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noctavis
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Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 05/26/1999 - 02:00
hl.rampancy.net (original) back up

The direct IP for hl.rampancy.net is 65.35.44.159 (remember your login/pw info)

We also have the backup server at "rampancy.net"

Frac is working on a way to prevent his ISP's network issues from getting in our way. It'll be "non-trivial" but hopefully we can get it in place soon.

- Noc


Noctavis
Xzzy
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Joined: 11/17/2001 - 23:31
for the old school..

Was cleaning out some directories and came across the image below. No idea why I took the screenshot, no idea why I kept it, I just know it still exists and this image is getting seriously old. ;)

It encouraged me to stop by here for the first time in a while and see what's going on. Sure looks different..

clicky clicky

acrappa
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That's Crazy Yo

Xzzy wrote on Wednesday, 11/21/2001 - 9:18 am:

: It encouraged me to stop by here for the first time in a
: while and see what's going on. Sure looks different..

The site used to be strikingly purple! Now it's strikingly yellow. :-)

__________________________
Ain't got no last words to say
Yellow streak right up my spine
The gun in my mouth was real
And the taste blew my mind

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
You saved it because...

...it's a perfect example of me trolling the old forum. Ahh for the good old days when the smallest disagreement could be blown into a 40+ post nitpick about what the meaning of the word 'is' is. It's actually kind of sad that only the pathetic dregs of what's left of the community piled on M3; it left no one worth picking a fight with over the matter.

Ramses II

P.S. queke sux an' isnt emmersonive an' stuf.

Xzzy
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Re: You saved it because...

: Ahh for the good old days when the smallest disagreement
: could be blown into a 40+ post nitpick about what the
: meaning of the word 'is' is.

I'm still out there arguing in debates long past the point where there's anything left to argue, I'm just doing it in other communities lately. ;) Myth definetly made me a very stubborn debater, which mostly comes from the Townhall and old rampancy.net debates. Plenty of people out there are probably regretting it. ;)

: P.S. queke sux an' isnt emmersonive an' stuf.

Bah, nice try.

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Ah, Xian

Xzzy wrote on Wednesday, 11/21/2001 - 12:18 pm:

: Was cleaning out some directories and came across the
: image below. No idea why I took the screenshot, no idea why
: I kept it, I just know it still exists and this image is
: getting seriously old. ;)
:
: It encouraged me to stop by here for the first time in a
: while and see what's going on. Sure looks different..
:
: clicky
: clicky

The king of "Whatever (nt)" posts, load of the trolls, how we miss you.

Xzzy, good to see you back again, it's been a long time. Your name was brought up in "Best Screen Names" a few days ago :)

mad.max =PN=

Earendil
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Time to Drag out all the old pics

Here's one I found hanging around my HD, never could bring myself to trash it. note the 7 in the upper right hand corner ;-)

Core Memories

anyone have more?

Earendil

Oh! They have the internet on computers now! - Homer J Simpson

acrappa
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Re: Time to Drag out all the old pics

Broken image.
__________________________
Ain't got no last words to say
Yellow streak right up my spine
The gun in my mouth was real
And the taste blew my mind

noctavis
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Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 05/26/1999 - 02:00
Xzzy!

Sheesh man... I've been wondering where the hell you'd gotten yourself off-to! Where the hell haaaave you gotten yourself off-to?

Things seem deader now in this community than they were before the Halo announcement in '99. More so because the core community is split... some are getting Xboxen, most may not be, and are moving on to other things.

- Noc


Noctavis
Xzzy
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Joined: 11/17/2001 - 23:31
Re: Xzzy!

Noctavis wrote on Friday, 11/30/2001 - 7:42 pm:

: Sheesh man... I've been wondering where the hell you'd
: gotten yourself off-to!

My only real link with anything remotely related to Myth anymore is hanging out on the gfh page. I've fallen into bed with that dark seductress known as MMORPG's, and we all know what those games do to people (ie, they dissappear for long periods).

: Things seem deader now in this community than they were
: before the Halo announcement in '99.

Observation has shown that for a community to develop there's limited room for membership, and the apparently rabid popularity of Halo (judging by the volume of websites devoted to it, heh) would be detrimental to the whole affair.

Not an xbox adopter myself, though I am waiting to see if Halo will bring the "big name" Myth players back together for a bit. At least, once the game is ported to keyboard-aware machines.

noctavis
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Joined: 05/26/1999 - 02:00
Re: Xzzy!

Xzzy wrote on Tuesday, 12/4/2001 - 12:00 pm:

: My only real link with anything remotely related to Myth
: anymore is hanging out on the gfh page. I've fallen into bed
: with that dark seductress known as MMORPG's, and we all know
: what those games do to people (ie, they dissappear for long
: periods).

Which ones, in particular? Any chance that you'll be interested in NWN or other, suitably cross-plat games? I'd like to get together with old-school Bungiefen as much as possible to play.

: Observation has shown that for a community to develop
: there's limited room for membership, and the apparently
: rabid popularity of Halo (judging by the volume of websites
: devoted to it, heh) would be detrimental to the whole
: affair.

Well... the community is spread more thinly... with many of the old-school fen either choosing sides or leaving. In some ways, though, the spread isn't a bad thing. Most prefer for some individuals to go to some sites, rather than others. ;-)

:
: Not an xbox adopter myself, though I am waiting to see if
: Halo will bring the "big name" Myth players back together
: for a bit. At least, once the game is ported to
: keyboard-aware machines.

Yeah, we'll see how that goes, but it's an awfully long time to wait.



Noctavis
Bunbu Itchi - "The pen and sword in accord"


Noctavis
Xzzy
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Joined: 11/17/2001 - 23:31
Re: Xzzy!

: Which ones, in particular?

dark age of camelot is the current siren. May give lineage a spin just because it's free to download and test out, but the game has a high leet d00d aura around it and that stuff doesn't really appeal to me. Lot of asian players as well, which doesn't bother me but language barriers are hard to deal with.

: Any chance that you'll be
: interested in NWN or other,

Undecided at this point. NWN has been getting a lot of bad press, I don't know if it's ever gonna be much of anything.

: Yeah, we'll see how that goes, but it's an awfully long
: time to wait.

yeah, damn long. Up to three years now right? Remember those talks we had about a ranking system all that time ago? I still have some of the logs of it.. dated august 1999. ;) And halo was in development for two years prior to that.

5 years is a lonnnnngg time to wait for a game.

pimpy
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Ethernet + XBox/PS2 in 2002... (Rant, Very Long)

I have to admit that at the very least the possibilities of games like EverQuest2 on the PS2 and Halo2 on the XBox are quite interesting. If Sony can acquire a game like Planetside then I fear that Halo may have some serious competition given the already exorbant fanbase of EQ.

As it stands now Halo is a marvelous game, better than most skeptics ever dared to say. As a long time Bungie fan I can say that my expectations, although fulfilled by the game itself, were left dramatically short given their past history of community support. Their recent revival of bungie.net and the addition of the Seventh Column will help to get Halo multiplayer off the ground level but nothing will compare with the online capabilities of a full blown Halo b.net.

With that said I think that the console race is a thing of the past. Sales figures are always important for the holiday season and given the massive sales of all the gaming systems I think all 3 are winners. The only thing that has been proven so far is that despite the recent slowdown in the economy, gamers are still willing to fork over $200+ dollars for their next gaming fix. Same have even spent over $1,000 in the last few weeks alone.

The winner in a race such as this is not the one who has the most sales, but the one who can keep people playing their system the longest. Sure Gamecube will likely move the most units in the shortest time due to its 33% lower price, but that does not mean that it will keep its gamers from buying/playing a PS2 or XBox. Far from it indeed.

Games like Halo and MGS2 are masters of their genre and will bring in gamers for months to come. The problem is that how many times can you sit through the brilliant cinematics of MGS2 or play through the same scenario of Halo time after time. Sure there are different difficulty levels to keep the serious gamers playing for a while, but we all know that predictability is the one major flaw in any gaming design and we all abuse it for our own amusement from time to time. So what does that leave us to play?

The answer is found in what so many computer gamers have already found out: online gaming. Communities are the only future that developers and corporations can rely upon to bring in the money for a lengthy period of time. Companies like Blizzard have lived on the same games for many years now and even their clones *cough*Worlds of WarCraft*cough* will have tremendous sales due to their compelling storylines and innovative player features. So why hasn't this shift occurred already? Mainly because no console to date could handle it successfully (Sega.net was a failure, so it does not qualify).

Given the specs of the new consoles I think we will begin to see this shift within the next year, and with any luck Bungie will be heading up the network code for Microsoft for use with Halo 2. Depending on how the other consoles follow suit, this could provide some serious competition. The best example of game/community integration to date would have to be Sierra's Tribes 2. This is not perfect by any means, but it does set the standard for games to be released.

Myself as well as every other bungie fan were notably upset when MS acquired them the last year. Given the delay in their epic shooter Halo for the Windows/Macintosh platforms this concern was absolutely correct. Sure the game is out now, but it lacks editors, supported online capabilities, and any serious community backing (a group of 6 14 year-olds registered on the Seventh Column does not qualify). I will admit that things are a bit new to speculate any further on how well Halo will be supported, but I would gladly pay $400 if I knew that killing =PN= (I would pick on #CP#, but this isn't their home field) was a possiblity.

The ability to mass market an online game is by far the best means for any developer to rake in the money hand-over-fist. Controllers, upgrades, add-ons, monthly fees/memberships, expansions, etc. can all bring in money and help to support the community (or enlarge Bill's wallet). XBox, being the closest to a computer, has the best ability for such a move. Utilizing the built-in hard drive, players can simply log into the network and update with the proper software. Yes I know, nothing new or interesting to be said here.

The point of it is that with any luck Bungie and Microsoft, mostly Bungie hopefully, can integrate the products of the XBox and computer and market them together. Microsoft can sell usb controllers for the computer with the same setup as those of the XBox and can allow the use of keyboard like peripherals or microphones on the XBox for easy communication. All in all the next step in MS's plan towards world domination. I am not saying that I support such a move, but it would be nice to finally see somethig done right for a change.

All I want and have been wanting is to play Halo with my old Myth buddies. I don't care how it happens at this point, I just don't feel like waiting another year. Will I buy into the MS monopoly? Hopefully not. I just want to find a community worth supporting once again and Halo is by far the best option for this.

Sincerely,
Pimpy™

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Re: Ethernet + XBox/PS2 in 2002... (Rant, Very Long)

: As it stands now Halo is a marvelous game, better than
: most skeptics ever dared to say. As a long time Bungie fan I
: can say that my expectations, although fulfilled by the game
: itself, were left dramatically short given their past
: history of community support. Their recent revival of : href="http://www.bungie.net/perlbin/blam.pl">bungie.net
: and the addition of the : href="http://www.bungie.net/perlbin/blam.pl?file=/site/2">Seventh
: Column will help to get Halo multiplayer off the ground
: level but nothing will compare with the online capabilities
: of a full blown Halo b.net.

I'm probably misunderstanding your tone here, but it's not like Bungie omitted an online multiplayer component of it's own volition. The XBox online capabilities were not ready in time.

It was suggested in that Cloudchaser article that Bungie should have built support for online play into Halo for the future, when the XBox does go online. This is one of several stupid things said in that review: you cannot just tack on an online multiplayer component when you don't have API's, specs, or any support. How can you test a service when that service isn't even available?

Halo had to be a launch title. Sacrifices had to be made. Does that rule out future titles with online multiplayer? Of course not. And if anything, the online team deserves props for doing as much as they have to foster an online community when the studio's current flagship game is not an online one.

