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Does Firaxis not have enough resources, employees?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Shmike, Jul 6, 2012.

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  1. Esperr

    Esperr King

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    Theres this thing called the Civ cycle. Where the latest instalment of civ is bashed and called unplayable at start, while the game before it in the series is considered heaven on earth.

    I remember when Civ IV came out people said it was terrible and civ III was still best, andthe same thing has happened with V. and once six comes out five will be the greatest game ever and six will be trash.
     
  2. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    C3C being abandoned is probably one of the most bitter experiences I've had and in that case Firaxis came out and said it was Infogrames who cut the budget and pulled funding for the 'final' patch that they put out. So bugs remained unfixed.

    In later interviews that I can't find on google, breakaway games insisted a lot of bugs in the final version were not present when they shipped it to Firaxis. So who messed up? Who knows. But Civ3 is a great entry that was hurt by the publisher.

    That said, generally, a game as complex as Civ, I give them more leeway and under 2K, Firaxis has done great stuff. After the 18 months of patching we got and Gods and Kings, I think the slate is finally clean.

    :lol:

    Let the next cycle begin.
     
  3. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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  4. gps

    gps King

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    You calling me stupid? Can't be, that would be against the forum rules, so I must have misread something here. Well I detain myself telling what I call ignoring well establlished and obvous behavior of the gaming inustry. ;)
    And I did not even say that behaviour is bad, I only said I don't like if they don't even finish "public betatesting" properly. And I did not even critizise Firaxis or Civ V, my post was a general one. Not quite sure what's so offensive about that statement. :)

    I have to admit some bad trends in the gaming industry allready started in the 90ies. But I did not see them starting in the Civilization franchise - and Microprose in the days when Bill and Sid were in charge was a company of undisputet quality were I had no second though at all spending money full price at day one. Sadly those days for me are over, even for a franchise like Civilization.

    Well, you seem to be the one getting worked up about any comments critizising your most worshipped fetish game, not me...
    Moderator Action: Please don#t troll around.

    I leave that judgement to the mods. And I did not realize this was one of the forum where only statements of worship and adoration were allowed. Sorry for making that mistake and thanks for pointing that out! ;)
     
  5. gozpel

    gozpel Couch-potato (fortified)

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    The real problem was that they hired a young gun to ride the ship, he was very experienced with CIV as a whole and a very talented programmer. But to reinvent the already invented, you need to use the other half of the brain too.

    Sadly, the guy came up with nice ideas, but was unable to make them happen. So we've got that bug-ridden vanilla which had so many changes, but nothing worked really.

    And at this stage, the only problem I have with G&K is long turntimes and some memoryleaks.

    The game isn't complete, it will never be, but it's better than before and very playable. :)
     
  6. veteranspy

    veteranspy Chieftain

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    It is much more profitable to release a half-baked program that is cut then charges money for DLC and 'expansions'. While some people would go on the forums and cry, these same people already bought the game and so they can be summarily ignored. They would most certainly talk about how the customers are the most important thing in the universe (a great success of the modern consumerism propaganda, making the customers think they are important) or that the company is some sort of sand-scum that deserves no money. But the truth is, these people talk but never walk, they never vote with their money and not buy the game. They pay for it then go to complain about it on the forums, where he is ignored by anybody important.

    Additionally, it is essentially impossible to deliver bug-free games. It is also impossible to deliver relatively bug-free games in the deadline of the standard game development cycle. This is a simple truth of software development. If you had never developed complex software you would never understand, but software is the single most complex thing human has developed. It is ORDER OF MAGNITUDE more complex than things like space shuttle or cern.

    Software development also does not necessarily benefit from having additional programmers. Once you hit the top limit, you can hire 100000 more programmers and it won't be delivered any faster, most likely it will be delivered later, because you now must find something for the 100000 people to do or you would get yelled at by human resources.
     
  7. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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    I never called you stupid, I said that your statement was stupid. Read it again, it really makes no sense. Offensive? I never used that word, but saying that companies make unfinished games because of the internet (?!) is some strange reasoning to say the least. And Sid's name always equalled perfection? Huh, you must be living in an alternative reality where the Civ III launch never happened, kudos to you. That's why I will never condemn a Civ game based on its state at launch - C3 was also an incredibly flawed game, but with some patching and 2 expansion it came around and now nobody considers it a failure.

