Author Topic: The EA-slagging parade  (Read 6505 times)

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Offline karajorma

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Never pre-order, never Day 1...but that aside, hasn’t this been an unusually smooth AAA (I’m not sure if AC is quite triple-A but whatever) launch? No massive day 1 patch, stable, performs well, no features delayed as DLC? You can pop in the disc/install the DL and play.

I believe that's called damning with faint praise. "Unusually this AAA game works when you buy it" indicates that most games don't.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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Offline jr2

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Hmm... @Moderators: Joystick convo split?

 

Offline General Battuta

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No

@kara: Yeah but that’s the reality these days. And I think in some ways it always has been. Myth 2 could format your hard drive if you uninstalled it from the wrong directory. A bad launch these days is at least recoverable - The Division allegedly turned into a good game, Diablo 3 was massively overhauled.

 

Offline Scotty

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Never pre-order, never Day 1...but that aside, hasn’t this been an unusually smooth AAA (I’m not sure if AC is quite triple-A but whatever) launch? No massive day 1 patch, stable, performs well, no features delayed as DLC? You can pop in the disc/install the DL and play.

I believe that's called damning with faint praise. "Unusually this AAA game works when you buy it" indicates that most games don't.

How many people have you walked through troubleshooting a newly released campaign you've worked on?  I'd wager it's more than a couple as confidently as I would that you'd still characterize them as good releases.  Of all the people in the world you'd think would be sympathetic to immediate post-release issues active modders should be toward the top of the list.

 

Offline Spoon

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How many people have you walked through troubleshooting a newly released campaign you've worked on?  I'd wager it's more than a couple as confidently as I would that you'd still characterize them as good releases.  Of all the people in the world you'd think would be sympathetic to immediate post-release issues active modders should be toward the top of the list.
Not all that many with my last release. Probably because we spend a lot of time polishing and double checking if everything worked. Something the AAA industry doesn't do because they usually got stupidly tight deadlines to meet. Probably ~80% of the launch day issues most of the AAA games have, are there by 'choice' (usually the publisher's choice). If you've got upwards to 500+ people working on a game, I don't feel like it's all that unreasonable for the customers to expect a game that is in a working and polished condition.
If you buy any other product, you wouldn't really accept it being in some half working state either.
So not really all that sympathetic tbh.
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[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline karajorma

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What Spoon said.

I mod in my spare time, for free, with a team of people who also mod in their spare time. And even then I never had any issues with Diaspora or BtRL anywhere near as large or obvious as some of the dumb **** I see in AAA games. I'm completely unsympathetic because if I can do better without the resources AAA has, then why should I allow the shoddy standards I constantly see in AAA?
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Offline Firesteel

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Spoon's right (and to karajorma's point, not having the absurd deadlines and using a well worn and very stable tech base helps a lot).

I think another, arguably bigger split between us here and the industry at large is the brain drain. Sure there are a ton of people no longer active on HLP but a lot of their knowledge is still here (though how accessible it is does vary). Compare that to the industry churn of about every 5 years and there's little institutional knowledge left at a lot of places. Furthermore, what little does stick around doesn't get taught well because the industry hates professional development.

As I was talking with someone on Twitter about, my weird part time job working with animals and kids did more to encourage professional development than a lot of the game industry ever did. All our trainings were paid (at higher rates than our regular wages iirc) and my coworker and I were able to hold multiple training sessions that we organized ourselves (with our boss's blessing).
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Offline General Battuta

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What Spoon said.

I mod in my spare time, for free, with a team of people who also mod in their spare time. And even then I never had any issues with Diaspora or BtRL anywhere near as large or obvious as some of the dumb **** I see in AAA games. I'm completely unsympathetic because if I can do better without the resources AAA has, then why should I allow the shoddy standards I constantly see in AAA?

Because you're working on a narrow scope project with a volunteer team on a fairly stable 20 year old code base with EXTREMELY good tools (FRED would make Bungie designers die of envy) and with no publisher imposed and marketing-enforced deadline, on a product that is orders of magnitude simpler?

I ain't excusing it — like I said I don't buy AAA titles day 1 — but, for example, neither BP nor Diaspora nor Wings of Dawn shipped with working netcode despite having 20 years of dev time to get the netcode right. We excuse that because we're mods. In a AAA title that would be a game killer.

