Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway

Eurogamer follows up on a semi-recent report on Develop that shared fears at THQ-owned Kaos Studios that the Kaos staff will be forced to move from New York after Homefront ships to help staff THQ's planned Montreal studio. They discussed this with THQ's Danny Bilson, who did not rule it out, explaining it depends on how the game sells. "A lot of it has to do with how successful it is and how strong that core team comes out on the other side," he told them. "I love those guys. I've worked very closely with them on this game for years. There's nothing disrespectful going on at all. We're trying to do what's best for everyone." Providing reason for optimism, he does tell them Homefront is the most preordered game in THQ history, saying the first-person shooter has 200,000 preorders in the U.S. alone.
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29.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 17:32
29.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 17:32
Mar 3, 2011, 17:32
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 15:08:
Same with the whole "needing tight management" crap. The "tight management" is usually provided by some MBA shitwad from a publisher who doesn't know jack shit about game development. Has that EVER led to a better game? The devs where the guys who MAKE the game are left alone to do what they're best at tend to release awesome games. While the ones who are constantly under the publisher's fist seem to release shit.

You do realize that the successful studios have been the ones that have some MBA business type in charge (most notably Valve and Epic) and most of the ones that crash are the ones that have promoted their best level designer out of a creation role and into a management role, or the ones where a group of artists and programmers leave a company and start their own studio, right?

In charge of the studio, sure. You need a guy who knows business there, not some Bill Roper assclown, which isn't what I was saying.

But with a lot of devs, the publisher also loves to get involved in the actual game design itself. With just WONDERFUL results...

(although it does seem to be getting less, fortunately.)

Creston

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28.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 15:55
Cutter
 
28.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 15:55
Mar 3, 2011, 15:55
 Cutter
 
Montreal is a great town but you don't want to live in Quebec, at least not for long. I can imagine THQ coming up on the losing side of this if they do move them.
"I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words." - David
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27.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 15:12
Beamer
 
27.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 15:12
Mar 3, 2011, 15:12
 Beamer
 
It's not even close to the same level of interaction unfortunately. Visualization alone doesn't come close to instruction. There are some aspects of game development that I'm sure you can do via telecommute but I think that hurts the project as a whole, collaboration tends to make creative efforts much better.

And I'd just like to relate one thing on that from my time with a developer:

They hate meetings. Hate them. They want to be at their computer working as much as possible. This is what they love, and meetings are just hassles. Yes, they do have mini-meetings all the time, as they are always walking to each others' offices and checking out what they're doing (collaboration!) but they hate meetings. As a result some decisions could bounce around via email for weeks. Long email chains, no decisions made. Drove me nuts. I'd call a meeting. Within 15 minutes we'd have a decision.

Some things need that face to face interaction, otherwise people won't back down from their own opinion. It's so easy to do that via text. See: all of us on Bluesnews, haha.
26.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 15:08
Beamer
 
26.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 15:08
Mar 3, 2011, 15:08
 Beamer
 
Same with the whole "needing tight management" crap. The "tight management" is usually provided by some MBA shitwad from a publisher who doesn't know jack shit about game development. Has that EVER led to a better game? The devs where the guys who MAKE the game are left alone to do what they're best at tend to release awesome games. While the ones who are constantly under the publisher's fist seem to release shit.

You do realize that the successful studios have been the ones that have some MBA business type in charge (most notably Valve and Epic) and most of the ones that crash are the ones that have promoted their best level designer out of a creation role and into a management role, or the ones where a group of artists and programmers leave a company and start their own studio, right?



Game development isn't some magical thing that's difficult to understand. It's half creative process half programming - neither of which are particularly hard to comprehend. What is hard to comprehend is project management. Guess who has very strong project management skills? The MBA types! Gabe Newell is the king of this, having trouble balancing the MBA type project management and the MBA type marketing concepts innovatively being used for playtesting, but the man gave us Half Life and Half Life 2.



I'll take a studio led by a mind with strong business training over one led by someone promoted up through the creative side any day. Neither one precludes the other, but the guarantee of strong business skills will better result in products being released.
25.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 14:35
Verno
 
25.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 14:35
Mar 3, 2011, 14:35
 Verno
 
spindoctor wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:29:
Have a look yourself...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3yQUjonthA

Now this video shows that it's a clone of the Call of Duty style of gameplay. While I'm not inherently averse to that, the market is flooded with similar games so I expect it to at least be well done and this looks kind of boring to me.

Then there's the RPS preview - http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/22/hands-on-preview-homefront/

They got to play a few levels and, well... read for yourself. It doesn't sound inspired, to say the least.

Perhaps it's not fair to judge the entire game based on this but I am cautious about it now, and I'll wait for reviews or a demo before deciding.

Thanks for the information, you're right that looks a little too much like generic faux milsim FPS with vehicles tacked on. I'll pass on this one for now, appreciate the help.

You're aware of the whole new videoconferencing thing, right?

