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Layoff hits Obsidian?


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#281
funcroc

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OT: https://twitter.com/...809606998495232

Seen on VGM, Obsidian Entertainment (@Obsidian_Ent) is looking for a contract Sound Designer. Sorry, no linky... ?#gameaudio?, ?#gamejobs?



#282
Nathaniel Chapman

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All of this has very little to do with relative power of the hardware, by the way, so I doubt that the next-gen consoles will do any worse if they are weaker relative to PCs when they come out when compared to the previous generation relative to PCs of that time. For many of the people who buy console games, PC gaming might as well not exist, and vice versa.

This is why I thought cloud gaming had an upper hand. It doesn't require maintenance from the user side, who indeed, need to invest on their connections, though. The companies can collect user data more freely since it is the user who is allowed to use their servers. This solves most part of the "piracy" issues, too, - A better control on IP form the greedy IP holders. ...Well, at least, it seems the distribution, or more precisely, the service has a certain advantages for both publishers and the users. Then, again, this is just a view from a gamer, who doesn't have any inside-industry experience.


Cloud gaming is technically tricky, has huge upfront costs (that cloud costs serious dough), is even trickier to work out licensing for, and has fundamental latency issues for many people (with much less ability to disguise latency using client side interpolation). It's definitely very promising but it's not really totally prime time ready for all types of games.

#283
greylord

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All of this has very little to do with relative power of the hardware, by the way, so I doubt that the next-gen consoles will do any worse if they are weaker relative to PCs when they come out when compared to the previous generation relative to PCs of that time. For many of the people who buy console games, PC gaming might as well not exist, and vice versa.

This is why I thought cloud gaming had an upper hand. It doesn't require maintenance from the user side, who indeed, need to invest on their connections, though. The companies can collect user data more freely since it is the user who is allowed to use their servers. This solves most part of the "piracy" issues, too, - A better control on IP form the greedy IP holders. ...Well, at least, it seems the distribution, or more precisely, the service has a certain advantages for both publishers and the users. Then, again, this is just a view from a gamer, who doesn't have any inside-industry experience.


Cloud gaming is technically tricky, has huge upfront costs (that cloud costs serious dough), is even trickier to work out licensing for, and has fundamental latency issues for many people (with much less ability to disguise latency using client side interpolation). It's definitely very promising but it's not really totally prime time ready for all types of games.


Maybe, but I think blizzard is trying it, at least halfway with Diablo 3. Much of the information, including the character you play is kept in what some could call a cloud. It's a cloud on their own computer network, but some clouds are bigger or smaller than others. So not total cloud, but probably a halfway point.

According to them they sold 6.5 million copies.

Not that I think it was a great idea (a counter argument could point out the massive problems that arose upon Diablo 3's launch as well as some continuing problems). Just my thoughts.

#284
WorstUsernameEver

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It's.. kind of ironic that you mention Blizzard to Nathaniel, considering he works there now. Unless that was the intent, and you were just being *super-sneaky*.
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#285
Wombat

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Cloud gaming is technically tricky, has huge upfront costs (that cloud costs serious dough), is even trickier to work out licensing for, and has fundamental latency issues for many people (with much less ability to disguise latency using client side interpolation). It's definitely very promising but it's not really totally prime time ready for all types of games.

Yeah, maybe too early for gaming but we are witnessing many computer-related services going to cloud. Even now, there is a rumour of the partnership between Playstation Network and "a leading cloud gaming service", too.

Maybe, but I think blizzard is trying it, at least halfway with Diablo 3. Much of the information, including the character you play is kept in what some could call a cloud. It's a cloud on their own computer network, but some clouds are bigger or smaller than others. So not total cloud, but probably a halfway point.

According to them they sold 6.5 million copies.

Not that I think it was a great idea (a counter argument could point out the massive problems that arose upon Diablo 3's launch as well as some continuing problems). Just my thoughts.

I agree that "cloud" here is defined rather loosely. As for Diablo III, I have this traditional and/or conventional attitude to grinding/item-collecting "culture" in "role-playing" games. However, even someone like me, it was natural to expect Blizzard to put Diablo fans into World of Warcraft-like money-milking scheme through battle.net network, bound with the account-based payment system. In any way, however technically defined it can be , in theory, it seems to be more convincing way to let the players to spend their money than DRM, which seems to benefit only the IP holders. The problem is that it doesn't always work as expected as you and Chapman mentioned.

In any case, as a gamer, naturally, I'd like to have some benefits from the trend even if they inevitably have some draw-backs. I found some existing apps on Steam getting Mac-compatible, widening the meaning of "PC-compatible." I'm rather happy with Mac users being able to enjoy Psychonauts. Hopefully, such "distribution" routes could make niche market bigger.

