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T O P I C
Those Heartless Epic Bastards
August 26th 2000, 04:06 CEST by andy

We've had the monthly 3DR-bashing topic so that can only mean one thing... It's time to give the Epic boys another swift kick in their collective gut!



The team behind RealCTF, a popular Unreal mod, recently released their follow-up project, Real Tournament for UT. But alas, there are problems in the land of mod, and at the same time as releasing Real Tournament, the team's programmer Brett "mouse" Foster went public with what he describes as the "sad story" of why the add-on wasn't released commercially.

Oh, btw -- that thing about giving Epic a kick in the gut? Only joking. Epic is actually the victim here...

The upshot of the "sad story" is that Epic somehow misled the Real Tournament team, giving them the impression that the add-on would be released commercially and with Epic's endorsement. What's worrying is that in the hands of someone whose brain isn't firing on all cylinders -- which, let's face it, is true of a lot of the 'younger' gamers -- this story could unfairly make Epic look bad. "Those heartless Epic bastards are screwing the mod community!" You can imagine the trollish rantings on message boards everywhere...

But the e-mails from Epic, also posted by Brett Foster, actually show that this wasn't the case at all. For instance, back in June 1999 when the Real Tournament team first pitched their new idea, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski replied:

I am familiar with RealCTF, it is quite cool, but I have a lot of reservations about the future. The strengths that I see in RealCTF are in the design and programming. The level design wasn't quite up to our high standards, and the new skins/meshes/etc... really weren't there either ... I just don't feel that it would be really worthwhile for either of us at this time.

It's hardly a promise, is it? Truth be told, it's more like a diplomatic brush-off.

The very worst criticism that could be made of Epic is that in the later stages of the project, they did give the impression that there was a chance of it being released commercially, and then went very quiet when it became clear that it wasn't going to happen. At that point, a blunt "no" would have been a good idea, instead of leaving e-mails from the Real Tournament team unanswered.

So, slapped wrists all round, I think. But Epic certainly haven't behaved as badly as Brett Foster's story may be seen to suggest.

And finally: When you've finished reading through the "sad story", decide for yourself if you think the Real Tournament team were more concerned with making a great product, or most interested in getting a commercial release...

C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Those Heartless Epic Bastards

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#1 by "Warmonger [AI]"
2000-08-26 04:10:09
warmonger87@hotmail.com
Technically, shouldn't the main post be considered first?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-26 04:20:00
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#1</b> "Warmonger [AI]" wrote...
<QUOTE>Technically, shouldn't the main post be considered first?</QUOTE>

so your post would be second post ?
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-26 04:29:30
georgeb@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
<quote>So, slapped wrists all round, I think. But Epic certainly haven't behaved as badly as the Real Tournament team are leading us to believe.</quote>

Nope, not at all.  So, the RealTournament team did a ton of work without confirmation from Epic, or a contract, that it would be used, paid for, or somehow released by Epic or GT?

Epic looked at it a little, sent a couple of non-commital emails, and in the end it wasn't used.

And the problem here is?  

I'd have to say that you guys learned a valuable lesson in game development.  You're not getting responses?  You're not getting commitments?  Gee Whiz...I think the alarm bells should be going off at that point.

George Broussard, 3D Realms<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Ghost in my Shell"
2000-08-26 04:36:27
*sarcasm*

Well in this day and age of lawsuits, why doesnt this mod group sue Epic for leading them on.

*/sarcasm*

Ah what the hell...

*sarcasm*

/me hears the Full House audience go...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....