It's not even close to the same level of interaction unfortunately. Visualization alone doesn't come close to instruction. There are some aspects of game development that I'm sure you can do via telecommute but I think that hurts the project as a whole, collaboration tends to make creative efforts much better.
Playing: Risk of Rain 2, Jedi Fallen Order, Last of Us II
Watching: Tenet, Peninsula, The Pale Door
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24.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:53
24.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:53
Mar 3, 2011, 13:53
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:24:
You got all this info from watching youtube videos or have you actually played the finished game on the PC?

There's nothing in my post that you cant find by reading previews and watching youtube videos listening to pod casts, or having played the beta version even.

But you're more than welcome to think that the finished game will somehow be a sparkling gem of PC gaming perfection.



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23.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:40
23.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:40
Mar 3, 2011, 13:40
 
Verno wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:09:
Ignoring how many industries do this (it's likely fewer than you think), but WHY does it happen for software developers? They can do their work from literally ANYWHERE. So why would you move them? Why not let them work from home and save yourself the cost of office space?

It's a profession where collaboration is a requirement and there is no better way to do that than in person. It's a profession that needs tight management otherwise things quickly spin out of control.

You're aware of the whole new videoconferencing thing, right?

But okay, it's probably easier for these guys to all be in the same office, and I have no issue with saying "hey, we want these guys in an office," but making them move to another country for little to no reason is just stupid.

And Beamer, I'm sorry, but all this "People get too distracted at home! They need to be in an office to work properly!" is just micro-manager horseshit. There have been tons of studies showing that it's an old wives' tale, and that in many cases people are MORE productive at home than they are in an office.

Admittedly, I don't know whether that holds true for game development or not, but it does for quite a lot of other industries.

Same with the whole "needing tight management" crap. The "tight management" is usually provided by some MBA shitwad from a publisher who doesn't know jack shit about game development. Has that EVER led to a better game? The devs where the guys who MAKE the game are left alone to do what they're best at tend to release awesome games. While the ones who are constantly under the publisher's fist seem to release shit.

Creston

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22.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:29
22.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:29
Mar 3, 2011, 13:29
 
Verno wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 11:22:
If you don't mind me asking, what about the videos and previews put you off?

Have a look yourself...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3yQUjonthA

Now this video shows that it's a clone of the Call of Duty style of gameplay. While I'm not inherently averse to that, the market is flooded with similar games so I expect it to at least be well done and this looks kind of boring to me.

Then there's the RPS preview - http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/22/hands-on-preview-homefront/

They got to play a few levels and, well... read for yourself. It doesn't sound inspired, to say the least.

Perhaps it's not fair to judge the entire game based on this but I am cautious about it now, and I'll wait for reviews or a demo before deciding.
Some of the most miserable and unhappy gamers on the planet are at Bluesnews
21.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:24
21.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:24
Mar 3, 2011, 13:24
 
You got all this info from watching youtube videos or have you actually played the finished game on the PC?
Steam: SpectralMeat
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20.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:17
20.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:17
Mar 3, 2011, 13:17
 
Verno wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 11:06:
Anyone have the skinny on this game? Did it have any closed beta stuff for MP or whatnot? I'm curious about it but not curious enough to go digging around.

It's a mishmash between COD and KAOS's last game Frontline Fuel of Wars, the PC version was handed off to Digital Extremes.

It's your standard fare run and gun shooter with perks and soldier customizations by way of being able to select what weapon you want to hold and vehicle you can spawn.

Instead of killstreaks you earn Battlepoints for doing stuff like killing enemies and capturing/defending points which only expire at the end of the round. You use these points to purchase vehicles, drones and offensive weapons to take down enemy vehicles plus the usual air-strike, uav scan.

The kit customization has to be done either between rounds or out of game - like COD, for example if you have a sniper load-out equipped with an air drone and maybe a tank purchase ability you can't easily change the tank to an Apache or APC, there's something like five soldier load-outs that you can customize. You can switch among them when you die and respawn.

There's a squad system but nowhere as useful as what's in Battlefield games, it's almost hidden in the UI.

The graphics are a bit so-so, don't expect to be blown away. Not much in the way of physics interaction of stuff, garbage bags are like immovable boulders for example. No destruction to speak of. Player movement and vehicles feel like your generic Unreal Engine powered game, you can go prone, there's no lean feature.

Sounds are a bit weak when you compare to other FPS games, they give you that feeling like they're place-holders for the real sound effects, but they're not.

It's nothing outstanding, other games do most everything better - despite the laundry list of positive PC features the proof is in the finished product, THQ is great at making flashy trailers to market their games while not really showing you jack-all for how the game actually plays. 200,000 preorders is a joke since that's for all three platforms, you would expect that much on xbox alone.

I have a feeling Digital Extremes will release a patch for the game after release to fix broken features and then be re-tasked to something else leaving Homefront to spiral down into the bargain bin of doom.

