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Scott is right...?
November 29th 2003, 08:40 CET by Matt Perkins

According to this website, Scott Miller knew Max Payne would be a success before the game was ever made...

He lists out a lot of points on that website...that may or may not be a part of the success of Max Payne.

My question is this...  
•    Is this a true method for success, has Scott worked out a guarenteed formula where no one else could?
•    Or this is 20/20 hindsight?  Is this just what Mr. Miller thinks made the game successful now that he is looking back?

And will we know the answer before his next planned success?
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#1 by Ryslin
2003-11-29 08:41:13
(waves piece of paper)
first post.

Who in the hell let this sneak in?

Zang! Who is that, running over the desert! It is Ryslin, hands clutching a bladed baseball bat! And with a spectacular grunt, her voice cometh:

"I'm going to spank you beyond mortal comprehension, then bake cookies!"
#2 by BobJustBob
2003-11-29 08:48:06
And will we know the answer before his next planned success?

No. But assuming it fails, we will know then. If it succeeds, we still won't know.

Dood.
#3 by Wudi
2003-11-29 08:57:54
what retard(s) voted yes on this.

this is as dumb as , i dunno, something by Deathkiller intercontinantal dipshit division

ZEP--

I want to be a part of the club! Accept me!

Bubble Blast Installer!
#4 by jafd
2003-11-29 09:00:43
By Scott's standards, DNF is a success, even if it never ships.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#5 by Squeaky
2003-11-29 09:02:28
#4 jafd
By Scott's standards, DNF is a success, even if it never ships.

but it is! Duke Nukem is ingrained into the gamer culture!



All right, I'll stop now.

it's my onion and you can't change it!
DVDs
#6 by Wudi
2003-11-29 09:08:41
I am going back in time, creating 1000 PC accounts, and voting NO, again and again and again....

Zep--

I want to be a part of the club! Accept me!

Bubble Blast Installer!
#7 by Wudi
2003-11-29 09:09:29
Shit...didnt work..must be that time continum they always talk about on star trek

Zep--

I want to be a part of the club! Accept me!

Bubble Blast Installer!
#8 by Warren Marshall
2003-11-29 09:57:37
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I'm sure you guys are really upsetting Scott.  So much so that he'll have to cry himself to sleep tonight on his bed of money and success.

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#9 by G-Man
2003-11-29 10:02:48
You know, I'm sure he is a nice guy. But a lot of the principles he talks about re: branding/marketing/etc are all mish-mashed together. Some of the user comments made in response to the above post highlight this. I think Scott could learn something from studying trademark law (I mean more than he has already in interfacing with trademark lawyers), in particular the jurisprudence surrounding distinctiveness and dilution.
#10 by Sgt Hulka
2003-11-29 10:06:01
Hindsight is always 20/20

#11 by jafd
2003-11-29 11:14:23
#9 G-Man
But a lot of the principles he talks about re: branding/marketing/etc are all mish-mashed together.

Why would he write concisely on a public, unpaid forum? Think, man, think.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#12 by Ashiran
2003-11-29 11:33:27
If he really thinks that the things he mentioned are the reasons MP was a succes then he is even more deluded then I thought.

Especially the "We envisioned this." part of the whole thing.

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#13 by Warren Marshall
2003-11-29 15:21:46
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
This thread reminds me of the movie "Rounders".

"Why does this still seem like gambling to you?!"

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#14 by LPMiller
2003-11-29 16:44:00
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I'm sure Scott would say that those reasons aren't the only reasons for it's success - being a good game people liked to play helped too. But I'm no seeing anyone telling me where he is wrong.

When it comes to the marketing of the game, and the positioning of it, he's right.  Sure, anything is possible in the realm of marketing, and the underdog shows up every once in a while. But Scott's way is much more likely to work, don't you think? I mean, it has.

I mean, you guys act like he is sucking the soul out of games. Yet oh so many of you played the game. It's time to face facts here - you can disdain marketing as a concept all you want, but if done right, it works. Bitterness and jaded feelings won't change this.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#15 by Ashiran
2003-11-29 18:17:26
For all Elite fans out there, X²: The Threat has hit the scene. GET IT NOW!

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#16 by Hugin
2003-11-29 18:20:54
lmccain@nber.org
I'm waiting for some Crapper reviews of the thing to come in.
#17 by BobJustBob
2003-11-29 18:21:11
Which scene is that?

Dood.
#18 by Ashiran
2003-11-29 18:25:08
Which scene is that?

If you want to earn Light Side points; the retail scene. If you want to earn Dark Side points; the warez scene.

I hope this is proper semicolon use.