*/sarcasm*

This mod group should have known better...no pity for them...
#5 by "gaggle"
2000-08-26 04:41:21
gaggle@traceroute.dk
I felt kinda bad for those guys when I first read about what happend to them. They seemed full of hope, and, indeed, Epic reponsed fairly positivly to them. I sure as hell would've taken that kind of response as the best news since sliced bread. (not that I really know whats so good about that kind of bread..but, another time another place)
However, I can't see blaming Epic is the right thing here. (not implying that that is what Andy said btw) I think Epic responded truthfully, they saw potential in the darn mod (2nd time around anyways) and as it turned out that mod just wasn't chosen as one that would go commercial. A firm no (with an explanation why of course) from the get-go would indeed have been better way of handling it in the long run, but I get the impression that that simply wasn't an option. Epic weren't leading the RealCTF team on, they didn't stall for time, and I certainly believe that Epic had no foul intentions. I don't even see their long-ish response-times as a sign of some wrong-doing. They're all busy humans and whatnot.

Now, I'm not saying I'm right here..I'd certainly like to hear arguments for the other way around. I just did not feel that Epic did something wrong here..quicker and more responses would've been nice sure, but not something you can exspect IMO. If anything I can see the guys behind the mod being a wee bit pushy in the matters. I haven't tried the mod tho' so I won't go about forming opinions on what quality their skins and whatnot really were. I guess what it boils down to is that I understand the way the mod-fella' reacted, tho they were a bit proud for my taste, and I understand the way Epic handled it. I don't see it as anything special at all. No wrist-slapping needed, things went the way they did and too bad, they weren't choosen. No foul play involved...

Now let me hear why that isn't so..I've been wrong before heh.


Jon Lauridsen
hm..I need a better sig..<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 04:47:46
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Hi Andy,

I'm not sure why you asked me questions to clarify the story if you were going to go ahead and post without waiting for the answers. For the benefit of whoever may still be reading, the questions and my replies can be found below.

mouse

1. Do you believe that Epic lead you on at all?Were you under the impression that Real Tournament was likely to be released as an official, commercial add-on?2. Were you only developing Real Tournament with the intention of releasing it commercially?If you'd known from the beginning that the add-on would have to be released for free, would you have still worked on it?3. The free version of Real Tournament that you've released is (according to your web site) a cut-down version of what you were hoping to release commercially. Why couldn't you have "fully realized" your original vision of the project?
#7 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 04:51:44
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Umm... not sure what happened there but I'll try again:

Hi Andy,

<B>1. Do you believe that Epic lead you on at all?</B>

The only time we felt somewhat "led on" was during the month after we sent the product specifications to Epic. We were greeted with initially hopeful replies, only to be disappointed later. But certainly there were never any promises made to us.

<B>Were you under the impression that Real Tournament was likely to be released as an official, commercial add-on?</B>

No, we we never under the impression that it was "likely". We naively believed that we could earn that status.

<B>2. Were you only developing Real Tournament with the intention of releasing it commercially?</B>

Yes, we were planning from the start for a commercial release.

<B>If you'd known from the beginning that the add-on would have to be released for free, would you have still worked on it?</B>

If we had known that there was no chance of getting published... things would have been different. Perhaps we would have done something less ambitious along the same lines. Or, perhaps we would have explored development opportunities other than add-ons for UT.

<B>3. The free version of Real Tournament that you've released is (according to your web site) a cut-down version of what you were hoping to release commercially. Why couldn't you have "fully realized" your original vision of the project?</B>

To clarify: we have not yet released the free version of RealTournament. It will be scaled back compared with our original plans because:

- the product is not finished,
- we would like to release sooner rather than later, and
- there is no possibility of any financial payback

Brett "mouse" Foster
RealCTF & RealTournament programmer
#8 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 04:52:36
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
How ridiculously misrepresented we are in this "report."

First, the sad bit of "sad story" is for <i>us</i> -- in that we didn't get a deal. This is no reflection on Epic. We wanted one, didn't get one, hence, sad story.

Secondly, we aren't painting Epic as a bad guys here -- that assumption is ass-faced. Our only grump was that we wished CB would simply have told us straight-up -- "this isn't up to snuff, etc." That he didn't doesn't matter -- nowhere do we cast aspersions on his character or his intentions.