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19.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:09
Beamer
 
19.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:09
Mar 3, 2011, 13:09
 Beamer
 
They can do their work from literally ANYWHERE. So why would you move them? Why not let them work from home and save yourself the cost of office space?

Few are effective working from home as working from an office, and it's even more pronounced when it's a team effort. For game development you want people in one central location so that they're constantly bouncing ideas off each other, seeing what everyone else is doing and inspiring each other to really do an incredible job.

Working in isolation you lose that. It really stifles creativity.



edit:
It's a profession that needs tight management otherwise things quickly spin out of control.

This, too. The biggest issue with game development is poor project management. Working from home would make really lower the quality of any project management.
18.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:09
Verno
 
18.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:09
Mar 3, 2011, 13:09
 Verno
 
Ignoring how many industries do this (it's likely fewer than you think), but WHY does it happen for software developers? They can do their work from literally ANYWHERE. So why would you move them? Why not let them work from home and save yourself the cost of office space?

It's a profession where collaboration is a requirement and there is no better way to do that than in person. It's a profession that needs tight management otherwise things quickly spin out of control.
Playing: Risk of Rain 2, Jedi Fallen Order, Last of Us II
Watching: Tenet, Peninsula, The Pale Door
Avatar 51617
17.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:07
Beamer
 
17.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:07
Mar 3, 2011, 13:07
 Beamer
 
I'd say that the West LA/Orange County/San Diego area and the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond area are the only two real areas with dense enough concentration of developers to say that you could put those roots down as a game developer and realistically hope for the best.

Arguably TX and NC as well.
16.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 13:06
16.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 13:06
Mar 3, 2011, 13:06
 
bhcompy wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 12:00:
This is how development works, though. It is a very mobile profession by necessity. There are very few places where you can put down roots and get a job even if your old one moves as a game developer. I'd say that the West LA/Orange County/San Diego area and the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond area are the only two real areas with dense enough concentration of developers to say that you could put those roots down as a game developer and realistically hope for the best.

I hope that firing isn't the case, but you can't ignore that this is how many industries work in North America today

Ignoring how many industries do this (it's likely fewer than you think), but WHY does it happen for software developers? They can do their work from literally ANYWHERE. So why would you move them? Why not let them work from home and save yourself the cost of office space?

It's just horseshit.

Creston
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15.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 12:57
Exe
15.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 12:57
Mar 3, 2011, 12:57
Exe
 
Relocation in the US is one thing. Telling you to relocate to another country is quite another.
14.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 12:51
14.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 12:51
Mar 3, 2011, 12:51
 
People do sure like their boring realistic shooters.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH GAMERS
13.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 12:50
13.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 12:50
Mar 3, 2011, 12:50
 
Whatever happened to the idea of giving a discount of some kind for pre-orders? The last game I pre-ordered was Deus Ex. Best Buy had the boxes on the shelf two months before the release with no game inside. Instead there was a black t-shirt in it with the Deus ex logo and cover photo on it. It was full price, but you got the t-shirt.



12.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 12:15
12.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 12:15
Mar 3, 2011, 12:15
 
Funny timing I JUST canceled my pre-order for this game on Steam. They put the funds back in my wallet for a future purchase super smooth experience. After seeing that slow motion cut scene it looks just like a COD game to me & thats not a compliment. I think I'll wait for a few reviews before going into this one.
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11.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 12:04
11.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 12:04
Mar 3, 2011, 12:04
 
I hope this isn't another title that is well marketed and hyped, and then ends up being a disappointment like MoH, Operation Flaspoint: Dragon Rising, etc.

It looks promising and I hope the good marketing and hype prove true, as I am really looking forward to this one this month, since Crysis 2 has been a complete botch with the demo not showcasing it very well so far.......
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10.
 
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway
Mar 3, 2011, 12:00
10.
Re: Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway Mar 3, 2011, 12:00
Mar 3, 2011, 12:00
 
Creston wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 11:18:
Beamer wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 11:12:
Creston, they're not saying fire, they're saying move, although it may end up one in the same as I wouldn't want to move from NYC to Montreal, either.

Yeah, first they'll get moved, then they'll get fired. How long have we been seeing this happen in the game industry?

I agree that there's little reason for them to be in NYC, but this is pretty typical publisher behavior.

Creston

This is how development works, though. It is a very mobile profession by necessity. There are very few places where you can put down roots and get a job even if your old one moves as a game developer. I'd say that the West LA/Orange County/San Diego area and the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond area are the only two real areas with dense enough concentration of developers to say that you could put those roots down as a game developer and realistically hope for the best.

I hope that firing isn't the case, but you can't ignore that this is how many industries work in North America today

Elessar wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 11:23:
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 11:19:
I've been looking forward to this game as well, but this is pretty worrying news.
Yeah it's like anti-marketing for the game. Brilliant move THQ. Suspend the idea of solid support for a game that is soon to be released.

It is worrying, but hopefully doesn't signal a shutdown or a loss of support. I don't want to see another Dynamix
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