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Cindjin
Posted - 2010.08.06 16:19:00 - [1861]
 

What's WoT??

handbanana
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.06 16:53:00 - [1862]
 

Originally by: Cindjin
What's WoT??


Wheel....of.... Torture!

/world of tanks

Orgell Evaan
Minmatar
Tax Avoidance Through Alliterative Syndication
Posted - 2010.08.06 16:54:00 - [1863]
 

Originally by: Cindjin
What's WoT??


Waste of Time.

Bomberlocks
Minmatar
CTRL-Q
Posted - 2010.08.06 17:06:00 - [1864]
 

Originally by: Cindjin
What's WoT??
World of Tanks

Virtuozzo
The Collective
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2010.08.06 19:14:00 - [1865]
 

Originally by: Bomberlocks
Originally by: Cindjin
What's WoT??
World of Tanks


F*ck, somehow I thought it meant Wall of Text :/


Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.06 20:08:00 - [1866]
 

Edited by: Cade Windstalker on 06/08/2010 20:12:26
Originally by: Malcanis
Originally by: Malcanis
Originally by: Malcanis
21 days since this devblog, and the ensuing player response.

Still awaiting the Transparent™ response with great interest.



3 weeks passed and still no substantial response.


This whole thing hit the fan at the start of the Dev's summer break. (which they take all at once so key people aren't missing from the office when everyone else is working and needs a response) so the fact that we've had this much interaction with the Dev (who are on vacation, mind) is quite impressive. If I ever meet CCP Explorer I'm going to buy him a beer for all the work he did in this thread WHILE ON VACATION.

Originally by: Haven Wind
Originally by: Bomberlocks
If that's the effect it has on you, then I think Malcanis is achieving his goal, which is to make the developers aware that we haven't given up on this thread and would still like an official response. I can't speak for Malcanis, but the comment made elsewhere that we (no, probably not you) feel ignored by the developers who come out en masse to post in "lol how long ur playing eve?" is pretty accurate.


I think the developers are acutely aware of the situation. You need to concern yourself with the corporate executives if you want a response at this point. I'm quite sure the silence right now is a result of escalation of the situation. That being said, your likely to get the company line and nothing more. That is the result of this particular player outrage (not you specifically but others in this thread). Not more transparency, but more CRM.


So, am I the only one who missed the CEO (as in, HEAD OF THE COMPANY) saying he's the old CTO? (Chief Technical Officer, or THE HEAD OF THE TECH DEVS) Most game companies DO have devs in the upper management. Yeah the CFO probably has an accounting degree but it's a reasonable bet he's at least a fan of the game and a gamer himself. Why do people think that the management are these weird aloof people who have nothing to do with the development process and just want money? If CCP had sold out at ANY point in their history then yeah, you'd probably be right but they haven't. That's not even a realistic view, it's just mindless pessimism with no foundation to back it up.

For those of you who missed it. There's the CEO's post.

Most game company CEO's are devs and/or gamers. (please note, this does not always apply to publishers)

EA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Riccitiello

Blizzard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Morhaime

(edited for linkage of URLs)

Sarina Berghil
Minmatar
New Zion Judge Advocate
Yulai Federation
Posted - 2010.08.06 22:00:00 - [1867]
 

Maybe Hellmar is an enthusiastic gamer. But he certainly talks like a manager in this context.

This is a bit of the same situation with Zulu's blog and the minutes from the CSM meeting, theres almost no substance in the communication from CCP.

The CSM meeting minutes is a long depressing list of "We're sorry we cant commit to that for 18 months". The main reason being given is that Incarna takes up all ressources.

Maybe CCP should release a blog about what Incarna actually is? All we have is a name and an ancient video. CCP can't really blame us for not believing how awesome it will be with that little information.
What is the vision? What excites you about Incarna?

Ask any decent creative worker these kind of questions and you will have them talk for hours on end. Why not CCP?


Also recent additions to the game doesn't really add to the credibility of long term projects. PI is hardly the addition it was made up to be, and with the minimal ressources assigned to finishing it, what can we believe other than this being another broken element on a long list of things to finish.


I can imagine two reasons for the lack of substance in communication. Either CCP is doing a really poor job talking, or they don't have much to communicate due to doing a poor job developing. I really seriously hope its the first, but I'm worried it may be due to the second.


I'd also like to comment on what Hellmar said in regards to CCP employees being scared of adressing the public. In my experience whenever someone from CCP says anything concrete and interesting, they are generally greeted with enthusiasm here. Its the lack of talking that makes us frustrated.

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.07 02:34:00 - [1868]
 

Originally by: Sarina Berghil
Maybe Hellmar is an enthusiastic gamer. But he certainly talks like a manager in this context.

This is a bit of the same situation with Zulu's blog and the minutes from the CSM meeting, theres almost no substance in the communication from CCP.


He has to because that's what he is, a manager. There are only so many details that you can give about unreleased IP (in this case this includes features). For marketing reasons and to manage customer expectations. We get a LOT more from CCP in various forms about what they want the game to be as opposed to just vague hints and then a release of what they've got done by the release date. If CCP wanted they could wall off communications and give us almost nothing about what they want the game to be or what their long term vision is. We'd have a lot less of a ****-storm when they can't get everything out the door for a release but that's because we'd know almost nothing about features beyond a general idea of their purpose.

Quote:
The CSM meeting minutes is a long depressing list of "We're sorry we cant commit to that for 18 months". The main reason being given is that Incarna takes up all ressources.


Yes, they can't COMMIT. That doesn't mean they won't try and the devs have said, REPEATEDLY, that these things will be worked on. Committing is a strong word in development. It doesn't just mean, we'll try to work on this, it means it's going to be a required thing for release. Everyone seems to be reading "we can't commit" as "we refuse to work on".

Quote:
Maybe CCP should release a blog about what Incarna actually is? All we have is a name and an ancient video. CCP can't really blame us for not believing how awesome it will be with that little information.
What is the vision? What excites you about Incarna?


