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An insight into the development process and possible answers to where the money went.

MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/08/behind-the-scenes-of-star-wars-the-old-republic-throwing-people-at-the-problem/

An interesting read about the development. An indicator of how the publisher feels about the developer.

All development heads were summoned to daily meetings at what Dallas dubbed ‘The Death Star’ – with each team being coached on what to cut, and what to keep. “Some developers cried,” explained Dallas. “I didn’t enjoy that."

This is not for trolling purposes but compared to videos of Anet and ArchAge developers there is a clear difference in the passion that was put into the game. Anet seems to have a very interactive process between departments. Writers talk to artists, artists talk to programmers, programmers complain and a whole bunch of code is either written or discarded after consideration.

It sounds like TOR developers worked extremely hard to make a good impression with some big names in the industry and likely came up with tons and tons of cool ideas but then got spat on by someone higher up.

(Please do not turn this into gw2 discussion, let us stick with the company philosophy on development ok?)

Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

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Comments

  • CoatedCoated Woodside, CAPosts: 339Member Uncommon

    How sad. It really shows the chaos behind the scenes and the lack of guidance and expertise that was needed to push it in the right direction.

    You really got the feeling that no one wanted to be there and that all the decisions being made were not what was intended. In all honesty, I feel that it wouldn't have mattered. What you have here is a classic case of the blind leading the blind. Neither one of these company's had any experience in the MMORPG genre and it shows. They thought by throwing money at the issue that everything would resolve itself and honestly, everyone one of the higher ups just flat out underestimated the MMORPG market. This isn't like a sitcom or reality TV show. You really can't just feed people garbage day in and day out. There needs to be substance and their needs to be innovation. SWTOR had neither of these.

    This games passing will hopefully shed some light on future MMORPG makers, or , people really will be satisfied with being fed garbage and open their mouths like chicken in rain till they drown.

    SWTOR was such a dissapointment.

  • matraquematraque Montreal, QCPosts: 1,431Member

    All games get feature and content cut.  That is part of game development.  Sometimes, features or content just get delated for future content patch or hotfixes (bugs).

    You would be surprized on what got cut from your favorite games.

     

    eqnext.wikia.com

  • VoiidiinVoiidiin Barrow, AKPosts: 817Member

    It just goes to show that Publishers like EA and Activision are CANCERS to the gaming industry. 

    Not buying there crap is a start but too many who are not in the know or do not even care will continue to purchase games made by these companies and continue to allow them to maintain business as usual.

    To top it off you have Gaming websites and "reporters" who tow the company line for these publishers.

     

    Its hard to stop playing games from companies you used to love and enjoy. Bioware for me was one of those gems, but the taint of EA has forever soured me. I will continue to support Indies and those few companies that buck the corporate line.

    SWTOR could have been completely ground-breaking, but because of the mentality of EA it was released as half of game. I would love to go back and play it once its all fixed up, but i intend to hold to my EA and Activision boycott. 

     

    Anyhow, it was sad reading that article, thanks for posting it though.

    Lolipops !

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    Their first problem was aiming at 1,000,000 subs. They were looking at the $$ before the quality of the game itself.  You can't make these things based on money and expect them to be great.  Any great artist or designer or writer or director will tell you this.  You have to make the game, movie, song, book you feel in your heart.  You can add the head part after in post processing, final drafts, etc.

    Interesting...they then pulled the top 10% of students at design schools...I don't know about you, but if I'm in school for game design and Bioware comes and ask me to work for them, I'm going to do what they say, no questions asked and NO criticism given because that's like being offered your dream job.  You won't mess it up due to artistic differences.  So basically, they got a bunch of green developers who won't say NO and who just nod their heads in agreement at everything Bioware tells em to do.  Not saying they all did, but experience has shown me otherwise with young folk just entering any field.  I don't blame them, I blame EA for going after that young talent before they've had experience.

    So, there you have it.  Instead of a team of dedicated passionate devs, you have a mish mash of tons of different genre devs, artists and so forth all being paid to make a game that will garner in 1,000,000 subs and have story as the innovative aspect.  NOT the way to build an MMORPG.  Sounds more like the way the NY Yankees play Moneyball(baseball) buy trying to buy their way to championships.  Still end up with a team that might win the World Series but is easily forgotten when a team like the Red Sox blows everybody away and wins it all using OPPOSITE idealogy.

    image
  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,857Member Uncommon

     

    Every time i see something like this i always go back to this article.

