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pablo222

Tired of Games Companies doing half Ass Work

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I have beta tested 126 games over the last 24 years. Although, technology has improved some glame play as well as graphics. The problem of why PC games do not reap the rewards of good money returns are the same. Most of the Companies out there try for quick release and worry about bugs later and more than half do not even consider story line or user interface. I will give you two classic examples of a company which could be the #1 uno and the company which should just close it's doors because of poor management and poor vision. The first is Blizzard. Blizzard is a company which does good work but are narrow monded. They have put all their eggs into Warcraft and push release over product excellence. What is happening is that out of the 4 releases they have done they are only getting about a 7% return simply because of the popularity of Warcraft. The people at Blizzard went through hard times and still suffer hard times because of this short sighted effort. If Blizzard would spend more time in story line and user interface and produce these games correctly they could out strip all other gaming companies out there. But Blizzard seems to be so narrow focused that they can not work on more than one big hit at a time and have allowed the even more popuar StarCraft to sit on the shelf to the point that any new release could bomb if it does not meet equal expectation of those who have played Brood War expansion. The fact that Blizzard shelved Star Craft because of the failure of Redemption was do to Stardoc stupidity in producing a hugely substandard product knowingly just to get a game out on the market for a quick turn around time to the clammor of fans. The other example is Atari. Atari should just close its door. They will never see more than the sales from people who remember the good ole days of theater lobby games which made Atari who they are. Atari puts very little effort into any game they produce. The graphics from all the games which currently come out of their development programers is way below standard and their games have poor to almost no story line which is engaging. The user interface is also one of the worst. Although, Atari does keep it simple as to game play the games are more suited for babies than with real money spending gamers out there. I am posting on several sites to try and tell all the gaming companies out there this one simple fact that they have not yet understood concerning profit and the PC gaming market. If you produce a good game and put the right effort into graphics, story line and user interface then you can get a hit game which will go on for years. Many Companies today are feeding on the one hit they had 3 or 4 years ago trying to figure out why they can not get a 2nd hit. Other Companies can not seem to understand why one game is a hit and others are not. Its simple. Look at the games which are extremely sucessful. Civilization, Age of Empires, Homeword, WarCraft, Star Craft, Sonic, Racer, Speed, Mario Bros. are just a few. All of these games listed are at least 10 years past their original release date. Yet you can find newer versions which are top sellers for the most part. When a company puts more effort into quick release over product quality then you get a flop as seen by Mario Bro. and Racer and even Civilization and Age of Empires. Age of Empires 3 is a flop compared to its previous releases. Microsoft went overboard with story line and took the game from user interface real time strategy to role play game which is still good even for a role play game but it flopped to the people who were its strategy fan base. Basically, the PC game market is primed for a company who can deliver the goods so to speak. If a company puts enough effort into game as I described, then the company will have a hit and will increase in size and if they continue the story line or improve much like many games the same concept but make it better like Civilization then the there will be about 5 companies which will see profits in excess of 3000%. This is based on numbers from companies like Ensemble Studios, Blizzard, Stardoc, EA, Strategy First, Microprose, Infogames and Interplay just to give you an idea. If just five of these gaming companies really put the all out effort like a 400 million dollar hollywood movie then you will see a major change in how this industry works and the amount of money spent on games will increase. Most people according to gamers.com 2002 poll play online games because of lack of high quality games which they have high replay ability meaning where games do not play the same twice because of good random protocols in the use of maps and AI formulations. If you are a game company and wish to continue this topic with me feel free to post back to me. Pablo222 The Texas Express

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What are you talking about? Blizzard has some of the best story lines out there. And not only that, but saying that they are going through "hard times" is plain outrageous. Six and a half *million* people are willing to pay $12/month for World of Warcraft. Diablo II sold over 7 million copies (excluding expansion pack). Warcraft 3 sold brilliantly, too. And its user interfaces aren't bad either.

Atari shouldn't close it's doors either. It doesn't just make remakes of old arcade games. It publishes many good games (heard of Neverwinter Nights?). I'm not old enough to "remember the good ole days of theater lobby games," and yet I still buy their products (along with many many other people).

And the (part of a) sentence "took the game from user interface real time strategy to role play game" doesn't even make sense. What's the random "user interface" doing in there? And besides, AoE III *is* an RTS, not an RPG (though it does have some RPG elements). Also, you've been saying that storylines are what makes games sell, and here you say that they've got too much of a storyline.

"All of these games listed are at least 10 years past their original release date. " No, Homeworld was released in '99, so unless its already 2009 where you live... And Starcraft was released in '98.

