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T O P I C
The Dancing Bears Of Hypocrisy
August 25th 2000, 04:15 CEST by andy

Yay, it's another 3D Realms thread! Yes folks, I've spent weeks trawling through every gaming web site, message board and newsgroup, hunting for any info or quotes I could use to formulate another of my spiteful, malicious and entirely biased rants against those poor 3DR folks, and finally I've found it! Rejoice!

(Or maybe, just maybe, I followed a link from Blue's News and noticed something that I thought would be worth commenting on. And it just happens to be about 3DR. But shhh, don't tell George and Scott.)



Duke Nukem : Endangered Species is a hunting game in which everyone's favourite five-years-out-of-date action hero sets off on a mission around the world to kill some creatures. Doesn't sound that great to me, and probably not to you either, but apparently this is a "mass-market design game" so I guess we're not exactly the target audience.

Stomped recently interviewed several members of the DN:ES development team, Action Forms. The interview includes a few interesting tidbits that are, let's say, not very re-assuring about the level of quality to be expected, but there's one thing in particular that I think should be brought to people's attention...

Regular readers of the 'Crap will have seen both George Broussard and Scott Miller commenting many times on how unscrupulous some publishers can be, and how they hold developers to strict deadlines with little care for getting the game finished to a decent standard. Well, in that case, it should be good news that Endangered Species is being published by the Gathering Of Developers subsidiary On Deck Interactive... shouldn't it? After all, these guys are supposed to be working on the side of developers -- no more bullying, no more oppressive deadlines, no more rushed games. Remember?

Well, believe it or not, Endangered Species has a SIX MONTH development time. SIX MONTHS! That's less than half a year! ;-)

So maybe On Deck Interactive are another of these evil publishers? Is that what this is about? Nope. See, apparently the six month limit has been imposed by none other than 3D Realms. Just a tad hypocritical of them, wouldn't you say? The biz folks at 3DR make a big deal of saying how much they disapprove of publishers rushing projects, but when it's 3DR calling the shots on another team, they're just as bad themselves. In fact, with a six month deadline imposed to hit the Christmas market, you could say they're actually worse...

I've always told publishers that they are clueless if they think time of year matters. It certainly doesn't matter for good games. And if nothing else you WANT to be alone ... I know we would skip Xmas and choose to polish a couple months if it meant shipping anytime in December.

-- George Broussard
5 August 2000

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Andy"
2000-08-25 04:17:12
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
No, I didn't get my maths wrong. It's an old joke from a UK comic. :-)
#2 by "G'money"
2000-08-25 04:18:41
thegmoney@mediaone.net
It's a hunting game.  This is like Carnivores.  I don't think it's supposed to revolutionize like DNF.  The real issue is why 3drealms would want Duke Nukem to enter mass-market hunting games.  Seems like it risks screwing the character up.
#3 by "Floyd"
2000-08-25 04:24:47
Floyd@Planetfall.com
Can we get some more text-based adventures here please??
#4 by "Romy"
2000-08-25 04:44:33
romy_of_antioch@hotmail.com
<b>#3</b> "Floyd" wrote...
<QUOTE>Can we get some more text-based adventures here please?? </QUOTE>

Yes, bring back A mind forever voyaging and trinity, and hitchhikers, and, and, and....ALL OF THEM!!! Mwa ha ha ha.
R.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Duke"
2000-08-25 04:59:36
dukey@v-wave.com
This looks like a really small & crappy little game.. maybe a 6 month development time frame is being generous in this case?
#6 by "doof"
2000-08-25 05:16:46
bob@dolearama.com
<quote>Can we get some more text-based adventures here please?? </quote>


You are standing on the top of a building. To your left is a pigcop.

Action?
Select Shotgun

Selected.
The Pigcop has noticed you.
Action?
Shoot Pigcop

BANG!
Good shot! You killed the Pigcop.
Action?
_
#7 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-25 05:25:07
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
I'd assume this development schedule fits this style of game. Perhaps a game like this only takes four months to develop, with two months for polish?

Or maybe it's a game that NEEDS to be in stores at Christmas, unlike Duke Nukem. I've always felt it was a bit arrogant to say "We can skip Christmas" when you have a huge franchise. Perhaps they'd feel differently launching an unknown and untested property during, say, July... I dunno.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-08-25 05:38:27
charliew@3drealms.com
A) This team has been putting out their Carnivore hunting games on similar time schedules. 6+ months is the standard development time for the games they are making.

