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This game is becoming a synopsis of a dying PC Games industry


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WIth the XboX and the Playstation 2 and so on blowing right past everybody .. the longer companies take like this, the more pitiful you realize they are.

Over on the newsgroup, we've had a beta tester tells us the game is basically done since the first of December. It's now the middle of MARCH. MIDDLE OF MARCH. And everytime somebody writes on here, and they see it, "oh it will be done when it is ready" .. "oh I support them because I hope they finish it" "oh . oh . oh" fuddy-duddy ad nauseum, it's bad for the entire PC Gaming industry.

It's already being whispered that PC Gaming is done in five years. By MAJOR players, not by me. When stockholders and investors think "hmmm .. a company that makes PC Games or a compnay that makes XXXXXX games." Somebody, somewhere is going to bring up this whole Combat Mission fiasco and farce. Because, we all love wargames. They don't, they love units and dollars and return. And they are the ones who run the store, gentlemen.

I bet I lurk around here four or five times a week just rooting like heck they have released it. Not for Combat Mission .. I could really careless about the game. I root for the entire PC Gaming genre and wargames in specific so that we are all still viable in this new age. Every single day that goes by that the game goes unreleased, the pressure adds to the entire industry and this game in particular loses potential customers. You have these 15 guys around here that are the equivalent of the brown shirts. They'll buy it even if it is announced the found a fly out at coordinate A8 when it needed to be Waaaaay over at R3 and they have decided to scrap this edition until they can figure out why the engine did that. I MEAN COME ON! .. jhees o man .. enough is enough here.

Someone needs to explain to these guys .. there's more at stake than just Combat Mission. We're trying to show that PC Games can get built. They sure ain't helpin'.

They can tweak this thing until the cows come home .. they really can .. and probably will .. doesn't change the fact that with all these new machines and avenues for entertainment somebody is going to come along real soon and make this game look silly. Like it is three generations old.

This blind devotion to "well .. I'l gladly pay my money when it is ready .. whenever that will be" is admirable. So is the guy that is after nice, clean water to bathe in ...it's just he totally missed the big picture and now there's an infant with a bad memory that will never leave it.

Marketing is my chosen field. I am educated in it and experienced in it. In my professional opinion, everyday this game is delayed (taking in to account these special circumstances, demo, good pr, lively community, etc) everyday they delay it, they lose 50 sales. Every week it is not available, another 50 on top of that. People have options and avenues and have limited time to devote to things, that's the fact jack. (that's the fact jack) There will always be these 25 broun shirts around here that will give the developers this false sense of security that they can take another year if they want and they never, even have to give you a solid date other than "When we are DARN GOOD AND READY that's when!" WHat's wrong with you people?? Jhess o man

Don't just dimiss this as "another ... <call me what you want>" Really think about it. You guys, all of you on this board, need to start cranking up the pressure a little instead of being so blindly devoted. Blindly devoted helps nobody from any perspective.

Help the developers help themselves. Start turning your back on this forum, start leaving, start questioning ...

It's for the good of Combat Mission. It's for the good of wargaming. It's for the good of PC Gaming in general.

Please at least consider this.

DD

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Hmmmm, how to respond....

1. Vonshrad get the van. wink.gif

2. Troll eek.gif

3. Do you understand the reason why the pc game industry is in the dilema it is in? If you are such and experienced marketer you might understand that it is the very reason you state that is causing the problem. How many companies have shoved products out the door that were "finished" just to get that 50 sales. Well how many sales did they lose because of that? LOTS OF SALES. I know I am very cautious about whose games I buy because some bean counter told the company it needed to get out the door. Interesting how the number of brown shirts went from 15 to 25 by the end of your post. By the way I am wearing A green shirt today. biggrin.gif

Teutonic

[This message has been edited by Teutonic (edited 03-15-2000).]

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What a bunch of hogwash. You can care less about Combat Mission, but you are telling them how to run THEIR business. That is the game isn't released, the industry will suffer? Bull****. The industry suffers when a dog of a program like [insert game here] is released with bugs, problems, or just bad game play.

I have or am testing games for Activision, Sierra, Microsoft, and COUNTLESS others. The game industry is far from dead. I see what is coming down the pike, and I'm impressed. No, I won't tell you what I am testing, but games that have made my jaw drop.

