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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. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Point me to any post that holds Shafer as the only resonsible for what Civ V is now. That's your claim: that some people hold him as the only responsible for the state Civ V is in. My claim is that such people don't exist in reality, but perhaps they do in an imaginary world, imagined by you.
     
  2. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Actually, that's exactly what has happened, and it's largely my incredulity that it ALWAYS comes back to that that prompted my original post.

    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."[

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

    There has been just such an analogy made now. Actually, several, and now the discussion has migrated to which Nazis or major WWII Nazi related figure is the PROPER one to compare Shafer and his Civ ruining cronies too. It doesn't specify that the analogy has to state that the person in question is as bad/morally reprehensible as the Nazis, just that such an analogy has been made.

    And, it's kind of sad that I've become a "Civ V defender" because I don't outright hate the game, think it's total trash, and rather believe it has some potential that might be fleshed out over a series of patches and expansions, and for the time being, find it fun but not mind blowing... In this forum, henceforth dubbed the happiest virtual place on the internet, that's what a Civ V defender amounts to.
     
  3. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    You do?

    Clearly, you don't.
     
  4. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Meh. Things always degrade on any forum thread after awhile. However, I think you are mistaken in this case. Jon Shafer was portrayed as being innocent more than anything.

    Just be thankful that these aren't the 2K Games' Forums. It's definitely like a police state over there.

    Glad you can still find the game fun somehow. It just doesn't do it for me at all. :(
     
  5. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Yeah, I'm really sorry for a lot of you guys who really dislike the game. I can see why - there are miles to improve it - but, I'm not sold that it's fundamentally unimproveable as many here are.

    What's unfortunate is the forum has degraded into a bit of a cesspit of the blame game - the strategy and tactics forum as well. I'll see someone in there post a genuine question of "I'm having trouble in this situation" and it's rare to find a thread of that nature not be filled with direct and indirect claims of "it's because the 1UPT sucks so much and the game is a lemon!" Really, it's just getting tiresome for those of us who have been coming here to discuss the games.

    I appreciate that you've been very even keel in your postings and avoiding the blame-game mentality. If I get a bit nitpicky, it's frustration in seeing this forum become such a vitriolic place where so little of the constructive posting that used to be its hallmark gets done any more.
     
  6. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Actually, I read that and I still think it's pretty clear I do. But, thanks for your input.
     
  7. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I agree that it's pretty sad that the forums have degenerated the way they have. :(

    Personally, I hate the game and at first I was full of piss and vinegar about it. Now, I just don't care anymore which is much worse in my opinion. The opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.

    I dislike seeing people trying to derail positive threads. Hearing what you said about the Strategy and Tactics forums saddens me to be honest.

    Still, Firaxis and 2K Games should be told loud and clear that this game is completely unacceptable. If we roll over and accept it, we'll just get more crap like this in the future.

    I am of the opinion that the game might be salvageable in a few years time with the dedicated work of the community. Essentially tearing it apart and rebuilding it correctly on the scale of the 12 tasks of Hercules.
    Perhaps when Firaxis and 2K Games see what we really want (since they apparently have no clue) they'll put forth a better effort for Civ VI. I really doubt they will but a guy can dream can't he?
     
  8. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Shanahan did not compare Shafer to Eichmann. If you understand this, I have nothing to add.
     
  9. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    I know whose fault this is: who's that a_hole that pulled Eva Braun in this? Thank you very much for the mess.
     
  10. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    Wow... you really gotta get personal about this, don't you?

    You're taking a remark I made, interpreting it in the most literal sense possible, and then throwing it back in my face as some sort of "proof" of something. (Proof of what, I'm not sure.)

    Sadly, any inclination I had to try and explain my point vanished when you took such a deliberately contentious attack. Actual discussion is out the window at this point, given your need to insult people you disagree with.
     
  11. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    That's not very nice. Ok then here's a better analogy, don't blame the monkey for what the organ-grinder plays.

