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Interview Leonard Boyarsky Mega-Interview at PCGamesN

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Rinslin Merwind Educated

    Rinslin Merwind
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    Oh, yes. I get your point. Thanks for explanation.
     
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  2. Trashos Magister

    Trashos
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    Were there actually any builds that were not viable? I didn't find any, although I didn't actively look for them. It did look like levelling up conquered all no matter what builds one had, which was my major gripe with PoE, and a direct consequence of trying not to have bad builds.
     
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  3. Zakhad Scholar

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    I'm not saying that it's great, or that we should all cater to the lowest common denominator because otherwise it's not inclusive enough.

    I'm saying that money is how the world works; that there are more casuals than there are "serious" gamers; and so if you want to work with reality and not just pretend reality doesn't exist, you have to think about things like "are we going to get bad reviews from idiots who don't read the instructions and make a dwarf wizard?", and then either accept that and lower your expected sales and therefore your budget, or else prevent it from happening in order to make a game that will recoup its costs.

    The Dex is a weird space sometimes. If I said "men and women are equal" in some threads on here, I'd get people raging at me about "denying the realities of biology", or something like that; but if I point out that games need to make a profit and that this might require compromise, people suddenly start pretending that economics and company finance are a magical land where you can get whatever you want at no cost, and that if I'm denying that it must be because I WANT the decline.

    Troika collapsed. It wasn't because of dwarf mages, but that was a symptom of their problem. We can't just respond to problems by being too prestigious to admit they exist. If someone came to me and said "you can have Troika back tomorrow but the price is that there will be no dwarf mages in Arcanum 2", well, sign me the fuck up.
     
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  4. Davaris Arcane

    Davaris
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    A company's profitability is not relevant to whether a player enjoys their game or not. If a player has a bad time in a game, it does not change their experience if the devs got rich or went broke.

    The guys who will tell you about the reality of biology might be right wing shit lords. The guys that are irrational about economics, could well be KKKodex Communists. There is a range of opinions here.

    Troika collapsed because they were small and underfunded and released unfinished games, This could be because of their funding problems, or poor time management skills, due to attempting feats that were beyond their means.

    I have come to the opinion that 90%-95% of the costs of games goes not into the actual game, but in how it looks. This 90%-95% is why shit games are made to cater to the much larger numbers of retards in the population. If players and devs got over their obsession with eye candy, they could have any game they want for peanuts in dev costs. But that won't happen, so here we are listening to arguments about why games should be made for retards, and why we should support them.
     
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  5. Rinslin Merwind Educated

    Rinslin Merwind
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    Well it's mostly true, at least for people who buying games for quality, not for trademark.

    I am absolutely agree with you at that point; I even think that they actually could survive if there existed platform like steam with auto-updates. They would be able just patch their bugs automatically for all players and game would be more popular. And fucking dwarf mage not even a symptom, it has nothing to do with collapse.It's like see upgrade system in Dead Space as shut down sign shut down ofViseral Games . Or like see crowbar in HL as reason why Valve not develop new HL game.

    However you not should create political labels for people who was arguing with Zakhad in this post, because he exaggerates and generalizes all people who disagree with him as people who against equality or communists or *insert any politic group for starting holy war, because he runs out of arguments" Topic was absolutly not connected to politic, just stop.
     
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  6. Kyl Von Kull Magister

    Kyl Von Kull
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    Amen.
     
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  7. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Troika collapsed because they were at the mercy of publishers who fucked with them in many creative ways. Sierra wanted a worldwide release so Arcanum was released several months after the game was leaked. Activision released Bloodlines on the same day as Half-Life 2 was released. Atari refused to patch ToEE.

    Had Troika been founded 5 years ago, in the age of Steam and Kickstarter, it would be doing quite well today.
     
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  8. Rinslin Merwind Educated

    Rinslin Merwind
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    Your point correct too, publishers had influence on that too. In general there many reasons why Troika collapsed, but definetly amount of functional did not influenced at all.
     
