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'I've had it with lazy devs' - a forum-goer puts a studio on notice Exclusive GDMag Exclusive
'I've had it with lazy devs' - a forum-goer puts a studio on notice
March 15, 2013 | By Matthew Wasteland & Magnus Underland

March 15, 2013 | By Matthew Wasteland & Magnus Underland
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    36 comments
More: Console/PC, GD Mag, Design, GD Mag Exclusive



An entitled player brings a torch and pitchfork to the forums in this all-too-accurate satire, originally published in the March issue of Game Developer magazine.

Hey guys, I hate that I have to make this post, but apparently everyone else is too complacent to STEP FORWARD and say something about this. You all read that Stolen Sun Studios said AGAIN that the next update for Wanderer: Horizons won't include the "massively co-op" mode we've been suggesting in the forums for MONTHS now. Who do they think they're fooling? I don't buy their excuse for a second that doing it would be "too hard."

It's not like doing massive co-op is that complicated. It's a new mode, but building the levels or modeling some new vehicles is probably the biggest thing. And it's not like you're building a brand-new game. You just make the existing polygons, textures, and pixels appear in everyone's game at the same time and you're basically done.

Anyone who has programmed before knows this isn't a big deal. All the actions in Wanderer are extremely simple. If the code for moving and shooting is more than a few lines long they did it wrong. Plus the netcode doesn't have to be put in over the whole game. There's "code reuse," which is a technique that lets you use the same code in a lot of different places. I'm sick of the excuses here.

How do I know it?

Someone asked how I know this. Well, I know this because I made my own games for at least two if not more of my computer programming classes in which I was the top student (i.e., college level). If it would take the devs more than a couple hours, well, then they have SPAGHETTI CODE and should reprogram everything. The only reason they wouldn't add it is if they don't actually care about the game. That's right, I said it: The lure of EASY PROFITS is leading Stolen Sun to take the loyal fans for a ride.

Anyway, it's not that I want massive co-op multiplayer personally - I find most "gamers" these days are too stupid or casual to play with. I just hate seeing game developers being so LAZY, succumbing to greed, living like fat cats eating caviar, and driving Bentleys. That's the real truth here, everyone. They've given in to GREED as all game developers do eventually. Remember when Birth of the Titans decided to charge for the "expansion" even though they had been doing FREE patches for over six months? Get real, noobs. Anyone who isn't blinded by BLATANT FANBOY BIAS can see through that.

@BlueBaloo22 Well, clearly your college was in it for the money just like the Wanderer devs if they gave you a degree in computer science despite you clearly not even understanding basic programming. Basically everyone that plays Wanderer these days is going to be connecting to the internet using cable, DSL, or fiber to the home (FTTH). Not TCP-IP.

@LittlerFingers It's clear that you're not a coder at all, since you can't tell the difference between the game code (which doesn't need to support networking) and the engine code (which does). In games like this, most of the engine code is about rendering and audio, so adding networking to that is nowhere near as complicated. And once it's in the engine, the game functions just need a few new parameters (I bet you don't even know what those are) to hook into it.

Game design issues - or NOT

I know some people on these fine forums have said that massively co-op multiplayer would change the tone of the game from something about a lonely experience to something more like an MMO with people running around, etc. Well, that's easy too: Just have the characters occasionally say a line about how weird it is seeing another person around. It's not like they couldn't record more voices.

@SirMustache I'm not even going to bother responding to this.

Again, I don't care at all if this is implemented or not, I just don't want to see the programmers get away with being lazy and the loyal fan community just accepting whatever they say because they're not educated enough.

Last Post before I ***DELETE MY ACCOUNT***

Look, anyone who really cares about Wanderer needs to speak up about these SLOTHFUL developers and not accept their pathetic excuses. Everyone here should hold them ACCOUNTABLE and REFUSE to support them anymore until they come clean and admit they've been lying to us. I won't accept anything less and do not plan on returning to these forums until they do. Good day, all.

Matthew Wasteland writes about games and game development on his blog, Magical Wasteland (www.magicalwasteland.com). Email him at mwasteland at gdmag dot com. Magnus Underland writes about games and other topics at www.above49.ca. Email him at magnus dot underland at gmail dot com.


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Comments


Jonathan Jennings
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good lord this nailed the average gameFaqs post to a tee , lol

Joe McGinn
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LOL

Enrique Dryere
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My favorite is the suggestion to record voice overs for barks to say how weird it is to encounter another player. Can you imagine an MMO doing that? Haha.

Jimmy Albright
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Is there some backstory I'm missing to this? Is this post completely satire?
Edit: WOOSH, apparently.

Ali Afshari
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This was great. I love GD Mag, but this is my favorite part of each issue.