We did not enter into the creation of RT EXPECTING a deal -- we knew the chances were slim. It seems, Andy, that sensationalism is more your key.
#9 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 05:01:30
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Hi Andy,

With that out of the way I will move on to your opening remarks:

<QUOTE>this story could unfairly make Epic look bad. "Those heartless Epic bastards are screwing the mod community!" You can imagine the trollish rantings on message boards everywhere...</QUOTE>

If I said anything unfair in that story I would like you to point it out. As for the trollish rantings... isn't that a bit of the pot calling the kettle black? :)

<QUOTE>Epic certainly haven't behaved as badly as the Real Tournament team are leading us to believe.</QUOTE>

Once again... if I said anything misleading in that story I would like you to point it out. Its purpose is not to bash Epic, but merely to provide a history of our travails to anyone who's interested.

mouse
#10 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-26 05:01:46
georgeb@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
<quote>We did not enter into the creation of RT EXPECTING a deal -- we knew the chances were slim. It seems, Andy, that sensationalism is more your key. </quote>

Haha!  Welcome to PC and Andy's School of Weak Ass Journalism ;)

Hey, at least you guys tried, and finished a project.  Next one can be even bigger and better.  You did better than the 99% that sit out there and judge things daily and never try to actually create something.

George Broussard, 3D Realms<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-26 05:02:42
georgeb@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
<quote>We did not enter into the creation of RT EXPECTING a deal -- we knew the chances were slim. It seems, Andy, that sensationalism is more your key. </quote>

Haha!  Welcome to PC and Andy's School of Weak Ass Journalism ;)

Hey, at least you guys tried, and finished a project.  Next one can be even bigger and better.  You did better than the 99% that sit out there and judge things daily and never try to actually create something.

George Broussard, 3D Realms<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "UTPlayer"
2000-08-26 05:03:49
When the RealTournament team first posted the e-mails and information revolving their project, I felt they commited a particularly nasty act.

I do not understand why it should be public knowledge that RealTournament was "conceived" to be a retail add-on to Unreal (and then later Unreal Tournament).

If I were to make a guess why the RealTournamen team made this information public, I would guess that the team went public with this information to garner publicity for their mod.  Almost every gaming site that reported their story had the headline "Conceived Retail Mod Being Released For Free".  Reading this at a glance makes the mod sound like it had retail potential, when Epic had told the team that the mod was not up to their quality level early into the project [in 1999].

On a personal note with my thoughts on the mod, it's really doesn't even sound like a viable commerical add-on.  The game types included in RealTournament were simply mild variations of the existing UT game types, certainly not worthy of an add-on.  Just my 2 cents on 'RealTournament'.
#13 by "gaggle"
2000-08-26 05:05:23
gaggle@traceroute.dk
<b>#7</b> "mouse" wrote...
<QUOTE>Yes, we were planning from the start for a commercial release. </QUOTE>


Hm.
I am left pondering why you then did not make *sure* that this was a deal that would go through..I doesn't sound to me like you planned to go more in the lines of what Counter-Strike has done, that is make a mod, become popular, *then* get hired.
You wanted to from the get-go make a commercially-driven mod correct? It simply seems to me like a very..idunno..bold move. Or dumb perhaps..tho' that just sounds way too personal, which isn't my intention. It..it sounds like a plan I for one wouldn't have followed anyways, to put it more diplomatic. It doesn't make sense to me, and whenever that happens I'm always interested in trying to at least understand why someone chooses to do things their way, I may not agree in the end, but I'm sure we can all live with that :)


Jon Lauridsen
still in need of a good sig<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 05:07:10
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
And G said : <quote>"I'd have to say that you guys learned a valuable lesson in game development. You're not getting responses? You're not getting commitments? Gee Whiz...I think the alarm bells should be going off at that point. </quote>


Well no kidding. We knew what was going on after the first extended period of silence. All we wanted was some kind of confirmation  -- as in "no, etc."

