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Thread: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly...

  1. #1
    Infinite Jest Member easytarget's Avatar
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    Default Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly...

    I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions, I had a pretty good idea of what I thought 5 hours into the campaign before ever reading a review. Which at 60 hours has not changed.

    reading version for you literary types:

    http://gamasutra.com/view/feature/16...s_process_.php

    sound commentary for the auditory focused:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgU7hqX0KAQ&t=7m50s
    Last edited by easytarget; 09-25-2013 at 01:10. Reason: while claiming not be to locking them up at all

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    I have an intense distrust of someone that needs entire paragraphs to say what could be said in a sentence or two. I hope for CA's sake, that the Metacritics have very deep pockets because if CA keeps designing games with those people in mind, then they very well might be the only folks left to buy the games.

    Oh...wait; game reviewers get their copies for free
    High Plains Drifter

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    Infinite Jest Member easytarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Well, I'll say this much about what I see as the fundamental difference between Shogun 2 and Rome 2, the former has a style, feel, and execution to the smallest detail that displays to me a unified vision and purpose while the latter feels like it's missing that at pretty much every level of the game. It feels like design by committee as if the Sega suits indeed did take over and shove this thing out the door.

    I think that's why I find it more annoying than I would otherwise, it's a sucker punch. Shogun 2 and each of the follow on iterations with ROTS and FOTS appeared to suggest a plan was at work leading to Rome 2, that CA was testing out and tweaking all the pieces, getting it altogether for the grand prize that so many were waiting for, only to have it snatched away with an Empire style launch.

    To be honest, I'll still keep playing Rome 2 and have some fun with it, but I'll never I suspect stop being disappointed by what might have been, because the game design decisions that doom it to rank as a failure in my eyes aren't likely ever be fixed.
    Last edited by easytarget; 09-25-2013 at 03:27. Reason: gammar

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    What are they locking repeatedly? An article from over a year ago?

  5. #5
    Infinite Jest Member easytarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiDamascus View Post
    What are they locking repeatedly? An article from over a year ago?
    I guess Daelin is bowed up over the video, just a guess, I'm not going to PM him and engage in a discussion about it.

    It just looks like the standard business of burying stuff in rants and raves which they tend to do there.

    Not that I care, I mean it's their forum after all, they can run it as they see fit. That said, I can't say that I much mind the amount of heat they are catching because I believe it's well deserved.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    I dunno I guess I was just confused when it was "interesting material" when as you said it's pretty standard stuff. I guess I also don't get the problem, they cut stuff that wouldn't rate well. So?

  7. #7
    Infinite Jest Member easytarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Agreed. Reacting to it is where mods often ironically sort of fail at what they are trying to do, which is moderate the forum. In this case calling it out repeatedly by closing down the thread just resulted in it repeatedly popping up.

    The easier way to bury anything at an active forum is to do nothing and just let it naturally slide off the first page.

    As for the point, suggesting they dial the game to critics instead of the purchasing audience and dial game design same is not exactly what I'd call a long term viable vision, and honestly if that's what they did here, it failed anyway.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Not all forums are moderated by people good at dealing with people.

    As for dealing with critics, I wouldn't even go that far. I would say making a game that sells well is the end result. I know it sounds greedy or uncaring or whatever but if you make a game long term players or critics hate but sells really well (see: Sim City) then you just shrug your shoulders and fall asleep on your giant pile of money. Does that suck for people like me and you? Sure but I don't fault them for it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    My chief takeaway from the 4 pages of this guy's ambiguous, even occasionally evasive, language is that he really doesn't understand very much about the game his team is trying to make. From his description of the working atmosphere and philosophy, I rather got the idea that there's too much "creative freedom"...without an overarching vision. Which can sometimes lead one to re-invent wheels which don't really need tinkering. I suppose this kind of environment can sometimes produce an extraordinary gem (as many seem to regard S2...I gotta check this game out sometime soon), but is probably going to somewhat fall short of the mark more often. Because after all...where really IS the mark? Muddling one's way to "90% Metacritic" seems a dangerously tunnel-visioned method.

