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#1391896 - 07/25/04 03:37 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Trajan Offline
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All this passion hasn't hurt the Il2 series at all. All that passion is the force behind all these otherwise dead games like EAW, Rowan's BoB and MA, RB3D.

Well, there are always the arcade flight games.


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
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#1391897 - 07/25/04 04:04 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ironhand:
All this passion hasn't hurt the Il2 series at all. All that passion is the force behind all these otherwise dead games like EAW, Rowan's BoB and MA, RB3D.

Well, there are always the arcade flight games.
But I think it can only be taken so far. There comes a point where community enthusiasm infact denegrates into a cyberspace freakshow. I think that if this "passion" continues unchecked, publishers simply aren't going to be bothered anymore.

As for IL2, I don't necessarily agree that input from the community has made it a better sim, although of course that is my subjective opinion. imho every update of that game has simply made it worse than the version that came before it.

Reading between the lines of Oleg's latest post at the official IL2 forums, I can't help wondering whether the community has put a noose around Oleg's neck and he's now in so deep with his IL2 series that he can't undo the knot...Why exist on 4 hours sleep a night if you could possibly have it any other way?

I'm not trying to draw a direct parallel to the KoE saga, but any publisher needs to think a lot harder about supporting a project nowadays than they would have 4 years ago.

I think the users are habitually setting the bar dangerously high and thus creating a pressure cooker situation ready to explode.

#1391898 - 07/25/04 10:24 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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LISTEN, we are THE CUSTOMERS!!!

WE buy these products!!!

Companies want OUR money, and these are the pure and simple FACTS!!!

If a company can't deliver a good product, or if it can't deliver it's code on time, OR if a publisher fails to provide the necessary capital or support then a project fails........ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!!!

You think customers are too DEMANDING (and forums are too harsh on their developers), THEN WHERE IS KOE NOW.............there's nothing to be HARSH ABOUT, and we'll never know what KOE was going to be all about!!!

You want to talk about "enthusisam", and how it can HURT a sim's development...............OH PLEASE!!! I'm hurtin' right now, and it's because a promised product many of us were dreaming about has been YANKED out from under us!!! You want to talk about discouraging, how many "what-if WWI sims to be" must us WWI flight sim fans endure before we say "the whole genre is jinxed".............again (I want to fly WWI, not WW2, or IL-2, or LOMAC, but WWI)!!!

This all stinks to high heaven, and I'm not going to apoligize for the failings of others, OR possibly for the double-dealing of ruthless publishers who renege on there deals BECAUSE THEY CAN!!!

SO WHAT IS IT??? Did Aspect fail to deliver it's product on a deadline? Did the publisher pull it's support of OUR sim because they ran out of money............WHAT???

Yes, I agree it's time to get a life, because I (WE) have spent TOO MUCH TIME ON THIS FORUM (and others) talking about products THAT NEVER COME TO BE!!!

I'll tell you what, some genre's would be blessed to have loyal fans that wait for months for the next update, or leak of progress, or screenshot, or whatever to keep their enthusiasm going, but we know the end of that story..........again, and AGAIN!!!

Sorry, but there IS someone to blame for this debacle, and I'm getting tired of being taken FOR A RIDE!!!

#1391899 - 07/25/04 11:05 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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AND FURTHERMORE!!!

There were a few of us here on this forum who constantly advised Aspect to maintain a focus on their development, to not set their sights too high, to not attempt to build lots of planes and terrain, but to build focused depth, and immersion!!!

We wanted the core package, a tight, well integrated core package, and we voiced our sentiments that we were prepared to wait for additional "modules" which could add more content later!!!

This is what a few of us argued (quite a few in fact), what we pushed for, what we "fought over" on this forum! We wanted this sim, and we wanted to support the "quality over quantity" approach so that we could get "more out of less"!!!

So again, where did Aspect fail???

Were they still mapping all of France and England when work ceased???