It's.. kind of ironic that you mention Blizzard to Nathaniel, considering he works there now. Unless that was the intent, and you were just being *super-sneaky*.

That explains a lot...I wondered how he had seemingly first-hand info about network gaming. For, Obsidian are not, well, a specialist in this area even dating back to NWN2. :p

#286
zero_or_more

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Maybe it's a bit OT, but the most important thing about my PC is that I was able to put a proper soundcard into it. (No proper linux driver though... :( ) The freedom of choice I guess?

And 'cloud' is just a buzzword imho. Why not on-demand gaming or streaming or something? Reminds me of my sig.

#287
sorophx

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http://www.lar.net/2...elf-publishing/
Obsidian should be doing it too

#288
pmp10

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http://www.lar.net/2...elf-publishing/
Obsidian should be doing it too

Laran has a long history of publishing their own IPs and a build-up fanbase.
Obsidian on the other hand lived of sequels and published only one original IP.

Besides there are matters of running costs to consider.
What can work for Laran/PB/CDP in Europe may not be viable for Obsidian in California.

#289
C2B

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Not to mention that Larian is probably waaaaay smaller than Obsidian.

#290
sorophx

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well, there you go, Obsidian is losing people fast, their next step should be moving to Europe :D

or Austin, TX at least

#291
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well, there you go, Obsidian is losing people fast, their next step should be moving to Europe :D

or Austin, TX at least


I can just assume you are not serious here

1. You're asking a bigger group of people to leave their homes and relocate.

2. Obsidian still consits of ~90 people. How many people do you want to kick out of their job exactly?

Both of these go hand in hand. And both of these could result in losing even more important Obsidianities.

Edited by C2B, 30 May 2012 - 04:23 AM.


#292
Nathaniel Chapman

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All of this has very little to do with relative power of the hardware, by the way, so I doubt that the next-gen consoles will do any worse if they are weaker relative to PCs when they come out when compared to the previous generation relative to PCs of that time. For many of the people who buy console games, PC gaming might as well not exist, and vice versa.

This is why I thought cloud gaming had an upper hand. It doesn't require maintenance from the user side, who indeed, need to invest on their connections, though. The companies can collect user data more freely since it is the user who is allowed to use their servers. This solves most part of the "piracy" issues, too, - A better control on IP form the greedy IP holders. ...Well, at least, it seems the distribution, or more precisely, the service has a certain advantages for both publishers and the users. Then, again, this is just a view from a gamer, who doesn't have any inside-industry experience.


Cloud gaming is technically tricky, has huge upfront costs (that cloud costs serious dough), is even trickier to work out licensing for, and has fundamental latency issues for many people (with much less ability to disguise latency using client side interpolation). It's definitely very promising but it's not really totally prime time ready for all types of games.


Maybe, but I think blizzard is trying it, at least halfway with Diablo 3. Much of the information, including the character you play is kept in what some could call a cloud. It's a cloud on their own computer network, but some clouds are bigger or smaller than others. So not total cloud, but probably a halfway point.

According to them they sold 6.5 million copies.

Not that I think it was a great idea (a counter argument could point out the massive problems that arose upon Diablo 3's launch as well as some continuing problems). Just my thoughts.


Diablo 3 is more of a traditional client/server model, though. Very similar to Guild Wars.

Whereas, usually when people are talking about Cloud Gaming they are referring to a model where all of the game's simulation and rendering is handled by a server, which then pipes output to your "client", which operates more like a terminal in the old mainframe sense. The only things your machine does in a cloud gaming system are to gather and pass input to the server and receive and present output.

This is why you can have Arkham Asylum running on tablets with OnLive, the tablet is basically streaming a movie (that is obviously an oversimplification, but the idea is the same).

#293
Humanoid

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I would have thought that Larian being Belgian would, if anything, cost more per head to run than Obsidian. Heard somewhere that Belgium is the highest-taxing country in the world?

#294
Labadal

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I (think) you heard wrong. Denmark and Sweden are the highest-taxing countries as far as I know.

Edited by Labadal, 30 May 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#295
Bendu

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Humanoid is right. But it's not a question of taxation. Belgium has the highest labour costs within the EU.

#296
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I (think) you heard wrong. Denmark and Sweden are the highest-taxing countries as far as I know.

He's right, you're wrong. Belgium is out of this world.

#297
greylord

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All of this has very little to do with relative power of the hardware, by the way, so I doubt that the next-gen consoles will do any worse if they are weaker relative to PCs when they come out when compared to the previous generation relative to PCs of that time. For many of the people who buy console games, PC gaming might as well not exist, and vice versa.