    Anyways, just look at yourself. You're spending your time ranting about a game you don't like on a forum that's dedicated to it. You post vague comments about how much 1UPT sucks, how Firaxis suck, how the whole industry sucks on every topic that even remotely criticizes the game; quite frankly I have to wonder why the hell you are even playing games at all. Almost all of your recent posts on this forum are on the V sub-forum even though you hate V. You bash anyone who defends it and try to hide that with a bunch of emoticons, as if that makes any difference. Fetish game? Really? You hate it with such blinded passion that you are calling it a "fetish" game? Or are you saying that I have a fetishistic relationship with CiV or something, does that even make any sense to you? Do you even know what the word actually means?

    I am not worshipping the game. I have said on many occasions that I was gravely disappointed by CiV at launch (even in this thread), but of course it's better if you ignore that, it doesn't bode well with that fetish thing. However unlike you I saw a lot of potential in it and even pre-G+K I had my fun time with the patched vanilla, even if the game still felt incomplete and had an abysmal diplo and tactical AI. Now with G+K I feel like it's really become a solid product and a worthy addition to the franchise. Better than Civ 4 BTS? No, but in my opinion more one step above Civ 4: Warlords. And while it still has its shortcomings, particularly the AI and some still absent features (foreign trade routes, war weariness, asking a civ to stop converting you), CiV G+K does some things better than IV, namely religion, espionage (I hated it in IV), the really cool things you can do with City States, the combat that's not dependant on dice rolls and heck, with just a bit more effort diplomacy isn't that far away either. Even now I feel like I am interacting with actual (albeit sometimes irrational) leaders and not trade screens like in IV, which was one of the things that really bugged me about it. V is also the first Civ that actually makes both wide and tall empires equally viable choices, each with its own benefits, whereas in previous games bigger empires were always better.

    But of course all that is lost on you. You hated the game even before you played it, and no, don't tell me that's not true, we both know it is. It's cool to hate it, anyone who disagrees with you is a fanboy and a fetishist (apparently). The whole industry is going down, Firaxis dropped the ball for the first time and this is the first rushed and incomplete launch they have ever had, expansion packs and patches that fix issues must be carefully ignored, we must all hate CiV and have the same view on things like you.

    If you want to hate it, be my guest, it's your choice, but understand that not everyone feels the same way. I can see why some people dislike the 1UPT thing and SPs, even if I consider the the perceived depth of the civics in 4 to be to a large extent illusionary. I can see why some people miss culture flipping and map trading, even if that doesn't really bug me at all. I get all that, but I don't miss those things that much.

    You however refuse to accept the fact that some people really like CiV G+K. You refuse to accept that maybe there is a reason why CiV is so widely popular (unlike genuine flops like SotS 2, Elemental or Stronghold 3). You refuse to accept that anyone can enjoy it for what it is, that maybe, just maybe it does some things right. And no, it's not so popular because it's "dumbed down", by that logic Warlock should have trumped it long ago, yet it's not even in the top 100 games on Steam. You refuse to accept that maybe CiV is actually a good game. Not necessarily better or worse than IV (this is where personal opinions come in), just different, a good alternative to it. But no, that's out of the question, it's too easy to just hate it and rub your hate in everyone's faces. One would think that after almost 2 years you would just move along, but I guess it's still too early.


    Regardless, I am reporting this thread, we'll see if the mods agree with me. Any criticism is welcomed on this forum and you know that damn well, after all you have been posting on almost every such topic you could find. But while criticism and discussing issues the game has is welcome, ranting has its own thread. You know the way, you practically live there.
     
  8. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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  9. veteranspy

    veteranspy Chieftain

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  10. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    Here's the math I've come up with to explain why there are always bugs in a game:

    Lets say there are 25 people playing the game to test it for bugs and they work 8 hour a day, 5 days a week, for 10 weeks. Multiply that all together and you get 10000 hour of testing done on the game.
    Now the game is released and 10000 people buy it on the first day. After one hour they have equaled the work done by the testing team in ten weeks. After two hours they've doubled it, and so on.

    Now I'm just making up these numbers but 25 testers might even be a big team and 10000 sales on the first day is very small for a game series like Civilization.

    Imagine they tested for a full year spending a combined 52000 hours total playing the game. If they sell 52000 copies, then a year of work is equaled in an hour!

    If these testers were minimum wage payed by hour workers, that's half a million dollars spent testing, which would be done for free after the game is out for one hour.

    So the answer is they don't have enough resources, or employees to fully test the game. Looking at this math, how could you possibly expect them to do better? I'm surprised they bother to test games at all considering how much time and money it takes to test and how often they're accused of not testing at all, and how people complain about basically paying to be beta testers.

    There's no way to fix the problem of games being released with bugs. We have to live with it.

    Sorry if the bolding seems obnoxious but those numbers are so insane I wanted to make sure no one misses them.
     