B) As far as I know, the milestone is set by the developer themself, <b>NOT</b> 3D Realms. I'm not directly involved with the game so it will take George or Scott to confirm this, but from what I understand of my conversations with George we are letting them do what they do best with suggestings and alterations as they see fit. They have a good amount of freedom with 3DR offering improvements to design and character.

C) I read the interview 2 more times to see where you saw that 3D Realms itself was imposing the deadline (as opposed to assuming or extrapolating it) and couldn't find it. Could you please show me where it says that 3DR is the one who set the deadlines for them?

Most telling is this quote by one of the developers: <b>"We've got wide experience of creating relatively simple, but solid and stable half-year projects working on Carnivores line."</b>

Charlie Wiederhold
#9 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-08-25 05:40:04
charliew@3drealms.com
<quote>Or maybe it's a game that NEEDS to be in stores at Christmas, unlike Duke Nukem. I've always felt it was a bit arrogant to say "We can skip Christmas" when you have a huge franchise. Perhaps they'd feel differently launching an unknown and untested property during, say, July... I dunno.</quote>

Duke 3D was an unknown and untested property and it was released in what... April? May?

It's *smart* to not release around Christmas if you see an opening a few months past that where gamers are going to be hungry for another game.

Charlie Wiederhold
#10 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-08-25 05:43:19
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#9</b> "Charlie Wiederhold" wrote...
<QUOTE>It's *smart* to not release around Christmas if you see an opening a few months past that where gamers are going to be hungry for another game.
</QUOTE>

and I, for one, thank developers for taking that oppurtunity, though I wasn't one of the people that bought Duke3D (I did play it a few times on a friend's computer, though, but was really into Quake by that time).

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#11 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-25 05:50:15
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
<b>#9</b> "Charlie Wiederhold" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Duke 3D was an unknown and untested property and it was released in what... April? May? </quote>
Well, that ignores the 2D side-scrolling Duke games that brought the name into the public eye, but the game was released as shareware and had perfect timing, being a nice evolutionary advance from DOOM II and Dark Forces and preceding Quake.

And it was a very different game market when it was released... hell, even Quake was still shareware.

<quote>It's *smart* to not release around Christmas if you see an opening a few months past that where gamers are going to be hungry for another game. </quote>
I'd think so, but it's hard to argue with the facts; game sales are up insane numbers during Christmas, and the majority of the Top 10 list during the holidays is budget games. (Who wants the Survivor license? Raise your hands....)

Of course the biggest hits in the last couple of years (all Blizzard games, The Sims, SimCity 3000, RollerCoaster Tycoon) were all release off-season....

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-08-25 06:15:58
charliew@3drealms.com
<quote>Well, that ignores the 2D side-scrolling Duke games that brought the name into the public eye, but the game was released as shareware and had perfect timing, being a nice evolutionary advance from DOOM II and Dark Forces and preceding Quake.</quote>

How many people would you honestly say bought Duke 3D based off the side scrollers? How many of the 2-3 million people who bought it do you think even knew of Duke before the game came out? I didn't and neither did any of my friends in college. Small subset but I doubt Duke 1 and 2 were very much in the public eye really. I don't even remember any reviews mentioning the first two games (though I'm certain there had to be a couple that did).

<quote>I'd think so, but it's hard to argue with the facts; game sales are up insane numbers during Christmas, and the majority of the Top 10 list during the holidays is budget games. (Who wants the Survivor license? Raise your hands....)</quote>

Correct, but watch the sales of Diablo 2 and I'll bet you will see the same thing you saw happen with Starcraft (another April/May release). It is going to completely own Christmas, or at the very worst it will stick right up there with the other games that have already been best sellers (or addons to best sellers like Sims: Livin Large).

Watch the lists and you'll see that the games getting most of the sales at X-Mas aren't new releases. It's the games that have had time to establish themselves and build up good word of mouth. The only one that has been an exception in recent memory was Half Life, and that wound up tearing up the charts the following X-Mas after it's release. A full year later! :)

Charlie Wiederhold
#13 by "Derek Smart"
2000-08-25 06:27:15
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
ODI is just another GoD front. The same way GoD started out as a farce and ended up being a sellout farce - to Take2. ODI is just their value like I guess. Watch them use the proceeds of ODI products to shore up the losses of GoD products. The oldest trick in the book.

