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Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

eshock posted:

Pretty much nobody crunches anymore (in AAA) besides Naughty Dog and Rockstar. Just about every other studio has wisened up, but it's just super embedded in those company cultures. On the last game I shipped, the studio opened 1-2 Saturdays per month toward the end, and started offering dinners 4 nights a week, but we still closed the doors and kicked everyone out at 9PM. Compared to some of the first games I worked on, it was a walk in the park.

I know of at least two other big studios besides the ones you listed that have crunched with the last 2 years. It's might not be *as bad* as it once was, but it's my perception that it's still very much alive and well.


quote:

Do you have any responsibilities besides yourself? If you're a young single person, crunch really shouldn't bother you at all. It isn't uncommon for white-collar salaried media jobs to demand 50-60 hours per week anymore. Which I'm not defending, just pointing out that the game industry isn't unique in that regard.

I'm young and single, but I don't want to crunch for months at a time. It does bug me a great deal - it's mentally and emotionally draining. It's honestly super rewarding to work on a project you love and believe in for 40 hours a week for a couple years. Some Overtime sprinkled in there as you approach content locks and milestones is fine too! Crunching for months at a time though is a great way to induce both project and industry burnout though.

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Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

ninjewtsu posted:

After a release, do you guys usually find yourselves trawling through reddit reading every angry comment someone has about your game, or do you just check out what the critics have to say and maybe a brief look at general opinion? Or are you just happy to be free of crunch and don't even care to see what people think?

If a major change was made to some of the tech I'm responsible for, I'll often look around reddit/social media/youtube to see if people are tripping over any issues with said tech. Communities are pretty good at picking up on small-ish changes. If the community perceives small changes that aren't supposed to be there, that's a good sign of smoke, and where there's smoke, there's fire.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Applesnots posted:

How do devs feel about the upswing of micro transactions in full priced AAA titles?

I can't really think of a single game you purchase up front with money that also has Microtransactions that I'd really champion. Maybe WoW, simply because it's 'no bullshit, you get exactly what you pay for and it's all cosmetic/prestige' store is probably an ideal manifestation of it. But you also pay per expansion and per month, so it's not like WoW is somehow a cheap game to play otherwise.

A lot of people cite Path of Exile as the ideal (although it's free to play, not a box). I mostly agree, but I'd say you absolutely *need* a currency tab to not tear your hair out, and you need at least 1 premium tab to trade, which is absolutely necessary if you start to take the game 'seriously'. To that end, I tag PoE with an effective price tag of $15~ with a free, indefinite demo, which is still a hell of a deal since that game is fantastic.

I don't personally have a problem with loot boxes that only hold cosmetics e.g. Overwatch, but I think the argument that it has more negative effects on those that are vulnerable to gambling and have addiction problems is at least somewhat legitimate, so I'm lukewarm on that.

Anything that's put in a loot box that affects gameplay is right out.

While companies exists to make money and in an industry as volatile as the games industry, it's nice to have some kind of security that MTXes can bring to certain games and platforms. At the same time, I think tossing personal and societal ethics to the wayside in favor of the almighty dollar is not cool and that there is a middle ground somewhere between Jim Sterling and Zanga that represents the potential ideal.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

ninjewtsu posted:

how do you feel about tf2's weapons drop system?

I have a very different relationship with TF2 - I used to play it quasi-competitively and so I think about that game a lot more as a player than I do a neutral 3rd party.

That said, I don't *really* have a problem with it. It kinda of gets a grandfather pass as I think it gets credit for being the first major game to introduce crates. Then there was the whole trading system to support it and if we are being honest, most base weapons are effectively free if you know how to navigate the trading communities. The problem is that that is a big 'if'. TF2 is an easy game to get into, but a difficult community to navigate.

So since I've gotten nowhere close to actually answering your question, I close with this: I think TF2's economy and crate system is very clumsy compared to its modern counterparts. I definitely wouldn't say it's fine the way it is, but because of circumstance and timing, I'm more willing to forgive it's shortcomings than I am almost any other game.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

theflyingorc posted:

Also weren't the stock weapons best-in-slot for a great number of the classes?

For pretty much every class that was 'important' (Scout, Soldier, Demo, Medic), this is mostly true with a handful of exceptions here and there. I don't really want to welcome that argument as a justification because part of the fun of modern TF2 is the huge number of loadouts, but it didn't really introduce power creep either.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Dark Off posted:

I think bigger problem is the fact that gamers think everything is possible. In magical land of games.
And publisher arent helping by bullshotting.
that is the thing that turns everything bit too toxic. During and after the game release.

I would say NMS was rather good example of that. The game was rather okay on release. But because how hyped up it was it ended up disappointing the gamers.
And during its development nobody listened to critics asking the right questions. (the price was rip off on launch however, and sean murray did lie about features)

This is something that for some reason the gaming community never really 'gets'. It's awesome that people get excited for a game, or an IP or an expansion, but software has limits, and maybe more importantly, networks have limits.

Remember in 2006 when Age of Conan was coming out and it was going to be the WoW Killer? People projected all their hopes and dreams onto this game, hoping it'd be exactly what they wanted out of an MMO because WoW didn't do X or Z as well as they wanted. The thing is, that projection wasn't a community projection - It was a personal projection. Everyone had their own person ideals of what the Best MMO™ is and as a result, everyone had a dream of what Age of Conan was going to be. A sign that this is going off the rails is when people are vague. "WoW PvP is poo poo. AoC will have great PvP!" OK, but exactly what systems are going to support that 'great pvp?' What makes you think it's going to be good besides a developer saying that 'PvP is going to be a focus and we want it to be engaging'. That's not an explanation of systems. That's something you put on the back of a box.

10 other 'WoW Killers' later with the exact same cycle of hype from a community that constantly fails to manage expectations, and WoW is still around and every other game, save FFXIV is dead.

