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A Positive Video: Josh Sawyer and Pillars of Eternity


Sensuki

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWJPhoQf_vs

 

Josh has been copping a bit of flak on here and in other communities recently, and I've been getting some PMs and comments about coming across as very harsh towards Josh Sawyer and Pillars of Eternity in general, so I thought I'd make a video to address that.

 

I forgot to talk about 'recognition of the IE feels' as a thing unfortunately, but I think I remembered everything else.

 

Cheers Josh!

 

martini.png

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I'd rather have Mr Sawyers blunt honesty and dedication than the usual PR drivel, the gentleman has a vision and i've enjoyed that in previous games, and though critical of certain elements I paid for the game that Obsidian wanted to make. I do feel that the gentleman comes in for some unfair criticism, though i'm sure he has broad enough shoulders to handle it.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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You are so very dedicated, Sensuki. The more you reveal of your commitment, the more respect you should get for where you are now. Unlike you, I've had the honour, as a modder and an avid fan of NWN2, where Josh was the lead designer, to've followed his work under the hood (later, the FNV), and the man is a beast in project management, and he's excellent at meta-designing a CRPG. So, when I've been following the PoE KS, I have done so, safe in the knowledge that it's led by one extremely competent lead designer.

 

For instance, here's a snip from a Codex interview with Josh, from 2007, on NWN2:

"If you had a chance to lead the development from the beginning, what would you have done differently?

Beware those who come bearing high-minded ideals of what they would do in retrospect. But, since you asked...

In terms of designing the OC, I would have gone for something a lot more open-ended, more about exploration and optional content/companions than critical path game length. I also think I would have asked for engineering to focus on revising game logic roadblocks that prevent modders from extending the ruleset. For example, revising the custom spell list data. Revisions to the resource system and the addition of a manager also would have helped a lot.

And though I know it would have resulted in a lot of resistance and probably less attention from the media, I would have pushed back as much as possible against replacing the renderer. I just don't think we had the time to do it completely and well. It also really screwed up all of our GUI code and changed all of the art asset pipelines throughout production."

 

I use this quote to show you how very much on the ball Josh is: He cares about modders, about open-ended CRPGs, exploration, optional content, side quests, the time-saving and financial aspects of things, including all phases of production. I do salute him for that, and the fact that he has really listened to the fans of the games he's been making, and he actually don't deserve any crap at all. He needs to be praised more often than he is, that's for sure.

 

Cheers, Josh! :)
 

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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When you take expected designs and change them a lot and do things your way, of course you are going to get flak. And the people have the right to give him flak just as he has the right to ignore it if he thinks he needs to. The sales and metascore (and history) will be the ultimate judge of his designs. 

Edited by archangel979
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Sales and metascores don't mean anything to me. I don't agree with everything, but I think it could be a lot worse.

In this case, it means everything. BG games both had good sales and are high on metascore. So does Divinity: Original Sin. 

That is why we now have PoE as a spiritual successor, because BG (and other IE games) scored big on both (well PST only scored big on metascore :D).

Edited by archangel979
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Let's just say that OE most likely loathe Metacritic. They were low on one lousy point to reach an arbitrary goal the publisher had set up for them using that very site. This was for F:NV.

 

From a Joystiq article:

"Business sucks, alright? It's cold and rigid and occasionally unfair. Such is the case with Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas contract with Bethesda, wherein the developer only received royalties if the game matched or exceeded an 85 rating on Metacritic. Leaving aside the fact that Metacritic is a woefully unbalanced aggregation of review scores from both vetted and unvetted publications, agreements like this can leave indie studios -- like Obsidian -- in the lurch should that Metacritic score just barely miss the mark.

Unfortunately for Obsidian, Fallout: New Vegas currently has a Metacritic average of 84, a single point below the average that would've earned the company royalties on its product. "[Fallout: New Vegas] was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn't," Obsidian creative director and co-owner Chris Avellone told one Twitter user."
 

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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archangel979: In the best of worlds that would be better, but the herd mentality on the internetz runs amok on a regular basis.

 

For instance, COH2 had a story that somehow insulted the Russians, so hordes of them lowered that user Metascore through the floor.

D3 had bad server issues at launch and an auction house - and thousands of armchair critics went bananas and bashed that score into the ground. 

You get my drift. The best "reviews" are word of mouth or viva voce, like the praise for PST and MotB, for instance.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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The MC user score is more important than the critic score, I'll give you that, but going by MC scores is not how you measure whether a game is good or not.

 

Games these days are also given lower scores than they were in yesteryear.

Edited by Sensuki
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The MC user score is more important than the critic score, I'll give you that, but going by MC scores is not how you measure whether a game is good or not.

 

Games these days are also given lower scores than they were in yesteryear.

You don't find out if it be good to you, but you if you do measure is somehow, this is the best way. And since Steam displays MC score on the store page of the game, it cannot be ignored by the devs.

Edited by archangel979
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archangel979: In the best of worlds that would be better, but the herd mentality on the internetz runs amok on a regular basis.

 

For instance, COH2 had a story that somehow insulted the Russians, so hordes of them lowered that user Metascore through the floor.