And yes, we have learned a valuable lesson about game development -- making a 'modification' has that effect. I'm not bitter or disconcerted in the slightest and frankly I'm amped to simply release the damn thing and have people enjoy it, period.

As an added bit, I'd just like to say that <b>fugginay</b> this certainly has been made to seem more scandalous than it actually is -- we tried, we failed, we posted our attempt. End of story.
#15 by "Jadawin"
2000-08-26 05:08:17
jadawin@wildmail.com
<QUOTE>It seems, Andy, that sensationalism is more your key. </QUOTE>

Hmmm...

<QUOTE>I was sent an email that I would enjoy this post and I must say I am impressed. Way to go Andy. Can I give you the lead for your next piece. George Broussard kills babies and forces the elderly to wash his car. You can just base the thread on that quote. I will post it here again so you can say you read it in two places.

George Broussard kills babies and forces the elderly to wash his car. </QUOTE>

(taken from The Dancing Bears of Hypocrisy thread <a href="http://www.planetcrap.com/stories/140/#967219194">here</a>.)

I see a pattern here...
#16 by "Jadawin"
2000-08-26 05:11:22
jadawin@wildmail.com
Oh, and I'm looking forward as a UT fan to seeing what you guys have come up with. Sorry it didn't work out as a retail release- better luck next time. Thanks for setting the record straight on here too.
#17 by "Kevin"
2000-08-26 05:14:18
<b>In post #8 unDuLE wrote...<b>

<quote>Our only grump was that we wished CB would simply have told us straight-up -- "this isn't up to snuff, etc." That he didn't doesn't matter -- nowhere do we cast aspersions on his character or his intentions.</quote>

Gee, perhaps the Epic guys are busy making and managing their own games rather than hurriedly look at another new mod?  Perhaps Infograms helped attribute to the lag in communication between your team and Epic?

You make it sound as if you should have been Epic's first priority in making a decision quickly.
#18 by "Andy"
2000-08-26 05:17:31
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
<b>#6</b>, mouse:
<QUOTE>
I'm not sure why you asked me questions to clarify the story if you were going to go ahead and post without waiting for the answers.
</QUOTE>
Originally I was going to approach this story from a different angle, which is why I contacted you. After I'd sent you the questions I decided to approach it from a much more subtle angle, and if you scan back through the topic again you'll notice that very little of what I asked you about is relevant to the way I wrote the story.

The one thing I did ask you about that was still relevant was whether or not you were only interested in creating a commercial product, so without your response, rather than make any subjective comment on that I just suggested that the reader forms his or her own opinion.

As it happens, I did wait a while before posting the topic so I could include the questions/answers at the end, but I had no idea when you'd get back to me so I went ahead and posted the topic tonight, planning to add your answers later.

Thanks for answering the questions. I can appreciate that you feel I wasted your time by not waiting for your answers, so for that I apologise, but I don't accept that your answers alter this "story" in any way whatsoever.
#19 by "swartz"
2000-08-26 05:17:31
swartz@planetunreal.com http://www.planetunreal.com/swartz
interesting attacks on the unknown.  As most of you do not know, people who do work on mods, or "real games" do it for the sure enjoyment of doing it.  If we wernt working on realtournament we would have been working on something else.

so, with that said, why not work on something to try and achieve the ultimate goal... which to us would be to WORK ON GAMES FULL TIME!

the story was told not to try and bolster publicity, but to show our path... the ups and the downs so that other people interested in doing what we have done (good or bad) could take a little piece of it and say hey.. that was cool, or no that wasnt...

its not realistic to think that any one group can just wake up one day and say.. hey.. lets make a game...

last but not least to # 13.  Most addons contain many levels, many new textures, and minimal game enhancements other than a "new" story line.  Now go read the RT docs again and tell me that we didnt meet and excede the needed amount of quantity for an addon...