'Player-Driven Economy' might be my personal favorite modern manifestation of this. Everyone has a different idea of what that means. WoW has a player driven economy, but some people actually mean something more robust e.g. EVE and others are totally content with the Currency/Item/Auction House relationship that's more or less boilerplate in MMOs. But hey, all you have to say on your kickstarter page is 'Player Driven Economy' and people go nuts.

The biggest, most spectacular version of this is probably Star Citizen. CIG shows a slide with 8 bullet points. Everyone projects their personal fantasy onto those bullet points. CIG under delivers, but there are 8 new bullet points to get excited about. The degree that Star Citizen does this honestly borders on 'unethical', but this strategy is so old that I can't help but do a little victim blaming here as well - the individual needs to take a step back and demand details before creating expectations for a game.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

AnElegantPeacock posted:

I've been a network guy for my entire professional career. I went network because I hate coding. I decided I would try and make a game in Unity during my days off instead of spending a small fortune at the bars every weekend. Turns out, I still hate coding. Making notes and designing the game in my notebook makes the hours fly by. Messing around in Blender is great. Making pixel art with this fancy digital tablet is endlessly entertaining. Unfortunately opening up visual studio makes me cringe. Any professional coders have any tips for making it over the hump between coding being a chore and coding being something natural? Is this something I'm just going to have to beat my head against until it clicks?

It was my experience that coding is really tedious until it's not. That's a pretty dumb non-answer, but bare with me for a second here.

Learning how to code, especially learning your first 'real' language is just a grind and the reward is so small because literally every problem you solve you have to look up a reference for, and your reward for spending 90 minutes to learn exactly how to write the 4 lines of code you needed is that you get to do it all over again, and also 3 weeks later, you will discover that your current implementation is poo poo and you should actually do it like this... It's like the absolute worst puzzle game that has no pay-off and the puzzles never end.

But then eventually you'll have collected enough knowledge and experience that you don't have to reference those same pieces of documentation for the same problem set. You'll just know how to do it and now you are only looking up solutions and implementation ideas for more esoteric problems. You still have to spend a lot of time because you are probably now in the process of solving increasingly difficult problems in code, but the problems are starting to at least get interesting.

Some weeks/months pass and you start learning how to implement solutions to increasingly complicated problems without any reference. At some point, you can 'see through' an entire problem. You can think through the entire implementation without a single point of reference, and you know what data structures you'll want to use and why. Maybe you start thinking about trade-offs in your head as well while you are designing this solution. That's the point where coding became fun for me - When you can start to wield it like a weapon to solve cool and interesting problems.

I went to school for Computer Science and dropped out. I hated coding for so long honestly, the homework structure didn't help. After probably a half-dozen false starts, I finally got far enough into it that I got to the point where I was solving problems and creating stuff I cared about. The first 'cool' thing I built was a simulation for the class I played in WoW at the time. Looking back at it, that code is awful and I'm not totally sure it gave me good results, but it was the first thing that was definitively mine - a problem I cared about and a solution I developed. At that point, I was off to the races and I found out I really enjoyed thinking about these problems. It's a lot more fun when you have a known set of pieces for which to solve a puzzle. It's miserable when you are still discovering what those pieces even look like, or where they begin and end.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 18:01 on Oct 13, 2017

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

joats posted:

What year would you consider to be the golden age of video games? I feel like it was between 1998 to 2001 as a consumer. That would be around the end of the N64-Playstation and the beginning of PS2-Xbox-Gamecube-Dreamcast. I would also say that around 2008 was the decline or when games started to get so big that paid DLC Horse Armor started to become mainstream and every big game started to feel the same or a sequel. Steam was released in 2003. It feels like 1998-2001 had an insane amount of risks taken and IPs created. Even today AAA publishers are relying on these 20 year old IPs because they worked back then. Only now it takes over ten times the amount of people to make, what some would say, the same game but with brighter lights and louder whistles.

Here are some cherry picked favorites of mine.

1998: Marvel vs. Capcom, Final Fantasy Tactics, Starcraft, Unreal, Banjo-Kazooie, Rainbow Six, Parasite Eve, Pokemon, Grim Fandango, Half-Life
1999: Tony Hawk, Silent Hill, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Party, Soulcalibur, Quake 3 Arena,
2000: Diablo 2, Deus Ex, Counter Strike, The Sims, Red Alert 2, Majora's Mask
2001: Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid 2, Tony Hawk 3

I would argue strongly that gaming continues to get better and the golden age of gaming is current year. What I personally consider to be the best game ever made was built in 2015 (Ori and the Blind Forest), but using just that year, lets go over a the list of Really Good Games.

We have:

Ori and the Blind Forest
The Witcher 3
Fallout 4
Metal Gear Solid V
Super Mario Maker
Splatoon
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rocket League
BloodBorne
Shovel Knight
Undertale
Grand Theft Auto V
Journey
Uncharted 4
Kerbal Space Program

And those are just the ones I can remember. This is also to not discount the seemingly endless number of other solid titles that have smaller budgets, more niche appeal, or maybe weren't home runs, but were pretty good like...

Duck Game
Until Dawn
Tales from Borderlands
Axiom Verge
Her Story
Cities Skylines
Mortal Kombat X
Downwell
Arkham Knight
Heroes of the Storm
SCII: Legacy of the Void
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Just Cause 3
Halo 5: Gaurdians
Rainbow Six Siege
Assassin's Creed, Syndicate
...And the list goes on.

So many great games come out every year these days, appealing to so many different people. There is now room in the market for both small indie titles to appeal to the tastes of a few thousand people, as well as monster AAA titles that cost north of $50m to make. In the modern era, you can find almost anything you want and there is probably some version of that thing that's pretty good.

Count the number of 'Fantastic' and 'Great' games in the early 2000s and you are left with a much shorter list.

