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[TRENCHES] Thursday, October 18, 2012 - Unoccupied

2

Posts

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Yeah that was the takeaway from the recent DLC on-disk outrages. It gave gamers a glimpse into development cycles and how, for example, when a game is in test, the Art team has been done working on it for ages and is probably on something else entirely. If there is planned DLC, that gives them something to move to right away.

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  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I think the other takeaway from on-disc DLC is that the offense is completely imagined. People actually seem to think that DLC, whether it comes out a day later or two months later, isn't begun or even planned until the game ships. As if the game has been finished, then out of the blue they just decide to make more out of the goodness of their hearts. Whether it's on the disc or not, it's probably finished after the rest of the game but begun during. And the bottom line is, if the game that you get without the DLC is a complete game you would have paid full price for anyway, than the fact that you don't have to wait for the content to download is just gravy.

    mnihilThe Good Doctor TranHevach
  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    ugh this comic, fire cora first off but also as much as it's a cute joke in the strip this would literally never happen in the real world, players would be clamouring to get back in while they are posting about how much the game sucks

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    Commander ZoomLovely
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    ugh this comic, fire cora first off but also as much as it's a cute joke in the strip this would literally never happen in the real world, players would be clamouring to get back in while they are posting about how much the game sucks

    Yeah, they haven't actually given the cause of the desertion yet but I am straining my suspension of disbelief.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    ITT a few people are shocked when employees lose their jobs as a result of there not being any work for them.

    What is this I don't even.
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    ITT a few people are shocked when employees lose their jobs as a result of there not being any work for them.

    No, we're shocked when they bus people off to another location and abandon them there, instead of telling them they are out of a job.

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  • fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    It clearly failed because the employees made it back. Next time they should try an all-expenses paid trip to Juarez.

    Nobody makes me bleed my own blood...nobody.
    PSN ID: fearsomepirate
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    It clearly failed because the employees made it back. Next time they should try an all-expenses paid trip to Juarez.

    "Get ready for two weeks at the happiest place on earth... Tijuana!"

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    Steam, Warframe: Megajoule
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    ITT a few people are shocked when employees lose their jobs as a result of there not being any work for them.

    No, we're shocked when they bus people off to another location and abandon them there, instead of telling them they are out of a job.

    No, I'd be shocked if that happened too. Of course, it didn't, the Trenches tales are some tall, tall tales. I'm talking about the couple people who are outraged when engineers or coders are laid off after the work is done.

    What is this I don't even.
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    ITT a few people are shocked when employees lose their jobs as a result of there not being any work for them.

    No, we're shocked when they bus people off to another location and abandon them there, instead of telling them they are out of a job.

    No, I'd be shocked if that happened too. Of course, it didn't, the Trenches tales are some tall, tall tales. I'm talking about the couple people who are outraged when engineers or coders are laid off after the work is done.

    Who said this?

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    The other reason is eliminating the competition. I can only assume that plus an IP acquisition was the motivation here.
    There would be no point to that. It would be a financial deathknell. You pay for an entire studio that is doing well, there's absolutely no incentive to destroy it wholesale. At worst I could see them taking the departments and farming out each department to other studios the publisher owns to make the game. But wholesale slash and burn like this? That's just ridiculous.

    HOWEVER. The story mentioned that they had just passed CERT on a game, which meant that by buying the studio the publisher gets 100% of the profit.
    The studio heads were idiots. If they had held off until release they could have stayed a studio, instead it turned into an instant cash grab for the publisher.

    Then again, the game industry isn't known for it's Empathy or it's financial acumen.
    I find it hard to believe this could happen, without it appearing somewhere on the intertubes after it happening.
    It happens all the time.
    What studios have you heard about going under in the past two years? Maybe about 3-4 of them? Then only the big name ones? I'm willing to bet that in the past two years alone 12+ studios have gone under, and you'd have never heard a single thing about it. Most game news sites wont cover studio closures unless it's a big name. No one cares about the studio or the people, on the internet at least, unless it has a name to it or a game to it's name.
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    ugh this comic, fire cora first off but also as much as it's a cute joke in the strip this would literally never happen in the real world, players would be clamouring to get back in while they are posting about how much the game sucks

    After a shut down of undetermined length, hell even after an unannounced update, even steady MMOs have a big drop in population. More so if the MMO isn't a particularly popular one from the get go.




    Also, worth noting that this is the first time we see the game company that runs the Lawstar game?

    Dedwrekka on
  • azmod2000azmod2000 Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    ITT a few people are shocked when employees lose their jobs as a result of there not being any work for them.

    No, we're shocked when they bus people off to another location and abandon them there, instead of telling them they are out of a job.

    No, I'd be shocked if that happened too. Of course, it didn't, the Trenches tales are some tall, tall tales. I'm talking about the couple people who are outraged when engineers or coders are laid off after the work is done.

    The way I see it, the outrage comes mostly from being lied to or the dehumanizing way the firings are done. If the manager tells you that your job is secure while he/she knows that you are going to be fired on Friday, that is a nasty betrayal.

    This industry has a lot of passionate people who put all they have into their work. Too often the companies make them feel like their efforts are greatly appreciated and that they are 'part of the family' and then turn around and discard them as if they don't really matter.

  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    On-disc DLC is different than day one DLC and I think people in this thread are conflating the two. On-disk DLC has to be complete at the same time as the game because if it's on disc it has to go through the same cert process as the main game. This is why people get mad when they have to pay to download a code to unlock a piece of the game that was tested as part of the main game and had to go through cert with the main game but for some reason is arbitrarily disconnected from the main game so as to get you to pay extra for it. This is the sort of stuff that hackers can easily unlock and play with while paying customers are left holding their dicks.