I'm looking forward to Max Payne. Everything else looks like garbage, apart from Serious Sam, which was cool before they even signed with ODI.

And this is news?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "Certis"
2000-08-25 06:50:28
spleen@mts.net http://www.voodooextreme.com/Alteredworlds
And your still talking?

God damn Derek, I can't believe how consistently negative you are!

As for ODI, it makes sense GoD would use something like that to "shore up losses of GoD products". It's called business and they are doing what they have to in order to continue supporting innovative games under their GoD label.

Now go back to developing your new "just came up with this idea this weekend" game.
#15 by "Ian"
2000-08-25 06:51:41
I've always wondered what it's like to be a corporate shill. Now I can just ask selected employees of 3DR.

Oh by the way, I recently read an <a href="http://formen.ign.com/news/11886.html">interview</a> with Bruce Campbell. To sumarize in case you won't read it: He hates you assholes. In case your internet connection is broken yet you still inexplicably get PC, here's an excerpt.

<quote>
IGN For Men: The Duke Nukem videogame character is obviously an homage to you, at least your attitude...

Bruce Campbell: What?!

IGN For Men: The Duke Nukem character?

Bruce Campbell: Really?

IGN For Men: I would say so.

Bruce Campbell: I'm kidding, I'm well aware of Duke Nukem.

IGN For Men: Have you been approached for the movie at all?

Bruce Campbell: No, and I would say no because of the way they've handled it.

IGN For Men: How have they handled it?

Bruce Campbell: Well, they're rip-off artists. Let them get their own damn material. It's called hiring a writer. They're blatantly ripping it off and if I was any kind of litigious guy they would've gotten a phone call by now. It's depressing and I think it's wrong. That's why Tachyon: The Fringe will kick little Duke's ass any day
</quote>

On a similar note, there's a DN movie? Jesus, how long are you guys going to milk this franchise before you let go of Duke's shriveled teat?

And no, I don't read "IGN for Men". I'm insulted you would even imply that.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#16 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-08-25 06:56:44
charliew@3drealms.com
*eyes rolling*

Take it elsewhere flameboy.
#17 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-08-25 07:08:44
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
<b>#7</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>I'd assume this development schedule fits this style of game. Perhaps a game like this only takes four months to develop, with two months for polish?
</QUOTE>

10 of us did Red Odyssey for Battlezone in 3 months.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-08-25 07:15:47
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
<b>#15</b> "Ian" wrote...
<QUOTE>Well, they're rip-off artists. Let them get their own damn material. It's called hiring a writer. They're blatantly ripping it off and if I was any kind of litigious guy they would've gotten a phone call by now. It's depressing and I think it's wrong. That's why Tachyon: The Fringe will kick little Duke's ass any day </QUOTE>

Bruce has been saying this for years. I think it's his stock answer for the question because he gets that question a lot.  

As far as Tachyon kicking Duke's ass?  Was Bruce talking about sales figures?  If so, I doubt it.  What did Tachyon sell, three copies, if that many?  Just kidding, we all know it sold four copies.



 <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#19 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-25 07:41:32
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
<b>#12</b> "Charlie Wiederhold" wrote...
<QUOTE>
How many people would you honestly say bought Duke 3D based off the side scrollers? How many of the 2-3 million people who bought it do you think even knew of Duke before the game came out?</quote>
I'd say the first batch of people had heard the name before, and those people are likely the ones that, in one way or another, ended up turning on those 2-3 million people.

But in those days demos were considerably more rare than they are today, and releasing so much gameplay for download was a big deal. The Internet was taking off, shareware was at its peak...

<quote>Correct, but watch the sales of Diablo 2 and I'll bet you will see the same thing you saw happen with Starcraft (another April/May release). </quote>
Well, betting against Diablo II would be silly, but I bet it'll mostly be Diablo II, the Sims add-on, the new RollerCoaster Tycoon add-on and other $19-$25 "games", whether they were released earlier in the year or not. Price is more critical than build up.

Oh, and that Baldur's Gate II thing...

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#20 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-25 07:43:20
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
<b>#17</b> "Sgt Hulka" wrote...
<QUOTE><B><A href="spy-internal:Load/140#7">#7</A></B> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
10 of us did Red Odyssey for Battlezone in 3 months.</QUOTE>
Well there you go. This is basically a TC of Carnivores (I guess), so perhaps six-months is plenty of time.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "Jafd"
2000-08-25 07:56:21
jafd@zombieworld.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
#16: Get your boots on. No more of this "but, but, the topic scrolled off!" malarkey.

