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Jon Shafer joins Stardock to work on elemental

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

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  1. jpinard

    jpinard Martian

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    LOL no kidding! Throm are you schizophrenic? After my positive comment you went in a totally different direction than I expected. I think I need to retract my statement :lol:
     
  2. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Not really. I just find it hard to blame Jon Shafer too much for the fiasco that was ciV.

    When ciV first came out, I like many people blamed Jon Shafer totally for the garbage game that it was. Over time I've come to realize that the fault lies with a number of parties and not just with Jon Shafer.

    I place much of the blame on crappy 2K Games. Their meddling and penny pinching was largely responsible for what happened. They were more concerned with their year end financial statement then with ensuring Civ fans got a quality game. Thanks to those jerks, we got a half baked piece of crap that wasn't even close to release.

    I am not going to exonerate Jon Shafer for everything because he made some pretty big mistakes. (See Sullla's breakdown for some concrete examples.) However, I can't fault him for doing the best he could with the amount of experience he had and with the resources he was given. Unfortunately, that was far short of adequate. He was basically set up to fail and 2K Games didn't give a damn.

    Everyone is human and we all make mistakes. I am over being pissed off about ciV. The game "might" be rescued from oblivion by some extensive modding but I'm not holding my breath. Firaxis doesn't have a great track record in fixing things so it'll be left to the fans to clean up the mess.

    All I care about now is Jon Shafer increasing the modding capability of Elemental and I'm confident he'll do the job very well. He does have talent and I think he just needs to gain more experience in the industry and work with a team in a positive atmosphere where suits aren't looking over your shoulder.
    Stardock is that sort of company. I respect them and they'll get my business.

    PS The sarcastic octopus is on my ignore list. Glad to see he hasn't changed his unpleasant personality any. Lol.
     
  3. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    To me that doesn't sound like: "Oh, ciV is all I ever dreamed of and I did exactly what I wanted"... So where's your point?
     
  4. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Hmmm.....

    So, why didn't he continue his work until it was perfect?
     
  5. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    Sometimes it shows self preservation.

    In the legal world, we refer to a certain practice as the "noisy withdrawal." It's basically when you're working for a scumbag client and you simply cannot stomach working for them anymore, so you publicly announce that you are leaving in a way that makes it pretty clear your client is a scumbag (without actually saying that your client is a scumbag).

    What this can do is protect your own reputation, since the client (or company here) clearly does not give a fig about your future ability to find employment or sell product with your name attached to it.

    Think of it this way.

    If someone titled a new 4X space game "Jon Shafer's Lord of Space," would you buy it on the name alone? Or would you say "Jon Shafer?! Isn't he the guy that totally $%#@ed the Civ franchise? Blech. No thanks." On the other hand, if you had hints that Shafer wasn't entirely to blame for Civ 5's failure to deliver, maybe you'd give him more of a chance. By him coming out and saying "Look, I know the game that I designed wasn't perfect, but believe me, I WANTED to do a lot more. I just...couldn't," he buys himself a CHANCE at improving his reputation in the future, after a period of behind-the-scenes work.

    Ya Rly.

    Reading between the lines of that interview, take a look at the following:

    Translation:


    and....

    Translation:

     
  6. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    I haven't visited the forums very much in the last few weeks, so I'm curious... What did he say?
     
  7. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Well, in brief, Shafer did not show any capability in any of the endeavors he was involved with, sometimes relying on his colleagues to fix his sh*t. The fact that he always manages to stay afloat tells me he's the definition of a chanta. And his interview shows exactly the manipulative finesse of a good chanta.
     
  8. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    Thank you for the summary! But what about his jokes about streamling and big buttons? Is there a link to that interview?
     
  9. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    I have to agree with Thor re: the "tempest in a teacup" comment. Some of you guys have made this SO personal it's almost scary. And interesting, because while a lot of us are in agreement about Civ 5, we appear to have completely different ideas about who should be held responsible. Some of you want to crucify Jon himself, as the sole responsible party for the mess that is Civ 5, while some of us are actually rational. (HaHA! I kid, I kid.) ;)

    But seriously: watch the credits for a video game sometime. You'll see several hundred names. Jon's just one of those. Yes, he's the Lead Designer, but please understand that even with that hip and trendy "Lead" in his title, he was unlikely to have the authority to single-handedly push the Civ 5 release out by a year. That rested with Sid or with 2K Games, most likely.

