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machinaea's Posts

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Thread PlatinumGames Ex-Creative Producer on Scalebound Revival Talks: "We had our chance. We failed."
Yeah fully agree and it sucks. The minority ruins for those people who'd be happy to have a healthy discussion even if people may lack the experience it. But unfortunately those rotten few can wreak havoc on people (and often on their mental health whether it's the dev having spent a chunk of their life on a failed project, or a community manager having to deal with something someone else started with some small comment). But yeah I also completely understand that people also would love some closure on the matter (even though I doubt its ever going to be enough) and I think they deserve it too, but it's unfortunately something I doubt is going to happen for the reasons mentioned :(Gotcha then I quite misunderstood you as well. Most developers tend to a develop a camaraderie through the trenches so I'd still guess it's a more common sadness towards the situation rather than aimed at person, but your interpretation makes complete sense when you put it that way and I wouldn't be surprised either if that was the case :)
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Thread PlatinumGames Ex-Creative Producer on Scalebound Revival Talks: "We had our chance. We failed."
Sorry, intention wasn't to lump you in the group youtuber conspiracy theorists etc. but rather just to illustrate the point that even the smallest tidbits about cancelled games or similar topics quickly tend to blow up in all sorts of directions. I for example wouldn't personally draw the same conclusion from that tweet (because of the use of "we" to me feels its a team thing, and that to me from my experience is often the case, rather than things being about any single person in any given team), but I can completely understand why you would draw the conclusion and it's nothing I wouldn't expect. I also didn't mean people are incapable of intelligent discussion, but that doesn't mean that they have the necessary experience and substance knowledge to really understand the topic in a way that they often from. Most of the time I see people with no development expertise talking about theories of why certain projects fails, why things schedules slip or crappy projects end up beign shipped, it's far off from the truth, but that doesn't mean that people are stupid or anything. It just that game productions can be very complex and I've rarely seen people jump to what I know or feel being the "right" conclusions (realistically though, for example in any given project even within the the team there are often as many opinions as there are team members). But I would certainly love to be proven wrong, but even with the vast amount of material available about game development, I no longer have much hope and rather stay away from many discussions that aim to extrapolate miniscule pieces of information.
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Thread PlatinumGames Ex-Creative Producer on Scalebound Revival Talks: "We had our chance. We failed."
I'd say it's a case of people being careful in social media and bound by NDAs and/or fear of repercussions (especially as tiny comments that often lack the full context to really get anything substantial out of). Developers do talk (read: vent) a lot about these kinds of projects to each other (over a pint), but it's a lot easier to talk with someone who understands the environment of making games and the fact you get to have actual dialogue of substance. For example I've once listened to a friend discuss a few entire hours about just a few aspects of their character pipeline that ended up being a nightmare for the entire game and its production. But those are the things people want to talk about, yet the twitter audience will not have the substance expertise to discuss and not make a whole mess out of it and then end up in the news (and have potential real life consequences thanks to youtubers making ridiculous conspiracy theories and what not. It's just a super hostile environment for developers, and most can get the satisfying and safe discussion place from each other, not the internet. EDIT: case in point:
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Thread Should CDPR do what they did with The Witcher 3 and pull the CP2077 multiplayer team off the project to help finish Cyberpunk 2077?
Producer, not a Programmer :) That again depends on so many things unknown to us, but realistically I'd wager most of the people that can help and may have been assigned to the MP would be there already (and would have been there already for a quite a while since this is just a continuation of an already existing death march and hope to finish the game asap). It just serves them to completely disregard any communication about the MP and get back to the topic when there's something a bit more concrete to say (which may be a while).
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Thread Should CDPR do what they did with The Witcher 3 and pull the CP2077 multiplayer team off the project to help finish Cyberpunk 2077?
People wouldn't know the slightest reality of said statistics (hell, most developers even after years of working in software still absolutely suck not only at estimating things, but using those estimates). Let me give you an example. There's a bug and an engineer takes a look at and estimates it to be a day to fix. After a day they come to you and say that after a days research, it actually looks like it will take about a week to fix. In the end it takes 2 weeks for the engineer to fix (). Now, that's only the work to fix the bug, but after that there's an overhead of 20 hours of building, testing etc. that's highly dependent on the overall amount of other things going around. But in the end the bug estimated to be 7,5 hours in the project tracker took 112,5 hours to fix and to get it fully confirmed it will take a lead time of 2 days (until which it can still bounce back as an invalid fix, or it may have broken other things that the developer did not have time to fix. So we're looking at: - quick estimate, the estimate was off by a magnitude of 14 - a researched estimate, that was only off by 2 (consistent number, which leads/managers can realistically work with, buffering 2x estimated time for example), but it took 7,5 hours to uncover that Now, let's try to extrapolate that single learning (of course in a real project you can get an average from more than a single bug ticket) to AAA project where you have over 5000 active bug tickets. If you are trusting "quick" estimates and average for each bug ticket is an hour, you're looking at a potential expected outcome of 5000 hrs to 70 000 hrs. You could of course also work give the team time to reserach those tickets, but that in itself takes time and the team obviously can't work on all of them at the same time. So to truly understand the amount of bugs and the estimates, you need to know exactly the types of bugs you're dealing with and their historical estimate accuracies. You have to understand who in the team can fix which bugs, how well those bugs have been researched (to know how realistic the estimates are) and a thousand other things related to getting bugs fixed and verified. So essentially to understand those statistics to any relevant degree, you kind of have to be an expert of the field and have years of experience under your belt to truly work with that, and that data has to much more granular than just a few numbers (and you need to know exactly your teams composition etc.). Sharing statistic that people realistically could not understand would more than likely only do harm (not to mention saying that "yeah we're going to have hundreds of known issues on the will not fix list"). I definitely do get why it would be really nice for that information to be more transparent if it was actually something that could be a positive thing, but unfortunately to me like so many other things in game development, the reality is so incredibly complex that without years of practice that would be used against the developers. In some forms crunch comes from people (human) inability to understand and work with these figures, even if it's their very sole purpose and responsibility in the team, and they've worked on it for 20+ years. That, I hope, is kind of telling of the complexity of the matter. (That said, it's no excuse to not do better and there absolutely are studios that are great at it and studios that simply do not do overwork unless there's fatal issue in the live game. Myself included as I've not crunched for any extended period of time for the past 4 years, and especially not my teams). And by no means do I try to convey this negatively (if at all hopefully I may have given some dubious learning to someone), the passion at which people to discuss games in itself is why a lot of people work in the industry, and make those incredible sacrifices to produce games like CP2077. EDIT: Oh and yeah, the amount of bugs active literally shifts around every day; QA is a continuos job and new tickets are added each day to a varying amount (but hopefully at a semi-interpretable cadence), and depends on the phase of production and the amount of QA resources currently working. So knowing the current bug backlog in itself is a nigh meaningless metric that should not be used.
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Thread [Gamesindustry.biz] Former Bioware GM opens up about difficulties of Frostbite engine
I've hardly heard of any really good dev experiences with CryEngine, aside from Crytek themselves (IE most studios I know that used to ship a game with it, would quickly change to something else for their next project). Not having any direct experience I only tidbits of experiences, but it certainly doesn't have the same resources behind it as other middleware these days and when visual quality is the number one marketing bullet point, it's easy to guess what pitfalls that may mean in terms of actual workflow.
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Thread 505 Games parent Digital Bros. has published its Q1 earnings release
If it was fully ineffective, the publishers would not be doing; they have a lot of analytics to work with than indie developers and having some experience from that department, if something is not ROI positive, it's going to get dropped soon. Yes, not every marketing campaign is going to work, but when it comes to marketing Dunning-Kruger effect is massive when people seem to have the idea that they know marketing a lot better than professionals who we've been working on it for a long time. You say publishers are "wasting money on marketing that has no effect" yet I see no data in front of me - but from experience I know that these publishers actually do work with said data. I've seen plenty of influencer campaigns that have also been massively effective, so one anecdote of an indie title, isn't enough for me say that it's a waste of money (and also a ton of poor influencer campaigns, it's too broad of marketing tool to say it's only good or only bad). But that said, yes marketing becomes easily ineffective and expensive if a game does not have natural traction with the audience - but that only means the concept of the game is not easily marketable / does not contain enough of an audience. But thankfully least in the case of Control it'd seem like the EGS exclusive has definitely helped a long way with covering the costs.