    Day-one DLC can be started up in the timeframe where the game is complete and is going through testing before they send it off for cert. After the main game comes back with an OK from cert the testers can move on to testing the DLC. This process works fine for keeping people employed while also providing people with content that wouldn't exist if production shut down as soon as the game finished.

    DoctorArch
  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    The problem with both kinds of DLC is how arbitrary and easy to exploit it is. Use your eyes and note this. In Mass Effect 2, you were given a code with new copies that allowed you to download an additional teammate and his associated mission. Cost: $0. In Mass Effect 3, you can download an additional teammate and his associated mission. Cost: $10. Well SURELY they didn't just go from giving something to giving nothing? Oh you got something. Specifically, access to a part of the full game that they would lock out from you otherwise. That's not even On-disc DLC, it's "we have decided that this feature is now a gift somehow."

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    The problem with both kinds of DLC is how arbitrary and easy to exploit it is. Use your eyes and note this. In Mass Effect 2, you were given a code with new copies that allowed you to download an additional teammate and his associated mission. Cost: $0. In Mass Effect 3, you can download an additional teammate and his associated mission. Cost: $10. Well SURELY they didn't just go from giving something to giving nothing? Oh you got something. Specifically, access to a part of the full game that they would lock out from you otherwise. That's not even On-disc DLC, it's "we have decided that this feature is now a gift somehow."

    I paid $10 for access to the DLC in ME2, because it was my roommates copy and you only get one Cerberus Network code with the game. (I had my own xbox)

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  • JohnnyricoMCJohnnyricoMC Registered User regular
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    It's things like this that reinforce my opinion that DLC is a good thing because it keeps people working while transitioning to new projects.

    Something I never considered. I still hate on-disc and day one DLC with a passion, but I think "normal" DLC is just a more internet-oriented variant of the good old fashioned expansion packs which required the original game to work (think AOE Rise of Rome, AOE2 Conquerors, AOM Titans and those three AOE3 expansions)

  • JetstreamGWJetstreamGW Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    ITT a few people are shocked when employees lose their jobs as a result of there not being any work for them.

    Might oughta re-read the tale, mate.

    JetstreamGW on
  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    I'm not shocked by the tale. I've been with a company that brought in people into a conference room and told them they had 60 days. I've seen VPs walked out of the building by security for fear that they're sabotage/steal info. My wife is family friends with an Executive VP who helped found a company who just called him while he was on the road ON VACATION to tell him he was fired. There is no sympathy in making people unemployed in this world.

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  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    It's things like this that reinforce my opinion that DLC is a good thing because it keeps people working while transitioning to new projects.

    To some degree it helps, yes. But anyone retained for such things is a skeleton crew compared to the original team and the key players (the expensive people) will all be gone. And that's if the DLC hasn't been farmed out to some other team/company. It's depressing to get laid off, it's rubbing salt in the wound knowing you're hard work is getting handed off to someone else because they're cheaper.

    On the other hand, if the crunch was nasty, getting laid off can be a relief too. Let someone else deal with the headache.

    And then maybe you can contract with them for a good price because they're freaking out trying to understand the code...

    ExistentialExistenceException: Your thread encountered a NULL pointer and entered a state of non-being.
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Opty wrote: »
    Opty wrote: »
    On-disc DLC is different than day one DLC and I think people in this thread are conflating the two. On-disk DLC has to be complete at the same time as the game because if it's on disc it has to go through the same cert process as the main game. This is why people get mad when they have to pay to download a code to unlock a piece of the game that was tested as part of the main game and had to go through cert with the main game but for some reason is arbitrarily disconnected from the main game so as to get you to pay extra for it. This is the sort of stuff that hackers can easily unlock and play with while paying customers are left holding their dicks.

    Day-one DLC can be started up in the timeframe where the game is complete and is going through testing before they send it off for cert. After the main game comes back with an OK from cert the testers can move on to testing the DLC. This process works fine for keeping people employed while also providing people with content that wouldn't exist if production shut down as soon as the game finished.

    Can anyone provide an example of on-disk DLC? Or is it another imagined slight? So far, the examples I've seen people give for on-disk DLC is actually unfinished content that's partially on the disk, but not completely. In fact there's usually simply the minimum amount of content on the DLC that makes it actually usable in normal gameplay, and not just a tacked-on bit.
    The problem with both kinds of DLC is how arbitrary and easy to exploit it is. Use your eyes and note this. In Mass Effect 2, you were given a code with new copies that allowed you to download an additional teammate and his associated mission. Cost: $0. In Mass Effect 3, you can download an additional teammate and his associated mission. Cost: $10. Well SURELY they didn't just go from giving something to giving nothing? Oh you got something. Specifically, access to a part of the full game that they would lock out from you otherwise. That's not even On-disc DLC, it's "we have decided that this feature is now a gift somehow."
    Two different situations, both for the same reason. The intent is to get you to buy the game new and not used. It's why ME2 had the unlockable DLC code, and it's why EA (who was in charge at this point) used project $10 to make ME3's day 1 DLC $10. And for the love of god please stop calling ME3's DLC "On-disk DLC". Seriously, the versions people play after unlocking it themselves on the disk is trash, complete and utter garbage. It's glitchy, it's incomplete, you have multiple items that simply don't show up. Compare that to actually paying the money to buy the DLC unlock code and you get much better integration, the full range of items, and all the code is there. All the code for the DLC is not there on the disk, just part of it.