The XBox, based on windows, nv15 chip and intel processor. Yeah, with all that game designers aren't going to port to the pc. For all basic principles, it IS a PC designed just for gaming. Countless software firms have already stated they will back the xbox.

As for the brown shirts, what a bunch of crap that is. I personally am going out and showing people CM, with permission. I see the interest the game is generating and not once has someone complained that the game isn't out yet. All respect that it will be released when it is ready. No one wants to buy another 1/2 completed game and work as beta tester, but paid for the game to do it.

Steve and Charles are making a game THEY would want to play. When they think it is ready, they will release it. The hardcore wargamer who is their target will have one of the best computer wargames games ever made.

Rune

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Actually I'm wearing a greyish shirt today.

That sounded like a post designed to rankle people rather than make a useful contribution, Davedial. I thinks its a tad premature to put the final nail in the coffin of computer wargames.

And attacking BTS is just plain misguided. I see companies like this (that take the time to make decent games with customer input) as the future of the industry. Go complain to John Romero and the boys at Ion Storm when it comes to delays. And complain to Sierra and

Atomic about buggy, ten-patches-and-it-will-be-good products.

And this game (as I understand it) isn't going to be sold by franchises, so their bias is moot.

I've yet to play a better computer wargame, and I'm playing the Beta version - what does that tell me? It tells me that some things are worth waiting for.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> there's more at stake than just Combat Mission. We're trying to show that PC Games can get built. They sure ain't helpin'.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL.. Combat Mission as saviour of PC Gaming ? Somehow I don't think so wink.gif. Dave, if you think CM is more than a blip in the ocean in the platform wars currently going on then you are very much mistaken.

The ONLY thing that the publication of CM will affect is the future of tactical wargames on the PC and Mac. It won't hugely affect strategic level wargames and sure as hell isn't going to effect the entire industry.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> doesn't change the fact that... somebody is going to come along real soon and make this game look silly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And you can provide a URL for a game which has been announced which will do this? Didn't think so. With the lead-in times of computer games even if some company announced a CM-clone today it wouldn't be on the market until CM2 comes out. Hysterical raving doesn't change temporal dynamics regardless of how many Star Trek or X-Files episodes one internalises wink.gif.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> This blind devotion to "well .. I'l gladly pay my money when it is ready .. whenever that will be" is admirable. So is the guy that is after nice, clean water to bathe in ...it's just he totally missed the big picture and now there's an infant with a bad memory that will never leave it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe there's some strange logic here but how the hell did you get from a guy having a bath to an infant with a bad memory and a big picture? Let's at least try to be lucid and cogent when posting shall we? I honestly don't understand the quoted paragraph above. Are you referring to the "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" moral story or something else?

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> In my professional opinion, everyday this game is delayed everyday they delay it, they lose 50 sales.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh I love it when people quote unsupported figures wink.gif. Pray tell what research you have to back this up Dave? wink.gif

Maybe it is costing some orders now BUT putting a polished game out will result in more sales in the long-term and I think that Charles and Steve are looking at the long-term.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Help the developers help themselves. Start turning your back on this forum, start leaving, start questioning ... It's for the good of Combat Mission. It's for the good of wargaming. It's for the good of PC Gaming in general.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ps. You forgot to mention that it is for the good of humanity as a whole wink.gif.

God help anyone with pride in their work in a country you run. You'd have them all shot for making their product better and end up with a whole load of rushed **** made by people who don't give a damn ( which you'd then complain about).

Furthermore I'm sure you're be one of these people who complains long and loud about buggy games. NOW when someone is polishing a game and doing their best to release it as bug-free as possible you bitch about that. You REALLY can't please some people.

Ps. I've just finished working out and am sitting here bare-chested before taking a shower wink.gif.... So, I'm a "NO-SHIRT" at the moment but when I get back I'll put on a green T-shirt (sorry, don't have any brown ones wink.gif ). LOL.

FWIW I couldn't agree more with Rune (another beta tester).

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I've read a couple of (admittedly PC-biased) takes on the X-Box which claim that it's not going to be a real threat to PC game machines at release date. These p/reviews base these claims on the expected specs of a good PC machine at the time of the X-Box's release: 1ghz CPU, >128MB RAM, GeForce w/64B, 19" monitor, etc. The X-Box, while optimized for gaming alone, will have trouble stacking up.