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Thread 505 Games parent Digital Bros. has published its Q1 earnings release
You can't market a title like that like you would a AAA-game; the marketing costs for AAA-like marketing are so high that you have to have a much better return from the game that your average boxed title can do (most AAA-games yield additional returns from MTX, so they can afford to pay a lot more more in marketing, because the average return per customer is much higher, or they can subsidize the costs by other things like moving more consoles etc.) or you have very strong brand where the advertisement is much more effective (not something that's applicable for a game like Control). I hear the "next no marketing" argument so often, but almost always it has nothing to do with the publisher not knowing their work, but the economics of the games and marketing industry these days. The advertising costs are being driven up by games that get 100-200€ back per customer, and if you aren't doing the same, you can't compete in the same advertising spaces.
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Thread Gamestop shutting down all stores in Scandinavia
Not sure if they order much stock in terms of special editions, but it does come to mind that they could fit the description:
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Thread Ray Tracing SHOULDN'T be Used for every game next gen
As others have mentioned, ray tracing the technology (input/data) should not be confused with the output or the style of the games it is currently mostly being used for. It's just producing sets of data that were previously too expensive to gather in real-time to produce effects such as accurate reflections, indirect lighting, or shadows. That doesn't mean that the data couldn't be used for stylized effects, art style or just completely different in other games. Secondly it's still not being used for the entire lighting pipeline of a modern game, so in most cases you could still easily fake the effects you mention in the original post and using ray tracing doesn't mean even close to always producing similar visual style across different games. There's incredible amount of artistry behind creating game visuals no matter what, and all ray-tracing does is give those artists more tools to produce their vision without certain limitations or spending vast amounts of the development budget on going around those limitations (and while those work-arounds are a part of the craft, removing them naturally allows people to work on other beneficial things, and crazy amounts of per scene manual setup to achieve certain effects isn't necessarily super motivating when that time could instead be used more productively).
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Thread Over 1000 people are working on Pokémon Sword & Shield, twice as much as for Sun & Moon [SEE STAFF POST]
Yeah, with enough time a lot of things would be possible, but it seems like Nintendo/GF have decided it's not worth the delay of the game and other potential implications for staff resourcing (other resources being then available for a new project while others still being dedicated to an older one can create nasty implications for the production cycles, especially when talking about lead positions).
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Thread Over 1000 people are working on Pokémon Sword & Shield, twice as much as for Sun & Moon [SEE STAFF POST]
I'm sorry but that only gets you raw models and animations, what about: - setting up processes for each external/onboarding new staff, vetting external/hiring people, speccing work , tracking it, managing it, handling feedback - designing the content (micro and macro level for gameplay, then balance, world content design to mention few, all of which all touch different design discplines and in many very vertical/hierarchical studios that means a lot of scheduling conflcits) - managing asset size allocating budget, optimization strategy depending on what the end content target is - implementing the content - validating the content - optimizing/iterating the content - other - managing and directing all of the above I completely understand why most people have the position they have, but it's very rare for most problems in game development to be solvable with just money, one of the obvious reasons being that hiring some key positions take easily 6-12 months, and it's rare for many aspects of the end product not to touch a huge, vertical slice of the team organization so just hiring "grunt work" ultimately can quickly lead to senior level people being overworked leading to the entire flow to being bottle-necked and the content then being cut anyway to meet deadlines.
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Thread LG's 2019 OLED TVs certified NVIDIA G-SYNC on 20 and 16 series. Force VRR over HDMI coming too.
I wonder what's the reason for omitting B9 out of the list, and if it might actually work anyway (at least we'll learn relatively soon). I'd be down for getting one those, but the price difference between the B9 and C9 just feels a bit too much, especially when the alternative could be to just go for a cheaper VA TV and then wait for HDMI 2.1 VRR being more of a common thing.
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Thread LG's 2019 OLED TVs certified NVIDIA G-SYNC on 20 and 16 series. Force VRR over HDMI coming too.
Ah, that's interesting, thanks for that tidbit of knowledge! Yeah, I definitely hope that the technology would be more accessible, and potentially extend to older models if possible, even if it wasn't "officially" supported for whatever reason. But, I'll keep my hopes in check, and maybe getting a B9 wouldn't still be bad idea to validate if OLED is something I am willing to pay for, as some of the stores here offer a free return within 50 days if you are just no happy with the product.
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Thread Assassin's Creed Unity, Resident Evil 6, Skyward Sword, God of War Ascension: which game hurt its franchise more (at the time of release)?
Pure amount of copies sold doesn't really matter anymore in a comparable way (at least when looking at franchises that have transformed more towards a service-like model), when they make such a huge a buck on "recurring investment" (microtransactions + DLC) and AC: Origins and later AC: Odyssey both performing exceptionally well on that front while still having great upfront sales. You can look more by crawling through their financial reports, but they all paint a picture where the franchise as whole is performing better than ever. As an example at some quarter I remember recurring revenue being ~50% of all digital revenue.
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Thread This is Playground Games' action RPG studio - St Albans House
Setting up a new studio takes a lot of time, especially the hiring part (hiring is often very slow, expensive and difficult in the games industry), as mentioned in the article they are only at 60/200 planned headcount (of course production moves regardless, but 60 isn't exactly a AAA production team yet) and that finding seniors/leads hasn't been easy, even though they have been at it for 2 years now (and if you check the careers page for the project, there's still a ton of director and lead roles that they haven't filled). 3-4 years might be the average for an established studio, but if you're looking at creating a studio from the ground-up I'd say it's much more realistic to look at 5+ years for their first game, especially if you want to do it well and not rush with hires that are available instead of getting the people you need and want.
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Thread FIA Formula One 2019 |OT| Oil Mining vs. Energy Drinks vs. Big Tobacco, pick your poison
Ah damn it, seems like Bottas is badly screwed by the SC.
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Thread FIA Formula One 2019 |OT| Oil Mining vs. Energy Drinks vs. Big Tobacco, pick your poison
What an amazing race this has been already, I hope we'll see much more of this - and of course I wouldn't mind if Bottas comes out on top in future qualis and races.
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Thread FIA Formula One 2019 |OT| Oil Mining vs. Energy Drinks vs. Big Tobacco, pick your poison
C'mon Bottas, more of this!
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Thread FIA Formula One 2019 |OT| Oil Mining vs. Energy Drinks vs. Big Tobacco, pick your poison
What a beautiful thing, had me smiling all the way. If anyone here hasn't seen it yet, the Williams documentary on Netflix is a really enjoyable piece to watch.
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Thread PC gamers: What's your GPU timeline?
I'm not exactly sure about the specific version of the first one (and definitely can't remember what came before it, even though I did have dedicated GPU before those), but out of the top of my head: GeForce FX 5600 HD5850 Radeon 270X GTX 1060 Not a super high rate of upgrades, I'm quite happy with okayish performance and then when the upgrade does come, it feeling a like a real step forward rather than a small incremental upgrade. That said, I have held on far too long with my i920, really need to update that one soon.
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Thread Retro Studios tweets job listing for an Art Director for Metroid Prime 4
Welcome to game development, 6-12 month lead times for senior/lead/director people are quite normal and just another thing that makes game development so damn difficult and expensive. There's nothing unusual about the situation, but the response here is, as you mentioned, quite telling of little people know about some of difficulties that may look crazy on the outside. And I think it was already quite unrealistic to expect them to show anything even next E3, it's not out of the question, but it would be a far faster turnaround than a normal game production, so I'm not expecting anything to be shown in year.
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Thread Revenues, Profits and Losses for AAA Games
Depends on the timeline; in this case God of War has already been for sale for -50% off but also there are editions that are more expensive, most likely in this case the final figure (revenue) is probably at least a bit less than that even accounting for the more expensive SKU.