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    "You can't develop an MMO in a traditional game-studio culture"

    SE learned this the hard way with XIV and i feel BW has made a lot of the same mistakes.  Now don't freak out, i'm not saying TOR is as bad as XIV.  It's a decent game but i notice many similarities dev/studio wise.

     

  • PuremallacePuremallace Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,856Member

    Well that gets a holy shit from me and almost to the point I refuse to believe Dallas Dickinson spoke so candedly because that is a PR NIGHTMARE if it is true.

     

    He admitted they hired extremely junior people for the title and rushed the developement by throwing people at it. Not to mention they KNEW a crap ton of stuff was missing and still launched the game. wtf were they thinking?


    Originally posted by Alders

     

    Every time i see something like this i always go back to this article.

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    "You can't develop an MMO in a traditional game-studio culture"

    SE learned this the hard way with XIV and i feel BW has made a lot of the same mistakes.  Now don't freak out, i'm not saying TOR is as bad as XIV.  It's a decent game but i notice many similarities dev/studio wise.

    This coming from a studio that mmo was so sad they had to re label it a CORPG and it did not even have jumping. My faith in ArenaNET is obviously not as strong as some of you guys when it comes to quality. ArenaNET lecturing devs about what a mmorpg is a joke IMO because they have never made one.

  • arctarusarctarus nilPosts: 2,570Member Uncommon

     “If you offer nothing different, you fail. But we are an MMORPG. We have to have the core MMORPG feel. Our players have to feel familiar as soon as they start.”

     

    This part confuse me, first they say if offer nothing different you'll fail than they add a BUT... and there's nothing new to the game...

    On one hand they understand the need to be different , but they didnt do it. Why?

    From other mmo they should have seen that being the same wont last long, and they are aiming for 1mil sub, so all the more they should innovate.

     

    I just dont understand...

     

    RIP Orc Choppa

  • arctarusarctarus nilPosts: 2,570Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Puremallace

    Well that gets a holy shit from me and almost to the point I refuse to believe Dallas Dickinson spoke so candedly because that is a PR NIGHTMARE if it is true.

     

    He admitted they hired extremely junior people for the title and rushed the developement by throwing people at it. Not to mention they KNEW a crap ton of stuff was missing and still launched the game. wtf were they thinking?

     

     

     

    Its not missing, its " cut " !

    RIP Orc Choppa

  • PyrateLVPyrateLV Las Vegas, NVPosts: 1,096Member Common

    they would travel to game development schools around the US and offer the top ten percent of each graduating class a year long contract to work in Austin.

    I knew this game was created by NUBS

     

    Ill just bet that they went to "schools" like The Art Institute for their "talent" and the "graduates" had no better than an Associates Degree.

    "We have heard of your expertise in these matters, Kyle of DeVry Institute. We need you to get Natalie Portman to open her wormhole."

    Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
    Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
    Playing: Skyrim
    Following: The Repopulation
    I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
    ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    When you design a concept around fast cash and box sales, the project becomes irrelevant.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • SweetrollSweetroll North PolePosts: 28Member

    "Should we make NPCs move around?"

    "NPCs don't pay a subscription, we'll put fluff like that in later"

  • MosesZDMosesZD Kirkwood, MOPosts: 1,383Member

    Originally posted by Magnetia

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/08/behind-the-scenes-of-star-wars-the-old-republic-throwing-people-at-the-problem/

    An interesting read about the development. An indicator of how the publisher feels about the developer.

    All development heads were summoned to daily meetings at what Dallas dubbed ‘The Death Star’ – with each team being coached on what to cut, and what to keep. “Some developers cried,” explained Dallas. “I didn’t enjoy that."

    This is not for trolling purposes but compared to videos of Anet and ArchAge developers there is a clear difference in the passion that was put into the game. Anet seems to have a very interactive process between departments. Writers talk to artists, artists talk to programmers, programmers complain and a whole bunch of code is either written or discarded after consideration.

