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  1. #1
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    Fez developer has realised that his XBOX exclusive deal was a shit idea

    http://polytroncorporation.com/were-...atch-the-patch

    We all know MS are massively, massively out-of-touch with gaming - only a total idiot would take an exclusivity deal in a dying marketplace run by a company with no clue - and this is one such idiot.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I think you're being a little harsh there. XBLA is incredibly successful...when Microsoft wants it to be. The summer of arcade things they did, before they got diluted with crap and introduced similar things throughout the year, proves that great titles, some even challenging full retail releases, have a significant market place that is incredibly viable. Going XBLA/PSN is not a bad idea. Is it as good as PC? Between the two consoles, you have a large potential audience. Perhaps bigger than the same amount on the PC? Hard to say. It's a numbers game. In this case, the numbers didn't go through in favour, but who knows, if it prompts them to release on the PC and it proves to be successful, well then, that was successful.
    Powered by Steam. And biscuits. I'm also a twit and dabble in creative writing.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Gorzan's Avatar
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    So... They payed mycrosoft for an xbox exclusivity? that definetly sounds like a bad deal.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    I suspect the reason XBLA hasn't been overhauled is because it has no future and will be folded into Windows Marketplace or something similar. Until that happens the drones are just going through the motions.
    Last edited by Rii; 19-07-2012 at 01:50 AM.

  5. #5
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    As much as I like to shit on MS, in this case it's the developers who are shit.

    We’re bringing the first FEZ patch online.
    It’s the same patch.

    We’re not going to patch the patch.

    Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.

    And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!

    We believe the save file corruption issue mostly happened to players who had completed, or almost completed the game. If you hadn’t already seen most of what FEZ had to offer, your save file is probably safe. It doesn’t happen if you start a new game.

    We believe the current patch is safe for an overwhelming majority of players.

    The patch fixes almost everything that’s been wrong with the game since launch. The framerate issues, the loading, the skips, the death loops, everything! All that stuff is fixed! And right now, nobody can get to it since the patch was pulled. For 99% of people, it makes FEZ a better game.

    To the less-than-1% who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologize. We know this hurts you the most, because you’re the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.

    Microsoft gave us a choice: either pay a ton of money to re-certify the game and issue a new patch (which for all we know could introduce new issues, for which we’d need yet another costly patch), or simply put the patch back online. They looked into it, and the issue happens so rarely that they still consider the patch to be “good enough”.

    It wasn’t an easy decision, but in the end, paying such a large sum of money to jump through so many hoops just doesn’t make any sense. We already owe microsoft a LOT of money for the privilege of being on their platform. People often mistakenly believe that we got paid by Microsoft for being exclusive to their platform. Nothing could be further from the truth. WE pay THEM.

    So we’re going to go ahead and put Title Update back online, and for a vast majority of people it’s going to make FEZ a better game.

    Thank you for your understanding and continuing support.

    Sincerely,

    The Polytron Team
    First of all: Don't release games that are still buggy on a closed platform like a console.
    Leme say it again: CLOSED PLATFORM, no excuse for having bugs at release since the hardware and software is the same for everyone.
    It's not because consoles can now go online too that it's suddenly ok to skimp on QA ,the ONE advantage the console boxes used to have was the games on them being stable and generally bugfree.
    This puts them automatically in the wrong.

    Second: So it is perfectly fixable, but because they would have to pay those dicks at MS,they are going to give the people who bought their game the finger? OH YES that will teach microsoft, they are super sensitive to their customers being fucked up the ass! It will keep them up at night!

    I hope that if they ever try to publish on steam, that steam will reject these rejects. I know I will never buy a game of theirs.
    Last edited by Finicky; 19-07-2012 at 01:58 AM.

  6. #6
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    Ads can make more money than selling games on Xbox

    You get to pay for an online service, and still get fed ads! (used Xbox Live to download free updates only, feels like a media box and not gaming)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    As much as I like to shit on MS, in this case it's the developers who are shit.



    First of all: Don't release games that are still buggy on a closed platform like a console.
    Leme say it again: CLOSED PLATFORM, no excuse for having bugs at release since the hardware and software is the same for everyone.
    It's not because consoles can now go online too that it's suddenly ok to skimp on QA ,the ONE advantage the console boxes used to have was the games on them being stable and generally bugfree.
    This puts them automatically in the wrong.

    Second: So it is perfectly fixable, but because they would have to pay those dicks at MS,they are going to give the people who bought their game the finger? OH YES that will teach microsoft, they are super sensitive to their customers being fucked up the ass! It will keep them up at night!

    I hope that if they ever try to publish on steam, that steam will reject these rejects. I know I will never buy a game of theirs.
    You have no idea about how game development works, do you?