These p/reviews also state that, with Microsoft's muscle behind it, the X-Box is a clear and present danger to the PSX2, Dolphin, and the other consoles which are on the horizon. Perhaps Dave should go to a PSX2 forum and tell them that, if the PSX2 isn't released RIGHT NOW, console gaming will die within 5 years?

DjB

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Doug Beman:

I've read a couple of (admittedly PC-biased) takes on the X-Box which claim that it's not going to be a real threat to PC game machines at release date.

DjB<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just read an article in Newsweek about the X-Box. It was designed to challenge the PS2 and hopefully beat out the second place competition such as Nintendo et al. It was not designed to replace the PC but it will have many "common" factors with a PC. It will be based on a PIII 600 running under Win2000. By doing this, MS hopes that PC game publishers will port over their dedicated PC games to the X-box. By containing a DVD drive, MS hopes that many families will buy the X-Box as a "complete entertainment" tool rather than just a game box.

Now back to CM.....DaveDial, would you rather BTS to crank out garbage like Hasbro or release quality products? Who knows,one day maybe CM will be ported to the X-Box thus giving larger exposure to wargaming. No, I think our hobby is safe for now, so DaveDial please go elsewhere to troll.

Allan

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If I had a krone every time a console came along and people started shouting the pc would die.... you know the rest.

I don't think you people should ridicule what davedial's saying because some of it is true. I've heard about the game being basically finished for quite some time now and I'm getting tired of waiting as a matter of fact. I know that BTS doesn't want to let it out the door before they know it's finished but they have to let their baby go sooner or later. It's easy for me to say I know, I haven't been working on it all this time but still...

Why does people bother to wait for the blasted game? Because A) It's a killer game and B) BTS is such nice chaps.

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I support Dave wholeheartedly - I've been in bathing all my life and I know (and have reliable research to back me up - if you wish to challenge me Fionn)that all people who bath in clean water miss the big picture. As soon as you place your big toe in the water it is immediately contaminated and NO LONGER CLEAN. So bathing in clean water is simply impossible and therefore PC based wargames and BTS in particular are doomed. BTS - Release immediately or start showering - our fate is in your toes.

[This message has been edited by Johan Brittz (edited 03-15-2000).]

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ROFL!

Davedial

perhaps you can use your clever wit to enlarge upon the connection between Wargames and the PC Gaming industry.

I don´t know why, but I still don´t get the connection here wink.gif

Helge

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- The DesertFox -

Email: desertfox1891@hotmail.com

WWW: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Capsule/2930/

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Do you guys program??? Do you have any idea how long it takes to build up a gaming engine from scratch and how much work is involved???

What BTS, Firaxis and others are doing by going indie and taking decisions into their own hands instead of catering to bean-counters is probably the best thing to happen to the software industry in the last 10 years.

CM1 might take a while to bring to market, but I imagine CM2 and future will be easier and faster because they will be building on a stable foundation instead of something that was rushed out the door and half-baked.

p.

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Dave -- Just who do you think you are to come in here and tell BTS how to run their company??

Just because your chosen profession is marketing, doesn't make you the deity of the computer gaming world - nor does it make you the authority on the future of the computer industry!

I'm baffled at how you can blame BTS for problems in the computer industry when the whole point of COMBAT MISSION was to show the industry how a product should be done

I wanted the game yesterday but unfortunately that didn't happen but the more I see what is changing with these delays the better the game looks to be - But I guess you would rather have a game full of bugs .......

Ulimata Ascension was released with (their)full knowledge that it wouldnt work with direct 3d - I bought the game the day it was released took it home and was HIGHLY pissed after driving 100 miles round trip! But I guess in your mind the fact that all of us without voodoo cards were still sales right??

Wrong -- I took the damn game back - since then they have virtually abandoned their customers and given up. So if I am only one of a small percentage that took their game back HOW DID THAT HELP SALES ?????

DO YOU REALLY THINK I WILL PURCHASE FROM THEM AGAIN??

get a clue man - I think the only one that should bail form the forum is you smile.gif

Steve and Charles His opinion is just that, and a minority one to boot smile.gif

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SS_PanzerLeader.......out

[This message has been edited by SS_PanzerLeader (edited 03-15-2000).]

