Four Years (or, Why free passes re: development have to stop)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Canterbury, Mar 11, 2017.

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  1. Canterbury

    Canterbury Avatar

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    In a few threads recently I've found myself commenting, for various reasons, that we're four years on from the Kickstarter in March of 2013. Yes, it's been some time folks, whether it flew by for you, or not.

    And I suppose at this point I'm really starting to see a disconnect with all the, "Wait it out..." and "It'll get better..." and "It's still in alpha..." (not true, but anyway), type of comments, regularly made here.

    Folks, we all want a good game. We're all backers here, to varying degrees. I don't think anyone reached into their pocket, pulled out real, hard-earned money and said, "Here, Port, make something I'll hate..."

    I mean, let's just check that for a moment. Anyone? No? Good, with that settled, let's move on.

    My biggest problem with this disconnect is that I feel it gives the devs a free pass to continue as they have previously done (which arguably, hasn't been the best way), rather than instilling a sense of urgency.

    Now, I'm not suggesting, for a moment, that the best way to encourage devs is to apply a virtual blowtorch to their feet and to make ultimatums and to rant and rave. I think they are silly ways to get anything done.

    But at the four year mark, I truly, genuinely believe that all the, "Wait it out..." and "It'll get better..." kind of talk achieves is -- basically -- a free pass. There's no sense conveyed of how I think people increasingly feel.

    And I understand why. People want to be polite. People want to think the glass is half full. I get all of that. But what I'm saying is, that kind of thinking doesn't help when a game is four years into development.

    The game, at this stage, shouldn't be struggling in the area of quests. I was floored with the recent admission that quests were even confusing people internally. Floored by the honesty; also floored this is happening.

    I mean, four years into the project, how can something like that only just be realised? Or with regard to combat... that's been unpopular since forever, yet there seems complete reluctance to even address that?

    This could become a really long piece if I started going through each and every aspect of the game and coming back to the fact that we're four years on from Kickstarter, so I'll save you by not getting into the reeds.

    What's vital to realise, however, is this game isn't as big and sprawling as games that legitimately do take 5 or 6 or even 7 years to make. Games can take that long. But SotA, truly, isn't remotely in the same league.

    At four years, SotA should be more advanced than it is. I'm sure the devs recognise this privately, even if it's not something they're keen to admit publicly. So I guess the question now is, where to from here?

    The best way any of you can help the game is to remain polite, loving and friendly -- sure -- but to not be afraid to say what needs saying. Free passes for the devs don't help them, or us, in the long term.

     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  2. Rufus D`Asperdi

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    I disagree.

    I disagree that 4 years is too long or that the progress that's been made to date is insufficient.
    I disagree that the Developers exhibit less than an appropriate since of urgency.
    I disagree with most every point you've made.

    I have and still maintain that this is all pretty normal for the development of a title of this scale, from the timeline, to the state of the combat and questing systems. The major difference is that we've all got seats on the sausage factory floor, and the sausage makers need to not only contend with us, but have delayed the completion of the sausage to satisfy many of our demands.

    Granted that the (not achievable) 1 year development time advertised during the Kickstarter has long since passed, but I'm still not impatient, or hold the opinion that there is anything significantly amiss with this effort.
     
  3. Onyx

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    Thank you. I am in agreement with everything you are saying here, @Rufus D`Asperdi

    On the other hand I have yet to see a post from Canterbury that I DO agree with. Sad.
     
  4. Ravicus Domdred

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    Get In MY BELLY!
    One thing we can do is try to understand each other instead of white knighting and downplaying other peoples opinions. This leads to the problem we have now. Its an US vs THEM mentality, note inclusive but exclusive.
     
  5. Graynight

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    Please see below information. This is not an argument for or against OP's opinions, but I hope it does provide comparison.
    This information can all be confirmed through the official websites of the games listed

    World of Warcraft
    Development Started: <Information not available>
    Announced: 2001
    Released: 2004
    (Stated as "development of the game took roughly 4-5 years")

    Star Wars: The Old Republic
    Development Started: 2005
    Announced: 2008
    Released: 2011
    Development to release - 6 years

    Guild Wars
    Development Started: 2000 (approximate)
    Announced: 2003
    Released: 2005
    Development to release - 5 years

    Final Fantasy XIV (FF XIV Online)
    Development Started: 2005
    Announced: 2009
    Released 2010
    Development to release - 5 years

    Elder Scrolls Online
    Development Started: 2007
    Announced: 2012
    Released: 2014
    Development to release - 7 years
     
  6. Rufus D`Asperdi

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    Now, add to this information the sizes of the teams and the development budgets for them, please.
     
  7. Ravicus Domdred

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    I agree that is needed information.
     