    Alright, I want you all to think back to all the "Easter eggs" and "glitches" that resulted in new content back in the days. You glitch through a wall and hit an unfinished Mario level. You glitch through an encounter and find a dog is controlling Silent Hill. Pretty much anything the "Game Genie" and "Game Shark" unlocked on old consoles. All of that is unfinished content that was left on the disk, and all of it is glitchy as hell. In fact it's just as glitchy as the stuff people hacked open on their ME3 games. Without DLC, all of that remains glitchy BS that no one will ever see the full merit of or the completed version of. Before DLC, all those artifacts in the codes of games that were left from different builds were just left there to rot until curious hackers found their way into them.

    Dedwrekka on
    Commander Zoom
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    It's things like this that reinforce my opinion that DLC is a good thing because it keeps people working while transitioning to new projects.

    Something I never considered. I still hate on-disc and day one DLC with a passion, but I think "normal" DLC is just a more internet-oriented variant of the good old fashioned expansion packs which required the original game to work (think AOE Rise of Rome, AOE2 Conquerors, AOM Titans and those three AOE3 expansions)

    It's important to understand why Expansion Packs exist. It's more important because it has a huge bearing on this conversation.

    For the purposes of this explaination I'll be calling the code that controls how the game functions the "base code". There's other types of code that are modifiable (weapons, armor, art, ect.) but the base code is the portion of the game that all of that refers to and interacts with.

    The reason you get expansion packs instead of DLC is because DLC cannot modify the base code of the game. For instance in an RTS it cannot add on areas if they weren't already open on the disk, it cannot add new races/teams/civs if there isn't already a space open for them built into the base code. It's why Mods end up modifying existing nations/teams/ect instead of creating them from whole cloth, and even if they "add" a new nation it takes the place of another.
    In an RPG, they cannot fully integrate new people into the existing game if they weren't already there. They also can't make DLC content fully integrated unless there's room in the base code for that. Compare ME2's DLC character with the character added in "From Ashes". Compare how the characters are integrated into the game. Compared to the regularly available characters, the DLC ME2 characters are distant in interaction and have less options, they also interact less during events. The character in the From Ashes DLC acts like any other part of the crew, interacts just as much and does just as much.
    All that is because there's portions of the base code for the character in the base code of the game. It's there to make integration easier.
    Also think about DragonAge: Origins. Think about how Shale was a day 1 (and partially on the disk) DLC and how integrated she was into the plot of the game. Then compare that to how Wardens Keep and Return to Ostagar had to literally remove you from the regular game just to be played. Think about how that had become the norm when it came to DLC. Either it was Day 1, on the disk, or it had to remove you from the normal game world to actually work. Think about how Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta removed you from the normal game in Fallout 3.

    Now, expansions are what you get when there aren't options for new content in the base code. Expansions are made specifically to make changes the base code of the game or to integrate new code into it. They exist because for most of the history of gaming the idea of leaving unfinished code in a game, leaving space for expansion later through downloads, or even thinking about being able to expand on a game without an expansion has been a joke. For most of the life of video games the idea that you could leave a few spaces open in an RTS for new races or teams and fill those with content that anyone could download from home was ludicrous.

    Now it isn't.

    Now I want you to think about this. Skyrim released with the entire damn continent already on the disk and in the game, but only allows you to go into one small corner and play around. Why would they do this? Why would they add that much content and work onto the disk if it's not built on and not going to be accessable? Simple, Bethesda knows 100% that when they release a game, that's what they have to work with. So when they released Skyrim, they made damn sure they had room to build on because they didn't want to end up forced to shunt people to completely different and un-integrated maps like they've had to before.
    This is the example that breaks the mold, but proves my point. Most every example I've seen people give of "On-disk" DLC is stuff that the developers wanted to work on while they had a break during final QA and CERTS or any of the number of other things they have to go through to finally push out that game. Most of that content was finished in time for launch, which is what gives people the impression that it's greedy devs looking to get more money. Skyrim has so much extra "On-disk" content that there is absolutely no way that they could finish it before release, so it's the perfect example to prove the point. It's the proof that "on-disk" content isn't a money grab, it's there so that the devs could continue to build onto the game as it got older, and It's unsoiled by the already dirty term of "Day 1 DLC", which is what makes it so excellent an example.

    Dedwrekka on
  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    Leftover data on the disk or partial DLC that needs a download to be completed are not "on-disk DLC". The second you have to download any appreciable part of it so it will work then it can no longer be considered on-disk. True on-disk DLC is when literally the only thing you download is a key that unlocks the content. Examples I can think of offhand are: any Professor Layton game and their weekly puzzles (all of those are on the cart), the 360 Katamari's DLC levels, one of the recent Capcom fighting games where they had fully implemented characters behind DLC that they wouldn't even start offering to buy until the Vita version came out. There's definitely more but those are off the top of my head. Those are what people consider moneygrabs (well except for Layton cause that's free) because it's content that was completed before the game went to cert and is locked behind a wall specifically so you have to pay for it later.

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    Leftover data on the disk or partial DLC that needs a download to be completed are not "on-disk DLC". The second you have to download any appreciable part of it so it will work then it can no longer be considered on-disk. True on-disk DLC is when literally the only thing you download is a key that unlocks the content. Examples I can think of offhand are: any Professor Layton game and their weekly puzzles (all of those are on the cart), the 360 Katamari's DLC levels, one of the recent Capcom fighting games where they had fully implemented characters behind DLC that they wouldn't even start offering to buy until the Vita version came out. There's definitely more but those are off the top of my head. Those are what people consider moneygrabs (well except for Layton cause that's free) because it's content that was completed before the game went to cert and is locked behind a wall specifically so you have to pay for it later.

    Alright, yeah, those are some good examples, and definitely not the ones I continuously see/hear people using. I think the Capcom one was particularly bad, not to mention blatant.