: Games like Halo and : href="http://jpn00.konami.co.jp/products/mgs2/english/index.html">MGS2
: are masters of their genre and will bring in gamers for
: months to come. The problem is that how many times can you
: sit through the brilliant cinematics of MGS2 or play through
: the same scenario of Halo time after time.

That's why Halo has what multiplayer it does have. Yes, LAN play is unlikely for most, but the much hated splitscreen isn't. In fact, the biggest obstacle splitscreen has is prejudice on the part of the gamer.

But that brings me to something else that irks me. Halo has no bots or online multiplayer, true--but MGS2 has no multiplayer whatsoever, much less bots or online play. Yet that is never cited as a downfall of it. With the exception of a handful of PS2 titles (THPS3 being a shining example), very few console titles have online or LAN support, despite the capabilities being there on each console.

I think Halo has brought an unfair amount of criticism on itself by giving people a taste of just how good its multiplayer could be. And in many cases, that prevents people from seeing how good it is.

: The answer is found in what so many computer gamers have
: already found out: online gaming. Communities are the
: only future that developers and corporations can rely
: upon to bring in the money for a lengthy period of time.
: Companies like : href="http://www.blizzard.com">Blizzard have lived on
: the same games for many years now and even their clones
: *cough*Worlds of WarCraft*cough* will have tremendous sales
: due to their compelling storylines and innovative player
: features. So why hasn't this shift occurred already? Mainly
: because no console to date could handle it successfully
: (Sega.net was a failure, so it does not qualify).

Just to stray onto a tangent, Blizzard could pinch a loaf, package it, and call it Diablo 3, and it would sell out almost instantly. ;)

Not to say that they don't make good games (I've enjoyed all of their titles so far, except Starcraft, which I haven't played enough of to have formed an opinion), but they do make a killing on their brand recognition.

And if you ask me, the reason it (big online capabilities) hasn't happened yet on consoles is that there has simply not been the need. Even without online games, consoles sell an order of magnitude more games than the PC market. A PC blockbuster sells a few million--a console blockbuster sells a few tens of millions.

I agree that online gaming is very compelling to us--after all, we have been weaned on the glory days of PC gaming and expect online capabilities as a given. But distance yourself from that and look at the thriving console market... and you'll see that, in reality, it isn't very important at all. And the reason we don't know that it isn't important is this: the vast majority of players who don't need online play are not online, and therefore they don't bother coming into forums like these to tell us. A silent majority.

Whether or not this changes in the next year or two, I can't say. But I would be very surprised indeed if online only titles surpassed offline only titles in the next few years.

: Myself as well as every other bungie fan were notably
: upset when MS acquired them the last year. Given the delay
: in their epic shooter Halo for the Windows/Macintosh
: platforms this concern was absolutely correct.

I'm sure this varies from person to person, but the major concern that I recall hearing was that Bungie would cancel the Mac/PC version outright, and/or be digested and destroyed by Microsoft. Neither are currently a concern.

: Sure the game
: is out now, but it lacks editors, supported online
: capabilities, and any serious community backing (a group of
: 6 14 year-olds registered on the Seventh Column does
: not
qualify).

Myth lacked editors on it's launch, but that wasn't considered a failing, because the market was different back then. Editors were not a standard shipping feature. The same is true for Halo... console titles generally do not ship with editors.

And as for lack of community support, I have to disagree--have you lurked around HBO's forums lately? Or been involved in the XBox Gateway project? There is a tremendous community backing, despite the community not having as much to do as we did in the heydey of Myth 2.

And as for the 7th Column, give it time before writing it off. It is an experiment--as far as I know, no other offline game companies have offered an official service for helping LAN gamers get together. That's what 7th Column is right now.

: The ability to mass market an online game is by far the
: best means for any developer to rake in the money
: hand-over-fist.

But history has proven this to be false. The best way to rake in the money is to develop a franchise like MGS, get stellar ratings on the first game, and then announce a sequel and rake in the mindshare and preorders. And neither MGS was online, but it's still a huge, huge huge money maker for Sony and Konami.

Now, watch what happens to Phantasy Star Online when it resurfaces on the Gamecube (I think it's coming to the XBox too, but that might be a rumor that is just sticking in my head). I'm betting that they'll do well, but not as good as MGS.

That said, watch Final Fantasy XI... that title is going to merge the proven method of developing a franchise and then taking it online. And I think it's going to be pretty huge.

Now, if Bungie were to announce a Halo 2, and take it online, it would be following a sort of hybrid MGS/FFXI model. Develop the franchise, announce a hotly anticipated sequel (pages from the book of MGS), and take the sequel online (page from the book of FFXI). Except that I doubt (at least, I hope, being a level designer ;) that Bungie would sacrifice the offline aspect of their game for the online aspect, which makes it different from FFXI in at least one respect.

I'm ranting and straying off topic here... sorry.

Cheers.
rex

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Back on Topic...

Thanks for the reply Rex and I did not mean to sound like I was trashing Halo at all (if that was your impression). Quite the contrary in fact. It just pains me to see a game with the capability of Halo end up on a currently dead-end system. As it stands now Halo is on standby until MS can get their code up to par. Maybe this will be a good thing so the Windows/Macintosh version will get completed, but it still saddens me to see such a great game sit on the backburner.

I admit some multiplayer is better than none at all. That is why it sucks playing Zelda or MGS2 with a friend, you either play, watch or don't give a damn. Coop mode is likely the best and most fun option as it currently stands and this will keep the game alive for quite some time. The LAN is a great way to try and boost the community as a whole, but it is more an add-on bonus than a feature in its current form.

I end up laughing at most reviews since they cannot seem to say the game is just amazing and leave it at that. Their faults are minor and weak at best and it seems that they got the game they always wanted and just because it was made by Microsoft they are still not happy. As a console game I would give Halo an 11.0/10.0, yes it is that good. But if the Windows/Macintosh platforms get a reboot of the XBox version the reviews will be much lower.

I only hope that Bungie takes the time to remake and modify Halo for use with the computer. Heck, even Half-Life had a few things added to it when it was converted over to the PS2. So consider this a necessary change for the future release. The one huge advantage that the computer industry has is that if Halo2 is released for the XBox, they can simply release an add-on for the computer or an expansion without the need to remake the game entirely. It is not necessary to make the 2 games identical in every way and it would boost sales by changing things around slightly.

I can't wait to see what the future holds for internet play, especially concerning the Halo series. I just hope that things get completed and up to bungie standards. Sure they are part of Microsuck now, but that doesn't mean they have lost all of their ethics and morals.

narcogen
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Joined: 05/26/1999 - 02:00
Rant reply, fairly long

Ferrex (Dead) wrote on Friday, 11/23/2001 - 4:42 pm:

: : As it stands now Halo is a marvelous game, better than
: : most skeptics ever dared to say. As a long time Bungie
: fan I
: : can say that my expectations, although fulfilled by the
: game
: : itself, were left dramatically short given their past
: : history of community support. Their recent revival of
: : :
: href="http://www.bungie.net/perlbin/blam.pl">bungie.net
: : and the addition of the : :
: href="http://www.bungie.net/perlbin/blam.pl?file=/site/2">Seventh
: : Column will help to get Halo multiplayer off the
: ground
: : level but nothing will compare with the online
: capabilities
: : of a full blown Halo b.net.
:
: I'm probably misunderstanding your tone here, but it's not
: like Bungie omitted an online multiplayer component of it's
: own volition. The XBox online capabilities were not ready in
: time.

True, but if this is an attempt for a group calling themselves "Bungie" to blame the lack of online Halo play on a group called "Microsoft" then it isn't really going to fly. In short, Bungie originally announced Halo as a netplay-centric, PC title, and then sold the company and switched gears. Although a late network API might not have been anticipated, the Group Formerly Known As Bungie is no less responsible for MS' actions because they weren't foreseen. At this point in time, the lack of Halo online play is an indirect result of Bungie's decision to sell to MS and focus on the Xbox.

: It was suggested in that Cloudchaser article that Bungie
: should have built support for online play into Halo for the
: future, when the XBox does go online. This is one of several
: stupid things said in that review: you cannot just tack on
: an online multiplayer component when you don't have API's,
: specs, or any support. How can you test a service when that
: service isn't even available?

True, and a few months ago when it was revealed that the Online kit was finally made available, it was pretty well known among those who knew what that meant that there'd be no Internet play in Halo as released. Not sure what Cloudchaser was getting at there.
:
: Halo had to be a launch title. Sacrifices had to be made.
: Does that rule out future titles with online multiplayer? Of
: course not. And if anything, the online team deserves props
: for doing as much as they have to foster an online community
: when the studio's current flagship game is not an online
: one.

That's still a bit apologist. You can say if you want that this is someone else's problem, and that BS and the online team are doing the best they can, but it's just blame-shifting. Whether or not MS had the API ready or not wouldn't be a factor if Halo was still an independently published mac/pc title. (Perhaps there would be *other* issues with that scenario, of course.)

:
: : Games like Halo and : :
: href="http://jpn00.konami.co.jp/products/mgs2/english/index.html">MGS2
: : are masters of their genre and will bring in gamers for
: : months to come. The problem is that how many times can
: you
: : sit through the brilliant cinematics of MGS2 or play
: through
: : the same scenario of Halo time after time.
:
: That's why Halo has what multiplayer it does have. Yes,
: LAN play is unlikely for most, but the much hated
: splitscreen isn't. In fact, the biggest obstacle splitscreen
: has is prejudice on the part of the gamer.

And, I'd say, a warranted one. I paid for all of my TV screen so I could use it. You can say all you like that it's not that bad, that it's OK, that you get used to it-- but I'd still prefer to have the use of my entire screen. (Also, i don't like the idea of being able to see opponent's screen, and sharing sound. The biggest element missing for me is LAN coop play, because I want to see those single player levels fill the screen.

:
: But that brings me to something else that irks me. Halo
: has no bots or online multiplayer, true--but MGS2 has no
: multiplayer whatsoever
, much less bots or online play.
: Yet that is never cited as a downfall of it. With the
: exception of a handful of PS2 titles (THPS3 being a shining
: example), very few console titles have online or LAN
: support, despite the capabilities being there on each
: console.

Was MGS2 for the PS2 announced to have netplay? Nobody misses what they've never had. Everybody pointing out the lack of internet multiplayer, or the limits of LAN play are comparing the reality of Halo with the promise of Halo. And that's entirely fair.

:
: I think Halo has brought an unfair amount of criticism on
: itself by giving people a taste of just how good its
: multiplayer could be. And in many cases, that prevents
: people from seeing how good it is.
:

Sure, someone with no expectations or preconceptions will probably like Halo an awful lot. He can't miss what he never knew existed.

: : The answer is found in what so many computer gamers
: have
: : already found out: online gaming. Communities are the
: : only future that developers and corporations can
: rely
: : upon to bring in the money for a lengthy period of
: time.
: : Companies like : : href="http://www.blizzard.com">Blizzard have lived
: on
: : the same games for many years now and even their
: clones
: : *cough*Worlds of WarCraft*cough* will have tremendous
: sales
: : due to their compelling storylines and innovative
: player
: : features. So why hasn't this shift occurred already?
: Mainly
: : because no console to date could handle it
: successfully
: : (Sega.net was a failure, so it does not qualify).
:
: Just to stray onto a tangent, Blizzard could pinch a loaf,
: package it, and call it Diablo 3, and it would sell out
: almost instantly. ;)
:
: Not to say that they don't make good games (I've enjoyed
: all of their titles so far, except Starcraft, which I
: haven't played enough of to have formed an opinion), but
: they do make a killing on their brand recognition.
:
: And if you ask me, the reason it (big online capabilities)
: hasn't happened yet on consoles is that there has simply not
: been the need. Even without online games, consoles sell an
: order of magnitude more games than the PC market. A PC
: blockbuster sells a few million--a console blockbuster sells
: a few tens of millions.

