Day off

I seem to have spent much of it debating Sigil’s development of Vanguard, similarities I perceive between what went wrong there and want went wrong in WWIIOL’s launch. It’s strange being reminded that, in a way, I am still only a speculator on that. The story you hear from Rats is different depending on which Rat you talk to, but I’ve never once heard anything that made me believe my theories from pre-Ratdom were accurate.

The underlying causes are certainly different between Vanguard and WWII. CRS thought that they could tap their prior experience into saleable MMO development commodoties, and knock them into a demo product (WWII Online). Like Artefact Entertainment with Horizons, this undermined development of the actual game – while designers, artists, content creators etc were working solely on the game project, the programmers were really working on the product-project => Discord.

There was also discord within the individual teams because of the “warm bodies” policy of hiring; talent is not like Ribena. Do not dilute to taste.

Every WWII Online source and header file (well, until a year or two ago) has a line that says “Originating Programmer:”. Its not uncommon on development projects, but at CRS it seemed to be taken to heart with each file, if not structure or module, being a personal fiefdom.

I found it kinda amusing when some folks too my noting that I worked on WWII as some kind of boast ;)

That … amuses me. I’ve commented before on how I still feel undeserving of the title “Game Dev”. 4-5 years ago, my resume gave credance to my speculations on upcoming games amongst fellow gamers despite the lack of verifiable “hands on” experience. Now that I have that hands-on experience, I’m one of them, and my credibility shot ;)

27 Comments

Maybe it’s because I just woke up, but I didn’t understand anything in this post. I can usually grasp concepts like, paris hilton = dumb, terrorism = bad, Yankees = suck, but the only part I really understood here was “talent != Ribena”, although not well enough to make a bumper sticker out of it. So, just to clarify, are you saying that you are PRO fascism?

Well, then, I dedicate this post to Lum & comstar ;)

I didn’t want rampaging hordes of fanbois jumping to my aide …
But see
http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=561
and
http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=10014.140

Thanks for the links. Turns out it really does make sense, although I think I need to go back to sleep now.

Quote from: HaemishM
You do realize your product set the industry LOW standard for shitty launches right?

Yes, because I joined the team a year after launch and am credited with being responsible for getting the company out of Chapter 11 and staying afloat these last 3 years.

What’s that about amigo?

Quote from: HaemishM
You do realize your product set the industry LOW standard for shitty launches right?

Yes, because I joined the team a year after launch and am credited with being responsible for getting the company out of Chapter 11 and staying afloat these last 3 years.

What’s that about amigo? Am I misunderstanding your quote?

Not sure how you interpreted it.

Haemish: Do [I] realize … LOW standard for shitty launches right?

Me: Yes, because I joined the team a year after launch.

Or the tounge in cheek savior comment? ;)

I spank to Toto’s page. He is my savior.

No I really don’t have anything to add. I should have went to the con. Beer, boobs, and my virtual friends. I fucked up.

Quit cluttering my blog, nobody. ;)

LAWL!

I’ve been demoted!

He doth protest too much. Given the brevity of the protest, and the fact that it’s *still* too much, you can imagine the magnitude of the “too much”.

At any rate, in dicsuccing…damn lysdexia…discussing what went on…you use “they” alot…like…they wanted to do the project thingie and they wanted to do the portal thingy and so forth. Recognise that one of the problems was that they wasn’t. There were more theys than that.

The they that wanted those things wasn’t the only they there. You can appreciate, I’d suppose, how big a problem that was.

Ahh well. As you mentioned…reality depends on who you’re talking to. I’m sure you’ve had bags and bags of earfuls of some realities…while not getting much at all of others.

I certainly recognise what you’ve heard and seen by they way you speak about things. Doesn’t matter. People can pull lessons and useful bits from the fiction that are every bit as valid as bits pulled from the history. Arguing over which is which went past pointless a long time ago.

Have fun with it. I’m having fun with words on your blog…so…it’s all good :P

…@/

I love the old stories and musings about what happened during launch, the events leading up to it, and the early design choices for good or bad.

