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APostLife
18th Nov 2008, 06:44
I have heard that DX3 will now probably be released in 2010. Can someone tell me why it is that long? I mean, DX3 started development in mid 2007 up until now. Most games are most finished by 2 years. If anyone has a legit answer, thanks.

Jerion
18th Nov 2008, 06:55
Where did you hear that?

At this point, I would say 2-3 years. I don't have an issue if it comes out in 2010- If the team feels that they need an extra 6-8 months to finish the game, give it to them.

GmanPro
18th Nov 2008, 07:06
My guess is that it will be done around Q3 2009... but seriously, if they need more time, then by all means, let them have it.

spm1138
18th Nov 2008, 07:59
2 year dev cycle is about average these days.

They're using existing tech which should hopefully let them concentrate on the game part of the game.

And yes, if they ask for another six months it's a good omen and they should definitely get it.

DXeXodus
18th Nov 2008, 10:36
I would put my money on the game being released Q4 2009. Its a great time business wise for the studio to release it. Also, based on our info so far I would say that the game is further into development than some may think.

But I share the sentiment of others here. They want more time = give them more time. :thumbsup:

Q4 2009 sounds about right. But If they get an extension Q2 2010 is good. :)

Spyhopping
18th Nov 2008, 14:40
I think the longer they give themselves the better, for obvious reasons. I don't mind waiting, I just look forward to the results.
Of course though it's important to not loose peoples interest by taking too long

3nails4you
18th Nov 2008, 15:05
They can't really make the game much worse by spending more time on it...I feel like the more time they have, the more they can work on the game and the more amazingness that can put in there.

Yargo
18th Nov 2008, 15:13
I agree the longer the better as long as it comes out and isn't canceled!
Please, just don't spin your tires in the mud though. :nut:

Gizmostuff
18th Nov 2008, 17:40
They should learn from Blizzard. They need to take as long as they need to make a good game. I've always admired that from Blizzard. They aren't afraid to scrap something and come back to it later if it isn't meeting expectations. I.E. SC Ghost or Warcraft Adventures, etc...

With the Deus Ex franchise, I don't think EM should skip out on anything that will take away from the game. They are holding one of the greatest game jewels of all time; and if they screw it up; well that's it for the franchise...i doubt we will see any Deus Ex 4...

Hopefully they hire some better beta testers that actually have played Deus Ex 1 ( me :D ) rather than game some guy off the street that's played the game once...I know most of us have played this game at the very least 15 times or more. I'm at 21 full play through...lost count on the speed runs...

Freddo
18th Nov 2008, 18:03
They should learn from Blizzard. They need to take as long as they need to make a good game.
Unfortunately, very few developers have the luxery of being able to do such thing. Limited budgets and deadlines are the norm in this industry (and pretty much all kinds of projects out there, game development or not).

Blizzard is filthy rich and has been for a long time, they can afford to do all kinds of mistakes and do lots of tweaking & polishing.

Gizmostuff
18th Nov 2008, 18:36
Unfortunately, very few developers have the luxery of being able to do such thing. Limited budgets and deadlines are the norm in this industry (and pretty much all kinds of projects out there, game development or not).

Blizzard is filthy rich and has been for a long time, they can afford to do all kinds of mistakes and do lots of tweaking & polishing.

I see where you are coming from but I'm going to have to disagree with you. Blizzard is what you call "filthy rich" because of WoW. They took a chance in the MMO genre and were successful. While in the past, they always took the "when we're done, we're done" approach from day one. And that's why they are successful to this day.

So you're saying you don't think Eidos has a big enough budget to carry a game like Deus Ex like Blizzard does with their games? Give me a break!

Freddo
18th Nov 2008, 20:00
I see where you are coming from but I'm going to have to disagree with you. Blizzard is what you call "filthy rich" because of WoW. They took a chance in the MMO genre and were successful. While in the past, they always took the "when we're done, we're done" approach from day one. And that's why they are successful to this day.
They been filthy rich since Warcraft 2, and especially since Starcraft.


So you're saying you don't think Eidos has a big enough budget to carry a game like Deus Ex like Blizzard does with their games? Give me a break!
Umm, Eidos have shown a great deal of financial troubles in the past few years. In the beginning of 2008 the share price dropped with almost 50%, key title games got delayed and several high ups were forced to leave the company. And SCI (the owner of Eidos) showed losses of £100 million.

Mezmerizer
18th Nov 2008, 21:28
I also believe that they should have all the necessary time to make a good game that would be playable to a large range of PCs, meet our demands, be free from most of the bugs, have the best possible scenario etc etc

So no need to rush, just have patience ;)

Spyhopping
18th Nov 2008, 21:55
Eidos have shown a great deal of financial troubles in the past few years. In the beginning of 2008 the share price dropped with almost 50%, key title games got delayed and several high ups were forced to leave the company. And SCI (the owner of Eidos) showed losses of £100 million.

Lets hope then, that Eidos will be successful with expanding the Deus ex francise. I really do think it's a potential goldmine

Gizmostuff
18th Nov 2008, 21:59
They been filthy rich since Warcraft 2, and especially since Starcraft.

Umm, Eidos have shown a great deal of financial troubles in the past few years. In the beginning of 2008 the share price dropped with almost 50%, key title games got delayed and several high ups were forced to leave the company. And SCI (the owner of Eidos) showed losses of £100 million.

Blizzard wasn't making a billion dollars a year with starcraft....and certainly not with warcraft II...Blizzard also not too recently merged with Activision...making them even more money...so you see, Blizzard only recently got filthy rich...