    FWIW - and not to come down on you, Jpinard - but we need to recognize that as much as we think we "know" each other's opinions, most of us probably have a bit more nuance to our thoughts re: Civ 5, Firaxis, 2K Games, and Mr. Shafer than is readily apparent from the forums here. I know, I know... we're supposedly to easily-categorized "haters" or "fanboys," but real life doesn't actually work that way. ;)

    There's a quote from Jon earlier in the thread here where he makes a joke about "streamlining" Elemental and adding a big fat "I WIN" button in the middle of the screen. And I'd take anyone's "summary" with a grain of salt, given that most all of these opinions are based on speculation. :)
     
  10. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    The people that keep Shafer as the sole responsible for what Civ V turned out to be, exist in only one place: your head.
     
  11. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    There is only one person to blame for Sid Meier's Civ 5, and that's Sid Meier.

    Firaxis is Sid's company, and it's his name on the game. He's big enough to tell the suits at 2K to go **** themselves. But with Facebook Civ and his golf handicap grabbing his attention, I guess Sid Meier's Civ 5 was left to it's own devices.

    So blaming Jon Shafer for the disappointingly anodyne Civ 5, is like blaming Eva Braun for World War 2.
     
  12. You are assuming that Sid could pick up Firaxis and just walk away.
     
  13. Brian Shanahan

    Brian Shanahan Permanoob

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    No it'd be a better analogy to say "like blaming Adolf Eichmann for the holocaust" (ok way out of proprotion still, but it's an analogy). He wasn't the head honcho, but as lead designer you have to assume that he either came up with most of the concepts himself or that his was the voice greenlighting the concepts. IF this is not the case then there has to be two questions asked:
    1) Is the concept of leadership so meaningless to Firaxis/2K that they'll put anyone in charge, and
    2) Why did Jon not jump ship when he realised that the job as just him as fall guy if it went wrong (which would be alot quicker than when he eventually left)?

    Now I know we can't blame him for everything, e.g. all the job losses half way through, but there are a lot of things wrong with this game that no amount of programming can fix, i.e. the concepts from the start were wrong for the game and either should have not been considered, or dropped when realisation struck that they were wrong.
     
  14. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Am I the only one surprised that such a vitriolic thread took so long to reach a discussion about WWII? But hey, slow to get there, but, at least it's not messing around now that it's made it, indirectly comparing Shafer to the fellow who orchestrated the Holocaust...
     
  15. Brian Shanahan

    Brian Shanahan Permanoob

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    An analogy only explains a situation, not puts an equivalency on it. Why do so many people not understand this basic point?
     
  16. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Oh, I understand it. I'm just chuckling that, out of thousands of less morally charged examples available, an indirect comparison is being made between Shafer and the fellow who orchestrated the Holocaust. Couldn't have put on the kiddie gloves and just compared him to Lucifer being responsible for the fall from grace, eh?
     
  17. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    Re-read a few of the posts in this thread. ;)
     
  18. Brian Shanahan

    Brian Shanahan Permanoob

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    Well if you look at the post I responded to then you would know why I chose it, and not be complaining. But then again you may be just selectively reading the posts to get to the ones you don't like.

    My whole point is that saying that Shafer shouldn't be held as the most responsible (and there's a lot here saying he should not be held responsible at all, like he was just the janitor or something) are completely missing the point for the reason he was given the job of Lead Designer. Either he gets the resposnibility and deals with it or the title is a meaningless sinecure given to random people walking off the street. If it is the latter, my guess is we won't be seeing Civ 6 from company folding due to lack of any sort of business sense.
     
  19. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Actually, I didn't selectively pick out your post at all - I made a general comment about the thread taking this turn, not about your particular contributions to it. Is it really so hard to believe that I'm just really finding it funny that, when examples are picked, the OBVIOUS case people jump to is indirectly comparing a game designer that made a game they didn't like to the freaking Nazis? I don't know whether it's just decades of indoctrination or some ridiculous indirect mental connection of "bad = Nazis = like Shafer," but it always comes back to one of the most stark cases of the past century.
     
  20. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Nice try, oh ardent Civilization 5 defender, but that wasn't implied at all.

    I know you are desperate to invoke Godwin's law here but it never happened.

    You are reading too much into things.
     
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