This is probably coming. I think this whole mess has probably at least given the devs an idea of how much the players want more communication so we'll probably get an explanation of Incarna soon(-ish) though I'd bet one was planned anyways. (once the feature list is concrete enough)

Quote:
Ask any decent creative worker these kind of questions and you will have them talk for hours on end. Why not CCP?


If you're talking to a game dev then the question you ask is ALWAYS "Is there anything you're working on that you can talk about?". Press leaks make messes in Game Dev. So if we're not getting something it's because they need to have meetings and discuss what they can and can't say.

Quote:
Also recent additions to the game doesn't really add to the credibility of long term projects. PI is hardly the addition it was made up to be, and with the minimal ressources assigned to finishing it, what can we believe other than this being another broken element on a long list of things to finish.


I'm inclined to chalk this up to CCP changing their dev model in the last few years and the feature mess being a result of that. From what we've learned from this thread I think we'll see some progress along those lines soon.

Quote:
I can imagine two reasons for the lack of substance in communication. Either CCP is doing a really poor job talking, or they don't have much to communicate due to doing a poor job developing. I really seriously hope its the first, but I'm worried it may be due to the second.


Or, you know. Everyone's under NDA. (you know, like the CSM are)

Quote:
I'd also like to comment on what Hellmar said in regards to CCP employees being scared of adressing the public. In my experience whenever someone from CCP says anything concrete and interesting, they are generally greeted with enthusiasm here. Its the lack of talking that makes us frustrated.


Maybe, but devs get raged at. A LOT. Look at Zulu. My perception is that he's a hard working dev who loves the game and he gets a LOT of hate. Why should new devs want to subject themselves to that kind of response? That's why the new devs are nervous.

Bomberlocks
Minmatar
CTRL-Q
Posted - 2010.08.07 04:09:00 - [1869]
 

Originally by: Cade Windstalker
...

He has to because that's what he is, a manager. There are only so many details that you can give about unreleased IP (in this case this includes features). For marketing reasons and to manage customer expectations. We get a LOT more from CCP in various forms about what they want the game to be as opposed to just vague hints and then a release of what they've got done by the release date. If CCP wanted they could wall off communications and give us almost nothing about what they want the game to be or what their long term vision is. We'd have a lot less of a ****-storm when they can't get everything out the door for a release but that's because we'd know almost nothing about features beyond a general idea of their purpose.
...
Not to troll you, but I would honestly love to know who you can square your perception with the red headed chubby cheek's wild hyping of Walking in Station for the last 4 years, with absolutely nothing to show for it, until, presumably, next year some time.

Hell, the only other company that comes close that I can think of is Microsoft, the kings of vaporware, and hype over substance (Vista lol), or perhaps the fun guys who did a demo for Duke Nukem Forever back in 1998.

CCP is the same company who, year after year, patch after patch, almost never fail to promise things that they don't or can't deliver (lol PI, lol FW).

This is the same company that is so out of touch with its customers that, right after creating the biggest shitstorm since the T20-Kug days, go ahead and ask their enraged customers to vote for them in an internet popularity contest.

CCP wouldn't recognise expectation management if it walked into their offices and defecated on their desks.

Vaerah Vahrokha
Minmatar
Vahrokh Consulting
Posted - 2010.08.07 05:02:00 - [1870]
 

Quote:

Maybe Hellmar is an enthusiastic gamer. But he certainly talks like a manager in this context



When I worked for big sized software companies enough, we'd have:

- CEO who had been a single programmer 1-2 decades before and created the company from scratch (sometimes with 2-3 friends) and then grew the corp till 70+ employees.
At this point, they were programmers but have to dedicate to keep the boat afloat enough that they turn into managers.

- Under the CEO there would be a CTO who would be maybe the first employee of the above CEO and now is in senior position. He also turned into a manager

- Under the CTO there are several team leaders, each with programming capabilities but usually 70%+ involved into managing the team. Again, more managers.

- At the bottom there are "the devs" and they are not managers(yet).


So, don't expect a "programmer perspective", nor a detailed internal SCRUM implementation or even precise patch milestones from someone who is at the top of the onion structure.


Finally, don't expect devs to be:

- authorized to tell anything specific, corporate policies dictate how much they can say

- know the detailed plans laid out by their CTO

- anywhere able to manage PR. In all of the larger companies I worked for, we'd not be authorized to "speak for the company" at all, an endorsed representative "who knew how to talk" was. While this seems quite nasty, I have seen some programmers with terrible social / talk skills put the company in difficulty with large customers and this is not acceptable, expecially since there might be hundreds of software corp employees affected by one's bad talk.

wr3cks
Reliables Inc
BricK sQuAD.
Posted - 2010.08.07 08:44:00 - [1871]
 

The facts that it's July/August/vacationtime, dev's are only allowed to post so much, and the CEO doesn't know all the fine details are all probably true. However, they neglect the more fundamental issue:

CCP's business plan is showing real signs of strain. They don't have the manpower or the money to develop two new games while maintaining sufficient care of EVE.

The fact that the last two expansions (particularly the last) were buggy and incomplete suggests to me that they were also over budget (and late, to boot, in the case of Tyrannis). I only have access to their 2008 financials, but they don't suggest a tightly-run ship. If you run an entertainment software company, your net margins should be above 10%.

I noticed they have a new job posting on their website:
http://www.ccpgames.com/en/jobs/job-details.aspx?jobid=228
They're hiring a lawyer.
"Experience in issues related to public company registration, reporting and compliance is also a strong positive. "

Looks like they're planning to IPO, although that may be a ways off.

They need money or they need to substantially delay one of their pipeline games (or some combination of the two). Maybe they're working on an advance/royalty deal with a major publisher. Maybe they're working on another round of private equity financing. Maybe they're talking to a banker about a term loan secured by some set of their assets.

The one thing I can guarantee that they're not thinking about in the wake of their vote-for-us fiasco is raising the price from 15 to 20 a month.

