24

Roadmap

March 8, 2019 by Tim

If everyone starting building things the way game developers do…


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Sabre Runner
Guest
Sabre Runner

This is kind of reductive. It more like, first there’s a round track. Then there’s a round track with a hill. Then there’s a round track with a loop. If devs follow Agile methodology, at every step there should be a functional product.

matt
Guest
matt

‘If devs follow Agile methodology’ hahahaha

FITCamaro
Guest
FITCamaro

Most Agile projects definition of a “functional” product is “it compiles and deploys”.

I’ve supposed been doing “Agile” for 13 years.

Dave
Guest

Oh I often put out un-compilable and un-deployable code /s

Exoterror
Guest
Exoterror

I agree that should be what happens. I would argue that the current state of GaaS coming out as buggy messes with the customers essentially beta testing in the early weeks then Tim has hit the nail on the head here.

Jan
Guest
Jan

Why yes, it’s a comic.
There are games that are knowingly released while broken, they are the extreme and humour works really well with extremes.

huh
Guest
huh

lol Agile.

Phoenix
Guest
Phoenix

Except when the team skips regression because “deadlines” and the sprints coming to an end, so let’s push the bugs forward to the next sprint. Meanwhile they introduced 4 new bugs they are unaware of. Someone in product then decides to push that out because “we have deadlines for ‘customer satifaction’ we have to meet” and then an even buggier patch goes out.

Faro
Guest
Faro

Functional product, that is not worth the asking price.

Unikum
Guest
Unikum

It _IS_ functional, or does “kills all its passengers” not count as a function?
Maybe (just maybe) that function will be removed in the final product, but this prototype still contains it. :p
Well, hence I don’t even see a closed loop as a desired feature on the roadmap, that function might remain though.

Craig
Member

True enough. While it stops as designed and all resources are released as desired, I still doubt it could be labelled a “Clean Shutdown.”

The rAt
Guest
The rAt

“What are you talking about? Of course our product is functional – we haven’t received a SINGLE complaint from an end user!”

– Theme Park Executive

davethwave
Guest
davethwave

Remember the golden rule, improve but not remove.

David Gibson
Guest

It’s extra reductive when you consider amusement parks do very much DO this. The difference is, instead of an unfinished roller coaster, they finish the roller coaster and open the park while the tea cup ride is under construction. And then when that’s done they work on the next ride. They get the minimum viable product finished and then open to the public to fund the rest of construction. Heck, it’s not like 90% of TV shows finish the entire season (and have all the scripts in the can) before the season premiere. Or a city finishes the entire road… Read more »

Justin
Guest
Justin

Unfinished but working. Games are released with flaws that are so glaring at best, to completely broken at worst. Disneyland shuts down a major ride they announce it so you know what you are getting. The devs say look it is done – buy it, then fix it later. While you thought you were getting a completed product. Deception by omission at best and outright fraud at the worst.

David Gibson
Guest

It’s impossible for modern games not to have bugs. There’s simply too many moving parts and too much code for things not to break. And they’re continually testing as they’re designing, so there’s really no way for QA to remotely test everything. Video games are also basically an artistic endeavour. And if you talk to ANY writer or filmmaker or painter they will tell you the work is never done. There’s always more changes to make, refinements, tweaks, and adjustments. You can work on games endlessly. (And many companies have.) And as a commercial artistic project, eventually someone simply has… Read more »

Ceric
Guest
Ceric

I think it be better to ‘If devs are allowed f follow Agile’ Every where I’ve done agile I never get to do the iterate step and their is always a deadline by marketing.

To the point that my next job I’m going to purposely find a Waterfall shop just to experience that paradigm.

Shona-SoF
Guest
Shona-SoF

Bahahaha!

Apple
Guest
Apple

Sure you should limit it to just game developers? Extend that timeframe and you have many large corporations.

Drakontis
Guest
Drakontis

The worst part is the price tag is still the same, and they still want to charge you for extra stuff too. At least free to play games developed with a similar methodology are free.

Kaitensatsuma
Guest
Kaitensatsuma

Anthem is the most full-throated suggestion that bored PS4 and Xbox owners should “Just install Warframe while you wait for something new to come out” I have ever seen.

Sure the new content clashes with the daily Reputation limits but at least you’ve got plenty to do while you work on raising your Mastery Rank.

