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Are journalists covering BE required to only ask bland/uninteresting questions?

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Westwall, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Just going over these two interviews, it's actually quite shocking how little these interviewers seem to want to know about this game.

    You could say this is a given, seeing as how they have to cover literally hundreds of games and so there's only so much they could ask beyond the basics, but look again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omAxYLalgAI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJONminMmMk

    With the exception of Green Plaid Shirt Guy, the interviewers do seem familiar enough with BE to know what kind of questions they should be asking, especially Ben Moore in the GT interview. He was even in an earlier discussion musing about the new diplomacy system and wondering if and how "actual diplomacy" will play out. Yet in the actual interview with the lead designers, he never even touches on those questions. And then of course you had some godawful questions being selected, from the irrelevant (Mario-related questions) to the repetitive ("Did mods affect your ideas for BERT?").

    Meanwhile, during the IGN video, the interviewer brings up a lot of questions that actually were circulating among the community, but then doesn't bother following through with them. For example, he asks about the aliens and mentions how they didn't really seem to be all that was promised (being their own faction, being more interesting than barbarians, etc.), but then seems satisfied that this has been addressed with the leashing ability.

    I'm sorry, but what? How are concerns about how the aliens are basically avoidable right up until you can mop the floor with them using higher level units being addressed at all, let alone by the leashing ability? The leashing ability is literally just clicking and taking control of an alien unit. That's it. That's all it is. In no way does it give the player any more insight into the supposed ecosystem of the planet or the "behavior" of the aliens. It's just a Harmony ability for your explorer to grant you control over another unit.

    Why not take part in interviews with actual Civ players - you know, your key demgraphic?
     
  2. Hail

    Hail Satan's minion

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    civ players are not the key demographic.

    from civ5 and on, Firaxis clearly targets a wider audience. much wider.

    the player, that Firaxis wants to appeal to, might play a couple of games on Chieftain, choose different virtues, build some wonders, fight a war or two. win. and then "say, wow that was fun! the animations are awesome. love how the map looks!".

    now there is an expansion out! cool! water cities!! :eek: woah! you can move them!!! :goodjob:

    civ4 is the last civ game made by the players for the players. the good old days will never return.
     
  3. Selten

    Selten Chieftain

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    I don't agree that Civ is no longer being made for the players. Rather, I just believe that Firaxis is well aware their hardcore fans will be getting their Civ news from channels other than the mainline gaming sites, and therefore fashion the message through those outlets for a more casual audience. They leave the more detailed stuff for venues that casual fans are unlikely to be watching.
     
  4. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Those venues don't really exist though.

    Even here, it's mostly just people speculating and receiving the news as it comes on "mainstream" sites, same as everyone else.
     
  5. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Prince

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    You do realize that a lot of interviews in most media aren't really designed to get new information, but to give the interviewee the chance to sell whatever they're being interviewed about to the casual listener? The IGN interview was never supposed to give real, in-depth info, we just comb through it to find any that showed up mistake. The goal is to get the sales pitch across to the people who read/watch IGN - same with other places, hence why they always ask the same questions that get answered in the same way.

    The more in depth stuff is intended to come from the Firaxis Livestreams and perhaps player Let's Plays, but all of that is still controlled so they don't release too much information on things still not ready and/or very subject to change.
     
  6. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    I think what's jarring for me is that Moore actually had some really good questions in that earlier video, but when he's actually told by the host in that GT interview to go for the jugular and press the designers about their game, he seems to be at a loss for words.

    Whomp Whomp.
     
  7. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    The main reason is that video game journalism is a very new and undevelopped profession. Most people working there are before all video game fans who can write articles. They aren't really prepared to ask difficult or embarassing questions. Or they just can't if they want the publisher to still offer interviews to that company so they walk a fine line.

    A game would have to be truly a scandal for us to see it being assaulted in an interview. In the end it's all a matter of audience. If the main audience of video game websites were really looking forward for difficult questions, harsh critiques and investigation then it would develop that way. But I really doubt that's the case. From experience it comes down to the popularity of gaming websites being directly correlated with whether or not their reviews agree with the average opinion. And then a lot of the viewers of a particular video or article may have never heard of the game. As a result these interviews etc are mostly promotions from our point of view.
     
