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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. Fistalis

    Fistalis Prince

    Jan 27, 2009
    that is all.
  2. PrAyTeLLa

    PrAyTeLLa Chieftain

    Sep 16, 2010
    Western Australia
    I'll wager my money on bad reporting/editing of that article, misquoting him or missing words out. Even if the written statement or verbal conversation that they have quoted from was re-printed verbatim, the writer of that article should have been edited to show the correct meaning (with the appropriate editorial notes). In the end, the writer looks unprofessional.

    Obviously it meant to read "both 2011 & 2012" and from the context, it should read "he could [not] give out any info on what his stand alone project will be for the company as Stardock is still concentrating its efforts on updating Elemental, including the release of at least two expansion packs."
  3. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

    Oct 7, 2010
    I cannot speak for anybody else, but he was "responsible" for one scenario/mod which I tried out for 10 minutes and immediately left to never ever touch it again.
    He was "co-lead designer" and AFAIK responsible for the espionage part which has been bashed here in this very forum (mainly by civ5 defenders, btw) for being poorly designed.

    You can make a good resume out of everything.
    You can make a bad resume out of exactly the same.

    He was the one advocating the 1upt turn, by many regarded as the main cause of almost any problem within Civ5.

    Yes, I understand that there are some who like the new "combat" system in Civ5, as it is easy to understand and thanks to the AI gives you immediate feeling of success.
    So, we have a mediocre wargame and the "empire building" part of former iterations has been shattered in pieces.

    None of the different sub-systems in Civ5 are working consistently in combination.

    For some, the wargame aspect is fun because the AI is helpless against the human. The others dislike the wargame aspet almost as much as the many other corrupted sub-systems ("diplomacy", "empire-building", civics, "tech race", UI, you name it).

    For me this is sufficient to know that I don't want to spend money for anything in which J.Shafer would play a significant role in design.
  4. jpinard

    jpinard Martian

    Jan 18, 2002
    Enceladus, Saturn
    If you've seen my posts, you know how critical I've been. But statements like this are just so ignorant. Do you give up on Football player for life because they didn't hit the stats you wanted? Never expecting they can improve between seasons? Learning the game as they gain experience? Jon's post listed above shows just how tuned in he is to the criticism. I have more faith in him now than ever before, and I've had embarrassingly epic meltdowns about Civ V.
  5. zarakand

    zarakand Prince

    Nov 4, 2005
    Got to give them credit for trying. I'm not interested in Elemental, would rather wait for HOMM 6, but they do appear to be trying to fix the wrongs with Elemental.

    I've never played their other games either, but according to a large number of people on this forum they have a decent track record with supporting games the make. Good luck to Jon, hope he does well.
  6. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

    May 5, 2003
    Burlingame CA
    Yeah, but that's what we thought about Elemental before it came out. The same questionable judgment that led Elemental to be such a mess is a legitimate reason to question whether Brad really understands what needs to be done to make really good strategy games. I am still hoping he does, in many ways it seems like Stardock may be the last best hope for the future, but I am not totally optimistic. I think if he can hire the right people to do the things they do best, there is potential there, but the jury is still out.
  7. skallben

    skallben Diplomat

    Dec 5, 2005
    Cold Country in Europe
    It is hilariously funny how people seem to have that desperate need to vent their rage and then pin all that rage onto one single person. Now that's some serious projection capabilities.
  8. Taquitos

    Taquitos Chieftain

    Jan 20, 2010
    Austin TX
    OMG nooo!!!! He is going to ruin YET ANOTHER turn-based strategy game.

    If he managed to completely destroy a 20 year old franchise that was at its peak of development and success so easy, as he did with Civilization, I wonder what he is going to do to an already mediocre game that is just coming out of a huge barrage of critizism from its last iteration.

    Seriously, this young kid is like cancer for gaming, and he is spreading fast.

    For those fanboys of him out there, please come back in summer when Elemental is released and tell the rest of us we were wrong by thinking he ruined Civilization and he will ruin Elemental in the same way. I'm 100% sure that won't happen. Listen, there was one thing, ONE THING that changed from civ4-BTS and civ5, and that was the lead designer. Yes firaxis got rid of tons of people later on, but that was when civ5 was already on its last phases of development before release, this only means one thing, Jon Shafer is responsible for destroying civilization.

    Moderator Action: While we give a lot of latitude in regards to critiquing people who made Civ 5 referring to someone as a "cancer" is not appropriate.
  9. Jesus is Lord33

    Jesus is Lord33 Chieftain

    Sep 28, 2010

    1. Main Cause of Almost Any Problem W/in Civ5

    Combat is mutually exclusive from most every other aspect of Civilization. You go on to redeem yourself later in your post.

    2. by many

    I'm not one of those players who regard 1upt as a gamebreaking feature. I've yet to see any proof to support the claim that many [majority] regard 1UPT [badly].



    I've got evidence, I'm afraid you do not.
  10. lordsurya08

    lordsurya08 class-A procrastinator

    Oct 22, 2010
    What's character assassination?
  11. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

    Feb 15, 2005
    Vancouver, Canada
    I quite like Stardock as a company and Elemental as a game.

    I hope Jon Shafer does well there. Apparently he'll be working on the modding
    capabilities for Elemental and if anything, he is an excellent modder. I think he'll excel at that.

    Elemental has also hired an excellent Fantasy/Sci Fi writer. At present I think Elemental's story is a bit dry. It should get spiced up a fair bit now.

    Along with Kael being hired, Stardock is making all the right moves.