Dance, Jimmy! Dance!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-08-25 07:57:09
charliew@3drealms.com
<quote>I'd say the first batch of people had heard the name before, and those people are likely the ones that, in one way or another, ended up turning on those 2-3 million people.</quote>

Maybe I'm just a freak then, because I also pre-ordered Duke 3D without having ever heard of the first two games.

It was still an untested property seeing as it bears no resemblance to the original titles outside of the name of the main character. He didn't even really have any "attitude" or character at the time. But that's enough about that. I much enjoy talking about sales patterns, when to release your titles, and whether Andy contacted Action Forms or 3DR to find out if his speculation was correct or not.

Charlie Wiederhold
#23 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-25 07:59:57
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
<b>#22</b> "Charlie Wiederhold" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Maybe I'm just a freak then, because I also pre-ordered Duke 3D without having ever heard of the first two games.
</quote>
But you played the shareware edition before ordering, right? I tell ya man, in those days demos stood out because there were so few. If only five games a year had demos/shareware episodes, those five games would all have greater impact a la Duke Nukem. (Of course it might help if they were actually good, which the Duke shareware definitely was...)

God, I loved the Duke side-scrollers, as well as id's Keen games...

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-25 08:16:13
georgeb@3drealms.com
Andy,

Yet another clueless thread.

1) Development time means nothing.  If it's not fun/ready by Xmas it will not be released.

2) They've been working on it for a few months already.

3) It's a lower priced, budget game.  Gimme a break.  This isn't a 2 million dollar game.  But it does have the best 3D engine of ANY hunting game and better than MOST 3D games out there.  It will be an incredible value for it's $24 or so price tag.

Hulka:

<quote>Bruce has been saying this for years. I think it's his stock answer for the question because he gets that question a lot. </quote>

Yeah, sorry but Bruse is uninformed and clueless.  Rip off artists?  People need to get a clue, get the facts and stop talking out of their asses.

<quote>As far as Tachyon kicking Duke's ass? Was Bruce talking about sales figures? If so, I doubt it. What did Tachyon sell, three copies, if that many? Just kidding, we all know it sold four copies. </quote>

Yeah, I'll take that bet any day.  DNF sales vs Tachyon's?  Tell Bruce I'll bet him $50,000 DNF sells more ;)

And Andy, try not beating developers down for trying to growing a franchise - Gee, too bad most developers can't even get a franchise going...

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#25 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-08-25 08:23:18
charliew@3drealms.com
<quote>But you played the shareware edition before ordering, right? I tell ya man, in those days demos stood out because there were so few. If only five games a year had demos/shareware episodes, those five games would all have greater impact a la Duke Nukem. (Of course it might help if they were actually good, which the Duke shareware definitely was...)</quote>

Yes, but I don't see what that has to do with whether Duke 1 and 2 had a major impact on Duke's ability to come out in an off season and be successful. :)

Charlie Wiederhold
#26 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-25 08:23:29
georgeb@3drealms.com
Steve,

<quote>Or maybe it's a game that NEEDS to be in stores at Christmas, unlike Duke Nukem. I've always felt it was a bit arrogant to say "We can skip Christmas" when you have a huge franchise. Perhaps they'd feel differently launching an unknown and untested property during, say, July... I dunno. </quote>

NOPE.

Releasing at Xmas is stupid.  You heard it here first and you will learn and see over time that it's silly beyond marketing belief.

If you have a truly great game, it's FAR better to release in March/April or off peak time because you will be the ONLY GAME IN TOWN!  You will get ALL the press and be the only real game to buy.

Why would ANY developer want to compete for mindshare and shelf space at Xmas with 100 other games?

I'll take launching a kick ass unknown in April any day over Xmas.

Duke 3D was unknown and went out in May.  Starcraft March.  Diablo 2, June.  Shall I continue?