If Eidos doesn't have the budget to fulfill games like Deus Ex to its entirety as you say, then how does Eidos Montreal even exist? I mean when SCI acquired Eidos, it put 114 million dollars into the company so what does that tell you. 100 million is chump change to these companies...The gaming industry is in the billions...they can afford to put money into this game if they need to whether it be to extend a deadline or hire more employees. Maybe not to the extent Blizzard can but enough to release a game of good quality.

GmanPro
18th Nov 2008, 22:02
How much does the average EM employee make a year?

Lady_Of_The_Vine
19th Nov 2008, 00:02
Santa told me it will be out for Christmas 2009.

I totally trust Santa. :rasp:

Jerion
19th Nov 2008, 00:49
Santa told me it will be out for Christmas 2009.

I totally trust Santa. :rasp:

Does santa look like this? :whistle:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t191/Zeoman1001/AJSanta001.png

Freddo
19th Nov 2008, 01:40
Blizzard wasn't making a billion dollars a year with starcraft....and certainly not with warcraft II...Blizzard also not too recently merged with Activision...making them even more money...so you see, Blizzard only recently got filthy rich...
You and I obviously have very different definitions for 'filthy rich' :p They may not have earned a billion dollars a year in the past, but they were still filthy rich as far as I'm concerned, thanks to the huge successes of their previous games. Not as huge successes as WoW, obviously, but still huge successes.


If Eidos doesn't have the budget to fulfill games like Deus Ex to its entirety as you say, then how does Eidos Montreal even exist?
Because they have to do something to stay afloat, as desperate it may be, instead of just waiting to drown and bought again by some other company (which almost happened earlier this year). But I think this is a good risk, with a good chance of rewarding them later on. Deus Ex & Thief are very good game series, just hope the new studio will make them justice.


100 million is chump change to these companies...
Not when they been cursed with losses several years in a row. Tomb Raider alone isn't enough to keep the company strong.

AaronJ
19th Nov 2008, 02:19
I have heard that DX3 will now probably be released in 2010. Can someone tell me why it is that long? I mean, DX3 started development in mid 2007 up until now. Most games are most finished by 2 years. If anyone has a legit answer, thanks.

As much time as it takes for them to say "mainstream cash-in is not the way to go" and make a real third Deus Ex game.

Yargo
19th Nov 2008, 05:26
Learn From Blizzard!!!!!:scratch:
I guess you guys haven't heard Starcraft 2 is going to be three games released separately. With some units withheld from multiplayer. Whats up with that? Talk about stretching income, I hope EM doesn't take that route.:mad2:

Laokin
20th Nov 2008, 06:18
I have heard that DX3 will now probably be released in 2010. Can someone tell me why it is that long? I mean, DX3 started development in mid 2007 up until now. Most games are most finished by 2 years. If anyone has a legit answer, thanks.


Most games suck .

APostLife
20th Nov 2008, 07:20
Most games suck .

Then don't play any games that suck

spm1138
20th Nov 2008, 07:27
Laokin makes an intriguing point.

GmanPro
20th Nov 2008, 07:34
Indeed he does.

How long was Half Life 2 in development for? I know that it came out roughly 6 years after HL1, and I think they finished work on the source engine around 2002. Point is they took their sweet time with it, and despite being just a fancy fps, it is one of the greatest games evar.

Jerion
20th Nov 2008, 07:49
Yep. Longer development cycles = better finished product.

Abram730
27th Nov 2008, 23:42
get together a bunch of creative types to make an incredible game and ask them to make in in a year.. you should get a great game in about two years.. lol

I'm a creative type and I understand fully the need for long dev cycles and micro management lol.

Origin systems had great creative talent, but there are many lessons to learn in how not to manage lol.

If you looked at the work output of a creative super Genus you think them a retard... but there instincts and Ideas are very important but a corp needs to balance that with strong producers an good management.

A person that can create an entire world in their mind most likely isn't going to be typing 160 words a minuet. Also a big thinker is often a slow thinker and a fast thinker is often a small thinker... the brain is only so big and the management of the different types of people is a art in it self...

APostLife
28th Nov 2008, 04:27
I am not saying DX3 should be rushed. I am just saying how long it should be realistically. Duh? XD

GmanPro
28th Nov 2008, 04:34
TRU only took me about 20 maybe 25 hours to beat. I really hope DX3 is longer... EM needs to take their time and make a game that takes more than two days to beat.

APostLife
28th Nov 2008, 05:42
TRU only took me about 20 maybe 25 hours to beat. I really hope DX3 is longer... EM needs to take their time and make a game that takes more than two days to beat.


Are you serious?!! COD 4 campaign was ultra short. Only took me 3 days to complete and that was the shortest campaign I have ever played. DX: IW was only a little bit longer.

Watever the campaign length is that they have planned right now need to times by atleast 6X.

Deus Ex campaign took me 2 weeks.

GmanPro
28th Nov 2008, 07:08
I beat Fable 2 in about the same amount of time btw... ;)

Fallout 3 took me less than a week, and I finished TRU on the day after I started it (but I stayed up pretty late into the night/morning to do it :thumbsup: ).

I vaguely recall DX taking me a long time to beat when I first played it, but I can go through it pretty fast now. As long as DX3 is about the same length as DX1, then I'll be happy with it.

ps: I'm playing Storm of Zehir now, and it is totally awesome. I hope it takes me longer to beat it than TRU.

Wildeheart
28th Nov 2008, 11:04
Most games suck .