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Thread God of War: Raising Kratos |OT| How to make a Sandwhich Part II (feature length God of War 2018 documentary)
Indeed, and I do wish a lot of people would watch this documentary if for nothing more to understand development just a little bit more, to have a bit more empathy for the people making them (even when they as product do not come out so well, critique can be fair and it allows us to grow too). Even when being blessed to have worked in environments with stable 40hr work weeks (at pretty much all times), the pressure and constant sense of doubt can easily be there. Hell, that too creates a voice in the back of your head asking whether you're doing enough, working hard enough, pushing for greatness even if you know that ultimately for the business just the cost of overworking staff does not make sense. Then of course you have post-ship depression where you think you'd finally be able to relax, but instead struggle with finding meaning before jumping back in the saddle. That said, I couldn't think of another thing currently that I'd rather spend my energy on, having gotten so much from games and being so glad to work with other amazing developers that make each challenge worth it, and are there to support when the hour seems the darkest. The doc itself was great and furthered my admiration for the amazing talent and people at SSM (which was high enough already, and I'm glad to have had the chance of talking design and production with one of them). I wish I could hug each and every person at the studio (I must admit, watching the scene where Yumi and Shannon talked about the sacrifices they'd made was difficult to watch, to say the least), but maybe and can spread some more love, around the studio you all rock! <3
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Thread Is Blizzard simply the king of animated sequences? Media Heavy (8.2 Spoilers + more)
Yup, they do a stellar job. Though, I don't think many (if any?) other studio have dedicated cinematics teams of over 200+ people and put tens of millions into their cinematics. Of course many other purely 3D studios like Blur also make fantastic cinematics, but they are more of an external movie studio that do take commisions from game developers.
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Thread Siege >1 billion in revenue, Odyssey sales >Origin sales, FC5 is the highest selling Ubi game in this gen, The Division 2 uPlay sales x10
"Net bookings" is a more business approriate metric nowadays.; it's about where the money actually comes from in an age where some games do extremely well after launch and some on other hand may attract a lot of upfront sales but not be as great overall business contributors in the big picture. Not saying copies sold isn't decent metric still, but companies and investor far prefer net bookings because it's starting to be a better metric for viewing the overall business (it's more about actual money/revenue/profit than copies sold is). Engagement however is a tricky, not only because companies may define it differently, but all it potentially says is that the company may have a lot of active users that could be leveraged to bring more money, but it's not really a hard business metric, even if it does get thrown a lot (but it has it's place, it's not just a vanity metric, even if it can be abused). In terms of the topic, it's nice to see healthy figures from Ubisoft and even as a public company I do like their approach to the business, even if in terms of market share / overall revenue they're still quite a lot behind EA (over 5 billion in revenue) or ATVI (over 7 billion in revenue) with their less than 2 billion in revenue. Personally I feel their approach, vision and culture could deserve even better results, and as an enthusiast I would wish so (to a degree, of course, no one is perfect by any means).
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Thread Why does the industry keep fucking Amy Hennig over?
I seem to have skimmed over what you originally responded, and are absolutely correct that Sony are not the only ones making single player games with good business, and I should have mentioned that they can (and for Sony often are) be profitable. However, they don't always necessarily have to be and the margins are much better for Sony because of it. Keeping in mind, that just being "profitable" isn't enough for a $50-150 million title over the course of easily 5 year investment, the returns have to be a lot, lot better when you take into the risk that comes from game development (and the fact that you have to pay for the inevitable cancelled projects in the bigger picture) and expectations to beat simply investing the money into some funds. As you mentioned, other studios like Ubisoft are indeed making well off it single player games (however they get massive gains from the added micro-transactions to make it a competitive busines model) or Bethesda's main RPG projects (which most likely are able to attract an audience with lower marketing costs due to their IPs and strong branding). But also my original point stands that single player only projects aren't necessarily the easiest sell for a publisher for the reasons mentioned earlier.
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Thread Why does the industry keep fucking Amy Hennig over?
Because they get a better return on a game (no platform holder fees) and the marketing costs can be subsidized by the sales / returns delivered by the plaform, not necessarily by the game itself. Look at this way; if it costs you 60$ in marketing to get a user to purchase a game, you will be losing money because you aren't getting that return from the game and the marketing costs are getting pushed there by multiplayer games that get something more than that in return per average customer (crude example, there's a lot more depth to it). So if you're just a publisher expecting that sort of marketing costs, you can't really use performance marketing as tool to push the game towards the sales it needs. However, if you're a platform holder you can not only "remove" the platform holder fee, but also take into account that your exclusive titles are part of of getting people into the platform economy and contribute to hundreds of dollars in revenue per user. Platform holders can ship games that wouldn't even be profitable alone if they were releases by 3rd party publishers, but have them be profitable because of the removal of fees and the overall contribution to the platform economy. That will allow you to push marketing costs higher and be more competitive against the GaaS games where the expected return per customer is a lot higher than traditional single player games.
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Thread Why does the industry keep fucking Amy Hennig over?
This so damn much. There's far, far too much assumptions around games being on the shoulders of a few key members like directors, when the reality is so incredibly far away from it these days. Yes, because games are made by hundreds of people these days, there are people who might have been able to lead smaller teams to ship games, now unable to be up to the job of leading a games team. But regardless game direction and leadership hasn't been an authoritarian role for a long time due to the complexity of the game development and people unable to handle it have always have a difficult time getting anything out on budget/time. As to the topic, it does get difficult these days because just a couple of cancelled games can take half-a-decade of your times, yet it's still a completely normal thing that games get cancelled if they don't work out or fail to fit in with the publishers ever-changing needs.
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Thread Respawn CEO: Sticking to seasonal updates better for Apex Legends devs
Not really a specific reason to this specific studio, but at least some counter-points: - it's extremely hard to expand aggressively in the games industry; there simply are not enough experienced people available, and recruiting costs are very, very high for Senior+ staff (not to mention 6+ month leadtimes aren't far from the average) - it's not easy to expand aggressively, most games studios simply have not had enough time to consider that aspect under the pressure of getting the game out asap (IE dedicating time for scalable pipelines, documentation, leadership, hardware, studiospace etc.) when these things often fall under the priority of getting the game out and as good as possible - scaling up means effort from people, which mean less effort to short-term development of the game as time is spent on onboarding staff - you (as a company) need to have plan for these people beyond just the single game; what will they do for the studio if/when a game winds down, does our PnL support the risk of developers that weren't planned into the earlier company/financial roadmap? and the list goes on, but the point is that scaling a game team "aggressively" is riduclously hard, expensive, risky and it's very hard to avoid overworking and overpressurizing the team and culture when doing it Personally, having being tasked with the initiative to grow a team and game with a huge potential, it wasn't easy and we did make short-term cuts into the actual releasable contents to ensure people could work normal hours, they were brought into the team with healthy expectations (though personally in retrospect I learned lot from it, and know how to do it better next time even if no-one burned out or worked 50+ hr weeks due to the growth), but in the long-term we have a healthy cycle in which we know how to push for better quality faster. As a reference, both Epic and DE (Warframe) had it quite a bit easier as they were companies with staff in other projects that could be pulled into these hit-projects, effectively making the scaling process quite a bit easier (of course to the point they had staff not allocated to these projects).
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Thread Polygon: How Fortnite’s success led to months of intense crunch at Epic Games
This so much. I've worked at 2 separate studios both working at GaaS titles, both aiming very much to be players first experiences (including a ton of research dedicated to ensuring this and talking with the higher value customers to understand their playing behaviour) and both being very much a 40hr week studios (though I can personally say that in the latter in my position it definitely tends to also vary from 40-50 based on my own personal wishes, but all extra hours are legally required to be then taken back at some point). That of course doesn't mean that pragmatic prioritization and usage of analytics isn't necessary (as we after all compete with studios that do capitalism to a more extrem end) nor that the work isn't stressful (leading a creative software projects are not easy, and less so in an market as competitive as gaming), but that isn't just because of the business model. I could just as well list a ton of benefits (both player and developer) that the business model provide, but I don't think that is necessary here.