Anyways, like I said, I don't think the reason that they haven't gotten back to us is that they're on vacation. I think the reason is that their business plan was obviously way too optimistic, and they need to figure out what adjustments to make.

It's not that the guy who knows the answer isn't allowed to say it, or that he's on the beach. It's that they don't know the answer and it might take a while to figure out.

Ban Doga
Posted - 2010.08.07 13:21:00 - [1872]
 

Edited by: Ban Doga on 07/08/2010 13:22:17
Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Quote:
The CSM meeting minutes is a long depressing list of "We're sorry we cant commit to that for 18 months". The main reason being given is that Incarna takes up all ressources.


Yes, they can't COMMIT. That doesn't mean they won't try and the devs have said, REPEATEDLY, that these things will be worked on. Committing is a strong word in development. It doesn't just mean, we'll try to work on this, it means it's going to be a required thing for release. Everyone seems to be reading "we can't commit" as "we refuse to work on".



But that's exactly the issue:
They repeatedly tell they are working on something and yet there are no results.
There is enough (actually too much) of "we're working on it" and not enough "here are results".

Don't you think it's surprising that they commit to developing Incarna and Dust which is supposed to be something "no one has ever done before" and refuse to commit to something like rebalancing, which has been confirmed to be a simple "adjust some numbers in a database record".

They choose to go for the challenge of a technical novelty instead of the boring improvement of existing features.
They could easily commit to doing those tasks, actually there would be less technical risk and (probably) less effort in doing some of those task.
All it would take is for them to decide to do it.

That's why it's so hard to see them not commit to anything:
Not because no commitment means no progress but because the reason for it is their commitment to developing other things.

Bomberlocks
Minmatar
CTRL-Q
Posted - 2010.08.07 14:08:00 - [1873]
 

Originally by: wr3cks
The facts that it's July/August/vacationtime, dev's are only allowed to post so much, and the CEO doesn't know all the fine details are all probably true. However, they neglect the more fundamental issue:

CCP's business plan is showing real signs of strain. They don't have the manpower or the money to develop two new games while maintaining sufficient care of EVE.

The fact that the last two expansions (particularly the last) were buggy and incomplete suggests to me that they were also over budget (and late, to boot, in the case of Tyrannis). I only have access to their 2008 financials, but they don't suggest a tightly-run ship. If you run an entertainment software company, your net margins should be above 10%.

I noticed they have a new job posting on their website:
http://www.ccpgames.com/en/jobs/job-details.aspx?jobid=228
They're hiring a lawyer.
"Experience in issues related to public company registration, reporting and compliance is also a strong positive. "

Looks like they're planning to IPO, although that may be a ways off.

They need money or they need to substantially delay one of their pipeline games (or some combination of the two). Maybe they're working on an advance/royalty deal with a major publisher. Maybe they're working on another round of private equity financing. Maybe they're talking to a banker about a term loan secured by some set of their assets.

The one thing I can guarantee that they're not thinking about in the wake of their vote-for-us fiasco is raising the price from 15 to 20 a month.

Anyways, like I said, I don't think the reason that they haven't gotten back to us is that they're on vacation. I think the reason is that their business plan was obviously way too optimistic, and they need to figure out what adjustments to make.

It's not that the guy who knows the answer isn't allowed to say it, or that he's on the beach. It's that they don't know the answer and it might take a while to figure out.
Very interesting post, and one that probably comes closer to what's happening inside CCP than most of the others. I have often wondered, based on their last financial report from 2008, how they managed to employ so many people on so many projects and still stay focused.

Personally, I think they're hoping that the current storm will blow away so that they can carry on with their current commitments, but I think there has been enough real movement on the unsubscription front to make them at least pause to reconsider.

In any case, we'll see.

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.07 20:01:00 - [1874]
 

Originally by: Bomberlocks
Originally by: Cade Windstalker
...

He has to because that's what he is, a manager. There are only so many details that you can give about unreleased IP (in this case this includes features). For marketing reasons and to manage customer expectations. We get a LOT more from CCP in various forms about what they want the game to be as opposed to just vague hints and then a release of what they've got done by the release date. If CCP wanted they could wall off communications and give us almost nothing about what they want the game to be or what their long term vision is. We'd have a lot less of a ****-storm when they can't get everything out the door for a release but that's because we'd know almost nothing about features beyond a general idea of their purpose.
...
Not to troll you, but I would honestly love to know who you can square your perception with the red headed chubby cheek's wild hyping of Walking in Station for the last 4 years, with absolutely nothing to show for it, until, presumably, next year some time.

Hell, the only other company that comes close that I can think of is Microsoft, the kings of vaporware, and hype over substance (Vista lol), or perhaps the fun guys who did a demo for Duke Nukem Forever back in 1998.

CCP is the same company who, year after year, patch after patch, almost never fail to promise things that they don't or can't deliver (lol PI, lol FW).

This is the same company that is so out of touch with its customers that, right after creating the biggest shitstorm since the T20-Kug days, go ahead and ask their enraged customers to vote for them in an internet popularity contest.

CCP wouldn't recognise expectation management if it walked into their offices and defecated on their desks.


So you'd rather we hear nothing from the devs about their vision for the game or what they're planning for the future/far future until they've got a beta copy of it sitting on a machine somewhere?

As for being "out of touch" I don't think that's the case. They were up for this award and they're proud of their game. Isn't it natural to give it a plug? It's also possible that, you know, Zymurgist wasn't watching the forums like a hawk while he was on vacation.

As for walking in stations they've flat out said that this was going to take more than one patch cycle. It also seems they re-organized their development process at some point during these last four years which, surprise surprise, plays merry hell with project priorities, organization, and ownership.

Could they have managed expectations with that a little better? Yeah, maybe but I'm also well aware that sh*t happens and I'm willing to give CCP the benefit of the doubt because they're making a game I love and because a lot of the stuff they're doing has never come close to being tried before.

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.07 20:10:00 - [1875]
 

Originally by: Ban Doga
Edited by: Ban Doga on 07/08/2010 13:22:17
But that's exactly the issue:
They repeatedly tell they are working on something and yet there are no results.
There is enough (actually too much) of "we're working on it" and not enough "here are results".