Were they mired down in trying to create every historical squadron and aerodrome of 1916-18, and with all the panoply of the ground war to accompany it???

Did they think we had to have Zeppelins, and Staakens, and warships???

All we needed were a few excellently modeled aircraft, with some focused terrain, a nice campaign mode to enable a player to be immersed in his squadron's battles, and some rock-solid online code.

HELLO...............was anybody listening???

WHAT A WASTE OF TIME ALL THIS WAS!!!

#1391900 - 07/25/04 01:53 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Just to set the record straight.

I and the producer were following the posts on this forum. But I was given very strict instructions not to get involved in any public discussions about KOE. Many times Mat wanted to put more screen shots up and put more information out but he was told that was the responsibility of the publisher, they would have to be the ones to do such things.

Many times I was told the focus was to be on quality and not quantity. We just shook our heads when we read Von Heltons (sp?)claims about how easy it would be to build 50 different planes.But in many respects we were building the sim FlyXwire was hoping for.

We made the first milestone on time. The second milestone was a week late. (The Handley Page O/400 proved to be very problematic) The third milestone was complete and on time and that's when Destineer said they weren't going to pay us. An explanation as to why was never provided to us grunts in the trenches.

About the influence of forums on development. The perception amongst developers and publishers that I've been told over the last nine years is more in line with what JonPO1 has written. Whether this is right or not is another debate, but most developers regard the forums as a hostile environment. They do however motivate the developers to be much more historically accurate than they might have been otherwise.

#1391901 - 07/25/04 03:48 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Gromit Offline
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What a bummer. \:\(

*sigh*

I'll guess I'll break down and purchase the Promised Land's upgrade to RB3D.

It's better than nothing.


MSgt, USAF (ret)
#1391902 - 07/25/04 04:00 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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Oh my God Xeidos2............THAT CLOSE!!!

This is a travesty!!!

What on earth is WRONG with Destineer!!!

They took the responsibilty, THE DREAM of OUR sim, and they cast it away as if WE don't MATTER!

HOW DARE THEY!!!

I will forever boycott any product they publish!!!

They must pay for their arrogance!!!

#1391903 - 07/25/04 04:23 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Trajan Offline
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Only one person was constant in his opinion of how easy it is to do aircraft models for this now dead product. Or how it would fail if it wasn't done his way.

Almost all of us know just how hard it is to do what Aspect was trying to do. Many would of been happy if it was done as a series. We didn't expect 100 aircraft. Or aircraft that were so obscure you never hear of them in any pilot account you may read.

This forum, by and large, with one glaring exception, has not been hostile to AspectSims.
Destineer would not or could not come up with any more money.

Did they read the post that said that the fan base for a WW1 sim is only 50 people?

If the constant whining is what kills sims, then why is Pacific Fighters coming out, maybe this year? Why is BoB being developed?


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
#1391904 - 07/25/04 04:31 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyxWire...dude...take one of these man.



Maybe you need to take two...the game might not be dead yet.

Do you drink a lot of coffee?

Chef


The road less traveled is filled with fewer needy people.
#1391905 - 07/25/04 05:04 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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LOL Chef!!!

I will have my say, as I always do!!! \:D

WE drive this market, or at least we should!

I refuse to accept the unacceptable, you can cope in your way, but for something I feel strongly in, and for which I have invested my energies in too, I will have my say.............

AS YOU SHOULD TOO!!!

#1391906 - 07/25/04 07:57 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I'm dealing with it by flying Targetware/RS. \:D

If KOE can be pulled from the ashes I am all for it. However, if it isn't, my life isn't over either. I feel bad for the guys at Aspect but there isn't a whole lot I can do to cange what has happened.

The guys at Aspect are in a better position to evaluate what they need to keep KoE alive. If they ask for help then I will try and give it to them but I need to know what they need to from us to salvage this sim.