    Had Sid's eye been on the ball he could have delayed the publication of Civ 5.

    Had Sid bothered to read the design document he could have torn it up.

    Instead we have a game designed by 2K accountants, and if Sid had given a damn about Civ, Civ 5 would have been at least worthy of the name Civ.

    But no, Sid played golf whilst Civ burned, and buried himself in his facebook vanity project.
     
  12. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    And there you go. In your post you divided the respondents in this thread into two categories: those who put all the blame on Shafer, and the reasonable ones. Once you're taken to task, you chicken out. Why? Because, as I said, people who consider Shafer as the only culprit for Civ V simply don't exist.

    EDIT: This is extremely important for the discussion, because everybody who has faulted Shafer, only said that his responsibility for Civ V was much higher than that of an average coder's. That's a point worth arguing. Is "lead designer" only a meaningless title? If so, as someone said, let's call the janitor as "lead designer", and attribute absolutely no responsibility to anyone.

    Does "lead designer" mean anything at all?


    Stating that the people who say Shafer has a responsibility for Civ V given his title, are "crucifying him" is a cheap cop-out, trying to avoid the real, rational discussion. And THAT is why I'm taking you to task to back your words with any fact whatsoever. And your drama-queen histrionics won't work, trust me. You won't wiggle out of this one with histrionics alone.
     
  13. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Good post. Firaxis and 2K Games are largely responsible for this debacle.

    Sid Meir seems to have changed his philosophy over the years and now just likes fluff games. Games with no substance. Sad that it's come to this. :(
     
  14. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    Ok, first off, just to get it out of the way:

    ZOMG!!! JON SHAVER IS TEH HITLAR!!!11!


    There. Now we have Godwin fully covered. :)

    Moving on to less intarwebzy subjects...


    ...ok, so maybe not TOTALLY done with intarwebzy bits. :) (Just funnin' here, though, really.)

    But seriously, I see your point, and agree with you to some extent.

    Whether it's entirely his fault or not, he does bear SOME of the responsibility. That said, it strikes me that he was the wrong guy for the job, and someone ELSE bears the responsibility of putting him in that job in the first place, and therefore bears more responsibility for the state of Civ 5.

    I think it's really a combination of factors. Yes, he is a guy who is relatively inexperienced (at least at leading software teams), and is primarily a modder. Modders can be good idea guys, but in terms of managing your team and getting them to effectively implement ideas with limited resources...that's a different set of skills altogether.

    Given how the various changes to the game play out, I get the sneaking suspicion (and I, of course, have no proof of this) that the changes were handed down from on-high. The suits at 2K said "We want this list of features in the game, so that's your primary focus." Shafer delivered as best he could, and my hunch is that, especially when coupled with layoffs, he didn't have enough left to deal with other areas of the game, and was pretty much "just following orders." (Godwin? Is that you again? Will you get out of here already?!)

    Anyway, yeah, I think he's responsible, but my sense is he was also hamstrung from the get-go. Does that mean that a really talented, experienced team leader couldn't still have pulled together a better product? Absolutely not. It would've been an uphill battle either way (oooh, those terrain bonuses...), but someone with more years/mileage in this particular type of position might've done a better job. Maybe not, though. We really can't know that without knowing the specifics.

    Shafer, however, was not the right guy for this gig. That much is clear. Not necessarily a sleight against him (not unless he takes another Team Lead job), but neither does it totally absolve him of any responsibility. You put your name on the thing, you're responsible. Hey, he could've always gone the "Alan Smithee" approach.


    The thing is, from some of the stories I've heard about how the software industry works....well, this stuff happens, and sometimes at the biggest of names where you'd think they know how to run a business better.

    Two things:

    1.) They DO know how to run a business better, but that business is the business of making money by any means available, rather than turning out quality product and hoping it makes money. If that means shafting a particular title with a tiny staff, a miniscule budget, and a check-list of "must have" features, well...they'll do it. Especially if they know that as long as the product is minimally functional and -- above all -- pretty, it'll sell based on its reputation alone.

