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why information is not released early in dev cycle


J.E. Sawyer

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I "was asked" to write up something on this topic. Reasons vary from project to project, dev to dev, pub to pub. But here are some basic reasons:

 

* Avoids setting people up for disappointment. Devs are notoriously bad at scheduling and foreseeing problems.

 

* Avoids burning people out on the idea/ideas of the game. High buzz/interest only lasts so long. It may continue to build among hardcore people, but the general public will forget about it after 4-6 months of heavy coverage.

 

* Avoids confusing people. Even if the devs schedule and plan well, their focus may change over the course of development. Radical shifts in focus are fine during the early stages of a project, but it might be hard for the public to sort the "early game" from the game that ships. Imagine if people knew what WoW was supposed to be back in 2000 and they had to reconcile that with the game that shipped.

 

* Avoids annoying stockholders. In public companies, stock price may fluctuate based on the promise of a title as presented through press. If something big changes, stock holders may become angry dinosaurs.

 

Those are the big, basic reasons why info usually doesn't get doled out early in a project's life.

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hah. that's cool.

 

*pummels stockholders* :blink:

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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Although Obsidian isn't a publicly traded company the potential publisher or publishers might be. That is something to consider as well.

 

When it comes to these things I like straight up answers that can be answered three ways. Yes. No. We cannot divulge that information at this time. I expect these answers to be 100% truthful and accurate. No more and no less.

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How can anything be more than 100% accurate?

 

You fail at language!

 

Edit:typoes

Edited by Musopticon?
kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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* Avoids setting people up for disappointment.  Devs are notoriously bad at scheduling and foreseeing problems.

 

* Avoids confusing people.  Even if the devs schedule and plan well, their focus may change over the course of development.

 

Also known as the "Molyneux Hole".

This post is not to be enjoyed, discussed, or referenced on company time.

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:lol:
kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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I don't mean to speak for Mr Sawyer but the answers to your questions are in his post.

 

* Avoids setting people up for disappointment. Devs are notoriously bad at scheduling and foreseeing problems.

 

* Avoids burning people out on the idea/ideas of the game. High buzz/interest only lasts so long. It may continue to build among hardcore people, but the general public will forget about it after 4-6 months of heavy coverage.

 

* Avoids confusing people. Even if the devs schedule and plan well, their focus may change over the course of development. Radical shifts in focus are fine during the early stages of a project, but it might be hard for the public to sort the "early game" from the game that ships. Imagine if people knew what WoW was supposed to be back in 2000 and they had to reconcile that with the game that shipped.

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Is there any game that suffered from bad sales because of an early announcement ? marketting people dont understand this industry. A weekly update about the game development and a few concept art every months cant do anything but help the game.

 

The thing is you do not want to do this at the beginning of the develoment cycle. Gamers, for the most part, have short attention spans. You want to do this about the middle to 3/4 finished in the development cycle. It is enough to whet the appetites but not long enough for people lose their enthusiasm.

Edited by Judge Hades
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KotORII did that for me. I was all excited about it leading up to the Xbox launch, then I forgot about it and spent the money I'd saved on Bloodlines, still haven't played it and probably won't until the Restoration Project is released.

 

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S. did this for me too, though it hasn't been released yet. A while ago I was trying to remember what the hell that name of that game was that I wanted so badly to come out a few months ago, then just went along my merry way until I saw it mentioned somewhere here again.

 

Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth had a fair amount of hype early in the cycle, hasn't gotten much advertisement from Bethesda at all, and got stellar reviews. My guess is sales for that will bomb like they did with Beyond Good & Evil. I remembered this one only because the name of our Dark God is attached to it.

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I think STALKER is the perfect example of a game that just dies after getting a lot of early (wayyyyy too early) hype. I'm still interested in the game, if it ever comes out, but imagine if they had the hype machine they had for the game back then a few months before the actual release? At one point we had nothing but STALKER news and articles on Spel

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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STALKER found a publisher because of this media blitz, it took them 15 months. Everyone talked about it because of the graphics, if they had waited mid-2006 (game release Q4-2006 or 2007) to release screenshots of an average looking game - compared to UT3 powered games, X360/PS3 games - from a relatively unknow east-european developer, who would care about it ?

There are dozen east-european FPS in this case, i'm sure STALKER will sell more than them.

 

Maybe Microsoft would have bought Interplay instead of Rareware if BIS had showed and marketted FO3/BG3 sooner, who knows ?

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Its different if you havent already got a publisher. In that case it can be a very good thing to be able to show that you already have a growing fanbase.

 

 

OR they might go "No, everyone has seen this already. We're not interested"

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

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"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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  • 3 weeks later...

That took long. :huh:

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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