Don't you think it's surprising that they commit to developing Incarna and Dust which is supposed to be something "no one has ever done before" and refuse to commit to something like rebalancing, which has been confirmed to be a simple "adjust some numbers in a database record".


No.

Actually the "just adjust some values" thing was speculation by Liang Nuren. I think it's probably accurate but it hasn't been confirmed, and this is what he caught that you're ignoring, it's changing a value plus a lot of discussion and work to figure out what that value should be changed too. It's really not as simple as inputting a number and walking away.

Originally by: Ban Doga
They choose to go for the challenge of a technical novelty instead of the boring improvement of existing features.
They could easily commit to doing those tasks, actually there would be less technical risk and (probably) less effort in doing some of those task.
All it would take is for them to decide to do it.


From what we've been told (and it's quite a lot by Game Dev standards) I'm marking this one up to a massive internal reorganization of the dev teams. Going from Waterfall to SCRUM is a pretty big change and as Navigator said, they're still figuring out which teams have ownership on some of the backlog (backlog in this case not meaning things they're behind on but simply things that need to be done).

Originally by: Ban Doga
That's why it's so hard to see them not commit to anything:
Not because no commitment means no progress but because the reason for it is their commitment to developing other things.


Go read EVERY post the devs have made in this thread. They definitely aren't forgetting about bugs and unfinished features in favor of new shiny. They're trying to strike a balance between both.

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.07 20:28:00 - [1876]
 

Originally by: wr3cks
The facts that it's July/August/vacationtime, dev's are only allowed to post so much, and the CEO doesn't know all the fine details are all probably true. However, they neglect the more fundamental issue:

CCP's business plan is showing real signs of strain. They don't have the manpower or the money to develop two new games while maintaining sufficient care of EVE.


What makes you think this exactly? It seems to me that they have sufficient resources assigned to Eve (18 teams is quite a bit) so do you have hard numbers to support this or do you just feel the lag would go away faster if Dust 514 or World of Darkness weren't in development?

Originally by: wr3cks
The fact that the last two expansions (particularly the last) were buggy and incomplete suggests to me that they were also over budget (and late, to boot, in the case of Tyrannis). I only have access to their 2008 financials, but they don't suggest a tightly-run ship. If you run an entertainment software company, your net margins should be above 10%.


They've said that they sink more of their earnings back into development than any other MMO and, if anything, your facts suggest that CCP is not, in fact, in this for the money as so many people have asserted.

Originally by: wr3cks
I noticed they have a new job posting on their website:
http://www.ccpgames.com/en/jobs/job-details.aspx?jobid=228
They're hiring a lawyer.
"Experience in issues related to public company registration, reporting and compliance is also a strong positive. "

Looks like they're planning to IPO, although that may be a ways off.


CCP Games is already a public company. You're reading too much into one job posting. For all we know they just had their old lawyer retire/leave and they're looking to replace him. Or they're moving headquarters to another country (unlikely) or they just want one more person on staff. It would be difficult for an already public company to make an IPO though.

Originally by: wr3cks
They need money or they need to substantially delay one of their pipeline games (or some combination of the two). Maybe they're working on an advance/royalty deal with a major publisher. Maybe they're working on another round of private equity financing. Maybe they're talking to a banker about a term loan secured by some set of their assets.


Actually game companies in need of money will, as far as I know without exception, shove something out the door ASAP rather than delay it because delays don't make you any money. Also, they're hiring something like 30-40 people right now. What about that suggests that they have a money problem?

Originally by: wr3cks
More stuff about CCP's finances that's really pure speculation with no real backing besides a vague interpretation of old financial records.


First off, most game companies work on multiple projects. I've certainly never heard of one CCP's size that have everyone working on the same thing full time.

Second, they stay focused by not shuffling people around between projects mid-release cycle. (which is what you seem to be suggesting they do)

You seem to know very little about how game companies work beyond that they "should" be making 10% profits. Go take your tinfoil hat off in the corner and stop posting bullsh*t speculations with no real grounding beyond ONE two year old number that you're using to support a completely speculative interpretation of events that is in SERIOUS need of some fact (and reality) checking.

Ban Doga
Posted - 2010.08.07 20:54:00 - [1877]
 

Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: Ban Doga
Edited by: Ban Doga on 07/08/2010 13:22:17
But that's exactly the issue:
They repeatedly tell they are working on something and yet there are no results.
There is enough (actually too much) of "we're working on it" and not enough "here are results".

Don't you think it's surprising that they commit to developing Incarna and Dust which is supposed to be something "no one has ever done before" and refuse to commit to something like rebalancing, which has been confirmed to be a simple "adjust some numbers in a database record".


No.

Actually the "just adjust some values" thing was speculation by Liang Nuren. I think it's probably accurate but it hasn't been confirmed, and this is what he caught that you're ignoring, it's changing a value plus a lot of discussion and work to figure out what that value should be changed too. It's really not as simple as inputting a number and walking away.



You missed my point:
They choose technical risk over technical simplicity; I did not imply the task was just entering a number, but that there is no technical risk involved in doing that.

Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: Ban Doga
They choose to go for the challenge of a technical novelty instead of the boring improvement of existing features.
They could easily commit to doing those tasks, actually there would be less technical risk and (probably) less effort in doing some of those task.
All it would take is for them to decide to do it.


From what we've been told (and it's quite a lot by Game Dev standards) I'm marking this one up to a massive internal reorganization of the dev teams. Going from Waterfall to SCRUM is a pretty big change and as Navigator said, they're still figuring out which teams have ownership on some of the backlog (backlog in this case not meaning things they're behind on but simply things that need to be done).



There is always an explanation why things happen the way they happen.
But that never changes what is happening.


Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: Ban Doga
That's why it's so hard to see them not commit to anything:
Not because no commitment means no progress but because the reason for it is their commitment to developing other things.