Ceric
Guest
Ceric

In the case of Anthem I got my $60 worth coupled with playing with my son. Yes, I think for most a bit more single player meat would be good. Especially involving the Monitor.
The team is listening to feedback. The most recent patch is really tweaking the Titans. Which hopefully change them from just downright annoying to Tolerable.

Glory
Guest
Glory

Ah, I know it’s not the point of this comic, but this is giving me some nostalgic Roller Coaster Tycoon flashbacks. Seeing how far you can launch people to their deaths while you built was the best.

Kaitensatsuma
Guest
Kaitensatsuma

Can’t ask for a refund if your upper torso is over HERE and your lower half is over THERE

Solid business strategy, really.

Colin Lang
Guest
Colin Lang

My Lego roller coaster looked like that a week ago. now it is finished.

KaoGen
Guest
KaoGen

I feel sorry for whoever gets in the Fallout 76 ride. You’ll get murdered six different ways and then arrested at the end if you actually find a way to enjoy it.

Sigurther
Guest
Sigurther

Shit, I jumped on the Hard Pass Bandwagon as soon as I heard it was coming out. I was like “Didn’t Fallout 4 JUST come out a little while ago? Doesn’t seem like a very long time to develop a game…”

I was not mistaken.

KaoGen
Guest
KaoGen

In all fairness, they outright said that it was based on a Multiplayer Mode they had tested while developing FO4.

In hindsight, that should have almost been a red flag on its own.

Vynkahla
Guest
Vynkahla

I’d post this on the 7 Days to Die forums but I’d probably get banned for doing so!

Nate
Guest
Nate

Honestly I bet Analog would donate to this and gleefully test it every step of the way.

larry putnam
Guest
larry putnam

Then the Lawyers would be richer than ever.

merendel
Guest
merendel

that or the fixers hiding the evidence

Robert Loughrey
Guest
Robert Loughrey

But its Early Access, you should expect to plummet to your death!

Kaitensatsuma
Guest
Kaitensatsuma

…Why not just hold off releasing the game for 90 days then while you work and test it patiently instead of rushing it out and getting so much flak that you smother your potential playerbase in the crib?

Tyler
Guest
Tyler

Do you have any idea what the cost for paying 100 employees for 3 months is? With no revenue coming in? Games get released when they do because the studios need to start producing profit or they get shut down.

Kaitensatsuma
Guest
Kaitensatsuma

Well, with a game that managed to be outsold by the outstandingly bad Mass Effect: Andromeda maybe eating that extra money would have been a wise investment.

Now they’ve pretty much guaranteed that the game won’t turn a profit.

Drake
Guest
Drake

Andromeda wasn’t even THAT bad… The player response went way too far. I was disappointed, too, but it wasn’t something worth raging about.

Kaitensatsuma
Guest
Kaitensatsuma

And that’s remembering that this is a game that has been in development for a solid 6 years with “No revenue coming in”.

Because that’s how game development works.

Long periods of sunken costs followed with a hopeful recoup.

merendel
Guest
merendel

Part of what does not make sense is when you spend 100mil developing a game and then another 5 million over the next 6 months fixing what wasn’t working in the first place and net 200mil in sales. If you instead spent those 6 months refining and spent the same money prior to launch the game would be recieved much more favorably and move more units pulling in 400mil. Yes big name studios can get away with it in the short term as they barrow on their good name to move units of a sub par product but eventually that… Read more »

HonoredMule
Guest
HonoredMule

Wait a minute. Which names have any credibility left, against which they can borrow?

It’s a genuine question. As a PC gamer, I spend the vast majority of my gaming time with games that are at least a decade old, while eagerly wishing for something new that successfully delivers anything I actually want.

Kaitensatsuma
Guest
Kaitensatsuma

Capcom does still, amazingly.

Though they got a bit of a mixed “Mostly Positive if not for these flies in my soup” return on RE:Resident Evil 2 in my opinion. Mr. X just doesn’t work as a wandering encounter and zombies shouldn’t be bullet sponges.

Him.
Guest
Him.

Capcom needs more Megaman and things will start looking up even more. Just…get this “Plug Man” nonsense out of the way.
Also, I’m 78% sure that if Konami made a Metroidvania style Castlevania and then tacked on bonus levels after the fact for money people would eat it up.

Johannes
Guest
Johannes

CD project?