 

Offline Spoon

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Poor tools, tight deadlines, unstable code bases.... Those are all issues that the industry entirely created themselves. They absolutely have the budget, manpower and talent to solve all of those issues.

Compare that to the industry churn of about every 5 years and there's little institutional knowledge left at a lot of places. Furthermore, what little does stick around doesn't get taught well because the industry hates professional development.
Also, this is entirely right. The industry is pretty amazing at just constantly reinventing the wheel.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline General Battuta

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I mean, yeah, the industry would be better if it were better. But given soaring dev costs and studios dropping left and right that's clearly not an easy thing to do.

Software as a whole is really terrible but games have it particularly bad.

 

Offline Spoon

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I don't get what point you're trying to make, though. The industry would be better if were better, yes. But until it's not, then players/customers are not allowed to complain/point out that it could and should be better or...? Developers have it rough, so it's fine and understandable that they keep having (almost entirely avoidable) terrible launch days or...?

Soaring dev costs, oh no. Imagine if the triple A industry ran out of money!
Black Ops 4 only made a measly 500 million dollars in its launch weekend. I hope activision will be okay
EA only makes like 1.7+ billion in microtransations a year. ****, I hope they can still fund development costs. Looks like money is gonna be pretty tight.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline General Battuta

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Activision is indeed cutting costs and jettisoning brands it thinks are underperforming.

 

Offline karajorma

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Because corporations usually only care about the final amount of money they make. What matters is making the most amount of money for the least amount of money spent.

 I'm sorry, but someone who made half a billion dollars on a game that cost them maybe one hundred million to make doesn't get to claim "it would have been too expensive to solve major problems with game design by spending $2m more!" Let's face facts here, the main reason for a lot of problems with the AAA market is simple greed. Many AAA games make the same sort of profit that a Hollywood blockbuster make. And Hollywood is willing to spend large amounts of money to get that. But game companies complain about poverty the entire time and then make massive profits. I'm sorry, but I don't believe it.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Please dont forget about a capitalist cooperate culture that is allegeric to actual accountability (both outside and inside the boardroom)...

... and, thanks in part to the audience, how high the big players are on technical specs rather than refinments of content etc (compare to how, say a musical, is marketed compared to a game*)

* you dont have to follow my thesis on the similarities between stage and game for that to work, I think
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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How many people have you walked through troubleshooting a newly released campaign you've worked on?  I'd wager it's more than a couple as confidently as I would that you'd still characterize them as good releases.  Of all the people in the world you'd think would be sympathetic to immediate post-release issues active modders should be toward the top of the list.
Not all that many with my last release. Probably because we spend a lot of time polishing and double checking if everything worked. Something the AAA industry doesn't do because they usually got stupidly tight deadlines to meet. Probably ~80% of the launch day issues most of the AAA games have, are there by 'choice' (usually the publisher's choice). If you've got upwards to 500+ people working on a game, I don't feel like it's all that unreasonable for the customers to expect a game that is in a working and polished condition.
If you buy any other product, you wouldn't really accept it being in some half working state either.
So not really all that sympathetic tbh.

HEAR HEAR!  Actually, that goes for pretty much every post after this one of Spoon's too.

The AAA game industry has become used to the fact that they can hype and push an unfinished, poorly tested product and still make enough money early in to recoup their expenses and generate a profit.  From there, they hope they can fix enough of the major issues that may emerge to keep sales profitable for a few months/years after.  The increase in the push for pre-orders (via digital bonuses that cost the publishers literally nothing) and the increasing amounts of DLC that reflect content that quite often should have been in game just demonstrate this.... but if they get enough hype, people fall for it anyway.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 10:42:42 pm by MP-Ryan »
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 
I wonder if successful unionisation of the games industry will change that by forcing companies to reconsider the time it takes to develop games.

 

Offline Scotty

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I don't think unionization can even happen in that industry until there aren't way more people who think they want to design games than there are jobs for people to design games.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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The star citizen fans of the world don't make it any easier.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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I don't think unionization can even happen in that industry until there aren't way more people who think they want to design games than there are jobs for people to design games.

Read up on the history of the (european) labour movement, Unions were originally build with that exact problem in mind - you known, cause originally unionisation was meant to stop the race to the bottom with the wages of unskilled labourers.
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

  
EA cashes in on the battle royale plague trend by sacrificing Titanfall on the altar of free-to-play and tossing Respawn into their slave pits.