  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Can anyone provide an example of on-disk DLC? Or is it another imagined slight? So far, the examples I've seen people give for on-disk DLC is actually unfinished content that's partially on the disk, but not completely. In fact there's usually simply the minimum amount of content on the DLC that makes it actually usable in normal gameplay, and not just a tacked-on bit.

    There are many examples of on-disc DLC. Anytime you see DLC on the marketplace that's 108kb, it's already on the disc completely. 108kb is nothing but a security key that tells the system "okay, go ahead and let them use this".
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Two different situations, both for the same reason. The intent is to get you to buy the game new and not used. It's why ME2 had the unlockable DLC code, and it's why EA (who was in charge at this point) used project $10 to make ME3's day 1 DLC $10. And for the love of god please stop calling ME3's DLC "On-disk DLC". Seriously, the versions people play after unlocking it themselves on the disk is trash, complete and utter garbage. It's glitchy, it's incomplete, you have multiple items that simply don't show up. Compare that to actually paying the money to buy the DLC unlock code and you get much better integration, the full range of items, and all the code is there. All the code for the DLC is not there on the disk, just part of it.

    I didn't call ME3's DLC "on-disc". Instead I explained how according to EA's logic, something that was worth $0 to a new buyer for the previous game is now worth $10. Will they decide it is worth $15 for (the made up for this argument) Mass Effect 4? I know WHY they did it, because they decided they should never give away something they could sell. Mass Effect 2 had a steady stream of new free guns for single player (finishing off with a paid gun pack at the tail end of the game's lifespan). Mass Effect 3 has charged for every new gun for single player. We are getting taken up the ass here, WHY would you cheer them on at this? I'm not even saying don't buy it, I'm saying how the eff does it make sense to defend them? The original intent of Project $10 was "here is a bonus for being a new buyer." Now it's become an explicit threat: "buy this new or I'll frickin' cut off your versus mode. DON'T TEST ME MAN, I'LL DO IT." I am not okay with EA attacking me for buying their game. I'm not okay with cutting important parts out randomly and saying I should pay extra for squadmate x unlike squadmate y who is "free".
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Alright, I want you all to think back to all the "Easter eggs" and "glitches" that resulted in new content back in the days. You glitch through a wall and hit an unfinished Mario level. You glitch through an encounter and find a dog is controlling Silent Hill. Pretty much anything the "Game Genie" and "Game Shark" unlocked on old consoles. All of that is unfinished content that was left on the disk, and all of it is glitchy as hell. In fact it's just as glitchy as the stuff people hacked open on their ME3 games. Without DLC, all of that remains glitchy BS that no one will ever see the full merit of or the completed version of. Before DLC, all those artifacts in the codes of games that were left from different builds were just left there to rot until curious hackers found their way into them.

    Back in the day, they had to sell complete games at launch and not hide promising bits to sell back later. And if it wasn't ready to go at the proposed launch, they pushed the launch back slightly. Nintendo did this ALL THE TIME. We're not talking expansion pack territory here, we're talking "the game went gold on the 10th, we finished the DLC on the 12th and it went through cert on the 15th." They're making a $60 game a $70 game. Or an $80 game. Or so on.

  • J-mentalJ-mental Registered User regular
    I shudder to think how I would react if my company took me to Six Flags and then never came to pick my ass up. I would... SERIOUSLY get violent with someone. There is NO reason that kind of shit EVER needs to go down. It's not only a chickenshit way of doing things but it's pretty fucking amoral. And yeah, I would have sued them too. I don't care how much it cost me out of pocket, I would waste a ton of their time and resources in court.

  • ApolloinApolloin Registered User regular
    I've got to say that, as a Developer, I've NEVER heard of staff being laid off at the end of a project unless the company is actively downsizing due to financial troubles. The few times it actually happened for a company I worked for, I spent the rest of the day updating my CV and getting it out to the recruiters, because you KNOW it's the beginning of the end.

    It's true that payroll is the biggest cost for a Dev studio, but no studio head worth their bones comes to the end of a project cycle without having the next project already lined up (if they don't see statement above about the beginning of the end) and it is almost never worth the savings you make laying Developer staff off just in order to go through the pain of recruiting when you need them back.

    Of course, this doesn't apply to Testers. Test leads and Test managers are difficult to replace, but Testers themselves can be easily fired and replaced - sometimes they are so hot to work in the industry that you can summarily fire them at the end of a project and then hire back the same dudes on the same terms for the next project. Sad but true. Testers need to have more self-respect.

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Can anyone provide an example of on-disk DLC? Or is it another imagined slight? So far, the examples I've seen people give for on-disk DLC is actually unfinished content that's partially on the disk, but not completely. In fact there's usually simply the minimum amount of content on the DLC that makes it actually usable in normal gameplay, and not just a tacked-on bit.

    There are many examples of on-disc DLC. Anytime you see DLC on the marketplace that's 108kb, it's already on the disc completely. 108kb is nothing but a security key that tells the system "okay, go ahead and let them use this".
    This isn't what I asked. I said give me an actual example.
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Two different situations, both for the same reason. The intent is to get you to buy the game new and not used. It's why ME2 had the unlockable DLC code, and it's why EA (who was in charge at this point) used project $10 to make ME3's day 1 DLC $10. And for the love of god please stop calling ME3's DLC "On-disk DLC". Seriously, the versions people play after unlocking it themselves on the disk is trash, complete and utter garbage. It's glitchy, it's incomplete, you have multiple items that simply don't show up. Compare that to actually paying the money to buy the DLC unlock code and you get much better integration, the full range of items, and all the code is there. All the code for the DLC is not there on the disk, just part of it.