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okami View Post
    You have no idea about how game development works, do you?
    He has a point - there's only one platform to worry about, effectively one set of hardware to develop for, with no other software surprises. If it was adequately tested on one console, theoretically it should exhibit the same behaviour on any other console (of that same type eg xbox 360) unless the console in question is faulty. That's very different to the PC where you've got a complex interplay of hardware differences, software in the background, operating systems, all sorts of different drivers, etc...

    The standard expected of games on consoles in terms of bugs is much higher, as it should be. That's not to say that absolutely zero bugs should be present in the first release, but they should be promptly fixed, and show-stoppers like corrupting savegames certainly shouldn't make it through. Obviously, it wasn't adequately tested, and 'testing' involves only one machine (a 360).

    Then they turned around and said "Well screw it we're not paying to fix it" as if it's Microsoft's fault that they've introduced a major bug with their patch, despite the fact that they would have been well aware of the contract they were entering into.

    Honestly, they deserve that kind of treatment. Especially Phil Fish.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okami View Post
    You have no idea about how game development works, do you?
    Why should he have to? Plenty of other games on XBLA work fine without the issues plaguing Fez, not even needing such fixes. It's not like Fez does anything crazy new or different in terms of pushing the console. So there's no good reason for it not to work.

    And whoever said XBLA is a tough platform right now, with one or two big-hitters propping up the rest, that's true. But Fez was one of those big-hitters.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okami View Post
    You have no idea about how game development works, do you?
    For 30 years before this console gen releasing a game that deletes your savefiles, crashes your system or won't start a certain level or has any other serious bugs on a console box would have been seen as a mortal sin and have the game media trash it and the community ignore it.

    Console games used to undergo elaborate QA testing AFTER they were finished, now they QA test while making changes and then just shit out the latest build online with the logic of 'the community will sift out what issues are left and we'll fix it later' (cheaper and faster than proper QA)

    For all these years 99 percent of games on the console boxes were working products without any real bugs (a typo here and there and minor glitch aside) and now suddenly that is no longer possible 'because development'.

    I studied IT for 2 years and the very first thing the profs taught us was that if your code isn't solid then it is worthless and that if you deliver something broken (In the real world, for real industries) then you are going to get fucked by your contract and have to pay a large amounts of damages (most likely more than you can afford) to compensate for downtime for whatever factory/company you made your software for.

    Regular companies protect themselves by stipulating QA terms in their contracts, gamers are just kids and halfwits who apparently buy whatever shit you toss in their general direction. (publishers are very aware of this)
    Before the console boxes went online, patches were a no go and any dev who wanted to ever sell anything again had to make sure that their shit worked before they sold it to the people.

    Ask any console fanboy 10 years ago what they find so great about their closed boxes:in the the top 3 would always be 'the games are stable and always work and aren't buggy and don't need patches to work properly' like on those complicated scary computers.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Ask any console fanboy 10 years ago what they find so great about their closed boxes:in the the top 3 would always be 'the games are stable and always work and aren't buggy and don't need patches to work properly' like on those complicated scary computers.
    In general this is still one of the things that you hear a lot, and they do have a point, there is much less fiddling and fixing to do than on a PC and generally it's is more stable at launch. And even if there is something wrong, with most big game companies, a day later it'll be patched. Of course there are bugs on the consoles too, but it's completely down to the game devs and is not common for it to be something major, rather than something not working on PC, because the drivers are taking too long, or it melts a particular brand of graphics card etc etc.

    Plus, there were lots of games that had Killscreens back in the day.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    In general this is still one of the things that you hear a lot, and they do have a point, there is much less fiddling and fixing to do than on a PC and generally it's is more stable at launch. And even if there is something wrong, with most big game companies, a day later it'll be patched. Of course there are bugs on the consoles too, but it's completely down to the game devs and is not common for it to be something major, rather than something not working on PC, because the drivers are taking too long, or it melts a particular brand of graphics card etc etc.

    Plus, there were lots of games that had Killscreens back in the day.
    The main difference is that the console versions are often unfixable (hi skyrim ps3), and that if there is a problem and a patch doesn't come that the community can't fix it like on PC.

    It's also well known that the MS patching authorisation system causes patches that are out within 2 days for the pc version of a port to often take a month.
    The point remains; patches on a console game should be inexcusable for anyone old enough to remember the world before pokemon.

    I've never once seen a gamebreaking bug on a console box in 20+ years of gaming, not once.
    I owned a sega genesis, psx, n64, ps2, xbox 1, gameboy, gba, game gear and SNES and plenty of games for each, not ONCE.
    I'm sure there were a few , but that's arguing semantics because back then it was the same odds as getting struck by lightning.
    Now it's like taking a bath with a toaster.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okami View Post
    You have no idea about how game development works, do you?
    Totally agree.

    It doesn't matter if the platform is 'closed' or however you want to call it. Yes, its easier to develop for a single constant platform but that doesn't make logical bugs any less likely. If there is a bug in the code that occurs when only a certain set of circumstances occur this is nothing to do with the hardware or the platform it's running on.

