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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  PC/Console Gaming  |  Topic: Chris Roberts Back in your wallet - STAR CITIZEN 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Chris Roberts Back in your wallet - STAR CITIZEN  (Read 235434 times)
Venkman
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Reply #3535 on: September 05, 2016, 02:49:42 PM


The walk man is not the best example, because it is a very clearly defined product with an obvious use case that you can clearly communicate. "Listen to Music on the go". The need part was "just" convincing you that you'd want to listen to music on the go and I'd reckon that this had to be rather easy considering that you already had boom boxes and other portable stereos. You could clearly define the "utility" of the walk man as well since it was much more portable than the typical "Ghetto Blaster".

A better example would be the mobile phone business prior to the iPhone.
[/quote]

The reason the Walkman works is for the same reason the iPhone does: the sell.

Both devices for their time were ridiculously complicated technologies and business arrangements that needed to come together just right in order to function at all. But what separated them was how the emphasis was placed on the use case and, more importantly, the message used to sell them.

The iPhone is built on 10 years of tech where each year just needed their ardent consumers to adopt one more thing. It's "just" a phone atop the music and video player you already are locked into, which themselves were previously "just" video added to your audio-only player. The app store came later, but itself was built atop the proven desire by consumers to want to do more things on their phones rather than just their desktops and laptops.

All of this was because the iPhone was built for users while all the feature phones and smartphones prior to it were built for carriers. It's like Tivo vs cable boxes. The target customer is completely different, so everything from the design to the engineering compromises to the business relationships to the marketing mix and messaging are going to be different.

Designing for your end user is not easy, because it's your customers that get that device to the user. They have a big say. Unless, well, you also own the retail channel too.

How this ties back to video games has already been discussed. But I will add: the more expensive and complicated stuff becomes, the more people need to be involved in how to allocate the resources. With startup funding drying up and the global economy stagnating, marketing people are using their training in predictability so companies can make safer bets.
satael
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Reply #3536 on: September 23, 2016, 10:06:47 AM

Beating a Dead HorseInside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen.
edit: I also thought that the article is good and worth the read despite the length.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 10:53:58 AM by satael »
Lucas
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Further proof that Italians have suspect taste in games.


Reply #3537 on: September 23, 2016, 10:52:35 AM

This is actually a very well written and balanced article, hearing both sides of the story. Great read.

" He's so impatient, it's like watching a teenager fuck a glorious older woman." - Ironwood on J.J. Abrams
apocrypha
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Reply #3538 on: September 23, 2016, 11:39:29 AM

Yeah, very interesting. Basically saying there were (so far) three main mistakes; using a pre-existing engine rather than building a new one, splitting the development teams up between multiple sites and continuing to take money and promise ever more ridiculous stretch goals.

The first two are solvable and actually sound like they largely have been already according to that article, but the overscope is the one that will kill it.

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Malakili
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Reply #3539 on: September 23, 2016, 12:20:23 PM

Which is what we've all been saying from the beginning. There isn't a feature anyone has ever mentioned that they don't at least claim will eventually go into the game. How do you build something that way? You can't.
satael
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Reply #3540 on: September 23, 2016, 12:23:06 PM

I think the article sums up the 2 (biggest) problems with SC: the scale of the project ballooning uncontrollably and Roberts' way of leading.
Sky
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Reply #3541 on: September 23, 2016, 01:10:51 PM

I think the 'problem' with his leading is a perceptual issue, since in several places he points out that people are so focused on their pre-conceived notions of 'we can't do that' and then 'waste' four months and then, well, they did it. I see that all the time in the library world, where the minority of people with 'leadership' issues are the ones pushing to do something better than ordinary. You might not always hit it, but it's important to strive for that and not give up because you think it's difficult or impossible. And if people keep getting in the way of things, then you fire them.

Honestly, the article gave me a lot of respect for how they've developed their corporate structure and culture. Most folks can't work in that kind of environment, and there's no reason to keep them around once they've shown that. From what I've seen of the utter joke of game development corporate culture, it's the first company I've read about that I wouldn't mind working for.

