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Author Topic: Interview with Scott Jennings  (Read 26449 times)
ForumBot 0.8 beta
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on: August 20, 2008, 02:17:32 PM

Tige
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Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 03:15:27 PM

What can you say?  The interview reads like every other mmo interview in the past 8 years.  Only now WoW is used as the reference instead of EQ.

Except now we have these cool smilies!  awesome, for real  Ohhhhh, I see.  swamp poop  ACK!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?


Jade Falcon
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Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 03:54:15 PM

In all these various interviews I keep reading, I keep seeing the mention of project managers and the inability of them to keep track or control of resources,time,costs what have you,are these positions that hard to find the proper people for these days?

It's not like these games are a new idea anymore.There's been lots of launched,canceled or failed mmos across the industry with I'm sure hundreds of people with experience,are the only ones getting hired to these positions the ones that cover their ass the best from their last gig?
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 04:07:06 PM

In all these various interviews I keep reading, I keep seeing the mention of project managers and the inability of them to keep track or control of resources,time,costs what have you,are these positions that hard to find the proper people for these days?

It's not like these games are a new idea anymore.There's been lots of launched,canceled or failed mmos across the industry with I'm sure hundreds of people with experience,are the only ones getting hired to these positions the ones that cover their ass the best from their last gig?

I hate to tell you, those type of people are scarce in the non-gaming commercial world and the government world as well. It's just a skill that not a lot of people are very good at, even when they think they are.
Lt.Dan
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Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 04:29:06 PM

Or it could be that project management is the scapegoat but that would never be the case since code and design always works first time round.   why so serious?
Ratman_tf
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Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 04:46:56 PM

That was a lot of talk about Tabula Rasa. Did SJ have much to do with that title, or was it just the topic du jour?



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
-Calantus makes the best of a smelly situation.
Margalis
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Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 05:22:16 PM

Quote
In all these various interviews I keep reading, I keep seeing the mention of project managers and the inability of them to keep track or control of resources,time,costs what have you,are these positions that hard to find the proper people for these days?

Very difficult to find. 95% of people working in software plan for better than the best case scenario. Nobody wants to be realistic because realistic is depressing.

The problem with "release when it is done" is that it works great if you release a great game that sells well, but if you delay forever then release a piece of crap you're fucked. So while it may work for Valve, Square and Blizzard it probably won't work for a bunch of other companies.

I don't think Vanguard would have been any good had it had another 3 years, because the skill of the leadership was the limiting factor.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
schild
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WWW
Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 05:23:03 PM

No doubt. There are some places where all the money and time in the world won't produce awesome. Like Silicon Knights.
Margalis
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Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008, 05:35:13 PM

I was going to use that example but I liked Eternal Darkness and I hear the Kain games were decent. They have problems with some of the craft of game making though that time won't fix. In particular good-feeling combat is not their strong point.

The problem I have with talk of casual MUD crap is that to me it's like saying that the future of books is Harry Potter and Twilight. (Yes, I just lumped those two together) That may be true to some degree but at the same time we don't want to read Twilight and self-respecting authors don't want to write it.

In three weeks I will officially be a red name and then people can flame me.  Should make for some good times.  awesome, for real

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
taolurker
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Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008, 07:36:42 PM

That was a lot of talk about Tabula Rasa. Did SJ have much to do with that title, or was it just the topic du jour?

I think the interviewer was trying to draw parallels to the recent NCSoft financial info and layoffs, and therefore spent (too much?) time asking Tabula Rasa questions.

Lum didn't work on TR at all AFAIK, plus he can't talk about the "mystery project" he was on, so maybe that was why the questions centered mostly around his previous employer or their other games which he could only speculate on. There wasn't even really much MMO wisdom or "teh phunny".

I'd say the only remarkable thing here was actually getting Mr Jennings to participate in the interview, and I hope if he agrees to another one, it will actually talk about something he's worked on or is working on... Heck I had at least 10 questions I'd ask before any of the ones asked about Tabula Rasa (let me know if you want me to send them to you Lum).


I used to write for extinct gaming sites
details available here (unused blog about page)
Lum
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Hellfire Games


Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 07:43:42 PM

Could always just ask here, although if I can't answer I may just reply with a Rick Astley Youtube instead.
taolurker
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Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008, 07:50:34 PM

Why ask them on some forum, when I can collect a number of them into a Q&A that may grace the front page of some site, with potential monetary payments involved?