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#19 by Gunp01nt
2003-11-29 18:27:56
supersimon33@hotmail.com
In Scott's credit, he stated here on PC even before Max Payne was released, that their goal was to create a valuable IP that could be used to thrive sales (a recognizable character being one of the points) and to be sold for millions.

Well, Max Payne is definitely a well-recognised character given the 2nd game was just as much a success asthe first one. And 3DRealms sold the Max Payne IP to Take Two for, oh, ten million bucks.
So to his credit, I'd say they succeeded pretty well.

However, saying the character of Max Payne was the key selling point of both the games is stretching it. The success of the games might just as well be credited to Remedy for delivering such an excellent product. In hindsight, it's easy for Scott to claim that his plan worked perfectly because all the goals were fulfilled, but I think he's giving the whole marketing/valuable IP factor too much credit. Plus he's a bit too quick to claim that this formula will always work since it only worked once, and even then one can question how much of a factor the 'formula' was.

"The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms."
#20 by Neo-Reaper
2003-11-29 18:36:03
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
I think it's more a mixture of the two.  Of course Remedy created a great game to back it up, but would the game sold as many copies if it had retained the awful name "Dark Justice"?  Personally, I don't think so.

I really don't see what the big issue is here.  Scott is merely relating well-known marketing concepts, he is not pushing himself as some sort of marketing god.  As he expressed on this very site before, he makes a habit of doing heavy research into the "science" of marketing.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#21 by Gunp01nt
2003-11-29 19:04:13
supersimon33@hotmail.com
Of course Remedy created a great game to back it up, but would the game sold as many copies if it had retained the awful name "Dark Justice"?  Personally, I don't think so.


But how different is the name 'Dark Justice' from titles like 'Dungeon Siege', 'Beyond Good & Evil', 'Armed & Dangerous', 'Serious Sam',... with respect to cheesyness etc.?

"The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms."
#22 by Warren Marshall
2003-11-29 19:12:49
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
It's not different.  That's why they opted for a character driven IP rather than a generic name that means nothing.

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#23 by crash
2003-11-29 19:13:25
Given what I know of Mr. Miller and company, this doesn't sound or read like hindsight. Take those axioms and apply them to every game 3DR has made post-DN3D. They all still fit.

It just doesn't always work like it did with Max Payne. And for the record, when I think of "bullet-time" in regards to games, I don't think of Max Payne. I think "cheesy ™ grab". *shrug*

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#24 by Warren Marshall
2003-11-29 19:14:08
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Speaking of marketing...

My first screensaver
by Warren Marshall

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#25 by Ashiran
2003-11-29 19:18:01
I wonder if the game would have sold as many copies if The Matrix didn't exist. Bullet time was a hook, but it only hooked many a fish because of the whole "recreate the Matrix scene" feel. Furthermore if I remember correctly it was released after a distinct lull in the shooter genre. There was hardly any competition from similar releases. And ofcourse the fact that Remedy did an excellent job on the game helped out too.

I'm just raging against the "X ammount of marketing leads to Y ammount of succes" feel of that whole article. If you could actually create succes by correct marketing everybody would be rich by now.

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#26 by crash
2003-11-29 19:21:07
It should be non-generic (avoid overused words, like "warrior," "shadow," "dark," "beyond," "legend," "combat," & "destiny") and memorable.

Shadow Warrior? Hm.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#27 by BobJustBob
2003-11-29 19:25:48
If you want to earn Light Side points; the retail scene. If you want to earn Dark Side points; the warez scene.


I don't think it's out in either.

Dood.
#28 by Neo-Reaper
2003-11-29 19:29:06
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
I'm just raging against the "X ammount of marketing leads to Y ammount of succes" feel of that whole article.

I kinda just took the article at face value.  As in, "these are the marketing steps that helped Max Payne become a successful IP".  Not "follow these steps and you are guaranteed to become rich".  But whatever.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#29 by Ashiran
2003-11-29 19:52:14
From the article:
In effect, Max Payne was purposely positioned for success right from the start.

If he had not used the word 'purposely' in that sentance I would have agreed with you.

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#30 by Bailey
2003-11-29 19:59:39
To those who weren't present in IRC at the time, I assisted MattP in effective marketing of his topic submission. Any topic with proper presentation and snazzy bullet points, can be voted in. I have proven this, and in doing so, proven myself the marketing wizard of words. The science is absolute!

re: Avatar Icon
#31 by Warren Marshall
2003-11-29 20:02:01
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Guys, he's not saying that any old piece of crap can be made a success with good marketing.  He's saying that good marketing contributes greatly to whatever success the game achieves.