  8. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    As I see it though, it's less a general problem (at least in this case), and more an issue of there not really being much will to ask followup questions.

    It doesn't seem like the publishers/developers were discouraging questions beyond what we already know they won't talk about (last sponsor, what they're thinking about for the next expansion, etc.), but rather the interviewers themselves just aren't asking things that would actually be relevant to players who care about an improved gameplay experience.

    I understand what you're saying, but I feel like the really pressing questions that should be alright to ask just aren't being asked, and that's unfortunate.

    For example, one of the questions was about whether hybridization would be applied earlier in the game.

    Well right off the bat that's the wrong question to ask, since affinities don't really start making themselves known until close to the mid-game anyway.

    The question should've been "Do you plan to take hybridization a step further, and make more units and aspects of the game reflect a hybridized affinity path?"
     
  9. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    The kind of details we want are really the kind of stuff that you'd read in an in-depth faq or wiki. That's not what would work in an interview. So we're just not going to get what we want out of interviews.
     
  10. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Prince

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    Agreed, at least for interviews before release. Questions like why they didn't go further with the hybrid system or other new systems make a bit more sense after the games been released and people have the chance to see exactly how it all works out, but not before then. As for the systems, that's just not the type of stuff interviews go into.
     
  11. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Why are you surprised? Most of these "gaming journalists" are not 4X strategy fans. Heck, some of them are not even gamers at all. They just report on games as part of their job for IGN or Gamespot or whatever website they are working for.

    I do wish these websites would give these interviews to their resident 4X strategy gamer so that the interviews could be better. It is embarrassing to watch these "gaming journalists" ask questions when it is obvious that they have never played a 4X strategy game in their life.
     
  12. AriochIV

    AriochIV Analyst

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    Most "game journalists" are journalists in name only. The demise of the print gaming magazines left us with a gaggle of fan volunteers and poorly-paid hacks who are completely unprofessional.
     
  13. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Can't really blame them considering the audience and what they write on.

    I'm a big video game fan but expecting professional journalism is delusional considering the market and the subject.
     
  14. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    It doesn't help that strategy games are still "niche", so the few outlets who still exude a veneer of actual journalism just don't devote many resources to something like Civ:BE - it's an expansion to a niche-ish product - hard to get much investment there.

    I wonder if that's also one of the reasons why Firaxis is so reliant on streamers and their own live streams: not enough people (in the press) seem to care, so they have to drum up interest themselves.
     
  15. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Yes that's true for the amount of exposure and resource invested but I think his critique is more on the quality of content and even if you're a blockbuster like CoD the quality of reviews, interviews etc is exactly the same.
     
  16. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Yeah, I think so. Civ6 is a bit less niche because of the historical setting but a scifi 4X like BE is an incredibly small niche. But, I think the reason Firaxis goes to PAX or E3 is to try to get as much mainstream exposure for the game as possible so as to broaden their customer base as much as possible. But when you watch the coverage of PAX or E3, it is all about games like Call of Duty and Metal Gear Solid. Those games get incredible amounts of wall to wall coverage.
     
  17. gunnergoz

    gunnergoz Cat Herder

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    The problem is the same across all media, within and outside of the gaming world: media is entertainment and the people who do the interviewing are hired for qualities other than expertise in a specific area (history, politics, technology) but rather hired for their ability to engage in patter that furthers some form of marketing, spin or pitch.
     
  18. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Warlord

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    This is more a matter of pride and the fact I'm not in a position to watch these, but what did they say about Mods affecting Beyond Earth?
     
  19. Halbbruder

    Halbbruder Prince

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    What happened to Maddjinn (may have forgotten the exact spelling)? I enjoyed seeing and hearing his perspective in CivBE before release. He also helped reveal a few problems, despite Firaxis not fixing them either just before or just after release.

    If he's busy with some project or work, then that's understandable, but surely there's someone else like maddjinn that could interview Firaxis devs and ask about the game? BAstartgaming seems to be at least 1 civ player who engages with Firaxis on RT.
     
  20. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    He's part of the polycast (http://civcomm.civfanatics.com/polycast/polycast/) and has given quite some input about his thoughts towards Rising Tide in the last few episodes.
     

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