April 12, 2013

Special Friday post

 If you haven't already read about it a guy named Adam Orth has apparently been ticking a few people off with his comments on twitter. Some people think he's dead serious while others think it's meant to be some kind of humorous sarcasm either way the situation has gotten out of hand to the point Microsoft stepped in and basically threw him under the bus while feeding him to the wolves while blatantly ignoring one of the key facts about why this is such a big deal. Basically Orth was talking about 'always-on' tech and how it might be a part of the next xbox which of course Microsoft has no official comment on and probably for good reason.
Apparently in response to all of this Orth has resigned, whether or not this is forced resignation or just him wanting to get away from it all is yet to be seen. For more info look up some of the kotaku posts about it.

This brings up a subject I wasn't really sure how to introduce but has been on my mind for a while.  
Before I get into it though I'd like to thank all of you nice supportive people that have been following me.
I've been fortunate so far that people are more interesting in hearing what I want to do and what I've done rather than being hyper critical over of details that for better or worse are constantly changing. Back to topic while I've only been working independently for the last year I've had some prior experience in the field and through first hand knowledge I understand how studios keep an iron grip on information pertaining to their games. Some of the non disclosure agreements I've signed give me the feeling that if I violate them then I'm legally obligated to crawl into a dark corner and die. It's incidents like this that really make me understand why they do it too because I've seen how the masses react to any tiny piece of info they get on a game even if it's false or outdated especially from bigger studios and major sequels. This isn't the first and it probably won't be the last in this extremely long line of incidents in which people just over react even if they're well within their bounds to do so. I for one tend to always be ticked off by 'always-on' requirements of any kind and various other kinds of DRM aggrivate me on equal levels. Some of the past ones I've encounter include limiting installations of my game to only 3 computers, and at the time I'd gone through 3 computers in less than 5 years and my sudden inability to play a game I loved so much had me up in arms. People that support these kinds of things also tend to tick me off because while I understand their perspective and as a dev I can even respect it in the end they tend to either not see my perspective or understand it, or they simply just don't care. Even just as a consumer I can see why things like this exist but again as a consumer I hate having things forced on me and equally rage out when products I really look forward to are being sabotaged to the point I don't want them anymore because of what's being forced on me to get them, at some point it's just not worth it anymore.

As a community though we tend to create large amounts of backlash for anything we don't agree with to any extent and often it goes overboard. It's the way that we behave that makes it so devs don't want to speak up about their games or share information. Mostly because people often enough make snap judgements and decisions with only a small fraction of relative information. Just one bad sentence can end someone's career which is why many prefer to just keep their mouth closed and why their bosses would rather lock everyone in a dungeon until work is done so nobody has a chance to speak. Maybe if we worked a little more constructively on finding out why something was included and focused on letting devs know how we'd like something changed we'd have a better chance at finding out more in advance and big games wouldn't have horrific surprises.

Everything above having been said I'm not defending Orth in any way, I can't say I ever met the guy but I'd heard of him well before all of this and not to kick a man while he's down but given that I was told he takes some getting used to means you'd think at some point he'd learn how to realize when he's digging himself a hole and more importantly know when to stop.  Just from a corporate position I can't say I'd want someone working for me in a non-public position to be telling people about our products even if it were the truth because one of the biggest parts of any production is marketing and if it's not done right you might as well be setting your product on fire and hoping for the best. Quite literally I can almost guarantee you that he cost Microsoft hundreds if not thousands of sales and probably doubled their marketing costs to make up for it, frankly at this point is doesn't matter how good he might have been at his job he just became a very expensive liability they couldn't afford to have around. The same thing might happen anyway even if he'd done a great job and hyped people up for the console simply because he's a wild card.

I hope you all see what I'm trying to say, because I basically trust you to be understanding of what I do and hope that you give feedback I can use rather than have me reading through an ocean of useless hate.

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