Beyond that, the industry is a lot better at things like game distribution, UI design, physical interface design, and general UX-y things. Network connectivity and what games have done to leverage the Internet is miles ahead of where we were 15 years ago. All the supporting structure around games is just so much better.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 23:41 on Nov 29, 2017

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Gearman posted:

RE: Game economics talk (read: loot boxes and the rising costs of game development), this blog post sums everything up quite nicely. Anyone that was involved in that conversation earlier, or is just curious about it, should give it a read:

https://www.raphkoster.com/2017/11/27/some-current-game-economics/

This is an OK article, but there are a few things I take issue with.

I'm not a 20 year vet of the industry - I've been in the games industry for about 5 years, and I'm just a dude who builds tools. I'm not privy to financials. My read on the industry isn't that games are too expensive too make, it's that most studios are very mediocre at making the 'game' part of the game. From that stems issues with retention and engagement, which translate to financial issues over the long term.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

nielsm posted:

On the other hand, whether you fork over $60 for a mediocre game and play it for 15 hours, or a good game and play it for 150 hours, if there are no microtransactions, season passes, or subscriptions, the publisher has made just as much on the shorter lasting game. If you spend shorter time on each game, chance is you'll get the next game sooner.

Yes, and in the immediate term, that makes a lot of sense. If you want a studio to stick around though for more than a few years, it might be wise to actually build a good game.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Gearman posted:

The truth is that making games IS very hard. There is no formula, no blueprint, and no real guide on how things should be done.

Oh certainly! I'm well aware of how the sauce is made, and I'm well aware of the challanges. Making games is very hard, not just from a technical standpoint, but from an artistic standpoint as well every step of the way. My assertion is simply that instead of studios / publishers saying, 'our game could have been better', or 'we mis-allocated resources', they instead say, 'Margins are thinner because costs are rising'.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

teardrop posted:

I have spent a huge chunk of my life playing games, almost all single-player. I finish maybe 1%, because by halfway through either there is no longer a challenge or the gameplay has become repetitive.

When I've gotten to see all of the gameplay mechanics, if not the story, then starting the next game becomes more appealing. I finish 99% of books and movies because I know the ending is a huge part of the experience and will completely change the way I view it. My assumption is that most of the artistry in a game goes into the gameplay, not the story, so I've "gotten" almost all of a game by halfway through.

Is this a cool and good way to experience games? Or is a ton of work going into the last third of the game, carefully managing difficulty curves, writing elaborate plot twists, and varying mechanics to avoid repetition, that I've just written off after a few stale experiences? I would hate to think that I'm often missing out on fresh gameplay and book-level plot twists at the 11th hour. But no matter what, as much as I love 4x, I am still always going to restart as a new faction once I own half the map!

I think something that might be useful for you might be taking a hard look at what you find interesting in games. Everyone seeks something different from the experience, but knowing what you want out of a game, explicitly, can clear the path.

For example, if you need a narrative, a story, and characters to carry you through a game, it immediately crosses off things like Cities: Skylines. If you want a definitive ending and don't want a 'forever' game, maybe Diablo III isn't your jam. If mechanical skill isn't your strong suit, then Starcraft II, Dota, or Tekken 7 might need something else to carry them.

For me, I know I don't really care about narrative, and I really enjoy mechanical mastery and am willing to pay a complexity tax upfront to get involved in systems that offer a lot of depth. I want a game that makes me think hard about it's systems. To that end, I find that I really enjoy Path of Exile and Factorio. I also really like the aspect of Discovery that games like Dark Souls offer - I play those games and roguelikes as a result.

Conversely, I hold games to a very high technical standard - While BotW might have delivered on adventure and Discovery, it controls like rear end and it wrecked the experience for me. In the future, this will be something I investigate before buying other games.

I think that kind of introspection is very useful though for determining what really clicks with you and what doesn't. The are so many great games now that if you can accurately identify what you value in a game, you can almost certainly find a game that you feel was made especially for you (and then finish, of course )

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

daslog posted:

I have a question about Hackers. I love FPS games like Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, CS:GO, Battlefields, etc. It seems like every popular twitch multiplayer gane like these all attract hackers as they grow in popularity. Cheating players will pay hundreds of dollars per month to access to these hacks (which is just insane). It then turns into a never ending race to the bottom as developers release new patches and hackers develop new hacks.

Valve has been trying a community rating system, but that's far from perfect. Is there any hope?

I think there is a nonzero chance that CPUs become robust enough that keeping runtime memory safe might be possible. If a CPU has enough time to obscure important data in memory so much that even it can't decode it fast enough to use it (without a key of course!), that'd be kind of the dream. The nice thing is that this is possible on paper and I honestly don't think it's that far away. In fact, with Sufficiently Clever Algorithms™, we might already be able to theoretically do it.

Attacking the client/server comms will always be a thing in multiplayer games, but games can do a lot of stuff to make it really hard to do it effectively, but it's also something people have been working on for 20 some odd years, so even today, we are pretty good at this, but not perfect.

Finally, attacking the software at a 'high level' will probably always be some variation of possible, but usually unreliable for a hacker. Instead of attacking data or the memory, imagine instead that you just capture the data on the frame buffer and then write an algorithm to explain to a computer what a 'head' is in a game, and how to move the mouse there and click. Since you aren't dealing with absolute states, an attack like this won't be consistent, but it's also very difficult to prevent.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Meyers-Briggs Testicle posted:

what about 'the bug is really funny and doesn't detract from the game'?

That brings up some really interesting memories.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Chernabog posted:

I left it somewhat vague just to hear different opinions but I guess I didn't make it clear enough. I wasn't thinking about bugs, but about odd gameplay/balance decisions that may not be apparent to the players.

Some things that come to mind:
Hearthstone: They have some weird stances like refusing to buff cards that never see play or nerfing cards out of existence rather than making them reasonable. And sometimes they justify those stances with even weirder explanations like " it's not the soul of the card." (TBF they have gotten better about this but it still happens occasionally.)

Xenoblade chronicles 2: Having a gacha system on a single-player game with no micro-transactions.

Games that sacrifice gameplay for micro-transactions. I can't imagine most designers would want this so I imagine the higher-ups must be pushing those things through.