Still not sure if it delivers a good game or not, but it does lay out those basic issues of feature creep, engine rebuilding and initial corporate structure.

Lucas
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Further proof that Italians have suspect taste in games.


Reply #3542 on: September 23, 2016, 01:36:22 PM

I like that the journalist (because, for once, this was actually a nice piece of journalism, IMO) basically asked Roberts to directly answer to some statements made by various sources. Even the most troublesome ones.

Yeah, he comes across as pretty stubborn (to say the least, but we already guessed that), with micromanagement issues and just straight impossible to work with in certain situations whereas you would expect more flexibility but, like I wrote in a previous message in this thread, if we put this in perspective I guess it's a common story you would hear both at successful and unsuccessful work places (emphasis on successful too).

When it comes to "anonymous sources", for once I like the fact we're hearing both sides of the story and not just a "poor, poor employee  that was absolutely right and now safe from that hellish place", but also the perspective of trying to build a company with huge ramifications, which comes, as we can read in the article, with backtracking, failures, false start, restarts, personal issues  and everything else.

During the last few months they have been giving me the impression that  they indeed managed to somewhat streamline the entire thing with a lot more agile development (from ships to characters to locations), while still struggling with the engine (especially the netcode, although it seems they're spearheading that too, now). Now it remains to be seen if there's enough money left to complete the whole thing. Yeah, just a tiny little detail, that is  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 01:38:31 PM by Lucas »

" He's so impatient, it's like watching a teenager fuck a glorious older woman." - Ironwood on J.J. Abrams
HaemishM
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Reply #3543 on: September 23, 2016, 02:05:02 PM

I can tell from that article (and yes, it's proper journalism, no blowjobs included) that I absolutely would never want to work with Chris Roberts. I've dealt with "visionaries" like that before and there's a huge difference between confidence in one's ideas and arrogant, zealous belief that one's ideas are always fucking right. He sounded a lot like the second one.

Torinak
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Reply #3544 on: September 23, 2016, 05:32:21 PM

I can tell from that article (and yes, it's proper journalism, no blowjobs included) that I absolutely would never want to work with Chris Roberts. I've dealt with "visionaries" like that before and there's a huge difference between confidence in one's ideas and arrogant, zealous belief that one's ideas are always fucking right. He sounded a lot like the second one.

I've worked with that before. If everything went flawlessly, he was praised for his "vision". Whenever anything went wrong, it was that someone else had failed his "vision" and should be punished.

Thankfully, that was at a company whose general culture encouraged trying crazy stuff but also required the crazy stuff to prove itself pretty quickly. The pure "visionary" didn't last too long. There were a fair number of others with grand ideas who could be intensely passionate but could tell when it was time to abandon something.
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Reply #3545 on: September 23, 2016, 09:09:43 PM

I can tell from that article (and yes, it's proper journalism, no blowjobs included) that I absolutely would never want to work with Chris Roberts. I've dealt with "visionaries" like that before and there's a huge difference between confidence in one's ideas and arrogant, zealous belief that one's ideas are always fucking right. He sounded a lot like the second one.

I dismissed the entire article because their source still has hope. When hope exists, so does the dream. When the dream exists, we're not getting a perfect picture of reality.

To wit:
Quote
“If Star Citizen does end up hitting the goals that Roberts has planned (by beating his horses to death to get to the finish line), there is no doubt in my mind it will be amazing.” - CIG source
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 09:11:41 PM by schild »
rk47
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Reply #3546 on: September 23, 2016, 10:01:15 PM

If I hit lottery, it'd be amazing too.

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Malakili
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Reply #3547 on: October 09, 2016, 09:22:49 AM

Well, another imaginary spaceship has been announced.  It looks like people are finally balking and walking away from this.


Oh wait no, just kidding. They made another 1.4M overnight:

Teleku
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Reply #3548 on: October 09, 2016, 09:35:11 AM

 ACK!

