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30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006


FWIW most game companies have brain drain, which is why studios get shut down and new studios get bought all the time. Blizzard becoming like another studio that's going to get liquidated and replaced with some acquisition who made a popular-but-not-popular-enough strategy game is business as usual, holding onto key people for over a decade was the unusual thing. It's so reliable that VCs that used to fund tech companies will now regularly fund game companies with the intended exit to be bought up by a publisher.

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Reiterpallasch
Nov 3, 2010



Fun Shoe

Herstory Begins Now posted:

feudal lords were still accountable to kings, which is a key difference here

a critical feature of feudal manorialism in europe is that the lord can make it very expensive for the king to compel/remove them, because sieges are hard and the royal army can't be everywhere at once. this doesn't change until gunpowder artillery hits the scene in the 15th century. the king being able to remove a lord easily is literally one of the most important signs that you're leaving the feudal era and entering the early modern.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!


Reiterpallasch posted:

a critical feature of feudal manorialism in europe is that the lord can make it very expensive for the king to compel/remove them, because sieges are hard and the royal army can't be everywhere at once. this doesn't change until gunpowder artillery hits the scene in the 15th century. the king being able to remove a lord easily is literally one of the most important signs that you're leaving the feudal era and entering the early modern.

This isn’t really true or I guess depends on the country in question?

Like a French kings struggled with this bit that is because the French kingship was extremely weak for most of the period.

Meanwhile removing Lords was pretty easy in England outside a few edge cases

LIVE AMMO COSPLAY
Feb 3, 2006



Poil posted:

Does blizzard really care if they completely brain drain all of the programmers and artists etc? Couldn't they just restructure into only having management, marketing and sales to sit on the licenses and subcontract out all the actual work?

Yes, if they even think that far ahead.

(They don't)

rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


30.5 Days posted:

Blizzard becoming like another studio that's going to get liquidated and replaced with some acquisition who made a popular-but-not-popular-enough strategy game is business as usual, holding onto key people for over a decade was the unusual thing.
Their bonuses were really good (for the games industry) for a while.

Reiterpallasch
Nov 3, 2010



Fun Shoe

its true that i'm simplifying a little, but it's also true that england is a deeply weird case compared to the continental states, and also that the one thing anyone remembers about manorial england is that time a not even large group of disaffected lords was able to compel the king to sign something that limited state power

30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006


I would say the frequent conflicts between the king and ALL the aristocracy was a consequence of how easily the king could deal with ANY of the aristocracy.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003



What I'm hearing is that we blizzard should be formally slighted.

Feudalism derail aside, AGS' ongoing implosion with New Worlds is very much subject matter for this thread though I don't know of any good single summaries of it to link as it keeps developing in some huge new way every few days. I would love to get the full unfiltered story of what's going on there, though the broad strokes are that Amazon is trying to run their game division the same way they run everything else which has been woefully inadequate both for running a games company in general but also for developing an MMO specifically.

Herstory Begins Now fucked around with this message at 22:32 on Nov 26, 2021

Fruits of the sea
Dec 1, 2010



For clarity, Kotick has a golden handshake clause because he is also on the board as well as being CEO. So he can propose and vote on his own salary, bonuses and severance.

This is generally frowned upon but it happens from time to time because nepotism.

E: the big no-no is being a c-level and chairman of the board, which is basically a giant red flag for shareholders that financial impropriety is taking place. He’s gotten away with being just a regular board member up to now because Activision delivers.

Fruits of the sea fucked around with this message at 22:47 on Nov 26, 2021

Sexual Aluminum
Jun 21, 2003

is made of candy

Soiled Meat

Herstory Begins Now posted:

What I'm hearing is that we blizzard should be formally slighted.

Feudalism derail aside, AGS' ongoing implosion with New Worlds is very much subject matter for this thread though I don't know of any good single summaries of it to link as it keeps developing in some huge new way every few days. I would love to get the full unfiltered story of what's going on there, though the broad strokes are that Amazon is trying to run their game division the same way they run everything else which has been woefully inadequate both for running a games company in general but also for developing an MMO specifically.

