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KAOS Studios Postmortem

Gamasutra has a postmortem on the rise and fall of KAOS Studios, the developer formed by the team that created the Desert Combat modification for Battlefield 1942. An interesting element of the story is how the studios expansion resulted in hiring developers with more complete resumes than the managers they were working for and other hurdles they had to overcome to succeed in an increasingly competitive FPS genre.

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60 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 3.
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20. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 23:16 Jerykk
 
TheVocalMinority wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 23:10:
I thought the most interesting thing about the article was that the decision to make North Korea the enemy was imposed an EVP with a "Hollywood" background. Never played the game but from what I heard about it that seemed like a blatent piece of propaganda, particularly given that the American doctrinal system was using that country as the big bad guy at the time.

Oh yes and the great video game crash of 2012 can't come soon enough...

They wanted to avoid offending China because there's a lot of business growth there. Conversely, there's not a lot of business growth in North Korea, Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, etc, so Hollywood and the games industry have no issue vilifying their populace.
 
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19. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 23:10 TheVocalMinority
 
I thought the most interesting thing about the article was that the decision to make North Korea the enemy was imposed an EVP with a "Hollywood" background. Never played the game but from what I heard about it that seemed like a blatent piece of propaganda, particularly given that the American doctrinal system was using that country as the big bad guy at the time.

Oh yes and the great video game crash of 2012 can't come soon enough...
 
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18. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 22:27 ASeven
 
killer_roach wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 22:05:
ASeven wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 22:03:
Dmitri_M wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 21:59:
A big cathartic crash would be nice. Don't see it happening though. Game publishers will just stop making high budget titles and simplify and move to platforms like mobile that are profitable. This process is slow and has being going on for years.

As long as they leave the PC alone I couldn't care less.

But do read the two articles I linked on my previous message. They do explain things quite well and why it's very, very possible the crash will happen soon.

Goodie. So you, in a fit of juvenile pique, would rather pretty well immolate the entire industry for the next 5-10 years just because you're not seeing the games you like?

I'm sorry, but you're what is wrong with the industry, not the publishers.

Sarcasm aside I can't stop the inevitable and neither can you. Use the same tools you have available as I have as economists, take a good, unbiased look at the market and tell me with all honesty it isn't coming.

As for your last sentence, you seem to be attributing to me powers I do not have, like my presence breaking an industry opposed to all the wrong decisions the publishers did or my want for a crash automatically makes the industry a worse place to be. I'm sorry but if you think I am emotional about this, calling it a juvenile pique, then so are you now by taking the opposite attitude and becoming a juvenile yourself in the process.

As for immolating the industry... No, the publishers will be immolated, everything else remains which is why I think indies are the salvation, as they were in 83. They are independent to what happens to publishers because there will always be gamers as long as there are PCs and consoles and devices that can play videogames. The crash will only happen to publishers and everything else will remain the same with indies taking over where publishers once did, filling the gap.

And the cycle will start all over again but hopefully with people all the more wiser and not willing to make the same mistakes their predecessors did.
 
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17. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 22:05 killer_roach
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 22:03:
Dmitri_M wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 21:59:
A big cathartic crash would be nice. Don't see it happening though. Game publishers will just stop making high budget titles and simplify and move to platforms like mobile that are profitable. This process is slow and has being going on for years.

As long as they leave the PC alone I couldn't care less.

But do read the two articles I linked on my previous message. They do explain things quite well and why it's very, very possible the crash will happen soon.

Goodie. So you, in a fit of juvenile pique, would rather pretty well immolate the entire industry for the next 5-10 years just because you're not seeing the games you like?

I'm sorry, but you're what is wrong with the industry, not the publishers.
 
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16. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 22:03 ASeven
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 21:59:
A big cathartic crash would be nice. Don't see it happening though. Game publishers will just stop making high budget titles and simplify and move to platforms like mobile that are profitable. This process is slow and has being going on for years.

