Frax - Thanks for proving my last point so well. I never said *I* was more important than any other person on the street. I certainly am not! I just also don't think that he is, either - so equating his impatience with Valve somehow "deserving" to be ripped-off is folly. Also, those mod developers *SOLD* their stuff to Valve - Valve didn't rip people off or you'd see lawsuits; so just chill on the "Big Bad Wolf" theory. Some hobbyists made something that people loved, and saw a chance to get paid for their work. Valve thought it was worth it to pay them - the mod makers agreed. Where's the crime? If YOU got offered money and/or a real job, for a "hobby" project you did, wouldn't you take it?
And for the record: (A) I never WAS at Valve, I was at Sierra. (B) I'm still designing levels, I'm not an ex-level-designer.
chacro - "apologist"? Let's see, tell ya what: You try having a couple-thousand people look over your shoulder while you try to work your day job - and even if omly 10 of that 1,000 kibitz or cajole you, I bet you'd get tired of it REALLY quickly. :-P I'm not excusing bad behavior on the part of dev's or publishers, I'm just trying to tell it like it is. And again, I was making a point *to* someone - there's context there.
Tangled - My reviews are opinion pieces - like ALL reviews (movie, book, game, etc). Its OK to disagree with them dude; doesn't hurt me - its not like Loonyboi paid me to do them (I assume you're referring to my time at Loonygames), I did it for fun. Oh, and if you want to actually suggest ways for me to write better ones, I'll gladly take them - but "they sucks" doesn't really help.
BTW, you are 1 customer. Out of 1 MILLION copies they are going to sell of this game. *YOU* as an individual, expecting the game on day #23,756 instead of #23,757 are not important, compared to the THOUSANDS of mass-market clueless consumers that need to buy this game and have it work straight out of the box - because they can't even manage AOL or auto-update programs if the game is buggy and needs a patch. The delay of a product is a strategic thing - its done for important reasons and is not just some WHIM designed to frustrate you.
Lastly, to the guy that said that the delays in any other industry get you fired or your product cancelled: I refer you to the Airplane industry, the Car Industry, the Software Industry, the Aerospace Industry, the Nuclear-Power Industry, Large-Ship-Building companies, and ANY OTHER company or industry in which large and complex projects happen. You'll find cost and time overruns in ALL of them. The complexities of a project interact, so that the costs, time, and UNPREDICTABILITY of a project go up FASTER than the actual increase in complexity. Games have to run fast, smooth, and on a WIDE variety of hardware and software. Each piece of hardware may or may not fully conform to standards and specs; and each has its own bugs or quirks. This is why Microsoft has labs with THOUSANDS of machines hooked up, all testing the same thing. A 50-person company like Valve (or an average 20-person game developer) cannot possibly have these resources at hand. Even big Publishers cannot duplicate that sort of testing endeavour - which is one of the many reasons why game schedules are less predictable than, say, the next version of Windows. The other thing is that Windows also doesn't have a storyline or script that is being written or worked with either. Windows doesn't have a specific number of HOURS of enjoyment to provide, for a $50 value. Windows versions aren't as hotly anticipated as games either - so changes in release dates and schedules don't show up "on the radar" as much as highly-visible game projects.
Again: This is a complex business.
--Noel "HB" Wade