Go read EVERY post the devs have made in this thread. They definitely aren't forgetting about bugs and unfinished features in favor of new shiny. They're trying to strike a balance between both.


I read every dev post in this thread. They aren't forgetting about bugs, but they definitely care about other things more.
It's not "black or white", "bugs or content". But there are more problems right now, somehow I think this should result in more resources on bug fixing and not in "20% bug fixing, 80% new content".

Actually 20% bug fixing appears to be a step backwards compared to Apocrypha: http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=672
(Although I'm not too sure any more what's really in the backlog: defects and/or change requests and/or new features.)

Originally by: Apocrypha 1.5 this august
A recurring question I get from players is "How much time is spent on new features versus fixing and improving existing stuff?". The answer is simple. We allocate 50% of our developer time to new feature development and the rest to polishing and iterating existing systems and resolving defects. We feel this is a healthy balance between moving forward and maintaining what we have already built


Originally by: CCP Explorer
Current work is being fed by two queues: 80% of the time or 4 days a week: The backlog + defects stemming from that work. 20% of the time or 1 day a week: Defects (except those stemming from backlog work).


However the presented development plan does not look like only 50% new content.

wr3cks
Reliables Inc
BricK sQuAD.
Posted - 2010.08.07 22:16:00 - [1878]
 

Edited by: wr3cks on 07/08/2010 22:18:38
Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: wr3cks

CCP's business plan is showing real signs of strain. They don't have the manpower or the money to develop two new games while maintaining sufficient care of EVE.


What makes you think this exactly? It seems to me that they have sufficient resources assigned to Eve (18 teams is quite a bit) so do you have hard numbers to support this or do you just feel the lag would go away faster if Dust 514 or World of Darkness weren't in development?



The fact that they have assigned 3x as many of their devs to work on the WoD Alpha (incarna) and DUST as EVE. The fact that they thought their players wouldn't notice or particularly mind. The fact that, to my knowledge, they're developing 3 games with the revenue that was previously only adequate to support one (and barely adequate, at that, as we seem to agree below).

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Originally by: wr3cks
The fact that the last two expansions (particularly the last) were buggy and incomplete suggests to me that they were also over budget (and late, to boot, in the case of Tyrannis). I only have access to their 2008 financials, but they don't suggest a tightly-run ship. If you run an entertainment software company, your net margins should be above 10%.


They've said that they sink more of their earnings back into development than any other MMO and, if anything, your facts suggest that CCP is not, in fact, in this for the money as so many people have asserted.



Well, to quote from the minutes, "He pointed out that CCP probably spends a bigger part of its income on development than most other large, established game companies." (Emphasis supplied). They provided just as much support for that assertion as you do for yours.

But, yes, my point is that they're poorly managed from a financial perspective, and that such poor management is both a symptom and a cause of missed delivery deadlines, overrun budgets, and bad planning. Those can't be fixed with a new dev blog post.

Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: wr3cks

They're hiring a lawyer.
Looks like they're planning to IPO, although that may be a ways off.


CCP Games is already a public company. It would be difficult for an already public company to make an IPO though.



Really? I didn't know that the wikipedia was a place to buy and sell securities.
Find them here: http://www.nasdaqomxnordic.com/aktier?q=ccp
Get me a stock quote, if you can, wise guy. On any exchange. I'll wait.

Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: wr3cks
They need money or they need to substantially delay one of their pipeline games (or some combination of the two). Maybe they're working on an advance/royalty deal with a major publisher....etc.


Actually game companies in need of money will, as far as I know without exception, shove something out the door ASAP rather than delay it because delays don't make you any money. Also, they're hiring something like 30-40 people right now. What about that suggests that they have a money problem?



Those 30-40 jobs have been up there for ages, unfilled. If shoving something out the door were an option, they obvs would (see, e.g. tyrannis). I don't think WoD or dust are shoveable out the door atm, so I'm not sure what your point is.


Originally by: Cade Windstalker
Originally by: wr3cks
More stuff about CCP's finances that's really pure speculation with no real backing besides a vague interpretation of old financial records.


Assertions about the functioning of entertainment software companies without a single example, reference, link, quote, or piece of evidence. Ad hominem.



Someone's a little sensitive about his favorite software company!

I'm just calling things like I see them. People wonder why there hasn't been an answer, I think it's because the problems run deeper.

Haven Wind
Posted - 2010.08.08 04:20:00 - [1879]
 

Hey guys, one concise response. Stop chopping stuff up into little bitty quotes. leave 2003 internet etiquette where you found it.

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2010.08.09 07:04:00 - [1880]
 

Originally by: Malcanis
24 days since this devblog, and the ensuing player response.

Still awaiting the Transparent™ response with great interest.


The "On Holiday" excuse is starting to wear a bit thin, wouldn't you say?

Abrazzar
Posted - 2010.08.09 10:09:00 - [1881]
 

Originally by: Malcanis
544 days since this devblog, and the ensuing player response.

Still awaiting the Transparent™ response with great interest.

Hello, I am from the future, how are you today?

HeliosGal
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.09 11:15:00 - [1882]
 

lawyer could be IT, trademark related, work in england ( theyve just opened a new HQ in new castle) they could always use their equity and create some mergers with smaller IT companies to boost their asset base also like they did with world of darkness

Celia Therone
Posted - 2010.08.09 12:39:00 - [1883]
 

I've spent sixteen years in the software business in positions ranging from QA to Senior Software Engineer. I've seen one product companies almost abandon their only source of revenue chasing 'the next big thing' and I've seen that next big thing canceled after tens of millions was invested in it.

The default state of software companies seems to be to ignore what you have and go for the next big score. Coders want to work on new things not maintenance. Marketers want the big shiny. The money guys want exponential growth rather than linear growth. Managers want strategic partnerships with market leaders (e.g. Microsoft). No one wants to say 'we can't execute this' because it makes you look like a loser and who wants to keep hiring a loser? Besides there have been break out products before, why shouldn't our successful company make one now? And you know what? Nearly all of those projects failed and failed hard.