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  9. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    It's not black-n-white though. The choice isn't between casual-friendly success and hardcore failure. The choice is between degrees of success (or failure). ToEE, for example, sold 128k copies and earned 5.8 mil according to Wiki. Back then, it all went to the publisher. Today 70% of it would have gone to Troika, which would have been enough to survive. Today, through the magic of Steam, it would have sold way more than 128k. Games like Original Sin and Darkest Dungeons are insanely successful without compromising much.
     
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  10. Bester Arcane Vatnik

    Bester
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    Troika had no money to pay their employyes for years of development. They needed a publisher then and they'd need one now.
     
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  11. Crescent Hawk Savant

    Crescent Hawk
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    Post apocalyptic Hyboria? What a dream.
     
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  12. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Look at Pillars of Eternity. Before that Obsidian was well on their way to become a 'work for food' developer (Dungeon Siege 3, South Park, the tanks game, a score of cancelled projects) and would have joined Troika by now if not for Kickstarter and Steam. It revitalized the company, they managed to recycle one of the cancelled projects (Tyranny) and with Deadfiire is on its way and this new project Obsidian is in control of their destiny for the first time.

    So yes, developers do need funding and publishers but the situation today is radically different than what Troika was founded.
     
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  13. HeatEXTEND Arbiter

    HeatEXTEND
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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Davaris Arcane

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    There was recent interview with Tim, Leon, and Fergus you should re-watch. Towards the end of the interview Fergus said, when they brought him in on Fallout 1 near the end of the project, they were shocked when he showed them that half the game wasn't done. When he got them organized they were able to finish their work on time. Neither Tim nor Leon disagreed with Fergus on this story.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbCxcq4Q3ws

    There was nothing stopping them trying again 5 years ago, other than not ever wanting to run their own business again. Tim has repeated several times over the years that he is not a good businessman. There is nothing wrong with being a bad businessman, if you are really good at other things. You just go work with or for people who are good at it.
     
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  15. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    And the moral of the story is what? It's not like Arcanum, Bloodlines, or ToEE were shipped half-done. All three are rock-solid games, two of them are top 10 RPGs, at least on the Codex. Sure, maybe Feargus would have organized things better and done more with less, but that's the cherry on the cake, not the cake itself.

    Starting from scratch again takes a lot of energy and inner strength. You can't blame them for not being eager to take risks again.

    He did say that, which means what exactly? If ITS survives and I get to make RPGs for the next 20 years would it mean that I'm a good businessman? No, it wouldn't. It would simply mean we managed to make games that enough people wanted to play and Steam took care of the rest. Say what you want but Tim & Co did make games that other people really wanted to play, which is all it takes these days.
     
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  16. Davaris Arcane

    Davaris
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    The moral of the story is they didn't get their work done in the time they allotted, and they went out of business. That is all there is to it.

    It is not good enough to just be creative and stay in business. You have to be good at the business side as well, or have someone who is. Creatives are notorious for running their businesses into the ground. If you can't manage your cash flows, the banks won't be interested in your sob stories, they will just foreclose. Unless your business is just a hobby, and you have another source of income, you will have to deal with reality, or reality will come deal with you at some point.

    Now imagine if they were good at the business side as well? That would mean many more games made by them.
     
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  17. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    How so? Regardless of when Arcanum was done, the problem was that Sierra was sitting on a ready to go game for 6 months, while the leaked version was freely available to all. Bloodlines couldn't be released before Half Life 2 as per Activison's contract with Valve. ToEE got 2 extra months which isn't a big deal.

    None of these factors would have mattered or hindered Troika in any way today, when post-development support is business as usual (see Pillars v1.0 vs v3.0 or AoD for that matter).

    Very few studios would have made it had they been treated the way Troika was treated. None of it was intentional, of course, but it was downright retarded. You don't have to be a business guru to know that releasing a game running on Half Life 2 engine on the same day as highly anticipated Half Life 2 is suicide. Similarly, you don't need to be a genius to figure out that a game like Arcanum doesn't need a simultaneous worldwide release, especially when it's been leaked.
     
