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Author Topic: What happened to Blizzard?  (Read 9293 times)

Offline Yankes

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2020, 02:00:41 am »
Probably best balanced summary of this blizz fail:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQq8aB77VCI

(and the mention that Blizz will have couple of NEW mobile games...)

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2020, 08:12:26 pm »
Blizz will have couple of NEW mobile games...
Here is an idea for Blizzard's CEO autobiography's title "How to go from AAA to shovelware in a single year"

Offline Rubber Cannonball

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2020, 08:52:11 pm »
Step 0:  Listen to the bean counters.
Step 1:  Only invest time, money, and talent on the highest ROI project.
Step 2:  Put good manager in project lead position because only management matters everything else is a commodity.
Step 3:  Shift low cost entry level employees to the number 1 project to keep costs down and thus boost ROI.
Step 4:  Cut as much as possible out of the development cycle to be able to launch soon as possible.  Time is money.
Step 5:  If project lead complains or pushes back, replace him.  Only acceptable answer from him is: "Yes, we can do that."
Step 6:  Accept no delays.  Minimize testing as much as possible.  Besides, the customers will find the bugs faster than we can and they work for free.
Step 7: Lay off as many employees as possible especially the high salary non upper management ones.
Step 8:  Outsource everything else to low cost over seas contract houses.  Have them managed by the few employees left that aren't working on the number 1 project.
Step 9: Collect bonus for job well done!

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2020, 07:06:10 am »
Step 2:  Put good manager in project lead position because only management matters everything else is a commodity.
Step 3:  Shift low cost entry level employees to the number 1 project to keep costs down and thus boost ROI.
It is surprising how Microsoft and Sony (not video games companies) manage to run several successful AAA projects at the same time, while game companies, like EA, Ubisoft and Activision-Blizzard fail.

I.e. Microsoft produced a lot of really good games, as well as remasters for Fable and the Age of Empires. And most Sony's games are really well polished. They are released when they are ready. For example, both Ico and Last Guardian were delayed for years, when it was found that current hardware was not powerful enough to run them smoothly. Ico was originally developed for PS1, while Last Guardian was PS3 project. Then Sony made perfect remastering of Shadow of Colossus. Recently Larian made a nice Baldur's Gate remaster, which required them to reverse engineer the executable, because source code was lost. Resident Evil remasters are great. Square-Enix over the years made numerous remasters, mostly fine, with the exception of Final Fantasy VI, which was totally botched, but the remaster of the flagship FF VII appears to be the best example of how AAA games remasters should be done.

BTW, EA decided to remaster the original Command & Conquer. It is still 2d, but the upscaled graphics looks fine and the developers are actually the original Westwood people.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 07:13:59 am by Nikita_Sadkov »

Offline Rubber Cannonball

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2020, 09:35:31 pm »
Years ago Ford had an advertising slogan:  "Quality is job one."  Unfortunately too many large companies seem to treat this idea as:  "Quality is only one job"

They would do better with refining the theme from the movie Field of Dreams:  "If you build it, he will come."

Refined to a business perspective:  If we build it well, the customers will come and buy it.

Offline Jimboman

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2020, 03:58:27 pm »
I think there's a 'third episode curse' on most games, not just Blizzard games.  Master of Orion 1&2 - great, MOO3 - sucked big time.  Panzer General 1&2 - ok. Number three bombed.  UFO: Aftermath & Aftershock - good, Afterlight was shit.  Need I go on?

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2020, 05:34:28 pm »
I think there's a 'third episode curse' on most games, not just Blizzard games.  Master of Orion 1&2 - great, MOO3 - sucked big time.  Panzer General 1&2 - ok. Number three bombed.  UFO: Aftermath & Aftershock - good, Afterlight was shit.  Need I go on?
I think it would be cool if they update the graphics for the original XCOM, but without changing the rules too much. Unfortunately they wont be able to use OpenXCOM engine, since it is GPL. Same way EA was unable to use OpenRA engine. That is why I believe BSD license is a much better alternative for game engine reverse engineering works, since BSD code can be used by everyone without much restrictions, beside the need to credit developers. And BSD also gives chances the company hires developers accustomed with the code, or developers themselves could approach the company with proposition. So GPL is really self defeating here.

