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The Man Who "Killed" Starsiege Tribes

This interview on carries the inflammatory, though tongue-in-cheek, title "The man who killed Starsiege: Tribes (part 1)." This speaks with Chris Mahnken, who didn't actually kill the franchise, though he served as producer on Tribes: Vengeance, the near-fatal installment in the sci-fi shooter series released in 2004 by Irrational Games. The conversation covers the troubled development of Vengeance, and the obstacles they overcame along the way. Here's a portion:

All through the development of the game Sierra was slowly being shut down by our Vivendi corporate overlords down in lovely Culver City. It was unfortunate, because we were actually making a profit, while they were losing money hand over fist. They closed Dynamix, Papyrus, Impressions, and about 10 other smaller studios over three or four years in an attempt to stem the bleeding. It was kind of like somebody with a gunshot wound to the chest trying to heal themselves by cutting off hands, feet, arms and legs.

For our team it started with marketing and PR being moved to LA, and my Marketing manager being laid off. That left me with a marketing guy who didn’t have any idea about first person shooters in general, much less tribes. His suggestions were that we should make it much more like Counter-Strike, and we should definitely add “bullet time”.

The end result was a game that had no support from the corporate offices, and ended up with one magazine cover about 8 months before it released, and one single magazine advert and not even any web ads.

7. Re: The Man Who Mar 29, 2011, 22:27 Overon
Jerykk wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 22:17:
So with Vengeance being more like the original Tribes, and less like Tribes 2 in regards to physics and map design, we made part of the audience happy, and part unhappy.

Tribes Vengeance wasn't much like T1 either. Firstly, T1 didn't have force fields that prevented you from leaving the battlefield. Many of the best cap routes started outside of the battlefield perimeter, so preventing players from leaving reduced the amount of potential routes that could be found. Secondly, T1 didn't have giants mines as deployables. They were more like grenades that you could throw. Thirdly, T1 didn't have extremely annoying spammerific vehicles. Fourthly, in T1, your gear didn't scatter all over the battlefield when you died. It remained on your corpse, making salvaging much more efficient. Fifthly, nobody wanted a single-player campaign for Tribes. It was just a waste of time and money.
Here here. Don't forget Tribes 1 didn't have the glaring bugs of Tribes Vengeance that never got fixed and this article just confirms why.

I really hope Tribes Ascend won't be shallow console game but but since it's coming on XBLA, I don't have high hopes for it.

There will never be another Tribes game like Tribes 1 or a Tribes 2 on PC as long as the game is developed for consoles with their consistent action focused streamlined gameplay.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2011, 22:32.
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  1. Mar 29, 21:29 Re: The Man Who "Killed" Starsiege Tribes Steele Johnson
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