Amen to that.

When did cookie cutter become the norm? I remember the days when most new games were deliberately trying to be as different as possible.

Now it's all just "Gears of Duty: World at Warcraft 3" :p

spm1138
28th Nov 2008, 13:20
Hah.

To be fair, I distinctly remember there being a hojillion "space invaders" clones.

You're right though. We do seem to be short a bunch of innovation and risktaking.

El_Bel
28th Nov 2008, 13:59
Are you serious?!! COD 4 campaign was ultra short. Only took me 3 days to complete and that was the shortest campaign I have ever played.

Games are meant to be played on the hardest difficulty. It took me 3 days to finish Chernobyl mission!!

Blade_hunter
28th Nov 2008, 15:11
About the length of the game development, I don't care about the length, but more about the game's quality, the engine is ready, the question is what enhancements they will add to the CD engine, how big will be levels, how much interactivity will be have in the game, how we can use the physics engine, in DX 1 one thing that was great is the ability to "build" passages with crates, because if I've right DX was the first "FPS" game with the ability to move crates by carrying them, I hope we can use physics to set traps, some simple mechanisms or tricks with game world objects, we can go much forward with that but it's something hard to program, but it can add some fun ...
I hope DX 3 will innovate, and allow the building thing that DX 1 have ...

WTO SpecOp #1136
28th Nov 2008, 20:55
Does santa look like this? :whistle:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t191/Zeoman1001/AJSanta001.png

:lol: LOL yay for photoshop.

The development of DX3 I think should go like this, more time = great gameplay. You never want to rush a game creator. I have played some games that came out earlier than they should and not have gameplay values that were expected (even through they would promise things here and there). Then later updates and maybe expansions have to be issued to compensate for the loss of gameplay. I would also agree that it might come out at 2010.

GmanPro
29th Nov 2008, 00:31
...if I've right DX was the first "FPS" game with the ability to move crates by carrying them...

I think you could do that in Thief :scratch:

Blade_hunter
29th Nov 2008, 02:26
Are you sure, I say take a crate in hand and move it, not only push the crate like in Half life and Unreal ...

GmanPro
29th Nov 2008, 03:38
Yeah you could definitely pick crates and boxes up and walk around with them. You could also pick up other objects like vases or rocks and throw them in the hopes that a guard would hear the noise it makes and go over to investigate. There was a secret room in the training mission where you could shoot some baskets (like DX in hell's kitchen :thumbsup: ).

jordan_a
29th Nov 2008, 05:33
I bet on October-November 2009.

Yargo
30th Nov 2008, 23:10
I bet on October-November 2009.
No fair you've been to EM. :rasp:

I'm caught between make it super polished(2010) and I want the game :( (NOW!!!)

Spyhopping
30th Nov 2008, 23:47
As long as we get the occasional juicy update so I'm not running on empty. I can wait till 2010+

Laokin
1st Dec 2008, 00:51
Well to be honest, they did say 18 month dev cycle. The engine is complete, the feature set really shouldn't take that long as long as they have the concept on lock down. I know they said don't hold them to the 18 month cycle... but that started more than 18 months ago. This leads me to believe the game is almost finished in terms of feature set/artdeco set story and maps.

The story should have been finished before the cycle started. There might be a few changes here and there but I expect the official media release to be a few months before the product is on the shelves.

The fact that they showed it in MULTIPLE magazines proves it's further along then you think. If it was just a "preview" to allow people to acknowledge the game... then they would of opted the PC Gamer route... (insert any really well known game mag.) It's not usual for a title that is years off to be featured in multi page multi magazine form.

Expect the media release to be in Jan or Feb and the game to launch in July.

There is no better launch window for a semi action oriented shooter with a blockbuster story than the beginning of the summer.

BTW, I'm fairly certain the game is near complete and I AM certain there is a full playable build. They may still be adding or tweaking certain aspects though... since what's fun on paper isn't always fun in practice. The game is in a polish run... I remember hearing way back when that they planned on launching about 6 months after TRU. TRU came and went, the screen shots we seen of DX 3 are about 1:1 with the visuals of TRU, which proves there has been a polish pass. Not to mention the engine was practically feature complete before they started with DX. TRU was a great game engine for Eidos to pick. Also, remember their reason for deciding on the CD engine in the first place.... It was so they knew how to use it efficiently. If the game launches any later then '09 then they F'd up pretty big by announcing it when they did. Nobody likes a Duke Nukem Forever.

If I were to guess I'd almost go all in on my bet that we'll be playing it by the summer of '09. There really is no purpose in announcing a game than making you wait 4 - 6 years for it.... people lose interest, it's bad PR.

Eidos seems to do the PR pretty good. Look at the games they made... look at the announcement date vs the release date. Eidos usually doesn't announce a game till they know it's feasibly close to reaching the market.

BTW.... allow me to elaborate on my comment "Most games suck" for the ones that didn't get it.

That dude had said... most games take 2 years to develop. Good games... take much longer. HL2, Diablo 2, Diablo 3, StarCraft and StarCraft 2, Gears of War, UT 3, Quake 3, GTA (the whole series), Street Fighter 4, the list goes on. Games that were made in 2 years or less, most people can't even name. These are the games like Chrome, Legendary, Loki, ALL the recent Need For Speed games, Anything out of the camp of EA, The Shield (based on the TV show) Any movie to game adaptation, almost the entire WII collection with the exception of Twilight Princess, Galaxies, and Prime 3: Corruption.

