Topic-icon Jeff Freeman Revelation Archive

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7 years 5 months ago #167 by Exile
Exile replied the topic: Re: Jeff Freeman Revelation Archive

This is one reason why I think that Raph's metaplace idea is flawed, not to mention that the technology he's using (web browser) isn't going to deliver a quality 3D graphics experience.

I tend to think quality game design is going to be the rare but vital ingredient.

I think that developers should be REQUIRED to play the game that they develop for. Otherwise, how else are they going to understand what they are doing?

They should be required to work on a game that they don't have to be required to play. :grin:

Mandatory play-time is very ineffective in terms of duplicating what it's like to play the game.

If it's not the sort of game they enjoy, they should work on one that is. If it is their type of game but they're no longer interested in doing anything one can do in the game, well that is the problem they should address.

S'much as possible, anyway.

I am a network and systems engineer. It'd make little sense for me to make network design decisions if I never connected my PC to that network. Or ever used a PC at all except when I had to to do network design, would it? I'd be far more likely to make huge mistakes and to piss off the users if I, myself weren't also a user of the systems and networks, wouldn't I?

Well, maybe one decision: why doesn't your network do anything for you? I mean... you never connect to it...
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7 years 5 months ago #168 by Exile
Exile replied the topic: Re: Jeff Freeman Revelation Archive

Wildcat wrote: Jeff, would you care to speculate as to WHY they won't at least offer classic servers on an "as is" basis? You'd think that this would be a "duh, no brainer" by now...

I think it'd take permission from LucasFilm to do it, and there's a better chance I'll win the lottery than of that happening (and I don't buy lotto tickets).

They've got to be thinking of exclusive MMO rights to SW in terms of the next MMO and buckets of cash and big chunk of the enormous revenue that a SW MMO is sure to acquire... so I don't know how anyone could even have that conversation with 'em.

Doesn't even matter that it's not quite the same thing as running two SW MMOs... it's not quite a different thing, either.

And there's no atmosphere for an argument between LucasFilm and LEC, nor between LEC and SOE. Any 'NO'-answers moving in that direction just have to be taken on the chin.

On a somewhat related note, but really as an aside to the above...

It's probable (in my mind) that running another version of SWG isn't something the contract between them even addresses. Whereas, "You have to get our permission to do anything" covers them being told not to do it, that'd be the sort of thing that requires coming to a new agreement on all manner of details.

I think that'd be a lot of fun to watch, 'cause I bet both parties would think they deserved a greater share of the loot for allowing/supporting "two MMOs for the price of one" and then challenging one another's comparing it to running two MMOs.

Complete tangent...

I've met one guy dead-set against "maintaining two code-bases" that he wouldn't even hear the case for configurable systems delivering variations in game play.

It looked like multiple code-bases (which was the point), and so no.

I'm not sure what the source of angst there was, exactly... but there must have been some horrible tragedy years ago that scarred some people emotionally.


1) No one's ever run multiple code-bases in modern times, let alone done so toward such a spectacular disaster as would justify that sort of reaction.

2) Everyone that has more than one game runs multiple code-bases.

I don't understand it.

Prime8 wrote: You would think the good will alone generated by offering origional game servers would be worth the cost to SOE , not taking into account i'm sure origional game servers would more than pay their way , it's not like SOE can pick and choose at this stage good press is good press .


Actually, SOE's about the only company with a history of running games as long as their profitable on a going-forward basis, even in cases where the number of players is low and the development costs were high, etc. It's hard to imagine they'd have a problem running a game that isn't even in that category, considering some of the other games they're still running.

It's just not their call, and I don't think it's LEC's call either. It's LucasFilm's IP.

They probably make decisions based on the value of the IP, as they see it... which they're very unlikely to estimate as being worthless regardless of the context.

So either LEC or SOE or both seeking LucasFilm to essentially "donate" the IP for what would be - in SW IP use terms - a trivial profit at most (and even that, as this thread demonstrates, is debatable)... I just can't imagine it receiving a thumbs-up from them.

If LucasFilm authorizes the license's use in the MMO space, it's going to be for something they hope to be bigger than WoW - a SWG classic server, that ain't.