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Thread "Playing Hard", a candid documentary about the making of Ubisoft's For Honor, is now streaming on Netflix
Also a recommendation from here; even with it's limited screen-time it does quite a decent job in showcasing the personal struggles that most game developers, especially those in a leadership or directorial roles, have. Speaking of which, I think it also speaks volume about the complexity of game development when a full-fledged documentary can barely scratch alone the surface of the personal struggles of 3 different people, let alone 500 people and let alone the actual hands-down work they do for thousands and thousands of hours to realize a game.I can sort of understand that viewpoint too, but I think it's noteworthy that for a lead to be able to take time off for mental health is fantastic and unfortunately not something every studio allows yet. The struggles the people talk about also sort of extend to game development as a whole, but of course that is not necessarily common knowledge. But I do agree that it would have been nice to have these people send a positive message about not glorifying such measures (in fact you can also see the costs in the documentary, the people leaving during production and after is a massive cost that ultimately sort of contributes to why game development is so expensive).
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Thread Paper Mario: Color Splash was great, and you should play it.
I heartily agree. There's a wonderful sense of adventure in the game that simply hits some notes that make it evoke memories from games of my childhood and the audiovisual experience in just stellar. The combat, while certainly an improvement from Sticker Star, still isn't the best and I feel some of the combat puzzles were a bit obtuse (as well as certain sections of the game), but to me it barely manages to make a dent into an otherwise fantastic experience. While I probably wouldn't double dip if it came to Switch, I do hope more people would get to the experience the game, and more than that I very much that there is a sequel of sorts in the works.
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
It's unfortunately more like "AAA Game Production: The Game", it's inspired by Bissell's earlier experiences in game development (who has worked on writing for Gear of War, Uncharted, Tales of Borderlands and more). You could (unfortunately) relate the game to some of the most successful games just as to the ones that have failed, which is why some many developers have voiced out that the whole Anthem production story is by no means unique that and it's very similar to stories of successful games too. However, there is still plenty of hope in the air; as I mentioned earlier more and more game studios are doing less and less crunch, have more time for proper pre-production (as the studios have other opportunities to put staff into, rather than being forced to start production of 300+ people before the game's vision and production pipelines are able to withstand that amount of staff), and more examples of:
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
Depending on the game, this may or may not be true (and you have F2P where there is no full price per se.) You have to remember that you are still buying a game that's production value is anywhere between 2-10x higher than what for example games used to be. Or that many AAA games actually contain longer main story content that they have before. Or that the content the post-production content is clearly outside of the main storyline and pre-planned to be post-production and not by any means planned to be leftovers from production. Yes, there are plenty of realities that lead to games seemingly have more issues at launch (games are infinitely more complex, yet we still have far too much reliance on old management and development models that don't work with a rising amount of complexity in production), or most post-launch content, but that does not mean it's attributed to the business model itself necessarily (those would go under a topic called pitfalls of modern game projects, which is probably worth tens of hours of talk, so have to skip that for now).If you as the developer were do a on some of these productions and why they had release crunch (which is tricky topic, because in general more and more AAA studios are able to ship games with less and less crunch these days to the point where you actually have studios that have practices that far from the crunch times we talk about here) or shipped with "thin baseline experience" you most likely would not end up with the model being the cause. The titles you outline here have plenty of other reasons why (including exponential scope from their previous relatives, unclear visions with bigger teams, concepts new to the teams etc. - again these are all modern development pitfalls that happen in productions regardless whether they have any live components or not).And the model itself ensues in no way that you should ship games with a thinner baseline experience, in fact with the space being so crowded it these days encourages the opposite and it encourages developers to try to make games that truly stand-out, because you might be trying to draw existing social groups from a game that has been improved for a long time to a new product (which brings its own challenges, but another topic that is too broad to really tackle here).This is sort of a tricky subject, as there are plenty of (internal) metrics that point towards the opposite; players are often enjoying these games more than previous and the competition on the market is becoming ever tougher and games can (unfortunately) still develop towards even more ambitious concepts, technical features and more long-term content. That's not to say there isn't dissatisfcation or that I necessary enjoy all the directions the industry is going towards, but there's also a massive divide between how a majority of players view and play games and how us enthusiasts who take it up to forums, view things.No disagreements there. However I would say the reality can be quite different in terms of what you view as short-term / long-term stress; just as an example, in productions like The Last of Us (a new IP) you are actually stressing for years and years about how things are going to turn out, as the real feedback comes very, very late and the stakes are high, where as when you are live you can get great feedback loops based on how players actually view things when you give them tangible content. However, the full equation comprises of so many different things, that I wouldn't really necessary say either type of production is less/more stressfull, as the contain so many different joys and hardships. I am more trying to get the fact that players (myself including before I joined the industry and learned what making games is really about) have quite different views on how developers might feel or be inclined to do, compared to what the job may entail in reality and what that means to us as human being (and players!).
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
Unless you have a source on that (not saying you couldn't be right though, just I at least am not aware of that being the case), I would say you might be projecting a bit. After all, they did greenlight a sequel at the time (and never cancelled the project when it wasn't doing too well) when they knew the production cost would be a lot higher (and that they were going to start with less existing base by rebuilding their tools with Frostbite).
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
Right yeah, and I do agree based on those quotes. However, I would say that maybe a distinction that I would personally view is that ME3 as a title of it's own could have been succcessful (especially the multiplayer I remember being praised by EA executives, but I also might remember wrong, so take that with a grain of salt), however the trajectory and potential growth definitely would have not been what they would like to see for the series. I feel that is what Greg Zeschuk aimed at his quote; success on it's own doesn't feel enough when the industry's standard for top 10 success is growing, and their work towards the future doesn't necessarily seem to be on track for that may be needed. But point taken, thank you for refreshing my memory with those sources : )
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
I wouldn't say it's quite that black-and-white. Live service and DLC can (and to some degree, especially in certain studios, has been) quite effective at tackling one of the larger issues leading to a lot instability; the need to roll people from shipping to a new project far too quickly for it to be organized and usually cutting pre-production (easily the most important part of the production cycle) far too short. The cost of having hundreds of people without a clear ROI-positive role is difficult, but the strain of putting those people into a project that is not ready to scale also leads to situations like with Anthem (having 20 or so people work on pre-production for 5+ years is still much less the costlier than actually starting a game production before it's ready). Of course on the flip-side, live services can be quite a pressure cooker with player expectations being ever higher and we often feel that we need to review every single request and ship immense amount of content of quickly (in reality you don't necessarily always need, it's important to find the pace that is actually necessary for a healthy game and org), as well as the 24/7 services to maintain (backend, servers, analytics, customer support, community management). But you can absolutely find a healthy balance (I work on a big live game with my whole team more or less doing 37,5hr weeks, and any extra time has to be taken off eventually, and you're not allowed to have more than 40 hours in the bank for a long period of time) and it will allow your organization to start new projects and staff them in a much healthier way than you would if you were on ship-and-forget prodution cycles.I would say the scenario I outlined above is the way developers are more likely to view it as. The pressure to ship great games is always there and people don't strive to ship something where you "need to patch it later", but rather manage staff resources and leadership better (live games are also very good for actually coaching people into seniority/leadership). But, yes unfortunately it easily also lead to that situation, especially if the deadline is inmutable like it was with Anthem. But inmutable deadlines alone are something that industry could really get rid off, especially when they are set far too early and based on assumptions that have not () yet been verified/proven.
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
Yup, I can count over people from well over a dozen studios going essentially "sounds pretty much like our project X or Y" - that's not to say there isn't also a lot of people who have been able to say that they can't relate or that people don't want change to happen. But realistically, these are all common issues that are far less easy to fix than people outside of the industry may understand. Regardless, for me personally they are also a good reminder to always strive for better and I can at least happily say that I wouldn't expect a lot of the staff working with me relate to these issues, nor have my past experiences in other companies been similar.I must inject that I feel like this is in reality much less true than it may seem like. Many of these executives really care about crafting fantastic games, but are not always comfortable with the compromises it may mean or know how to effectively lead people towards the combination of great games and great business (while managing the fact that they are liable to external stakeholders for the hunderds of millions money which they are directly responsible of).