I would love a big effort post on what the hell amazon is thinking with New World. At this point even if everything was fixed tomorrow, it will still be known as That Buggy Game

DEEP STATE PLOT
Aug 13, 2008

Yes...Ha ha ha...YES!





if someone told me that new world existed as a goon drama farm, i'd both believe them and support that game on that level

30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006


NW is hosed up in so many different ways that only some kind of crazy tell-all piece is going to be able to really get a grasp on What the loving Deal is. So far the main deal seems to be that the guy who runs AGS is a dumbass, lumberyard sucks, and amazon keeps trying to split the difference between the way tech does things and the way the game industry does things in terrible ways. For instance, I heard a rumor (COULD VERY WELL NOT BE TRUE) that they don't have a QA department, AGS wants them to do everything with automated tests. Game industry lore is that this isn't possible (I'm very skeptical of this, and I know Ritual used to unit test EVERYTHING, but at the very least nobody has built tools to make it straightforward, least of all lumberyard) but even if it were possible, nothing about the process or the way producers breathe down peoples' necks has been adjusted to accept test development as a worthwhile use of peoples' time, and it would require a determined effort to get game developers on board with the idea anyway. Oculus has had a problem with programmers at acquired companies leaving because facebook is mandating code review before checkin.

EDIT: Also hilariously they use regular amazon support for AGS problems, which has been a complete disaster.

30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006


One of my running theories about NW: amazon has(had?) a policy that all new development should be done with dynamodb as the data storage. This would be insanely dumb for a video game but if it was being applied to NW it would explain a few of the stranger stuff (why are player & guild names the "primary key" for players & guilds, why is stuff deleted inconsistently, so if you delete & recreate a player with the same name, you hold onto your visited inns, etc.)

Dieting Hippo
Jan 5, 2006

THIS IS NOT A PROPER DIET FOR A HIPPO




Unit testing is a good thing to do, but they should be done alongside real people doing testing too. Only unit testing leaves your quality in the hands of whoever wrote the tests, and won't get more creative or give feedback on how the game looks/feels. QA is essential for games testing and I wouldn't be surprised if the incompetent management at AGS thought they could innovate themselves out of needing QA.

Edit: While I'm here in the Games Dysfunction thread, I'd like to make a general shoutout to any place that does hire QA to pay and treat them well because holy poo poo does this industry treat them like poo poo.

Dieting Hippo fucked around with this message at 01:24 on Nov 27, 2021

hobbesmaster
Jan 28, 2008



30.5 Days posted:

One of my running theories about NW: amazon has(had?) a policy that all new development should be done with dynamodb as the data storage. This would be insanely dumb for a video game but if it was being applied to NW it would explain a few of the stranger stuff (why are player & guild names the "primary key" for players & guilds, why is stuff deleted inconsistently, so if you delete & recreate a player with the same name, you hold onto your visited inns, etc.)

I don't see how that follows from using dynamodb?

30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006


Dieting Hippo posted:

Unit testing is a good thing to do, but they should be done alongside real people doing testing too. Only unit testing leaves your quality in the hands of whoever wrote the tests, and won't get more creative or give feedback on how the game looks/feels. QA is essential for games testing and I wouldn't be surprised if the incompetent management at AGS thought they could innovate themselves out of needing QA.

Likewise, game industry support is one of the few remaining places where "specialist support" that's highly trained on tools, understands the product, and has a lot of lattitude in what they can do to peoples' accounts, persists. Trying to innovate your way out of that is going to wind up with people posting "hey I have been locked out of my account for 3 weeks, and your support staff just banned me instead of fixing the problem" on reddit.

30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006


hobbesmaster posted:

I don't see how that follows from using dynamodb?

Dynamodb doesn't have stuff like unique indexes, so the only way to have the db enforce name uniqueness would be to make the name be the partition or range key. It doesn't have transactions, so your two choices for all data is to put it into the primary document, or rig up something that detects the primary document being deleted & delete the other documents associated with it. Ideally you'd do the first but it isn't always possible. Dynamo does have a change-data-capture system that should make building these systems not-tremendously-difficult, but it might have been too much work or whatever and maybe they hooked up something that wiped out deleted records nightly, or just decided not to worry about it at all. Or maybe the system was busted and they didn't realize it.