I mean.... seriously. It takes time to develop quality art and write program code that's not buggy... or incomplete. What about level design? This arguably takes the most time.... Deciding on puzzles and how to lock the player out of certain area's of the map. You have to carefully decide where you are going to send the player... and then deduce where the player is likely not going to be so you can place secrets accordingly.

For a game to be a success it either,
A.) has to be a small indy style game
or
B.) takes over 2 years of developing... unless the crew is just insane and huge and actually works together well.

Also... Another reason why DX is likely to come before most people anticipate is... it's huge team of people. Isn't it like 40+?

Most games don't have that many devs... Dev teams used to be about 10 people.... now the average is about 25. Put that into perspective, that they have nearly a double sized team taking 2 years to complete = 4 years of average dev time.

If DX 3 ships broken... I swear to allah and everything holy that I won't purchase another Eidos game ever.... this includes my second favorite franchise.... Hitman. :-(

p.s.
I'm not religious.

Jerion
1st Dec 2008, 01:19
^^

I won't elaborate, but you lack a few pieces of info. So no, the game is not as far along as you believe, although I can't even guess about the release date.

Red
1st Dec 2008, 02:55
Well to be honest, they did say 18 month dev cycle. The engine is complete, the feature set really shouldn't take that long as long as they have the concept on lock down. I know they said don't hold them to the 18 month cycle... but that started more than 18 months ago.

By the way...

http://www.developmag.com/interviews/104/QA-Stephane-DAstous-Eidos-Montreal


Part of that involves sticking to a 24 month production cycle. This is very important because to be able to attract good talent we need a good cycle - 24 months is really the normal games production cycle...

Laokin
1st Dec 2008, 07:00
By the way...

http://www.developmag.com/interviews/104/QA-Stephane-DAstous-Eidos-Montreal


Sorry 24 months, still.... it's over almost. And there wasn't anything missing there.


Principal Code
+ Alpha Testing (if there is screenshots there is an alpha build)
Game Art
Level Design
Beta Testing
=
Game

After Game = finished
Marketing attacks.

If your talking about other consoles.... they don't even know what consoles it's going to be on yet, so I doubt they would be simultaneously released.

Plus they really do have 40+ on the team. They said 2 years... 2 years ago. It was like beginning '07, it's now almost beginning '09.... roughly two years ago.

I'm not saying it's definite, it's my estimation. I believe a better way to state it would be.... If I were to guess the internal planned date.... It would be summer of '09.

If they have a build to show people that demonstrates no health packs... which they do. They would be much further into the game than you think. I know this because they told us they already made a design change that the people of this forum thought were critical mistakes. I.E. Not uni ammo, something released to the media.

They can't change it.... if it wasn't there to begin with. They didn't tell us it was a concept either.... and people have "seen" the game. This also proves there is a playable build.

I've attended Full Sail for 3 years. I do know the steps involved in making a game. They might want to make serious changes, technical bugs could push it further than that. Unless they decide to change a large portion of the game.... or they aren't working on it in priority (which we were told they were) then there is no reason for a team so massive in size to reach a date somewhere in that ballpark.

ESPECIALLY since the engine they are building off of, was an engine they chose because they knew it inside and out. They should be able to make quality faster than most other developers since they are in a most advantageous position.

Apologies again, that I misquoted.... it was off memory and I wasn't that off anyway.

P.S.

So Eidos is in a situation where it cannot permit that to happen. We also cannot let ourselves take four years to develop a game, unlike some other Montreal projects - so that plays back into us building a game in a time frame that is reasonable to everyone.

-Stephane D'Astous

By default.... he is saying the game can't ship in 2011, and most likely wouldn't ship in 2010 either. I doubt they would push the title back a whole year after making such a profound statement. The team was designed to build this game in 2 years, that's the sole reason it's so big to begin with.

The latest I see this game slipping to is Q4 of 2009. 3 months from my original estimation.

/rest.

Yargo
1st Dec 2008, 07:11
Makes sense to me but I can also see a Holiday 09 release to allow for a long polishing stage. 2010 I think would be caused by a delay of some horrid nature.

GmanPro
1st Dec 2008, 07:14
A three year dev cycle is not terribly long. So 1st quarter 2010 is very reasonable. But if everything gets finished ahead of schedule, then its probably going to be 4th or 3rd quarter of '09.

Yargo
1st Dec 2008, 07:18
A three year dev cycle is not terribly long. So 1st quarter 2010 is very reasonable. But if everything gets finished ahead of schedule, then its probably going to be 4th or 3rd quarter of '09.

Its long when you are shooting for 2 yr. dev cycles. :D

Laokin
1st Dec 2008, 07:22
A three year dev cycle is not terribly long. So 1st quarter 2010 is very reasonable. But if everything gets finished ahead of schedule, then its probably going to be 4th or 3rd quarter of '09.

Also if everything gets finished ACCORDING to schedule... Q3 or Q4 09, the former happens to be July(my original prediction). If they finish EARLY it would be like April/May 09. Also, a great time to launch in financially.


Its long when you are shooting for 2 yr. dev cycles.

Especially when you consider 2 years = half the game per year. Delaying a whole year would be equal to making the first half of the game over again. VERY considerable overshoot. Tsk, Tsk, bad for business.

Red
1st Dec 2008, 12:26
I don't know... Somehow I can't imagine that the game would already be in a near-finished state...

imported_van_HellSing
1st Dec 2008, 12:29
Especially when you consider 2 years = half the game per year.

It doesn't work like that.