Is there anything new to report with this Nightmare?  This latest post makes me realize I haven't seen anything reported about it in months. 

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K9
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Reply #3549 on: October 09, 2016, 02:59:57 PM

The amount of backslapping going on in the Star Citizen subreddit over how much money they've all just shovelled into this black hole of a game is frankly terrifying

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Kail
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Reply #3550 on: October 09, 2016, 03:22:28 PM


I still think it's hilarious that back when everyone was hating on No Man's Sky, there were people seriously saying "this is a total failure of communication, there are ways of doing crowdfunded games that manage their backers expectations well, look at Star Citizen for example."

I just keep seeing this in my head:
Lucas
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Further proof that Italians have suspect taste in games.


Reply #3551 on: October 09, 2016, 03:30:18 PM

Hello Infidels,

Tonight is CitizenCon night (well, umm, night for me, yeah), streaming live from LA on https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen at 3pm PDT (1h30m away as I write this).

It will be glorious. May Roberts be with you, always.

See you there.
----------
(on a more "serious" note, it should be mainly focused on Squadron 42 and maybe give out more details about the GodAlphaPatch 3.0 coming within year's end).


" He's so impatient, it's like watching a teenager fuck a glorious older woman." - Ironwood on J.J. Abrams
Venkman
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Reply #3552 on: October 09, 2016, 05:43:31 PM

I've worked with that before. If everything went flawlessly, he was praised for his "vision". Whenever anything went wrong, it was that someone else had failed his "vision" and should be punished.

This, all the way. Visionaries often aren't blamed for unworkable ideas. Generally it's the teams that couldn't get their act together.

However, often that's ok too as long as everyone gets paid. Sure, the players and backers want to see something launched that can be played and generate money. But the career of a visionary is to move to leading that next vision, and the career of the developer is to go off and develop something else in their skillset.

Of course, visionaries eventually need to have a success if they want to secure funding.

But my take away from article is simpler: Star Citizen is trying to boil the ocean. Key quote:

“You can solve those problems one at a time, but when everyone is trying to solve all the problems all at the same time, you're going to do nothing but waste money and come across huge technical limitations that you're going to need more hands on to solve. The problems were inherent from the beginning. It's just not a wise decision to attempt everything at once.”

I've been on initiatives like that before. Best you can do is get what you can from your own contribution (a network, new skills, whatever) and get out as soon as possible after. Your specific career skill probably does not require the successful launch of the likely pipe dream, while your own financial commitments like rent, food, etc. can be really screwed up if the dream isn't successful enough to keep paying you (like the folks they got from Crytek).

Don't drink the kool-aid.
Venkman
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Reply #3553 on: October 09, 2016, 06:19:13 PM

Another point to be made on budget.

Big huge crowd funding success sure. But not nearly enough to do all the things they want the right way, not when games with 1/4 of the scope cost twice as much, before the marketing budget is added.
jakonovski
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Reply #3554 on: October 10, 2016, 03:22:32 PM

Rendakor
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Reply #3555 on: October 10, 2016, 05:03:57 PM

This ride never ends.

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Shannow
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Reply #3556 on: October 10, 2016, 07:55:59 PM

Wait now they have Dune sandworms?

holy fucking feature creep.

pardon me while I laugh maniacally at the fanboys.

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jakonovski
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Reply #3557 on: October 11, 2016, 11:59:39 AM

I had somehow managed to remove from my mind the fact that Chris Roberts tried this exact same game in the form of Freelancer, and he failed in exactly the same way of making grandiose promises and setting impossible schedules. My mind is now somewhat blown.