Epic definatly said that our work wasnt up to standards of the first inqirey.. but if you noticed that it was simply us sending them RealCTF, then notice that what we sent them the 100% new content done by a 60% new team... So judging so harshely on something that you have not seen is simply irrational.
#20 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 05:18:20
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
gaggle wrote:

<quote>
pondering why you then did not make *sure* that this was a deal that would go It simply seems to me like a very..idunno..bold move. Or dumb perhaps..tho' that just sounds way too personal, which isn't my intention. </quote>

Bold or dumb -- does it matter? The fact of the matter is yes, we are inexperienced with the esoteric world of publishers, et al. The assumption was that we could slam Epic with something that was just unbelievably bad ass.

In retrospect, given that other modificatons currently in circulation have been embraced by Epic/Infogrames, yes, we probably should have been going public from the very start. Lesson learned.

The industry is changing in such a way that modmakers are becoming a very important part of marketing a game product. We did not catch this vibe, among others, and didn't get a "deal". At this point, I say big woop.

RT will be fun, and many of you will play it -- that is enough for me <i>at the moment.</i>
#21 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 05:18:24
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Hi George,

<QUOTE>I'd have to say that you guys learned a valuable lesson in game development. You're not getting responses? You're not getting commitments? Gee Whiz...I think the alarm bells should be going off at that point.</QUOTE>

And so they were... unfortunately we painted ourselves into a corner by developing for UT.

I hope that in the future, more game developers move towards a licensing model like the one used for the Half-Life SDK. Would we, for example, be permitted to develop and sell an add-on for Duke4? Or will we have to get your approval first?

mouse
#22 by "Jadawin"
2000-08-26 05:18:48
jadawin@wildmail.com
No they don't- in the very quote you cite he says while they "wished" they would have been straight (understandably), even so "That he did doesn't matter." Talk about your tempests in a teacup...
#23 by "Jadawin"
2000-08-26 05:19:32
jadawin@wildmail.com
Crap, post 22 was aimed at post 17, sorry.
#24 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-26 05:19:55
georgeb@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
Andy,

<quote>As it happens, I did wait a while before posting the topic so I could include the questions/answers at the end, but I had no idea when you'd get back to me so I went ahead and posted the topic tonight, planning to add your answers later. </quote>

Haha, typical!  Yeah post the other side's responses AFTER the thread is up and people are already polarized.

By the time you post an update, the thread will be dead, or diverted into a new discussion and nobody will care.

Damn, Andy, you're really good at this stuff ;)  That's a sneaky move I will add to my list.

George Broussard, 3D Realms<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-26 05:23:56
georgeb@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
Mouse,

<quote>Would we, for example, be permitted to develop and sell an add-on for Duke4? Or will we have to get your approval first? </quote>

To sell?  Approval first of course.  Same with anyone, including Valve (or at least if they do, there is still some licensing contract involved).  I'm not aware of any developer that will allow you to use their game/engine and make commercial products without authorization.

But you would be free to release free mods to the community without autorization.

George Broussard, 3D Realms
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 05:32:09
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
Kevin wrote:
<quote> Gee, perhaps the Epic guys are busy making and managing their own games rather than hurriedly look at another new mod? </quote>

You make it sound like decideing on such a thing like signing a mod team to a commercial deal is an intense, time consuming venture. The business plan of any said company would surely include anticipation of an Add-on. Working within those parameters, a decision as to quality could easily be made in the course of a month, or two, as the case was . .. we weren't begging for attention nor pestering them with emails. We tentativly approached our follow up queries and I would hardly consider our requests as time consuming.

I don't understand why you  paint us as pompous dinks who somehow <i> expect </i> something --i.e. stand-up-at-attention Epic, please.

This is not indicated in our documentation and history. We understand shit gets hectic. We are nobodies with no retail experience -- it was a slim bet.