Laokin
2nd Dec 2008, 21:01
It doesn't work like that.

It absolutely does. Half the game doesn't mean half the story, half the levels, ect ect. It means HALF OF ALL THE WORK DONE ON THE GAME. And yes it does.

If you have 2 years, and do over half the work in year 1, by default you didn't do as much work in the second year. Pure logic. It cannot be any other way, so sorry to burst your bubble.

Besides, the game engine is complete, practically was when they started. Physics, graphic renderer, light/shadow systems all done before they even started the game. The only thing they added was a context sensitive "cover" system which really has nothing to do with the game engine since TRU already had context sensitive actions. All they really did was make different animations.

With that said, how could the game not be at least 75% complete? 40 people primarily working on a mod for TRU. Animations/sound/models/textures/maps. That's 90% of the work.

Code in conversation system.
Code in 20 augmentations. (most easier to code then a simple pistol.)
Code in your AI logistics.


Game = feature complete.

This is under the assumption that the story was already worked out before they started. Would be counter productive if it wasn't. Plus, they have hired writers that don't slow down the developers.

Remember.... 40+ devs.

I have seen mod teams of 15 people in the past do total conversions of some serious proportions in less time, with rivaling quality to the original game. They aren't even professional, therefor have less time to work on it.

Most people have no idea what it takes to make a game, it's not as bad as you would think unless your building the engine/rewriting a huge portion of the engine, as well.

2010 is a stretch, confirmed by Eidos. This would make them much further than you think.

GmanPro
2nd Dec 2008, 21:14
Well we know its going to be later than March '09 :thumbsup: Like I said, around October '09 or later...

Yargo
2nd Dec 2008, 21:17
Well we know its going to be later than March '09 :thumbsup: Like I said, around October '09 or later...

:rasp:
Thats all I have to say about that.

Igoe
2nd Dec 2008, 21:42
The art and models alone take years. Level design just isn't what it used to be. Mapping in DX1 wasn't simple, but it was easier than it is today, because you could reuse textures and it was ok. Nowadays people complain when they see the same chair in another building. In the Legend of Zelda games even the DOORS in each area are different.

Another huge chunk is testing. Half of the time spent is playing the same levels over and over again to look for game breaking bugs.

Remember: It only takes ONE.

It's very tedious and time consuming to test a game, especially one as open ended as Deus Ex. Imagine testing a game like Oblivion. How would you even begin to do that in a timely fashion? There's just so much you need to test in a variety of situations, and even then you can't think of everything.

You could trust the level designers to pay close attention when designing, so it's easier come test time, but everyone make mistakes, you can't trust each level to be bug free.

You could trust the game testers and QA to catch them all, but they too are only human and can't think of EVERYTHING. It comes down to a compromise between time and completeness. You'll never be at 100%, you just have to know how much that extra 2%, 3%, 10% will cost and if it will be worth it.

The bigger the game, the larger that final percent will translate to in terms of bugs and flaws. In a game like Portal, with 20 levels and mostly set paths, its easy to spot flaws, so that last 1% is pretty small. In a game like DX3, that last 1% could mean an obscure NPC dialog breaks the game, or you can become trapped in a level somewhere, or any other number of things that can ruin a game, but the scale means they could be ANYWHERE.

Tl;dr: Going from 90% to 99% is the hardest, longest and most time consuming portion of a game. Don't be so quick to say a game is on the way when its 90% complete.

Laokin
2nd Dec 2008, 22:34
The art and models alone take years. Level design just isn't what it used to be. Mapping in DX1 wasn't simple, but it was easier than it is today, because you could reuse textures and it was ok. Nowadays people complain when they see the same chair in another building. In the Legend of Zelda games even the DOORS in each area are different.

Another huge chunk is testing. Half of the time spent is playing the same levels over and over again to look for game breaking bugs.

Remember: It only takes ONE.

It's very tedious and time consuming to test a game, especially one as open ended as Deus Ex. Imagine testing a game like Oblivion. How would you even begin to do that in a timely fashion? There's just so much you need to test in a variety of situations, and even then you can't think of everything.

You could trust the level designers to pay close attention when designing, so it's easier come test time, but everyone make mistakes, you can't trust each level to be bug free.

You could trust the game testers and QA to catch them all, but they too are only human and can't think of EVERYTHING. It comes down to a compromise between time and completeness. You'll never be at 100%, you just have to know how much that extra 2%, 3%, 10% will cost and if it will be worth it.

The bigger the game, the larger that final percent will translate to in terms of bugs and flaws. In a game like Portal, with 20 levels and mostly set paths, its easy to spot flaws, so that last 1% is pretty small. In a game like DX3, that last 1% could mean an obscure NPC dialog breaks the game, or you can become trapped in a level somewhere, or any other number of things that can ruin a game, but the scale means they could be ANYWHERE.

Tl;dr: Going from 90% to 99% is the hardest, longest and most time consuming portion of a game. Don't be so quick to say a game is on the way when its 90% complete.

The art does not take "years." If it did, then it would be impossible to plop out a game in 2 or even 3 years.

I do game art, I had an engineering class in high school that taught us how to use 3DSMax. From there I went on to explore programs such as Light Wave 3D and Cinema 4D. Never was big into maya, maya is almost focused on movie style CG.

I can make 40 different chair models in a day. All by myself. SUPER high poly. Texturing them takes slightly longer. While it would take me roughly 30 minutes to make the most complex of everyday chairs, it would take me roughly an hour to make a good texture map, normal map, and specular map.