    I didn't call ME3's DLC "on-disc". Instead I explained how according to EA's logic, something that was worth $0 to a new buyer for the previous game is now worth $10. Will they decide it is worth $15 for (the made up for this argument) Mass Effect 4? I know WHY they did it, because they decided they should never give away something they could sell. Mass Effect 2 had a steady stream of new free guns for single player (finishing off with a paid gun pack at the tail end of the game's lifespan). Mass Effect 3 has charged for every new gun for single player. We are getting taken up the ass here, WHY would you cheer them on at this? I'm not even saying don't buy it, I'm saying how the eff does it make sense to defend them? The original intent of Project $10 was "here is a bonus for being a new buyer." Now it's become an explicit threat: "buy this new or I'll frickin' cut off your versus mode. DON'T TEST ME MAN, I'LL DO IT." I am not okay with EA attacking me for buying their game. I'm not okay with cutting important parts out randomly and saying I should pay extra for squadmate x unlike squadmate y who is "free".

    I don't see how you can see this as a personal attack. It's extra content, none of it is necessary or needed. If you want the extra content, you buy it, if you don't want the extra content you don't buy it. It's not an "incomplete game" just because you didn't buy the unnecessary bling. Yes, EA charges you money for extra content, because it's frickin EA. At some point I had to stop acting surprised or getting excited when EA charged for new DLC. Yes, Bioware's model was better and was definitely more player friendly, but I can also see how the Devs would have gotten little to nothing from that model. The idea that because X number of years ago the same type of content was free that it should be free now is not a real argument.

    Dedwrekka on
    Cambiata
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    This isn't what I asked. I said give me an actual example.

    Does the Street Fighter X Tekken characters count?

    There were 12 characters slated for DLC release, but some dudes tinkered with the CD contents and found them there, largely intact. I believe they're 90-100% fight ready, with some youtube videos showing the hackers using them in versus battles some short time after the vanilla release. There's some visual/gameplay bugs, and I don't know if the endings are finished (I think so, given the kb-sized download to enable the DLC), but for the most part they're finished. I don't know if you count the bugs for completed on-disc or if they are still "partial on-Disc".

    (As an aside, I am largely ambivalent to on-disk DLC.)

  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    This is the example that breaks the mold, but proves my point. Most every example I've seen people give of "On-disk" DLC is stuff that the developers wanted to work on while they had a break during final QA and CERTS or any of the number of other things they have to go through to finally push out that game. Most of that content was finished in time for launch, which is what gives people the impression that it's greedy devs looking to get more money. Skyrim has so much extra "On-disk" content that there is absolutely no way that they could finish it before release, so it's the perfect example to prove the point. It's the proof that "on-disk" content isn't a money grab, it's there so that the devs could continue to build onto the game as it got older, and It's unsoiled by the already dirty term of "Day 1 DLC", which is what makes it so excellent an example.

    When you say the entire continent, do you mean, like, Tamriel and Morrowind?? If so, awesome!


    Everyone has been making good points in regards to DLC...but I would say this. When people complain about how "devs used to have to ship a full game, now they can ship you something incomplete and make you pay for the rest"....have you actually played old games? More notably, have you PAID for old games? We're paying less than most NES games cost. I'd say games today have just a wee bit more content. Shoot, go watch some Angry Video Game Nerd episodes on some of the Atari consoles, and what you got for your money then.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    It's things like this that reinforce my opinion that DLC is a good thing because it keeps people working while transitioning to new projects.
    There is something to be said by that, but really with proper staging and project timing you can keep most of your people working even without DLC.

    To bring up the construction analog, and the reason I do it is because it was my specialty degree and career wise, you have to plan out multiple projects in advance. I find that game companies get into the nasty habit of new game, start, hire, middle, crunch, gold, dlc, layoff, repeat. Where as the better construction companies, and some of the larger studios have a similar cycle but either overlaps projects. So the middle and the crunch of one project overlaps the start of another, or you have smaller projects for the extra people during the preproject portion of the next project. Game goes gold, the team necessary for the next big project goes off, the other people do DLC, iOS/Android derivative games and apps, ports, game engine modifications, bug fixes, and then move to a different project. The game industry will move to better project management, it's just going to take some time, it already looks like transitions are happening, but construction is over 11,000 years old. Video games are a bit over 60 years old. There is still a heavy learning curve for more optimal project management.

    Commander Zoom
  • Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    These stories are all very interesting, but I think it's time that they go beyond the "tester" in them, because the comic is hardly about testing anymore as it is. I want to see some positive stories (or even just humorous tales about things that go down in the workplace) instead of this soul-crushing stuff. We love gaming and to at least some extent that should mean we love some aspect of "the industry" as well...so how about some stories that show off the good side too.

    I agree, I sent in some humorous stories early on and I am sure others did too. The problem is that the early ones were all of the "then I got fired" variety which led to people submitting more of those kind of stories in the hopes of getting put on the site.

  • The Good Doctor TranThe Good Doctor Tran Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Can anyone provide an example of on-disk DLC? Or is it another imagined slight? So far, the examples I've seen people give for on-disk DLC is actually unfinished content that's partially on the disk, but not completely. In fact there's usually simply the minimum amount of content on the DLC that makes it actually usable in normal gameplay, and not just a tacked-on bit.

    There are many examples of on-disc DLC. Anytime you see DLC on the marketplace that's 108kb, it's already on the disc completely. 108kb is nothing but a security key that tells the system "okay, go ahead and let them use this".
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Two different situations, both for the same reason. The intent is to get you to buy the game new and not used. It's why ME2 had the unlockable DLC code, and it's why EA (who was in charge at this point) used project $10 to make ME3's day 1 DLC $10. And for the love of god please stop calling ME3's DLC "On-disk DLC". Seriously, the versions people play after unlocking it themselves on the disk is trash, complete and utter garbage. It's glitchy, it's incomplete, you have multiple items that simply don't show up. Compare that to actually paying the money to buy the DLC unlock code and you get much better integration, the full range of items, and all the code is there. All the code for the DLC is not there on the disk, just part of it.