But I firmly believe that we could have added to the "official" Unreal universe, not only because we stuck with it's implied reality, but because we are trying to develop a extension of the Ut scenario, not to "modify" it.
#27 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 05:34:48
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
Andy blustred:

<quote> riginally I was going to approach this story from a different angle, which is why I contacted you. After I'd sent you the questions I decided to approach it from a much more subtle angle . . . </quote>

It's called <i> sophistry , look into it.
#28 by "Avery Swarts"
2000-08-26 05:44:04
shdtre@ipa.net
you know one time last semester I went to the book store to buy a text book for a class i needed this book for and the lady said she couldnt get the book.  Hello!?!?! A college bookstore without books.  Man.

I passed the class thank goodness, it was only a 1 credit deal, but the real happy ending of this story is I used the money for the text book and bought Transformers the movie at where I work, and  a used transformer toy at the flea market.


So dreams come true everyday.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-26 05:45:18
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>George Broussard</b> (#24):
<QUOTE>Damn, Andy, you're really good at this stuff ;) That's a sneaky move I will add to my list.
</QUOTE>

I used to just laugh it off, but this is getting stupid now George.  Your little vendetta against Andy is getting very lame ...

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-26 05:46:48
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>unDuLE</b> (#26):
<QUOTE>I don't understand why you paint us as pompous dinks who somehow <I>expect </I>something --i.e. stand-up-at-attention Epic, please. </QUOTE>

One thing I am interested in though ... did you ask Cliff before posting his emails on your site?  I'm not passing judgement, I'm just curious.

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 05:54:06
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Hi Warren,

<QUOTE>did you ask Cliff before posting his emails on your site?</QUOTE>

No, I did not ask Cliff. My feeling was that there was nothing personal or private there that needed to be kept secret.

mouse
#32 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-08-26 05:54:12
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/graveycam/ind
why would a game with CTF release a CTF mod commercially?

________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Jason Hall"
2000-08-26 05:54:17
Hall@Lith.com http://www.lith.com
Man oh man... I just read the intro to this thread... it is so hard to not comment on other relevant areas to this... The opportunity of this thread!!!
;)

(sigh)
No comment...

Jace
#34 by "EvilAsh"
2000-08-26 05:57:39
evilash@eviladam.com http://www.eviladam.com
Um Was Andy wrong in this case?

Yes.

Was George correct in pointing it out.

Yes.

Will Andy truly admit he was foolish in this case.. Nope.

Will He ever learn.. Doubtful.

As far as Vendatta's Warren .. its George's right to post and point out Andy's stupidity.

Just as it is my right to point out yours. ;)

Vendetta? You truly dont' understand the meaning of the word.
#35 by "Show Time"
2000-08-26 05:57:51
bmw@carolina.rr.com
I would say that posting all the emails is a questionable thing to do. But since behind the scenes stuff is what floats my boat, I'll leave that to the Cliffy or whoever else.

Other than that, I do sort of think this is a non-story. I'm not as passionate about it as some. Maybe Andy does good stuff most of the time, or maybe this is just the first time I've been able to read all the info and email that it was based on. Either way, I didn't get the notion of a sob story or any sort of accusation when I read it. Seems like they made a few naive mistakes, but the extent of my work in modifying games stops at the stick figure porn decals that I make for half-life.
#36 by "Andy"
2000-08-26 05:58:11
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
<b>#9</b>, mouse:
<QUOTE>
If I said anything unfair in that story I would like you to point it out.
</QUOTE>
Okay then, I will. But remember, I'm looking at this from the angle of someone who visits your web page once, reads your article once, read the e-mails once, and jumps to an immediate opinion. That's what most people will do.

You're the underdog, Epic is the big, rich company -- many people will side with you by default, and I'm sure you realise that.

