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ChrisND

An update on the update!

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I'm sure a lot of folks here on these boards work in software engineering or project management -- what is frustrating to some of us is that while some of the most exciting players in the game industry have switched to a scrum system (e.g. Early Access games on Steam) where they develop features as users request them, ...

 

BFC should really change to that scrum model... just for the fun of seeing the forum explode in vitriolic hate as every one explains why HIS feature is the most important and should be implemented next!

;)

 

Customers don't know what they want (me included). Its BFCs job to find out what enough people want to pay for their time.

Supposedly it was Henry Ford who said: 'If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.'

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When it is ready there will be a Great Sign in the sky. Hopefully this will be on Friday :D

 

Possibly this one? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2930573/Russian-bombers-skies-Bournemouth-RAF-jets-scramble-intercept-intruders.html

 

I like the pics in the article. Check out this one, i used it as desktop background for some time:

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Mig-29s_intercepeted_by_F-15s_-_DF-ST-90-05759.jpg

 

It is 2 F-15 intercepting 2 Mig-29s at 40.000 feet

Edited by agusto

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I'm sure a lot of folks here on these boards work in software engineering or project management -- what is frustrating to some of us is that while some of the most exciting players in the game industry have switched to a scrum system (e.g. Early Access games on Steam) where they develop features as users request them, Battlefront still seems stuck in an older development model, waterfall.  This is ironic considering how Battlefront was among the leaders in revolutionizing the marketplace with CMBO disintermediating the brick and mortar stores that kept the games we wanted from us.

Ouch. You have it all wrong... 

 

The buy-in early access model has other problems. Most people genuinely don't know what they like (and it's hard to tell if this applies to you), and so feedback from the masses has a very low signal/noise ratio.

This ^^^^ is big - huge in fact. Not only do customers not know what they want half the time they cook up goofy ideas on how to implement it.

I get it. Being outside of the black box can be frustrating but you *are* outside the black box and you really don't know what is inside. I'm not calming to be some special insider but I have had a glimpse inside the box and the cat is alive :D

To claim any process is perfect would be silly so I'm not claiming that but your conclusions are just off the mark, way off the mark. I cannot say anything about BFC but where I work in my day job we do not release new stuff to all customers all the time either. Sure we have select customer that are interested in some new thing they get to be involved for a while - it really helps. In general giving all our customers early access would just create management problems, expectation problems and problems on top of problems. Does that mean we are working in a water fall way - hell no. We have people who monitor customer discussions, support calls etc and look for opportunities to make improvements constantly. We include the odd customer in the design and give a few early access to stuff. To the vast majority of our customers we are a black box that releases a new development environment and tools every now and then. They have no idea what is coming next or how we operate. For them to conclude we are executing poorly and making a mess would be wrong - just wrong.

Hopefully I'm not in violation of my NDA - not the one with BFC but my day job :D

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I'm older and supposedly wiser now vs. the pre-CMBO days (yes, I have been here this long), but I am still fighting the urge to complain only semi-successfully in terms of how this product development cycle drags on and expectations continue to be somewhat not managed well.

 

I'm sure a lot of folks here on these boards work in software engineering or project management -- what is frustrating to some of us is that while some of the most exciting players in the game industry have switched to a scrum system (e.g. Early Access games on Steam) where they develop features as users request them, Battlefront still seems stuck in an older development model, waterfall.  This is ironic considering how Battlefront was among the leaders in revolutionizing the marketplace with CMBO disintermediating the brick and mortar stores that kept the games we wanted from us.

 

Scrum is pretty great in a lot of applications, and I like it in game development, because it lets folks get buy-in early and vote, as the customers actually excited about and buying the game, in terms of features they want, how things are working, etc.

 

Battlefront still seems to be stuck in the waterfall model, where they build the game they think we want, spend a lot of time doing it, and then launch it and patch as needed.  Admittedly in most cases this seems to have worked well (the CMSF issues being one where it didn't go as well initially), but I can't help but feel like at this point, given how niche this gaming product is and how enthused we all are about testing/playing it, that maybe it is time to switch to scrum development (early access) and let us help them build the best game.  There's a certain amount of hubris in thinking your team alone knows what is good for us, as paying customers.  Yes, it is they who are building it, and true enough, no serious competition has emerged, but it won't always be like this.  My bet is that if a company finally does beat Battlefront in terms of servicing this particular, specific niche, it is going to be a company that gives what they won't -- early access and buy-in.

Well as someone who manages software development - what battlefront fail to do is work by the developers paradigm with regard to estimates of delivery. That is - estimate how long it will take you, then double it, then add another for safe measure. What this means is you never deliver anything late and you always garner praise for delivering early. Were BF to work under this model they would have estimated delivery around April, and delivered in what looks like Jan Feb and you would all be lauding them for the speed they deliver things.