I don't know where you've gotten these ideas about game companies doing badly now. Game sales are way up from ten years ago.

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Original post by pablo222
What is happening is that out of the 4 releases they have done they are only getting about a 7% return simply because of the popularity of Warcraft.
what are you basing that figure on? Blizzard have over 3 million customers world wide and rake in multiple millions of dollars every single month. That is hardly "hard times".

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The theater lobby Atari you mention closed its doors many years ago. The current Atari bought the name a few years back (they used to be Infogrames). Other than that, there is no connection.

Your info on Blizzard is so far off base as to be laughable. They are single-handedly killing off the games business, because WOW is so successful that people aren't buying other games.

This among the many other factual errors in your diatribe weaken its credibility to next to nothing. Sorry, but that is my opinion.

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Most of the Companies out there try for quick release and worry about bugs later


let's see you try looking through thousands of lines of code looking for a single bug.

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Your ranting in not justified or backed up by actual fact. I submit that is because you have no actual facts, as you are ranting primarily on the basis of opinion (dislike of storyline, dislike of culture, et cetera). Unfortunately your dislike of a storyline does not translate to an objective failing with a game, so that's not exactly a valid argument.

It's not quite as simple as "good graphics + good storyline + good user interface == best selling game." For one thing, you're missing actual gameplay there. Also, all three of those aspects are at least a little bit subjective in one way or another, there's no magic formula you can apply to yeild something that pleases everybody.

You also seem to be missing the point that game developers don't exist to please you. They exist to make money, and if they can make a product that you (specifically) happen to be happy with, then great, a little more money. But they often (understandably so) focus on what will get them the biggest return. Take Blizzard. Star Craft was amusing (in my opinion) and I won't deny that its amazingly popular -- in Korea. But WoW is amazingly popular pretty much everywhere you go, so they're going to try and milk that for all the money they can for as long they can. If I were in charge of operations over at Blizzard, you can bet I'd be doing the same. The kind of money that game brings in can go a long way to ensuring the stability of the company and its ability to pick and choose which projects they want to work on, and which directions they move in, in the future.

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Look at the games which are extremely sucessful. Civilization, Age of Empires, Homeword, WarCraft, Star Craft, Sonic, Racer, Speed, Mario Bros. are just a few. All of these games listed are at least 10 years past their original release date.


How do you define successful? How do you define the games themselves? The original Super Mario Brothers is no longer selling like hotcakes (if at all), I assure you. What's successful is Mario's image, which is present in his newer titles.

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If you are a game company and wish to continue this topic with me feel free to post back to me.


I would advise you to produce some actual statistics and facts that can be backed up before you attempt to continue this...discussion.

EDIT:
Incidentally, the tone of your post is quite insulting. You claim to have tested 126 games of 24 years, which implies that you work in QA. And the rest of your post pretty much confirms that you do not actually develop games, so you don't actually know what is involved first-hand. Even so, dispite lacking the appropriate understanding and qualifications, you come to a site (and others, apparently) frequented by many professional developers and criticize the quality of our work in a non-constructive manner. I at least, am put off by your audacity and I wouldn't be surpised if others were, too.

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Original post by pablo222
I have beta tested 126 games over the last 24 years.

That's actually quite amazing.

24 years ago = summer 1982.

That's before the Commodore 64 was released. It's about the same time as the Vectrex (Yay Tom!). VisiCalc was the world's greatest spreadsheet program.

It is before the NES.

It is before MS-DOS had the concept of sub-directories. In fact, it is before MS-DOS. It was called PC-DOS.

It is before the relational database. It is before AOL.

It is when floppy disks could hold 360KB, and before double-sided disk drives (No more turning the disk over!)

It was a time when the only computers with hard drives (= the drives were as big as washing machines and used as much power) were multi-user corporate computers.

It is before Q*Bert and Donkey Kong console games.

It was a time when everybody knew everybody else in the industry. It is well over a decade before I entered the industry. :-)



It is amazing to see someone who has been stuck (or voluntarily suffering) in the job of QA tester for 24 years.

Or did you mean "I'm 24 years old and started playing video games in 1999, playing 126 games over that time"?

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How funny.

Everyone is saying I messed up or missed the point when I talked about Blizzard who is one of the top game companies when I gave it a hard look like any person who should be looking hard at any company about the future. Blizzard could be number one and produce more game hits than it does. That is the point I was making. Blizzard has put all its effort meaning more than 90% of resources into doing the Warcraft line. It should be working on 4 lines rather than one right now with another branch working toward the future with a lot more resources than they are doing. Go look at Blizzard's OAR and Fund reports concerning its company health. They are several thousand pages so I hope you are a scan reader as I am.