Diablo 2 rocks.  But it's also the BEST game out now and it will dominate the top spot for months.  That build mindshare and "I gotta buy this game."  As opposed to shipping Xmas and having to compete with Quake 3 and other games for the top spot.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#27 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-25 08:31:52
georgeb@3drealms.com
Andy,

<quote>biz folks at 3DR make a big deal of saying how much they disapprove of publishers rushing projects, but when it's 3DR calling the shots on another team, they're just as bad themselves. In fact, with a six month deadline imposed to hit the Christmas market, you could say they're actually worse...</quote>

You're clueless.  We all want the game done this year, but if it isn't done, fun and quality it WON'T SHIP.  Period.  You have some magical ball that sees into the future?  You somehow see conspiracy here?  Trying to maintain a schedule and meet a deadline is totally different from RUSHING A GAME (like Wheel of Time, Sin, Daikatana - need I go on?).

Which do you think is more likely?  That we've lost our minds and will ship a piece of crap to cash in on Xmas dollars, or that we will hold the game until it's of reasonable quality?

Why don't you STFU until we ship the game and judge it and our motives then?  Oh wait....that's what respectable journalists do.

New thread...this one's dead ;)

Hey...why not start a thread about how very few (if any) other developers can even spin off a successful franchise to begin with?  Maybe analyze why that's happening.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#28 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-25 08:35:21
georgeb@3drealms.com
Charlie,

<quote>Yes, but I don't see what that has to do with whether Duke 1 and 2 had a major impact on Duke's ability to come out in an off season and be successful. </quote>

You're right, Duke 1 and 2 had little to do with Duke's success.  Duke 3D sold like 1.7 million and climbing.  We sold maybe 30K copies of Duke 1 and 2.  I hardly think that fanbase made Duke 3D what it was.

What happened was a great game came out with lot's of new stuff in a time of year when there were no other majorly competing games to take the spotlight.  So Duke 3D got entrenched and got mementum behind it and sold, and sold and sold.

Much like Diablo 2 is doing now.

Hey Andy.  New thread...3D Realms rushes Duke beverage coasters and t-shirts to market!  There's some hot scoop there too ;)

Our next goal is to get Minesweeper turned into Babe Hunter featuring Duke for the next release of Windows.  

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#29 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-25 08:43:04
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>George Broussard</b> (#28):
<QUOTE>Hey Andy. New thread...</QUOTE>

That's 2 requests in 2 posts.  You seem awfully eager to bury this thread George.  :)

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-08-25 08:57:42
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com/
Six months is very reasonable for a hunting game.  Christ, I could write the code for one in a couple weeks.
#31 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-08-25 08:58:45
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com/
3D Realms is Andy's rainy day punching bag.
#32 by "vkg"
2000-08-25 09:25:03
This game is what you call a "filler", just like Dominion was for ION storm, just like many many, MANY other games out there.

Its a cheesy, quick fix, mass market deer-hunter clone based on a popular FPS franchise.

Oh btw, who cares?
#33 by "Daren walz"
2000-08-25 09:26:57
walzx002@maroon.tc.umn.edu
ooooo catfight in the thread!

-daren
*flush*<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "vkg"
2000-08-25 09:27:14
Oh, btw, the reason companies make "filler" games that hard core gamers despise is to keep revenue streams high while they supposedly make their "main game".

Why do you think games like Deer Hunter sell thousands upon thousands of copies, while almost undisputedly awesome game developers like Looking Glass go out of business? Deer hunter type game is easier to make, cheaper to make, quicker to make, and sells just as many copies if not more then the hottest games out there.

So just see it for what it is, and get over it.
#35 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-25 09:40:00
georgeb@3drealms.com
Vkg,

</quote>Why do you think games like Deer Hunter sell thousands upon thousands of copies, while almost undisputedly awesome game developers like Looking Glass go out of business. </quote>

I've seen this many times.  Why do games like Thief, System Shock and even Deus Ex have such low sales, and cause companies hardships?

Everyone agrees (critics and die hards anyway) that they are AWESOME games.  And they are.

So then why has Deus Ex only sold 40K copies, while even Vampire has hit the 70K mark?  I doubt Deus Ex will break 150K (if lucky) in US sales.  That's an ok hit, but certainly NOT one in line with a game that gets consistent 90%+ reviews.  The reivews read like Half Life's, yet HL sold a million copies.

The reason?  Sit down, here it comes...

They are too complex for the average gamer.  That's it.  No complex reasons.  No lack of marketing (a favorite culprit).  Just too complex with all their powers, complicated inventory systems, and depth of plot/missions.  The learning curve is too steep.

Bear in mind that us die hards are maybe 10-15% of the market.  We don't cause games to sell 1 million copies.  We cause them to sell 100K copies.