The only instance I recall of actually seriously taking care of the cash-cow product was when we were sold off to a Texan millionaire whose philosophy was to tend the cash cow and eventually sell it on with really great numbers - and that took an almost extinct product and turned it around.

Now we have every sign that CCP has severely trimmed Eve development for the last 18 months (since Apocrypha) and is going to continue in that state for another 18. They haven't taken on just one new product either...

WoD: Third person MMO
Dust: First person console shooter
Incarna: 3rd person, low conflict, MMO
PI: 4x(?) Strategy

In that time they've produced Dominion and Tyrannis - two failed expansions.

Now I'm sure that there were lots of graphs about projected subscriber growth and opportunity. I expect that words like synergy and cross-subsidization were used a lot.

Really, though, what the F? It's hard to argue that any of those are based on core CCP expertise (whereas the successful wormhole expansion in Apocrypha clearly was).

A lot of people on this thread have said stuff to the effect of "its not reasonable to expect CCP to only develop one product" and I agree. If they'd just committed to either Dust/PI/Eve or WoD/Incarna/Eve then they'd have been aggressive but not entirely unreasonable. Doing all 5 is just begging for disaster. The sort of disaster that turned PI from 'loosely based on Civilization/Alpha Centauri' to lol POS on Planets. Any stand-alone game that did that would have failed utterly.

I get that CCP is committed. You can't cancel a project the size of any of those without heads likely rolling at a very high level. And I get that you have to execute quickly. The games market is a moving target. You're competing against Bungie who have been making fps sci-fi shooters for 16 years. I'm sure it's brown trousers time in Dust developer land.

I also get that you're still working on Eve, both in big and little ways. Things like multi-select for ignoring probe hits and re-loading probe launchers now loading all the separate stacks of probes. Things have been improving in subtle ways.

However your communications with the player base are mighty close to atrocious. You'll post a calling for ideas and then never let us know what you thing of them. You'll fly the CSM out to Iceland and then essentially agree to nothing. I've been in Software, I know that no-one wants to commit to anything until you've seen how practical it is to do and how long it's likely to take. That there's the nightmare of committing to something and then having to back out later and never being forgiven by the players, of having it thrown in your face again and again and again.

You could instead agree to 'investigate' specific CSM issues. This gives you the opportunity of coming back and saying that it isn't currently feasible without looking like you're backing down on a promise.

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2010.08.09 12:47:00 - [1884]
 

Originally by: Abrazzar
Originally by: Malcanis
544 days since this devblog, and the ensuing player response.

Still awaiting the Transparent™ response with great interest.

Hello, I am from the future, how are you today?


Getting pretty god damb good at driving this JagdPanzer tyvm.

Celia Therone
Posted - 2010.08.09 13:30:00 - [1885]
 

I also helped to run a MUD for almost 18 years and I think that this above everything is what makes me depressed about your allocation of resources.

You have no team assigned to balance. Are you serious? Your game is shooting stuff in an ever-evolving MMO. And you have no dedicated balance team? Don't you realize that this is your core game play, your raison d'etre? What the entire game revolves around? It doesn't have to be a full-time team but I'm just flabbergasted that it doesn't exist. You don't even have to tip-toe around volunteers like I had to because you have employees. If you had this team then things like rockets and T3 subsystems would get fixed rather than languishing never quite close enough to the top of some managers to-do pile. I honestly don't care about rockets but the fact that they haven't been viable/used for a couple of years pretty much confirms that this basic, vital facet of a competitive game isn't being taken care of.

You have no team assigned to polish. Every MMO is a moving target. New content tends to obsolete old content. New content often has major problems. New and old content tends to become broken by time and game changes. Now many MMO's just hand wave this away by obsoleting their old content (Hi WoW) but Eve doesn't. This means that it's even more important for CCP to revisit older sections of the game because players still experience them every day. I remember getting a questionnaire a few months back about why I didn't run more POS. Seriously? How can you run a couple of POS without knowing how awful the experience is? Re-read that sentence. EVE is a game, games are supposed to be fun.

My MUD took polish more seriously than CCP seems to and we were just hobbyists, we weren't doing it as a job and expecting people to pay us for it. Telling teams to devote x% of their time to polish isn't enough. Who owns POS? Cosmos? That's why you need a dedicated team.

There are huge red-flag priority issues for me. Not having them tells me that that something is very wrong indeed. I've really been hoping that you'd step up and clarify that things really aren't this bad. I've been keeping my subscription up (but only logging in for skill training and pass on my corp responsibilities) since this blog came out. I guess this thread is in the process of vanishing into obscurity though.

In the vain hopes that someone at CCP is still reading let me leave you with this thought.

18 months ago I considered applying to CCP.

Now I don't. And I don't because I'm actually embarrassed for the game.

Take Apocrypha. A great expansion based around the new scanning system and wormholes. A couple of weeks after its release you put out Apocrypha 1.1 (iirc) and broke scanning. This was the core game play of the expansion and it didn't work properly for another (7?) more months.

I logged on a couple of weeks ago to be greeted by a news article on EVE's game log in screen about the deaths of 4-5 titans. I click through and find out that they black screened and got killed hours later without even seeing who killed them or firing a shot. Seriously? You front-login paged an epic failure of your core game play? Props for transparency and all but didn't you find this completely humiliating? Zero sec is supposedly your end game and your noobs are reading about how badly it doesn't work when they log in?

I remember a CCP guy saying how much the liked the way CVA housed NRDS space as you were developing Dominion. Dominion then crushed CVA (no treaties and losing their cap fleet to new fleet lag). You aren't embarrassed?

I could go on.

Look, I love space games. I was Elite in the original Elite. Back when it was released on tape and the entire game fit in 32k RAM.

In many ways EVE is a great game and it certainly has potential to be even greater. Both PI and Incarna certainly have potential.

Please give me something to believe in and hope for.