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    I rather got the idea that there's too much "creative freedom"...without an overarching vision.
    So did I. And I rather believe that all the effort encouraging "creative freedom" at the start of a project is precisely because there is no clear vision of what's to be done, so management is fishing for ideas. It would seem to me that if you have a real good idea of what you want for the final product, you would only have your design people working on projects that are part of the over-arching design. Seems rather wasteful of time/energy/money to allow a team working on a particular idea to get it 90% done only to have it go to the trash bin. I know I'd be seriously pissed if I was a member of that team...and if it happened with regularity, I'd be looking to go elsewhere for employment.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-25-2013 at 17:35.
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  11. #11
    Now sporting a classic avatar! Member fallen851's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    You know, every step of the way -- from the beginning to the end -- we're talking about a 90 percent Metacritic. That's our goal. That's what we tell Sega. And we communicate that through graphs, basically, of where we think we are.

    The Agile method of software development strikes again. Though I'm a strong supporter of the method, you have to have a good scrum master or team leader to crack the whip when necessary...

    CA cutting features willy nilly suggests they are using the Agile approach rather than a well planned out approach, and their approach the is wrong choice for developing a game because you don't release in short iterations to gamers (as you would a customer) and get the feedback you need, you release only a final product to the gamers. Normally, the Agile software development mindset allows the customer to terminate production whenever they decide they have the product they want after seeing an iteration. This means that features may be left out, but it is the customer's call.

    In this case, CA decided it is both the development team and customer, using Metacritic scores as customer feedback.

    The process is flawed, because Metacritic isn't the customer, we are the customer, and game wasn't done. But it got released. Sure it got a great Metacritic score, but that is meaningless. CA isn't pushing the envelope, they are pushing mediocrity, and so long as no other company makes games similar to TW, they will continue to score well with Metacritic. Shame on them. Shame on the reviewers too, except ones like Angry Joe, the Guardian, and Cinema Blend who took the time to get it right. Rome Total War II wasn't a good game on release, it was average.

    There is a reason most English car companies went out of business, and I think CA is quickly becoming the British Leyland ( http://www.streetfire.net/video/top-...t-1_179448.htm ) of the gaming industry.

    Okay kids, let's all give a nice golf clap for CA for achieving a high meta critic score even though they released an incomplete game!
    Last edited by fallen851; 09-26-2013 at 01:26.
    "It's true that when it's looked at isolated, Rome II is a good game... but every time I sit down to play it, every battle, through every turn, I see how Rome I was better. Not unanimously, but ultimately." - Dr. Sane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6eaBtzqqFA#t=1h15m33s

  12. #12

    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    So did I. And I rather believe that all the effort encouraging "creative freedom" at the start of a project is precisely because there is no clear vision of what's to be done, so management is fishing for ideas. It would seem to me that if you have a real good idea of what you want for the final product, you would only have your design people working on projects that are part of the over-arching design. Seems rather wasteful of time/energy/money to allow a team working on a particular idea to get it 90% done only to have it go to the trash bin. I know I'd be seriously pissed if I was a member of that team...and if it happened with regularity, I'd be looking to go elsewhere for employment.
    I'd have to disagree. Part of good brainstorming is to have as many ideas on the table, even the ones that sound stupid at first. You'll never know what another person can add to that idea. In videogames, developers frequently won't know a feature is working or not until it's actually playable in some form. Top developers cut working features from games all the time. I would argue that Rome 2's problems stem more from feature creep rather than anything else. The team needs time to step back, look at their game from a macro level, and see if all the little bits and pieces are working together properly. If a feature doesn't fit, it's time to adjust it or axe it.

  13. #13
    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    fallen851 - they didn't even manage to make their 90 metacritic target.