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Reply #3558 on: October 11, 2016, 12:47:08 PM


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jakonovski
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Reply #3559 on: October 11, 2016, 03:33:08 PM

Feature creep is way too tame a term. I give you Chris Roberts' Dune Wars the MMOFPS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdCFTF8j7yI&feature=youtu.be
Torinak
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Reply #3560 on: October 11, 2016, 04:36:55 PM

Feature creep is way too tame a term. I give you Chris Roberts' Dune Wars the MMOFPS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdCFTF8j7yI&feature=youtu.be

If you're already working on drink-mixing as a full-fledged game system, is it really that much farther to tack on everything that NMS was supposed to be?
K9
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Reply #3561 on: October 11, 2016, 04:52:34 PM

I had somehow managed to remove from my mind the fact that Chris Roberts tried this exact same game in the form of Freelancer, and he failed in exactly the same way of making grandiose promises and setting impossible schedules. My mind is now somewhat blown.



To be fair, Freelancer was still a really fun game

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Velorath
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Reply #3562 on: October 11, 2016, 04:58:10 PM

I had somehow managed to remove from my mind the fact that Chris Roberts tried this exact same game in the form of Freelancer, and he failed in exactly the same way of making grandiose promises and setting impossible schedules. My mind is now somewhat blown.



To be fair, Freelancer was still a really fun game

Which only got completed because MS bought it and Roberts left/was given the boot.
Father mike
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Reply #3563 on: October 11, 2016, 05:02:46 PM

I may be completely mis-remembering, but didn't Digital Anvil go tits-up in the middle of Freelancer and have to be rescued by Microsoft?  Whereupon MS cut a bunch of features and shoved it out the door in a kind-of-playable state.

Faux edit: Velorath beat me to it

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Reply #3564 on: October 12, 2016, 02:52:20 AM

They not only did Freelancer but also Starlancer in a sort of "whole Universe" sort of way. Both got shoved out the door once DA went tits up/got bought out by MS
K9
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Reply #3565 on: October 12, 2016, 04:23:21 AM

I had somehow managed to remove from my mind the fact that Chris Roberts tried this exact same game in the form of Freelancer, and he failed in exactly the same way of making grandiose promises and setting impossible schedules. My mind is now somewhat blown.



To be fair, Freelancer was still a really fun game

Which only got completed because MS bought it and Roberts left/was given the boot.

Ah, I had no idea.


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Sir T
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Reply #3566 on: October 13, 2016, 05:16:34 AM

The only link left to Starlancer was a reference to the War in the opening cinematic. The altered it so that Freelancer too place thousands of years in the future in a galaxy far far away.

Apparently similar shit happened with the Wing commander movie. The studio lost patience with Roberts constant fiddling and delays and basically yanked their money and told him to push out what they had with the money they had already given him Which is why the movie is some utterly spectacular special effects twinned with dog awful live action sequences, becasue they didn't have the eime or money to make a decent story out of the preproduction stuff they had already rendered.

Chris also insisted they do NOT use the Kilrathi puppets they had used in WC 3 and 4, but wasted so much time faffing about on what he wanted to use that all they could cobble together when the studio told them to crunch was some space suits with claws and glowing eyes glued to the inside of the helmet.

Of course, Chris Roberts blamed the studio for forcing him to make a substandard movie by puling the plug. Makes me wonder who had his balls in a vice when he made the Wing commander games.

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Samprimary
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Reply #3567 on: October 13, 2016, 11:21:21 AM

there was so much of the game universe's structure in Freelancer that was built up and then never even seen in the game campaign. All the foundation of an incredibly elaborate and expansive world just sits and lurks at the end of the game.

Interestingly, it's the most fun and interesting part of the game to this day. You finish the campaign, and then you go on a safari to go see the far-off corners of the galaxy. You even can discover the fate of the sleeper ship Hispania, which is the most interesting hidden lore in any game for a decade.
Brolan
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Reply #3568 on: October 13, 2016, 01:28:03 PM

After all this time and money is there any part of the game you can currently play?
Pennilenko
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Reply #3569 on: October 13, 2016, 01:32:26 PM

Yes. A largish pvp area with some missiony things. I don't remember how many concurrent users can join at once. There is also the dog fight thingy, I think they call it arena commander or something.

The downloads are so large and they patch so often, I haven't bothered updating it in a while. At one time I think I downloaded like 200 gigs within the space of a week through the launcher.

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