Ok, have to call you on that exaggeration.

To my knowledge, the largest existing installed base for today's consoles is the PS2, with 20 million worldwide.

So if EVERYBODY who owned a PS2 bought a copy of a game, that's *two* tens of millions, not 'a few'.

Just to pick nits :) But the point on market size is well taken.
:
: I agree that online gaming is very compelling to us--after
: all, we have been weaned on the glory days of PC gaming and
: expect online capabilities as a given. But distance yourself
: from that and look at the thriving console market... and
: you'll see that, in reality, it isn't very important at all.
: And the reason we don't know that it isn't important is
: this: the vast majority of players who don't need online
: play are not online, and therefore they don't bother coming
: into forums like these to tell us. A silent majority.

True, even in the PC market. Doubly so (or more) for consoles.

Of course, the coming trend is still seen as something on the pay for play model, which is why networking is and will be important, even for consoles. Recurring revenue is always better than one-time revenue, if you can get it. Makes for healthier projections.
:

:
: : Myself as well as every other bungie fan were notably
: : upset when MS acquired them the last year. Given the
: delay
: : in their epic shooter Halo for the Windows/Macintosh
: : platforms this concern was absolutely correct.
:
: I'm sure this varies from person to person, but the major
: concern that I recall hearing was that Bungie would cancel
: the Mac/PC version outright, and/or be digested and
: destroyed by Microsoft. Neither are currently a concern.

That was the most extreme concern. And given MS' history, well-founded. It certainly seems right now as if that is not the case... but then again, I've seen no announcement yet of someone getting a contract to bring Halo to other platforms. I know as well as everybody else how many times it has been confirmed that it will happen. But I'm sure some can be forgiven for continuing with a 'wait and see' attitude.

Beyond that, nobody-- not even Bungie, I suspect-- knows exactly what will be needed to change halo back into a PC title, and what tradeoffs, if any, will be necessary. After all, we kept hearing about the Xbox's superiority over PCs. Unless that was smoke and mirrors, I'm assuming that something will have to be done to compensate for those deficiencies in the PC in order to make Halo run on it.

:
: : Sure the game
: : is out now, but it lacks editors, supported online
: : capabilities, and any serious community backing (a group
: of
: : 6 14 year-olds registered on the Seventh Column
: does
: : not
qualify).
:
: Myth lacked editors on it's launch, but that wasn't
: considered a failing, because the market was different back
: then. Editors were not a standard shipping feature. The same
: is true for Halo... console titles generally do not ship
: with editors.

It's not just that. allowing the mechanisms needed to edit and import new content into a console game inherently opens up security holes and potentials for crashing, undermining the nature of the box as a console (a stationary development target).

I don't think anybody seriously expected to see editors for the Xbox version. They shouldn't have, at any rate.
:
: And as for lack of community support, I have to
: disagree--have you lurked around HBO's forums lately? Or
: been involved in the XBox Gateway project? There is a
: tremendous community backing, despite the community not
: having as much to do as we did in the heydey of Myth 2.

I'd take issue with the use of "tremendous".

One thing I've been a little shocked with is that the story doesn't appear to have as much depth (or perhaps just not as many self-contradictions) as Marathon did.

It sounds more story-centric than the vast majority of shooters, but I wonder if it has the depth to stand up to years of reinterpetation. We'll see. This is how the Marathon community coped with the lack of Internet multiplayer (along with editing).

Halo, right now, has neither-- no real Internet play, AND no editing. So story interpretation is really the only thing the community has to go on at the moment.

:
: And as for the 7th Column, give it time before writing it
: off. It is an experiment--as far as I know, no other offline
: game companies have offered an official service for helping
: LAN gamers get together. That's what 7th Column is right
: now.

No, but there have been several websites that offered similar services. The real barrier to LAN gaming is not a lack of information about where and how to meet; it's the physical and financial restrictions of moving around.
:
: : The ability to mass market an online game is by far
: the
: : best means for any developer to rake in the money
: : hand-over-fist.
:
: But history has proven this to be false. The best way to
: rake in the money is to develop a franchise like MGS, get
: stellar ratings on the first game, and then announce a
: sequel and rake in the mindshare and preorders. And neither
: MGS was online, but it's still a huge, huge huge money maker
: for Sony and Konami.

As long as the games are perceived to deliver on their promises; and a big part of the Halo promise was online play and editing, neither of which exist today. Sure, only the PC gamers are aware of it, and they are the ones here posting. It remains to be seen whether that matters to anybody else or not.
:
: Now, watch what happens to Phantasy Star Online when it
: resurfaces on the Gamecube (I think it's coming to the XBox
: too, but that might be a rumor that is just sticking in my
: head). I'm betting that they'll do well, but not as good as
: MGS.
:
: That said, watch Final Fantasy XI... that title is going
: to merge the proven method of developing a franchise and
: then taking it online. And I think it's going to be pretty
: huge.
:
: Now, if Bungie were to announce a Halo 2, and take it
: online, it would be following a sort of hybrid MGS/FFXI
: model. Develop the franchise, announce a hotly anticipated
: sequel (pages from the book of MGS), and take the sequel
: online (page from the book of FFXI). Except that I doubt (at
: least, I hope, being a level designer ;) that Bungie would
: sacrifice the offline aspect of their game for the online
: aspect, which makes it different from FFXI in at least one
: respect.

One would hope :)
:
: I'm ranting and straying off topic here... sorry.
:
: Cheers.
: rex



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Just a note

: Ok, have to call you on that exaggeration.
:
: To my knowledge, the largest existing installed base for
: today's consoles is the PS2, with 20 million worldwide.
:
: So if EVERYBODY who owned a PS2 bought a copy of a game,
: that's *two* tens of millions, not 'a few'.
:
: Just to pick nits :) But the point on market size is well
: taken.

Console sales also benefit substantially from sales to rental establishments and the like. These days that's a lot of sales, when every chain grocery store and local video place has a game rentals section. Enough to make it 30 million? I doubt it, but I still suspect that if you compare the best selling PC game ever (Starcraft? Diablo II?) to the best selling console game the difference would be a factor of two or three.

I have to say (again) that Bungie's decision to sell to Microsoft has to look a great deal more intelligent after what's happened with Myth 3 as well, even if Halo doesn't make it to the PC. Different circumstances and all that rot, but the fact remains that Bungie released their game after a looong development cycle when it was ready and are already working on another project or two, whereas Mumbo Jumbo released on schedule under a lot of pressure with a lot of bugs. Whether the much promised patch really was ready to go just days later, that team is now looking for work while their former employers desperately try to spin their firings into a minor corporate move that won't affect the game. I don't even want to guess at the legal ramifications of all that nonsense; the ramifications for the game are obvious in the fact that last weekend there were about twelve people on Gamespy playing it.

:


Narcogen

I don't like it anymore than I did before, but it's hard to say it was the wrong call when the guys that followed up their work in the PC market are already out of work.

Ramses II

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Re: Just a note (seconded)

Ramses II wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 12:38 pm:

: I don't like it anymore than I did before, but it's hard
: to say it was the wrong call when the guys that followed up
: their work in the PC market are already out of work.
:
: Ramses II

I have to agree with Ramses II - I can bitch and moan all I want about the MS buyout, about being a jilted mac-centric long-time Bungie follower, but the recent happenings with Mumbo-Jumbo and lets not forget Dynamix (here in my hometown) that have made me re-think Bungie's actions in a more positive light.

I'm now of the mind that Halo: "Combat Evolved" should not be compared to what was promised, but should only be critiqued on what was shipped.

Still, I'm holding out for Halo: "Combat Refined" for the Mac/PC, and I'm waiting (again) eagerly for official word on what will be included, and when it will ship. (Hey Matt- Official word on what's happening/planned for the Mac/PC version would be better than a lump of coal before x-mas.. (or is that xbox-mas?)

Pico

narcogen
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Halo Soup

Anonymous wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 3:01 pm:

:
: I'm now of the mind that Halo: "Combat Evolved" should not
: be compared to what was promised, but should only be
: critiqued on what was shipped.

"Waiter, there's something wrong with my tomato soup."

"Really, sir? What's wrong with it?"

"It's CHICKEN soup."

"All right, sir. But isn't it GOOD chicken soup?"

"Yes, it is. But I ordered tomato soup, and that's what I was expecting."

"Sir, perhaps you should judge the chicken soup for itself and not compare it to any other soup, especially soup we don't have right now."

"I see."

I'm being a bit facetious, but I think you see the point. And yes, gamers don't "order" games any more than consumers order books, films, or any other creative endeavors. I'm just trying to stress that judging reality against expectations is entirely legitimate.



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



vector40
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Joined: 10/11/2001 - 21:07
Re: Halo Soup

narcogen wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 1:17 pm:

: Anonymous wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 3:01 pm:
:
: :
: : I'm now of the mind that Halo: "Combat Evolved" should
: not
: : be compared to what was promised, but should only be
: : critiqued on what was shipped.
:
:
: "Waiter, there's something wrong with my tomato soup."
:
: "Really, sir? What's wrong with it?"
:
: "It's CHICKEN soup."
:
: "All right, sir. But isn't it GOOD chicken soup?"
:
: "Yes, it is. But I ordered tomato soup, and that's what I
: was expecting."
:
: "Sir, perhaps you should judge the chicken soup for itself
: and not compare it to any other soup, especially soup we
: don't have right now."
:
: "I see."
:
:
: I'm being a bit facetious, but I think you see the point.
: And yes, gamers don't "order" games any more than consumers
: order books, films, or any other creative endeavors. I'm
: just trying to stress that judging reality against
: expectations is entirely legitimate.
:
:


Narcogen

But in that case it's the responsibility of the restaurant that the soup be... the soup. I dare say Bungie never tried to promise us things they knew they couldn't accomplish, and things that did pop up were things they no doubt regretted.


Good Ol' Ho-Hum
narcogen
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Re: Halo Soup

vector40 wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 5:35 pm:

: narcogen wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 1:17 pm:
:
: : Anonymous wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 3:01 pm:
: :

:
: But in that case it's the responsibility of the restaurant
: that the soup be... the soup. I dare say Bungie never tried
: to promise us things they knew they couldn't accomplish, and
: things that did pop up were things they no doubt
: regretted.

Bungie's press release said "persistent world" and "seamless". You could play as Covenant or Humans.

These may not be promises, but they are expectations.

Beyond that-- again, you're trying to separate MS and Bungie. You can't. There is no Bungie anymore, just a department inside Microsoft. That's what the decision to sell meant.

In short, saying it's the restaurant's responsibility and not Bungie's is like the waiter blaming the cook. It might be true, but it's not allowed. Waiters who blame the cooks get fired.



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



vector40
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Re: Halo Soup

narcogen wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 9:35 pm:

: vector40 wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 5:35 pm:
:
: : narcogen wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 1:17 pm:
: :
: : : Anonymous wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 3:01 pm:
: : :
:
: :
: : But in that case it's the responsibility of the
: restaurant
: : that the soup be... the soup. I dare say Bungie never
: tried
: : to promise us things they knew they couldn't accomplish,
: and
: : things that did pop up were things they no doubt
: : regretted.
:
: Bungie's press release said "persistent world" and
: "seamless". You could play as Covenant or Humans.
:
: These may not be promises, but they are expectations.
:
: Beyond that-- again, you're trying to separate MS and
: Bungie. You can't. There is no Bungie anymore, just a
: department inside Microsoft. That's what the decision to
: sell meant.
:
: In short, saying it's the restaurant's responsibility and
: not Bungie's is like the waiter blaming the cook. It might
: be true, but it's not allowed. Waiters who blame the cooks
: get fired.
:
:


Narcogen

I would contest that to some degree. Bungie may be only another department, but it's a hell of a lot more autonomous than most. The tendrils MS has in there are few and far between, and if you point out one area where they've actually got control over the creative process, well... I'll be impressed.