Blizzard if you will go back and read my eariler post has a major hit with Warcraft. However, not every release version of Warcraft or exapnsion is a hit. I also agree that Warcraft 3 is a big major hit with fans of Warcraft but it came off the poor backs of WarCraft II double expansion flops.

Another was wanting to know how on earth I could work since 1982. The first Game I every worked on was in November 1981 not 1982 on a game called Snakes for a game programer named John Carmack. It never made it to anything as it was full of problems. You can still find it on the old Atari lists. Snakes was written for Apple originally and then tried for a patch for IBM 086. The problem was that the vision was ahead of its time as few people had computers and if any remembers the old 086 it took 5 to 8 hours to load dos. John let me do my first real big job with Wolfenstein. From 1989 to 1996 I worked on as many as 20 games a year. I now work on one but no more than 2 games per year. This is because of the complexity of the games and the advance of technology. So much more effort must be done to beta test each product against a varity of computers. I run each game I test through 12 different computers each configured different to match companies like Dell, Gateway, Sams and Microsoft standards. I also run 2 versions of Apple and I run the MSbased computers from Windows for workgroups 3.11 to XP to even Vista which will be released to the public soon. for end users look to February. If your a big business owner, maybe by Christmas as most of the November shipments are spoken for.
Just so you know I am not 24 but 40. Its helps sometimes to live next door to software engineers who are looking for input and a person to test their work on.
So in 1981 I had an Apple and an IBM 086. I got apple IIC in 1983 and in 1984 an IBM 186. In 1988, I got an IBM clone 286 with a non windows platform called Geos. I then progressed like most normal people I went through the 386 to 486 to the Dx models to the 4xdx high speed 486 which was faster than petnium 110. I then progress with the pentium class computers. My high computer today runs intel core duo with Windows XPSP2/and Vista with Nvidia Geforce 7950 GX2 twin with legacy suround sound with 4 gigs of ram and 1 gig of Vram.

And Yes I know most of the founders of some of the software companies out there.

Most of the poorer companies get tosted around and are bought and sold as many as 4 times a year because they do not have a good game hit to help them stablize.

WHAT I AM PREACHING ABOUT: Better quality in games produced. A generalized set of standards. Most games produced today are like the Buick Century. The Hits are like Cadilacs. The flops are Ford Escorts. Is it wrong for me to demand from the industry that they all work to build a Cadilac or better game?

Yes I know about the bugs which just seem to never be found. In fact all games have bugs which can not be found. The patches for most games are new lines of code to deal with the hidden problem to coverup the bad line of code.

However, sending a game to market knowing it has major bugs with an untried patch or patch under development is just STUPID! People hate having to go hunt the tech boards for a patch. The more bugs the less popular the game. If a company consistantly produces bug filled games to the public they get a reputation that is hard to overcome. Many people overlook very good games because of the history of the company. How Many people out there have played Homeword or even medevil Knight? Homeworld only got its due only after it produced Homeworld 2 and PC gamer magazine stated it was better than the already good first edition. People with money to spend do pay attension to quality. That is the truth I bring.

The success of a product is number of games sold. You can have the greatest game in the world. But if no one buys it is it sucessful? What I am saying is that if companies really put effort over speed of release then you get true quality. I have known and still know companies which picks a release date and sticks to the release date even if the game really is not ready. Sometimes an extra 3 to 6 months is needed to get it finished. Do not get me wrong Deadlines are important. But company reputation is worth more than a chessy product which will not sell well and bring the company reputation down in the end.

Pablo222
The Texas Express.

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...I run the MSbased computers from Windows for workgroups 3.11...

Why are you running games on systems that are below their minimum specifications? That makes no sense. Or do you mean you're a beta tester for Windows?

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I then progressed like most normal people I went through the 386 to 486 to the Dx models to the 4xdx high speed 486 which was faster than petnium 110.

That makes no sense either. Speed, fundamentally, is as rated by the clock. You decline to provide the clock for this "4xdx high speed 486," but blithely claim it was "faster than pentium 110." Do you mean more performant?

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My high computer today... with 4 gigs of ram and 1 gig of Vram.

See, virtual RAM is something you simply set a limit on, with the OS swapping out from physical RAM to a portion of your hard disk set aside for that purpose as needed. For you to cite it as a specification of your system blows whatever credibility you may have had left, to me.

So, sorry, but I'm going to have to close this thread. You're ranting in poorly-written English (which would be embarassing for a 24-year old, but should be mortifying if you're 40!), your technical facts don't add up, and your tirade is full of subjectives that seem completely disjoint from the economic realities of today's game industry.

Not in my forum.

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