    I didn't call ME3's DLC "on-disc". Instead I explained how according to EA's logic, something that was worth $0 to a new buyer for the previous game is now worth $10. Will they decide it is worth $15 for (the made up for this argument) Mass Effect 4? I know WHY they did it, because they decided they should never give away something they could sell. Mass Effect 2 had a steady stream of new free guns for single player (finishing off with a paid gun pack at the tail end of the game's lifespan). Mass Effect 3 has charged for every new gun for single player. We are getting taken up the ass here, WHY would you cheer them on at this? I'm not even saying don't buy it, I'm saying how the eff does it make sense to defend them? The original intent of Project $10 was "here is a bonus for being a new buyer." Now it's become an explicit threat: "buy this new or I'll frickin' cut off your versus mode. DON'T TEST ME MAN, I'LL DO IT." I am not okay with EA attacking me for buying their game. I'm not okay with cutting important parts out randomly and saying I should pay extra for squadmate x unlike squadmate y who is "free".
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Alright, I want you all to think back to all the "Easter eggs" and "glitches" that resulted in new content back in the days. You glitch through a wall and hit an unfinished Mario level. You glitch through an encounter and find a dog is controlling Silent Hill. Pretty much anything the "Game Genie" and "Game Shark" unlocked on old consoles. All of that is unfinished content that was left on the disk, and all of it is glitchy as hell. In fact it's just as glitchy as the stuff people hacked open on their ME3 games. Without DLC, all of that remains glitchy BS that no one will ever see the full merit of or the completed version of. Before DLC, all those artifacts in the codes of games that were left from different builds were just left there to rot until curious hackers found their way into them.

    Back in the day, they had to sell complete games at launch and not hide promising bits to sell back later. And if it wasn't ready to go at the proposed launch, they pushed the launch back slightly. Nintendo did this ALL THE TIME. We're not talking expansion pack territory here, we're talking "the game went gold on the 10th, we finished the DLC on the 12th and it went through cert on the 15th." They're making a $60 game a $70 game. Or an $80 game. Or so on.

    Any time you see DLC on the marketplace that's 108kb, it may in fact be on the disc! And you know what, they may have generated that content outside the normal development cycle! Or it may have required a finishing patch! Or sure, maybe they're being scummy, but whereas I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt that most publishers are not, in fact, out to look like complete fuckwits, you seem to believe you have both the knowledge of their internal corporate workings and the moral authority to determine exactly what thought process went through the minds of managers and developers. I would ask what it's like to be The Shadow but that reference is probably too old.

    The Street Fighter x Tekken debate is one of the few times where it seems that the developer/publisher was genuinely attempting to sell something that was a promised portion of the original game (in the case of two characters seen in promotional trailers who were ultimately locked). Even here we don't know for certain that the characters were completely finished in all cases, but from the reports various people put out it appears many or all of them were game-ready at launch. That's the thing though - we know this was the case because people try to access the locked content, every time. If there is content there to break into and all that is required is a 108kb security key, file swapping will by and large allow people so inclined to get access to that data, and then the whole internet knows. The number of times this has actually happened is reassuringly small.

    Moreover, little you have said about Mass Effect is accurate, beyond basic facts about pricing. Zaeed was provided free to buyers of new games to disincentivize the purchase of resold games. That isn't $0, you're paying the premium of not buying a refurb game if you want the content free. They determined that this was insufficient incentive to justify the cost of making the DLC and instead charged for Javik. That is a business decision regarding sales and has nothing to do with how or why the content was generated. Zaeed was not finished when ME2 was ready to ship. He was ready afterward. It wasn't randomly cut in any way, the content was not ready at launch. Javik was being created by different people on a separate development track and even if they had wanted to launch with him - which they're under no obligation to do, he wasn't a promised feature and isn't in any way necessary to complete the game - there were reports up until a week before launch that he wouldn't be ready on launch day. The fact that he was means a lot of people pulled out all the stops to get him there.

    "Back in the day" is a golden era that never existed. To roll this back around to the actual topic of the thread, if you don't think games have improved as a result of DLC then don't buy those games. If, on the other hand, you think that games have become better since we stopped using cartridges and would like the gaming industry to become less of a complete bullshit-fest, buying DLC is a thing you could do to help out, a little bit.

    E: Post randomly lost most of the last sentence o_O

    The Good Doctor Tran on
    LoL & Spiral Knights & MC & SMNC: Carrington - Origin: CarringtonPlus - Steam: skdrtran
    Cambiata
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    This is the example that breaks the mold, but proves my point. Most every example I've seen people give of "On-disk" DLC is stuff that the developers wanted to work on while they had a break during final QA and CERTS or any of the number of other things they have to go through to finally push out that game. Most of that content was finished in time for launch, which is what gives people the impression that it's greedy devs looking to get more money. Skyrim has so much extra "On-disk" content that there is absolutely no way that they could finish it before release, so it's the perfect example to prove the point. It's the proof that "on-disk" content isn't a money grab, it's there so that the devs could continue to build onto the game as it got older, and It's unsoiled by the already dirty term of "Day 1 DLC", which is what makes it so excellent an example.