Right, quoting from your article:
<quote>
I sent a proposal to Cliff Bleszinski, currently Lead Designer at Epic Games. His reply was short and to the point: we would have to demonstrate something a lot better than RealCTF in order to be considered for a commercial project.
</quote>
This is <i>slightly</i> misleading. He basically said that if you gave them something of commercial quality, Epic may be interested, but based on what he'd seen so far he didn't think anything would happen.
<quote>
This time around, we made the letter short and sweet, hoping that the product specifications would speak for themselves. A few hours later, positive-sounding replies from Tim and Cliff had us jumping for joy. They were interested!
</quote>
They were interested in looking at your work. They still weren't expressing any interest in a commercial release. (Remember, Epic has <i>always</i> taken a keen interest in the work of all mod teams. Showing an interest in your work didn't indicate any particular interest in releasing it commercially.)
<quote>
But when 9 more days went by without a word we really started scratching our heads. If they're interested, why so quiet?
</quote>
Again, they had said they were interested in looking at your work -- they hadn't said anything about a commercial release or endorsement.

--

Look, let me be blunt with you: I wasn't particularly comfortable with this topic because ultimately you're just a bunch of guys who have made an add-on and decided (by lack of other options) to give it away for free. This story was originally presented to me as being about Epic leading you on and then letting you down, and believe me, I'd be much more comfortable writing about <i>that</i> story.

I'm not criticising you, your motives, your work or your prospects. But I do feel you have made a public 'protest' in a way that could be damaging to a company that has, at worst, been rude in not replying to some of your e-mails more promptly. You're an enthusiastic team, and you've taken the slightest sign of interest from Epic to mean more than it was ever intended to.

I've approached this story in the mildest, most courteous manner possible. Please just accept that you have behaved a little irresponsibly in posting your article and Epic's e-mails. If the bottom line is that you honestly feel I've treated you unfairly or disrespectfully then, all I can say is that I don't agree.

In the long run, I think the people you have hurt most are yourselves. I think you'll have severe difficulties when you next approach a company about endorsement, because they'll be very hesitant in giving you any encouraging signs at all.

Sincerely, though, I do wish you all the best in future. Even if I <i>have</i> earned myself a few new enemies... :-(
#37 by "Jason Hall"
2000-08-26 05:59:22
Hall@Lith.com http://www.lith.com
Wait, I do have a comment...

"For the thing that I have greatly feared has come
upon me. And what I have dreaded has happened to me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for
trouble comes." Job 3:25,26

I'm feeling biblical today!

Don't read anything into this. I just thought that this was a neat passage...

Jace
#38 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 05:59:52
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
Some kind of goddam Bilbo Baggins Wrote: <quote>
why would a game with CTF release a CTF mod commercially?

________________________________
dumb·ass (Düm-èSS) n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
]



Indeed, DUMBASS.
A stroll through the material in question will answer your query.
#39 by "unDuLE"
2000-08-26 06:04:19
unDule@tampabay.rr.com
LOL!

I get it, now.

This is all about priggery. PlanettCrap, I salute you.

Please feature postmodern verse next, plz.
#40 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 06:07:07
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Hi Andy,

<QUOTE>I do feel you have made a public 'protest' in a way that could be damaging to a company that has, at worst, been rude in not replying to some of your e-mails more promptly. </QUOTE>

Well, I guess we will just have to disagree then. I don't consider our story to be a protest in any way.

mouse
#41 by "mouse"
2000-08-26 06:09:03
mouse@squirrelsoftware.com http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament
Hi Jace,

<QUOTE>it is so hard to not comment on other relevant areas to this... The opportunity of this thread!!!</QUOTE>

Please do comment! Why not make this thread into a useful discussion? :)

mouse
#42 by "Andy"
2000-08-26 06:17:35
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
<b>#40</b>, mouse:
<QUOTE>
Well, I guess we will just have to disagree then. I don't consider our story to be a protest in any way.
</QUOTE>
You know what, I've read your article again, and I've read my own story again, and I can see why you feel a bit aggrieved. One of my closing comments ("Epic certainly haven't behaved as badly as the Real Tournament team are leading us to believe") was pretty harsh due to the implied intent, and I'm guessing that's the bit you object to?