Games that hide too much content behind really hard difficulties. Presumably the designers would want a good amount of people to experience most of the game.

For games like Hearthstone, or indeed any game that has to cert to either the Apple Store or one of the console's, it's inordinately expensive to make frequent, small changes. Making the change is one thing, but then you need to QA that change and then cert the build. This is especially true if you are certing to Nintendo, who will come back with problems that you then fix, and then will come back the second time with entirely different, and seemingly arbitrary problems, some which aren't even on their own requirements list... Not that I'm mad. So for any game where you might have wondered, 'why don't they make smaller, incremental updates', this is often the reason why - It's very expensive in raw cash and time.

I think the gacha system was targeting the super hard grinders. It's a very traditional inclusion and I'd liken it to the monster arena in FFX.

Gameplay vs MTXes - I heard a really neat speech by a designer talking about this very thing, who said something to effect of, 'If you are being forced to put a game together with certain MTX systems and monetization practices, you can still try and succeed in making a fun experience.' I don't think anyone wants to work under aggressive microtransactions, but sometimes thems the breaks, and you can still do your best.

I think games that hide content behind difficulty do that intentionally. Games like Furi, Cuphead, or Myst are trying to deliver a specific kind of experience to a player. That experience can be compromised if you let the difficulty slip too much. In the case of a game like DMC, it means you might not be forced to engage with the systems meaningfully and the game it might come off as shallow or other pieces of the design might suffer - it's the difference in experiences between DMC3 and God of War. A game like Myst would suffer a lot more under a simplified model. Myst feels like an ordeal and finishing is an awesome feeling. Making Myst easier means that feeling is compromised as well.

Games like The Witness and Braid embrace this differently. The Witness is banking on your figuring out it's thing to really experience the entire game. Remember when people were talking about finding Stars in Braid, and no one really believed them for literal months? It's so bizarre to think that something like that could happen, but because the hiding spots were so esoteric, it opened the door for such a scenario. Symphony of the Night made a bet on half the game that you would piece together the pieces of the real ending.

Lots of games gate pieces of their content behind difficulty or puzzles and the experience is stronger when you overcome that. It means that they will inevitably leave some people behind, but I think that's something they decided was worth it.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

hey girl you up posted:

From the outside looking in, it seems like any "frames per second" measurement other than 1/(largest frame draw time in a second) (i.e., minimum instantaneous framerate) is not a measurement useful to a viewer.

If someone was driving on the highway, sat in stopped traffic for 15 minutes, and drove the remaining 60 miles in 45 minutes, no rational person would say, "You drove a solid 60 miles per hour, my dude, don't see what the issue is."

Before I built tools, I was a hardware analyst, and benchmarking games was a really big part of what I did.

Measuring FPS is kind of a mess for the reasons above and more. Generally, a report is expressed as single number, but as block of numbers. The reports I generally sent out were generated from a sample of anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes of play, preferably of the 'repeatable' type (replays, etc.). From there, depending on the product, you might get a data point every second, or every frame, or over some other period. It didn't really matter other than that if the period is too long, the 'spikes' in the data get leveled out at the data-gathering layer and that needs to be considered by the stakeholders.

With the data in hand, one could generate a report. The report generally would include actual frame rate over time as a line, several percentile points (5%, 10%, 25%, 90% was pretty normal), mean FPS, standard deviation, and then something to normalize the variance exhibited by the standard deviation when frame rates were higher or lower. A simple version would be 'SampleVariance = Mean / StdDv'.

With all that in hand, the stakeholders have to interpret that all and decide what's important and what the definitions for 'acceptable' and 'problematic' are. Studios sometimes have a 'target' framerate for a product given some PC spec and settings. They'll then say that X% of samples need to be at or above that target (usually 90% - 95%). Others just want a general idea and will address issues when they see them. Consoles are different since a 30 of 60 FPS lock is often considered paramount, so in the event of a dip, you might try to trace back exactly where a dip was witnessed and attempt to fix that particular piece of the game to maintain the lock.

Measuring FPS is an interesting challenge though since it's very difficult to put hard and fast rules on any part of it and a lot of it ends up being subject to interpretation of the data.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

hey girl you up posted:

Right, I get (almost) all of that. What I'm saying is when a game is reported/advertised as "30 FPS lock", this clearly means something different to consumers ("oh, 30 fps mean a new frame every 1/30th of a second; I shouldn't see any hitching") as opposed to stakeholders ("we will deliver 30 frames every second").

That said, I have no idea what you're calculating here, but it's not sample variance. It looks closest to a z-score, but it's not (and I imagine you'd want a different test in this situation). But my stats are rusty, so I could be wrong.

Yeah, that kind of variance is not a capital V "Variance", but a rough idea of how much the frame rate bounces around relative to the mean.

As for what the player sees vs what we'd measure, it depends a lot. In the console space, there is of course the difference between the lock and average. A lot of consoles games do try to lock (or almost lock) the game to a framerate, and are generally successful in doing so. '30 FPS Lock' should, and generally means that there is a frame being delivered every 33.33ms. When people talk about bad Frame Pacing, they often mean that '30 FPS' is being delivered on average, but the individual frame times may be something like:

25ms
41ms
33ms
25ms
41ms
33ms
25ms
41ms
33ms

That's pretty bad, noticeable to even someone who's not necessarily looking for it, and I've honestly only ever seen it on the worst Digital Foundry examples, and have never seen something like that in practice. I assume it's some kind of V-sync solution gone badly? Iunno, someone on the graphics/engine side might be able to actually explain what's happening there. In the console space, I can't ever see that being acceptable (although it definitely shows up every now and then!), and we generally didn't do perf testing with V-Sync on. In cases where that ends up on the final build, I can only imagine that whomever did the testing did a bad job, the developers didn't care, or the developers didn't have time to address it.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Cactus posted:


Do devs ITT agree or disagree with this? With the quality of recent games released by, for example, Nintendo, I'm inclined to give their views on these kinds of things a lot of merit. Could Western studios benefit by taking a leaf out of the Eastern way of doing things?