Games like Thief, SS2, and Deus Ex need to be played a couple hours at least before you get into them, master the controls and depth of gameplay and get a handle on them.  That's too daunting for Joe Gamer that buys 3 games a year.  He has 3 kids, a mortgage and a lawn to mow.  He doesn't have hours to learn a game.  He doesn't care.  He wants a quick fix for 20 minutes at a time as he escapes from his busy day.

It's much like movies.  A critically aclaimed / award winning movie like Shakespeare in Love pales in box office dollars to movies like Jurassic Park.  The masses want popcorn games.  Simple to learn and fun to play.  Something you can play 20 minutes, save and pick up later without getting lost in mission onjectives.

And don't bring up RPG's.  See games like SS2 and Deus Ex aren't RPG enough to draw in those fans, so the lose lots of those sales, plus the people looking for quickie action.   They are left with a small subset of the market, and that's why games like SS2, Thief and Deus Ex (while brilliant designs) are left holding the bag at the box office.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
#36 by "Vile"
2000-08-25 10:13:36
mseddon@mercantile.co.za
<b>#35</b> "George Broussard" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Everyone agrees (critics and die hards anyway) that they are AWESOME games. And they are.

So then why has Deus Ex only sold 40K copies, while even Vampire has hit the 70K mark? I doubt Deus Ex will break 150K (if lucky) in US sales. That's an ok hit, but certainly NOT one in line with a game that gets consistent 90%+ reviews. The reivews read like Half Life's, yet HL sold a million copies.

The reason? Sit down, here it comes...
</QUOTE>

<i>* Vile glances at the too-numerous-to-count warez pages on the net...</i>

It's a pity that a game's popularity is determined by the number of copies sold... if only it were possible to determine the number of times a game has actually been <i>played</i>. <b>Then</b> we'd probably see huge differences in popularity stats. It's unfortunate that warez sites proliferate the net... but then again, that's life, isn't it?

-Vile<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-08-25 10:17:44
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
Well anyway, though it is a perfectly understandable move, it's somewhat akin to making a pr0n site to support your other high quality but very specific site which does not turn in much profit. If Morn would decide to live off PC one day would he have to open planetcunt in parallel to cover expenses? Cheap trick ;)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-08-25 10:45:04
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com/
I'd like to look at RPG sales numbers.  Have any RPGs other than Console RPGs really sold that well?
#39 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-25 11:16:57
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<b>Broussard:</b>
<quote>Why don't you STFU</quote>
All hail the George Broussard school of media relations.
#40 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-25 11:30:59
mankovic@jellico.net http://
George Broussard wrote:<quote>Bear in mind that us die hards are maybe 10-15% of the market. We don't cause games to sell 1 million copies. We cause them to sell 100K copies.</quote>

That 10-15% of the market you mentioned also contains those die hards that run a good portion of all the fanboy sites out there, which creates multiple <i>free</i> avenues of advertising for games. The most die hard are usually the most vocal when it comes to scrutinizing said games, so I fail to see why it's improper to voice concern over making cookie cutter games with just a little more flash. I'm convinced that the 10-15% you mentioned was partly responsible for Half Life selling over 1 million copies in the big scheme of things.

I'm convinced that the reason cookie cutter games are so prominent right now is because 3D is now so commonplace, and any new game requires some kind of special -hook- either in the form of eye candy or specialized gameplay which makes newer engine technology a necessity. So a developer is either forced to stay on the cutting edge by developing a new engine (which is costly), or they liscense an existing one and produce something with a great storyline and immersive gameplay in a -short- period of time.....not something that caters to the lowest attention span.

I take offense at your notion that complexity is the main reason that games such as SS2 and Thief sold poorly. I'm convinced that the main reason they sold poorly is due to over saturation of the market coupled with ungodly high prices. I could(and would) afford to buy several more games a year in the $20-30.00 range than I can at the $40-50.00 range. Take a trip to the local EB store sometime and gaze at the racks upon racks of new games out there asking at least $30.00 or more for me to be able to take that title home, and maybe you'll appreciate what that 10-15% has to wade thru. I consider myself in that 10-15% range and I have a full time job, a house to keep up, and a yard to mow. But sometimes that yard doesnt get mowed on time, or laundry gets skipped a day or two when I'm busy being hell bent on killing that clawed tentacle thing in the missle silo in Half Life, or busy trying to figure out how the hell I prevent Lord Crystal Bearer from reaching that damned vile hero gate in DK2....:-)
#41 by "Seth"
2000-08-25 11:40:45
A hunting game with a 6 month schedule isn't very strange, Deer Hunter had something like a 3-5 month schedule. With the succesive releases getting increasingly more months of devlopment time. But I remember walking into the store not 3 months after Deer Hunter was out and seeing at least 2-3 knockoffs.