What I was trying to say with this topic (hopefully made clear in the fourth paragraph) is that people may take your article to mean something much more than it really does. So I didn't help matters by going off the deep end myself later on.

I'll change that closing comment.

Would you like a blushing "oops" or the full knee-scraping apology? ;-)
#43 by "George Broussard"
2000-08-26 06:23:34
georgeb@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
EvilAsh,

<quote>Um Was Andy wrong in this case?
Yes.
Was George correct in pointing it out.
Yes.
Will Andy truly admit he was foolish in this case.. Nope.
Will He ever learn.. Doubtful.
As far as Vendatta's Warren .. its George's right to post and point out Andy's stupidity.
Just as it is my right to point out yours. ;) </quote>

AH YES!  I think I see what you're getting at.  Warren's a poopy-head!  By God sometimes the answer eludes me! ;)

/me goes back to work.

George Broussard, 3D Realms<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-26 06:35:35
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>George Broussard</b> (#43):
<QUOTE>AH YES! I think I see what you're getting at. Warren's a poopy-head! By God sometimes the answer eludes me! ;) </QUOTE>

Err ... well, I have him on ignore so I never have any idea what he says (unless somebody quotes him) ... He's got some special focus on me.  Just ignore the troll.  :)

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-26 06:35:39
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>Jason Hall</b> (#33):
<QUOTE>Man oh man... I just read the intro to this thread... it is so hard to not comment on other relevant areas to this... The opportunity of this thread!!! </QUOTE>

If you'd read further, you'd have seen that it's not an Epic bashing thread.  :)

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#46 by "Xtravar"
2000-08-26 06:41:28
xtravar@yahoo.com http://llamaboy.dhs.org
Uhhh, I don't see why anyone would want to make a commercial mod in the first place.  I mean, there's plenty of great mods out there that NICE people have enjoyed making for free, why pay for one?
Now if a group were to license the engine and develop a total-conversion type of thing, that would be different.
I think mod makers should do it for the learning experience, the joy they'll bring to others, and the name they'll make for themselves.

Wow I'm posting on planetcrap i must be really bored, since I hardly play games.
#47 by "Ian"
2000-08-26 06:50:31
#46

Due to a freak change in gravity, the world no longer revolves around the sun. It revolves around Xtravar. Now, instead of making products that the poor guy has to pay for, people will just start giving him things for free. Food, Clothing, Video Games... All will arrive on his doorstep, remarkably free of charge.

Thank you Xtravar, for gracing us with your presence. Surely such an unparralled event will go down in history with the burning bush and the Virgin Mary appearing on a can of paint thinner as humankinds brief encounter with godliness.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "swartz"
2000-08-26 06:54:28
swartz@planetunreal.com http://www.planetunreal.com/swartz
duh dude.. (46) learning experience ie: realctf, and realtournament
#49 by "Xtravar"
2000-08-26 07:00:21
xtravar@yahoo.com http://llamaboy.dhs.org
Oooh i'm hurt, Ian.  Please don't make me cry.
I own plenty of games, which I've payed for, but I'd never buy a mod.  Why?  Have you ever bought a mod?  First of all, no one would have the mod to play it with online because everyone is cheap.  Second of all, the best things in life are free.  Err, if a person's talented enough to be making a commercial mod shouldn't they have been picked up by a company to work on an actual game?

Your post is just an ignorant attempt at a flame, and if you have a problem with me, email me smartone. Don't come to your dumbass conclusions just so you can use your latest diss-line.
#50 by "swartz"
2000-08-26 07:02:08
swartz@planetunreal.com http://www.planetunreal.com/swartz
to (46) again...

your right.. y would anybody make a commercial mod?

Our objective from day one was to go away from the MOD.. mod meaning modification.. instead our plan, and current plan is to add, enhance, and continue the ut theme.. build from that and go.

go here: http://www.planetunreal.com/realtournament/rt/docframe.htm

and read the first page..
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