Disclaimer: I'm not a designer.

I think most Western Games, especially ones with larger budgets, lack any kind of cohesive direction or vision. I think a big reason why the indie scene is so hot is partially because the toolsets have become significantly more accessible, but also because there is a of 'character' that comes through when a game is the vision of a single person. I strongly believe that games like Stardew Valley, Meat Boy, or The Witness simply cannot happen behind the doors of a studio that has millions of dollars on the line because it's too scary to put that money down and not 'guarantee' a return. The games feel so hollow, so soulless as to not even feel like a game, and players figure this out. I don't think developers don't really mean for this to happen either, but little by little, what might have started out as a great idea gets chipped away at by Market Research™ or User Experience Testing™ or Focus Testing™ or simply time.

The problem is that all that testing compromises the game in ways that are really subtle. If you are making a game that's supposed to be a good game, then Discovery is what will carry your audience for years. Discovery can happen within the Systems, often expressed as 'depth'. Magic the Gathering and Path of Exile are masters of producing relatively little content and hooking their audience forever because there is always something new to Discover in the game systems. The other venue of Discovery is content - The traditional MMO way of doing things: Add more stuff.

Here, the problem is that your Market Research / User Experience / Focus Testing groups are awful at measuring either one of these things. Systems are something you don't really start engaging with meaningfully until you are several hours into the game, but can carry a game for literally thousands of hours if they are strong enough. The amount of content in a game is hard to determine by some person playing the game for between 30 and 120 minutes. So instead, these things measure First Impressions, and that's it. If the game direction is weak, they'll put all the eggs in that basket and focus hard on First Impressions Market Research and if you do this enough, you end up with Destiny 2: A game with less depth then the kiddie pool and not enough content to make up for it.

Edit: I'd instead like to see a shift to a spot where designers are primarily seeking out expert subjective and objective feedback from players who have thousands of hours in the genre. These are the players that can sniff out problems with your systems a mile away and while the more modern market research is useful for initial acceptance testing, I'd sooner push hard to use strong players as the basis for the feedback you apply, especially when it comes to game systems.

This came off more like a rant! It kind of is! I've seen this happen first hand and heard stories from others and it's always frustrating to wonder what could have been. I think it's why people are excited about anything Hideo Kojima makes, or Team Ico, or games like Nier: Automata. They feel like they have strong, confident direction and a vision. It certainly seems like Japanese developers are more willing to embrace the idea of 'vision' more than the western developers and while it often results in a game that may only appeal to a small audience, I think it's also the only way you will ever see something truly brilliant. I think people are generally right to hope for more of that because it's increasingly rare.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 06:05 on Apr 25, 2018

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Hughlander posted:

My problem with that is that I'm in mobile games. There's pretty much zero chance of someone getting to 120 minutes unless they're fully hooked by a tightly crafted new player experience. You can complain about the metrics but I know the percent of app launches that never get past the first user input. I know the session length of that first session and the retention to the second. The kind of games I'm talking about don't have several hours to start engaging meaningfully because you'll have finished your poop and deleted the app well before then if you're not already invested.

I can launch a dozen split-tests while the game is in test market to know which one raised the 10 day retention by 3% and compete directly the monetary value that will have when the game goes world-wide. You drat well believe that I'm going to spend that time to do so, I'd be a fool otherwise.

For sure! I don't think the kind of ideals I laid out necessarily apply to the Mobile space (yet), and I think the market there functions quite a bit differently.

That said, I think there is serious money for a group that figures out how to engage players in a deeper way. It's hard as hell (and risky...and expensive) to break from the mold that the mobile market has established, and I think we are seeing the first signs of it with games like Fortnite, but the mobile market was such a rapid race to the bottom that it's seriously compromised the 'vision' and 'art' part of the games. It's further complicated in that the mobile interface just isn't that great and isn't conducive to building more complicated games. It's really, really hard to apply those ideals to the mobile space, but I do think it's possible.

I think the key here though is abandoning the metrics that mobile traditionally uses and embracing the ideals of a 'vision'. I will also acknowledge that getting someone to fund someone's 'vision' on the mobile market space will prove to be quite challenging, but until that becomes more normal, Cocoa Crispies kinda has a point.

quote:

Take Stardew Valley, the developer skipped early access, and put out a finished game that he was happy with as a completed product. He then released 8 patches over the space of 3 weeks fixing bugs, implementing usability improvements and doing balance tweaks, all based on feedback from his users. That was user testing, he just did it after release rather than during development, and you can clearly see how much it helped improve the game.

Certainly! But it's really important to acknowledge the methodology here: The audience was 'selected' from people who wanted this game, and from people who cared enough and played enough to write up unsolicited feedback. This is as opposed to people who you select randomly, who are asked to provide feedback and might not necessarily have any passion for a given product or idea. The Stardew Valley approach of user research is exactly what I advocate for: More 'expert' opinions and less focus testing of an audience that fits a desired demographic.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Apr 25, 2018

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

GC_ChrisReeves posted:

We are talking about games because mobile and f2p are games too, no matter what the r/gaming hivemind might suggest otherwise.

I honestly argue that there is a line that has been crossed in these markets. It's pretty dishonest to argue that 'All/Most f2p and mobile games are trash dopamine stimulators', but it's equally dishonest to argue that games like Clash Royale is a game with integrity, or that the Saga series is somehow 'inspired'. It seems to be so difficult to talk about this because everyone seems to retreat to their respective corners. Taken to their extremes, in one corner, any mtx ever is satan incarnate, and in another corner, 'people just play what they like, and we are just providing a service'.

I think there is a strong argument to be made that the mobile market, especially the f2p market is pretty lovely.