Luis Guimaraes
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So many subtle jokes, and so precisely accurate! Just perfect! Laughed all the way!

Bart Stewart
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I have an uncomfortable feeling that some of this sort of commentary actually showed up in forums when STALKER 2 fell apart and a subset of the devs started working on the MMOFPS Survarium....

John Maurer
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The moment I read "I don't buy their excuse for a second that [creating a network layer] would be "too hard.", I was like this guy is full of @%$!. Then i realized it was a gag, and I just started rolling. Addressing latency issues alone is enough to make your eyes bleed. I liked the cliche reference to spagetti code and his "video game college education" exploits caked with technical disconnects, nice sum up, good times.

James Margaris
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What spectacular timing to satirize "entitled" gamers in this of all weeks. How dare the idiotic ingrates we call "customers" demand working games - so entitled!

This works better as a brilliant satire of the reactionary rejection of valid complaints as "entitled" that has become increasingly frequent.

Kris Graft
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Wrong forum, bro.

But really, this was written before the whole SimCity fiasco. Have a sense of humor.

John Maurer
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Dude, seriously, its a business. Expenses < Profit = out of business. Its not greed, it economics. The writer of the post comes of as a little arrogant and he clearly doesn't understand the technical requirements and pitfalls of what he's asking for, which constitues the majority of what trolls have to gripe about. Sometimes no matter how great a given feature sounds its just better to save it for the sequel. Besides, its a satire, lighten up.

Jeffrey Cochran
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There's a difference between requesting a feature and requesting a fix.

James Margaris
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I'm curious how this is the wrong forum. It's a comments section for a piece and my comment was about that piece - seems appropriate enough.

Wrong forum or did I express the wrong opinion?

Edit: To clarify my original point, it's true that claims of "lazy devs" are a cliche that can be mocked but dismissing gamers as "entitled" is also a cliche at this point. It's a little weird to specifically use that language in the context of many recent examples of completely valid complaints being dismissed with that same language. As I said, this could easily be satire of the wagon circling, dismissal and generally antagonistic attitude from the games media whenever gamers express dissatisfaction.

Muir Freeland
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@James -- Like most everyone else, Gamasutra has been super critical of EA with the SimCity fiasco. It's not like they're siding against players as a rule; this specific article just satirizes one specific brand of them.

Arnaud Clermonté
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There's also "Now they are just asking for piracy"
or the good old "That's it, I'm cancelling my pre-order! For real this time!"

Zirani Jean-Sylvestre
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"Game developers being so LAZY, succumbing to greed, living like fat cats eating caviar, and driving Bentleys."

Hahahahahahaha

Tyler Shogren
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Respect to the devs!

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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"How dare they not cater to my exact preferences, which are obviously the best"

Hehe. Its all helmet straps.

Dan Jones
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One of my favorites is, "Sorry, devs, this game is too expensive. Trust me, if you priced it at (insert current price divided by 2) you'd sell (insert ridiculous number) times as many copies! I would like to play, but I'll wait for a price drop."

You can find a variation on this theme within the forums of basically every game that has ever been sold on Steam. It's amazing how many marketing experts hang out on those forums!

Duvelle Jones
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I would not say that it's limited to just steam.

Aaron San Filippo
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This is awesome!

Also, if you think this the "all-too-accurate" claim is dubious, check out page 5 of our greenlight page:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92973632

:)

Matthew Mouras
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Ha! Just read some of the comments you mentioned on your greenlight page. The "satire" in this article is tame in comparison.

It never ceases to amaze me that certain personalities... exist.

Aaron Fowler
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I needed a good laugh. Thank you.

Kristijan Lujanovic
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Am I only one who had to google this game?

And still cant find much. Is this thing indie project? Aren't we expecting much?

When I see trolling of this kind I like to quote Les Twins: ''Show me.'' If coding multiplayer games is that easy.

Real coders are still loosing money in this industry. They could make 4 times more money working for internet startups or on some banking internal accounting app. Or working on anything else.

So I would complain about something else like level design, production or writing...

Michael Wenk
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I found the article funny. However it did make me think of a common problem between game companies (usually community managers, but also devs/execs) and their customers. Simply put the game companies don't seem to listen to their customers unless those customers are speaking with their wallets. Admittedly you have many forum posts like the one parodied here, but I have to think that there's likely some truth in those posts. And then when a title does poorly, either via sales or Metacritic, I really have to wonder if the company had listened to its customers, if it would have done better. Of course in some cases it probably wouldn't have, but in some it would have.

It also makes it hard to see the company blame others, usually piracy, but often their own customers, usually for not understanding their game.

Remember, the game company needs the customer much more than the customer needs the game company.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
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anyone else getting a "Poe's Law" vibe?