D3 had bad server issues at launch and an auction house - and thousands of armchair critics went bananas and bashed that score into the ground. 

You get my drift. The best "reviews" are word of mouth or viva voce, like the praise for PST and MotB, for instance.

That is an exception, not the rule. Most of the time the score is based on average opinion of all the people that played it and cared to vote. And you can probably spot these exceptions easily by reading a few reviews or comparing it with critic score.

And see, I consider D3 a really, really bad game even if I ignore that I could not play it for 2 weeks after release without network/lag problems although I wanted to play alone and I didn't want any MP. So how does someone appraise a game 10 years from now when you are going to say it is good and I call it trash? Through average score of all player's scores. 

 

IMDB works much better in this regard for movies as they have a much much bigger number of people giving scores so the exact score is more realistic.

Edited by archangel979
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Will watch this later, but assuming it is what it is... good job.

 

Josh does what he does with genuine commitment and passion, he explains the reasoning for his decisions, and he remains human about it. It takes balls of steel to get in front of this kind of public doing what he does, and standing by what he thinks is the right thing to do.

 

And frankly I'd much rather have a beer with him than most of the people upset at his personality.

 

We should be able to disagree civilly, but hey, the Internet. Serious business.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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The best show on TV atm (Rectify) only has an 8.4/10 on imdb whereas Game of Thrones has a 9.4/10. Which is better?

 

Hint: it's not Game of Thrones.

Dear god. you don't get it, do you?

 

EDIT: OK, let me try once more. To YOU Rectify is better. To random Joe, Jack or Jill it is Game of Thrones. To another person it might be CSI X. 

In 10 years time when another person looks at the IMDB pages they will not care about what you exactly think or what I think or any one person but what the average score is. When people doing statistics come to IMDB they don't care what you think but what average score is. And so on. 

Edited by archangel979
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The best show on TV atm (Rectify) only has an 8.4/10 on imdb whereas Game of Thrones has a 9.4/10. Which is better?

 

Hint: it's not Game of Thrones.

 

Rectify is ****ing awesome. I do enjoy both Rectify and GoT, however I also believe it to be much better and more significant than GoT.

 

It can't be said that Rectify is objectively better, of course.

 

Regardless, I strongly dislike Metacritic as a whole, no matter whether we're talking about user scores or critic scores.

 

I've seen too many cases in which the page of a game has been swarmed by angry users who are pissed for whatever reason (usually extremely idiotic reasons). One example I can think of right now is Dota 2 (http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/dota-2). Hundreds of users swarmed the page giving it ratings of 0 because Valve failed to deliver the Halloween event, named Diretide, because they were working on a much bigger update that was going to come later on. Admittedly, they made the mistake of not communicating the gamers that Diretide would not happen.

 

I can point out another example, this one on imdb, which is a show named The Shield, and damn I love that show, one of my favorites too (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286486/epdate?ref_=ttep_ql_4). A group of users raided the show and gave a lot of the episodes horrible ratings, because they had some kind of irrational hatred of it (especially Season 4, check out its ratings. From what I heard it was because they hated Glenn Close or something like that (???)).

 

Anyway, this is rather off topic, but I just want to say that I absolutely loathe ratings and hate how important they seem to be for users and publishers, and how they are one of the most important things in dictating the popularity and eventual sales of a game.

 

EDIT: I did watch your video and I enjoyed it. I also like Josh as a lead designer and appreciate what he brought not only to PoE but all the games he has worked on.

 

EDIT2: Spelling

Edited by taviow
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Rectify is ****ing awesome. I do enjoy both Rectify and GoT, however I also believe it to be much more better and significant than GoT.

Absolutely. Treading new ground here as far as television goes.

 

EDIT: OK, let me try once more. To YOU Rectify is better. To random Joe, Jack or Jill it is Game of Thrones. To another person it might be CSI X. 

In 10 years time when another person looks at the IMDB pages they will not care about what you exactly think or what I think or any one person but what the average score is.

It seems to me that to you the most popular = the best. This is not the case with anything.

Edited by Sensuki
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It's not only that either. I like how it lacks any pretentiousness whatsoever. Everyone is a believable character and you can totally see their reasons for everything they do. Fantastic use of light and silence in the scenes. Really captures the humanity of it all as well.

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Well now I have to watch Rectify.

 

I didn't pick up too much negativity from Sensuki's videos towards Sawyer. More of being critical to the beta, which is what should be done by backers so the devs are aware of problems the target audience has with the game.

Edited by KaineParker
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"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

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"I murdered my entire family as well as the police and priests investigating me for murdering my entire family in the name of Satan. Good times." - Bartimaeus

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It's not only that either. I like how it lacks any pretentiousness whatsoever. Everyone is a believable character and you can totally see their reasons for everything they do. Fantastic use of light and silence in the scenes. Really captures the humanity of it all as well.

And this is why I love my gaming forums: I never know what non-gaming tidbit's going to pop up that will intrigue me. I've not even heard if this show, but now I may have to check it out. Sounds quite good.

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