ONe of the crazy ideas I had in that first miserable year, was to put a development hold on the game, and quickly crank out a BoB flight sim like warbirds/ AH, and a tank simulator. Basically, cut the game in two and dump infantry (since infantry play was a joke back then). SInce day one, this game has been a good flight sim, but an OUTSTANDING tank sim, without any real competition. This might have bought time and additional resources to get the whole concept (with infantry) working again.

I’m such a Monday morning quarterback!
Trout

Be nice if our savior would show up to work some time. We need guidance and coffee orders.

You know you can post from work too right?

Ouch, direct hit!!

Oli says, “Let my people go!” and the rodents wander around Dinant for about 40 minutes. You know I’ve always thought calling a rat “gophur” is like calling a dog “kitty”.

I wrote what I considered a really poetic description of WW2OL being a test plane that crashed on take off and become a smoking hole in the ground. Kfsone jumped into the pit of unexploded ordnance, burning oil and acrid smoke and spent a few years digging with a shovel to get out of the hole.

Then I deleted the post, though one day I hope to draw it as a webcomic or something.

You said I think you didn’t do a presentation at the con. You should have done the “Can I have a Damilur Please?” sketch! I’m still waiting for someone to do that as a movie to put onto YouTube.

Err, I meant, “I think you said, you didn’t do a talk at the con?”. Wheres the edit button around here.

I always wanted them to have to different game directions. Infantry fast paced, mass spawn, lemmings bf1942 play, built within a vehicle simulation.

I didn’t think it would be possible to get the numbers needed to have as many “player” infantry in the world if it was just as simulation as the vehicle game. I figured if you allowed infantry to be that quick action thrill you could have a greater amount of infantry players in the game and preserve the vehicle game without having to limit it, or provide the infantry options that didn’t exist(sappers).

I’d still love to see hordes of infantry around, scattering like roaches in a ghetto apartment when the sound of tank treads is heard. Some of my fondest memories of WWII online was seeing those massive armored columns moving towards a city. I remember flying over Lafayette’s armored task force of 30 some S-35’s, getting ready to liberate some poor French town. It was freaking amazing…

bah… I meant to quote Trout and instead got my text in it. Some day I’ll figure it out….

I love the old stories and musings about what happened during launch, the events leading up to it, and the early design choices for good or bad.

ONe of the crazy ideas I had in that first miserable year, was to put a development hold on the game, and quickly crank out a BoB flight sim like warbirds/ AH, and a tank simulator. Basically, cut the game in two and dump infantry (since infantry play was a joke back then). SInce day one, this game has been a good flight sim, but an OUTSTANDING tank sim, without any real competition. This might have bought time and additional resources to get the whole concept (with infantry) working again.

I’m such a Monday morning quarterback!
Trout

I didn’t want rampaging hordes of fanbois jumping to my aide …

It looks like that would be wholly redundant in that thread – Eve Online has got the fanbois action covered in that thread.

Verra’ interesting read there Oliver, ta muchly.

Ah – posting that comment was worth it just to see Ramp visit a blog :)

While I agree in principle with Haemish’s assertion, I would like to point out that the entire staff of F-13 wet the bed each night, particularly schild, who seems to revel in the warm moistness. Toto would be well advised to keep the entire lot at arms length.

But then again, they banned Bruce so…um, no, still not good enough.

lol, hopefully they don’t have a royal beat down ready for you when you get in the office. :)

“I meant to say… OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, stop, OUCH!”

As I recall, we came out of Chapter 11 just before I was laid off, which was before you started, Oli. Though, no doubt, you’re very valuable! Especially on ITK days. :)

ITK == In The Kitchen?

Nope, we were in Chapter 11 when I started. The air of my hiring felt very much like “what do we have to lose”. I figured I’d get maybe a few months of time-on-project to my name and a chance to figure whether or not I wanted to switch career tracks.

Ah. I that period was just still under the terms of the Chapter 11 Restructuring Plan (there are different stages). Getting to that point was rough.

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