Dynamo's benefit is that it can withstand a high write throughput, and it pushes operations labor from the team using the database to the dynamo team. It's really bad for complicated entity graphs, though, because you have to have massive documents which dynamo doesn't like, or you have to have rube goldberg machines simulating transactions. If you do the rube goldberg machines wrong, your data stops being transactional. It's also really bad if you have a lot of complicated read traffic, like if you need to do paged queries on a field that has a high level of skew (1% of values produce 99% of the traffic), or if you have a lot of different fields that would be indexed in a SQL db.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003



Dieting Hippo posted:

Unit testing is a good thing to do, but they should be done alongside real people doing testing too. Only unit testing leaves your quality in the hands of whoever wrote the tests, and won't get more creative or give feedback on how the game looks/feels. QA is essential for games testing and I wouldn't be surprised if the incompetent management at AGS thought they could innovate themselves out of needing QA.

Edit: While I'm here in the Games Dysfunction thread, I'd like to make a general shoutout to any place that does hire QA to pay and treat them well because holy poo poo does this industry treat them like poo poo.

According to someone who interviewed for an upper position in their QA dept, they were planning to have the bulk of actual QA work outsourced. Interviewee apparently ran for the hills and stopped answering AGS' calls

Dieting Hippo posted:

Unit testing is a good thing to do, but they should be done alongside real people doing testing too. Only unit testing leaves your quality in the hands of whoever wrote the tests, and won't get more creative or give feedback on how the game looks/feels. QA is essential for games testing and I wouldn't be surprised if the incompetent management at AGS thought they could innovate themselves out of needing QA.

Edit: While I'm here in the Games Dysfunction thread, I'd like to make a general shoutout to any place that does hire QA to pay and treat them well because holy poo poo does this industry treat them like poo poo.

For real. They're basically the finish carpenters of game design and, similar to finish carpentry, god help you if you try to skip/skimp there.

Herstory Begins Now fucked around with this message at 01:56 on Nov 27, 2021

chglcu
May 17, 2007

I'm so bored with the USA.

Outsourcing lots of the QA team is pretty common in games in my experience. Not saying it’s a good thing, just not really anything out of the ordinary.

Buckwheat Sings
Feb 9, 2005


Amazon runs its games like it runs everything else. Apparently one of their feedback sessions was reviewing screenshots of a game instead of playing it for gameplay. So a huge disconnect between their actual team and 'leadership' on how to make games. Bunch of crazy titles for people that have no experience basically

Most of their leadership are a bit scummy at this point. They're proven to be useless, remember Crucible?, so the only talent that's attracted to Amazon Games at this point are those in it for the money and immediately cash out after 3 years once their stocks kick in. The ones that stay play the Amazon game and become part of the problem.

Which sucks as they probably have some great talent there but completely smothered by snakes and useless dead weight.

I used to play basketball with a few ex employees but they weren't there for long.

Splorange
Feb 23, 2011



Buckwheat Sings posted:

The ones that stay play the Amazon game and become part of the problem.

Disregarding the inevitable unattainable goal of perpetual growth and just looking at the core business. This pretty much extends to any successful company in existence. On a long enough time scale you attract enough intractable cuckoos of different flavors that displace whatever positive influence a core good (whatever that means) group of people can accomplish. Also, even in the most worker friendly environment, I don't think you can keep talent indefinitely since people want to do different things eventually.. or you know, retire. Good people leave, because they can and the poo poo stay.

From a desire of seeing new and cool poo poo, especially in the arts, it is a good thing that companies die - they should do it more and faster instead of becoming these monolithic entities mainly surviving by virtue of being large hunks of capital and lovely business practices. The latter only accomplishing a plateau in the growth curve that always eventually ends in M&A or death.

Jesus, this became a bit more rambling than I intended.