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
I could easily list a thousand reasons, but here's a few: - with the extremely competitive market, you need to be able to pitch a vision that even from a basic premise sounds like potentially investing 100-200 million USD so a "slightly better existing game" (which you can better scope for) isn't necessarily a very good pitch - "new" and "unique" are things that people tend to want, but by definition mean that you don't exactly know how to achieve them - the scoping process doesn't happen with the entire 200+ strong production team's input, but a few people (albeit experienced) trying to estimate how these potential other team members might make the game and how long certain parts might take - there's a huge factor between being able to prove something (a game mechanic, combat loop, tech etc.) with a prototype, and making it in a production of hundreds of people and that tends to leave a lot of variance in estimations even when they are based on a tangible prototype (and prototypes can easily leave an impression that the task isn't as complicated as it is when it goes through the hands of different people in different time zones and being blocked by other people etc.) - the markets shift and ultimately you will have new ideas or requests that by no means could have been thought of when doing the initial plan/scope - even somewhat accurate scoping is a process that takes a lot of time, and yet there's always a limited amount of time before the studio needs to be able to commit staff to a project, and on other hand you probably don't have enough seniors to do this for multiple projects at the same time, so that you are prepared for pitches failing - there's no set way to define and assess a "realistic scope" for an entire project, especially since we know that games made through iteration, and scoping iteration is just guesswork in the end - you will not be able to know exactly who you have in the company, who you can hire in what time (you for example need to plan in that hiring a senior programmer can take anything from 1 to 9 months and for each hire this variance means a different outcome for the project) and tons of other staffing related reasons - the industry is filled with creative people, and we often want to make great games, and we've tend to have learned that making great games means having an ambitious aim and trying to get there (and understanding that we might not be there, but even getting to space would be a great game worth making and worth investing to)
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
You can also buy a license without the royalty, but of course that is a cost attached to the project just as well (but certainly not as high as it would be a for the 5% from a huge hit game).
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
One thing that may not be apparent to the outside, but this is quite common in the industry and for multitude of good reasons. Most games start with an ambitious vision (if often quite ambigous), but the actual game is tens of thousands of hours of simply answering questions about what it is in practice (and working together with budget limitations, technical restrictions, learning from things that sound good when spoken, but simply don't work in practice etc.) and executing towards what seems to be the vision. There's very few game productions ever where you can safely say that you undestand the real scope of the game and the production. Even those with supposed "auteurs" who are supposed to know exactly how things are supposed to be, are actually productions where these creative people have an idea, developer's execute it and it rarely is ready (or in most times even good) on the first time, so you iterate, iterate and then iterate some more until it works. That leads to a lot of changes during production like director's making a change to a mechanic and then the entire production team having to accomodate for that change, not because the original vision wasn't applicable, but after actually having to get hands-on time with the results, the director(s) can realize there's an even better option (which of course costs time and money outside of the original budget, so you cut scope elsewhere or add time and money). Trying to plan for N amount of iteration cycles for thousands of features (where N can be between 1-100 with no realistic average that you can actually use) is somewhat futile and you have to be comfortable with living with that uncertainty when planning game production. Many of us have gone through enough cycles of shipping games (or updates/features) where the main takeaway has been "we just need design to do more work in the beginning and plan everything and we need to know the work and scope beforehand" and that almost always creates more issues and worse games. Understanding that what you envisioned, planned and scope will inevitably fail and has to accomodate for what you learn in produciton, and working with that to reduce the most important unknowns/uncertainty step-by-step is what leads to great games (and in this case, you can obviously see that they really struggled with that while having a huge pressure of moving forward with "a game" regardless and not being able to solve vision issues before attaching a production team to the project).
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Thread [Kotaku] How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong (Jason Schreier article)
It absolutely has*, which is why there isn't one single strategy to rule them all**, and ultimately these questions are quite difficult (and you may never really end up knowing whether you as a company made the right one, because you don't have an alternative outcome to compare it to) - efficiency in the name of effiency is bad, it should always be results-oriented and "optimizing" production with decisions like unifying engines can easily end up being a net negative if made on the wrong assumptions and without a meaningful goal (anyone caring about pure efficiency needs to move from 1980's and get with the times: & ). *including, but not limited: - game engine being too broad-purpose to achieve different visions leads to the tool ultimately not being the best at building a specific kind of vision - core limitations - the team being uncomfortable with the workflows designed and set by the engine team (teams in game development have massively different ways of actually creating in-game content, and friction there is extremely costly) and that is very difficult to change with a common engine - it almost certainly adds layer(s) of management to request and/or make changes to the engine in support of the project, reducing iteration and decision-making time - it leads to a lot of hard prioritization work for engine team and it's leadership, and that work requires immense amount of time (the triage process needs time to be done well, and it must not thought as something that easy/quick to decide and manage on the spot) ** however there are also considerable upsides to having a shared engine, which I won't have time to delve in now, but certainly enough that the suitable strategy for any company/game isn't obvious, but rather a lot of planning, risk management and simply taking risks, sticking with them and learning from the inevitable failures.
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Thread Unity shows impressive new demo for Unity 2019
Data-oriented Design isn't a new way of thinking, it just hasn't been the most popular and OOP practices are more widely adopted. Insomniac and others have been working with game engines built on data-oriented design for years. That said, yes, it should be taught more in schools, as OOP is the one that still is most taught.
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Thread The Outer Worlds, Control, Dauntless, SpellBreak, The Cycle, Ancestors & More Coming As Timed Exclusives To Epic Games Store; TOW also on MS Store
At least in the "State of Unreal" presentation the presenter said the word "exclusively" ( not too long ago)
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Thread After NPD, Media Create numbers will no longer be public ... where is the gaming press ?
For that purpose, sales data is increasingly outdated and doesn't really reflect the reality in a manner applicable for understanding the development of the industry, the outcomes of projects and overall business for publishers (see most post above). For indie games, it might still be somewhat more relevant, but there you face the issues that budgets easily range between $0.00 - $5 million and expectations are so very different from team to team that decompiling the data into something valuable is a lot harder (though overall sales and maybe things like distribution of revenue is still valid data, but at the same time that is data that you can get through various market research groups).
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Thread After NPD, Media Create numbers will no longer be public ... where is the gaming press ?
This is really not true; there are plenty of software/application companies where you would have an even harder time finding any sales data outside of revenue/financial reports just as you find in public game companies, because there aren't even paid market research companies making estimates.
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Thread After NPD, Media Create numbers will no longer be public ... where is the gaming press ?
I would say a large reason to the matter is that simply isn't black-and-white or simple enough to have a definite answer and there's very little value for anyone to actually explain why they do that, because as with much communication developers/publishers engage in, it's only gonna draw more backlash, conspiracy theories and just more work for them for no seemingly added value. But as to the multitude of reasons, here are some that I can at least attest to some people in the industry skewing towards: ...and the list would go on quite easily. But the point is that there is no simple answer that would be already rule it out, but at the same time you can find a ton of somewhat reasonable reasons ( why many metrics aren't as easily accessible and you can't find all that many in support of making said metrics more visible, at least without it being a business in itself (the likes of NPD, AppAnnie etc.)
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Thread Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene no longer leading PUBG dev; heading up new "PUBG Special Projects" division
It's highly unlikely his role would involve much about tech in the project (outside of creative efforts that would challenge their current technical infrastucture), and you're stating two highly personal opinions as facts. The game has also been doing just fine on the revenue side and there are much more valid reasons of "creative stagnation" other than a single directorial person in a team of hundreds of developers (fear of change, technical debt, data showing that it might not be a good idea, production capacity...), and more importantly other design directorial roles that would almost assuredly have more responsibilities in such an area if it was an issue for the company management. As to the real reasons of why they face an uphill battle nonetheless, below might give some perspective (I am actually a bit surprised how little they've been affected by Apex, which I think is somewhat strong sign of a resilient retention and enthusiastic userbase)Quick googling showed that it might use version 4.16 which was already fairly far into it's life cycle iteration (my last project involving the engine shipped far, far earlier, I think 4.9 and that was already a fairly stable one that enabled you to ship decent products) and stable, so while surely some improvements and opportunities could be found on a newer version, it wouldn't be anything close to a singular reason. The reality is far muddier and most likely is the result of thousands of various factors, such as them having gone to the market so early (in both good and bad, but most likely enabling their success) with a small team, and then growing extremely fast would cause all sorts of pains that are to hard fix (where as both Epic and Respawn had teams that had spent years together shipping games, improving things and becoming great teams and companies) as well as the pressure to deliver content fast potentially leading to having to take more shortcuts etc. Competing games have been able to take a lot of the learnings from PUBG and start on a much healthier base, and once you're a behemoth of a production train trying to move fast, create new as well as fix past speeding tickets (which is often quite painful, but necessary). The truth is not visible to the outside, and I can only guess some of major factors from experience (and well actually naturally being exposed to people and information about the company), but I can certainly say that it's not nowhere as simple as a singular thing (or even two).