And if they don't have that, then how much are they really affected?


Good Ol' Ho-Hum
Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Prepare to be impressed...

: I would contest that to some degree. Bungie may be only
: another department, but it's a hell of a lot more autonomous
: than most.

This is in fact untrue; There is a reorg "movement" afoot in MS games towards the studio model in which everybody has greater autonomy. In fact Bungie's "freedom" is actually patterened after FASA's freedom which was returned to them after they were bought, integrated and their morale collapsed.

: The tendrils MS has in there are few and far
: between, and if you point out one area where they've
: actually got control over the creative process, well... I'll
: be impressed.

The answer is simple: scheduling. No one can say that Halo wouldn't have been fundamentally more fully realized if MS hadn't been in complete control of their schedule. The Flamethrower: in. The Covenant engineer: in. More vehicles in single and multi-player: in.

Just imagine how many other features died aborining because Bungie simply didn't have time to build the game with all the depth it could have had. You might argue that becoming cognizant of real deadlines is good for Bungie's process, and I (for one) would not disagree.

But if that's not a high degree of control by Microsoft then I don't know what is...

: And if they don't have that, then how much are they really
: affected?
:

Good
: Ol' Ho-Hum
pimpy
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Halo: False Promises or Market Shift...

Before I begin I have to say that the level of comments to this thread have been quite complex and entertaining (particualarly the Halo soup portion). As a console game Halo is without a doubt the top of its genre, well second to MGS2 when compared to a single-player only. So why is everyone so upset with Halo? Let me explain...

To be honest I think that in our own biased ways we all wanted more than what we got. Maybe we wanted some fresh cracked pepper on our tomato soup or the like, but regardless of what it was, we still didn't get the full flavor out of it. Mind you it was still excellent soup, but it just didn't taste the way we all imagined it to taste.

The problem here is that we were all ooh'ed and awe'd by The Company Formerly Known as Bungie Software or presently known as Microsoft. We paid out loyalties to them and backed them up with the utmost support regardless of what was said. They promised us that we could play as both races, both human and covenant; that we could play with fire, a la Aliens; and that we could toss a SPNKr on our Warthogs and have some serious fun (Note: if you can do this please let me know, but as far as I could tell from the LAN vehicle options it was not included); among other things.

The main thing to note from all of these comments is that Halo was intended to be a multi-centric game, be it TCP/IP, LAN or internet. The original goal of bungie was to make Halo a superb multiplayer game supported by a strong solo/coop mode. All the options, or at least 90%+ of them, that were lacking are missing from this area.

Now before you jump all over my comments, please refer to one of the main criticisms about a lack of bots. Bungie never mentioned an inclusion of bots in the past, at least to the best of my knowledge anyway. This was of course due to the fact that they intended to include a strong multipayer aspect to the game. When Bungie, now Microsoft, decided to make their game for the XBox they included as many of the original features as they could. Being that they only support LAN play currently and that they do of course have 4 XBox's all linked together in their office they did not see this as a lack of a feature, but as a solid addition.

Bots were not included because of a few factors, the most important being deadline, but other than that they were never really intended to be a part of the game due to the strong nature of the multiplayer aspects of Halo. If Halo was intended to be a console game from the start then you would be crazy not to include bots as a feature.

The funniest aspect to all of this is that misery loves company. I can remember when Tribes 2, Team Fortress 2 and Halo were all being compared to one another. Of those three, only one is currently available in it's original format. Halo is available, but in a weird spin-off form. That leaves TF2 and PC Halo to still deliver on their word. Valve is unfortunately spoiled by their income from Half-Life, so they are in no hurry to deliver anytime soon. Bungie, I mean Microsoft is also in a similar boat. So if it was not for the launch date of the XBox I bet we would not see Halo as a released product yet either.

In the end, if Microsoft delivers on their word and releases a complete and full Windows/Macintosh version of Halo then all our complaints will be put to rest. The only question that remains is why hasn't their been any official word concerning this project yet? I think it may scare some of us more than anything to see the words 'XBox Only' on the front of every single Halo game, so until we get an official word from M$ about Halo being released for the computer, I think we all have some serious problems. Despite all the good that Halo has done, it lacks in the only area that will provide the game with enough longevity to survive until the relase of M$'s next project.

Sincerely,
Pimpy™

Sincerely,
Pimpy™

vector40
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Last seen: 10 years 2 weeks ago
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Re: Halo: False Promises or Market Shift...

pimpy™ wrote on Monday, 11/26/2001 - 8:15 am:

: Before I begin I have to say that the level of comments to
: this thread have been quite complex and entertaining
: (particualarly the Halo soup portion). As a console game
: Halo is without a doubt the top of its genre, well second to
: MGS2 when compared to a single-player only. So why is
: everyone so upset with Halo? Let me explain...
:
: To be honest I think that in our own biased ways we all
: wanted more than what we got. Maybe we wanted some fresh
: cracked pepper on our tomato soup or the like, but
: regardless of what it was, we still didn't get the full
: flavor out of it. Mind you it was still excellent soup, but
: it just didn't taste the way we all imagined it to taste.
:
: The problem here is that we were all ooh'ed and awe'd by
: The Company Formerly Known as Bungie Software or
: presently known as Microsoft. We paid out loyalties to them
: and backed them up with the utmost support regardless of
: what was said. They promised us that we could play as both
: races, both human and covenant; that we could play with
: fire, a la Aliens; and that we could toss a SPNKr on
: our Warthogs and have some serious fun (Note: if you can do
: this please let me know, but as far as I could tell from the
: LAN vehicle options it was not included); among other
: things.
:
: The main thing to note from all of these comments is that
: Halo was intended to be a multi-centric game, be it TCP/IP,
: LAN or internet. The original goal of bungie was to make
: Halo a superb multiplayer game supported by a strong
: solo/coop mode. All the options, or at least 90%+ of them,
: that were lacking are missing from this area.
:
: Now before you jump all over my comments, please refer to
: one of the main criticisms about a lack of bots. Bungie
: never mentioned an inclusion of bots in the past, at least
: to the best of my knowledge anyway. This was of course due
: to the fact that they intended to include a strong
: multipayer aspect to the game. When Bungie, now Microsoft,
: decided to make their game for the XBox they included as
: many of the original features as they could. Being that they
: only support LAN play currently and that they do of course
: have 4 XBox's all linked together in their office they did
: not see this as a lack of a feature, but as a solid
: addition.
:
: Bots were not included because of a few factors, the most
: important being deadline, but other than that they were
: never really intended to be a part of the game due to the
: strong nature of the multiplayer aspects of Halo. If Halo
: was intended to be a console game from the start then you
: would be crazy not to include bots as a feature.
:
: The funniest aspect to all of this is that misery loves
: company. I can remember when Tribes 2, Team Fortress 2 and
: Halo were all being compared to one another. Of those three,
: only one is currently available in it's original format.
: Halo is available, but in a weird spin-off form. That leaves
: TF2 and PC Halo to still deliver on their word. Valve is
: unfortunately spoiled by their income from Half-Life, so
: they are in no hurry to deliver anytime soon. Bungie, I mean
: Microsoft is also in a similar boat. So if it was not for
: the launch date of the XBox I bet we would not see Halo as a
: released product yet either.
:
: In the end, if Microsoft delivers on their word and
: releases a complete and full Windows/Macintosh version of
: Halo then all our complaints will be put to rest. The only
: question that remains is why hasn't their been any official
: word concerning this project yet? I think it may scare some
: of us more than anything to see the words 'XBox Only' on the
: front of every single Halo game, so until we get an official
: word from M$ about Halo being released for the computer, I
: think we all have some serious problems. Despite all the
: good that Halo has done, it lacks in the only area that will
: provide the game with enough longevity to survive until the
: relase of M$'s next project.
:
Sincerely,
Pimpy™

Why would they bother? Like they've said, the PC/Mac version (while certainly coming out) isn't something they've even thought about. Once they get seriously cracking, I've no doubt we'll hear more.

Anyway, I don't really get what you're saying about bots. Are you saying it's acceptable that they left them out, or not?


Good Ol' Ho-Hum
pimpy
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Last seen: Never ago
Joined: 11/23/2001 - 12:30
Concerning Bots and a little more...

: Why would they bother? Like they've said, the PC/Mac
: version (while certainly coming out) isn't something they've
: even thought about. Once they get seriously cracking, I've
: no doubt we'll hear more.
:
: Anyway, I don't really get what you're saying about bots.
: Are you saying it's acceptable that they left them out, or
: not?
:
: Good Ol' Ho-Hum

As for the first question you asked, I am not sure what specifically you are referring to. As for your remark after the question you must be a fool to believe that they have never thought about the PC/Mac version of Halo especially since it was being developed as a PC/Mac game for approximately 2 years. That is twice as long as they have been working on the XBox version alone considering that Halo has been in development for a total of 3 years. I'm sure we will hear more about it once they do start on it (again), but how much of the original game will be intact by then? Just to clarify by original I mean the version that they were showing and hyping at all the entertainment exhibitions prior to being purchased by Microsoft.

As for my comments concerning bots, or the lack there of, I only meant that any console shooter with a focus on multiplayer will have them included. There are exceptions to this rule, but any serious game will have them. As Halo does not have them this can result in a few possible conclusions. The most likely is that they simply ran out of time. Another option, somewhat related to the first, is that bots were never planned and as such were not on their to do before release. And the last option is that they did not want bots.

If the last option is the right one then the game suffers from a design flaw for multiplayer. If either the first or second are the reason then it goes to show that bots were never a serious point for inclusion in Halo and this simply shows how strong of a multiplayer game Halo was supposed to be as players would be used to fill games and not bots. Regardless of which is correct, the fact remains that bots are not included in the XBox version and the game is weaker overall.

We all know that 4-player games are fun and you could possibly see a few 8-player games, but anything over that is simply a bit granduous for LAN play. With this is mind, how often do you or have you played an 8-player game of CTF? Mostly it ends up as a big mess with either lots of camping or no defense at all. Is it fun? Possibly, but it is definitely not how CTF was intended to be played.

This reinforces the fact that Halo was intended to be a much larger multiplayer game than it is now. So despite Halo being a great game for the XBox, it was designed to be played on a computer and it lacks certain features as a result of this. If Halo was designed to be on the XBox then we would definitely see bots as a part of the game simply because there would be fewer human players and they would want to compensate for this.

Sincerely,
Pimpy™

Sincerely,
Pimpy™

vector40
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Re: Concerning Bots and a little more...

: As for my comments concerning bots, or the lack there of,
: I only meant that any console shooter with a focus on
: multiplayer will have them included. There are exceptions to
: this rule, but any serious game will have them. As Halo does
: not have them this can result in a few possible conclusions.
: The most likely is that they simply ran out of time. Another
: option, somewhat related to the first, is that bots were
: never planned and as such were not on their to do
: before release. And the last option is that they did not
: want bots.

Pleasantly, we don't have to speculate. They told us. They ran out of time. They wanted them. They couldn't. That's all.

Good Ol' Ho-Hum
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More Soup Analogies

vector40 wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 3:37 pm:

:
: I would contest that to some degree. Bungie may be only
: another department, but it's a hell of a lot more autonomous
: than most. The tendrils MS has in there are few and far
: between, and if you point out one area where they've
: actually got control over the creative process, well... I'll
: be impressed.

Sure, they have autonomy, but I'm talking about this in the legal sense. There's no separate legal entity called "Bungie", there's only Microsoft. So if we're talking about who gets the kudos or the blame, and who owns the intellectual property, etc etc, it's MS.