Lykouleon
Wildly Inappropriate
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.08.09 17:30:00 - [1886]
 

Originally by: Celia Therone
Dominion then crushed CVA (no treaties and losing their cap fleet to new fleet lag). You aren't embarrassed?



No, Darwin's Law crushed CVA, not CCP Laughing

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.09 22:05:00 - [1887]
 

Originally by: wr3cks
The fact that they have assigned 3x as many of their devs to work on the WoD Alpha (incarna) and DUST as EVE. The fact that they thought their players wouldn't notice or particularly mind. The fact that, to my knowledge, they're developing 3 games with the revenue that was previously only adequate to support one (and barely adequate, at that, as we seem to agree below).


I think they also assumed their players could do math.

From the blog post that started this threadnaught

70 (incarna) + 7 (DUST [please note, this is linking DUST with EVE aka PI]) + 22 (in space) + 10 (EVE Gate) + 15 (various things like debugging!) = 124 (or at least it seems to)

Now 124 * 3 = 372

Odd how that seems to be about fifty more people than CCP had at the start of 2009. without including the Eve team. When exactly did they hire about 150 devs?

You can now pick which of your arguments this debunks. That they're using three times as many people on Dust and WoD (this isn't Incarna btw, Incarna is part of Eve) as on Eve itself, that they're failing financially in which case they wouldn't have hired 150 new devs, and/or that those jobs on the website have been there for ages.

Originally by: wr3cks
Well, to quote from the minutes, "He pointed out that CCP probably spends a bigger part of its income on development than most other large, established game companies." (Emphasis supplied). They provided just as much support for that assertion as you do for yours.

But, yes, my point is that they're poorly managed from a financial perspective, and that such poor management is both a symptom and a cause of missed delivery deadlines, overrun budgets, and bad planning. Those can't be fixed with a new dev blog post.


You provide very little to back up this assertion though. Just a bunch of leaps of faith as far as the state of CCP's finances and when you look at SANER indicators like that their still hiring aggressively and haven't shown any signs of financial issues the bottom kind of falls out of your arguments.

Originally by: wr3cks
Really? I didn't know that the wikipedia was a place to buy and sell securities.
Find them here: http://www.nasdaqomxnordic.com/aktier?q=ccp
Get me a stock quote, if you can, wise guy. On any exchange. I'll wait.


As near as I can tell they're public but no stock is sold since it's owned by the employees and a couple firms. Not really suggestive of an IPO though. You're really reading WAY to much into that. Besides I thought those listings had been there for ages? ;)

Originally by: wr3cks
Those 30-40 jobs have been up there for ages, unfilled. If shoving something out the door were an option, they obvs would (see, e.g. tyrannis). I don't think WoD or dust are shoveable out the door atm, so I'm not sure what your point is.


No, they haven't. I've check their job page several times in the last year and it's changed quite a bit. For example there used to be a lot of job postings in Atlanta that aren't there anymore and the number for China has gone down just in the last few months.

Originally by: wr3cks
Someone's a little sensitive about his favorite software company!

I'm just calling things like I see them. People wonder why there hasn't been an answer, I think it's because the problems run deeper.


and someone's resorting to mud slinging after having the holes in his arguments probed! So, just to review:

Your math is bunk, either that or you didn't explain it very well. (oh and you seem to think WoD is Incarna O_o )

You seem to think CCP is going under but none of the common indicators for a failing game company are there (layoffs, hiring freeze, rumors (beyond yours), or limited current development of new IP)

You haven't looked at CCP's jobs page before. Possibly ever.

Did I miss anything?Rolling Eyes

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.09 22:26:00 - [1888]
 

Sorry I've got to chop this up for space. If I've omitted anything important please correct me

Originally by: Celia Therone
I've spent sixteen years in the software business in positions ranging from QA to Senior Software Engineer. I've seen one product companies almost abandon their only source of revenue chasing 'the next big thing' ...


Yes, but generally that's because there's some huge flaw that prevents them from releasing said product at all. Not when they've got two new strong IPs in development.

Originally by: Celia Therone
The default state of software companies seems to be to ignore what you have and go for the next big score. Coders want to work on new things not maintenance. ... No one wants to say 'we can't execute this' because it makes you look like a loser and who wants to keep hiring a loser?


First point first. CCP keeps integrating new things into Eve and making new changes. Plus you do get people who like bug fixing and code optimization and CCP seems to have at least some of those people or Eve wouldn't work.

Maybe it's just my perception but Game Designers tend to suffer less from "this won't work" being a bad thing to call out. That's why technical feasibility gets looked at at every stage of production.

Originally by: Celia Therone
Now we have every sign that CCP has severely trimmed Eve development for the last 18 months (since Apocrypha) and is going to continue in that state for another 18.


It's more like they gave it a huge boost for Apocrypha and then it receded back down to a bit above where it was before then.

Originally by: Celia Therone
They haven't taken on just one new product either...

WoD: Third person MMO
Dust: First person console shooter
Incarna: 3rd person, low conflict, MMO
PI: 4x(?) Strategy


PI and Incarna are a feature in Eve and an expansion to Eve respectively and WoD and Dust both have their own teams which were hired for those projects.


Originally by: Celia Therone
Now I'm sure that there were lots of graphs about projected subscriber growth and opportunity. I expect that words like synergy and cross-subsidization were used a lot.


Somewhere in Iceland a Dev is reading this and falling over laughing... I've met a fair number of devs and I think most of them would get to the "u" in "cross-subsidization" before they couldn't keep a straight face any longer and fell over laughing. I've heard the word synergy tossed around before but generally in terms of features, not market speak.


Originally by: Celia Therone
Really, though, what the F? It's hard to argue that any of those are based on core CCP expertise (whereas the successful wormhole expansion in Apocrypha clearly was).


If you mean not all of those are "internet spaceships" (tm to Helicity Boson or someone else who isn't me) then yeah. But PI and Dust are both Sci-Fi and what I've seen and heard of Dust sounds really impressive. Who says game companies need to stick to what people see as their "core expertise". Lots of companies make lots of different games and do them well. Devs work on what they enjoy.