    It sounds like TOR developers worked extremely hard to make a good impression with some big names in the industry and likely came up with tons and tons of cool ideas but then got spat on by someone higher up.

    (Please do not turn this into gw2 discussion, let us stick with the company philosophy on development ok?)

     

    This is not the first article of it's kind.   There have been a number of interviews with ex-BioWare employees who have been very clear that input from programmers, artists and project managers is no longer accepted.   The games are all top-down driven by suits and there is no artistic freedom or collaberation allowed.

     

    Hence, crap games...

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,934Member Uncommon

    When a smaller company gets bought up by a corporation these things happens. Bioware are now 4 different studios.

    Corps seems to love meetings and micromanage people, you can´t compare that to smaller companies, like Bioware themselves were when they made Baldurs gate.

    But Blizzard is not that different either.

    I amactually surprised that games aren't worse than they are, I mean TOR is after all not a bad game.  It isn't very innovative or the best MMO ever made but it could have been alot worse.

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Great quote in the comments beneath it

    "If SWG was like the original trilogy, then SWTOR is like the prequels."
  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    Originally posted by RefMinor

    Great quote in the comments beneath it

     

    "If SWG was like the original trilogy, then SWTOR is like the prequels."

    Pretty much. Jar Jar and the rest of the clowns...all stationary of course.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • DrakxiiDrakxii Waxahachie, TXPosts: 594Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    When a smaller company gets bought up by a corporation these things happens. Bioware are now 4 different studios.

    Corps seems to love meetings and micromanage people, you can´t compare that to smaller companies, like Bioware themselves were when they made Baldurs gate.

    But Blizzard is not that different either.

    I amactually surprised that games aren't worse than they are, I mean TOR is after all not a bad game.  It isn't very innovative or the best MMO ever made but it could have been alot worse.

    Blizzard is alot different.  Where as bioware is now just a lacky of EA and have to answer to them, because blizzard mergered with activision it still has creative control over its games.   Also blizzard has always put quality gameplay over all else where as bioware/bioEA is about story story story, and some filler stuff bewteen the story bits.

     

    Also on topic doesn't suprize me at all that is how EA work with how many good companyies they have killed.   You would think they would learn but nope just another MMO and studio down the drain.

    I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  • SweetrollSweetroll North PolePosts: 28Member

    Also on topic doesn't suprize me at all that is how EA work with how many good companyies they have killed.   You would think they would learn but nope just another MMO and studio down the drain.

     

    I'm fairly certain they buy these studios for their rep, use them for a few big sales and once their name is garbage (as bioware's  now is) they buy a new one.

  • Ghost12Ghost12 Boston, MAPosts: 684Member

    Originally posted by Drakxii

    Originally posted by Loke666

    When a smaller company gets bought up by a corporation these things happens. Bioware are now 4 different studios.

    Corps seems to love meetings and micromanage people, you can´t compare that to smaller companies, like Bioware themselves were when they made Baldurs gate.

    But Blizzard is not that different either.

    I amactually surprised that games aren't worse than they are, I mean TOR is after all not a bad game.  It isn't very innovative or the best MMO ever made but it could have been alot worse.

    Blizzard is alot different.  Where as bioware is now just a lacky of EA and have to answer to them, because blizzard mergered with activision it still has creative control over its games.   Also blizzard has always put quality gameplay over all else where as bioware/bioEA is about story story story, and some filler stuff bewteen the story bits.

     

    Also on topic doesn't suprize me at all that is how EA work with how many good companyies they have killed.   You would think they would learn but nope just another MMO and studio down the drain.

     

    Blizzard's design methods are entirely different. Yes, they do have creative control over their games. The difference is, Blizzard actually cares about how fun their games are. They also fully develop games. Thats why SC2 was in development for so long and D3 as well. Blizz is one of the few companies that actually makes good polished games, regardless of how you feel about WoW.

  • KaocanKaocan Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,270Member

    [Mod Edit]

    (DISCLAIMER - The use of the word YOU in the above post is not directed at any one person in particular, but towards those who fall into the category itself - there is no personal attack here, neither intentional nor implied.)

  • MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

    We can hope that they learned a valuable lesson from all of this. I can't say for certain that TOR will ever be what everyone hoped it would be but I am pretty sure they won't let such an asset slip away from them so easily. If they listen to the right people and work at it do you think they can polish this unwieldy beast into a trophy animal?

    edit - how convenient!

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/09/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-old-republics-future/

    will it be enough? Only the playerbase can tell us.

    Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

  • LoekiiLoekii China Hot Springs, AKPosts: 430Member

    Originally posted by Magnetia

    It sounds like TOR developers worked extremely hard to make a good impression with some big names in the industry and likely came up with tons and tons of cool ideas but then got spat on by someone higher up.

     

    As a customer, telling me 'why' the quality I was looking for is not there, doesn't change my decision to not resub.

     

    What I am interested in solutions -- how might TOR improve to the point that I would resub.

     


    Originally posted by Magnetia

    We can hope that they learned a valuable lesson from all of this. I can't say for certain that TOR will ever be what everyone hoped it would be but I am pretty sure they won't let such an asset slip away from them so easily. If they listen to the right people and work at it do you think they can polish this unwieldy beast into a trophy animal?

    edit - how convenient!

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/09/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-old-republics-future/

    will it be enough? Only the playerbase can tell us.

    Glad to see the comments about acknowleding their mistakes -- besides the usual dismissal of any criticism as 'trolling' or 'immature'.     As a consumer, arrogance is one of the quickest ways a business can ensure that I will not return -- be it a resturant, or a software company.

     

    TOR definately can be made better, without a complete overhaul of the game (or NGE).     Hopefully they will truely listen to the feedback, and act quickly to improve polish what the remaining player base, and those disheartened customers, desire.

     

     

     

    image

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,965Member

    Originally posted by Magnetia

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/08/behind-the-scenes-of-star-wars-the-old-republic-throwing-people-at-the-problem/

    An interesting read about the development. An indicator of how the publisher feels about the developer.

    All development heads were summoned to daily meetings at what Dallas dubbed ‘The Death Star’ – with each team being coached on what to cut, and what to keep. “Some developers cried,” explained Dallas. “I didn’t enjoy that."

    This is not for trolling purposes but compared to videos of Anet and ArchAge developers there is a clear difference in the passion that was put into the game. Anet seems to have a very interactive process between departments. Writers talk to artists, artists talk to programmers, programmers complain and a whole bunch of code is either written or discarded after consideration.

    It sounds like TOR developers worked extremely hard to make a good impression with some big names in the industry and likely came up with tons and tons of cool ideas but then got spat on by someone higher up.

    (Please do not turn this into gw2 discussion, let us stick with the company philosophy on development ok?)

    Seems to me they had clueless managers.

     

    I've been working in the video game industry for some time and too often seen good ideas wasted by stupid producers/leads.

  • ChieftanChieftan Independence, MOPosts: 1,417Member

    "It was a staggering insight into the development of what will surely be the last big subscription MMO."

    -PC Gamer

     

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHA!  Oh yes from here on everything's free!

     

     

     

    PS

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • MetentsoMetentso BarcelonaPosts: 1,436Member Common

    Originally posted by Chieftan

    "It was a staggering insight into the development of what will surely be the last big subscription MMO."

    -PC Gamer

     

    I agree with this, I don't think any company will risk trying something like SWTOR after its mediocre succes. Except maybe Titan, but it remains to be seen if it will be subscription based.

  • rguilbertrguilbert Key West, FLPosts: 107Member

    Originally posted by Sweetroll

    Also on topic doesn't suprize me at all that is how EA work with how many good companyies they have killed.   You would think they would learn but nope just another MMO and studio down the drain.

     

    I'm fairly certain they buy these studios for their rep, use them for a few big sales and once their name is garbage (as bioware's  now is) they buy a new one.

    Exactly true! 

    Everyone is surprised at the low quality Bioware is putting out these days...but what they don't realize is that there is no Bioware.  Bioware ended when EA took over.  EA bought the name, and is now using it to put out garbage.  They have even renamed other studios they own "Bioware - ".   You will see more low quality Bioware games come out until people realize it for the joke it is. 

    Then EA will buy another name with credibility, and start again.  Stand by for "EA -Bethesda Softworks" in a year or two.

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