Sigurther
Guest
Sigurther

Admittedly, spending $14 on an unfinished game is probably going to be exponentially safer (and moderately more enjoyable) than riding on an unfinished roller coaster. I mean, heck, I bought Minecraft when it was still in beta running in javascript, and consider it one of the best investments I ever made. 😀

Sigurther
Guest
Sigurther

Also cheaper. Have you seen amusement park prices? Ouch!

Halosty
Guest
Halosty

I also bought Minecraft in beta- but the free demo that was available at the time was already a fun enough game to pay that price. That’s the important thing. When buying an unfinished game, you shouldn’t be betting “this will someday be one of the most popular games in the world” but instead “I can get enough enjoyment out of this in its current state for the price it’s at now”. Some people don’t realize differently. Of course, I haven’t had a bad experience with paying for a game in beta… Except Cubeworld, I suppose. But even then, I… Read more »

Twilight Faze
Guest

This comic is why I stopped putting out updated demos (among other reasons) for my game. It’ll take a LOT longer, but it’s better to have the completed product form the get-go and all the bugs worked out first. These days demos are just….yeah, Tim’s example is the best interpretation. Don’t wanna fall into that route.

Craig
Member

I just hope that CAD never adopts this as the CaaS (Comics as a Service) model. First panel is pretty much as expected. Second panel is black and white and some of the dialog is missing along with some critical objects. Third panel is just a horizon line with placeholders for dialog and text – and crashes the browser to the desktop if you click on it three times really fast.

Randalf
Guest
Randalf

The only reason they get away with this is because the masses let them..

ONE year of not buying games from developers who do this would be enough, but it’s impossible to organize gamers as a group.

Kerran32
Guest
Kerran32

Bahaha, genuinely made me LOL and I still am laughing my head off at this comic. Loving the expressions on the riders, ahhh Tim you crack me up sometimes. A pile of busted up carriages and mangled bodies below would have really finished it off 😀

Drake
Guest
Drake

Eh, I don’t think it’s THAT bad. Depending on what game you’re talking about. I feel like this is specifically about Anthem seeing as we’re talking about a 3-month roadmap. I think what we have is a full coaster… but we were expecting an entire theme park, and we were only given one or two basic rides. And they barely have any snacks available! Honestly, I’m not even sure if there’s a way around this issue. You’d think an established studio like BioWare would be able to handle a long development of not making money off a product. I’m not… Read more »

Him.
Guest
Him.

If you need an extra 90 days to make everything fully functional, then why not…release the game 90 days later, or claim the current version is the “alpha pre-release” and then finish it in the 90 days.
We didn’t have this problem two decades ago because games had to be the finished product when they came out, or else you had a bad game. Not a particularly good argument, but it is still true.

Drake
Guest
Drake

It always comes down to money.

todofwar
Member
todofwar

I always say every game is “Early Access”, just some are more honest about it than others.

Randall
Guest
Randall

IT’S CALIFORNIA’S HIGH SPEED RAIL!

Atros
Guest
Atros

I’ve started being choosier with my games, because of this. When “early beta” and such first started as a concept, I loved it. I loved how you could play this janky ass version of a game you were looking forward to, and as a result even (though, slightly, because a good bug repro was beyond my understanding at the time) contribute to it coming out! Then the standards for how early it was cool to release got worse, and worse, and worse, and at this point if a game says “Early Access”, hard pass. If a game has released, but… Read more »

Human Being
Guest
Human Being

Well games like ravenfield are early access but their tons of fun. I get a game if it had good reviews, not depending on if it’s early access or not

Owen
Guest
Owen

Man, I haven’t played Rollercoaster Tycoon in years!!!

Human Being
Guest
Human Being

Ok I honestly don’t see the problem with roadmaps. It’s just so people can see what they devs are going to implement in the future. Without the roadmap, it’d be the same thing but just without the sign.

Ven
Guest
Ven

hm….last week, Tim was playing anthem, and this week, he’s doing a comic criticizing game devs for releasing half-finished games. Wow, they must have really pissed him off. I can understand, though, doubting the word of the people. Everyone sure does love to bash on EA. It’s become trendy to someone even partially aware of the video gaming world. So, it makes sense to put on one’s devil’s advocate robe and take their side once in a while. Unfortunately, EA keeps doing things that proves the word of the people RIGHT! Just today, YongYea released another video on how, instead… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

C’mon, why do you have to be so melodramatic? Playing a Early Access game with a roadmap won’t kill you.