheap back then either, and they won't be today.

However, I never said it was simple or easy - but that it's a choice. Now, it's too late because they're in the pockets of business men and they got there by following this "let's get big" mindset that is so prevalent in capitalistic society. Today, all the big boy publishers are on the hunt for smash hits or weak safe bets. They don't care about the art and the only way you can change that is if you don't go jump in their pocket at the sight of more gold than you really need.

It's a basic human misconception, or at least that's what I think.
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February 2nd, 2009, 19:20
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That's what I'm trying to say and the only thing preventing the big shots from going that way is nothing but themselves.
Or maybe the big shots know more about making money than you do. If it's such a sure thing then get some investors together and do it and laugh all the way to the bank.
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February 2nd, 2009, 19:29
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Or maybe the big shots know more about making money than you do. If it's such a sure thing then get some investors together and do it and laugh all the way to the bank.
You couldn't support my point more.

This is what I'm talking about - the basic misconception.

The point is that it's NOT about making the most money. That's exactly what it's NOT about.

It's about making ENOUGH profit and focus on the games themselves, rather than how well they sell. Just make sure you stay afloat so you can keep doing what you love to do. Publishers or houses like EA wouldn't dream of that - because they're not artists - they're business men. That's why you don't want to be in their pocket AS an artist.

I'm suggesting that if you contend to make a modest profit, you CAN evolve genres and make games better rather than prettier.

But that's not going to happen, because people are greedy by nature. People actually think it's more worthwhile to go for the money than the art - and they can't help but think of it as black or white. It's either no money - indie titles or big hits - AAA titles.

There's a middle-ground and you don't have to starve to walk it.
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February 2nd, 2009, 19:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You couldn't support my point more.

This is what I'm talking about - the basic misconception.

The point is that it's NOT about making the most money. That's exactly what it's NOT about.

It's about making ENOUGH profit and focus on the games themselves, rather than how well they sell. Just make sure you stay afloat so you can keep doing what you love to do. Publishers or houses like EA wouldn't dream of that - because they're not artists - they're business men. That's why you don't want to be in their pocket AS an artist.

I'm suggesting that if you contend to make a modest profit, you CAN evolve genres and make games better rather than prettier.

But that's not going to happen, because people are greedy by nature. People actually think it's more worthwhile to go for the money than the art - and they can't help but think of it as black or white. It's either no money - indie titles or big hits - AAA titles.

There's a middle-ground and you don't have to starve to walk it.
Actually thats the biggest problem of our current economy. Decent profit is never enough. No matter whether you can stay on doing what you love, no matter that company is able to offer decent and constant income to it's shareholders. Investors always expect growth and expanding. It doesn't matter where that path leads, as long as that growth happens now or atleast pretty soon. Nobody seems to think long term anymore. Short term economy decision, short term politics and short term games.
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February 2nd, 2009, 19:57
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Actually thats the biggest problem of our current economy. Decent profit is never enough. No matter whether you can stay on doing what you love, no matter that company is able to offer decent and constant income to it's shareholders. Investors always expect growth and expanding. It doesn't matter where that path leads, as long as that growth happens now or atleast pretty soon. Nobody seems to think long term anymore. Short term economy decision, short term politics and short term games.
It's unfortunate - but it's more about human nature than just how it applies to the economy. Greed is so basic and we all suffer from it - but we can learn and perhaps by destroying the gaming industry we can add a lesson to our history
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February 2nd, 2009, 20:16
I think that by considering themselves artists and small businessmen they could do much better. There are loads of small companies out there succeeding - I think that everyone forgot the 'dotcom bust' of a decade ago and still is looking for that massive IPO and buying themselves a Ferrari.

It is like music or other art - there is, and will always be, a large amount of very talented folks living paycheck to paychck making some truly great art … but for many (even some very talented folks), the lure of the rock star life is too much.

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February 2nd, 2009, 20:53
Originally Posted by Penny View Post
I agree with JDR13. You've got something else wrong. That's pretty much my system and it plays like a dream, even at very high resolutions. Maybe you should pad your RAM? It's relatively inexpensive.
You need to check the BioWare forums. There are a number of threads where people with newer DX10 simply NVidia cards cannot load the game - or have unacceptable choppy play.

My machine already has 4 gigs of ram. That's already more RAM than can be addressed under a 32 bit OS. It's a frikkin FAST gaming PC.

I appreciate the "works fine here" response and mentioned that acknowledgment in my first post. I ask you to appreciate the fact that is DOESN'T work fine here. And given the very large number of posts on their forums - I'm not the only one where the game is just not working on hardware it should run on.

Hence, they need to fix their game in the next patch.

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February 2nd, 2009, 21:07
Originally Posted by Penny View Post
As I said, look at The Witcher if you need an example of a middle-market success.
Give the significant layoffs at CDP over the past months (ca. 35% of their staff since August '08) - and the fact that they aren't paying their bills as they fall due - if CDP is your "model" of a successful developer in contrast to BioWare which has somehow made a mistake…

I think you are treading in water so deep the Marianas Trench is now several miles below your ankles.