Regarding LEC or SOE's enthusiasm for doing it - well, that's just pure speculation on my part, and my opinion is no better informed than any of yours.

I just think, if I were SOE, I'd be pretty leery of making or extending any agreements in which I'd be taking responsibility for someone's else's unpopular decisions. Especially if I were perfectly capable of making unpopular decisions on my own.

Meanwhile, LEC's been focusing on improving their image overall - canceling the sort of 'poop in a box with a SW logo'-projects they were starting to be known for and trying to establish an association between their logo and good games. If not for contractual obligations, they'd probably have canceled SWG regardless of profitability just to eliminate one more game with their logo and a meta-critic rating of 69 being out there.

But like I said, that's just pure speculation on my part: What I think might be fairly valid reasons for either of them not to be too enthused about doing it... but for all I know completely wrong and altogether overwhelmed by a desire to do it based on the also entirely valid reasons other have listed here.

Bottom line is LEC has a little more authority than SOE's zero-authority to make that decision, but ultimately I don't think it matter whether either of them want to do it or not.

It's LucasFilm's decision, and I'd bet all they know about the subject is that even the people who did like SWG - of which there weren't nearly as many as there should have been - don't like it now.

Someone's asking for permission to do what? They probably have that person quartered and bury the body parts separately in each corner of the Ranch, then line the drive from the front-gate with the heads of people asking questions like that on spikes, to serve as a warning to others.

Metaphorically speaking.
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7 years 5 months ago #169 by Exile
Exile replied the topic: Re: Jeff Freeman Revelation Archive

Wildcat wrote: IF LEC/Lucasfilm has no clue as to the issues behind SWG, then they are truly stupid.

The point is, you can't fairly lump them together like that, "LEC/Lucasfilm".... two entirely different companies in two entirely different businesses.

If they want to improve their image, classic SWG servers would do more than anything else outside of editing EP1 and removing Jar Jar.

I think LEC has improved its image. Thanks to Battlefront, KotoR, LEGO SW, people are much less likely to see "Star Wars" on a box and think "crap!"

You can't improve your image unless you attack the root cause behind what is reducing it. SWG is the biggest open sore the IP has in the gaming world.

They might agree with you completely, for all I know... but it's not their decision to make.

If LucasFilm has or intends to grant the exclusive MMO rights to SW to anyone, they'd vigorously maintain that exclusivity. The rights aren't worth anywhere near as much, otherwise.

And, again, if SOE is being handcuffed by LEC, I don't see why they don't make that public, and why they don't just cancel the game.

Because they might like to do business with LEC in the future (but certainly as a publisher), and so as not to be in breach of their current contract are two reasons that come to mind.

Today I had someone tell me that the active PAYING subs are down to 12.5K. 3 months ago the same source called it 27K. At this point I don't see SOE as having anything to gain by keeping this game around. And if LEC is what you say they are, they have much more to gain by outing that.

They can't be making money on it at those numbers, either of them.

I'd be surprised if they were not making money running it, and they probably can't unilaterally decide to cancel it as long as they are.

Also it's worthwhile to keep 20 experienced developers on-staff - or even utilize it as a training-vehicle to make more of them - rather than releasing those people to the competition.

Experience is had to come by, and live-experience even more-so.

Of course, the fanbois are now embarking on a project to post overly positive reviews and to seed the message boards with pro-NGE sentiment, which suggests to me that one or more of them know that the game is in imminent danger of closure. I am thoroughly convinced that amongst the vocal SOE apologists are SOE employees, so I would surmise that there is indeed genuine panic going on over there. I guess they think that a vocal minority (which they still think we are) can make things happen. Of course it can, when it represents the MAJORITY, as we did...

The planetside players did the same thing: it was a reaction to there being no marketing support from the company, by players who genuinely liked the game and wanted it to survive.

I don't think SOE would risk being discovered pulling a stunt like that, even if otherwise they felt like it was a smart idea.

My sense of the situation is that SOE doesn't ever think about boosting SWGs numbers any more - that they're just letting it run along without all the wacky ideas to re-energize it that historically have not served them well...
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7 years 5 months ago #170 by Exile
Exile replied the topic: Re: Jeff Freeman Revelation Archive

Never has it been more in doubt as to what the immediate next publish would be about than it is now.