Carnivores was/is totally 3d (and the only decent one out of them all, so I've heard, though I *did* own Deer Hunter at one point...) unlike most of the other hunting games. I think they can get the game done in six months, but I don't think 3d Realms should expect it to be any better than Carnivores was. But if "good" is all they're aiming for...
#42 by "Thorbar"
2000-08-25 11:48:39
finod@iol.ie
<quote>They are too complex for the average gamer. That's it. No complex reasons. No lack of marketing (a favorite culprit). Just too complex with all their powers, complicated inventory systems, and depth of plot/missions. The learning curve is too steep. </quote>

Look at Baldur's gate,  that's as complex if not more so then dues ex and it has sold loads of copies.  Dues Ex is a stroll in the park compared to some games I've played,  its always obvious which way to run or what to do in this game its just that there's more then 1 way to do it.  This should make easier if there's more then one way to solve a problem right?  Maybe one reason people find it hard/complex is because they expect a game like quake(push the button) or halflife(push the scientist) because its an fps when they end up getting a game like Baldur's gate.  I think the same thing happened to System Shock 1 & 2.  The more mature people who are looking for a experience for testing their reflexes or tactical skill don't really see a FPS set in a si-fi background as a game that they would enjoy.  They're too used to their bows and arrows.  So I guess its not that the game is too complex its just been aimed at the wrong market.

On a side note out of my clan of 8, 2 have bought dues ex and 4 have downloaded it.  All say its a great game.
#43 by "G-Man"
2000-08-25 12:11:10
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#41</b> "Seth" wrote...
<QUOTE>Carnivores was/is totally 3d (and the only decent one out of them all, so I've heard, though I *did* own Deer Hunter at one point...) unlike most of the other hunting games. </QUOTE>
<u>TNN Outdoor Pro Hunter</u> was the cream of the crop as far as the action/hunting genre went. Dreamworld Interactive (sp?) licensed the Unreal engine to make it.

TNN Outdoor Pro Hunter 2 (developed by Monolith - yep that Monolith)then assumed that crown. It used the original Lithtech engine and even supported netplay.

Sorry I couldn't provide any links but ASC Games' (the publisher) <a href="http://www.ascgames.com/">website</a> seems to be nonexistent. But check <a href="http://www.virtualoutdoorsman.com/reviews.html">this</a> out for a quick lineup of the "deer hunter genre".

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "G-Man"
2000-08-25 12:14:49
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
To further clarify my muddled statement:

Carnivores isn't really considered a part of the hunting genre by its die-hard supporters. It's really more of a general action type game with some hunting elements.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "Rambar"
2000-08-25 13:01:52
Anyone interested in RPG sales figures (and general PC game sales figures by extension) needs to read this.

http://desslock.gamespot.com/archives/200005/20000511.html

PC Data is not the end-all be-all of computer game sales figures.

Desslock is working a supplement to this as well but there is no ETA on it.
--
Rambar
#46 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-25 13:31:34
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#12</b> "Charlie Wiederhold" wrote...
<QUOTE>How many people would you honestly say bought Duke 3D based off the side scrollers? How many of the 2-3 million people who bought it do you think even knew of Duke before the game came out? I didn't and neither did any of my friends in college. Small subset but I doubt Duke 1 and 2 were very much in the public eye really. I don't even remember any reviews mentioning the first two games (though I'm certain there had to be a couple that did). </QUOTE>

I know quite a few actually. Heh even my old man got it. He was disgusted they turned awy from a scroller into this motion sickness bonanza ! (his words not mine :P)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-25 13:33:16
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#15</b> "Ian" wrote...
<QUOTE>I've always wondered what it's like to be a corporate shill. Now I can just ask selected employees of 3DR. </QUOTE>

I do believe that title is restricted to only be used when describing. I would thank you kindly from refraining to use it in other contexts.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-25 13:36:24
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#47</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE><B><A href="spy-internal:Load/140#15">#15</A></B> "Ian" wrote...