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Thread Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene no longer leading PUBG dev; heading up new "PUBG Special Projects" division
Why do people always have to assume something negative from a thing like this? Wouldn't the more natural sounding thing be that as a creative lead working 3 years on live game where at this scale you don't actually get to do that much creative work, mean that new projects with small teams (and thus more input) be much, much more realistic reason rathen than expect the worst out of the reasons? Not to mention that group is not going to be cheap in anyway looking at the staff openings so there'd be a ton of better options for them if that was the case.Uhh they use the same engine as Fortnite, Unreal Engine 4. This hopefully illustrates even more the disconnect players have what an engine is and does and what the reality of an engine and framework is. It's just a set of tools upon to build a game and you can make technically troublesome game with the best of tools (for a million different reasons, and incompetence only being a small part of them) and you can make a technically (or at least seemingly) great game with even bad tools.
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Thread Tim Sweeney: "Battles will be won on the basis of game supply, consumer prices, and developer revenue sharing"
Referring to the overall overall options, not EGS store specifically: He's not wrong though; competition by "featureset" often does not work and is not only expensive, but due to the direct cost as well the time needed to see any results, extremely risky. Yes, trying other avenues quickly might not result in the best first experience and both internally/externally it's easy to blame bad experience or bad results on the lack of those features, but it will show them whether their strategy is viable and their assumptions about consumer and developer behaviour right - and of course allow them to make course corrections on based on real life data rather than assumptions and somewhat relevant experience.
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Thread Game development culture | Media about the people who make games
Ain't that the truth, brother. I haven't watched them all, but at least based on what I've seen, I can recommend (did not see them mentioned anywhere)video documentaries and interviews, they are very much focused on the the developers without much narration. Especially the Larian Studios ones are great: For paid content, there is also the documentary about the development of Housemarque's Nex Machina game, which if nothing very much entertaining and provide some insight into the more personal struggles people have, as well as the harsh realities of working in the sort of AA type of productions. Then there is youtube series, which are sort and sweert, but while they are entertaining I feel that complex problems they touch in such a short period do the reality a bit of a disservice as you just can't get complexity and the millions of intertwined dependencies through in such a short manner.
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Thread Bonnie Ross of 343 Industries Wants To Close Gender Gap In Game Development
...and that did not take long. I fully understand how that may sound like a fair reply, but it's an answer that is far too simple for such a complex problem and makes it so fucking frustrating to hear. And honestly, do you really think that is some magical insight that these people who have experience making games for years and years haven't considered? But to at least touch on the subject. That reply does not account for some very basic things when it comes to hiring and building high-performance teams capable of pulling some nigh-impossible ordeals (aka ship games):And that doesn't even cover the half of it, but I don't really want to spend too much effort replying to a point that in itself doesn't really even want to consider the matter being more complex than that.
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Thread The Witcher 3 Game Director has taken over as Cyberpunk 2077 Design Director, and as CD Projekt Red Vice President of Game Development
Not at all, there are plenty of various reasons why people leave during mid-development, even leadership roles and while sure it may cause pains, those might also be avoidable or even a net positive for the game under right circumstances. As examples, Brian Horton joined Insomniac somewhat late in Spider-Mans development as a Design Director and later became a Creative Director (alongside Bryan Intihar), or that they lost Mike Acton, the Engine Director mid-development. It can be a bad sign under certain circumstances, but that is very, very far from an absolute truth in all cases.
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Thread The Witcher 3 Game Director has taken over as Cyberpunk 2077 Design Director, and as CD Projekt Red Vice President of Game Development
There can be, but it's very much case-by-case, studio-by-studio sort of thing and either role has massive difference between studios. Some differences may be for example that in some studio game director has more responsibilities of the creative direction and conceptual matters, where as a design director may have more work in managing the process, work and overall team leadership responsibilities that may not be direct decisions on how exact creative questions, but rather the processes of designers outputting their work in the team.
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Thread Some employee statistics from Nintendo of Japan
I feel the avg work day metric is kind of misleading and potentially inaccurate to the reality of how they ship games, but probably better not to elaborate. However, for all of the threads mentioning about how few games Nintendo is producing these days, this might hopefully serve as a good reminder that Nintendo Japan has ~15% of the staff Ubisoft for example has worldwide(not exactly comparable since Nintendo has staff worldwide and some of it development staff too). And especially given that Nintendo has it's own hardware and platform publishing departments, and does certain operation at an even wider scale than other non-hardware companies. That's not to say others are inefficient (because the reality is that studios like Ubisoft have actually become extremely efficient in running staff operations at a high level), but the immense challenge Nintendo faces in producing games, especially in a country where finding new staff is difficult so that Nintendo can't scale up easily.
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Thread [WaPo] Racism, misogyny, death threats: Why can’t the booming video-game industry curb toxicity?
I can definitely say that in my experience the reality is (and has always been) a lot less black-and-white and simple than that. Yes, there are certainly voices and people in the industry that strongly err towards either side (and that really sucks), but so are there thousands of people who are actually trying to do something, yet the issue is so complex, difficult to tackle and requires extremely expensive tools and work that is realistically out of the question if you want to actually try to make profit. I have definitely seen people and still see people who work on these things, but if you are working on affecting the world views of millions of different people (who interact in multiple different ways, produce billions of events of data every day which you can't afford to fully utilize necessarily to the point you wish you could) without any personal face-to-face contact etc. you are really fighting an enourmous battle with some pretty harsh realities that are simply the artefact of how humans work. There's actually an immense amount of will (as well as ton of resources) being put to the matter across multiple different studios I know (and people are puting an unhealthy amount of effort), yet visible results are scarce, which should be telling of the difficulty and complexity of the problem. Yet, people assume that those with some responsibility (developers and publishers alike) are either bad people, or care more about money, or don't simply care. Which is disappointing, frustrating and disheartening. But I do believe and hope that we can keep on hammering and making a change for the better, we just must never stop, never take these comments to heart and push there despite, we must always keep reminding ourselves of the pain we could be removing, and the joy we could be creating.
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Thread Amy Hennig on Frostbite challenges in Visceral's Star Wars production
This so very much. The technology may be a single reason (among hundreds of additional, compounding reasons) why we never saw much footage or why for creative it may have been a difficult project as much of the work is waiting until the team can get to the real iterative gameplay work, but I don't think Amy is necessarily portraying it as a reason why the project failed, more as in just one of the challenges of building that particular game. Remember, she even specifically mentioned the project was doing "fine":The engine may have been reason why the game would have taken longer to build than if they had another engine to choose from (but that may for example have resulted in worse performance), but in no way does she explicitly mention that it was a reason why the project failed. Just that it was one specific challenge, and one the she may or may not have expected coming from a different studio.That's not really correct either, as she specifically mentions that they did end building those systems and that it was work that would eventually benefit other teams. Not to mention Visceral certainly had engine-level programmers in their studio and had previously worked with their own internal engines. In fact, it's quite frustrating to always hear that people assume issue have to be because of lack of expertise/skill in a given studio, because the reality is so different, but people just like to assume the worst of other people they do not know. The more accurate issue is, that it puts a massive strain on the creative design part as you can't really iterate on systems you can't play, so you are left theorycrafting and waiting for those tools to built, before you can actually start iterating top-notch gameplay. Gameplay design doesn't live on papers, it's really about getting things playable and iterating them and when you are waiting for tools for that to be possible, it can be frustrating. And often studios can't wait for the time for these tools to be built before moving all of the production staff into their project, these issues are/were quite common before some publishers like Ubisoft have adopted a more scalable way of handling staff between projects and ensuring lengthy pre-production times with a small team.
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Thread Digital Foundry - Yoshi's Crafted World: Unreal Engine 4... On A Nintendo Game?