    Elemental is already fun to play with the 1.1 patch. It looks like it will continue to get better and better.

    Certainly I think Jon Shafer should get his share of the blame for the debacle that is Failure 5. However, Firaxis and 2K Games deserve the lion's share of it.

    I think this will work out great for Stardock. :)
  12. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

    Dec 22, 2005
    If you buy it, you can play the beta.
    Well, some people are much more positive than I about the subject.

    Well... Brad did ignore and even ban people (Dale for instance) who told him during the beta that the game was going to be an epic failure at launch because of many issues. The result was he intentionally got a game out that was such a massive failure he had to cancel another project which had to be funded on Elemental benefits.
    Brad would like to be open-minded and listen to the fans, but he did ignore critics and the result was a big failure.
  13. hardcore_gamer

    hardcore_gamer King

    Oct 25, 2009
    This has to be some kind of a mock/parody post.....
  14. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

    Feb 15, 2005
    Vancouver, Canada
    It also takes a big man (or woman I guess) to admit when they're wrong. Brad admitted he was wrong and is doing everything he can to fix the problem. People who weren't happy with Elemental could get their money back. Seems fair. Would have been nice to see Firaxis offer the same for Failure 5.

    Brad was overworked and tried to take too much on by himself. I think he's learned his lesson and has hired a lot of very competent people lately to fill very specific needs.

    He seems to be learning from his mistakes and that's all you can really ask from a person. After all, nobody's perfect.
  15. jprc

    jprc My dog is smarter than me

    Sep 22, 2006
    Mozambique and far-far East
    I am with you Ricardojahns.

    I do not play Civ 5 because I don't like what Shafer did with it.
    I bought Elemental, hoping to have something to chew, especially with Kael.

    To me, Shafer joining Stardock for Elemental is BAD news.
    I would have preferred to see Shafer joining Stardock for another project where his vision is compatible with the game concept...
  16. Guardian_PL

    Guardian_PL Emperor

    Nov 4, 2006
    Don't be silly.

    Of course that Jon was a scapegoat hired specifically in case something goes wrong (read money-grabbing and cutting corners will become blatantly obvious and hardcore fans will get angry on Firaxis selling their beloved franchise to kids who can now WIN on Deity and go back to their shooters).

    But that doesn't mean we should be whiteknighting and going "awww, poor Jon, he's having such a hard time though he's trying so hard". He's not. He knew what he is signing for, and took it for the money. He's built his entire careed on shattered dreams of fans like me, who've spent many hours during online multi Civ4 dreaming how amazing Civ5 will be and how Firaxis is the only name in the gaming industry worth trusting in.

    I don't care that he couldn't do everything he wanted with Civ5. He still could do more, and certainly more than his "amazing" patch - a totally half-arsed job. Like a gardener in a hurry - "oh so you don't like how this tree I've planted look? Ok, snip snip snip (nerf nerf nerf), there - what a lovely stem, no? For 5.99 I can put a sign with Inca&Spain on it if you want and now I really must go kthankx bai"

    All those squealing little groupies screaming "oh, mr Shafer, you're so amazing, now at Stradock wheeee!!!" should ask yourself what this guy really did? He's made a BORING mod to Civ4 and underdeveloped Espionage in BTS (why no promos for Spies?). Ah yes, and one more - he screwed up Civ5. I'm sure he told Brad Wardell heart rending stories how he had his hands tied at Firaxis but I don't care, I'm sure that with more spine and less bending he could make MUCH better game. He was a lead designer for crying out loud! Nobody goes around saying "oh, I can't credit Soren Johnson for Civ4, after all he was only a lead designer, a cog in the machine" :crazyeye:

    So Kael managed to accomplish something outstanding. Perhaps, oh I don't know because he's a project manager? So he can get the job done?

    In my mind all that Shafer did was to screw Civ5 and bail. If that's an accomplishment I can go and be a "succesful" lead designer any time you want :rolleyes:
  17. Padje Dog

    Padje Dog Warlord

    May 30, 2008
  18. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

    Feb 22, 2007
    I hope his next game is better than his last. ;)
  19. Oerdin

    Oerdin Deity

    Mar 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Some of it is over the top but can anyone honestly say they didn't royally screw up with HOI3?
  20. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

    Nov 6, 2002
    Zeven, Germany (Lower Saxony ;)
    THIS coming from the CEO of Stardock to me is a big surprise. Hopefully not overinterpreting it means 2k has a lot to do with the state in which ciV has been released - e.g. "I don't care it's not finished - get it out long enough before x-mas"!

    Maybe Shafers fault only was to cancel the job to late. OTOH what would other studios think of a designer who backs out of a game in process - maybe sth like difficult to get along with, wants everything going his way - therefore won't hire him anymore...:confused:

    :eek: :eek: :eek: Seriously twice! ;) If Brad gets out like this to protect his new employee, I wonder what he told him about the way he had to work on ciV... Although OTOH he has to defend his decision knowing very well that a lot of civfanatics are hardcore-Stradock-fans either...

    To me this is a direct underlining of Jon's work on cIV-BTS, which was awesome and we loved him back then! :rolleyes:

    In a further context I'd think his first job will be to work on the expansions and patching of elemental which CAN BE a good thing... We'll have to see yet if he's capable of lead designing a game on his own... Some people are excellent creating structure and implement exciting stuff based on a good underlying structure (ie cIV or Elemental, which already exist before the work starts). Creating things more or less out of the air is a completely different thing (by that I mean lead designing a "new" game).

    Great post from a CEO and kudos to these last lines. All the Best for Shafer, Elemental and Stardock in total...

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