And since Bungie's owners decided to, and benefited from, giving over financial control (and thus a great deal of influence) of their projects to MS, then they can hardly blame the kitchen if the soup comes out cold, IMHO.
:
: And if they don't have that, then how much are they really
: affected?
:

Good
: Ol' Ho-Hum



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



vector40
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Re: More Soup Analogies

narcogen wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 8:20 pm:

: vector40 wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 3:37 pm:
:
: :
: : I would contest that to some degree. Bungie may be
: only
: : another department, but it's a hell of a lot more
: autonomous
: : than most. The tendrils MS has in there are few and
: far
: : between, and if you point out one area where they've
: : actually got control over the creative process, well...
: I'll
: : be impressed.
:
: Sure, they have autonomy, but I'm talking about this in
: the legal sense. There's no separate legal entity called
: "Bungie", there's only Microsoft. So if we're talking about
: who gets the kudos or the blame, and who owns the
: intellectual property, etc etc, it's MS.
:
: And since Bungie's owners decided to, and benefited from,
: giving over financial control (and thus a great deal of
: influence) of their projects to MS, then they can hardly
: blame the kitchen if the soup comes out cold, IMHO.
: :
: : And if they don't have that, then how much are they
: really
: : affected?
: :

: href="http://www.the-junkyard.net">Good
: : Ol' Ho-Hum

:
:

Narcogen

The deal is, most gamers don't give a foggy damn about legalities or contracts. They just want to know how it plays, and therefore the only part of the acquisition that (should) concern them is how MS will affect the game (or the soup). And in this case, I should say it's very little


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narcogen
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NO SOUP FOR YOU!

vector40 wrote on Monday, 11/26/2001 - 12:38 am:

: The deal is, most gamers don't give a foggy damn about
: legalities or contracts. They just want to know how it
: plays, and therefore the only part of the acquisition that
: (should) concern them is how MS will affect the game (or the
: soup). And in this case, I should say it's very little

Perhaps so, perhaps not. But in either case all I'm saying is that credit or blame for whatever happens still falls on the same shoulders. No fair letting BS take the credit for the good stuff, then blaming anything bad that happens (no bots, no flamethrower, etc etc) on MS because Bungie decided to let MS control certain things (like the release date) that may have led to design decisions that people didn't like. That's all.

:

Good
: Ol' Ho-Hum



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vector40
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU!

narcogen wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 8:56 pm:

:
: vector40 wrote on Monday, 11/26/2001 - 12:38 am:
:
: : The deal is, most gamers don't give a foggy damn about
: : legalities or contracts. They just want to know how it
: : plays, and therefore the only part of the acquisition
: that
: : (should) concern them is how MS will affect the game (or
: the
: : soup). And in this case, I should say it's very little
:
: Perhaps so, perhaps not. But in either case all I'm saying
: is that credit or blame for whatever happens still falls on
: the same shoulders. No fair letting BS take the credit for
: the good stuff, then blaming anything bad that happens (no
: bots, no flamethrower, etc etc) on MS because Bungie decided
: to let MS control certain things (like the release date)
: that may have led to design decisions that people didn't
: like. That's all.
:
: :

: href="http://www.the-junkyard.net">Good
: : Ol' Ho-Hum

:
:

Narcogen

Oh, of course.
...
Is THAT what we were arguing about? Gee.


Good Ol' Ho-Hum
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU!

: Perhaps so, perhaps not. But in either case all I'm saying
: is that credit or blame for whatever happens still falls on
: the same shoulders. No fair letting BS take the credit for
: the good stuff, then blaming anything bad that happens (no
: bots, no flamethrower, etc etc) on MS because Bungie decided
: to let MS control certain things (like the release date)
: that may have led to design decisions that people didn't
: like. That's all.

Wonderful. Now, I'll need to borrow you for every currently Myth III discussion on the net...

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Hmm (Postscript too!)

This vector40 guy (I haven't been keeping track of Halo forums lately) is really hell bent on convincing people that MS's acquisition of Bungie didn't affect the company. While I would agree that in most ways the move to Redmond has been good for Bungie, it most definately changed things for them. And as a result the titles they had/have in progress underwent changes as well. Hell, the most obvious one is that Halo is now a *console* game. So vector... argue all you want that the finished product called Halo is a great game (and I'll agree), but don't try to say MS had no affect on the original designs Bungie had, 'cause it just ain't so.

While on the topic of "how things turned out", let me state that very few entertainment media companies ever achieve the exact product they first dream up. Often during the production of a movie, music CD, or game things get cut. The difference between Hollywood and Joe Smoe's Game Company is that most film studios only let you know what you *might* have missed when they release the DVD with edited scenes. On the other hand we have we have the game industry, where some companies have taken this freakish approach to marketing: they announce features and content long before the product is ready for release.

As the market matures and the people that develop a game aren't the same as those that sell it, I believe we'll see much less of the "broken promises" syndrome. Companies won't feel the need to hype a game by releasing early design details, or will be told by their marketing divisions/firms to keep their mouths shut. Or so we can hope.

--Stinger

P.S. I went to the restaurant and tried to get a bowl of this damned soup. Turns out you need to bring a bowl, but the only one I have is for cold contents. This soup is hot, so I'll either have to wait until it cools off or buy a new bowl that can hold it. To date I've made a point of not listening to stories about the soup, so that when I get the chance to try it there's almost no chance I'll be disappointed. I'm familiar with some of the other recipes the cooks have used, and I've seen them work, so I'm hoping for lip-smacking goodness. As for the type of soup... who cares? I like to try everything once. ;-)

vector40
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Re: Hmm (Postscript too!)

Anonymous wrote on Monday, 11/26/2001 - 6:16 pm:

: This vector40 guy (I haven't been keeping track of Halo
: forums lately) is really hell bent on convincing people that
: MS's acquisition of Bungie didn't affect the company.

Could we stick to the topic at hand rather than bringing up participants? Thank you.

And I never said it hasn't affected the COMPANY, I said it hasn't affected the GAME. Well, I never even said that, but it affected it MINIMALLY.

: While
: I would agree that in most ways the move to Redmond has been
: good for Bungie, it most definately changed things for them.
: And as a result the titles they had/have in progress
: underwent changes as well. Hell, the most obvious one is
: that Halo is now a *console* game. So vector... argue all
: you want that the finished product called Halo is a great
: game (and I'll agree), but don't try to say MS had no affect
: on the original designs Bungie had, 'cause it just ain't
: so.
:
: While on the topic of "how things turned out", let me
: state that very few entertainment media companies ever
: achieve the exact product they first dream up.

That's what I'M telling YOU. Do you really think that if Bungie hadn't been acquired, things would have stayed... exactly... the same?

: Often during
: the production of a movie, music CD, or game things get cut.
: The difference between Hollywood and Joe Smoe's Game Company
: is that most film studios only let you know what you *might*
: have missed when they release the DVD with edited scenes. On
: the other hand we have we have the game industry, where some
: companies have taken this freakish approach to marketing:
: they announce features and content long before the product
: is ready for release.
:
: As the market matures and the people that develop a game
: aren't the same as those that sell it, I believe we'll see
: much less of the "broken promises" syndrome. Companies won't
: feel the need to hype a game by releasing early design
: details, or will be told by their marketing divisions/firms
: to keep their mouths shut. Or so we can hope.
:
: --Stinger

I'm only going to comment that, compared to one... hell... of.. a... lot... of games, Halo's (and Bungie's) self-induced hype has been very minimal. Yes, the hype is great, but not very much of it came from them—it came from leaked information, a slip of a tongue, raving fans, etc. etc.

: P.S. I went to the restaurant and tried to get a bowl of
: this damned soup. Turns out you need to bring a bowl, but
: the only one I have is for cold contents. This soup is hot,
: so I'll either have to wait until it cools off or buy a new
: bowl that can hold it. To date I've made a point of not
: listening to stories about the soup, so that when I get the
: chance to try it there's almost no chance I'll be
: disappointed. I'm familiar with some of the other recipes
: the cooks have used, and I've seen them work, so I'm hoping
: for lip-smacking goodness. As for the type of soup... who
: cares? I like to try everything once. ;-)

ENOUGH WITH THE SOUP! :)


Good Ol' Ho-Hum
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Re: Hmm (Postscript too!)

: And I never said it hasn't affected the COMPANY, I said it
: hasn't affected the GAME. Well, I never even said that, but
: it affected it MINIMALLY.

Then you're being subjective rather than objective, because if you look at the features touted at MacWorld and those offered at release you might wonder if you were looking at two different games. Not that both can't be or aren't good, but brushing off the influence the move to MS has had as "minimal" is ignoring the obvious. Unless you were only interested in the storyline, which they did a good job of keeping under wraps.

--Stinger

Stinger
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further...

...read Soell's Interview (http://www.3dgamingnews.com/games/interviews/haloview/), taking note of "Different people wanted Halo to be different things, and our own idea of what we wanted changed drastically during the course of development. The one constant was that we wanted a game we ourselves would willingly play if given the opportunity, and we managed to deliver on that."

Granted the changes could have been precipitated by the flip of a coin, but brushing off MS as "minimalist" when it comes to their investments is off-center. I just hope it doesn't mess with "Fantasy Siege" too much, 'cause strategy games typically work better with a keyboard and mouse (witness the changes to Halo). Here's to future blockbuster titles from BungieStudios. ;-)

--Stinger

narcogen
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Holy Vague, Batman!

Stinger wrote on Tuesday, 11/27/2001 - 10:12 am:

: ...read Soell's Interview
: (http://www.3dgamingnews.com/games/interviews/haloview/),
: taking note of "Different people wanted Halo to be different
: things, and our own idea of what we wanted changed
: drastically during the course of development. The one
: constant was that we wanted a game we ourselves would
: willingly play if given the opportunity, and we managed to
: deliver on that."

Wow. That's REALLY vague. I mean, once might suppose that if they'd announced Halo like they did at MWNY and then eventually come out with Marble Madness or even Super Monkey Ball that they'd be OK with that.

Of course, I don't think he means that. But it's a scary concept. "Fun game" is a nice goal to have as an overarching concept. But I'd hope a little more would survive the creative process :)
:


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Rampant for over se7en years.



vector40
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Damn, rnet's loading slow recently...

You make little sense. How, exactly, are you quantitating the changes made to Halo as entirely due to Microsoft's influence?

Ah, yes, you're right. No game ever changes over the course of its development. All games stay exactly as they are when they are first conceived. And because of this, they all suck.

Wait a second...

(I beg your pardon if I'm not being remarkably verbose, but I just wrote nearly this exact thing over at HBO. Just barely different enough to keep me from supplying a link and leaving it at that. Story of my life.)


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narcogen
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slow loading

Some changes I made to the forum are currently resulting in the ENTIRE index loading EVERY TIME.

:)

This will be rectified :)

vector40 wrote on Tuesday, 11/27/2001 - 10:58 pm:

: You make little sense. How, exactly, are you quantitating
: the changes made to Halo as entirely due to Microsoft's
: influence?
:
: Ah, yes, you're right. No game ever changes over the
: course of its development. All games stay exactly as they
: are when they are first conceived. And because of this, they
: all suck.
:
: Wait a second...
:
: (I beg your pardon if I'm not being remarkably verbose,
: but I just wrote nearly this exact thing over at HBO. Just
: barely different enough to keep me from supplying a link and
: leaving it at that. Story of my life.)
:

Good
: Ol' Ho-Hum



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Rampant for over se7en years.



