Jon Shafer leaves Firaxis!

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Windsor, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Maplehurst

    Maplehurst Northern Hermit

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    MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope Santa brings a christmas scenario this morning. Or maybe TAM. Or maybe Rhyes and Fall of Civ5. Or a Civ 5 LOTM. :D

    I've been good! I haven't spent 25 pages insulting or degrading the designer of my favourite game... Has anybody else noticed that global happiness has risen today? ;)
     
  2. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    It's worth quoting again.
     
  3. jagdtigerciv

    jagdtigerciv Prince

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    This threat went from epic, to ... well ... epic. I certainly hope Shafer is having a merry Christmas, far far away from Civ 5 development.
     
  4. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    I don't know, but I'd like to know. I wasn't the one to post the link, originally.
     
  5. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    So, you assume calling the game "Shafer_5" demonizes the poor man?

    In which way would it be "enormously" better?
    Building units seems to be the result of tweaked "likeliness" values in the xmls; but that doesn't constitute a better AI.
    It would be a better AI if using the units correctly.

    I am playing the game.
    And I cannot observe substantial improvements for the combat AI.

    What I can observe are still archers marching against melee units.
    What I can observe are still lonely siege units trotting into enemy territory.
    What I can observe are still six galleys fighting against one barb warrior half a continent away from their homelands being under attack.
    What I can observe is concentrated fire of a redlined city against full health ranged units, while a yellowed melee unit is knocking at the city gates.
    What I can observe are AI attacks against a city states with a "battle group" composed of a horseman and a.... settler.

    Yes, I am looking at this game. I am looking at it in its state three months and three major patches after release.

    And the AI is still braindead.
     
  6. EmpireOfCats

    EmpireOfCats Death to Giant Robots

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    I'm sure Obama (and, for that matter, any other president) would agree with you. But the fact is: JS was the boss. When things hit the fan, like they certainly have done with this game, the boss gets the blame.

    It was JS' responsibility to make sure this was a good game. It isn't a good game (for the standards of "good" in the franchise). So yeah, people are going to dump on him. To stay with my original example: Watch what happens to Obama once Iran tests their first nuke.
     
  7. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    Sid Meier is the big elephant in the room that no one really wants to acknowledge. As mentioned, not only for his public statements of simplifications and boardgame designs, but his recent track record of taking his own brilliant games and turning them into something silly or un-replayable: SimGolf, CivRev, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Sid Meier's Railroads!. Civ5 could be in the same trend, at least initially? But we can't demonize Sid, esp. for some (like me) that have been following him for 20+ years.
     
  8. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    Valve/Steam (and a whole lot more places, D2D, etc) aren't revealing *THEIR* figures for most if not all distributed titles; thus, a speculative (but reasonable) guess is that Online Sales are above & even waaaayyyy beyond boxset_stores public estimates or solidly tracked amounts such as what was linked to in the earlier post.

    Although considering how 2K or any other publishers "behave" on revealing facts or truth on financial numbers, i'd say some "Copies Sold" approximation must be done.
    In conclusion, nobody really knows.
    But, we can certainly rationalize with already available "sources".

    Read this for a quick overview of some related reasoning.
     
  9. Hormagaunt

    Hormagaunt Warlord

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    A big problem with "star" ratings is that the average (2.5 stars, 1.5 stars, things like that) is nearly useless. The important value is the median, the point at which half the ratings are above and half are below.

    Because you can't vote less than 1 star, it's (obviously) impossible to get a value of less than 1. If you're averaging, 9 votes of 1 star versus 1 vote of 5 stars would give you a value of 1.4. But with 9 out of 10 votes saying it's 1 star, would you really say it's 1.5 because of a single... err... fanatic? No, you'd say it's a 1-star game.

    Somewhere around home I have a list I made of the numbers at Amazon, a list I made about a month ago. (I'm currently a long way from home, else I'd post the numbers.)

    At that time, the total of 5- 4- and 3-star entries was 15 below that of the 1-star entries. Ergo, the median point was 15 below the top of "2". Averaging the values would have put it somewhere around 2.5, probably, well above the 2-star rating in any case. (I'll dig the numbers up in a few days.) However, going for the median and calling where you are in that star would have made it around 1.7

    Now, the total of 5-, 4-, and 3-star entries is 50 below that of the 1-star entries. With 97 2-star entries, that puts the median point below the half-way mark and thus they are now below 1.5. Problem is that the average is still 2.24.

    "Average" is wrong when working with "stars". "Median" is what's important. And using the median, I've not seen Amazon's Civ5 rating above 2.
     