<quote>I've always wondered what it's like to be a corporate shill. Now I can just ask selected employees of 3DR. </quote>

I do believe that title is restricted to only be used when describing. I would thank you kindly from refraining to use it in other contexts.</QUOTE>
grrr stoopid tags...


I do believe that title "corporate shill" is restricted to only be used when describing Warren. I would thank you kindly from refraining to use it in other contexts.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-25 14:04:37
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#40</b> "Mankovic" wrote...
<QUOTE>George Broussard wrote:
<quote>Bear in mind that us die hards are maybe 10-15% of the market. We don't cause games to sell 1 million copies. We cause them to sell 100K copies.</quote>

That 10-15% of the market you mentioned also contains those die hards that run a good portion of all the fanboy sites out there, which creates multiple <I>free</I> avenues of advertising for games. The most die hard are usually the most vocal when it comes to scrutinizing said games, so I fail to see why it's improper to voice concern over making cookie cutter games with just a little more flash. I'm convinced that the 10-15% you mentioned was partly responsible for Half Life selling over 1 million copies in the big scheme of things. </quote>

What sold Halflife was it's great interface. A lot of my friends are not or only barely computer literate. I watched them play a number of games.

Set them up with q3a. They hated it - the UI was archaic and difficult to use and the gameplay steps were huge.

They played Unreal and they liked the UI better but it was so slow to load up and the bots moved unnaturally and they found it hard to follow them.

Then I let them at Halflife and they loved it. The learning curve was smotth, the UI was mostly intuitive. They could spend a lot of time getting used to controls in the early exploring stage etc. They loved the first walkthrough bit because they could watch things talk and annoy people. (One guy spent 10 minutes or so walking up to characters and watching them get annoyed :P).

Halflife is great because it gradually immerses you in the world, has intuitive UI, requires no manual and had much eye candy at the *begining* of the game. (Where first impressions are gathered). Neither UT or q3a can compare with that which is prolly why they never got a foot hold in less hardcore.

<quote>I'm convinced that the reason cookie cutter games are so prominent right now is because 3D is now so commonplace, and any new game requires some kind of special -hook- either in the form of eye candy or specialized gameplay which makes newer engine technology a necessity. </quote>

doubtful. Most of the gameplay is based on old gameplay styles. I keep waiting for the pacman and spaceinvader gameplay to come back as all the other basic styles have re-imerged in new world.

<quote>So a developer is either forced to stay on the cutting edge by developing a new engine (which is costly), or they liscense an existing one and produce something with a great storyline and immersive gameplay in a -short- period of time.....not something that caters to the lowest attention span.</QUOTE>

If the industry was as established as other industries (ie film) then this would be possible. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it is not. There are no standard tools, no standard repetoirs of communication and people have a long lead in time for each project. Compare that to a film guy who can move daily from set to set using standard equipement with minimal direction and still be damn good. No way is that possible with software engineering (at least not yet). Same to a degree with art. It would be possible for highly motivated individuals to do move project to project freely (within limits) however the games industry doesn't pay enough I would guess. For recompense many of the artists I suspect get satisfaction from seeing their work mixed in end game and working with designers to create a good game.

<QUOTE>I take offense at your notion that complexity is the main reason that games such as SS2 and Thief sold poorly. I'm convinced that the main reason they sold poorly is due to over saturation of the market coupled with ungodly high prices. </QUOTE>

your free to your opinion - but you are wrong. The majority of humanity is lazy. They don't want to learn en route to entertainement. They prefer to sit back with mindless gameplay. I know plenty of people who play the shooter games on playstation where people pop up and you have to shoot them before they shoot you. This repeats for near on twenty hours with slightly different locales and every now and again a special bad guy (like helicopter) pops up. Brain dead game play and much more popular with average non-hardcore player. I haven't seen these hunter games but my guess is that they have similar gameplay ?

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "G-Man"
2000-08-25 14:27:14
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#49</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>Most of the gameplay is based on old gameplay styles. I keep waiting for the pacman and spaceinvader gameplay to come back as all the other basic styles have re-imerged in new world.
</QUOTE>
I think an argument could be made that deathmatch games are in their essence just an extension of the old Pacman gameplay model. Race around a maze picking up powerups while avoiding/killing the enemies within. The only difference is that the end goal is picking up all the powerups rather than killing all the enemies (since they respawn ad infinitum). Hrm actually sounds like a good idea for a mod.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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