Jon Shafer joins Stardock to work on elemental

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Zanzibar, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. kosak

    kosak Chieftain

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    not to be glib but: there's a reason why when they interview you for most white collar jobs they usually have a few questions that start with the phrase "tell me a time when..."

    past performance is a good indicator of future results

    civ5 is considered a failure in the community (though not with critics strangely) and it doesn't seem like they are taking drastic enough steps to fix what has been determined by consensus broken
     
  2. Ayt

    Ayt Warlord

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    What failures has Shafer had that directly relate to his current position at Stardock? Even if we assume he did in fact fail as the lead designer of Civ 5, how does that ensure he will fail in the much different position he is in now?
     
  3. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    Why is it "strange" that they care more about the general gaming public (as reflected by critics), than about the fan community? There are a lot more customers in the former than the latter group. We post a lot more than they do, but we all pay the same amount for the game, which means the total revenue from fans is pretty minor.
     
  4. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    The main reason Civ V was (initially, before the word started coming out) a sales success, is thanks to the fans you so gleefully belittle. Civ lives and dies by the fans.
     
  5. Ya' know, 'cause NOONE but an existing fan would EVER dare to pick up a civ game.:rolleyes:
     
  6. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    This doesn't seem true to me. Again, we're talking about a game that sells millions of copies, and the number of fans like you describe is only in the tens of thousands, at most. The commercial success of the game rests on people (including friends of mine) who never visit sites like CFC.

    What is your evidence that the small number of fans are more important to the commercial success of the game than the much larger market of buyers who have a more casual approach to the game and who are influenced by mass-market reviews?
     
  7. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

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    The problem is another, this type of audiance will not be so loyal to the franchise and probably will leave the game more earlier than the fans... Civ IV sold a lot in the long time thanks to the fan base also, thanks to their big number... I think that casual gamers don't return or stay a lot on the same game, they will buy another hyped one and play that instead of Civ V... That's the difference... It will be the first (apart CivRev) Civ game with a short lifespan... The same people that are playing now Civ V when will be out a game like Assasin's Creed Brotherhood will leave it... The same end that Spore had...
     
  8. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    This seems to be his problem, and sounds like the problem with Civ V, think of the BTS concepts, they all where very innovated with terrible implementation.

    Corporations, totally gamebreaking in many ways when first introduced, very little though was taken to how the game works, inflation broke them, poor AI broke them, out of control profiteering broke them. They got fixed in time, but he pretty much threw out an unrefined idea and fixed in on the fly with patches.

    Espionage, already mentioned

    Random events, controversial idea that had some issues, still has some balance issues.


    He seems like he would be a great guy to have on a programming team, so long as he is not the leader building something form the ground up. At least BTS had the Civ Core already built.
     
  9. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    But 2K doesn't make any more money from a person who plays the game for 1000 hours, than from a person who plays the game for 10 hours before moving on. (Leaving aside DLC which doesn't seem likely to be very successful and, if anything, is probably more targeted at casual players than at fans.) If they were trying to maximize play hours, rather than maximize copies sold, their business would be very different.

    They can also sell expansions to that casual community, who play the game for a while, lose interest, and then see an expansion on the shelf and pick it up to play the game for a while longer.

    They can also sell Civ 6 to that community, five years from now.

    I don't see any way in which what you describe is a problem for 2K or Take2. Frankly, I wish it were, because the games I'd like to see are more like what you would like to see. But that's not where the market is leading them.
     
  10. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Civ IV sold 3.5 million copies. So I think the fan base is "slightly" larger than you think. "tens of thousands" my ass.




    Actually, it seems he did a poor job at programming during the BtS project, and it fell upon his colleagues to do fix his code.
     
  11. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    Huh? That's exactly my point. Civ 4 sold millions of copies, but only tens of thousands of those into the fan community, people who do things like participating in CFC, actively modding, etc. The vast, vast majority of those sales were to relatively casual players, the people who are now relatively pleased by Civ 5, whose views are reflected in the positive mainstream reviews of Civ 5, etc., etc.
     
  12. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

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    I agree with you... And it's very sad....

    I know very well that it is not important for them how many hours you spend on the game... And people are so stupid to buy every sequel they put on the market, only because addressed by reviews an various other advertisement... We are not more homo sapiens, but homo sheepens (or ovis if you know latin)...
     
  13. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Speak for thyself, sir. I don't even have a Facebook account :goodjob:
     
  14. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

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    A i stated elsewhere in a very snobbish way, me neither..;)
     
  15. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    I don't think the mass market is stupid. I think they are actually enjoying the game and getting good value for their money. They just like something different from what you or I like.

    The world's most popular "game" is Farmville. Civ 5 is twelve levels above that, if you're going to complain about things being dumbed down. And even Farmville is enjoyable for the people who play it.

    When anything, including games, migrates from a niche audience to a broader mass-market audience, it inevitably loses some of its appeal to the niche audience in exchange for gaining more appeal with the mass audience.

    I do think that Firaxis and 2K could have done a better job of preserving the appeal of the game to fans, while still making it popular with the mass market. I wish they had done that. But, to the extent it's one or the other, I'm not surprised they care more about the latter than the former.
     
  16. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

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    If you need to dumb down something for the mass market, like you stated about Farmville, than we can say that mass is stupid as well... It's a direct consequence...

    So mass is stupid> the game is made dumb for mass>the mass buy the game>the mass is stupid and it's a neverended loop... Obviusly the correct answer is that who made the game likes stupid masses, because he can sell a game with little effort and with big revenue...
     
  17. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    No, I don't agree that you have to be "stupid" to like simpler games or entertainments. Is everyone stupid who likes formulaic Hollywood films? Is everyone stupid who reads generic romances or mysteries? Is everyone stupid who listens to popular music?

    Sometimes people aren't looking for complexity or depth in their entertainment. They just want something simple and fun.
     
  18. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

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    I think who enjoy the above are people not so smart... the same people that vote Berlusconi in Italy out of some stupid reason like: "he bought Ibraimovich and Robinho for Milan, i'm a Milan fan so i vote for him" or " if his TVs says that the best singer in Italy come out of a TV show like Big Brother or such on the same TV, it must be true, if the singer votes for Berlusconi than it must be right to vote him"...

    And so on... If you are loaded with idiocracy by Media&Market, idiotic things became normal and popular and your statement became true... If i close up McDonald franchise, a lot of problems related will be solved, but because we are free to destroy ourselves, we defend the freedom of eating at Mc... We defend their money and the problems related that weight only us... It's a loop, because people is stupid, there is no reaction agaist who wants people stay stupid and at the same time makes money out of that (and damages us directly)...

    But that's totally of topic now, so excuse me...
     
  19. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Good post. Jon Shafer will thrive at Stardock.

    Totally different atmosphere from Firaxis.
     
  20. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    Oh... Well, if thats the case then he would make an ok consultant since he comes up with ok ideas, but more than that would only lower the quality of whatever project he's on.
     
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