  10. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    ^^^ I never calculated the median, but you are 100% correct that it is more sound in the case of "stars". I was only referring to the "stars" as displayed by Amazon itself.

    EDIT: def. looking forward for your numbers!
     
  11. Celevin

    Celevin King

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    It makes perfect sense, you just read it wrong. A large portion of the playerbase demonized Shafer. Calling something "Shafer_5" is nothing more than propaganda as players were looking for someone to take blame for what they considered a poor game. We always want to put a face to stuff we hate, and Shafer's the easiest target. We had people saying "Call the BBB on Shafer" right to "Hang the man" in previous threads. It wasn't "The design team messed up", it was "Shafer messed up", and this thread here is showing the worst of it.

    Now that Shafer's gone, the forum is showing that it will have a wrong perception of the design team. People are acting like things will change. It's still the same design team that gave you Civ5, it's not a brand new one. Shafer was one person no matter his role.

    Thinking the game design will be shifted in another way post-Shafer will lead to disappointment. It's best to assume development will continue down its current path, and to try and help/guide the designers based on that. My post is an attempt to sober the community up a bit after the "Shafer is gone!" party.

    People want someone to hate when something goes wrong. The community chose Shafer. "Shafer_5" is just part of the way they chose it trying to associate all of Civ5's problems and successes with the man. In the way I've seen the comment used, it demonizes him. If everyone who used the comment liked Civ5, it would be idolizing him which would be just as bad. Don't pretend like "Shafer_5" wasn't used to blame Shafer for Civ5's problems.

    I think we need to consider a different example than a world event. What would happen if Obama left office, as in he got up and quit, or was assassinated, and Joe Biden became the new president? The VP and his administration hold a lot of the same values as Obama. You would see differences in the way things were run, yes, but for the most part the same choices would be made.

    (I'm not American, so I apologize if I messed up anything in my above statement. I believe my logic holds even if I missed a detail or two.)
     
  12. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Please observe this interesting sentence. I do not understand it.
     
  13. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Agent of Karma

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    It is important to remember that when Shafer and his team were designing this game they were working for others. Presumably the people above him in the heirarchy were telling him what kind of game they wanted Civ V to be.

    Either he was fired because they didn't like the way he executed their vision or he quit because he didn't like the game he was expected to make. Or it could be something else, maybe he just wanted a break. Most of us will never know.
     
  14. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Shafer was undeniable the lead designer. As such, he was the leader of the team in terms of design. I heavily doubt that all the design decisions were taken by democratic voting.
    After all what we know, it was his idea to create some kind of "Panzer General light" in the Civilization context.
    To the best of my knowledge, he was the one programming the economic and diplomatic AI parts, both of which s**k in my eyes.
    Futhermore, AFAIK he has a historic degree (bachelor, I think). And then have a look at the techtree.

    Yes, I blame *him* as former lead designer for Shafer_5's problems.
    It is the very nature of being in the leading position to have to take all the hits for the team not delivering. If the game would have been good, he would have got all the praising for it. I heavily doubt that anybody then would have shown up to tell us: "Oh, don't forget, most probably it were others who told him how they would have liked the game. And additionally, it was the total of the team which made the game such successful."
     
  15. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    Just because "everybody does it" doesn't mean it's right.
     
  16. kosak

    kosak Chieftain

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    Ultimately the lead designer must take responsibility if the failure of the product is across the board. Sure if diplo is broken blame the guy in charge of the diplo system. if diplo, ai, buildings, wonders, even the endgame screen is messed up... Well you can certainly start blaming the various owners of each game aspect, but in the end it's the lead designers job to make sure every single component is as good as it can be. In the real world it's called 'taking responsibility'
     
  17. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Given the fact that he didn't land a new job, it's fairly easy to conclude that he got the boot.
     
  18. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    I have to wonder how much of a "better salary" he got. I don't know anything here for sure, but it is possible that the executives thought "hey, we can find someone who we know can do a halfway decent job on this project because of modding experience, and pay him less than if we hired someone else with more experience designing games from scratch." Or maybe they even strong-armed him into accepting a lower salary, when he should have gotten more. That all said, it's none of our business, and none of us have a clue.

    Whatever you think of how he handled civ V, I don't see any reason why he would need to stay away from these forums nor does there exist any reason to attack him on something that he's done with. That's not to say he has any desire to read or write anything here, but he has contributed valuable things in the past.
     
  19. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    In the real world this is called scapegoating.
     
  20. jabbawackybacky

    jabbawackybacky Warlord

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    Perhaps - just perhaps - the business model of selling civs for money didn't pan out, so he moved on because the business model was a flop. Nobody wants to spend $80 on one game (the initial price+a bunch of extra civs).
     

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