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Company Behavior

2002-10-22 16:09:29+00 by TC 20 comments

Eidos just anouced they will miss their November 15th ship and will delay release until February. The golden rule in the game industry is that you can't miss christmas. People get fired fired over these things, even worse not ready games get shipped. It looks like Core and Edios are acting responsibly. Go Team.

[ related topics: Games Machinery ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-10-22 16:45:09+00 by: Dan Lyke

Despite my tendencies in that direction, I'm really not cut out for the game industry. When I hear Eidos, my first reaction isn't "Tomb Raider", it's the other EIDOS.

#Comment made: 2002-10-22 17:10:41+00 by: Shawn

That's kinda where I'm at too. Despite strong inclinations towards animation, games and graphics, I don't really follow the industry at all. But then, that could be said for almost all of the things that I'm keen on; Film, anime, programming/development, music.

#Comment made: 2002-10-22 17:39:53+00 by: canis

Eidos? Acting responsibly?

Hee hee hee hee *cough* hee hee *ahem*

don't get me started...

(I am in the industry...)

#Comment made: 2002-10-22 20:21:34+00 by: ebradway

If they were already at Nov. 15th, then they were already in serious danger. Even a big-name like Tomb Raider will see a fraction of potential sales by relying on presales (the only way to really get product in the customers' hands by Xmas).

Yes, the game industry has entered a generally boring place. Too much work, not enough real creativity - just a matter of taking existing titles and waiting for the next step up in hardware. The last really interesting change in gaming occured when 3D cards became common.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 06:16:32+00 by: Shawn

(I am in the industry...)

I also was once. And I'd love to get back (hope my schooling helps me with that ;-).

ebradway; I lay the blame squarely at the feet of marketing drones and this country's implimentation of capitalism. Nobody (read: no company) wants to incur the risk and cost associated with making something truly creative. They just want to continue to clone prior hits. (Which never do as well as hoped/expected/their predecesor, resulting in more conservative fear - and the cycle starts anew.) That's why video games have degenerated into little more than variations on three themes: Virtual gun range, Fighting (martial arts), and Racing.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 18:43:50+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

Has anyone other than me signed up to try the alpha version of "Game Neverending" (GNE)? I was invited yesterday to join the alpha testers, and oh my oh my, I wasn't able to stop. I had to keep making red paper and spreading New Age Love Potions and making acquaintances and friendships with the other players and traversing the map gaining experience points towards the time when I can buy Rosalyn and make a GNE of my own. (Except she's really heavy to carry... I'd have to put down my money printer if I got her...) Think The Sims with a Gazillionaire focus in sort of a Zork-like world, with some very high-coolth puzzles to solve, and eventually a hint of Roller Coaster Tycoon. I know it's not a shoot-em-up, but I think it's going to be a hit. I have lots of trouble stopping, and it's a very community-oriented exerience ("web-based massively multiplayer online game of social, political and economic interactions"). If you're considering signing up to be an alpha or beta tester, I would like to warn you against it if you're also considering writing a novel in November. My point here is that it's different, and I think lots of people are going to love it. Oh yeah, no 3-D involved, it's very low-tech (for now anyway...although this is the alpha version...). It's also nowhere near complete yet. I am fully intrigued.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 22:14:39+00 by: canis

Diane, I haven't tried it, but I've heard about it, and have (just) signed up.

It reminds me a bit of Animal Crossing (http://www.nintendo.com/games/...age/gamepage_main.jsp?gameId=646 with fan sites at http://www.animalxing.com/ and http://www.the-animal-crossing.com) which, despite being yer typical Nintendo Supercutesy Kiddy Sort Of Thing appears to be reducing grown men to tears worldwide (usually when their Significant Others nick stuff from their village. Or write insulting graffiti on their cat...). It's very... eccentric. You can plant all sorts of things and grow trees out of them. It's not online, but you can trade with people anyway using a cunning scheme where you 'post' something to another village, and the game gives you a code which can be entered on someone else's machine. Also, you can trade via Gameboy Advance, and enter other people's villages by borrowing their memory card.

Now what someone really needs to do, is bring out a handheld gaming unit that has WiFi built in, so you can see the villages of anyone within range...

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 22:46:44+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

canis, after going back and reading your post about gaming from last Feb., I'm thinking you may enjoy GNE. It definitely answers one of your concerns from that thread:

If the visuals were orientated around the social aspect (instead of dungeon-bashing) they could complement it, with cooperative play (in a "playground" sense rather than a "insert coin player 2!") sense coming in... the "hey come look at this cool thing!" factor rather than the current "me hit thing. you hit thing. thing die twice as quick" yawnfest.