I used to write for extinct gaming sites
details available here (unused blog about page)
Lum
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Hellfire Games


Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008, 07:54:00 PM

I think you answered your own question there.
schild
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WWW
Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 08:17:14 PM

The interviewer? Who was that guy?
Margalis
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Reply #14 on: August 20, 2008, 08:18:03 PM

Question: What is the last project you worked on that you can talk about?

Seriously...

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Lum
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Hellfire Games


Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008, 08:21:29 PM

Dark Age of Camelot, although I didn't have much if any voice in its design (which is all 99% of people care about!)
taolurker
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Reply #16 on: August 20, 2008, 08:22:49 PM

My question from the GiantRealms comments section:

Quote: "God. Someone make a new studio here, because there are tons of awesome people out of work and moving that don't want to"

How come you aren't starting your own company Lum?? I bet there's a venture cap out there more than willing to give Scott teh Jennings money for his game company.


I used to write for extinct gaming sites
details available here (unused blog about page)
Lt.Dan
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Reply #17 on: August 20, 2008, 08:27:44 PM

Dark Age of Camelot, although I didn't have much if any voice in its design (which is all 99% of people care about!)
You put "Dark Age of Camelot" and "design" in the same sentence.  Cue Hrose in three....two....one....
Lum
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Hellfire Games


Reply #18 on: August 20, 2008, 08:56:19 PM

My question from the GiantRealms comments section:

How come you aren't starting your own company Lum?

a) no burning desire to
b) already personally have a substantial debt burden (yay credit cards and years of living beyond my means years ago)
c) don't particularly want to mortgage my family's future.

A is the most important. I want to make games, not manage a company.
Quinton
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is saving up his raid points for a fancy board title


Reply #19 on: August 20, 2008, 08:58:14 PM

In all these various interviews I keep reading, I keep seeing the mention of project managers and the inability of them to keep track or control of resources,time,costs what have you,are these positions that hard to find the proper people for these days?

It's not like these games are a new idea anymore.There's been lots of launched,canceled or failed mmos across the industry with I'm sure hundreds of people with experience,are the only ones getting hired to these positions the ones that cover their ass the best from their last gig?

I hate to tell you, those type of people are scarce in the non-gaming commercial world and the government world as well. It's just a skill that not a lot of people are very good at, even when they think they are.

Really great PMs *can* make a difference, but often the PMs are stuck in a position where their job ends up being "take the impossible schedule imposed by partners/funding/management/market and the time that engineering *thinks* it will take to actually build the specified whatever, and try to resolve these two completely incompatible constraints while keeping something that sorta resembles the original end product goal".

I <3 my PM.  Usually they're completely useless.  Got lucky this time around.

- Q
Ratman_tf
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Reply #20 on: August 20, 2008, 09:30:43 PM

Could always just ask here, although if I can't answer I may just reply with a Rick Astley Youtube instead.

When the hell is Obama gonna start passing out those damn donuts?



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
-Calantus makes the best of a smelly situation.
Lum
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Hellfire Games


Reply #21 on: August 20, 2008, 10:58:37 PM

Could always just ask here, although if I can't answer I may just reply with a Rick Astley Youtube instead.

When the hell is Obama gonna start passing out those damn donuts?

Can we get our own goddamn Dunkin Donuts?

YES WE CAN
Margalis
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Reply #22 on: August 20, 2008, 11:32:26 PM

Dark Age of Camelot, although I didn't have much if any voice in its design (which is all 99% of people care about!)

Why are you at all important then?  awesome, for real

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Dren
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Reply #23 on: August 21, 2008, 05:49:17 AM

Hmm, I'm trying to get to this so called interview, but the link doesn't seem to want to show me anything.

Tis blank.
schild
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Reply #24 on: August 21, 2008, 05:50:26 AM

Shows up for me. It's not on the f13 page you know. Click the words "Giant Realm."
Nevermore
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Reply #25 on: August 21, 2008, 07:44:16 AM

My question from the GiantRealms comments section:

How come you aren't starting your own company Lum?

a) no burning desire to
b) already personally have a substantial debt burden (yay credit cards and years of living beyond my means years ago)
c) don't particularly want to mortgage my family's future.

A is the most important. I want to make games, not manage a company.

Everyone wants to be a player, no one wants to be the GM.   Ohhhhh, I see.