Stinger
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Re: Damn, rnet's loading slow recently...

vector40 wrote on Tuesday, 11/27/2001 - 9:58 pm:

: You make little sense. How, exactly, are you quantitating
: the changes made to Halo as entirely due to Microsoft's
: influence?
:
: Ah, yes, you're right. No game ever changes over the
: course of its development. All games stay exactly as they
: are when they are first conceived. And because of this, they
: all suck.
:
: Wait a second...
:
: (I beg your pardon if I'm not being remarkably verbose,
: but I just wrote nearly this exact thing over at HBO. Just
: barely different enough to keep me from supplying a link and
: leaving it at that. Story of my life.)
:

Good
: Ol' Ho-Hum

I'm not "quantitating" the changes made to Halo all as effects due to MS, just calling YOU on you're belief that MS had "minimal" affect on Halo's development. Yes things change during typical development cycles, but for most companies this doesn't mean *switching platforms*. That in itself was dramatic enough to warrant co-opting half of the Oni team into the Halo team a year ago, just so they could meet the November release deadline.

--Stinger

P.S. Last post here since it takes 3 minutes for IE to change windows from r.net's forum.

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forum index limited

Stinger wrote on Tuesday, 11/27/2001 - 11:44 pm:

:
: P.S. Last post here since it takes 3 minutes for IE to
: change windows from r.net's forum.

The entire forum index (all 600 posts) was loading prior to this. I've cut it down.



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ferrex
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Re: Halo Soup

: I'm being a bit facetious, but I think you see the point.
: And yes, gamers don't "order" games any more than consumers
: order books, films, or any other creative endeavors. I'm
: just trying to stress that judging reality against
: expectations is entirely legitimate.

While I shouldn't be rising to this bait, I think your metaphor is flawed.

It should have gone more like this:

"Good afternoon sir! We have many varieties of soup, what would you like? May I suggest our tomato herb soup?"

"I think I'd like to try the tomato soup."

"It's actually tomato herb soup... it may taste different."

"That's fine."

*a few minutes later*

"Excuse me sir, our chef has changed the recipe a bit... it may taste different."

"That's fine."

*several minutes later*

"Excuse me sir, I know you've been patiently waiting, but we just signed a deal to sell our soup stand to a much hated multinational soup company."

"WHHAAAT?"

"Our menu will probably be changing accordingly... do you still want to wait?"

"... alright, I'll give it a shot."

*several more minutes later*

"Sorry sir, but our new owner doesn't have any tomatoes, or herbs. However, our chef is really good, and they've given him lots of chicken. We're not exactly sure what he's going to make with it, but we're sure it'll be good. Do you want to wait?"

"Yes, I'll wait."

*a few minutes later*

"Here you go, sir! We just had several restaurant critics try it, and they agree: This is arguably the finest chicken soup in the world!"

"CHICKEN SOUP?"

"We'll, yes. You didn't see that coming? Give it a chance, it's really good."

"Hmm, yes, it is pretty good. Doesn't fill me up like tomato soup, though."

"Yes, well, we're sorry about that. Circumstances, you understand."

"Yes... but tomato soup is what I came in here for..."

"I know sir, but we've explained why we couldn't make tomato soup. How is that chicken soup, you've barely taken one spoonful of it?"

"It's alright... not as good as tomato soup."

"With all due respect, sir, tomato soup simply wasn't available. I know we promised it, and we're sorry it didn't happen."

"But tomato soup would have been better..."

"Yes, sir. It probably would have been very good as well. Please, try the chicken soup, you're barely even touching it."

"It's not tomato soup."

"Please, sir, try it. It's good stuff if you give it a chance."

"I came in here hoping for tomat--"

"LAY OFF ON THE TOMATO SOUP MOPING OR I'LL GOUGE YOUR EYES OUT WITH THAT SPOON AND CRAM THEM DOWN YOUR THROAT WITH MY--ahem, sorry. We may have tomato soup back on the menu tomorrow. Give that chicken soup a chance, though."

Woo, funny how you can get carried away with something silly like that...

--
Ferrex (Dead)
Coffee Engineer, Vehicle Logistics
Bungie Studios

--
Ferrex (Dead)
Coffee Engineer, Vehicle Logistics
Bungie Studios

narcogen
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Spoon du Jour

ferrex wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 5:54 pm:

: While I shouldn't be rising to this bait, I think your
: metaphor is flawed.
:
: It should have gone more like this:
:
: "Good afternoon sir! We have many varieties of soup, what
: would you like? May I suggest our tomato herb soup?"

... and so on. [snip]

Actually, here's one that's even MORE accurate:

"I'd like some soup. What do you have?"

"Well, right now we have several flavors of soup... but they're all several years old now."

"Several YEARS old?"

"Yes. And, what's more, you can only eat most of them with a particular kind of spoon that's slightly more expensive than a normal spoon. But don't worry, it's a very GOOD spoon; the very best."

"But I already HAVE a spoon! The usual kind!"

"Well, SOME of our old soups can be eaten with a usual kind of spoon... although we sold that soup recipe to another company with a somewhat questionable reputation. You can get the old soup from them, but I'm afraid we're not allowed to make any fresh soup from that recipe anymore."

"Sigh. Is that all the soup you've got that I can eat with a usual spoon?"

"Well, we do have another, OLDER soup that we modified for use with normal spoons... but I can't suggest it in good conscience. That soup really should be eaten with the special spoon. It's part of a three-course soup medley, actually, and you can't fully appreciate it without the other two."

"How very odd. Are you sure that's all you have?"

"Well, we are working on a NEW soup for both special AND usual spoons... but..."

"But WHAT?"

"It won't be done for another couple of years."

"I see. I'm rather hungry right now."

"Well, I understand, sir... but trust me, this soup will be worth it."

"Okay. Should I buy the special spoon in preparation?"

"Well, that's up to you, sir. As I said, we'll be making the new soup for both usual and special spoons, so don't worry."

"All right then. See you in a couple years."

TWO YEARS LATER

"Well, I'm back! How's the soup?"

"Excellent, sir, just as we promised!"

"Great! I'll have a bowl!"

"Certainly, sir. Did you bring your special spoon?"

"Why, yes, I did. I thought it would work on usual spoons as well, though, yes?"

"Well, sir, that was the original plan. However, things changed a bit. You now need a special spoon for this soup."

"Well, no problem, I've got it right here. You were right, it was expensive, but so far it's been worth it. I can't eat ALL the soup that's available with it, but most of the soup I can eat with it is as good or better than the others, so I don't mind. Plus, it's so damn intuitive!"

"Ah... well, you see, sir... the special spoon this soup requires is... different... than the other special spoon."

"WHAT!?!?!"

"Yes, sir. Actually, it's a good deal cheaper and more powerful than the other special spoon. Our new owners make it. It's terrific. We expect to sell millions! In fact, we're the featured soup for this spoon!"

"But I already BOUGHT a special spoon! It cost thousands!"

"Yes, but our new special spoon is even better, and costs mere hundreds!"

"You've got to be kidding me. Is this some kind of twisted nightmare?"

"Yes, sir, it is. And when you wake up, you'll have no more silly problems with soup that require special spoons."

"Oh, thank God."

"But then you'll remember that Microsoft bought Bungie and Halo only runs on the Xbox (for now)."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



vector40
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Re: Spoon du Jour

narcogen wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 8:48 pm:

: ferrex wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 5:54 pm:
:
: : While I shouldn't be rising to this bait, I think your
: : metaphor is flawed.
: :
: : It should have gone more like this:
: :
: : "Good afternoon sir! We have many varieties of soup,
: what
: : would you like? May I suggest our tomato herb soup?"
:
: ... and so on. [snip]
:
: Actually, here's one that's even MORE accurate:
:
: "I'd like some soup. What do you have?"
:
: "Well, right now we have several flavors of soup... but
: they're all several years old now."
:
: "Several YEARS old?"
:
: "Yes. And, what's more, you can only eat most of them with
: a particular kind of spoon that's slightly more expensive
: than a normal spoon. But don't worry, it's a very GOOD
: spoon; the very best."
:
: "But I already HAVE a spoon! The usual kind!"
:
: "Well, SOME of our old soups can be eaten with a usual
: kind of spoon... although we sold that soup recipe to
: another company with a somewhat questionable reputation. You
: can get the old soup from them, but I'm afraid we're not
: allowed to make any fresh soup from that recipe anymore."
:
: "Sigh. Is that all the soup you've got that I can eat with
: a usual spoon?"
:
: "Well, we do have another, OLDER soup that we modified for
: use with normal spoons... but I can't suggest it in good
: conscience. That soup really should be eaten with the
: special spoon. It's part of a three-course soup medley,
: actually, and you can't fully appreciate it without the
: other two."
:
: "How very odd. Are you sure that's all you have?"
:
: "Well, we are working on a NEW soup for both special AND
: usual spoons... but..."
:
: "But WHAT?"
:
: "It won't be done for another couple of years."
:
: "I see. I'm rather hungry right now."
:
: "Well, I understand, sir... but trust me, this soup will
: be worth it."
:
: "Okay. Should I buy the special spoon in preparation?"
:
: "Well, that's up to you, sir. As I said, we'll be making
: the new soup for both usual and special spoons, so don't
: worry."
:
: "All right then. See you in a couple years."
:
:
: TWO YEARS LATER
:
:
: "Well, I'm back! How's the soup?"
:
: "Excellent, sir, just as we promised!"
:
: "Great! I'll have a bowl!"
:
: "Certainly, sir. Did you bring your special spoon?"
:
: "Why, yes, I did. I thought it would work on usual spoons
: as well, though, yes?"
:
: "Well, sir, that was the original plan. However, things
: changed a bit. You now need a special spoon for this
: soup."
:
: "Well, no problem, I've got it right here. You were right,
: it was expensive, but so far it's been worth it. I can't eat
: ALL the soup that's available with it, but most of the soup
: I can eat with it is as good or better than the others, so I
: don't mind. Plus, it's so damn intuitive!"
:
: "Ah... well, you see, sir... the special spoon this soup
: requires is... different... than the other special spoon."
:
: "WHAT!?!?!"
:
: "Yes, sir. Actually, it's a good deal cheaper and more
: powerful than the other special spoon. Our new owners make
: it. It's terrific. We expect to sell millions! In fact,
: we're the featured soup for this spoon!"
:
: "But I already BOUGHT a special spoon! It cost
: thousands!"
:
: "Yes, but our new special spoon is even better, and costs
: mere hundreds!"
:
: "You've got to be kidding me. Is this some kind of twisted
: nightmare?"
:
: "Yes, sir, it is. And when you wake up, you'll have no
: more silly problems with soup that require special
: spoons."
:
: "Oh, thank God."
:
: "But then you'll remember that Microsoft bought Bungie and
: Halo only runs on the Xbox (for now)."
:
: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
:
:
:


Narcogen

If you're going to fight, boys, go outside. I'm trying to cook your dinner.

Oh, did I mention what we're having?

... (what an existential nightmare)...


Good Ol' Ho-Hum
narcogen
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Re: Just a note

Ramses II wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 1:38 pm:

: : Ok, have to call you on that exaggeration.
: :
: : To my knowledge, the largest existing installed base
: for
: : today's consoles is the PS2, with 20 million worldwide.
:
: :
: : So if EVERYBODY who owned a PS2 bought a copy of a
: game,
: : that's *two* tens of millions, not 'a few'.
: :
: : Just to pick nits :) But the point on market size is
: well
: : taken.
:
: Console sales also benefit substantially from sales to
: rental establishments and the like. These days that's a lot
: of sales, when every chain grocery store and local video
: place has a game rentals section. Enough to make it 30
: million?

Doesn't matter one bit, since the consoles Sony claims to have sold already include ones that are being rented. OK, perhaps a few people BUY a game and RENT the console, but I'm betting it's way less than one million, let alone ten. And since any one copy of the game can be played on one and only one console at a time, bought or rented, you still pretty much end up with a zero sum game.