    I say this as a developer myself. Albeit not a games developer, the principle is the same.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Gorzan's Avatar
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    To be fair, the reason they don't pay microsoft is not to show them a leson, it's because they just can't afford it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorzan View Post
    To be fair, the reason they don't pay microsoft is not to show them a leson, it's because they just can't afford it.
    There is no freaking what that that is true, unless they are the most fiscally irresponsible idiots in game development (which they may very well be). They were the top selling game on XBLA for multiple weeks, and they can't afford another $10,000 submission. I call bullshit.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstress71 View Post
    There is no freaking what that that is true, unless they are the most fiscally irresponsible idiots in game development (which they may very well be). They were the top selling game on XBLA for multiple weeks, and they can't afford another $10,000 submission. I call bullshit.
    "Afford" is such a malleable term - I'm pretty sure Fez didn't do anything like as well as SMB - or before that Braid - but 'afford' is relative anyway.

    I'm not sure I'd want to pay $10,000 to correct my own mistake - but then I'd not have signed-up to a deal which included that sort of condition because I'm not daft!!

    I am at this very moment trying to build a new version of one of my Android games because some code which has worked FLAWLESSLY in 4 other games is crashing relentlessly in my new one and I have NO idea why - so I'd have to pay to release a version which just contains enough hooks to see what people are doing to break it (that 10s of 1000s of people before them didn't!!) and pay AGAIN to release a fix!!!!

    This shit happens a lot too - this isn't the first time I've been met with errors from code which has previously been AOK. I'm not down on PF for not fixing stuff, I'm down on his way of handling it. He turned it into a "you don't deserve me fixing my own game" which is yet again him making the whole thing into something personal to him - which it isn't.

    That said, in the IG:TM he spent eons lamenting how he might not be able to show his game at PAX (due to his ex business partner not signing a contract) and then when he does show it (without that signature) he's using a build from the previous day which crashes almost instantly. That, to me, says there's a lot wrong with his way of developing software full stop.
    Last edited by trjp; 03-01-2013 at 05:43 PM.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node RobF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstress71 View Post
    There is no freaking what that that is true, unless they are the most fiscally irresponsible idiots in game development (which they may very well be). They were the top selling game on XBLA for multiple weeks, and they can't afford another $10,000 submission. I call bullshit.
    I call "by the time Microsoft have taken their cut and by the time you've paid off everything that needs paying off for 5 years worth of development, you're lucky if you've got enough left to buy some cat food".

    But nobody talks about these bits of dev because why would you? Devs just write games, people just want to play games. Console deals can be massive money spinners but the Trials 2, Minecraft etc... are few and far between now.
    My actions are in no way born out of some sort of Darwinist offensive
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    I call "by the time Microsoft have taken their cut and by the time you've paid off everything that needs paying off for 5 years worth of development, you're lucky if you've got enough left to buy some cat food".

    But nobody talks about these bits of dev because why would you? Devs just write games, people just want to play games. Console deals can be massive money spinners but the Trials 2, Minecraft etc... are few and far between now.
    Bingo

    This is what was pissing me off when people were screaming about Penny Arcade abusing Kickstarter because all their money was going to operating costs. They didn't seem to realize that said operating costs were where video game money was going too. Or with the Defense Grid people.

    That's a big problem Indie studios have in general. THey basically have to make the game out of pocket, and hope that sales will pay it off. But, they also have to hope that said sales will fund their NEXT game. Because gamers start expecting things and say "But they made so much money off the first one, why did they have trouble making the second one?"

    Which is really the big advantage the publishers have. During the late 90s/early 00s, EA could fund actually interesting experiments because they were making so much money off franchises and The Sims. If Spore had failed horribly, they could have absorbed the loss. ALthough, the shift to reliance on AAA games mean that the margin for "error" is much lower these days.
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    This is what was pissing me off when people were screaming about Penny Arcade abusing Kickstarter because all their money was going to operating costs. They didn't seem to realize that said operating costs were where video game money was going too.
    No, we didn't agree with it because it was effectively a perpetual thing. A game has a finish date. PA got round that by putting an arbitrary 12 month date on it while being up-front that they'll be back for more. The issue that people like myself raised was that nothing was being Kickstarted with PA, it was just funding the operation of an already incredibly-well established webcomic and community.

    We all know that Kickstarter money goes in part to operation costs but that goes into a final, finished product. Of course operation costs are a big part of where Kickstarter money goes, where the hell else does it go? My objection to some Kickstarter products is that they basically just fund something perpetually without starting something (like PA) or they're more about "hipster welfare" (not to lean too heavily on the phrase though before anyone shoots me!) where we fund somebody's life because they don't want to work while they make Puzzle Boggle Blaster 2.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Given how many times Fez got pushed back... I agree. Fuck 'em. I'm certainly not buying it.

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