Then you lower your polygon rate to a more suitable standard for your game engine.

I.E. the art is one of the fastest parts of production.

Map creation/programming are the two longest parts of production next to testing. Map creation is also much easier today then it was 5 years ago. One can make some SUPER complex UT3 maps, or even extremely proper HL2 maps in no time. Just a few hours for a beta version, plus a day or two to work out issues with the map itself. A game like DX has but maybe 40 different maps total. That's about 4 months for them to all pass polish runs. Also, game engines these days reward you for using the same model over and over again, since all it takes is one model to be loaded to memory. This gives you SIGNIFICANT performance upgrades as well as faster production. (Models are reused all the time with different textures, most people don't even realize.)

Programming takes time, since that's where most of your bugs come from. Since most of the game critical code was done before they started, this really only leaves nominal need for programming short of anything needed to add to the engine.

The conversation system if written correctly can't be influenced by any other aspect of the game, so testing would be easy as pie. Simply create conversation pieces in a generic "hello -> My name is Adam -> what's your favorite color -> Blue" form. If it works there, it will work with whatever choices you put into it. The rest is map/gameplay testing. Setting the balance for regen vs how much damage bullets do ect.

The last 10% doesn't take the longest. A game released at 90% the average person would never experience a bug. The last 10% is usually the final polish pass. Improving textures that are slightly to low of resolution, creating nicer pixel shader effects and the like, but by 90% the game is finished. Then they test the new changes, not the whole game.

Game building is modular. A game like DX can keep the aug systems separate from the rest of the game. The weapon systems separate, the conversation pieces separate. The only thing that really over laps is the A.I. and the map making. The former can suffer from code bugs while the ladder is almost 100% balance issues.

If you don't have experience in the field, you probably shouldn't say anything, since your guesswork can interfere with some one who openly know nothing about the process.

/Fin.

P.S.
What the QA team misses, will be patched after release. That's ALWAYS the mantra. You just have to hope their QA team doesn't report matters of opinion as bugs, and soley looks for performance/game critical bugs. Once those are taken care of... priority switches to nominal issues. One's that are rare and/or not game breaking. These are the bugs acceptable at launch. The ONLY way to reliably catch the inconsistencies that a MASS PUBLIC would run into, is in fact... letting the mass public report them.

Also, F.Y.I.
Your forgetting to calculate the fact that their team is double the size of any practical studio.

I.E. Double the staff = Double the speed. 20 artists is going to be faster than 10 artists 100% of the time. (As long as we are talking about professionals.)

Your average game takes about 2 years to make. The teams that make them are usually HALF the size of EM.
Your average good game takes about 4 years.... once again with a studio HALF the size of EM.
Double the size, will turn 2 years of production into 4 years of production.

Simple logic, as long as the devs in question are of a generally equal quality.

Once again, this is the reason they structured EM the way they did. To turn out a GOOD product every 2 years, instead of every 4.

Also, I'd like to note that the QA staff aren't counted as developers. They are testers. This means there is a whole division of people with the sole purpose of catching bugs. I.E. Doesn't really take extra time, as every time a new feature is added it's tested in Parallel. That means at the same time as development for those that don't understand.

You must first understand the structure of a game studio before you can start claiming you know how long each step takes.

GmanPro
2nd Dec 2008, 23:46
One can make some SUPER complex UT3 maps, or even extremely proper HL2 maps in no time. Just a few hours for a beta version, plus a day or two to work out issues with the map itself.

I don't think you've made many HL2 maps then. Because you can't make an "extremely proper" HL2 map in no time. Maybe if you want to make some mega-bs, inefficiently compiled map where everything is in dev textures, the visleafs are all out of proportion, and half the geometry doesn't line up properly and there are leaks everywhere. A proper HL2 map can take several hours just to compile...

But sure, a pro could conceivably make a rough-draft version of a map in a day. It wouldn't be pretty, and it wouldn't be efficient. It would just be a prototype for gameplay testing purposes.

Laokin
3rd Dec 2008, 00:06
I don't think you've made many HL2 maps then. Because you can't make an "extremely proper" HL2 map in no time. Maybe if you want to make some mega-bs, inefficiently compiled map where everything is in dev textures, the visleafs are all out of proportion, and half the geometry doesn't line up properly and there are leaks everywhere. A proper HL2 map can take several hours just to compile...

But sure, a pro could conceivably make a rough-draft version of a map in a day. It wouldn't be pretty, and it wouldn't be efficient. It would just be a prototype for gameplay testing purposes.

Neg, making the map takes no time at all. I guess it depends on how good in hammer you are vs. your opinion on map making.

It's not the map makers job to make textures for the map. That's covered by the art team. This is why Retail games rarely have looping texture issues.

Hammer has come a long way. There was custom maps for Left 4 Dead that rivaled the retail maps in under 2 days from release. Also "In no time" compares to the old way of map making. Maps used to take WEEKS to make, now they just take days. Especially when you have numerous people working on the map. Bottom line here is, Map makers are Map makers, not programmers. People hired as map makers only make maps. You have some programmers that will help when they can, but the hired map makers make maps. There is no excuse that they couldn't create all the maps in one year, let alone 4. Also note, this isn't an open world like GTA or Oblivion. It's maps are linear with non linear choices.

With that said, weather it takes a week, or a few days.... they have 2 years to make less than 40 maps. Plus, it's not like they only have 1 map maker.

One person can feasibly make the maps for an entire game, hiring more adds better detail and faster speed. Plus they can break down maps in sections. In other words, one map maker may be responsible for 5 maps of the game. 5 map makers = 25 maps in just a few months.