TL;DR poo poo lives forever.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Does remind me that Nintendo is almost unique in the games industry for actually retaining their talent. Like, some years ago in a thread some folks looked up the folks in the credits of Mario 64 and almost all of them still work there, or have retired or died. I think it's more common in Japanese companies, but still- actually retaining talent and not blowing up the company on a regular basis to play the numbers game is rare enough in the industry. Doesn't help that studios kept getting bought out and strip-mined for talent and IP and as a result whenever a good team does get put together there's a race to scatter them to the wind ASAP. And the horrible treatment of employees, harassment and sexism probably doesn't help when it comes to retaining talent- it's rare that the misogynistic cockhead fratboy wannabes have much actual talent after all.

Ouroboros
Apr 23, 2011


Reading that Vice oral history of Guitar Hero made me so angry. I loved GH2 and the Rock Bands, and while even at the time I was aware that Activision was actively killing the genre it's depressing to have it confirmed by all the people that helped build it. Also helps illustrate that killing the golden goose in the name of next quarter profits has always been Kotick's modus operandi, if anything I'm surprised Blizzard has lasted as long as it has.

SgtSteel91
Oct 21, 2010



Destiny may have many, many problems, but I'm glad Bungie was able to get out of their contract with Activision

RagnarokZ
May 14, 2004

Emperor of the Internet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRAWaole51M

Yep.

Yep. Stop loving buying the games, reading the reviews or watching the content related to Activision and Ubisoft and the rest of them.

Pirate Jet
May 2, 2010


SgtSteel91 posted:

Destiny may have many, many problems, but I'm glad Bungie was able to get out of their contract with Activision

Tbh as a Destiny player nothing in the world pisses me off more than when people say “turns out the problem was Bungie all along and not Activision” and that opinion should be especially despicable after everything that’s happened here.

MarcusSA
Sep 23, 2007



Well Bungie is the problem just not the same problem.

Doom Rooster
Sep 3, 2008



Pillbug

Bungie caught the Activision when the saw the money they were raking in towards the end.

There’s no universe in which they go “Okay, now that our contract with that publisher is over, let’s make less money!”

Kith
Sep 17, 2009

You never learn anything
by doing it right.




one of the worst things about destiny 2 is that it's actually significantly cheaper than most MMO options on the market. it's notably cheaper than FF14, for example. however, the presentation of its prices are so aggressively awful that nobody actually knows that unless they sit down and do the math

the DCV also sucks and is bad

stev
Jan 22, 2013

Please be excited.





Kith posted:

one of the worst things about destiny 2 is that it's actually significantly cheaper than most MMO options on the market. it's notably cheaper than FF14, for example. however, the presentation of its prices are so aggressively awful that nobody actually knows that unless they sit down and do the math

the DCV also sucks and is bad

While this is true each expansion/season has about 5% of the stuff you get in the equivalent FF14 content drop. It's not great value for money.

Kith
Sep 17, 2009

You never learn anything
by doing it right.




stev posted:

While this is true each expansion/season has about 5% of the stuff you get in the equivalent FF14 content drop. It's not great value for money.

depends entirely on what you consider "value" since destiny has PVP shootermans stuff and FF... doesn't

but yes in terms of raw content FF has significantly more stuff. especially since it doesn't have a vault that it keeps shoving old gameplay into bungie please stop loving doing that

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Destiny 2 lost me when it decided to permanently retire content that some people played for. I had never played anything but the purely free stuff, but some people had paid for Red War, Curse of Osiris, and War Mind.

And now it's not in the game anymore.

Magmarashi
May 20, 2009







Kith posted:

depends entirely on what you consider "value" since destiny has PVP shootermans stuff and FF... doesn't

but yes in terms of raw content FF has significantly more stuff. especially since it doesn't have a vault that it keeps shoving old gameplay into bungie please stop loving doing that

On the other hand please keep it up cause I'm not gonna download and play your game if it takes up multiple hundred of GBs of space

RagnarokZ
May 14, 2004

Emperor of the Internet

Magmarashi posted:

On the other hand please keep it up cause I'm not gonna download and play your game if it takes up multiple hundred of GBs of space

Isn't Destiny 2's engine notoriously known for bloat, taking up waaaay more space than contemporary MMOs?

Mokinokaro
Sep 11, 2001

At the end of everything, hold onto anything




Fun Shoe

RagnarokZ posted:

Isn't Destiny 2's engine notoriously known for bloat, taking up waaaay more space than contemporary MMOs?

