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Boss Key has gone under... my take.

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    Boss Key has gone under... my take.

    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/...r-three-years/

    I kind of felt this coming from the beginning. It feels bad to say, and I really bear no ill will to Cliff or anyone... but he represents what has always bothered me about the modern state of the game industry (meaning, anything in the last ten years really). It's made up of people who began very humble, stumbled onto a successful concept or two and suddenly got lost in their own hype and no longer had the slightest sense of where their own bs ended and reality began.

    UT was a great game. I remember Cliff's name being so prominent in it because of his maps, and the easter egg with his face and such. But it was never Cliff's. It was the result of a team pouring their heart into making something cool. And also, back then, whenever they talked about the game, the emphasis was on we the players, we the community and what we could do to modify the game. The same was true in the UT2004 era, as can be seen in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFFLUSlyl4o
    Cliff still seemed genuine here. The MSUC was in full swing. People were motivated to make stuff, as well as get into the vanilla experience. It wasn't *huge*. But it had a dedicated, enthusiastic following, because Epic themselves were that way.

    Enter Gears 1 and its 100 million in revenue, worldwide fame, their fancy lambos and all of this. Now it was about maintaining a formula that could replicate this. And that mindset only wormed its way ever deeper into all of their minds. Mostly Cliffy's though. Is it any coincidence that this is when UT as a series fell off the rails and never recovered?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgZXoSTEy8Q

    Most of the guys in the UT team are great and have their hearts in the right place. I think they wanted to see if they could return to a simpler time. When it *wasn't* about the money, but the fun and the community. We saw some evidence of that. But there was also too much evidence of this virus of the way the industry has become, remaining firmly a part of the process. This thread says it all to me: https://www.epicgames.com/unrealtour...ience-subforum

    To me these flow charts are pretty much nonsense, as reflected in my response. As a "science", UX cannot be said to have served them reliably. I cannot see any proof of it, at any rate. Fortnite was destined to flop until they shoehorned in Battle Royale. That was not science, that was a fortuitous last second save. The development of UT4 has been all over the place and when it comes down to it, was really just trying to balance pleasing the hardcore arena shooter / competitive crowd, with following trends, with doing what they want. I have no doubt that Boss Key followed similar "UX science" models when creating Lawbreakers, or claimed to, but it looked more to me like they were trying to make a mix of UT with the MOBA genre, watching what we were doing here along the way and even actively shamelessly stealing our ideas. I think the overall look and feel of Lawbreakers was where many UT fans wanted to see things go. Color palettes and readability, UI/HUD, etc etc. We handed it to Cliff on a silver platter and he was more than happy to make his "billion dollar franchise" off it. He thought he would win fans over because he did what we were after, at least in that respect. Well, he failed, and then failed to make a similar "last second save" with Radical Heights. To even pretend to call that science would be an insult, but what's funny is that if by some miracle it got huge, you can guarantee we'd be seeing GDC speeches about it making up all manner of ****. This is the illusion, the wool that is pulled over our eyes. Everything is just chance, history is written by the victors and the hapless fans lap it up as truth.

    If the game industry is to survive, it needs to stop loving the smell of its own farts, pretending it is more than it is and go back to the fun and the community. Then I'm pretty sure that the so-called "toxicity" of the community will dissipate as well and we can all enjoy each other's company (more or less). Calling people toxic is what you do when you run out of ideas and energy. It's like when Cliff blamed the lackluster sales of their games on piracy, on the game fans, instead of taking responsibility and fixing his motivations behind what he was doing. How did all those anti-piracy measures work out for ya? How did turning your back on your main PC fanbase because of money work out for you? And how has coming back to PC, but still focused on your millions/billions worked out for you?

    I'm probably not saying much that hasn't already been said via memes and clever video edits, but sometimes I think it's still worth saying things the old fashioned way, so there's no room for misinterpretation. Maybe while Cliff takes his newest sabbatical from gaming to reflect, he'll reflect on some of these things. One can hope. Unfortunately, the problem isn't only him. He's just the clearest example of it.
    Last edited by HenrikRyosa; 05-14-2018, 09:38 PM.

    UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
    Contrib Digest | UT2341 - Henrik's UT4 Dev Blog | Twitter

    #2
    Well, I don't think it's purely a tale of self defeating egos, but it certainly plays a part.

    The development process of a AAA title has outgrown it's ability to focus on being "good" and has to have mass appeal. This concept alone is going to be the biggest challenge for "hardcore gaming" to face. Basically, the group known as "hardcore gamers" isn't big enough to support the weight of developing a hardcore AAA title.

    I was really hoping that was the point of open, community development. Offset the cost, and essentially give the "hardcore gaming community" the ability to make a game for themselves that the industry couldn't afford to make for them.

    It would seem, however, that even if Epic isn't about moving a number of units, putting a number of players - even to play their "free" game - in servers is just as damaging.

    At the end of the day, if your goal is a number, you're not going to make a good game. If the goal is to make a good game (proverbial humble beginnings), then you might actually do that, and the rest of the current environment will decide if the numbers follow.
    Originally posted by Mysterial
    An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

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      #3
      Maybe CliffyB will come home and take over the UT4 project.
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        #4
        Please god no, we dont want Cliffy B. He just ran his studio into the ground, why do you think he would do better here?
        PayBack
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          #5
          UT4 as a community project never would have got off the ground in the first place had Cliffy been at the helm. The whole concept seems diametrically opposed to how he operates. And too many bridges have been burned. Plus... what Payback said.

          UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
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            #6
            If I was in Cliff Bleszinski's shoes Id go to work for Valve. I mean why not? Valve has a hippy commune style to developing and rolling out games. What they need is a guy like Bleszinski just for executing projects. Valve needs someone that can execute.. Yep.

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              #7
              If you mean "execute" in the literal sense of executing his game and studio then yeah, sure.
              :|

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                #8
                Did anyone see the art he released? Some perfectly good game ideas in there. Miles above what he ended up doing in my opinion. Is the excuse about investors really valid? All this "safer to do established formulas" stuff is nonsense, both in the film and game industries. But probably more so with games. The BR genre is considered "crowded" with only 2 real titles. That dragon game could have been a cult success. The other one could have turned into an evolution of the Jazz Jackrabbit series. Only Nintendo is doing lighthearted cartoony stuff well, but they only stick to the same three or four IP's repeatedly... it's tedious.

                UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
                Contrib Digest | UT2341 - Henrik's UT4 Dev Blog | Twitter

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                  #9
                  I saw Cliff's farewell tweet the other day and was honestly not surprised. No offense to Cliff, but the likelihood of success in a professional venture is very low. Whether taking in investors or fronting the investment on your own is no guarantee when trying to bring a product geared towards the masses. Timing appears to be far more critical than anything else with the exception of a constant barrage of advertising.

                  With everything it takes to make a full up commercial video game production, small startups have a truly incredible uphill battle like never before. Perhaps Boss Key would have enjoyed some success if they started out with some small footprint games to get their name out there. Attempting a huge commercial game with a brand new small company is a massive gamble. It is also plausible that changing the pay model did BK no favors in the end.
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                    #10
                    Originally posted by PayBack
                    Please god no, we dont want Cliffy B. He just ran his studio into the ground, why do you think he would do better here
                    Because Cliff is a not a strong leader, but an excellent team member. He is like a child, for better and worse and needs to be kept in check. He has good instincts in games and knows how to make a fun experience, but again, he needs to be checked. Am I arguing for his return to the UT project? Not strictly, but he would be beneficial. He has passion and dedication; say what you want about his shortsightedness regarding starting a development company, but you can't fault his conviction. Shuttering BK shows that he does have some business sense. It was a brave move...the sunk cost fallacy isn't easy to overcome and it takes a lot of confidence and humility to do what he did.
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