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1) Consoles will NEVER replace PC's. (and Mac's...sorry smile.gif Why? Try editing levels/graphics/sounds/movies on a console. Try to create a hd big enough to support all my files. Try to make a controller as handy as the mouse/keyboard-combo.

Yes you will succeed in doing so, but what will you end up with...a pc/mac with funky colors smile.gif. So no need to worry here.

2)If you don't think CM is worth the wait...don't. Some people are waiting for Diablo 2..is it out yet? NO. Will it be delayed again? SURE. No game is released on time, and if they are they are as bugged as hell (most of the time).

3)There will always be wargames like (or much like CM) becuase there are people enjoying them. This means money for developers...this means a reason to create such game.

4)CM is setting such high standards for future wargaming that it "is allowed" to take it's time before it's finished. Take Diablo 2 again. Do you think it will be groundbreaking? No, it will be the same as part 1 but slightly bigger and cleaner graphics. Still people are saving their money, won't purchase another game because of this, and enjoy the game when it's finally released.

5)If you are really such an expert on this subject you should be able to make an almost correct guess on how many CM's will ship when it's done. Post it here and let's see how well you really know this buyer-developer-delaying thing. If you can't do such thing i will see your post as a "normal" flame towards BTS/CM and i feel sorry for answering it.

PanzerShark

Ps. You pre-ordered the PS2 with Tombraider 8 didnt ya?

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Guest Big Time Software

Oh boy, that was a fun read smile.gif

This looks like the typical "but mommy, I want it noooooooooow" response concealed in a bunch of rubbish to make us think that he doesn't care. If he didn't care he wouldn't have posted. About the whole industry? GET REAL. Delays aren't what is killing software companies, lack of quality, creativity, and attention to detail is. The one thing NOT lacking is greed and poor choices for the cusumer.

As for his opinions about the industry and our business, I won't even start. Well, other than to say "BWAHHHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAA" smile.gif That is about how in touch with reality it is.

We lose 50 sales every day we don't ship? How the heck did he come up with that? Pulled it out of his butt of course smile.gif OK, so let us take this totally silly number and general opinion at face value. Starcraft was delayed almost an entire year IIRC. Since they are a company many, many times our size, they must have lost many more sales per day they didn't ship. 1000 times sounds about right, so they lost 50,000 sales for every day they didn't ship. Multiply that py 360 and you come 1.8 million lost sales. WOW! Now that makes you sit up and think, don't it! I mean, they could have sold more games than any other in the history of computer gaming software if they had just rushed it out the door one year too soon. Man, we really have to reevaluate our business model as it is clear we have got this whole thing all wrong.

Thanks Dave for pointing us to a new way of doing business. We'll send you a postcard from some South Pacific island we buy with our new found profits biggrin.gif

Steve

P.S. In fact the game has been done since roughly December, excepting lots of bug fixes and game tweaks. But would you really like to see what our tanks look like before we make textures for them? Or how about a game this detailed with no manual? We think it is best to wait until ALL the aspects of the game are done, not just the codebase.

[This message has been edited by Big Time Software (edited 03-15-2000).]

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Guest MajorH

>we've had a beta tester tells us the game is

>basically done since the first of December.

A commercial product is either finished or it is not. I would rather lose a few impatient customers than lose a lot of customers who get rightfully infuriated about paying money for an unfinished product.

>Marketing is my chosen field. I am educated

>in it and experienced in it.

I doubt that you are very good at it judging by the tone and drift of the comments that you posted here. I don't recall ever attending a single marketing class where telling people to ignore a product was a suggested approach nor where insulting the engineering department was suggested as being particularly productive.

I don't usually insult potential customers but I'll make an exception in your case since you were such an a__hole with your posted comments. Your attitude is exactly what gives Marketeers a bad rep and causes then to be scorned and laughed at by people who actually have to create something.

You appear to be the definition of the word 'suit'.

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Best regards, Major H

majorh@mac.com

[This message has been edited by MajorH (edited 03-15-2000).]

[This message has been edited by MajorH (edited 03-15-2000).]

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As an MBA, former management consultant, and author of a book on management, this is actually a topic on which I can comment with some measure of authority.

I doubt PC gaming is doomed, for reasons that have been amply expressed by others in the thread. What is to me -- and I will guess to others on this board -- more important is the change in the environment for PC wargames. I don't foresee any future shortage of FPS, RTS, RPG and PC Dress Up Barbie titles. These things sell by the truckload at Circuit City.