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  18. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    It is pretty extraordinary -- V:TM:B on the face of things should be one of the most successful RPGs of all-time. It's an extraordinarily casual-friendly setting (vampires in Los Angeles) with action-based gameplay, streamlined character building, pretty boys and girls, big guns, flashy magic... I know that it had some bugs at release, but really, it seems like it should've been a runaway success.
     
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  19. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Above we have a nice example of (1) analysis that is specific to the situation and draws on detailed facts, and (2) a lazy truism repeated multiple times in different words. Pretty clear which is which.
     
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  20. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Bugs weren't really an issue. There was only one game-breaking bug in the middle of the game that affected half the players and Troika released a console fix within days. The rest was as good or better as any other AAA game. KOTOR had an audio bug that crashed the game on level loading and forced the players to disable all sounds in the ini file. Oblivion had that white screen, etc.

    The main problem was that reviews claimed that combat was broken and firearms were useless (because they had 2-3 points in that skill and expected to shoot as well as Gordon Freeman).

    http://ca.ign.com/articles/2004/11/17/vampire-the-masquerade-bloodlines-review-2?page=3

    The weapons are only useful if you invest in them? What lunacy is this? Surely everyone knows how to shoot accurately in this day and age? What's worse is that 2-3 guys can kill you! I watch a lot of documentaries about vampires and I know that they have supersonic speed and all kinda leaps and jumps! This game is not historically accurate!!!
     
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  21. Fairfax Arcane

    Fairfax
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    I'm not sure about one of the most successful of all-time, but the exact same game would've been much more successful just a few years later. It was extremely unfortunate timing, and I don't mean just the release date, but the entire context. In addition to HL2 and the poor QA, VTMB had other huge factors going against it:
    • The PC gaming industry was on its steady decline from before Steam really took off, so the market was much smaller.
    • World of Warcraft was released a week later, just before black friday weekend.
    • KOTOR2 came out 2 weeks after that.
    • Other big first-person games from earlier/later in the year, like CS:S, Battlefront, Doom 3, Far Cry and Battlefield Vietnam, and also more niche ones like Thief 3 and Riddick.
    • Often forgotten but a huge factor: Steam did not sell third-party games until late 2005.
    Nowadays geting drowned during launch week wouldn't have been nearly as bad, but in 2004 it had to compete on the shelves against all of these games while having a fraction of the exposure and word of mouth.
     
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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    And you can bet they won't repeat that in their new game: http://www.rpgcodex.net/article.php?id=10609
     
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  23. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    [​IMG]
     
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  24. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    Won't repeat what? Making skills actually matter more than +/- 1%?

    Oh yeah, and Arcanum was not an action RPG.

    Not that I agree with Mistake #3. Maybe first-person ones, which are mostly shitty shooters anyway, like Fallout 3.
     
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  25. Kyl Von Kull Magister

    Kyl Von Kull
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    Hold up, I remember the bugs being a major problem. Bloodlines crashed a lot. If it wasn’t so damn good I would’ve just given up on making it run halfway smoothly. I played the game in snippets because it wouldn’t run on the crappy laptop I took to college, so my memory of the release is a little fuzzy, but I definitely couldn’t finish the game for bug related reasons in December of 2004. And it still crashed or froze pretty frequently with the official patches when I came back to it over the following year.

    But my own experience with the game isn’t even the most memorable part for me. My family was borderline computer illiterate back then, so every time I came home from college I ended up spending a big chunk of time as the family IT guy (not that I’m remotely qualified, but they just needed someone who could use a search engine and follow instructions). And for a couple years, across four different computers, that meant making Bloodlines work for my siblings. Maybe the buggiest game I’ve encountered that was still worth playing. There’s a reason modders are still patching this thing 13 years later.

    I’m sure the character skill trumping player skill issue played a big role in discouraging casuals (although Deus Ex sold just fine), but I think the bugs and lack of support after those initial patches were more of a problem.
     
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