FFXV currently: 54.0 GB
Destiny 2: 70.8 GB (after a purge of more than a year's worth of content, it was over 100 GB before Beyond Light did the content cut)

Kith
Sep 17, 2009

You never learn anything
by doing it right.




RagnarokZ posted:

Isn't Destiny 2's engine notoriously known for bloat, taking up waaaay more space than contemporary MMOs?

engine no, assets yes. bungie really likes big set pieces with high texture fidelity.

granted, this makes for some absolutely gorgeous views, but it also gives the game a dumptruck rear end full of distant locations you can't actually reach and only exist to look pretty

Eej
Jun 17, 2007

HEAVYARMS


Ghost Leviathan posted:

Does remind me that Nintendo is almost unique in the games industry for actually retaining their talent. Like, some years ago in a thread some folks looked up the folks in the credits of Mario 64 and almost all of them still work there, or have retired or died. I think it's more common in Japanese companies, but still- actually retaining talent and not blowing up the company on a regular basis to play the numbers game is rare enough in the industry. Doesn't help that studios kept getting bought out and strip-mined for talent and IP and as a result whenever a good team does get put together there's a race to scatter them to the wind ASAP. And the horrible treatment of employees, harassment and sexism probably doesn't help when it comes to retaining talent- it's rare that the misogynistic cockhead fratboy wannabes have much actual talent after all.

Japanese corporate lifer culture almost killed Square Enix when the guy who did FF11 made FF14 without looking at any other MMOs that existed on the market and created such a money pit that it almost blew up the company. FF15 began as FF13 Versus, a project started under Tetsuya Nomura (the guy who freakin' loved belts and also was in charge of Kingdom Hearts) in 2006 who hosed around so long that FF14 came out before his side project was even close to done and they had to kick him out in 2012 so they could release FF15 in 2016. It's insane they wasted 10 years to make that game.

RagnarokZ posted:

Isn't Destiny 2's engine notoriously known for bloat, taking up waaaay more space than contemporary MMOs?

Destiny 2 was intended to be second in a trilogy of games with associated DLC over a 10 year contract with Activision. As a result it is absolutely not intended to be a forever game so they made a lot of shortcuts and it's safe to assume that the Activision helper studios made even more shortcuts (allegedly the first two expansion packs, which were made by Activision studios, just duplicated a lot of in game resources out of laziness?). Same goes for the infamous Sunsetting of older guns. They had made very strong guns with the intention that in a few years everyone's inventory pools would be reset with Destiny 3 so they wouldn't have to account for mudflation but then Destiny 3 essentially got canceled so they were stuck with guns that were basically 8/10 or 9/10 of potential maximum stats with not much room to make more guns that were good enough to be worth farming. By limiting their item level they intended people to farm up new guns every year with different combinations of stats and perks to keep things lively like a Magic: The Gathering card set rotation but Destiny players got really attached to their guns that they farmed and yelled real loudly until Bungie relented and said No More Sunsetting.

So the old guns are still sunset and basically unusable outside of (non high-end) PvP but now they had designed an entire year's worth of guns under the assumption that these guns would be sunset after a year so we again have the problem of insanely high stat guns just floating around in perpetuity with the only option being make Even Better Guns to make you want to farm them.

No Mods No Masters
Oct 3, 2004

You thought, "A robber must hate you to want to take from you"
The robber don't hate you


That darn japanese corporate culture. Fortunately here in the west we don't have any 10+ year game development debacles at all

Magmarashi
May 20, 2009







Eej posted:

So the old guns are still sunset and basically unusable outside of (non high-end) PvP but now they had designed an entire year's worth of guns under the assumption that these guns would be sunset after a year so we again have the problem of insanely high stat guns just floating around in perpetuity with the only option being make Even Better Guns to make you want to farm them.

So just like any other long-form MMO at one point or another

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hobbesmaster
Jan 28, 2008




Chris Roberts is the independent "self made" game developer that is taking a stand against big publishers! Or whatever, his thing definitely ties into what a stereotypical American game development debacle would be like.

The debacle most akin to FFXIV 1.0 would probably be Anthem but thats Canada technically I guess.

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