Wargames are another matter entirely. They appeal to a much smaller and far more critical and demanding audience (but one that is older and therefore wealthier). They are much more difficult to get "right" -- just ask S&C. They appeal to a much smaller audience. They require not just coding, but meticulous research. Oh, and did I mention that the potential audience is a lot smaller.

Once upon a time, this didn't matter so much, because the total market for computer games was much smaller and wargamers -- technophiles and early adopters that we are -- made up a goodly chunk of that market, and a goodly chunk of the programmers and designers. But the overall market is much bigger now, while the number of wargamers is more or less static. Since big companies have discovered that they can sell a 100,000 copies of an FPS at a development cost of $10 million, they are highly unlikely to want to spent $5 million to sell 10,000 copies of Napoleon at Waterloo.

This means, at the big gaming houses, wargames (and wargamers) will always end up sucking hind-tit compared to FPSers, RTSers and Barbie Dresser-uppers. They are motorists and we are carriage-drivers.

This does not, however, mean that PC wargames will disappear, anymore than horse-drawn carriages have entirely vanished. But, like saddlers and buggy-whip makers, the makers of real wargames will retreat to the status of artisans and handicrafters. This is not at all bad, by the way. There are a lot more wargamers than there are carriage-drivers, and we're easier to reach. And, as S & C can tell you, being freed from the strictures of the "suits" is a great thing for a creative talent.

BTS is at the forefront of this evolution in wargaming; that's one of the reasons I became interested in CM. The fact that the game kicks major posterior doesn't hurt either. When they are satisfied with their product, they will release it, and I trust them to know when that point is. I also trust them to know not to let the best be the enemy of the good. It's a rather different relationship than I would have with, say, Electronic Arts, and I think that's a good thing.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>originally posted by Major H:

I doubt that you are very good at it judging by the tone and drift of the comments that you posted here. I don't recall ever attending a single marketing class where telling people to ignore a product was a suggested approach nor where insulting the engineering department was suggested as being particularly productive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Major, you haven't spent too much time in marketing meetings, have you? biggrin.gif

Ethan

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Das also war des Pudels Kern! -- Goethe

[This message has been edited by Hakko Ichiu (edited 03-15-2000).]

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Time Software:

Oh boy, that was a fun read smile.gif

We'll send you a postcard from some South Pacific island we buy with our new found profits biggrin.gif

Steve

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gee Steve,if you send Dave a postcard I hope myself and the other CM fans get one too. But please, no pics of barely clad women rubbing lotion on your backs smile.gif

Allan

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Let's take Dave's marketing experience, and Steve's Starcraft analogy, and carry them to Daikatana: I reach the conclusion that Daikatana could have sold more copies than any other media product EVER! John Romero would be, in the words of the (sorta) immortal John Lennon, "bigger than Jesus."

eek.gif

DjB

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Guest TOBRUK

Pope to artist:

"Hey! Michelangelo! When are you going to get this ceiling finished?

Marketing says if it aint released soon people are going to go and start their own religions!"

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The board lives !! IT LIVES !!!

uhh, sorry.......

I could approach this from alot of different angles... But rather than argue, criticize, or discuss self-absorption-- I'll just give an example:

I played the "tabletop" game StarFleet Battles back in the 1980's. Fun game, especially when we used to take over my friends dad's basketball court behind his house.

Purchased Starfleet Command a few months ago.

BUGS BUGS, CRASHES AND BUGS !!! Got pissed. Set game aside.

This past weekend, I pulled SFC out and played it with the latest patches (they must've fixed about 150 'mentionable' bugs). Got bored. It got repetitive. It sucked.

Marketing advertises a full editor called the "dynaverse"... Tried that. It sucked too. The game play was fun. They faithfully transformed the board game to the PC. BUT THE VERSATILITY/REPLAYABILITY that was marketed by Interplay simply was a lie.

I dont think PC/MAC games are gonna die. I just think publishers/designers need to expand their genres beyond the narrow band the marketers tell them can sell.

Stoner

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Guest Zulu1

Damn, the sky is falling again.

Steve, there was a recent report that the Sun will go nova much earlier than they first predicted. You've only got 5 billion years now so get CM out before that or the whole industry will be finished. smile.gif

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