    2.) In some cases, former lead designers will "take a sabbatical" when they recognize the incoming no-win scenario, which can result in lesser experienced hands being promoted (hey, someone has to be Team Lead, right?), so even a well-run company can end up with an inexperience project lead.
     
  15. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    ^^Good post.
     
  16. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Excellent post Solo4114. :)

    Basically, Shafer was the wrong guy for the job but he certainly isn't a talentless hack. Certainly he made many mistakes but it's understandable considering the circumstances.

    The blame more lies with Firaxis promoting him to a position he clearly wasn't ready for and for 2K Games caring more about the $$$ then about creating a quality game for long time Civ fans.

    Thanks for getting Godwin's law out of the way too. :p
     
  17. jpinard

    jpinard Martian

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    If there was any confusion, it was Thormodr saying Civ V was "OK" just not his game, and that the vitriol against Jon was terrible and his theories one what/why. But I missed Thormodr's posts where on the other hand he was then kind of blaming Jon and saying the game was atrocious.

    When it comes down it, Civ V isn't atrocious, it's simply not the game many of us wanted. But we see many parts of the game that show us the greatness it could be (for us) note: many people think it's brilliant as-is.

    There may be no going back to local happiness, change how health bonus's work by making them not generic +1 food, along with 2 units per hex, group move, and a more interesting tech tree, and end-game replays.
    That's what would make Civ V the perfect game to me, all other things could remain as-is and would work nicely. The game has a beautiful foundation, it's just how much will Firaxis change and develop it, and how much can we mod it?
     
  18. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then. I think Civilization 5's foundations are akin to rotten cement.

    If the game is to be salvaged, they'll have to tear it all down and start again.

    I don't envy the modder's task. :(

    In my opinion, we shouldn't settle for half arsed products. The moment we do, it sends a very clear signal to Firaxis and 2K Games that they can do it again and again.
     
  19. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    You don't know that.
     
  20. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    I think we all can agree that there are many reasons why Civ 5 became the lousy game that it is today. And of course, 2k Games is most likely responsible for the rushed release date, forced Steam and much of the "streamlining".

    We've also seen that Jon has decent modding skills and he was largely involved with BTS, which is my favourite Civ expansion. Of course he's got a lot of talent! So why did things go so horrible wrong.

    I think this is the curse of being a modder... Because when you make a mod, you always create what YOU want to create. If people enjoy it, great, but you're always the boss. Of course, even with the most decent modding tools, there are always limitations on what you could achieve.

    So when Shafer got the opportunity to be the lead designer for Civ V, it was a dream come true. He could finally implement all those ideas that he had, but never had the the tools to create. He loved Panzer General as a kid and he obviously loves mechs... And now he had the chance to combine all these things in his favourite game!

    But, in reality, when creating the fifth installment of a game, you're not the boss, especially if you have a fanatic fanbase. The design process is not about designing the game of YOUR dreams, it's about making the customers satisfied. But clearly, Shafer was so enthustiastic about finally getting the chance to create the game of his dream, that he never asked himself: "Will it work?"

    It's like if someone, who loves to cook, finally got the chance to prepare a meal for the president... And decides to put oysters, chocolate, bacon and ice-cream in the same meal.

    Of course someone should have stopped him... because 1upt was not something that the majority of the fans demanded. And the majority definately didn't want a backstabbing AI that you could never trust. And even if they did exactly what the fans wanted, they should've realised that it wouldn't work, because it doesn't and it was obvious the third time I played the game.

    Civ is a strategy game. There are many great tactical war games that I really enjoy. But that's not why I play Civ. I play Civ to build an empire that can stand the test of time. But sadly, Jon was so enthustiastic about implementing his own ideas, that he totally forgot about what really made Civ into a such great franchise.
     
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