That is a fair point, but forcing a small(-ish) 2nd party developer to work on a game using that engine isn't really a solution nor something would really push the matter forward. Nor can you reasonably say it has done that, at least from what I've heard of Unreal's changes since I have last been involved in a project used to ship a game with the engine, as most clear work on the plaform has come from Fortnite or be general improvements affecting all platforms. Major contributions to the engine tend to come from different types of projects and developers (in this case Epic themselves and of course support by Nintendo's own hw/sw staff). It's an assumption that I can't really say fits the reality I have experience of (not that it's impossible, but unlikely), especially given that other developers in Japan have adopted the engine for the very reasons I posted. A more plausible similar explanation is that Nintendo may have had a set release schedule that they would like the project to have, and Good-Feel may have made the research and decision that using UE4 for this title would mean higher chance of success.That is quite an assumption, especially the "efficient to work with" - people have this misconception about a lot of engines based on the output which is not something you very reliably use as a reference. Of coures often performance/development efficiency are two somewhat conflicting matters (though the reality is that yes working with a 3rd party engine you take a performance hit for production improvements due to the nature of general purpose ethos of these engines and focus on productivity they put). Secondly, Wii U is a different platform, so the work to get to a running build at all can be considerable (but not necessarily), and you have to adopt for new development tools and that work can affect the rest of the team and the outcome quite heavily if the studio isn't in a good state to do that. Even the performance part is questionable; yes they did output a (but not this title) title running at better resolution before, but that is not comparable in terms of what rendering it does, so you can't say in anyway that the game could have hit a similar visual target with that engine with the same resources, or you have to start talking about what you would have traded off from other parts of the budget and end product. Now that said, I can't say it was the right choice as I personally really like the look of Woolly World and some of the gameplay mechanics feel a bit gimmicky-ish compared to it (which again may be a result of them being able to experiment more with faster tools), but a technical comparison of whether this same game with the same visual would have performed and been as good as it is, is stretching and makes a ton of assumptions that in my expeirence aren't the reality of game development.
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Thread Digital Foundry - Yoshi's Crafted World: Unreal Engine 4... On A Nintendo Game?
That doesn't really make any sense; engine developers don't really pay big developers to use their engine so any deal between Nintendo & Epic that would "force" them to use an engine like UE4 is quite far-fetched. The reality is that while people equate engine = visual/performance, UE4 most likely offers Good Feel much faster iteration loop and production time than it would if they would have had to work with their own engine. This is among the related factors are the main reason why many developers, especially in Japan, have made the switch from internal engine to say UE4: - less time spent on building tools mean non-engine programmers need to wait (and potentially be assigned other projects or simply suffer from unproductive development environment where they have wait for months before actually getting to make anything that can be compiled and viewed on the target plaform) - more "free" resources on engine development from collaboration with Epic (who are very active in working with developers that use UE, and often provide stellar support) - less resources needed for engine programming, where talent is hard to find, is expensive to hire and takes more time than gameplay programmers (which leads to bottlenecks which quickly cost additional millions in the entire budget) -> all helping (potentially!) to make a game faster with less time needed on building tools, make the game better as the development team can do more iteration upon iteration, make the production cheaper as extremely costly bottlenecks and hiring costs can potentially be reduced. This is also means that you absolutely can't say the game as whole suffered, because most likely there are aspect that are unbeknowns to the player, that greatly improved due to the aforementioned factors. Naturally, the performance aspect is one that can be pondered, but even then there's no real case for saying that these exact visuals with the same budget would have performed in any way better with their previous engine, because there are too many aspects that really can't be determined from an outside perspective. However, there is one aspect where Nintendo themselves get value out of, rather than GoodFeel: - work on helping Epic, helps the plaform as the input Epic gets from a developer like GoodFeel using their engine to ship a game, leads to engine improvements, which lead to other people making better products for Switch with UE, which is a big positive for Nintendo
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Thread Yoshi's CW is the only new 2019 Nintendo developed Switch game until June
They have limited resources, the scope of their games has risen and increasing staff is difficult, slow and expensive. Even some years ago visiting Japan and talking to a few people in AAA company and their mobile division there, the Japanese industry struggles with finding developers. The problem is apparently especially difficult in the AAA section as many developers prefer working on mobile (and to them, more so in Japan than over here). Hiring is also quite expensive in games, and lead-times are easily 6+ months for certain roles, not to mention the time it takes to onboard people in these projects and to new companies. All of those factors combined with the fact that some of Nintendo's bigger productions ended not that long ago (unfortunately 1-2 years isn't your average production cycle length at all) means that Nintendo simply can't currently push too many big titles out of the door (and the pressure to deliver might only help create failed projects, as nonetheless the expectation is that not all games that end up in production, get to end and ship).
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Thread Blizzard employees are crying and hugging in the parking lot ahead of impending layoffs - Jason Schreier
Not sure about OWL (I believe at least some positions related to OWL were cut), but at least things like Overwatch collegiate and other OW Esports initiatives were affected with more than just a few people leaving.
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Thread With how expensive marketing is... can “crunch” time really be avoided as a release date draws in? Help me understand
That part about "not wanting to do that" is absolutely not true, at least for any recent, active game company nor in any company I have ever worked at, in fact the pressure put on project and production management is immense and expectations on the quality and accuracy of it is nigh-impossible (mostly with the expecation coming from a set budget and deadline for something that requires immense effort, time and resources to plan anything to any reasonable degree of confidence). The reality is "planning" a game production is an extremely difficult task where you face literally thousands of unknowns in which in the only way to know for certain is to proceed and learn from i. But sharing years of worth of experiences on what it means is a bit difficult of a task, so I'll just leave with a comment of saying that the "lack of planning" or "poor planning" isn't really a reasonable simplification nor the reality in many studios, despite the games industry has a whole still have a lot of work to learn and improve it's production management practices (which it has, and there are great leaders and studios that are able to manage their work better and better with each passing development cycle).
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Thread Activision Blizzard stock is tanking. (WSJ)
Very much this (well at least it doesn't encourage posting more often and there are thread titles that I simply avoid nowadays). But on the topic, ATVI is definitely in tight spot as even though they have some of gaming's biggest franchises (don't forget King!), the growth prospectives aren't looking too hot and while lay-offs could even bump the stock under different scenarios, ATVI will have face issues showing how they aim to grow.
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Thread How do you deal with underlings that can't seem to ever do shit right?
This (coming from someone who himself has had to face the same issue, and it took someone else pointing this out and taking a step back for me learn). And no, it's not necessarily easy to drive the processes of a team to the point where ownership is taken properly. Especially if/(when you yourself feel so responsible and under pressure to deliver, letting people fail and learn may not be easy or natural, but driving ownership means you have to take a back seat and support people with means other than simply going and fixing their mistakes. Things like review processes where you can only suggest changes and act as a gatekeeper showing how his work fails to meet acceptance criteria can be an avenue forward, but I also recommend to talking with his supervisor about the performance and suggesting that your supervisor should set up better processes that enforce ownership for him, and pitch it with the fact that it will enable your output to rise and for the whole team to perform better. If that fails, then it's likely the person does not deserve the job, but that should become naturally apparent to his supervisor as well.This too, taking a step back and showing you have your own work to do, will help enforce this person to take better ownership of his work. It may come at short-term cost to the product(?) when someone does not fix the issues immediately, but by fixing them yourself, you become that trusted fireman.
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Thread Apex Legends Now at 10 Million Players After 72 Hours, 1 Million Concurrent
Congrats Jay and the team, I've been enjoying the game quite a bit and for all of the BRs I've tried, I think Apex resonates the most with me and I'm really glad to see that's it's been a success for you and that letting the game speak for itself has quieted down most of the toxic response that could've happened with a game like this. Can't wait to see what you are cooking up for the game! Also do remember thank your systems team, it's been a quite while since I've seen a game manage such a growth this well technically, and having been there in the trenches myself, I can only applaud the wizardry and effort it must have taken for that to happen :)
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Thread Should developers release balance patches for single player games?
Of course; the game designers / directors may have a specific vision in mind (which may or may not resonate with players) when developing the game, but the reality is that during development you will not have enough data nor feedback to work with, so by doing post-launch updates to the game balance you can get the balance much closer to your ideal vision, and if needed, address player feedback in your assumptions of what the players would enjoy wasn't quite on-point.