GNE's visuals ain't much to shake a stick at yet, but I think they're meant to be cartoon-y even in the final version. It's become obvious to me after playing for a day that this is a social "playground" experience. You're running around doing your own little thing, but everyone is cooperating: someone needs 2 condoms to finish making a "New Age Love Potion"? Just ask! I picked up 19 condoms back there a ways, I'll give some to him when he comes to meet up with me in one of the nodes (and I'll establish an acquaintance/friendship relationship with his character in the meantime, giving us both advantages), and he'll gift me a few bottles of Absinthe which improve my mood and karma values, and we'll both be happy. Did I stumble into a money tree room where someone had been waiting for the next ream of paper to be dropped from the tree, so they could make the final blue paper they needed? All they had to do was ask me to let them pick up the next one, and they gave me dibs on the following one, and 2 sheets of yellow paper for my troubles. (Paper is very important in this economy. :-) Last night someone announced, "Party in SOSO!" and we all traveled over there and someone shot his wad, dropping his entire inventory and we all just picked through things while other were setting off random Happy Potions and gifting each other with items that most of us don't know what to do with yet (I've got a whatsit, a thingamabob, and a doodah, and I can't wait to find out what I can do with them). It's a real gift-giving culture, at least in the current phase of the game's society, and it's nifty to watch that unfold.

Of course, there are curmudgeons whose aim is to disrupt these cozy alliances, but what fun would it be otherwise? (I was so surprised to run into someone last night who refused my request to establish an acquaintance that I did a double-take; I realized later that he was busy trying to throw monkey wrenches into the works wherever he could.) In later versions, we'll be able to build houses and establish political parties and alliances and build new economies, and everything will ratchet up at least an order of magnitude in complexity, I suspect.

I'm finding it addicting. But I think maybe I've been in need of some escapist activities recently and this hit at the right time...

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 00:30:12+00 by: meuon

Escapist activities: What EIDOS (Everyone is Doing Outrageous Sex) is not enough? - It's actually a good reading site, Thank's for the link! GNE sounds interesting enough to boot windows for.. look for a meuon soon!

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 03:34:13+00 by: Shawn

Wow. GNE's website sucks rocks in Netscape 4.

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 05:35:32+00 by: Diane Reese

Yeah, Shawn, they aren't very browser-generous yet: "At this stage we only support IE5.5+ on Windows as well as Mozilla 1.0+ or Netscape 7 on pretty much any platform. No matter what, all browsers must have Flash 6 ("MX") installed." I am assuming that the "At this stage" comment implies other browsers in the future....

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 15:33:58+00 by: Larry Burton

I think the "at this stage" comment more likely implies that "other browsers will be supported as they fall into line with our adopted standards". I believe its time for people to trade in their 8-track players.

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 17:33:44+00 by: Shawn

Normally, I don't rely on my "8 track". But I'm stuck on the laptop for a few days (which has NS4 so I can test pages in it), because my primary computer hurked a huge fricken hairball when I tried to install the drivers for my flatbed scanner and I'm now joyfully re-installing Win2k Server - and the updated drivers, and the service packs, and all my apps, and... - as fast as possible so I can get back to my homework >:-(

In any case, it's one thing to not fully support a browser and quite another (IMO, as a web developer and current design student) to show nothing but the left half of an (unclickable) image two screen widths to the right (meaning a lot of side scrolling is in order).

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 18:17:27+00 by: Dan Lyke

I wonder why "Opera will not work" since it sounds like they're mostly doing Flash based stuff anyway. The heck with putting away your eight tracks, that sounds more like "get out your eight tracks" to me.

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 20:16:32+00 by: canis

Diane, it does sound interesting (and the more you describe it, the more like Animal Crossing it sounds... GNE also has money trees, huh? :} ). I got confirmation on my signup email but I'm not "in" yet. If they let me in I'll let you know :}

It also reminds me a little of MOOs and MUSHes which, of the various text-based multi-user environments were probably the most socially orientated (but irritated the hell out of me on a technical level, which is why I bustled about trying to make LP-MUDs more social, back in the day :} ). Peeking at their corporate site ("ludicorp", I guess they've been reading up on their videogame theory) I think this is no accident :}

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 20:32:19+00 by: TC

Diane, GNE looks very close(in concept) to something Dan and I cooked up about a year ago(Still simmering on the back burner). I might sign up too and give it a whirl.

Shawn, you nailed the problem with the (game)industry right now.The big houses won't take risks and the problem with indy developers is the ability to execute a finished product that incorporates their new risky/unconventional ideas. So we now endure market stagnation.

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 20:52:39+00 by: Diane Reese

By the way, if anyone does end up getting in on the early GNE testing, my username there is "Eleanor Rigby". Come make my acquaintance. :-)

#Comment made: 2002-10-28 23:41:00+00 by: canis

Well, I've ended up in the GNE test as well, so I'll keep an eye out :}

It's... odd. It is strangely addictive considering how crude it is. There's a few technical decisions they've made I'd have chosen very differently, and I think as a result they've made more work for themselves than they need to. But, taking those into account, I'm impressed (in an "amazing what they've achieved considering the crosses they're bearing" sort of way).

#Comment made: 2002-10-29 00:46:20+00 by: Diane Reese

canis, be sure to check out the discussion forums from the test sign-in page: there's one about the technical details of the game design, and others about why people play, what they'd like to see in future versions, etc. Very interesting stuff in and of itself!

So what's your game name?

#Comment made: 2002-10-29 23:03:23+00 by: canis

I'm "cheradenine" (as good a reason to plug Iain M. Banks as any...) on GNE.

I think I have more to post on the subject of MU* stuff but probably not for a couple of days; I have some tests I want to code first :-}