As long as they leave the PC alone I couldn't care less.

But do read the two articles I linked on my previous message. They do explain things quite well and why it's very, very possible the crash will happen soon.
 
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15. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 21:59 Dmitri_M
 
A big cathartic crash would be nice. Don't see it happening though. Game publishers will just stop making high budget titles and simplify and move to platforms like mobile that are profitable. This process is slow and has being going on for years.  
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14. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 21:24 ASeven
 
killer_roach wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 20:54:
Same can be said of most any mass media format, though. If anything, you'll see a pivot in how publishers position and market their products if they find their current situation untenable. I doubt we're going to see the sort of sudden demand crash that marked the early 80s collapse of the gaming industry, mostly because we aren't seeing many new players in the top end, just downstream.

That being said, are the major publishers screwed as far as the current state of things are headed? Quite likely - that or they simply resign themselves to being less able to leverage themselves to finance new projects or attempt expansion by acquisition.

I will say, though, that you seem almost gleeful for the prospects of a 1983-like crash.

Yes I am. At this point if anything is going to clean the gaming industry of its terrible business practices is a crash.

Heck, just look at 83 and compare to today. Too much supply while demand keeps dwindling, as proved by all the sales numbers. Casuals are moving to other platforms or even completely different forms of entertainment, leaving publishers still trying to attract casuals with simplified gameplay mechanics while not realizing those casuals are long gone.

A stream of mediocre titles from publishers that fail to meet the required break even sales point, same as 83. Rocketing developing costs, a big point, that leads to insane costs for making a game, making it reach a break even point pretty much impossible, which leads to overuse of current IPs leading to market fatigue, same as 83. A lackluster and very depressed expectation for the new cycle of consoles doesn't help either, gamers are not excited about the next console generation as they were in previous generations.

All the warning signs have been here for a couple years already and presently these signs have become enormous red flags. From the utter failure of TOR, which if a crash happens it could be the equivalent of 83's ET, to more and more news of publishers in financial dire straits, like THQ and Nintendo and Sony, and warning signs of massive layoffs which keep happening, all is set for a spectacular, magnificent crash. And thankfully I no longer am alone in this since some big sites have also started to see the same I see like this or this. And these aren't small blogs either.

Yes I am happy a crash is coming. Will I feel sorry for the people getting hurt by it? No, when you produce shit and deal shit to your customers you deserve what you get. Besides developers have the alternative of going indie while the CEOs and management and marketing people, well, we're in this shithole of a gaming industry today because of these people so if they're gone nobody will miss them at all.
 
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13. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 20:54 killer_roach
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 19:26:
Jerykk wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 19:20:
ASeven wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 18:37:
AnointedSword wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 17:47:
Funny, they sold millions of copies yet still was a failure.

Gaming industry today.

Pretty much. EA has publically stated that if Dead Space 3 doesn't sell at least 5 million units, it will be the last game in the series.

It's reached the point where the market can't sustain itself. Too many big-budget games trying to compete with one another, with only a few actually achieving profitability due to ridiculously high development and marketing costs.

Perfect conditions for a crash, won't you say?

Same can be said of most any mass media format, though. If anything, you'll see a pivot in how publishers position and market their products if they find their current situation untenable. I doubt we're going to see the sort of sudden demand crash that marked the early 80s collapse of the gaming industry, mostly because we aren't seeing many new players in the top end, just downstream.

That being said, are the major publishers screwed as far as the current state of things are headed? Quite likely - that or they simply resign themselves to being less able to leverage themselves to finance new projects or attempt expansion by acquisition.

I will say, though, that you seem almost gleeful for the prospects of a 1983-like crash.
 
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12. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 19:26 ASeven
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 19:20:
ASeven wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 18:37:
AnointedSword wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 17:47:
Funny, they sold millions of copies yet still was a failure.

Gaming industry today.