That might also indicate a restructuring of the team (which will happen from time to time for a couple of reasons). A period of "wtf" tends to follow, and they never have been any good at just telling everyone what's going on.

I would be shocked if SWG is still open by this summer.

I'm trying to recall if the length of the agreement was ever made public, and what it was... it's bound to be getting into old-age by now.

Lucas is all about making money from the Star Wars IP.

That's essentially the business they are in, to a large degree. It's like Coca Cola... they don't make soda pop, they license a brand name to your local bottler and market a brand image to consumers.

LucasFilm doesn't make video games, toys, children's p.j.'s, shampoo, etc. etc. etc.

Of course at this point I hold LucasArts and George Lucas second in my contempt only to SOE for abuse of Star Wars. So do many others.

I was pretty disappointed with ep's 1 and 2... 3 wasn't so bad, but still wasn't as good as any of the originals.

And to have waited 30 years for that, too... man.

Still, not as bad as what they did to the Matrix. Man I felt bad for the devs working on that game, having begin work using the hottest IP since Star Wars only to have it - by the time they finished - transformed into ... a much less cool IP than it had been.

theslider wrote: So judging by your response you don't want me to believe anything you say, post, blog, etc? Hell man, I didn't need a witty retort to make me think that as I'm sure more than half of us feel the same way I do.

I wouldn't want you to decide that something I've said is unquestionably, absolutely, and eternally the pure and only truth, to the point that you wouldn't so much as entertain debate with it.

Though to be honest, if you just had to do that with something, I would prefer it to be something I said rather than not... unless later I were to change my mind and you still wouldn't, because that would drive me nuts.

And no, my post wasn't a flame.

Well, lets see... you said: "you do alot of "deadline pushing" and "side-of-the-mouth" speak that by the time they actually catch on to your MO you've fucked something up and they get rid of you anyway. "

I said from my perspective, that was a flame, and I assumed it was intentionally so.

I hope you can at least appreciate how I could have misunderstood that to be an insult.
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7 years 5 months ago #171 by Exile
Exile replied the topic: Re: Jeff Freeman Revelation Archive

There are very talented people who are working in the industry, and some who are not. Me saying you fall into the latter and not the former doesn't mean you're a bad person or anything like that.

Yyyyeah... still having a hard time understanding that you are not flaming me.

It means what it means: You should be working in a different industry, or if you stay in it you should at least be kept as far away as possible from making content or making decisions about content that's intended for mass audiences.

Now this is just really odd. I'm certainly not ashamed of every bit of the work I did on SWG from over a year before launch, and in JtL (which remained on schedule, as did all the expansions I worked on, and for that matter all the systems I implemented, too), and sometimes the live support involved heroic efforts, too.

I mean, pets had been cut from launch (which meant droids, faction npcs, droid engineers, bio-eng's, creature handlers, baby critters, and whatever else had all been cut, too), and I got them in, in three days that didn't exist according to the schedule, with a system we didn't need to localize (since you taught your pet what to respond to), and baby critters growing over time, and later, pets responding to emotes was also me - when I didn't work on the live game from shortly after launch 'til after rage came out.

Show me something different and maybe my opinion will change.

I'm sorry I implied that you wouldn't. It's just that you seemed so sure. But you don't even know me.

You know how it is... when something is alright, we're a team and no one person can be credited with anything. It's only when things go south that suddenly we're all retroactively empowered to stop bucks.

I worked on that game for six years, and you seem to be under the impression that the NGE was either the only thing I did, or was my best work.

I'm tellin' ya - and this is tough for me because I am ever so humble - the quality of my work has never been an issue. It has rather been regarded as above-average by virtually everyone I have ever worked with. You can disagree with them, but you've never worked with me, whereas they have.

Irony. If you read back to the beginning of this thread, what I feel has been an issue was the very thing you are specifically not accusing me of: behaving like a bad person or anything like that.

'Cause no, no, no - I am guilty of that.

So... I guess I shouldn't get too riled-up over it, but having confessed to the one, I wouldn't want people to think I'm wicked and incompetent.
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