So, instead of sleeping tonight, I spent the time to look at and codify the 75 top grossing games on the Google Play Store:

https://imgur.com/a/oH903MR

All of them except one has the core experienced of the game compromised by MTXes. Now, that doesn't mean these shouldn't somehow qualify as 'games'. Pokemon Go, Golf Clash, Marvel Future Fight and even Design Home all have some really neat ideas as games, but a lot of these games are uninspired cash-ins that exist first to make money and if it happens to provide something of substance, well, that's a nice side-effect.

Looking at the list:
- Green Games all give you a finite amount of time to play the game that can be bypassed with MTXes of up to $100.
- Yellow Games have a competitive experience where people who pour money into it have a serious gameplay advantage in PvP.
- Light Blue games have single player components that have progression walls that are effectively 'locked' behind MTXes. Some of them have light PvP components as well.
- Orange games are all Crash Clones (or close enough) and MTX's are about on par with the 'Yellow' games.
- Red games are literally casinos. About a quarter of the top 75 grossing games on Google Play Store are Casions.

Compare this to the top 10~ games on steam right now:

https://imgur.com/a/2lBjLQn

The difference between these games (Save Payday 2...) and the Mobile ones can be summed up in one word: Integrity.

Rocket League is $20 bucks. You drive around and have a wonderful time and you can buy car hats if you want, but the MTXes don't compromise the game or it's systems: Rocket League has integrity. Far Cry 5 is a game you buy and the game is whole and complete and doesn't ask anything out of you - Far Cry 5 has integrity.

To be fair to the mobile space, the Top Paid Games seem pretty good. Most of them do not succumb to the worst that the mobile market has to offer.

-----

To bring this back full circle though, when it comes to a discussion about what makes a game a capital-g Game proper, I think it's 'Vision'. Games at their best do make you feel something, or provide an experience, or create a moment to be remembered that's more than just skin deep. Moments like discovering the upside-down castle, or rolling up to the first colossus, or seeing "Would you kindly" written in blood, or just seeing the red text 'You Died' are so powerful that I don't even have to call out the name of the games and it probably evoke emotions and vivid memories from a lot of folks reading this. This is not just a nostalgia thing either: The Witness has this same kind of hit and perhaps even more potently than most. Celeste speaks to a lot of players in ways that other games, especially platformers, never have.

When people like Cocoa Crispies are almost sarcastically dismissing the mobile and f2p market, it's because those markets are dominated by 'profit-first' games. They don't deliver these kinds of experiences because they don't care to. The game isn't about delivering those kinds of experiences. The game is primarily about making as much money as it can and will gladly sacrifice everything else at that alter. Those kinds of games are not Games.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 08:21 on Apr 26, 2018

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

KingBomber69 posted:

I'd consider being a game designer.

But, do you have ideas??

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Buckwheat Sings posted:

Anyone work at Riot?

What's with all their recent negative glassdoor reviews? Are they trolls or is the studio having issues?

Is that kind of thing normal?

It's pretty standard to see negative reviews on Glassdoor. It's a useful site for sure, but it's also a place where people with an axe to grind go to air grievances. I've not worked there, but the folks I've spoken to that have worked there have had good things to say about Riot.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Hot Take: FIFA is a shining example of everything that isn't 'integrity', but they seem to be otherwise fine.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Phobeste posted:

For the people who work on pc targeted games, how do you pick your hardware targeted and minimum bound?

Depends a lot on the game and studio.

If your game is easy on the GPU and CPU, you will generally just pick the first budget mainstream card that supports the features you use (e.g. DirectX, Shadermodel, etc). Ditto on the CPU features.

If you have something more intense, and time, you can define what the min spec experience is (30 FPS at these settings and this resolution) and start testing against the average and worst case scenarios in your game until you dip under the bar that was set and draw a line there.

If you don't have that kind of time, you make a best guess.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Discendo Vox posted:

Sorry, I'm hypersensitive to it because so much oxygen is spent on the right way for the devs to speak, versus really digging into the preexisting, root cause Toxic Gamer Tribalism.

This does indeed suck, but it's also the reality of being a public facing person (assigned or not) for anything ever. It's a stupid game we all have to play at least sometimes and it's insane that a slip can result in something blowing up, but playing the PR game is just part of it the deal. I think I've been through PR training of some kind thrice at this point.

Kanine posted:

what's your suggestion on what to do specifically in this situation when you're targeted

So, if it's Re: EGS, Mutata is 100% correct, but if you want a case study, take a look at the Coffee Stain's Response. Some quick tips to be gleaned from this video in particular:

1. Don't antagonize your audience. Ooblets did this and it was a huge mistake and it's a big reason why these guys are getting some much vitriol when Coffee Stain got a disliked video and some angry posts on reddit for a few days.
2. Sympathize with your audience. Try to understand why they are mad and even if you don't address the issue, offering authentic understanding can win you some understanding in return.
3. Be upfront about your motivations. If you are goes to EGS because it provides security for the studio, then say that up front.
3.1 Talk about your game and the people, not about the company. It's easy to sympathize with developers. It's hard to sympathize with companies. to that end, don't cooperate-speak that poo poo - just say, 'We needed money to pay people so we can finish a game. Epic wrote a check.' You'll get a much better response vs, 'In looking at our financial velocity, the company's' fiscal future looks a lot more secure when...'
4. Seriously, don't antagonize your audience. It's just a license to go for the throat.

At the end of the day, it's not like CS didn't get some hate, but what they did is they handled the situation without giving people any ammo to do anything with, so that hate just died super quickly. If you start calling your audience 'entitled' or 'brats', whether it's true or not, they have a lot more to use as fuel than just a blog post saying, 'we're moving to EGS - here's why'.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 01:35 on Aug 7, 2019

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

quote:

As far as I can tell the only real preventative solution in gaming is to be very big, very socially separated from users, and to never let any staff member give any inkling of weakness that the mob might seize upon.

