Hi from the Austin GDC, which has just finished. I know it looks like Elder Game has been on hiatus a while, but actually there are posts back here… they were just too negative or unproductive to reach the front page. But to vent my spleen enough to get back on track, I’ll hit some of these toics quickly… enough that you can tell where I stand on the issue, anyway… and then we can move on to more productive stuff!
- As an industry developer, I found Mythic’s fear of running a forum to be a bad business decision. As a user who is trying to get Warhammer to install and run, I found Mythic’s lack of a forum to be anger inducing. At worst it feels like a sleazy move to distance themselves from angry players; at best it comes off as a lack of confidence in their product. Sorry guys, you can’t not have a forum when everybody else has one. You look like idiots, or like sleazebags… take your pick. Talking with folks here at the Austin Game Conference, it sounds like this is mostly Mark Jacobs’ handiwork. I don’t care that people hurt your feelings when they post, Mark. Get a damned forum, and get some good moderators.
- Speaking of Mythic, this Gamasutra article by Mythic’s Paul Barnett shows just how terrible a workplace Mythic is. Paul (the creative director for Warhammer) hates it when developers play WoW because they get ideas from it. He much prefers barely-competent sheep-like workers who will do what he says rather than experienced and outspoken team members. He thinks people who disagree with the game’s design should be publicly humiliated in front of the team (“burned at the stake”). Do you think I am exagerrating or misrepresenting Paul here? Go ahead and read the article. I’ve talked with people from Mythic, and it’s true: you don’t want to work at Mythic.
- Age of Conan made an embarrassing, newbie-developer mistake a while back when their female avatars were dramatically slower than the male avatars. This was due to the animations being longer. Chalk it up to a lack of communication between teams. But then they compounded their failure when they announced that it wouldn’t be fixed until new art was created, which would take a month to make. This is something that an engineer could have hacked a fix for during a single all-night session. The fact that they couldn’t or wouldn’t band-aid this problem tells us that Funcom’s intra-team communication skills (or perhaps their programming skills) are embarrassingly bad.
- Hmm… the rest, I’ll save for another day when I can be a bit more upbeat!