    When you say the entire continent, do you mean, like, Tamriel and Morrowind?? If so, awesome!
    Yep. All of the continent of Tamriel, which includes Morrowind, Elseweyr, Hammerfell, Valenwood, Cryodiil, Black Marsh and the other areas. You can walk up the the map boundaries where the roads end, use console commands to glitch through it, and find the entire landmass of the continent out there. It's neat, but unfinished and unpopulated, in fact most of it is just the ground, water, mountains and textures and nothing else.
    The rumor, and very fervent hope, is that the entire continent will be gradually opened up with more downloadable content. Of course, it could be a new model for how they do Elder Scrolls games, with the entire continent there they can forgo the process of building the landmass constantly and just fill in the area they plan to spotlight as necessary.
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    This isn't what I asked. I said give me an actual example.

    Does the Street Fighter X Tekken characters count?
    Yes, they count. I'm not a big Fighting Games fan, so I simply didn't see much of the story about it, and my question was genuine. I don't play every single game that comes out in a single year, so I understand that there may very well be a lot of shady dealing that I simply don't see. I often see hyperbole and general "rules" of what makes a DLC a rip-off, and rarely see examples. However, the example I'm constantly seeing is exactly the same; Mass Effect 3. Now that I know about it, I think that if people used Street Fighter X Tekken, I think there would be a lot less argument. Yes, some companies do try to squeeze out some more cash, but not all of them


    Look, I'll end this on the same note I ended a comment on the PAR:Cut article.
    What needs to happen is that when a company is facing the prospect of cutting content entirely over leaving in part of it and finishing it, they need to let their fans know about it. Not after the fact but immediately. They need to come out and say "We could leave part of this content on the disk and polish it up when we have time and maybe have to put a price tag on it, or we can cut it entirely,not be able to fully integrate it later, and you may not ever see it at all". This needs to happen because the userbase needs to understand that this is something that is going to happen when making games, and they need to know ahead of time that this is going to happen when the game releases. Not only will this give the developers an absolutely massive amount of street cred, they'll be making a massive leap towards soothing these ruffled feathers and the idea that they're just out for more money.

    Dedwrekka on
  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    This isn't what I asked. Give me an actual example.
    Resident Evil 5's Vs mode. Gears of War 3's first DLC. Hell, here's a handy list, do your own research next time please, not my job. List. And no, somehow disqualifying one or two entries on that list does not make you right, please do yourself the favor of avoiding that transparent strategy.
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    I don't see how you can see this as a personal attack. It's extra content, none of it is necessary or needed. If you want the extra content, you buy it, if you don't want the extra content you don't buy it. It's not an "incomplete game" just because you didn't buy the unnecessary bling. Yes, EA charges you money for extra content, because it's frickin EA. At some point I had to stop acting surprised or getting excited when EA charged for new DLC. Yes, Bioware's model was better and was definitely more player friendly, but I can also see how the Devs would have gotten little to nothing from that model. The idea that because X number of years ago the same type of content was free that it should be free now is not a real argument.

    THE WHOLE GAME ISN'T NEEDED. This isn't an argument point at all, it's not even sensible. It's an entertainment product, it's in the very very top of the heirarchy of needs if it's even on there at all. Please stop using the word "need" for the rest of the argument (if you would like to continue having one).

    Now that we're past the straw man, let's talk about what sort of add-on content is ACTUALLY add on content. Let's say you make a whole game and after the fact, fans say it was too easy so you make a really hard level using mostly exisiting assets (Prince of Persia Epilogue). Clearly that was an addition, not something you stole out of the game as it was created based on listening to customer feedback. For this sort of add on, people should only argue whether the price is appropriate. What about if you guessed during development that doing five more maps a month and a half into the multiplayer's life span would increase your numbers appreciably and started the basic work during development and finished afterwards? While you technically could have pushed the game back and included those in the regular content, I don't find this business model especially troubling UNLESS you deliberately include a sub-standard amount of maps (compared to competing retail games or your own past output) in order to 'prime the pump.'

    Finally, let's discuss the last and most obnoxious kind of "add on". The kind that isn't an add on at all. Catwoman in Arkham City. Javik in Mass Effect 3. The full character suite in SF x Tekken. Any XBLA game that decides "hard mode" or whatever is worth extra cash at launch. This content is created and developed alongside the game proper. It might be promoted alongside other content during the preview period (depending on how far ahead they do the next step). When the game is looking to be finished, some manager or perhaps the publisher says "...hey do you think they'd pay extra for the ___ feature?" If they think this'll work, they hastily lock the code off, or make sure it isn't put on the disc, or relax the development and QA time restricitions for that particular part since it doesn't need to be there on day one necessarily now. And THIS is what I find completely shady. Because the game is just code and not a real physical object, they can hack off pieces at will and decide that now they're add ons not counted into full retail price.

    And here come the defenders "if you don't think it's worth it, don't buy it!" I DO think it's worth experiencing, however I often DON'T think it has an especial value divorced from the game itself. Like, if I'm going on a plane, that's worth $100-200 sure. But then when they charge me extra for carrying on my bag, I draw the line immediately. Why is the bin that already exists there now an added service? Similarly, Catwoman or Javik is fun to have around, but they're not $10 more fun than the Penguin or Garrus. They're exactly as fun, or a little bit more or a little bit less and it's skeevy as hell to suddenly price off a piece of the content. This isn't even getting into how the company has exactly zero rights to destroy the second hand market and they aren't even being smart about getting money from their audience (EA admitted that charging for access to the ME3 multiplayer... where you can spend A LOT of money was a bad idea). Some of you guys have confused your love of gaming with a twisted desire to defend people who are actively trying to destroy the value of what you're paying for. "If EA doesn't get $4 from me for something that is free elsewhere and in their own previous products, gaming is DOOMED! I have to support my favorite companies by being ripped off and made the fool by them!"