  11. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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  12. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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  13. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    The awful performance is made worse by the no-stacking rule. Basically, each piece has to avoid all of the other pieces on a crowded map, and the net result is a tremendous amount of computational overhead. That's the sort of completely predictable thing that can chew up a large amount of development time. With a finite budget you then end up with many other things not properly tested and polished.
     
  14. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    This is an overstated problem. Many strategy games work on what amount to '1UPT' rules from the AI's perspective - i.e. a need to pack multiple game pieces into a confined space. Any RTS, for example - and while the maps are bigger relative to the 'pieces', most conflicts take place in a limited section of the map where these considerations apply, possibly to a greater extent than in Civ. "Pathing" does indeed represent a recurring problem for AIs in these games, but that isn't the key issue people tend to raise with Civ V's AI. Strategy game AIs are rarely terribly good, but that's usually for tactical reasons rather than an inherent issue with 1UPT considerations or their equivalents.

    And in G&K most issues that are directly traceable to 1UPT - including moving armies together and putting the appropriate pieces on the appropriate tiles, and appreciating spatial concepts like flanking - have been resolved. The problems with the combat AI that people still raise are mainly tactical, such as units wandering aimlessly around cities without attacking them, which has nothing to do with spatial constraints of a 1UPT system on a Civ-sized map.
     
  15. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    The Civ engine didn't have to deal with this problem before, and from the games I played it appeared to be a major contributor to lag. I'm not referring to this as an AI problem per se, as opposed to a performance problem. (I would say, however, that optimizing tactical position on arbitrary maps with complicated unit sets is far from a solved AI problem!)
     
  16. Thander

    Thander Warlord

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    Firaxis has a lot more games to support now. They have the Civ Facebook game, the Civ 5 iPhone/iPad ports, and Civ 5 itself. Whereas the old days they only worked on one game at a time. Yes, they have mostly separate teams working on these games, but the big design decisions have to be made from the top. Those are made by a handful of people that split their time between all the company's projects.
     
  17. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Ah, I see what you're getting at. Yes, that could well be a large part of it, although I suspect the fact that the city-states add so many extra factions that need to take a turn is a bigger contributor. Total War games - which feature stacking on the campaign map (although slow movement) and large numbers of factions - also suffer from a lot of lag between turns.

    That's certainly true. Although I've been pleasantly surprised by the Fall of Rome scenario. I made the mistake of moving a catapult up but miscalculating the movement of nearby melee units, so that it was in front (in a fort) by one tile. I thought "Damn, there's a Cataphract around here somewhere - that could be a problem if the AI decides to attack with it". Which it promptly did next turn. Every time an AI attack comes from melee units, it has flankers or supporting units (except when I managed to cut off a Legion that had left its city to attack - that was the one bad move I've seen the AI make). I've yet to lose a unit, but with few improvements to pillage to improve my health, my attack has definitely been slowed by having to keep my units out of vulnerable positions, because I'm rapidly learning the AI is bright enough to identify and exploit any weak spots.

    It's certainly leagues ahead of an admittedly somewhat old Medieval II Total War AI, which in one recent game decided its spearmen were best-placed marching off to the right flank to (slowly) engage my crossbowmen (who get a bonus against armoured troops, which included those spearmen), and sticking with this plan even as my cavalry hit the enemy archers and militia that made up the left flank (admittedly he had spearmen there as well, but I had them tied up with my own infantry).
     
  18. veteranspy

    veteranspy Chieftain

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  19. gps

    gps King

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    Stay cool and think about how patches should be distributed without the internet... :rolleyes:

    There's hardly anything Sid contributed to III except his name. I was talking about a time when he actually with his own hands programmed cool stuff like Railroad Tycoon, Pirates, F15, Silent Service, Red Storm Rising, F19, Gunship and all the other legendary titles. :rolleyes:

    Yeah whatever. Ranting about the game is a lot better than ranting about people you hardly know and making it your mission to contradict each and ever post including even the slightest hint of criticism versus your favourite game or your own opinion. But thanks you are so considerate about me, the state of my mind and how I spend my time... :rolleyes:
    From now on I'll just ignore your posts completely...

    Moderator Action: Please refrain from such trolling.
     
  20. gozpel

    gozpel Couch-potato (fortified)

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    Children, calm down. :)

    No game will ever be perfect for everybody, just now CiV is a fairly balanced game and it can't get worse with future patches and maybe DLC's or Expansion.

    Right now, G&K is very playable. Not the best game in civ-history, but not many games can offer what's convoluted in this game.

    So, you either hate it too much to continue playing, or you do like me, continue playing and hoping for the best.:) The game itself will NEVER be the perfect game and I'm quite content with what I have now.
     
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