But the character, the story, the hooks (bullet time, graphic novel, etc) are all tools used to position the game in such a way that it CAN be successful.  The game has to be good for any of that to be effective however.

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#32 by Sgt Hulka
2003-11-29 20:21:04
I don't believe any of it.  I'm a naysayer.  

Expect the unexpected.

Hulka, James Hulka.

#33 by Scott Miller
2003-11-29 20:32:11
scottmi11er@hotmail.com
>>> Max Payne IP to Take Two for, oh, ten million bucks.

More like $45 million (not to mention the additional $20 million plus in royalties earned on the first game).

>>> However, saying the character of Max Payne was the key selling point of both the games is stretching it.

No where did I say it was THE key selling point.  Many, many other points, some I mentioned, many others I didn't (like the game's superb execution, it's well-focused gameplay, easy-to-understand interface, fast save/load system, etc.), came into play.

>>> Shadow Warrior? Hm.

Was not named by us -- was an external team's project.

>>> Guys, he's not saying that any old piece of crap can be made a success with good marketing.  He's saying that good marketing contributes greatly to whatever success the game achieves. <<<

Exactly right, Warren.  Marketing is merely the too often overlooked side of the game design equation.

BTW, we're applying all of the techniques I discussed plus several more to our coming unannounced game.  We're going for the three-peat.  When this game is announced I'll be openly discussing several of the techniques being applied, including some very new and powerful ones that we're not used on Duke or Max, but that I think will significantly up-the-odds of this game's success (assuming, of course, the project is well executed, which I have high confidence in happening given the progress so far).

"One of the most difficult tasks people can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games..." -- C.G. Jung
#34 by Sgt Hulka
2003-11-29 20:36:54
Good luck, we're all rooting for you.

#35 by G-Man
2003-11-29 20:52:16
I didn't even know that gameilluminati.com was still active. They've done a pretty good job of keeping it under the radar. No leaks to press or hardcore audience, etc.
#36 by zimbardo_ugly
2003-11-29 22:08:21
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
#35 by G-Man
 
I didn't even know that gameilluminati.com was still active. They've done a pretty good job of keeping it under the radar. No leaks to press or hardcore audience, etc.


It's not exactly open for public. Just as my home machine is pretty well kept under the radar.

"Warez non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"
#37 by Your Friend
2003-11-29 22:26:49
I don't think you can argue about whether Scott & others at 3D Realms know how to market.  For better or for worse, they do.

The real question is: can 3D Realms itself actually develop a game for the Windows platform?

And the answer is no, they never have and based on historical trends it looks like they never will (not in our lifetimes, at any rate).

Luckily for them, they can just invest in other companies who can, like Remedy, and make money that way.

They might as well give up the ghost and just become a developer seed company, though, similar to what Blackley was trying to do and outsource Duke to another development house -- always stick with your core compentency and all of that.

Comment Signature
#38 by yotsuya
2003-11-29 22:36:25
Prey didn't work because it didn't have a cool name, right Scott?

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
#39 by Warren Marshall
2003-11-29 22:39:26
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
He can't market the game if it doesn't ship.

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#40 by jjohnsen
2003-11-29 22:53:21
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I wish there were other ways to get Scott to post here besides making fun of him.  All the responses to anything he says have be said and re-said so many times I'm past bored with them.
#41 by The_Joker
2003-11-29 23:06:56
http://www.jackinworld.com
Remember, Scott Miller said XBOX would flop bigtime, because there's no room for a third player on the market, next to Sony and Nintendo. And Nintendo is losing to XBOX, making XBOX 2nd right now, and coming close to Sony. Last I've read analysts predicted XBOX 2 will be number one by 2005.

I've got this specific feeling at my crotch right now, which can only mean one thing! Rise of the salami.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka

PENETRATOR: Rise of the Wang Cuming "When it's done".
#42 by Scott Miller
2003-11-30 00:35:26
scottmi11er@hotmail.com
>>> Scott Miller said XBOX would flop bigtime...

From a business standpoint, it has, losing MS over a billion bucks so far.  That would sink most big companies.

However, it's done better than I predicted in gaining market share because Nintendo shot itself in the foot (poor launch titles, poor use of key brands, poor third-party relationships leading to poor third-party support, etc.), allowing MS to leapfrog them.  The Xbox is still a distant second.  So, it's really not that MS or the Xbox has done well, it's that Nintendo has done so poorly, making the Xbox look good by comparison.  Microsoft's stock would unquestionably be higher than it currently is had they never heard Blackley's ill-conceived console proposal, as it has kept the overall game division in the red.