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  8. Roycestein Kaelstrom

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    The way I see it: the game will take as long as it takes. As long as there people support the development, they will continue with the development. Regardless of whether people like how fast/slow the project takes, it is what it is.

    So either people can keep playing the game, help funding the project, give out feedback, criticize the dev team on what they don't like, praise the team for what they like, straight up trolling the forum without even playing the game, or just move on doing something else, that's kinda up to them.
     
  9. Ravicus Domdred

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    Also what might be needed is the time frame that the companies announced that they would be releasing the game. Shroud Kickstarter said oct. 2014. I understand people that are "in the know" about such things say that everyone should know that making games takes longer than that. I am in the development illiterate percentile. How was anyone supposed to know that it would take years longer than what was kickstarted. I think this is an honest question and has caused much of the resentment from some people.
     
  10. jammaplaya

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    How many epic RPGs/MMORPGs does a person need to make to earn a 'free pass' for making a video game, (finally on their own with nobody breathing down their neck) (EA, the kings of cookie cutter) (and thus ruining it to meet a deadline) and instead releasing it the way they want it?

    Honestly, go watch spoony's ultima reviews and see what he thinks about pushing a release date with an unfinished product.
     
  11. Deliverence

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    When I think about what these games achieved in their development time compared to what SOTA has achieved, well it makes me disappointed.
     
  12. Rufus D`Asperdi

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    None of those titles were built for $11M.
    All of those teams were many times as large as the Portalarium team.
     
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  13. Canterbury

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    Thank you, I'm glad someone else notices this stuff. I thought we might have got beyond the third reply before a personal attack, that wasn't even addressing the OP was made but... there we have it. Thanks for that, community.
     
  14. Graynight

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    Question:

    What is the purpose of this topic?

    Was this an invitation for back and forth constructive conversation about differing views?
    Was this a request for the Developers to step in and insert their commentary?
    Was this a vent topic that the OP didn't really want replied to?

    I'm reading the posts presented, but I don't know if the replies should be based in fact, opinion, statistics, or remain unreplied...
     
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  15. Canterbury

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    The OP puts forward a POV. It's not trying to provoke anything. Indeed, it makes a point of saying people here should remain polite, loving and friendly. I'm not sure how clearer I could put that forward?

    The reply Ravicus Domdred pointed out was negative, a personal attack, and didn't address what was said in the OP, including the fair and equitable point that we're all here for a good game. I agree with him.

    Now, I realise your modus operandi here on the forum is to start trouble in threads you don't like in order to get them locked. I trust people will give your comments a wide berth from here on for that reason.
     
  16. Deliverence

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    "It took five years to create "Guild Wars" at a cost of $20 million to $30 million — a typical budget for a large MMO, Strain said."
    http://old.seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2002979383_warcraft08.html

    SOTA was built on the unity engine with many of it's assets being sourced externally and unlike traditional publishers was crowd funded just as Star Citizen was, which cuts out the middle man resulting in greater funding for the developer. Chris Roberts gave a presentation on this outlining the benefits of a direct publishing model and made mention that it allows them to put 4X the resources into game development vs other costs associated with traditional box product publishing. If I take in the cost savings SOTA has used and compare this to how incredible Guild Wars was at it's budget of $20 to 30 million, I'm just not sure how we ended up like this, as GW at least in my opinion is leaps and bounds above SOTA. I'm just an arm chair developer and I have no idea if the budget for GW included the marketing, retail and publisher costs, but I do know I'd rather be playing one of the other games over SOTA. :)

    Screen shot from the presentation Chris gave.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Roycestein Kaelstrom

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    It's for Saturday night forum PvP.
     
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  18. Canterbury

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    I like to leave these questions up to each individual's interpretation. For mine, I'd like people to stop and think. Is non-stop negativity worth it? Conversely, what environment does the devs can do no wrong really create?

    People don't even have to reply to the thread. If they just think about what they say, and why they say it, and the environment it creates, I would be delighted. It's a tall order, I grant you, but you asked -- and that's my reply.
     
  19. jammaplaya

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    Not sure how you both can see it as either an attack or off-topic. If you truly want to end the 'white knights versus self proclaimed detractor' era, then you should read what I wrote as advice for how to make that work. Including a reply to my comment on the topic of the OP.

    It was your choice to derail this thread and make 'white knights' the topic of the thread, and I can understand why you did it. I don't think you understand what a personal attack is.
     
  20. Nick

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    Out of curiosity, the article was written in 2006. Ten years on, does it still take 5 years and at least 20-30 million dollars?

    My second question, does anyone have a chart of the total amount raised through the years? We can't be harping about port having a 11 million when it was only reached not too long ago. I know they had 2 million dollars after kickstarter.
     
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