Offline Yankes

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2020, 12:31:21 am »
Dosbox is GPL https://sourceforge.net/p/dosbox/code-0/HEAD/tree/dosbox/trunk/COPYING
And its sell by Steam or GoG, this mean they could use OpenXcom in same way.
This could be similar to Id did and releasing source code of Q1 or Doom as GPL.

(And I would be honored if my code was in official release. Publishers! please choose OXCE :D )
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 12:33:54 am by Yankes »

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2020, 06:00:01 pm »
Dosbox is GPL https://sourceforge.net/p/dosbox/code-0/HEAD/tree/dosbox/trunk/COPYING
And its sell by Steam or GoG, this mean they could use OpenXcom in same way.
This could be similar to Id did and releasing source code of Q1 or Doom as GPL.

(And I would be honored if my code was in official release. Publishers! please choose OXCE :D )
They will be forced to publish back all the changes, and they can't easily link GPL code with proprietary code. For example, EA has their proprietary Frostbite engine, and they can't really integrate any GPL code with it. Same with Unreal and Unity. That leaves only open source 3d engines, which are just a mess and fall behind from commercial engines. Ideally you want some team to secure funding and license, then integrate OpenXCOM with Unreal or Cryengine, with modern graphics pack and improved UI to play on smartphones/tablets, but without touching any game logic.

Offline Yankes

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2020, 10:31:36 pm »
They will be forced to publish back all the changes, and they can't easily link GPL code with proprietary code. For example, EA has their proprietary Frostbite engine, and they can't really integrate any GPL code with it. Same with Unreal and Unity. That leaves only open source 3d engines, which are just a mess and fall behind from commercial engines. Ideally you want some team to secure funding and license, then integrate OpenXCOM with Unreal or Cryengine, with modern graphics pack and improved UI to play on smartphones/tablets, but without touching any game logic.
What is point adding 3D engine to it? This would need doping half of source code to make it work, especially everything that touch `Suface` or `SDL_Surface` classes. Probably easier would be write it from scratch.

Overall my idea was simply they drop current dos exe and dosbox and use OXC exe instead. They even could use it verbatim without changing any thing.
I do not expect they would plan do lot of work for OXC to even consider that pushing upstream would be business loss in any way. If they would want do something bigger, better would be do it from scratch.

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2020, 12:24:44 am »
What is point adding 3D engine to it? This would need doping half of source code to make it work, especially everything that touch `Suface` or `SDL_Surface` classes. Probably easier would be write it from scratch.
In good software graphics subsystem is decoupled from the rest of the code. So you can change graphics engine without much effort, or run a batch test suite. OXC has years of effort put into developing and debugging it. It is impossible to rewrite complex from scratch in short time with any amount of budget, since programming cannot be easily split between many developers, like you can split say graphic asset creation.

Offline Meridian

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2020, 12:29:35 am »
That's assuming OpenXcom is a "good software"...

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2020, 07:49:51 pm »
That's assuming OpenXcom is a "good software"...
I doubt original DOS XCOM code would have won any software design prizes.

Anyway, returning to the topic. I though about making a custom WC3 map, inspired by this whole virus hype, where one teams plays survivors and another - virus carriers, who escaped containment. That subject offers a lot of game design possibilities. Unfortunately due to Blizzard's new license I cant do that.

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2020, 09:04:44 pm »
Unfortunately due to Blizzard's new license I cant do that.
You could do it (if you can get the new map editor to work, that is), but Blizzard will own your work.

Offline Rubber Cannonball

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Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2020, 10:49:44 pm »
I doubt original DOS XCOM code would have won any software design prizes.

Oh I don't know, back in those days and earlier, game developers had to employ a lot of ingenius methods to fit as much content as they did into their games and still get them to run on those limited resource machines.  As a player, I remember trying to free up as much memory as possible out of the lower 640K by shifting things into the upper memory (I only had 1MB total) and disabling every optional TSR in order to get some of those games to even run.  Good luck trying to port openxcom to an early 1990's DOS computer.   :P