Sure, we'll see an Xbox 2 because big-ego'ed MS will need to save face, but it still will not have a chance of truly competing with the PS3, unless Sony fumbles the PS3, which is always a possibility with leaders as they become arrogant with the belief they can do no wrong, so perhaps it's worthwhile for MS to roll $2 billion more with another try, hoping the category leader blunders.

But, if Sony doesn't blunder, I predict there will not be an Xbox 3 -- MS will issue a press release talking about how they are re-focusing on their core Windows business, and that consoles do not fit into their strategic plans going forward, blah, blah, blah.  It's happened this way with so many other big businesses, so many times before.  Likewise, we may see Nokia take one more stab at a handheld game platform, too.  It usually takes two company rocking failures before upper management allows their ego to toss in the towel--much like Sega had to experience with the Saturn and then the Dreamcast.

"One of the most difficult tasks people can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games..." -- C.G. Jung
#43 by Charles
2003-11-30 00:37:54
www.bluh.org
Fuck X2.  Fuck any game that drops me in the game with no tutorial, no way to check/set my keybindings from within the game, and no way to save without learning how the game works, when the game itself doesn't help me out.  

Fuck it till it bleeds.

Wow. I wish I knew The Whole Truth™ with 100% certainty, and, in addition to that, had The Talent™ to bring My Vision™ to The Teeming Uneducated Masses™ as capital-A Art using allegory and upskirt shots as my vehicle for understanding.

--crash
#44 by mgns
2003-11-30 00:39:20
Scott,

Do you think Nintendo will keep making hardware?

He leans on the hood telling racing stories, the kids call him Jimmy The Saint.
#45 by Ashiran
2003-11-30 01:29:34
Fuck X2...<rant>

So that's why the game comes with a 47 page manual.

Also, you give up too easily.

AND DON'T ADD A SMILEY AFTER EVERY GODDAMN THING YOU SAY!
#46 by Bezzy
2003-11-30 02:57:22
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Gut reactions always make me want to disagree with anything Scott has to say regarding game design from his marketing led perspective. But when I can guage where he's coming from (maximizing sales no matter what the game is), he makes sense. He makes sense so long as he works within his own context, not crossing into the no-man's land of low-level game design. He's a window dresser. A good window dresser. I wouldn't take that away from him.

The point I have to stand back and say "No. Stop." is where the marketing hook dictates the gameplay. To be fair, Scott never truely advocates that position, as Dave Perry might. And while it's unlikely that marketing won't have some impact on the final gameplay, I think it's important to know your bounds, and reign them in according to the amount of slack that the designers are willing to give.

Whether they realize it or not, occasionally the guys with the dough can rather flippantly imply that a game needs a certain feature. This feature may feel redundant, or superficial, or tacked on, because it neither fits the game, nor is implemented by the developers with any gusto. I don't mean to imply that it happens everywhere. Occasionally, it only takes a scared developer or a slightly power happy publisher to shoe horn-in a feature which is only there for the sake of a larger feature list. I'm just saying that nothing good comes from overstepping your bounds (and that goes for developers as well as PR dudes).

Or maybe I don't know what I'm saying. Someone tell me to fuck off.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#47 by Charles
2003-11-30 03:11:12
www.bluh.org
Also, you give up too easily.


I don't have the time nor the inclination to fuck around with a game that is so unfriendly.

Wow. I wish I knew The Whole Truth™ with 100% certainty, and, in addition to that, had The Talent™ to bring My Vision™ to The Teeming Uneducated Masses™ as capital-A Art using allegory and upskirt shots as my vehicle for understanding.

--crash
#48 by crash
2003-11-30 03:12:19

BTW, we're applying all of the techniques I discussed plus several more to our coming unannounced game.  We're going for the three-peat.

What're the other two? Max Payne is one, I know, but is Duke really the third? By this I mean was that series' positioning deliberate, or was it one of those, "Hey, that really worked out well; I wonder why? Let's find out" kind of happenstances?

And I gotta say it takes balls to announce another 3DR game when the franchise's grandpappy has been MIA for over five years.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#49 by Neo-Reaper
2003-11-30 03:19:08
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
And I gotta say it takes balls to announce another 3DR game when the franchise's grandpappy has been MIA for over five years.

Not really, considering this is another outside developed game, as opposed to internal.  One really has little to do with the other.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#50 by Squeaky
2003-11-30 04:08:50
#18 Ashiran
If you want to earn Light Side points; the retail scene. If you want to earn Dark Side points; the warez scene.

I hope this is proper semicolon use.

geez, even i can tell you that it's not

it's my onion and you can't change it!
DVDs
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