The road less traveled is filled with fewer needy people.
#1391907 - 07/25/04 08:10 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Chef...........I'm tired of waiting, and YES, RS holds great promise..............maybe the only promise!

Still, Destineer must hear!!!

#1391908 - 07/25/04 08:15 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Trajan Offline
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I don't think Destineer cares.
And I have a bottle of Wellbrutin SR that I don't use \:D

But at $160/bottle, I can't afford to.


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
#1391909 - 07/25/04 09:05 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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If we could harness the energy of FlyXwire's passion we could have KOE ready for beta testing in 30 days. And there is also the problem of having to rebuild the team. Of all the members I'm the only one collecting unemployment. All the others have found new jobs.

I really don't think writing to Destineer will help the fate of KOE. They never publicly acknowledged that they were our publisher, even though it was in the contract that they were to do so. We have our theories about what happened and why it might have happened, but none of them are anything I want to discuss in public. If I were in a court of law anything I had to say would be treated as hearsay or speculation since I wasn't directly involved. When the president of Aspect gave me the green light to tell the forums what happened to KOE, his instructions were: stick to the facts. I've been trying to do that.

If you should happen to get any response back from Destineer I'd be interested in reading it, but first I'd have to find a big pair of rubber boots.

#1391910 - 07/25/04 09:48 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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Well what a sorted chapter this has been.

Xeidos2, best of luck to you! Please remember that what you guys had shown us of KOE was superb, and I was particularly impressed by the 3D detailing of the model airframes...........just phenomenal!!!

You know, for all the hassles and hurts that occurred on this forum, I'll miss it (and YOU guys)!

If I hear anything (or if anyone else hears from Destineer), we'll certainly want to post it here.

#1391911 - 07/25/04 10:20 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I can understand FlyXwire's sentiments. Actually, his post was much less acerbic than the one I was originally going to put here. ;\)

As it stands, since Destineeer reneged on their deal to promote, publish and distribute KOE, do they still have some sort of legal ownership written over the code and game mechanics that Aspect produced?

If they did not fulfill their obligations, can Aspect use it with another publisher or continue to work on it?

I certainly don't buy that "There is no viable market for flight sims anymore." tag line. I noticed Destineer is also co-publishing/distributing with Take2 Interactive the latest Close Combat war-game. If anything I would think the web-grognard market was even a more risky venture.

From a marketing standpoint a company like Battlefront manages to develop, produce and distribute their Operation Overlord war-game and receive glowing reviews, top ratings and enough purchasers to make 2 sequel war-game titles, plus an air strategy title. So that tired old line is not going to convince me. Maybe ask them how they did it. ;\)

There are other publishers in the world than Destineer. I guess the real question is Aspect willing to believe that there is a market and pool their collective resources together to complete the title. You had enough to come this far. If you distribute via the web yourselves, you may end up with more profit in the end.

I remember the full-spread reviews of that Battlefront wargame and the biggest impression was gaming magazines found it a refreshing change and a revival of the genre. Makes ya think. ;\)

Anyways hopefully you are approaching this as a setback and not the death knell for your sim. Raise the capital and get it out there. You managed to get one publisher interested, I'm sure there are more out there who might be more supportive certainly.

But hey, what do I know being a naive consumer...enough to put cash down on a product I like and not what some marketing demographic tells me I should like.

Anyways I'm gone from this forum till something positive happens for a change.

Good luck.

S!

#1391912 - 07/25/04 11:28 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Sad, but not massively unexpected or unsurprising. A very high percentage of IT projects fail, and a flight-sim is a very high risk IT project - far more complicated than the vast majority of war games, where you have pre-established and well tested rules operating in a basically turn-based system.

I feel most sorry for the Aspect developers - must be very tough indeed to do all that work and then not have your baby see the light of day. Apologies if this sounds patronising, but congrats for trying - not many in this world have the guts to have a go at something for love when you know before hand it's not likely to make you much money, if any. No-one makes sims because they want to make money - lots of much, much better ways to make money as a programmer.