I may not agree with every game design decision BioWare has ever made since Shattered Steel was released, but unless you are running Blizzard Entertainment, (and even then) you are in no position to suggest that BioWare as a business venture has underachieved. And you certainly are in no position to credibly suggest that BioWare has somehow made wrong or sub-optimal choices as part of its overall business plan, given that those choices have built one of the most highly regarded - and among the most valuable game studios on Planet Earth.

We have a term for that: it's called "loonie".

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; but that does not entitle you to your own facts, too.

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February 2nd, 2009, 21:22
Originally Posted by Steel_Wind View Post
Give the significant layoffs at CDP over the past months (ca. 35% of their staff since August '08) - and the fact that they aren't paying their bills as they fall due - if CDP is your "model" of a successful developer in contrast to BioWare which has somehow made a mistake…
I didn't name them as a successful developer - I said The Witcher was proof of the middle-market. It was a big hit in those terms, and nothing that's happened after is going to change that.

I think you are treading in water so deep the Marianas Trench is now several miles below your ankles.
I have no doubt that's what you think - as will all people who think money is the measure of success.

I may not agree with every game design decision BioWare has ever made since Shattered Steel was released, but unless you are running Blizzard Entertainment, (and even then) you are in no position to suggest that BioWare as a business venture has underachieved or has somehow made wrong or sub-optimal choices as part of its overall business plan as it has built one of the most highly regarded and valuable studios on Planet Earth.
One of the nice things about having a brain is that you can use it to think, and you can formulate an opinion. Whether you think about my position as worthy of having an opinion or not - isn't going to weigh heavily in my decision to word it when I feel like it.

However, I have no idea what you mean since I've never said they've underachieved or made wrong decisions according to their own goals. I can merely speak of what I personally think would have been better and how their games are inferior these days.

I hope you suffer no illusions about being able to prevent me from having an opinion, because you don't have the influence.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; but that does not entitle you to your own facts, too.
I think you're separating the two without realising they're one and the same.
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February 2nd, 2009, 21:33
Let's keep things civil. We are all reasonably intelligent enough to remember - no personal attacks.

We all like and dislike certain games, and someone else trashing a game doesn't somehow endanger our manhood (or womanhood). Likewise, we can cite our own facts and opinions, and it is very important to realize that is very rare that any one person holds majority stake in either the truth or correctness.

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February 2nd, 2009, 21:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
This is what I'm talking about - the basic misconception. The point is that it's NOT about making the most money. That's exactly what it's NOT about.

It's about making ENOUGH profit and focus on the games themselves, rather than how well they sell. Just make sure you stay afloat so you can keep doing what you love to do. Publishers or houses like EA wouldn't dream of that - because they're not artists - they're business men. That's why you don't want to be in their pocket AS an artist.
How would Pablo Picasso fit into your view of art being at odds with business, DArtagnan? The guy was a money-making machine, and to this day his art is very highly regarded.

Aren't you taking the convenient high ground of "nobody understands me due to my high level of artistic appreciation?" That's nice for you, but where does that leave everyone else? Either you're special and we're not or you're flattering yourself and we don't agree (guess which one I pick ).

The trend where video games are sacrificing some of their complexity in favor of ever-improving aesthetics is due to obvious business realities, but not just those, IMO. It's characteristic of a business environment where product direction is being driven by technology (as opposed to being market-driven).

All this talk on forums about mass markets is kinda right but mainly wrong, IMO. Product development has simply reached a point of complexity where the only ones at these companies who truly understand the state of their business are the engineers and programmers, and what we're seeing is what always happens in that situation.

The solution (and I happen to think this is valuable advice) is to restaff marketing, moving away from product/business PR types to folks who have undergraduate degrees in things like computer science and electrical engineering plus MBAs. Those are the kind of marketing managers who will be able to evaluate the competitive marketplace and see opportunities beyond what's plain to the development guys.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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February 2nd, 2009, 22:14
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Something like The Witcher proves there's a reasonable big middle-market for deep and rich gameplay.
Briefly, because I'm at work now…

I agree with you, but again, the decision to "go big" can't be unmade now. Even assuming EA would go for it (the bill of sale read "makes summer blockbusters" not "makes Sundance award winners - I switch metaphors since the last went over like a lead balloon), it would put several hundred people out of work. Ray and Greg are historically loathe to to do layoffs - those we lost in EA's across-the-board layoffs last October were BW's first layoffs in ten years of operation.

As an aside, The Witcher is not CDProjekt's main source of income. They made their fortune as an importer and translator of Western games for the East European market. CD Projekt Red - the game development studio - only started its first game (Witcher) in 2003, after 9 years of operation. They could afford to take risks, because they have an independent and reliable source of income.

Not to speculate too irresponsibly, but I hope that once BW has SWTOR subscriptions validating us, we can start doing smaller games with fewer explosions.
Last edited by Stormwaltz; February 2nd, 2009 at 22:16. Reason: clarity
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