I doubt it, but I still suspect that if you
: compare the best selling PC game ever (Starcraft? Diablo
: II?) to the best selling console game the difference would
: be a factor of two or three.

At least, if not more. Like I said.. granted. But let's not get carried away, 'cause pretty soon that extra ten million will end up an extra decimal place :)
:
: I have to say (again) that Bungie's decision to sell to
: Microsoft has to look a great deal more intelligent after
: what's happened with Myth 3 as well, even if Halo doesn't
: make it to the PC. Different circumstances and all that
: rot, but the fact remains that Bungie released their game
: after a looong development cycle when it was ready and are
: already working on another project or two, whereas Mumbo
: Jumbo released on schedule under a lot of pressure with a
: lot of bugs. Whether the much promised patch really was
: ready to go just days later, that team is now looking for
: work while their former employers desperately try to spin
: their firings into a minor corporate move that won't affect
: the game. I don't even want to guess at the legal
: ramifications of all that nonsense; the ramifications for
: the game are obvious in the fact that last weekend there
: were about twelve people on Gamespy playing it.

I tend to agree about Myth 3-- the prognosis at this time isn't good. I don't hear too much about many people playing it. Perhaps the patch and the Mac version will remedy it somewhat.

However, the circumstances are just WAY too different to make any comparison between MJ and Bungie.

First of all, TTWO owned a nearly 20% stake in Bungie prior to the sale; meaning they had a short-term interest in profitable products and their margin on the publishing side, but also an interest in maintaining a viable brand reputation. I'll leave it to those actually at Bungie to say whether or not TTWO ever actually exercised that logical interest.

By contrast, MJ was an ad hoc collection of hired guns-- some known quantities in the industry like Meggs, and some longtime Myth community members and mapmakers. They were under contract, not an O/O. My guess is that nobody at TTWO figured there was more than 1 more game in the Myth franchise, so they decided to hurry up and see what they could get and have done with it. Sad, but that seems to be the case.

Having said that, I don't think it really has any bearing on Bungie's decision and whether it was a good idea or not.

Frankly, if you look at the history of the previous Bungie trilogy, Marathon, what might have happened was this: sucontract out an entirely new scenario using basically the same engine with a few bug fixes and enhancements-- new units, etc etc; rather than switching to an all-3d engine. I had my doubts when it was announced whether that would really be a worthwhile improvement to Myth; I think I'd rather have seen melee combat fixed, more flexibility in customizing formations, and many of the various other changes proposed in the current and past FutureMyth forums. About the only mention of a true 3d engine I remember from those discussions regarded to objects like true bridges-- not necessarily redoing status and health bars as huge floating colorful holograms.

Focusing more on content and less on the tech, perhaps Bungie could have gotten a game out more pleasing to the community in around the same time frame. I don't know. But whether or not MJ pulled it off successfully isn't indicative of the PC development climate as a whole, nor of Bungie's capabilities in particular.



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
My thoughts on the matter

I have been a die hard bungie fan for a long time. I had marathon 1 through infinity and myth 1 and 2. I have been waiting for halo for three years now; ever since i saw the early previews of it on its website.

Halo was supposed to revolutionize the online gaming experience on the computer, but of course microsoft needed a killer app, so now its on xbox.

I cant afford a computer to run halo right now, but i can afford an xbox. With all of the Xbox's online capabilities, i simply pray that Halo2 or an additon to halo which incorporates multiplatyer online is a possibility.

Halo is to me one of the greatest games to have ever been created, but its playability is very limited. Online gaming would make Halo a game to remember. As for bots and crap, i dont really care.... BUT I WANT TO BE ABLE TO PLAY AS COVENENT!

Come on bungie, get it together. I always wondered why marathon 2 wasn't playable online, and now Halo? You guys have heard us and you know what we want. We all know what you're capable of, so lets see it happen!

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
I think...

You may have mistook my thrust a bit. I think it's possible for there to be more games sold than consoles to run them because many establishments that rent games don't also rent consoles, or certainly not in the quantity that they do the games. The nearest Blockbuster here has an entire section for the most popular PS2 games with 3 to 5 copies of each game, but as far as I know they don't rent the console itself at all. Given that many (Not all) bundled sales of the PS2 included some of those games I think it's quite possible for a game to outsell it's platform. Possible, not proven, I'm not aware of any accurate information available to the public that tracks such.

About Bungie, if they had sold to Take Two (Or United Developers, who owns MJ), I don't see any reason to think they would've been treated differently from the MJ team. Those guys weren't fired because they were an ad hoc group, they were fired because the highers ups didn't have a project waiting for them to work on. I have my doubts, given the legal entanglements that are doubtless no going on, whether MJ will actually turn a profit on Myth 3 or not, especially considering their initial outlay of cash to get the M3 team members in place in California. Take Two, of course, will turn a substantial profit, and therein lies the intelligence of Bungie's decision.

Currently in the gaming market the consumers are, by a vast majority, willing to buy a full price game even when it's buggy and working badly and unlikely to be fixed. The market is full of games that just don't quite work right, and developers that have to crank out project after project, none of them complete, just to stay employed. Bungie, at MS, doesn't face that problem at all; witness two of the best selling PC games of the year (MechWarrior 4 and Age of Empires II) were released clean, complete, and mostly bug free. There was no apparent deadline to get them out the door and for that very reason the games came out well. I'd say that points to a good call made by the Bungie guys even if they aren't PC developers anymore, since the alternative was to make a Myth 3, Tribes 2, Black and White, Vampire: The Masquerade, Shogun: TW, etc. under contract/ownership to a publisher that was going to make money no matter what and doesn't give a d*mn about finishing the game.

Ramses II

narcogen
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Last seen: 6 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 05/26/1999 - 02:00
software publishing

Ramses II wrote on Saturday, 11/24/2001 - 6:27 pm:

: You may have mistook my thrust a bit. I think it's
: possible for there to be more games sold than consoles to
: run them because many establishments that rent games don't
: also rent consoles, or certainly not in the quantity that
: they do the games. The nearest Blockbuster here has an
: entire section for the most popular PS2 games with 3 to 5
: copies of each game, but as far as I know they don't rent
: the console itself at all. Given that many (Not all)
: bundled sales of the PS2 included some of those games I
: think it's quite possible for a game to outsell it's
: platform. Possible, not proven, I'm not aware of any
: accurate information available to the public that tracks
: such.

Hmm.. I don't know. The Blockbuster near where I used to live rented Nintendo and PS1 games and consoles. Perhaps some don't rent consoles because of theft problems.

However, even let's say there are one hundred thousand rental places in the USA, which I'm sure is an exaggeration. And let's say each buys ten copies of each game; also an exaggeration.

That's a million units. Compared to twenty million PS2s in the field, each of which was probably bought with one game or another.

At any rate, no matter how big the rental market is, it's not going to push the size of the console market from somewhere between 10 and 20 million into the "tens of millions" range.

:
: About Bungie, if they had sold to Take Two (Or United
: Developers, who owns MJ), I don't see any reason to think
: they would've been treated differently from the MJ team.

True, but even Bungie asserted that the sale was not to save themselves financially. They've said they sold to MS for the opportunity to work on the Xbox, not to save their bacon. So they wouldn't have had to sell to TTWO, they might have just remained independent.

: Those guys weren't fired because they were an ad hoc group,
: they were fired because the highers ups didn't have a
: project waiting for them to work on.

Meaning by "ad hoc". They weren't contracted to be an in-house development studio on permanent assignment. They were hired to work on one game, with no plans in place for a following project.

I have my doubts,
: given the legal entanglements that are doubtless no going
: on, whether MJ will actually turn a profit on Myth 3 or not,
: especially considering their initial outlay of cash to get
: the M3 team members in place in California. Take Two, of
: course, will turn a substantial profit, and therein lies the
: intelligence of Bungie's decision.

OK.. this is just the way the industry works. I have no idea who wrote MJ's contracts or anything, but usually developers get paid flat (hourly) for the work they do, and that money is guaranteed. They get paid salaries whether the game flops or not.

TTWO has to front that money, and the money to publish and distribute the game, including catalog listings and shelf space (both of which are hideously expensive). In exchange for that risk, they get the margin on those operations *if* there is any.

I don't know the specifics of MJ's situation, but this is the usual case. It's all fine well and good to heap derision on TTWO for making money after people have been fired. But that's what I mean about ad hoc. Most US employees are at-will; they can be fired almost anytime for cause. If MJ had a contract that specified the M3 project, and nothing after-- or just an option for work afterwards-- then it's pretty much in line with what usually goes on. They weren't (as I understand it) a first party developer for TTWO, wholly owned. They were subcontracted. Subcontract work is sporadic and ad hoc; it's the nature of it.

That makes it no less sad when the work stops, of course.

:
: Currently in the gaming market the consumers are, by a
: vast majority, willing to buy a full price game even when
: it's buggy and working badly and unlikely to be fixed. The
: market is full of games that just don't quite work right,
: and developers that have to crank out project after project,
: none of them complete, just to stay employed. Bungie, at
: MS, doesn't face that problem at all; witness two of the
: best selling PC games of the year (MechWarrior 4 and Age of
: Empires II) were released clean, complete, and mostly bug
: free. There was no apparent deadline to get them out the
: door and for that very reason the games came out well. I'd
: say that points to a good call made by the Bungie guys even
: if they aren't PC developers anymore, since the alternative
: was to make a Myth 3, Tribes 2, Black and White, Vampire:
: The Masquerade, Shogun: TW, etc. under contract/ownership to
: a publisher that was going to make money no matter what and
: doesn't give a d*mn about finishing the game.

So... was the decision a good one because working on consoles is different? Because as far as I know, MW4 and AOE2 are PC games.

Or do you mean the decision was good because MS releases clean, bug-free software? (At least where games are concerned?)

What I'm suggesting is this. When MJ took the contract for M3, they knew what the deadline was. Perhaps they figured like most software deadlines, it was flexible and could be changed. Turns out... it wasn't. TTWO held them to it, and bugs resulted.

Perhaps what really should've happened was for MJ to try and structure their ambitions within the scope of the development schedule as laid out by TTWO, and spend less time on a whiz-bang new 3d engine, and more on multiplayer. (It sounds like the solo campaign is pretty good; I'll know when the Mac version comes out.)



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Notes and misc.

narcogen wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 12:49 am:

: Hmm.. I don't know. The Blockbuster near where I used to
: live rented Nintendo and PS1 games and consoles. Perhaps
: some don't rent consoles because of theft problems.
:
: However, even let's say there are one hundred thousand
: rental places in the USA, which I'm sure is an exaggeration.
: And let's say each buys ten copies of each game; also an
: exaggeration.
:
: That's a million units. Compared to twenty million PS2s in
: the field, each of which was probably bought with one game
: or another.

Oh I agree, tens of millions implies far more than is realistic, as I said before I doubt any console game has ever sold 30 million units. Even so, the market is far larger than the PC market.

: At any rate, no matter how big the rental market is, it's
: not going to push the size of the console market from
: somewhere between 10 and 20 million into the "tens of
: millions" range.

Indeed.

: True, but even Bungie asserted that the sale was not to
: save themselves financially. They've said they sold to MS
: for the opportunity to work on the Xbox, not to save their
: bacon. So they wouldn't have had to sell to TTWO, they might
: have just remained independent.

Frankly I think that's all spin and nonsense, but perhaps you have better information on the matter. Companies don't simply sell out, give up a major franchise, and undergo a major restructuring of their big project just so they can work on what was, at the time, simply a twinkling in Billy's eye. As much credit as I give the MS press corp, nobody can sell a phantom that well to a healthy independent.

: Meaning by "ad hoc". They weren't contracted to be an
: in-house development studio on permanent assignment. They
: were hired to work on one game, with no plans in place for a
: following project.