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    Now sporting a classic avatar! Member fallen851's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander the Pretty Good View Post
    fallen851 - they didn't even manage to make their 90 metacritic target.
    That is why we are clapping for them, and I said high not 90. Because 79 is the new 90 (just like 90 was the new 100 when they couldn't achieve that), and it is at least a high score!
    Last edited by fallen851; 09-25-2013 at 23:08.
    "It's true that when it's looked at isolated, Rome II is a good game... but every time I sit down to play it, every battle, through every turn, I see how Rome I was better. Not unanimously, but ultimately." - Dr. Sane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6eaBtzqqFA#t=1h15m33s

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    Part of good brainstorming is to have as many ideas on the table, even the ones that sound stupid at first.
    I can buy that, and that the fatal flaws of some features don't become apparent until well into development, or maybe that this feature or that just don't fit into the game in a smooth manner. I'm the type of person who prefers to work within a framework, and brainstorming has to fit reasonably well (though not exactly) within that framework.

    And then, through production, actually, we do what we call "Metacritic analysis." So we will break those features down into subsets, and we both look at it from a player's point of view, and a reviewer's point of view, and we'll weigh certain features as to how we see players and reviewers look at them, and they'll build up to a 100 percent score, and then we'll judge where we feel we are on those individual feature sets, and see the momentum on those and the velocity on those, too.
    Keeping in mind the part I highlighted, read what Heaton has to say when asked this question by the interviewer:

    You talked a little bit about the fact that you take into account how reviewers will perceive the game, versus actual players. Can you talk a bit about why you approach it that way?
    Lots to say about reviewers but about the players? Weeeell, he weasels around the topic by getting into multi-player issues and then you get this statement:

    Well, we do. We have an in-game metrics system, which has collected one and a half terabytes of data so far from Shogun 2. And so we absolutely can see how people play to a huge, deep level, and that is feeding back into the design of our next game hugely.

    And then we also see how people play through Steam analytics, and some other data that we collect, and we can see how people purchase, we can see at what price point they like to buy, how long they wait till they buy downloadable content, whether they buy one piece of downloadable content or all of it, etcetera, etcetera. How many hours they play.

    So bringing all that together, it is the future. Metrics is the future. And we hear that from social all the time, and we truly believe that, and we have a telemetry set of people within the studio who do that analysis on a daily basis.
    So...lip-service to what players actually want to see in the game, and a whole paragraph on DLC

    I highlighted the Metrics bit to lead into an article Mr. Heaton posted on his blog site where he states this:

    The bright new future is data driven. Big dataset management, statistical analysis and visualisation of data are key skills in the future of business and will become more and more valuable.
    But then he goes on to say:

    I spoke to a friend who had created games for Facebook. He explained rule number one. ‘It’s not about the game. Don’t worry too much about that. It’s only about the data.’
    We at CA will never feel like that. It’s all about the game, and about the individuals who make it and play it and their insights and passions and experience.
    Full article here:

    http://www.develop-online.net/blog/330/Hard-data

    As an anonymous American Indian was once quoted as saying: "White man speak with forked tongue".



    Now don't get me wrong, I love Total War and have spent countless hours playing it since Shogun 1, and lord knows I've been a big a defender of CA as much as anyone here at the org. I just hate snakes like this guy, and I wonder what role he had in the very sub-standard release of R2...
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-25-2013 at 23:56.
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  16. #16
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather interesting material the mods at the main forum are locking up repeatedly.

    This approach stagnates innovation. It sounds like a balding, middle-aged marketing guy talking about gathering data about target audiences. You gathered data from S2 and Steam? How will that make a good TW game? You see how people like to play under that framework. If you just cater to their current playstyle and expectations you will just give them more of the same over and over. You will make Call of Total War basically.

    Games that redefine how we play and enjoy gaming used to come by small studios who created someting THEY were passionate about. Games like Thief: The Dark Project for example. If LGS had relied on data and steam sales figures, and thought mainly how many DLCs they can cram out before their players start mass rioting on the streets, we would not get a game that took the FPS concept and turned it into a stealth "shooter" masterpiece.

    So... Basically CA is headed to the comfortable zone of secure sales and milking the players until right below the point of utter disgust...
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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