Pretty much. EA has publically stated that if Dead Space 3 doesn't sell at least 5 million units, it will be the last game in the series.

It's reached the point where the market can't sustain itself. Too many big-budget games trying to compete with one another, with only a few actually achieving profitability due to ridiculously high development and marketing costs.

Perfect conditions for a crash, won't you say?
 
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11. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 19:20 Jerykk
 
ASeven wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 18:37:
AnointedSword wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 17:47:
Funny, they sold millions of copies yet still was a failure.

Gaming industry today.

Pretty much. EA has publically stated that if Dead Space 3 doesn't sell at least 5 million units, it will be the last game in the series.

It's reached the point where the market can't sustain itself. Too many big-budget games trying to compete with one another, with only a few actually achieving profitability due to ridiculously high development and marketing costs.
 
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10. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 19:16 Techie714
 
The Project Reality guys are simply amazing devs...imo.  
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9. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 18:37 ASeven
 
AnointedSword wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 17:47:
Funny, they sold millions of copies yet still was a failure.

Gaming industry today.
 
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8. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 17:47 AnointedSword
 
Funny, they sold millions of copies yet still was a failure.  
If you were right, I would be agreeing with you.
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7. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 17:18 Dmitri_M
 
I've been in a situation as a graphics "professional" with about 8 years experience working for modders who lucked into graphics jobs (by simply being present at the start of the company, most earning next to nothing prior to the formation of an actual company and "proper" staff being hired on) having little to no prior experience in a professional environment. Patience test. They don't understand the need to communicate and continued working as though they were still alone somewhere modding and not in an office.. I can't tell you how fun it is having a manager refuse to communicate with his subordinates in person, preferring Skype instant messages. Even though we were all sitting together in a small room. He'd also have "no skype" days where we "couldn't" communicate with him.

This comment was edited on Jul 7, 2012, 17:31.
 
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6. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 16:43 DangerDog
 
actually I did browse their website, they're giving out beta keys on the forums.

watched some E3 video from the alpha, looks like your typical unreal engine multiplayer game. It might be trying too hard to be post-apocalyptic TF2 with vehicles.
 
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5. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 16:33 everyone
 
DangerDog wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 15:41:
As for Ravaged, they're going to need to release a multiplayer demo before I give them any money.
Then you clearly haven't seen this beast. D:
 
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4. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 15:41 DangerDog
 
LittleMe wrote on Jul 7, 2012, 13:57:
A real shame they didn't create an updated Desert Combat multiplayer game from the start. I guess that also was a mismanagement decision to forget that great achievement and then set exceedingly high expectations to compete with CoD.

It's a good thing this sort of fiasco didn't happen to the Project Reality people.


Too bad DICE won't license the "Refractor Engine" used in BF2, would be very interesting to see what could be made with it if the Project Reality devs had full access to the source code.

I can see KAOS Studios failing due to too many chiefs and not enough indians, what little talent they did have was put off by the assholes at the top and left - or were fired. I don't feel sorry for them, I saw the leaked videos of the early work they had done on BF2, it was more fitting for something like Project Reality than it was for the arcade mayhem of a Battlefield game.

As for Ravaged, they're going to need to release a multiplayer demo before I give them any money.
 
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3. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 14:40 netnerd85
 
Making FPS multiplayer only games is a massively stupid idea unless it's an MMO, especially when they have no mod support... they still have not learnt their lesson.  
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2. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 14:13 ASeven
 
They now have Ravaged to redeem themselves or to be forever be branded as terrible devs.  
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1. Re: KAOS Studios Postmortem Jul 7, 2012, 13:57 LittleMe
 
A real shame they didn't create an updated Desert Combat multiplayer game from the start. I guess that also was a mismanagement decision to forget that great achievement and then set exceedingly high expectations to compete with CoD.

It's a good thing this sort of fiasco didn't happen to the Project Reality people.

 
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60 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 3.
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