Robert Schmidt
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Is this a failure of the customer to be a reasonable human being - obviously experiencing the dunning-kruger effect or is this a failure of the game company to manage expectations? I have to deal with customers every day and "educate" them on costs and timelines for their requirements. If my customer is upset with me because a change they think should have taken an hour has taken a week then I have failed to communicate. I guess there will sometimes be people that cannot be reasoned with but that should be rare.

The complaints I see most often in game forums usually center around a lack of updates around when promised new features will be delivered or promises of new features when long standing bugs or past feature promises haven't been fulfilled. I realize this is a false dichotomy but I think it is also a legitimate concern that sometimes companies seem more interested in gold-plating than stabilizing.

Some of my clients use the ITIL approach to IT service management and one of the things I really like about it is that once a bug has been assigned, which it must be immediately, the tech who has been assigned the task must provide a status update every day. That way the customer knows their issue is being looked after even if they do not know when to expect a solution. I see game companies put up community websites in order to communicate with their customers but then fail to use them. A lot of stress could be relieved if the company made a daily post saying, we are x% through our bug list and x% through our features. The users then hear progress instead of silence.

Keep the customer informed. The above customer, I know it is a parody, is complaining that their suggestion isn't being delivered. Why not just tell them, we are not scheduling that feature at this time, and this is what we are working on? So effective communication is the solution, not dismissing our customers as being unreasonable.

Jeremy Reaban
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I think it's attitudes like this that explains why the game industry is doing so poorly.

When you have such contempt for your customers, it's going to have an effect. Between this and Lucy Bradshaw/EA telling people how they they should enjoy games, I think the industry certainly needs a dose of humility. One would think all the developer closings would have provided it, but apparently not.

Apparently developers and publishers feel entitled that customers should give them money regardless of the product they produce.

Well, this was written before Sim City. Well, Sim City wasn't the only high profile game that was shipped half-baked. Aliens: Coloniel Marines anyone?

Arnaud Clermonté
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" Apparently developers and publishers feel entitled that customers should give them money regardless of the product they produce. "

You seem to know developers better than I do.

Amir Barak
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Funny and sad at the same time...

Not sure, but I don't think this piece is satire. A parody, for sure, concerning the whole over-zealous-but-technically-lacking fan. What is the point of it though, it raises no real issues, has no real point and offers no resolution beyond self-satisfaction on part of the writer/s knowing that they made fun of someone who is an easy target...

That said, I have only read this particular post and so if there is a more complete fiction, one that also portrays the lies, misinformation and banalities regularly spewed by the industry's best (or is it worst), written in the GD mag perhaps I would have gained further amusement.

Jonathan Jennings
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I actually would love to read a write-up that criticizes the industry PR speak. I mean you haves point every time I've read a preview or even the back of the box I halve the projected number of hours a game will last me and its usually a better estimate of my total play time (with rare exceptions). Or a moment when a series is traditionally one thing and adds a feature that is an apparent wrench to its previous structure or success ( bioshock2 multiplayer anyone) and PR tries to spin it.

gamers definitely aren't the only ones who are disconnected from the game development process.

Michael O'Hair
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"And it's not like you're building a brand-new game. You just make the existing polygons, textures, and pixels appear in everyone's game at the same time and you're basically done."

Of course! Fire the entire dev team and replace them with Forum-Guy. We'll save millions!

Jim Hejl
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Hilarious. This bit had me laughing out loud, "You just make the existing polygons, textures, and pixels appear in everyone's game at the same time and you're basically done." Ah, the sharp wit of satire. Nicely done.

Kujel Selsuru
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I've read these types of comments more then a few times and this piece sums them up very well. I love how this character thinks adding online functionality is a simple task when in fact it's a real pain in the ass.

PS: this is only the second time I've ever seen the term spagehetti code, the first time I was talking to my older brother about the keyword goto and how it seems largely useless to me and he commented how it adds in great potential for bugs.

Michael Wenk
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Spaghetti code as a term isn't all that popular anymore. But it does happen still, and not just with something like goto/gosub.. An example: A nice 8,000 line switch statement with recursion into the same said switch. Plus many many others.

Arthur De Martino
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Yes because creating this huge strawman and planting him here in a place where people actually makes games will help us to reach enlightment over the issue of players that demand features.

Clearly that was all we need, a place to agree with the author and pat ourselves in the back, not actually reading player feedback and judging by themselves what is silly and what is valid. Pff...Entitled lil piggies need to go back to their curral there is GAME that needs to be made and our deeply artistic vision that in no way shape or form try to be designed to other people are a exclusive product of our very own expression and nothing more cannot be under the influence and opinion of others;


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