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Op Ed

Polygon - The Confessional: It took two years to cancel Singularity, and ten months to fix it.
The press claimed that Singularity was released without fanfare and left to die without proper advertisement. The game was actually given a decent marketing push, at a non-trivial cost to the publisher, but it was geared toward a release date that had come and gone. Activision was already paying several dozen developers to work many more months on the project, and they weren't excited about footing the bill for a second marketing effort for a title that was already facing long odds for success.

This extra development time wasn't just a decision, after all. Time is money, and money buys time: Raven had 70 developers working on Singularity for between six to 10 months. That's around 500 development months, at a cost of around $10,000 per dev-month. If you want to kill your chances of getting decent publicity, force your publisher to give you an extra $5 million to finish the game.

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15. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 16:56 jdreyer
 
Domgrief wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 09:37:
Creston wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 02:47:
at a cost of around $10,000 per dev-month

I'm sorry, what? Devs cost 10K per fucking month???

At a guess, that's 5K per dev month, plus 401(k), plus insurance, plus facilities, plus project management, plus middle management, plus management. Hell, they probably include testers and the back-office team.

It sounds like this $10,000 figure was something Raven threw around as a gross generalisation of how much it costs them as a company to make a game, and if so, it's quite plausible.

5K per month is only 60K per year. What dev would work for that? Maybe a dev with 0 experience right out of college. A mid-level dev makes 80-90K and a senior dev can make well into six figures. And that's just salary for the dev, not including health insurance and other benes, office space, electricity, etc. 10K on average is about right, not including managers and QA.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 09:37 Domgrief
 
Creston wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 02:47:
at a cost of around $10,000 per dev-month

I'm sorry, what? Devs cost 10K per fucking month???

At a guess, that's 5K per dev month, plus 401(k), plus insurance, plus facilities, plus project management, plus middle management, plus management. Hell, they probably include testers and the back-office team.

It sounds like this $10,000 figure was something Raven threw around as a gross generalisation of how much it costs them as a company to make a game, and if so, it's quite plausible.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 08:40 Prez
 
Creston wrote on Mar 4, 2014, 02:47:
at a cost of around $10,000 per dev-month

I'm sorry, what? Devs cost 10K per fucking month???


It's a confusing statement. Could it mean that the game's averaged cost of development per month was $10,000?
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 04:31 Ray Ban
 
Why can't someone with half a brain cell (Disney) order them to develop JK3/Jedi Academy 2? I'd even pre-order.  
"The future's so bright I gotta wear shades!"
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11. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 02:47 Creston
 
at a cost of around $10,000 per dev-month

I'm sorry, what? Devs cost 10K per fucking month???

I liked Singularity. Solid shooter, nice levels, pretty good story with a nice surprise ending to boot (though you could see it coming.)

That said, it didn't really do much new, which has always kind of been the case with Raven's shooters, and so I'm not surprised it never sold well enough to make Greedy Bobby happy.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Mar 4, 2014, 00:03 MDB
 
I remember thinking that they'd recycled a bunch of unused concepts and assets from Wolfenstein for this.

Raven shooters frustrate me, because they're always completely solid mechanically, but marred by linear level design and unsophisticated storytelling. This is worth playing, though, just to experience the high concept -- and then wonder what might have been, afterwards.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 23:26 Jerykk
 
Singularity was surprisingly solid. I'm surprised its development was so rocky. I'm equally surprised that Activision actually agreed to fund an original game. I think Singularity was the last original IP that Activision released.  
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8. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 22:58 PropheT
 
nin wrote on Mar 3, 2014, 18:49:
I'm not going to pay $30 (current price on Steam)

Saw that as well, and laughed my ass off. Acti is always stingey when it comes to sales...

It's usually deeply discounted on the Summer/Winter sales at least, I don't think I paid more than $7 or $8 for it.

It's one of the best single-player FPS campaigns I've played, too, I really enjoyed it. It's worth grabbing and playing through if you do get it for a good price, but it's not terribly long so not sure I'd pay $30 for it.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 19:53 Brumbek
 
Singularity is a really great FPS, both gameplay-wise and story-wise. If you are a fan of HL1, HL2, BioShock, and so on, Singularity is worth playing.

The fun bullet-time stuff alone makes the game worth playing. The story, too, I think is vastly superior to BioShock Infinite and other hyped games.

Please do play Singularity. It's too bad it didn't sell well because in my opinion it is a classic FPS game.
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 18:49 nin
 
I'm not going to pay $30 (current price on Steam)

Saw that as well, and laughed my ass off. Acti is always stingey when it comes to sales...
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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5. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 18:38 jdreyer
 
Added to my wishlist. I'm not going to pay $30 (current price on Steam) for a game with such a troubled history, but will check it out if it goes on sale.

As for the story, I'm glad it had a "happy" ending, but I wish they'd gotten more into how the game ran into trouble in the first place. That's more valuable to know, IMO. And it's possible to do without naming names and playing the blame game.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 18:33 Sho
 
I enjoyed Singularity quite a bit. It's one of the better SP shooters in recent memory, IMHO. And I didn't like Raven's take on Wolfenstein.  
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3. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 18:11 nin
 
MajorD wrote on Mar 3, 2014, 18:05:
I picked this game up off of Amazon for about $7.99 a while back, but it's still sitting on my shelf and on my long list of games to install/play. I recall some posters here at Blue's News saying it was actually a decent game, but wasn't marketed/handled too well by Activision, which is pretty much in line with this news post.


Yeah, with it's delay, marketing came and went before the game was out...

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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2. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 18:05 MajorD
 

I picked this game up off of Amazon for about $7.99 a while back, but it's still sitting on my shelf and on my long list of games to install/play. I recall some posters here at Blue's News saying it was actually a decent game, but wasn't marketed/handled too well by Activision, which is pretty much in line with this news post.

 
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1. Re: Op Ed Mar 3, 2014, 18:03 nin
 
I really didn't like Singularity at first, for some of the reasons they outlined: If felt like it borrowed way too liberally for various other games.

Yet there was something about the story, specifically the ending and your character seemingly being unable to change his fate, that stuck with me. And it's grown on me with replays...

If you've not played it and can catch it for under $10, check it out.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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