  • The Good Doctor TranThe Good Doctor Tran Registered User regular
    This isn't even getting into how the company has exactly zero rights to destroy the second hand market

    This right here, this is the underlying premise that's so ridiculous. It's their game. They can do whatever the fuck they want with it.

    LoL & Spiral Knights & MC & SMNC: Carrington - Origin: CarringtonPlus - Steam: skdrtran
  • Viktor WaltersViktor Walters fair enough Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    I wouldn't say I agree with either Dedwrekka or shoeboxjeddy wholeheartedly right now, but I do know one thing- If they walk anything like they talk, I'd want the two of them backing me in a fight.

    Though to keep this post something more than quip-y, I would like to add that the latter has a pretty good point- "value-added" shit is generally not appreciably measurable except in the case of "Does this allow me to play the game in a whole new way/finish a storyline I could not before?" and so it is very hard for the consumer to really rationalize paying for DLC, and even when the DLC matters it suddenly feels like they turned the content episodic to wring more money out of the much-maligned consumer. The other side (Dedwrekka's, though I do not mean to speak for him) of that is that since you can't really appreciably measure any normal DLC's impact in dollar signs without serious transparency in the development process, perhaps DLC should not be considered as an actual product being paid for. It's more like the Kickstarter backing system. You've already bought the game, so they're "funded" already, but if you think the entire game/game studio to be deserving of $10 more than their asking price then you can pitch them $10 and they'll kick you a backer benefit in the form of the DLC.

    If you think about DLC like that, suddenly shit starts to make all kinds of sense. It could certainly be abused but, if everyone's well informed and conscious of what constitutes good practices and what doesn't, the cream should rise to the top.

    Viktor Walters on
    Pokemon, to ignore the horrible terrible world. Friend Code: 3609-1288-7086
  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    This isn't even getting into how the company has exactly zero rights to destroy the second hand market

    This right here, this is the underlying premise that's so ridiculous. It's their game. They can do whatever the fuck they want with it.

    Except second hand games AREN'T THEIRS. They are property and there are laws about such things. Do you think Ford could program their smart cars to disable the breaks if you bought it used? Eventually the law will catch up with game devs... it won't be pretty for them.

  • The Good Doctor TranThe Good Doctor Tran Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    This isn't even getting into how the company has exactly zero rights to destroy the second hand market

    This right here, this is the underlying premise that's so ridiculous. It's their game. They can do whatever the fuck they want with it.

    Except second hand games AREN'T THEIRS. They are property and there are laws about such things. Do you think Ford could program their smart cars to disable the breaks if you bought it used? Eventually the law will catch up with game devs... it won't be pretty for them.

    There is no law obliging them to provide you with their intellectual property for free. Straw man analogies don't change fact.

    E: I do love the idea that The Law, which doesn't protect employees of game developers from treatment which is considerably more ethically questionable than not giving you your video game man for free, is going to White Knight in and stop those bad publishers from mucking about in the secondhand retail market. This is not how the real world works.

    The Good Doctor Tran on
    LoL & Spiral Knights & MC & SMNC: Carrington - Origin: CarringtonPlus - Steam: skdrtran
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Okay. Let's look at it this way. Let's say games are like virtually every other product out there and don't have a standardized price. So game A is $60. Game B is $70, but also offers a $60 version that has less content than the $70 version. You can't compare the amount of content in Game A to Game B, because how do you compare content across games? By gigs? Miles in the in-game world? Play hours? Then Skyrim should cost ten times as much as a lot of full priced games. Then again, a Halo game has a short campaign and a small game world, but I've got friends who still play Halo 3 regularly.

    So they have the right to price their game however they want. And we have the right to speak with our wallets. If Airline A offers the same quality of service as Airline B, but B also charges for checked bags, I simply won't use Airline B. That's the beauty of a free market. I can look at prices and decide what is worth my money.

    Personally, if they are going to charge $70 for a game, I'm glad I can opt out of features and get it for $60 if I so desire. More options is better. It's just us assuming that games have to cost $60, without any sort of idea of what amount of content $60 should represent. Again, if you're fine with the $60 game as it is, the existence of another pack of content, regardless of when it was made or where it is stored, shouldn't bother you. It's not like this is going to creep up on us.

    People are worried that it will, or already has, caused developers to include less in the original game and makes them lazy about fixing balance issues and giving a complete experience. If so, then don't buy the games that do that. We always talk about the industry as a whole. But we still get to decide which games we do or don't buy. If you feel that a game is not worth the money it costs, don't buy it.

    I'm not even going to get into the used games thing because the one major error people on both sides of that seem to fall into is assuming it's a simple problem or that we can apply the same solution. Used games don't deteriorate in quality like used hard goods. Enough said.

  • shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    There is no law obliging them to provide you with their intellectual property for free. Straw man analogies don't change fact.

    E: I do love the idea that The Law, which doesn't protect employees of game developers from treatment which is considerably more ethically questionable than not giving you your video game man for free, is going to White Knight in and stop those bad publishers from mucking about in the secondhand retail market. This is not how the real world works.

    But there are laws saying they can't interfere with the rights of resale. Like... a lot of them. Also, straw man analogy isn't a thing... What you're wanting to say is "bad analogy" or "analogy that doesn't work". Straw man fallacy has more to it than being bad.

    The law DOES protect these employees to some extent. They are not suing enough. Like the bus story may have been actionable with a good lawyer in the right area of the country. But testers are generally poor and thus don't have the money to do much in the way of legal action. And if you'd read the words as written and not skim so you can start your counter post, you'd note that I was talking about legal consequences for this anti-used stuff, not for DLC practices (selling bad value products is quite legal).

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