Sorry, but it seems like you didn't make a point.


A proper HL2 map can take several hours just to compile...

Maybe on your computer, but spanned over a network = minutes.

Dev's have better computers designed to handle such difficult tasks such as compiling. Especially in the day and age of Quad Core * CUDA with an array of 9800GX2's.

I seen a CUDA system render a scene in maya that would take 11 hours in under a minute.
Quad core with 8x SLI in CUDA mode with 16 gbs of ram.

Case and Point.

GmanPro
3rd Dec 2008, 00:17
I was just pointing out that mapping with Hammer takes much more time than your previous posts suggest. It doesn't matter if you have all custom textures you could want, its still the mappers job to place them on the geometry. If you just have one dude working on a map, it will take him a week to get it to where he likes it (but he could stare at it and makes changes here and there for all eternity if he had the time), but if you have multiple dudes then yeah its going to take less time and be of higher quality. Editing the map and making sure its as close to perfect as they can make it is what takes the most time, like Igoe was saying. Mapping with Hammer doesn't take "no time at all", no matter how many times you repeat that. Even small mistakes can needlessly lower fps numbers considerably.

Laokin
3rd Dec 2008, 00:21
I was just pointing out that mapping with Hammer takes much more time than your previous posts suggest. It doesn't matter if you have all custom textures you could want, its still the mappers job to place them on the geometry. If you just have one dude working on a map, it will take him a week to get it to where he likes it (but he could stare at it and makes changes here and there for all eternity if he had the time), but if you have multiple dudes then yeah its going to take less time and be of higher quality. Editing the map and making sure its as close to perfect as they can make it is what takes the most time, like Igoe was saying. Mapping with Hammer doesn't take "no time at all", no matter how many times you repeat that. Even small mistakes can needlessly lower fps numbers considerably.

Once again your argument is completely reliant on the skill and OPINION of the mapper in question. Placing textures takes seconds. To do a whole map would take maybe a little over an hour depending on size and scope. I've never made a map in hammer that dropped frames any lower than the Valve maps released at retail. I.E. That's a matter of engine scalability, not really the fault of a skilled mapper.

The only maps that drop in frames are ones made by rookie map makers. Period, the end.

And yes a week solo is no time at all when comparing to the two years given to make the deadline. Although that argument is semantics.

P.S.
I've made countless amounts of maps in my life, as you go on and grow in skill, you have to do less tooling around to get it to your vision. I.E. You come very close to your vision on the first go. No need to make 2,000,000,000 changes even if you had the time.

Also note, they are working together with Crystal Dynamics, who in fact made the engine. They know everything inside and out. After all, this is their primary source of income -- that's what makes them Professionals.

GmanPro
3rd Dec 2008, 00:26
Stop talking around the subject. You made an incorrect statement about mapping with hammer taking little time, and I corrected you. Everything else is irrelevant. If you had 10 super epic mappers, with super-computers to do your compiling you could make a map in 30 minutes, fine whatever...

Laokin
3rd Dec 2008, 01:05
Stop talking around the subject. You made an incorrect statement about mapping with hammer taking little time, and I corrected you. Everything else is irrelevant. If you had 10 super epic mappers, with super-computers to do your compiling you could make a map in 30 minutes, fine whatever...


Wow really? I think YOU misconstrued what "in no time" means. You subbed no time for your own opinion instead of viewing the point I was making.

Since you seemed to miss this.

THE GAME IS FURTHER ALONG THEN MOST PEOPLE THINK.

Now with that said, it was completely irrelevent for you to prove that something I said was in fact wrong, when "in no time" is a variable. That's like "a few minutes." That's a variable too. Stating it could be in fact anywhere between 3 and 25 minutes in a rational concept. How many minutes you choose to place in that variable is YOUR OWN OPINION.

Opinion means it's not proven FACT. Yet, your posting irrelevant remarks stating it to be one.

So allow me to reiterate the point.

It is a FACT, that when aiming for a 2 year mark, it's conceivable that the maps should be done WAY before that mark.

My reason were listed.
1.) Computers dev's use to create games are faster than your average gaming machine.
2.) It doesn't take more then a day to make your map model. Whilst I agreed that it would take a few extra days to properly texture them.
3.) FPS hit isn't a factor when dealing with professional map makers.
4.) Compiling times are nearly non-existent on their networks.

There were more, but if you still think your right, then there is no proving you wrong. As so, I won't waste any more time on this friendly debate.

P.S.
The thing about the maps, was a point I used to elaborate in my opinion as to why the game was further a long then most people think.
Yet some how you derailed it with an irrelevant remark towards an engine that isn't even in question to my main point, but actually used for example purposes only. Then you decide that I am incorrect based upon your opinion of how fast "in no time" is.

It's also important at this time to explain that "In no time" is a metaphor for doing things quickly and not a literary statement. Then you jump down my throat telling me I'm getting off topic when your whole argument is off topic.

I fail to see your logic or point, as you violated my whole post and made a claim that based your opinion of a metaphor used in an accurate example of how fast level design could be completed as a fact and listed irrelevant reasons as to why it could take longer.

In short, I thought there were rules against trolling?