This is why I thought cloud gaming had an upper hand. It doesn't require maintenance from the user side, who indeed, need to invest on their connections, though. The companies can collect user data more freely since it is the user who is allowed to use their servers. This solves most part of the "piracy" issues, too, - A better control on IP form the greedy IP holders. ...Well, at least, it seems the distribution, or more precisely, the service has a certain advantages for both publishers and the users. Then, again, this is just a view from a gamer, who doesn't have any inside-industry experience.


Cloud gaming is technically tricky, has huge upfront costs (that cloud costs serious dough), is even trickier to work out licensing for, and has fundamental latency issues for many people (with much less ability to disguise latency using client side interpolation). It's definitely very promising but it's not really totally prime time ready for all types of games.


Maybe, but I think blizzard is trying it, at least halfway with Diablo 3. Much of the information, including the character you play is kept in what some could call a cloud. It's a cloud on their own computer network, but some clouds are bigger or smaller than others. So not total cloud, but probably a halfway point.

According to them they sold 6.5 million copies.

Not that I think it was a great idea (a counter argument could point out the massive problems that arose upon Diablo 3's launch as well as some continuing problems). Just my thoughts.


Diablo 3 is more of a traditional client/server model, though. Very similar to Guild Wars.

Whereas, usually when people are talking about Cloud Gaming they are referring to a model where all of the game's simulation and rendering is handled by a server, which then pipes output to your "client", which operates more like a terminal in the old mainframe sense. The only things your machine does in a cloud gaming system are to gather and pass input to the server and receive and present output.

This is why you can have Arkham Asylum running on tablets with OnLive, the tablet is basically streaming a movie (that is obviously an oversimplification, but the idea is the same).


this was posted elsewhere, but I think it also illustrates some of the items about D3. I said it was about a half way (characters and other information is streamed from Blizzard's server/cloud to the user's computer, but from what I understand it's all computed and figured on Blizzard's end).

http://www.rockpaper...t=Google+Reader

the pertinent part would be

Really, though, that’s hardly the only elephant in the room. As Diablo III has all-too-frequently shown us, stability will always be an issue so long as heaps of crucial data is stored server-side. Cloud’s brand of convenience, sadly, comes at the cost of full user control by its very nature, but will it also come at the cost of, er, convenience?

“I think quality of service is an important factor in any service offering,” said Eisler in response to Blizzard’s plight. “It has to be top-notch. And that involves a lot of people. Nvidia’s involved in that. The middleware platform providers like Gaikai are involved in that. The network operators are involved in that. If you’re renting a Netflix movie and it’s not reliable, you get discouraged. So it’s challenging, but they’re solvable problems, and I think the quality of service will get there.”

Further, when frequently accessed servers are in the picture, odds are, a quick game of “Where’s Waldo” will turn up a hacker or 12. Once again, Diablo’s brought the problem back to the forefront, but the danger’s hardly restricted to Blizzard’s debatably hacked hack ‘n’ slash.


I think there are many taking note in regards to cloud gaming and it's possibilities in relation to how they percieve Blizzard handling it. In that regards, 6.5 million isn't to shabby.

And his outlook on it is rather positive as we can see on his ending statements

“I don’t think people are going to stop buying games tomorrow,” Eisler concluded. “What you’re going to see is that cloud gaming will become the fastest-growing area of the game market. And it’ll probably be where the growth in gaming is going to be over the next five years. The other areas aren’t going to stop over night.”

“I don’t see [PC gamers] changing in the short term. That power user is not going to want to give up [anything performance-wise]. I said we can get the latency to be as good as a console, but not a local PC. But those are ten percent of the world’s gamers. There’s another 90 percent that will probably be quite happy with the convenience.”


Edited by greylord, 30 May 2012 - 03:35 PM.


#298
Nathaniel Chapman

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Again, D3 is a traditional client/server game. It's not a matter of being "halfway" - services like Gaikai are OnLive are pretty fundamentally different technologically. Which isn't to say that they can't be successful, but it's a very, very different process and requires an even greater level of network reliability. There's a lot less ability for a client to "smooth over" rough patches in a connection when the client is doing literally none of the simulation/rendering.

#299
Nonek

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All this talk of cloud gaming always makes me think of that Kate Bush song Cloudbursting that had Donald Sutherland in the video.
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#300
funcroc

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OT: ex-OEI designer Katie Susoeff's LI profile updated

senior writer
Bigpoint GmbH

July 2012 – Present (1 month) Hamburg Area, Germany

Creative Designer
Obsidian Entertainment

January 2012 – March 2012 (3 months)
Next-gen triple-A cross-platform etc etc RPG. Canned like sour cherries.






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