Not necessarily any need for talk of blame, either. Here's a scenario for you - one project manager at Destineer takes on KOE. Then he moves on for whatever reason, and his replacement is emplyed with a brief to cut cost. So he cans the project that had the least projected sales. Happens all the time in this world - that's business. Tough for the people whose project was canned, of course - happened to me a few years ago, we'd almost finished phase 1 of a major web application when they had another look at the business case and realised they'd over estimated the benefits from the project by a factor of ten, so they cut their losses.

Real problem is that we need to be paying much, much more than 30 for these "games". They are highly specialised and complex pieces of software for a niche market, like video editing suites or 3D modelling programs - items of software you can spend thousands of pounds on. I'm a lowly web developer, and 30 buys you 20-30 minutes of my time. Think about it, half the people who take sims seriously will have spent 2,000 or more on the hardware, is it really too much to ask for them to spend 100 or 150 on the software they are going to use so much on that hardware over the course of 2 or more years?

Just some thoughts.

#1391913 - 07/25/04 11:44 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xeidos2:
About the influence of forums on development. The perception amongst developers and publishers that I've been told over the last nine years is more in line with what JonPO1 has written. Whether this is right or not is another debate, but most developers regard the forums as a hostile environment. They do however motivate the developers to be much more historically accurate than they might have been otherwise.
Boy, there's a mouthful here! I could just cry when I think of how bitter, negative, and demanding folks sometimes are, whether it's directed to a game in development or to modders. Hence my rule of making sure the positive outweighs the negative, the encouraging over the lecturing.

That being said, I think this forum was much more positive and enthusiastic than otherwise... The one real case of terminal negativism was negated!

And I don't get the decisions some 'suits' make... Looking back on a graveyard of abandoned games is frustrating. Sierra REALLY torques me off, with the likes of their Babylon 5 game, and the sim set in the deserts of WWII. It is really telling that this game met or was so close to all it's deadlines.

The marketing strategy that's killing sims is being seen in other areas of entertainment. It's like, once one formula of success becomes apparent, that's the ONLY type of thing we'll see...

Oh, boy... Another stupid situational comedy. Ah, a reality show, I can't wait! YES, a show/movie/documentary on horny teenagers, I haven't seen one for, oh, it must be 15 minutes now! A superhero movie! Which hero this time, Earthworm Jim?

And so what are going to be two of the most striking movies this year? The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11. Two more dissimilar movies I can't imagine, but both done by men in tune with their audiences, and with a passion for their work!

And what's up with this 'sims are dead' thing? So, HOW many WWII-themed First Person Shooters are out or will be out? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the genre, but there's only so much my wallet or my computer's system can handle! (the mods for Operation Flashpoint are the best, by the way, you've got room to MOVE...)

So, developers, go ahead. Run like a lemming to do another WWII FPS. You'd better be better than ALL the rest, though, or your game will be lost in the crowd!

'Sa shame you don't have the vision to do a game that's a bit more unique, like a WWI sim!

Here's an idea... A WWI FPS! :rolleyes:


I like cheese too!
#1391914 - 07/25/04 11:56 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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franksvalli Offline
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Hmm - things don't look so good for Destineer either:

Quote:
Subject: Returned mail: delivery problems encountered
To: <----------------->


A message (from <----------------->) was received at 25 Jul 2004 23:02:03 +0000.


The following addresses had delivery problems:



Permanent Failure: 550_5.1.1_..._User_unknown
Delivery last attempted at Sun, 25 Jul 2004 23:02:04 -0000
Reporting-MTA: dns; comcast.net
Arrival-Date: 25 Jul 2004 23:02:03 +0000

#1391915 - 07/26/04 12:48 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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LOL...........got the same FV! \:\)

Send it to the other addies listed there too (if you haven't already). At least they haven't returned undeliverable..........yet.

Have you got your boots ready? \:D

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