Over and out.
Slyfeind
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Reply #26 on: August 21, 2008, 07:53:18 AM

Very difficult to find. 95% of people working in software plan for better than the best case scenario. Nobody wants to be realistic because realistic is depressing.

Also good project managers have the skills to make more money on non-game projects. I've seen/heard from lots of people who "graduate" out of games to make twice as much money at those Excell thingies and Database whatnots. Why anybody would do that backwards is quite beyond me!

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
Lum
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Hellfire Games


Reply #27 on: August 21, 2008, 08:30:49 AM

Dark Age of Camelot, although I didn't have much if any voice in its design (which is all 99% of people care about!)

Why are you at all important then?  awesome, for real

I'm fun at parties.
Ironwood
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Reply #28 on: August 21, 2008, 08:48:49 AM

And apparently good at conversations too.


"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Dren
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Reply #29 on: August 21, 2008, 08:49:42 AM

Shows up for me. It's not on the f13 page you know. Click the words "Giant Realm."

The page is blank for me here.  I tried the link to Giant Realm, but I can't get there from here.

I don't think my company wants me to see this interview.
Jade Falcon
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Reply #30 on: August 21, 2008, 12:20:13 PM

Very difficult to find. 95% of people working in software plan for better than the best case scenario. Nobody wants to be realistic because realistic is depressing.

Also good project managers have the skills to make more money on non-game projects. I've seen/heard from lots of people who "graduate" out of games to make twice as much money at those Excell thingies and Database whatnots. Why anybody would do that backwards is quite beyond me!

Which begs the question with so much proof of these issues sinking multi million dollar projects why aren't they paying up for the right people?
Ratman_tf
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Reply #31 on: August 21, 2008, 01:03:06 PM

Very difficult to find. 95% of people working in software plan for better than the best case scenario. Nobody wants to be realistic because realistic is depressing.

Also good project managers have the skills to make more money on non-game projects. I've seen/heard from lots of people who "graduate" out of games to make twice as much money at those Excell thingies and Database whatnots. Why anybody would do that backwards is quite beyond me!

Which begs the question with so much proof of these issues sinking multi million dollar projects why aren't they paying up for the right people?

Rock Star syndrome. Everybody thinks they're the exception.

What gets me is that even the 800lb Gorilla started small monkey with stuff like Rock N' Roll Racing and Blackthorne.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 01:07:13 PM by Ratman_tf »



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
-Calantus makes the best of a smelly situation.
UnsGub
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Reply #32 on: August 21, 2008, 08:41:54 PM

In all these various interviews I keep reading, I keep seeing the mention of project managers and the inability of them to keep track or control of resources,time,costs what have you,are these positions that hard to find the proper people for these days?

They are harder to find then good developers, designers, and artists.  The game industry just does not reward those positions like the rest of the tech industry where you will find the good ones and you get what you pay for.  The other issue is most of them are not give the responsibility\power to do their jobs.  The egos of developers, designers, artists, and publisher end up driving the show.
Viin
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Reply #33 on: August 21, 2008, 08:57:52 PM

I <3 my PM.  Usually they're completely useless.  Got lucky this time around.

You are super lucky. I had a great PM for 6 months who quit after realizing the whole organization had screwed itself into a 'do nothing, release nothing' attitude. Now I'm stuck with ditzy PMs who can't keep what day it is straight let alone manage more than 2 projects, *and* don't have a single clue as to what devs are talking about so can't call bullshit on long-shot estimates - creating an awesome snowball effect that leads to simple website changes taking 8 months.

I'd really prefer to be my own PM than fix everything my dedicated project PM is suppose to manage.

Also I haven't noticed any good paying PM jobs around, most of them pay less than a mid-level java dev and they are much more crucial. Occasionally I see 100k+ for Senior PMs but only 1 out of 100 people who label themselves "project managers" are anywhere near worth that. Of course, you never know until you throw them into the thick of it and watch them get steamrolled because they can't figure out how to schedule a meeting in Outlook. By then it's too late.

- Viin
UnsGub
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Reply #34 on: August 21, 2008, 09:20:12 PM

I'd really prefer to be my own PM than fix everything my dedicated project PM is suppose to manage.

You just doing scrum\agile\xp\etc. by yourself.  That methodolgy is made for building games but for unknown reasons not being used in the industry.
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