This is probably good general advice, but there are strong examples of developers having a close relationship with the general community and reaping some pretty wonderful benefits from that. The token example I can think of is Chris Wilson and Path of Exile - he's a regular presence on the subreddit and often to deliver bad news, but he has the continued respect of the community. A lot of this is because he doesn't bullshit - I cannot tell you how valuable being an authentic person to your audience is, yet it's something studios fail at so much.

Another success story might be Jeff with Overwatch. When he talks to the community, he sounds like he's interested in his game. He stutters or misses a word here or there. He looks and sounds like a human being and he's relatable. Beyond that, he's talking about specific things, and talking about exactly what he's excited about in specific terms, giving specific examples to support his story that existing players can associate with, and potential players can imagine. Just as importantly, the entire video is given a more authentic feel through the editing, because there is no editing. Compare that to something like this. It has the same casual tone, but the fact that it's edited gives it a super inauthentic feel - it's hard to know if the casual tone itself is just scripted, and since the average gamer on reddit is incredibly jaded, they assume the worst and it leaves the viewer disconnected from any personality or humanity on the team. Worse than the Destiny 2 dev update is one of the Anthem Interviews. Everyone in this is dressed way to nicely and it just immediately alienates potential interested gamer right out of the gate. Everything being talked about is very abstract, very carefully planned, and specifics are left out entirely. The conversation is informal on the surface, but the controlled environment that is their language seeps through and again, it wrecks the guise (already in shambles anyway). The end result is that despite Casey being a smart and charismatic dude, he appears more like a corporate mouth than someone you want to have a beer with. Worse than all of that is when a developer is literally reading off a prepared script. Everyone knows you are doing it and you will win exactly zero points with the community by doing that. Don't read a script if relatability is at all important to you.

But getting back to the core of the conversation: If you want to see someone do all the right things on reddit no less, look no further than Chris. It's an absolute masterclass in how to be a positive member of your game community even when the chips are down, and it really can be boiled down into two things: 'Be excited, but don't over promise', and 'Be a human'.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 04:00 on Aug 7, 2019

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

DreadCthulhu posted:

Are there certain game review sites that devs gravitate to more than others, as industry insiders? Do you feel some of them are a more fair evaluation of the work?

My personal thoughts: Independent reviewers seem to do a better job since they aren't in a position where they can overtly burn bridges with publishers/developers if they say something mean. For the same reason, I actually am inclined to take comedy reviewers a lot more seriously than something mainstream. Gamespot, IGN, etc. are pretty awful - I unironically take Dunkey / Jim Sterling / Yahtzee more seriously as a reviewer than I do the mainstream reviewers.

I think I could talk a lot about this, but when I to hear a review, I generally want to find someone who specializes in the genre they are reviewing. Joseph Anderson does a really good job of looking deeply into systems. Boomstick does a good job of expressing thoughts on the 'feel' of a game without getting into deep analysis of any particular piece. Jim Sterling, like him or not, does a nice job of offering an 'idealist' perspective which has value. These folks have a definite style and their own standards and expectations and it at least provides a consistent perspective, which I feel is significantly more value than the soulless reviews pumped out by Gamespot and their ilk.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 03:17 on Aug 12, 2019

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Studio posted:

Counterpoint: Minnesota has a shitload of lakes

Also, Winter.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Willie Tomg posted:

--Steam is awful and margins are thinning

Cost to produce games of some quality X have been constantly going down. I have no idea how you'd even come to this conclusion. You could instead argue that getting mindshare of any kind of is becoming more difficulty (because cost of production is plummeting), which results in lower sales, but the statement 'margins are thinning' is incorrect. Furthermore, Steam is pretty drat great as a service - yes, for developers too. 30% is kind of a bummer, but to suggest that Steam isn't offering some nice features in return is pretty dishonest. Steamworks gives you a lot of stuff 'for free'.

There is a different argument to be made about how maybe the mainstream audience expects high production value, but that applies less to the indie scene.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer


And nothing of value was lost.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

The Mighty Moltres posted:

The Sega Dreamcast was an overrated console with no good games that deserved to fail and had no impact on the gaming world of today.

Not true - it serves as a very real reminder of what happens if your console security is bad and arguably was the onus for what ended up being a pretty substantial security effort starting on the 7th Generation of game consoles.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 22:53 on Jul 19, 2020

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Contracting out a Producer seems like an extremely questionable decision. The whole point of a Producer is to have a someone who has a high level view of what's happening as well as context - both current and historical - to the decisions being made. It seems very strange that'd a studio would be interested in the idea of a 'temporary producer', especially at the Senior level.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

It is my experience that there is a major difference between Developer QA and Publisher QA. Developer QA depends on who you are working for but I've only heard horror stories of bad process, bad policy, and bad treatment from Publisher QA.

My personal experience is with dev QA. I started there but am now an Engineer (I don't really recommend this as a path). Good QA Analysts are *really* valuable and it annoys me that they aren't paid to reflect that. A great QA analyst tends to know more about how systems in the game are glued together at the client-level better than most others. While developers and engineers are siloed and given goals and specs, the QA analyst is more likely to have a better high level view of not only what exists across an entire game, but how it 'looks' and how to manipulate the client to setup certain states. On top of that, they tend to know how all the data on the backend is stored and where to find it. That kind of knowledge can be hugely useful outside of simple test design and execution, and I find myself leaning on the more senior Analysts frequently for that breadth of knowledge.

CS I know less about, other than that the job seems to be thankless. I'd agree with Studio that CS < QA in general and for every dumb policy QA might have to 'encourage productivity', CS has three.

Of the two, definitely prefer QA if you can get into Developer QA. Some entry level QA jobs are full time and benefitted and those tend to be decent. Most of the team appreciates the efforts of QA and while the pay isn't going to be great, the developers generally appreciate their QA teams.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Leif. posted:

Because players don't have a loving clue as to what's "worth the time/money" for a studio. Companies, on the other hand, are seeing the raw BI data and numbers for how many people are playing, how profitable those players are (if it's a live game), the user acquisition cost for new players, and are able to make judgments about where the game overall fits into the studio's broader release schedule (and thus how long they need to support it to maintain a future userbase for the next game).