A difference of opinion here, certainly Take Two didn't contract them to work a series of projects, but the development house (United Developers) almost certainly didn't intend to move a bunch of guys out to Cali only to be paying on their unemployment in less than a year. That's just bad business. Either way though, there's a lot about the situation that probably won't ever make it out to the public, so we'll have to differ on our guesses. ;)

: OK.. this is just the way the industry works. I have no
: idea who wrote MJ's contracts or anything, but usually
: developers get paid flat (hourly) for the work they do, and
: that money is guaranteed. They get paid salaries whether the
: game flops or not.

Ahh, but that's just the baseline, the real money is in the incentives on goals type stuff. See here for another case that shows some of the workings:

http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?show=268

: TTWO has to front that money, and the money to publish and
: distribute the game, including catalog listings and shelf
: space (both of which are hideously expensive). In exchange
: for that risk, they get the margin on those operations *if*
: there is any.
:
: I don't know the specifics of MJ's situation, but this is
: the usual case. It's all fine well and good to heap derision
: on TTWO for making money after people have been fired. But
: that's what I mean about ad hoc. Most US employees are
: at-will; they can be fired almost anytime for cause. If MJ
: had a contract that specified the M3 project, and nothing
: after-- or just an option for work afterwards-- then it's
: pretty much in line with what usually goes on. They weren't
: (as I understand it) a first party developer for TTWO,
: wholly owned. They were subcontracted. Subcontract work is
: sporadic and ad hoc; it's the nature of it.

Oh I'm not trying to demonize Take Two, pretty much all the publishing houses work this way as far as I know because this way makes money. Nor do I mean to imply that UD owed the Myth 3 team employment, however I do think that good faith should require them to keep qualified people around to finish the game when it's released unfinished and buggy. Car analogy and all that jazz, or at least some level of pride in their work. I'm also not convinced that the subcontracting analogy is entirely accurate, but even if not UD's responsibility (IMHO) was to release a good, working product and they did not. It isn't clear that the product will work in the future either, given that spin has placed the Dallas team working on it now when they were supposedly on a different project and had little to no exposure to M3.

: That makes it no less sad when the work stops, of
: course.

: So... was the decision a good one because working on
: consoles is different? Because as far as I know, MW4 and
: AOE2 are PC games.

: Or do you mean the decision was good because MS releases
: clean, bug-free software? (At least where games are
: concerned?)

The latter, by appearances. MS is a big enough house to have whatever resources are necessary to get the job done, and done well, and published when it's ready. On the face of it I'd say that United Developers/Take Two, like Bethesda/MADia and Sierra/Dynamix, are not in a position to do any of those things. That Bungie Studios now develops for a console certainly contributes to this, but MS products for the PC are similarly stable. If I, in their position, had to choose MS would be the intelligent choice despite the seeming problems; hence my original statement.

: What I'm suggesting is this. When MJ took the contract for
: M3, they knew what the deadline was. Perhaps they figured
: like most software deadlines, it was flexible and could be
: changed. Turns out... it wasn't. TTWO held them to it, and
: bugs resulted.

Sounds likely, though the interweaving of United Developer's management and their goals/input into the project complicate things.

: Perhaps what really should've happened was for MJ to try
: and structure their ambitions within the scope of the
: development schedule as laid out by TTWO, and spend less
: time on a whiz-bang new 3d engine, and more on multiplayer.
: (It sounds like the solo campaign is pretty good; I'll know
: when the Mac version comes out.)

I enjoyed the solo campaign quite a lot, although I think (General info to avoid spoiling) that one of the missions may not be doable with no casualties, thus breaking a tradition in the Myth games. I am absolutely not apologizing for Mumbo Jumbo, even though what they did was the standard in the PC gaming market, but I am strongly wishing they'd been kept around to give the game a polish and some editing tools and I can't help thinking that, by comparison, Bungie Studio's situation looks inordinately solid.

:


Narcogen

Ramses II

narcogen
narcogen's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 05/26/1999 - 02:00
Re: Notes and misc.

Ramses II wrote on Sunday, 11/25/2001 - 3:19 am:

: Oh I agree, tens of millions implies far more than is
: realistic, as I said before I doubt any console game has
: ever sold 30 million units. Even so, the market is far
: larger than the PC market.

Agreed.

[snip]

: : True, but even Bungie asserted that the sale was not
: to
: : save themselves financially. They've said they sold to
: MS
: : for the opportunity to work on the Xbox, not to save
: their
: : bacon. So they wouldn't have had to sell to TTWO, they
: might
: : have just remained independent.
:
: Frankly I think that's all spin and nonsense, but perhaps
: you have better information on the matter. Companies don't
: simply sell out, give up a major franchise, and undergo a
: major restructuring of their big project just so they can
: work on what was, at the time, simply a twinkling in Billy's
: eye. As much credit as I give the MS press corp, nobody can
: sell a phantom that well to a healthy independent.

Well, if by "spin and nonsense" you mean "outright lies". But I'll concede that this might be true. Or, to be more polite about it, that financial considerations were, in comparison, more important than the "premier Xbox developer" factor.

:
: : Meaning by "ad hoc". They weren't contracted to be an
: : in-house development studio on permanent assignment.
: They
: : were hired to work on one game, with no plans in place
: for a
: : following project.
:
: A difference of opinion here, certainly Take Two didn't
: contract them to work a series of projects, but the
: development house (United Developers) almost certainly
: didn't intend to move a bunch of guys out to Cali only to be
: paying on their unemployment in less than a year. That's
: just bad business. Either way though, there's a lot about
: the situation that probably won't ever make it out to the
: public, so we'll have to differ on our guesses. ;)

True. Although I don't know how unemployment works in Cali; but if it's the same in Mass., the company isn't paying, the state is. Of course, the state uses taxes to pay it, but there's no direct relationship between how much you pay in taxes and how many people you fire.

If by "bad business" you mean to say it's poor planning, then I agree, but that doesn't mean that isn't the way it happened.

In fact, you might say it was forseeable it would happen, given the short development cycle. But I digress.

:
: : OK.. this is just the way the industry works. I have
: no
: : idea who wrote MJ's contracts or anything, but usually
: : developers get paid flat (hourly) for the work they do,
: and
: : that money is guaranteed. They get paid salaries whether
: the
: : game flops or not.
:
: Ahh, but that's just the baseline, the real money is in
: the incentives on goals type stuff. See here for another
: case that shows some of the workings:
:
: http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?show=268

Actually, that seems to show the opposite-- it's just as I described. The "baseline" was the quarter million Bethesday Softworks was supposed to dish out over time.

The incentive, according to the author, was a pittance-- 7%.

Beyond that, THERE ARE PENALTIES FOR MISSING DEADLINES.

Perhaps this, more than anything else, is why MJ finished Myth 3 on time. After all, if a group of developers refuse to finish something, there's no way to force them to physically. They weren't forced, they were coerced-- most likely by financial penalties, or loss of incentives. In short, they may have been paid to compromise on quality. And if the incentives, penalties, and deadlines were in the contract, then they knew that's what they were being paid for when they started.

They may have been betting that the time allotted was enough to not have to compromise. Or, they may have thought that, when it came down to it, UD and TTWO would rather have a good project a bit late than a problem-ridden one on time. Either guess would seem now to have been wrong.

: Oh I'm not trying to demonize Take Two, pretty much all
: the publishing houses work this way as far as I know because
: this way makes money. Nor do I mean to imply that UD owed
: the Myth 3 team employment, however I do think that good
: faith should require them to keep qualified people around to
: finish the game when it's released unfinished and buggy.

Well, it all depends. If "when it's done" was in the contract, then sure. I'm betting it wasn't.

: Car analogy and all that jazz, or at least some level of
: pride in their work. I'm also not convinced that the
: subcontracting analogy is entirely accurate, but even if not
: UD's responsibility (IMHO) was to release a good, working
: product and they did not. It isn't clear that the product
: will work in the future either, given that spin has placed
: the Dallas team working on it now when they were supposedly
: on a different project and had little to no exposure to
: M3.

Well, you're stretching the idea of "responsibility" pretty far, unless United Developers is operating inside a state-planned Communist economy. Their only responsibility is to make money for their shareholders.

In an ideal situation, the BEST way to make money for the shareholders is to release a good, working product. People buy it, play it, enjoy it, and everybody goes home in a limo, as they say.

Of course, there are all sorts of ways to make money for shareholders without doing that, which is why lots of games are crap and there are only a few out there like Myth 1 and 2 or the Marathon series.

:
: : That makes it no less sad when the work stops, of
: : course.
:
:
: : So... was the decision a good one because working on
: : consoles is different? Because as far as I know, MW4
: and
: : AOE2 are PC games.
:
: : Or do you mean the decision was good because MS
: releases
: : clean, bug-free software? (At least where games are
: : concerned?)
:
: The latter, by appearances. MS is a big enough house to
: have whatever resources are necessary to get the job done,
: and done well, and published when it's ready. On the face
: of it I'd say that United Developers/Take Two, like
: Bethesda/MADia and Sierra/Dynamix, are not in a position to
: do any of those things. That Bungie Studios now develops
: for a console certainly contributes to this, but MS products
: for the PC are similarly stable. If I, in their position,
: had to choose MS would be the intelligent choice despite the
: seeming problems; hence my original statement.

Ah, then I have to agree. Obviously, when you're talking about a publisher, the bigger the better. The bigger ones have deeper pockets, longer views, more irons in the fire and can therefore be patient when they think the payoff is worth it.

The story about Bethesda is interesting. I bet if I look, I'll see that their past debts to other developers and creditors far exceeded any margin they may have made on Echelon. The reason why the Echelon developers weren't paid their money at that time is that it was being used to pay off past debts.

As they admit-- BS hadn't had a successful product in 2 years. And yet they still operated. That cost money; money that had to be borrowed and paid back, and those payments take precedence over paying MADia.

On a side note-- I don't know Buka in particular, but how a Russian software publishing house can have its reputation "hurt" is a little bit beyond me. Even today, the phrase is almost a misnomer, since there is little or no respect in law or practice for intellectual property rights anywhere in the CIS. Publishing houses routinely churn out pirate disks with nice little labels, manuals, bar codes, and their own copyright notices, along with phone and fax numbers where you can reach them in Moscow.

:
: : What I'm suggesting is this. When MJ took the contract
: for
: : M3, they knew what the deadline was. Perhaps they
: figured
: : like most software deadlines, it was flexible and could
: be
: : changed. Turns out... it wasn't. TTWO held them to it,
: and
: : bugs resulted.
:
: Sounds likely, though the interweaving of United
: Developer's management and their goals/input into the
: project complicate things.

Well, true, and that's just human nature. When it comes time to sign a contract, there are always things in there that make you nervous-- and the person who wants you to sign it will say, "don't worry."

Maybe the deadline DID bother MJ, and the UD / TTWO reps said "don't worry, that's just a formality, we'll give you time to do the game right."

If this is the case, I'm sure no one at MJ will make that mistake again.

Although frankly, at least two of MJ' principals-- Meggs and Heineman-- should know MUCH better than to buy such hooey, they've been around in this game too long.

:
: I enjoyed the solo campaign quite a lot, although I think
: (General info to avoid spoiling) that one of the missions
: may not be doable with no casualties, thus breaking a
: tradition in the Myth games. I am absolutely not
: apologizing for Mumbo Jumbo, even though what they did was
: the standard in the PC gaming market, but I am strongly
: wishing they'd been kept around to give the game a polish
: and some editing tools and I can't help thinking that, by
: comparison, Bungie Studio's situation looks inordinately
: solid.

Oh, I agree. But I do think that, shall we say, the nature and composition of Bungie, regardless of publisher, has an effect on their situation today as well.



Narcogen


Rampant for over se7en years.



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