GmanPro
3rd Dec 2008, 02:59
Wow you are completely over reacting to a simple debate. I appreciate a good argument but please keep it civil. This is clearly nothing more than a simple case of miss communication. I understand your points, all of them. But please try to understand mine. All I'm really trying to say is that I agree with Igoe that, while its true that you can make the game and all of its maps pretty quickly, it takes a lot of time to fine-comb it to try and get all of the details set straight. Under ideal conditions, you could make a game in a very short amount of time, but everyone working on that game would obviously prefer to have as much time as possible to ensure that the final product is top notch. Because after all, they will be judged based off of the work they contribute to the game. Is that better?

Laokin
3rd Dec 2008, 06:07
Wow you are completely over reacting to a simple debate. I appreciate a good argument but please keep it civil. This is clearly nothing more than a simple case of miss communication. I understand your points, all of them. But please try to understand mine. All I'm really trying to say is that I agree with Igoe that, while its true that you can make the game and all of its maps pretty quickly, it takes a lot of time to fine-comb it to try and get all of the details set straight. Under ideal conditions, you could make a game in a very short amount of time, but everyone working on that game would obviously prefer to have as much time as possible to ensure that the final product is top notch. Because after all, they will be judged based off of the work they contribute to the game. Is that better?

While I do understand that, Eidos said the Montreal Team was designed to do 4 years of work in 2 years time. It's quoted above, and there are links to the interview. While it's always ideal to have forever to work on it, when it's done it's done. Adding to it, or creating completely new things is surely going to be the outcome of too much time. I.E. That stuff should go into a sequel if you make one.

If we weren't basing this conversation upon the sole principal of that interview then I would see where your coming from.

Igoe
3rd Dec 2008, 06:24
ITT: No one admits ignorance.


Sorry I brought anything up then, All the DX3 maps take a day to make and there will be 40 differnent kinds of chairs. 20 artists can communicate as well as 10, or even 3. Games are also all modular, until they aren't, and so on.

All I hope is that the DX3 maps aren't overly complex so that we only get a few of them.

Sometimes, even adding a few simple one level maps can add to a game (Gas station Tiffany rescue?)

(I guess I'd kind of like to point out I've done my fair share of time in the game industry)

GmanPro
3rd Dec 2008, 06:28
Those short levels at the end were awesome. It made it feel like the game was nearing its climax and everything was going so fast. I loved the cemetery level with all the secret tunnels... :D

spm1138
3rd Dec 2008, 14:56
The game will come out 3-6 months after you'd like it to. :nut: :thumbsup:

Psychopomp
3rd Dec 2008, 16:35
I guess you guys haven't heard Starcraft 2 is going to be three games released separately.
Three games EACH the size of Starcraft one.


With some units withheld from multiplayer...
That were designed specifically for single player, and are way to overpowered for online-play. Either that, or you meant that parts 2 and 3 are going to have new units, which IS NOT the same as withheld.


Whats up with that?

Maybe the fact that Blizzard has stated we're lucky if we get part one by the end of 2009, and if they made the game in one go we'd be waiting till 2012-2014. "When it's done" is a great policy, but I doubt anyone wants to see Starcraft: Forever.

Saying the Starcraft II being a trilogy is stretching out income is like saying Starcraft:Brood War NOT being part of Starcraft 1 was Blizzard being greedy.

While it's on my mind, has the internet EVER been a levelheaded place, or have people always taken EVERY LAST BIT OF NEWS as bad if it doesn't meet expectations?

Yargo
3rd Dec 2008, 20:58
Wow digging up those old bones, huh?


Three games EACH the size of Starcraft one.
That is what they say, I'm skeptical however. I'll be the first to say that a good storyline is essential part of a game. RTS, however is not the best way of telling the story and doing 50 missions, adding a unit in between, gets old. Multiply that by three and you've got getting old FAST! I'll give em credit though, Blizzard does a good job with cut scenes.

That were designed specifically for single player, and are way to overpowered for online-play. Either that, or you meant that parts 2 and 3 are going to have new units, which IS NOT the same as withheld.
While there are some that love the story (me included), Starcraft is primarily known for its multi-player and balance. Putting unbalanced units in the campaign only cheapens the game and hurts the multi-player. Why can't they balance out the "super units"?

Maybe the fact that Blizzard has stated we're lucky if we get part one by the end of 2009, and if they made the game in one go we'd be waiting till 2012-2014. "When it's done" is a great policy, but I doubt anyone wants to see Starcraft: Forever.
My point exactly!! They are instead going to give us 1/3 of a game early and probably still take until 2012 and I bet when they are done they will sell you a convenient little "trilogy bundle". Thanks for contributing to my argument :D :thumbsup:

Saying the Starcraft II being a trilogy is stretching out income is like saying Starcraft:Brood War NOT being part of Starcraft 1 was Blizzard being greedy.
Now don't skew my words to your interpretation. You can't say blizzard won't profit from 3 games vs. 1.
And on a side note why shouldn't Blizzard be greedy? They are a company, and their goal is to make money. Thats how free-markets work. The best product is chosen by the money spent on it.:D

While it's on my mind, has the internet EVER been a levelheaded place, or have people always taken EVERY LAST BIT OF NEWS as bad if it doesn't meet expectations?
You lost me on this last bit. I don't think I've said it was bad for Starcraft, only bad for DX3. :D
Yargo,

Dead-Eye
3rd Dec 2008, 22:54
I'm a die hard Deus Ex fan and as such I have been waiting for Deus Ex 3 for a vary long time. Really I never imaged that there would even be a Deus Ex 3 yet I always hoped. If the game come out in 2015 I would still buy it opening day and would not mind waiting that long for it.

Really I have no idea if it will be any good. However I would be cool if it could through BioShock off it's high horse with a fancy 96% score on steam.