Originally by: Celia Therone
A lot of people on this thread have said stuff to the effect of "its not reasonable to expect CCP to only develop one product" and I agree. If they'd just committed to either Dust/PI/Eve or WoD/Incarna/Eve then they'd have been aggressive but not entirely unreasonable. Doing all 5 is just begging for disaster. The sort of disaster that turned PI from 'loosely based on Civilization/Alpha Centauri' to lol POS on Planets. Any stand-alone game that did that would have failed utterly.


(see above for the whole 5 vs 3 thing)

PI as they originally presented it was still just planet management. It was never intended to be either A: it's own game or B: anything more than management and getting resources.

Cade Windstalker
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.09 22:54:00 - [1889]
 

Originally by: Celia Therone
...And I get that you have to execute quickly. The games market is a moving target. You're competing against Bungie who have been making fps sci-fi shooters for 16 years. I'm sure it's brown trousers time in Dust developer land.


Doubt it.

You don't get anywhere in games focusing on what the other guys are doing beyond release dates and not wanting to release on top of the next Halo 3 or something like that and that's for the people in marketing to deal with. So what about Bungie? Are they making Dust 515? No? Okay, back to work.

Besides, who's to say some of the Dust devs haven't been making shooters that long? Honestly I haven't a clue who they have working on it but people in industry move around all the time and I doubt they've got a crew of rookies working on Dust.

Originally by: Celia Therone
However your communications with the player base are mighty close to atrocious. You'll post a calling for ideas and then never let us know what you thing of them.


This falls under "unfortunate 'fact' about Game Development that I'd like to see changed". In general it's accepted that telling players no is a bad idea because they will whine and ***** and not understand the reasons. I've never heard this spoken of so it's just my observations but I've seen nothing to contradict this perception.

That said it's not an unfounded one either. Players DO tend to be rather unreasonable with devs. I've seen a lot higher quality of player feedback on Eve though but I'm still not sure how well we'd deal with being told "no X is fine as is/not going to happen due to Y/going to be delayed for six months in favor of Q because of T, P, V."

Originally by: Celia Therone
You'll fly the CSM out to Iceland and then essentially agree to nothing. I've been in Software, I know that no-one wants to commit to anything until you've seen how practical it is to do and how long it's likely to take. That there's the nightmare of committing to something and then having to back out later and never being forgiven by the players, of having it thrown in your face again and again and again.

You could instead agree to 'investigate' specific CSM issues. This gives you the opportunity of coming back and saying that it isn't currently feasible without looking like you're backing down on a promise.


THIS I agree with.

It seems like this whole mess wouldn't have gone off like a nuke if the players and devs were speaking the same language here. It's really easy to forget that you're using jargon that the people you're talking to may not be familiar with or, worse, may have other meanings for. I mean how much trouble has the term "backlog" caused just by itself in this thread?

Celia Therone
Posted - 2010.08.09 23:56:00 - [1890]
 

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Originally by: Celia Therone
I've seen one product companies almost abandon their only source of revenue chasing 'the next big thing' ...

Yes, but generally that's because there's some huge flaw that prevents them from releasing said product at all. Not when they've got two new strong IPs in development.


Actually it's just as often because it takes too long to implement. Either a competitor beats you to market or management (or the money) loses faith.

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Maybe it's just my perception but Game Designers tend to suffer less from "this won't work" being a bad thing to call out. That's why technical feasibility gets looked at at every stage of production.

Er... Dominion and Tyrannis?

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

It's more like they gave it a huge boost for Apocrypha and then it receded back down to a bit above where it was before then.

If CCP was executing well with the reduced developer numbers then I don't think people would care. But it hasn't been. That's the problem.

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Originally by: Celia Therone
They haven't taken on just one new product either...

WoD: Third person MMO
Dust: First person console shooter
Incarna: 3rd person, low conflict, MMO
PI: 4x(?) Strategy


PI and Incarna are a feature in Eve and an expansion to Eve respectively and WoD and Dust both have their own teams which were hired for those projects.


To me if you have to develop a new game engine then it counts as a new product (perhaps this is some confusion about the useage of product?) WoD, Dust and Incarna all need that. Arguably PI ought to have it.

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Originally by: Celia Therone
I expect that words like synergy and cross-subsidization were used a lot.


Somewhere in Iceland a Dev is reading this and falling over laughing... I've met a fair number of devs and I think most of them would get to the "u" in "cross-subsidization" before they couldn't keep a straight face any longer and fell over laughing. I've heard the word synergy tossed around before but generally in terms of features, not market speak.


Cross-subsidization - taking money from MS to develop Dust as a console only game for a year then porting it o the PC. (I don't know for a fact that they did this but it's the only thing that makes what they're doing justifiable imho.) Developing a 3-D engine for Incarna that they then use in WoD (or vice versa).

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Originally by: Celia Therone
It's hard to argue that any of those are based on core CCP expertise (whereas the successful wormhole expansion in Apocrypha clearly was).


If you mean not all of those are "internet spaceships" then yeah. But PI and Dust are both Sci-Fi and what I've seen and heard of Dust sounds really impressive. Who says game companies need to stick to what people see as their "core expertise". Lots of companies make lots of different games and do them well. Devs work on what they enjoy.



It's more about how much work it takes to implement them and how similar they are to what you do already. Wormholes didn't need a new physics engine (rapid development, low bug count), WoD, Incarna and Dust all do (lots of work/debugging).

Originally by: Cade Windstalker

Originally by: Celia Therone
The sort of disaster that turned PI from 'loosely based on Civilization/Alpha Centauri' to lol POS on Planets. Any stand-alone game that did that would have failed utterly.


PI as they originally presented it was still just planet management. It was never intended to be either A: it's own game or B: anything more than management and getting resources.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNhPig8inEY
1:00:48 section on PI starts.

CCP said it would have the 'same feel' as Civilization but not be a clone of it. Seriously. 1:02:45. You really watch that and take away "never more than management and getting resources."?


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