Players have literally zero insight into any of this, and there's usually a tremendous amount of overlap between the ones who mistakenly think they do, and the ones who are toxic and entitled pieces of poo poo.

I've seen way more bad decisions made being justified by BI data than I have good ones. That doesn't mean that BI data is evil or bad, but that the people who wield that data frequently do not understand the game they are working with.

Definitely don't source ideas from reddit, but also carefully scrutinize ideas from people who don't play the game.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

mutata posted:

Turns out I, in fact, do not.

Diddo. If I could kindly just work from home forever, I'd be extremely OK with that.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

There aren't a ton of games that implement it, and of them Minecraft and Quake seem to be the only ones with a near 'complete' implementation. I think Quake is the only """"true""" path traced game right now, which makes sense since that is really expensive. Minecraft does look great though and hints at what could be with a more complete implementation as cards get better and/or techniques like DLSS make up ground lost to render time.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Nov 4, 2020

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

I stick around largely because the overall quality of life is very high. The job really is quite good for all things that aren't exactly compensation.

I really like the product I work on - I play my own stuff a lot and engage with the community as a player authentically. I care about the stuff I'm building and it is easy for me to care about requirements as more than just a checklist. Despite working on a big product, I have a lot of creative and stylistic control over the stuff I work on. I have a lot in common with the people I work with and it's easy for me to talk to my coworkers. A lot of my best friends right now come straight from my workplace which has been something very unique for me, exclusive to the game's industry. Crunch is becoming less frequent of an occurrence. Compensation is actually trash though.

Furthermore, my skillset is C# and C++. You can find jobs in this domain outside of games, but the jobs are frequently uninspiring despite offering easily double or more the salary. Web is a super common domain, but I'd rather jam forks in my eyes than ever get caught writing another line of Javascript in whatever the FotM framework is in my life. I'd consider backend work, but I get / have to do everything for my current job and I like to have control over all of it - data, logic and UI/UX.

I've seriously considered leaving the industry because the salary is just... The offers I've gotten from other companies just hurts, but when I look into my heart of hearts, just working around people I really enjoy on products I really care about has a lot of value for me. I guess that's why industry pay is bad .

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

al-azad posted:

My sister was in a similar situation, she was scouted by Google and Facebook but turned down both for Capital One which needed someone to lead development on their credit app algorithm and while everyone else in her class chose the cutting edge ticket she accepted the basically lone developer position in a field that no executive had any knowledge on. She went from college graduate to senior developer in 3 years, stashes more money than she would in a similar position at Google or Facebook because she doesn't live in a city where a month's rent is a down payment on a house, and has so much freedom she can be like "I'm taking 3 weeks to travel Japan, don't call." That's the dream if you ask me lol.

Yeah, some people are really OK with that model of work, but I'm really not. Or at least I think I'm not. Disliking my work is really rough and I actually can't deal with it mentally at all. However, there is a compelling argument to be made for working for 10 years on a bonkers salary and then retire quietly on multi million dollar nest egg.

I dunno.

I've more or less come to terms with the idea that I won't know the right answer for me until it's already too late. I think prioritizing my mental health today has a lot of value even if it comes at a monetary penalty. I still have more than enough to live comfortably. It's not like I have total 'gently caress you' money, but I have nice poo poo and a lot of savings - I think that's good enough for me.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

DreadCthulhu posted:

Going back to Supergiant and Unknown Worlds, I think it's worth reiterating that both of those teams had been grinding at it for a long time before they struck gold. UW specifically had been in the scene since the early 2000s with Natural Selection, and they had almost 15 years of experience of doing Early Access releases before even touching Subnautica. I suppose, sure, you can win the lottery and have your first game become Minecraft, but the reality is that it's not unlike you will need to be polishing your game dev chops for a very long time before you have a real shot at it, and even then, many stars have to align.

Going back to the marketing thing, Subnautica somehow got picked up by every major streamer at the time with exception for Pewdiepie, which is something that 99.99% of games will never experience. Lots of hard work and experience and lots of luck in getting the right eyeballs at the right time..

I don't know everything about UW, but the various media and documentaries about their studio give me the impression that the people on that team are Extremely Smart™. Executing successfully on a custom engine for NS2 and some outstanding forward-looking tech along side projects like Decoda give me the sense that not only do these guys have raw engineering chops, they also are pretty in tune with the problems they must solve at most corners of game development and have some large-scale project management skills to boot. Getting a team of <10 with the technical and development prowess that team has is quite rare.

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Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

quote:

Diablo Immortal shouldn't have been announced at Blizzcon, period. It's not targeted at Blizzcon people and will not be received well by them.

I strongly agree with this. Or at least, if it was announced at Blizzcon, you need to be very ready for the audience at the very least asking, 'Where is D4 dude?' and at the worst, 'Is this an out of season April Fools Joke?' Anyone who thought this was going to get some kind of positive reception with that audience is likely both delusional and completely out of touch.

The correct-est way to announce this would have been, 'Here's D4 - it's pretty cool. Also, we are doing this little Diablo Immortal thing too! Now, lets do a Diablo Franchise Q&A'. The questions would be probably nearly exclusively about D4. The audience there wouldn't really care about D:I, and they wouldn't have to spend an hour trying to piece together a disastrous Q&A for a product no one in the audience wanted. Critically, D4 needed to be announced before D:I. Less critically, but still important, don't give that audience an 'in' to start poking at D:I - combine that stuff with something they care about.

Exilecon was a master class of this kind of an announcement: Announce your big new cool thing talk about for 80% of the time. Talk about your mobile thing that your core audience will probably not be interested in. Talk about it for 20% of the time and spend some of that time appeal directly to the fans there ("If this isn't cool, we'll sack it"). Take questions about both products at the same time. Everyone just asks about your new big thing anyway.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 04:18 on Mar 17, 2021

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