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Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem

There's an informal postmortem for Aliens: Colonial Marines on Kotaku based on conversations with "people with connections to the game" since "despite weeks of fan and press requests for an explanation about what went wrong with this game, representatives from Sega and Gearbox both declined to comment for this story" (as hard as it is to imagine what form such comments would take). The takeaway continues the popular conjecture that the cultures of co-developers Gearbox and TimeGate were not in sync, with differing development and management styles. The story says TimeGate was surprised how little was complete when they took over, and in turn, Gearbox had to throw out and rework a lot of TimGate's efforts when they got it back. They also report disagreements among SEGA and the two developers over the type of game they were making, and say along the way various bits of artwork and gameplay were discarded by each developer in an effort to complete the project. There is also an explanation of why the shipping game looks worse than the E3 demo, saying it was coded for high-end PCs, and was way over "performance budget" for older PCs, much less consoles (though this is something that every game made contends with, and is usually handled with lowered graphics on consoles and quality sliders for PCs). Thanks nin.

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10. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 16:01 bigspender
 
I'm not buying those comments from "people that have connections to the game"
Especially about the graphics. It wasn't just coding, lighting and texture quality that are different between the e3 demo and real thing. You levels themselves are entirely different layouts with different art assets etc
The e3 demo is defs a "This is how we want the game to be" scripted/orchastrated or even pre-rendered sequence. And then they tried to make the game that way and failed. miserably.

I also don't buy the "SEGA and the two developers couldnt agree on the type of game they were making" you're telling they didnt have things planned out?

Its all BS - you can tell that the game only started development after the e3 2012 "gameplay" "demo" was shown and its a rush job and turned out as such.
 
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9. Re: you are joking... right? Feb 25, 2013, 16:00 Flatline
 
Shataan wrote on Feb 25, 2013, 15:46:
"There is also an explanation of why the shipping game looks worse than the E3 demo, saying it was coded for high-end PCs, and was way over "performance budget" for older PCs"

So basicly the release version was dumbed down to make the PC compatible with the consoles??? Because what we got was pretty far from looking like it was coded for High End PCs. Their explaination doesn`t hold water imo. The average home PC right now is far more powerful than what was the norm 5 to 7 years ago.

They should at least try to pass off a more plausible reason for why the demo vid footage walks all over the Final Release visuals. Nice but rather lamer try.

It holds perfect water to me if the contract requires equal fidelity across PC, Xbox, and the PS3.

The PS3 seems to always be the cranky console that fucks up. If Sega demanded equivalency across platforms, and I can easily see that, then the entire game is limited by essentially the lowest common denominator.
 
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8. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 15:54 Ozmodan
 
The idea of having co-developers is what doomed this game. That just never works. The sad thing is no one wants to take responsibility for this mess. Well next time gamers won't be so quick to buy one of their games.  
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7. Re: you are joking... right? Feb 25, 2013, 15:48 RollinThundr
 
Shataan wrote on Feb 25, 2013, 15:46:
"There is also an explanation of why the shipping game looks worse than the E3 demo, saying it was coded for high-end PCs, and was way over "performance budget" for older PCs"

So basicly the release version was dumbed down to make the PC compatible with the consoles??? Because what we got was pretty far from looking like it was coded for High End PCs. Their explaination doesn`t hold water imo. The average home PC right now is far more powerful than what was the norm 5 to 7 years ago.

They should at least try to pass off a more plausible reason for why the demo vid footage walks all over the Final Release visuals. Nice but rather lamer try.

This is what happens when you outsource games, and aren't on the same page as the studio you outsourced to. Kinda fitting for this title given it's turbulent on again off again development.

Starting to think the Alien license is kinda cursed when it comes to video games.
 
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6. you are joking... right? Feb 25, 2013, 15:46 Shataan
 
"There is also an explanation of why the shipping game looks worse than the E3 demo, saying it was coded for high-end PCs, and was way over "performance budget" for older PCs"

So basicly the release version was dumbed down to make the PC compatible with the consoles??? Because what we got was pretty far from looking like it was coded for High End PCs. Their explaination doesn`t hold water imo. The average home PC right now is far more powerful than what was the norm 5 to 7 years ago.

They should at least try to pass off a more plausible reason for why the demo vid footage walks all over the Final Release visuals. Nice but rather lamer try.
 
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5. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 15:45 DangerDog
 
Too many chefs, check

Unified game development targeting lowest platform (PS3), check

Fake E3 demo made on high performance PC, check

It still doesn't get Gearbox off the hook and especially not Randy for being so dismissive and flat out lying his ass off. If I were on a jury I would award compensation to SEGA, poor management decisions on the design or not the quality of the game Gearbox sold them was completely inferior.

 
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4. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 15:42 Darks
 
Sounds like to me both developers were in a pissing contest about who was right. To toss out valuable assets made by the other developer and not use them is selfish pride and ridiculous.  
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Creator of the Neverwnter Nights Eye of the Beholder Series of Mods.

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3. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 15:33 Kajetan
 
Verno wrote on Feb 25, 2013, 15:10:
Oh well, lessons learned for the future hopefully.
One might learn, but i dont know. Remember the Postmortem of Alpha Protocol, where it was said that the game suffered heavily from different opinions between Obsidians producer and SEGAs management on what kind of game AP should be? Same story with A:CM

 
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2. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 15:16 nin
 
Kelsey &#8207;@KelseyEnke

What the hell happened to Aliens: Colonial Marines? @duvalmagic 6 years to make and this is the best you can do? @acm http://youtu.be/3z2qVebxlUo



Randy Pitchford &#8207;@DuvalMagic

@KelseyEnke Did you play it?

So is he giving $60 to people who try it and don't like it?

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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1. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Postmortem Feb 25, 2013, 15:10 Verno
 
Shame how this turned out, Aliens is one of my favorite franchises. I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around but all of these companies stamped their name on an inferior product. Oh well, lessons learned for the future hopefully. It was a very troubled development even early on so I guess we can't say we didn't see it coming.  
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Playing: Alien Isolation, 7 Days to Die, Dragon Age Origins
Watching: The Canal, Brazil, The Town That Dreaded Sundown
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