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Thread Housemarque's Nex Machina Documentary "The Name of the Game" Out Now
Yes, and at lot of it depends on what's your perspective when watching (I can't really say how it would resonate for someone who has not worked in games and/or potentially know a bit more of the company's history), but I can say it's been really well made and while as a documentary it portrays only a very small part of game development (but then again, putting the actual reality of game development into a 2-hour documentary is a nigh-impossible task and even still I don't think reality of working in games would fully be understandable), it does provide great insight into parts of the struggle of working in games. It has a ton of those of fun moments and how some people find creativity in the inudstry and especially some of the personalities and their stories are just so well suited for the big screen. I believe it can not only provide great experience and fun to people who do not possess the slighest knowledge of how some games get made, but also hopefully form actual empathy about the struggles of crafting games.
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Thread Do you actually use Photo Mode...?
Yes, a ton nowadays for the games that support it. With most platforms having access to screenshot functionality, I like to document my journey through the experiences I play. Every now and then look I back at the games I've played and go through the screenshot, and hud-less screenshots just tend to look so much better, not to mention the ability to frame shots well with the camera controls.
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Thread Disney Says It's Never Been Good at Video Games, "Good Relationship" With EA
Out of these, I would say the single fee for exclusivity and % of revenue (net) is the more likely option and more common in these kinds of scenarios. That also puts a bit more risk on EA's side when it comes to marketing, which could be a partial additional factor as to why they are reluctant to ship games that don't feel like they are on track to be major success.
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Thread Do Any of You Want to Work in the Games Industry?
Yeah, I thorougly recommend to just try to make small games in Unity or small mods / scripts for existing games and see if you like it. If not for anything else, but just to see what it is to make games will make your CS studies immediately more interesting as you may actually gain potential takeaways from the lectures that otherwise might seem to have no clear application for you right at that moment.
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Thread Do Any of You Want to Work in the Games Industry?
Indie games, small solo projects, modding, github examples. Pretty much anything that would relate to game development in larger projects. There are just so many gotchas that people tend to learn from experience, that it can be quite hard at times to hire candidates that don't have some kind of experience from making games, as (from experience) training people to fully understand requirements and avoid common pitfalls without consuming too much lead / producer time can easily take a ton of time. Of course it can be different for people like systems admins, who aren't necessarily making the functional programs based on creative input / design, but rather something more common in all of modern software. And personally, I would like to say that the industry A lot of AAA studios share a very painful history, and especially it seems that in Asia and in the US the conditions are improving lot slower than in Europe, they are improving. And especially on the mobile F2P-side of things, all the companies I worked for had not only healthy working hours (40/week, no forced overtime and even very much fought against the people's urge to push themselves towards breaking point) and good compensation, healthy and inclusive culture etc. The business is hard and a lot of the struggle comes from people's self-doubt, impostor syndrome and sometimes crushing financial pressure and uncertainty, but it can still be a wonderful industry to work in with wonderful people around you. But if you are in it for the end result of a good game (which has little do with the thousands of hours you put into each product) you are in for a disappointment.
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Thread Guitar |OT| If you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded
Yeah, the price difference is surprisingly high between the 50W and 100W, but if you want those 4 different channels (which IMO can be pretty useful, as I currently run clean and quite heavily distorted metal sound, and having a 3rd one for more 80s metal would be great) and want to use the presence dial easily. Otherwise it's not necessarily worth it since everything else is the same and you can still do the first time setup hooked up to a PC (heads-up would be that it doesn't come with a USB-B cable though). Also, almost any footswitch works with it, I got a decent 2-channel switch for 5 euros, so you don't have to go for the potentially more expensive official Boss ones.This is also very true and in fact have been thinking about getting a multi efect pedal to complement the Katana. They can provide a lot easier access to multiple different tones and things like the expression pedal come very handy for some songs (been craving for Wah especially).
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Thread Guitar |OT| If you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded
As a really versatile amp for bedroom/apartment practice, I can definitely recommend the Katana. I personally got the 50W, which is more than enough, but if you care about ease of customization, I recommend going for the 100W which has 4 channels supporting footswitch and some of the dials (like presence) can only be tuned via PC on the 50W. That said, with a long USB Type-B cable plugged into a PC (if your amp sits far away), the software is really fast and easy to use, and I these days even use a tuner on PC rather than pedalboard. It's really hard to fault the amp, and outside of tube amps (which have their downsides), that would definitely be my go to pick for any amp. That said, I only could compare it against a similar Marshall, which to me didn't seem as versatible and didn't come up as well received on the internets.
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Thread Artbooks & Gaming books |OT| A new era, a new shelf
Just got the Overwatch Art Book (just the standard edition) and have to say it's definitely one of the best ones yet. Content-wise it goes above and beyond and overall presentatio is just immaculate. Would be nice to get more explanations to how they ended up with the designs like they did, but a glowing recommendation for the book from me still.
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Thread The Epic Games Store as described by Sergey Galyonkin (SteamSpy Creator, Currently At Epic) (Update: Sergey Clarifying Points on Twitter)
My guess would be that Twitter is a more effective way of broadcasting the message, especially if some people hear about the translation elsewhere than Resetera, coming here and replying here only wouldn't necessarily reach as many people, or at least the people he wants to reach surely (developers and publishers for example. Not to mention he has decent twitter following of active industry people.
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Thread The Epic Games Store as described by Sergey Galyonkin (SteamSpy Creator, Currently At Epic) (Update: Sergey Clarifying Points on Twitter)
Seems like Sergey is about to correct some of the points:
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Thread 2019 PC Screenshot Thread
Thanks for the new thread Jim! Always been more of a lurker, but still appreciate the threads hugely and visit them daily, and it has made screenshotting a habit for me. I absolutely hoard screenshots for memories from all games I play, but my photography skills could use some improvemements, so feel free to throw me some criticism/feedback over any shots I post here :)
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Thread Nintendo releases video about Metroid Prime 4 development - Currently below expectations - Will redo from scratch with Retro Studios
Not really, it's actually fairly common when developers change. Usually it has to do with things like the overall vision changing, the tools of the new studio often being wildy different, the gameplay needs being different and thus often changing the very core of how assets are build etc. In the end avoiding sunk cost fallacy will most likely save a ton of money and headache for the new studio, and at most they can hopefully learn from the process that lead to this outcome.
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Thread Durante (Dark Souls, Trails of Cold Steel) open a port studio
Sounds great, Durante! Best of luck and I look forward to seeing what awesome work you'll be able put in to the hands of the players :)
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Thread Microsoft Studios |OT4| The Road To E3 Is Paved With Good Intentions
Right and that's a fair point that you don't expect that to happen, but regardless you project that they think having such messaging means that they must assume a sub 90 would be an L, and I think that's a very strong assumption without a lot of backing. These are veterans and they must acknowledge those harsh realities they have in front of them, so I don't see why you should correlate a marketing message (not only to the the players, but to finding developers as you also have to really fight tooth and nail to hire and scale AAA teams) that they must have ridiculously high expectations internally. Creating a AAAA studio to me doesn't necessarily scream that it's first output has extremely high expectations, because it can also mean incredible technical scope, time-to-market, content production capacity etc none of which necessarily can directly and realistically benchmark immediately against an MC score, at least on the first outing. That said, I think we have put enough effort in this discussion, as to my knowledge they've already withdrawn from the "AAAA" term and all of their active job listings and communication have only "AAA" in them (my guess is it could have been a bit difficult to pitch for potential candidates joining the studio, and something that for everyone in there hard to believe in, and people devs really want to be associated with such bullshit if it indeed doesn't feel like something they believe in) :)
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Thread Microsoft Studios |OT4| The Road To E3 Is Paved With Good Intentions
As someone who has had to build a development team and help grow a company, this is just ridiculous:So yes, there are plenty of reasonable reasons why not hitting a 90+ mc score is completely reasonable and in many ways somewhat expected too, and that the factors are not "excuses" but harsh realities of a building a game development studio. The Coalition isn't a cheap studio, and they have a lot of veteran staff that they hired there (and the studio has been running for a while), yet they are still making mid-80 mc score games and haven't faced lay-offs.