 

Steam is not agile development - its a way of funding development before you have a finished product. And scrum development is not a method for delivering a finished product (which is what we all want)  faster. Its a method - as far as game development is concerned, of delivering and unfinished one early. I purposely never buy into early access because what I want is a finished game - and all early access means to me is I am thoroughly tired of the thing before the finished product arrives.

 

They are a few weeks late - for a very small team delivering something as complex as this believe me that is nothing out of the ordinary.

 

I could care less that battlefront don't offer early access as - even if I bought it I would likely shelve it till the finished game arrives. I don't frankly see how what they are delivering suits early access in any case. Do I want to play black sea with one type of tank and a couple of trucks - that not only doesn't work its not what I want to buy.

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For the love of god, no early access. This is one of the worst trends in games development : customers get to pay to beta test a game lol; I mean come on, how masochistic or impatient do you have to be to subscribe to that model? Besides there is a lot less incentive for the developers to actually finish the game so it takes twice as long to get a finished product and often games are stuck in limbo forever being never fully done. And when (if) the game is finally released, half the player base has already moved on to something else, having only experienced a buggy version with incomplete features.

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Well as someone who manages software development - what battlefront fail to do is work by the developers paradigm with regard to estimates of delivery. That is - estimate how long it will take you, then double it, then add another for safe measure. What this means is you never deliver anything late and you always garner praise for delivering early. Were BF to work under this model they would have estimated delivery around April, and delivered in what looks like Jan Feb and you would all be lauding them for the speed they deliver things.

 

Steam is not agile development - its a way of funding development before you have a finished product. And scrum development is not a method for delivering a finished product (which is what we all want)  faster. Its a method - as far as game development is concerned, of delivering and unfinished one early. I purposely never buy into early access because what I want is a finished game - and all early access means to me is I am thoroughly tired of the thing before the finished product arrives.

 

They are a few weeks late - for a very small team delivering something as complex as this believe me that is nothing out of the ordinary.

 

I could care less that battlefront don't offer early access as - even if I bought it I would likely shelve it till the finished game arrives. I don't frankly see how what they are delivering suits early access in any case. Do I want to play black sea with one type of tank and a couple of trucks - that not only doesn't work its not what I want to buy.

 

Hear hear, well said.

 

It's what I wanted to say, but you said it better already :)

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Early access is great for small indie developers who need the additional funds to deliver a game. It should not be used by traditional publishers (or anyone who doesn't really need it) because used like that it will ruin good games.

 

Battlefront is established. They should not use early access

.[insert mandatory whining about "give me the finished game now!" here]

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Hear hear, well said.

 

It's what I wanted to say, but you said it better already :)

 

Thanks - but I suddenly realised that I do want some kind of early access - I want to be able to pre-order the freaking digital copy - so I don't spend a tortuous few hours listening to those who don't have stupid postal costs playing the game before I do. Arggghhhh :angry:  :angry:  :angry: :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  

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... those who don't have stupid postal costs playing the game before I do. Arggghhhh :angry:  :angry:  :angry: :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  

Yes, BFC gets a big "D-" report card for their non-US shipping costs. Ridiculous when other publishers haven't got a problem shipping a package across a border for a sane rate.

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Preorder is not a feature for you but for them. Its a common method to gauge level of interest and estimate the amount of product that needs to be printed/burned before release date. Without use of preorders they might release the game only to discover they had printed-up half the manuals they needed, or twice the number. As the industry shifts to download purchase then the preorder customer interest estimate becomes less necessary. I can't recall, there weren't any preorders for CMBN vehicle pack, right?

 

And BFC doesn't control overseas shipping costs. That's kind'a a governmental thing.

Edited by MikeyD

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...

 

And BFC doesn't control overseas shipping costs. That's kind'a a governmental thing.

 

And it's pretty much by whim as well.

 

Eg. when I lived in SA, I ordered a bunch of 15mm wargames figures from the UK. The first box arrived and the contents were listed as "miniature figurines" - and I was charged about 75% of the listed value in tax. :o  2nd box arrived and its contents were "toy miniatures" ( or somesuch, I can't remember the exact wording now ). And the 2nd box incurred no additional tax at all.

 

Even here in the UK, my Red Thunder delivery was untaxed, but 2 years earlier, the manual for CMBN was :rolleyes:

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Scase, russwg1970, QuiGon, alaskanbiker56, Blyskawica

Welcome aboard!

 

I've been reading these pre-release CM discussions, including the one for the CMBO Gold Demo scenario, for 15 years now, and I must say the quality of the discourse has improved dramatically. Never did I think I'd be encountering cogent analyses of software development pros and cons, let alone waterfall marketing. Even the quality of the fulminations against BFC and its overseas shipping practices has gotten better! That said, I'd be mightily perturbed to be stuck with an additional 75% just to get the game across the Pond and into my hot little hands. Historically, the typical post in a thread like this was rather akin to...

 



Bravo Zulu, people. Repeat. Bravo Zulu.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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