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Re: A better world [Re: LightningLockey] #358403
08/12/08 08:42 AM
08/12/08 08:42 AM
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Posts: 749
Lar_q Offline OP

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Lar_q  Offline OP

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My communication skills are dwindling rapdily ;\) The point I was trying to make was not about me, it was about the impact of everything "around development" on development teams. I took the stuff I deal with on a daily basis as an example to illustrate how much of that stuff there actually is. If you substract the time and money spent on interim demos, sales, marketing, PR, localization, age ratings, certification and so forth from the total development, then you could probably make two games (admittedly slightly exaggerated to make the point). And that I think goes for every game developer.

The other big one like that btw is that a lot of people are continously reinventing the wheel. I'm thinking a lot about how you could optimize development for the moment, and apart from the typical production things, not having to reinvent the wheel all the time and trying to minimize the "non core development" things are two big ones. Not that they are simple to solve, otherwise somebody would have done it a long time ago ;\)

Re: A better world [Re: Lar_q] #358404
08/12/08 09:17 AM
08/12/08 09:17 AM
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Posts: 8,265
Seattle
LewsTherinKinslayer13 Offline
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But you can do it Lar. Because you have founded an amazing game company, that makes amazing games. I still love and play Divine Divinity to this day, for it is an amazing world and an amazing experience to play; it has been crafted expertly and I cannot wait for the next because I know it will win an amazing amount of awards and be another exceptionally awesome experience.

Morning Pep Talk concluded lol.

Any news on when we might be able to play a demo Lar?



Re: A better world [Re: Larian_QA] #358405
08/12/08 10:46 AM
08/12/08 10:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 37
Oudenaarde, Belgium
Sektor Offline
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Oudenaarde, Belgium
 Originally Posted By: Larian_QA
an off-topic sidenote from me :
I'm only 26, started playing soccer again after 4 years of basically doing nothing and having done sports all my life up until that point. Been going at it for nearly 3 months now and the next day after practise i always feel like an old man, in need of a walking cane \:\)
I hope you have a point and i'll soon regain my old physical condition back, but right now i feel like i've peaked ;\)


Just wait a couple of years, when you have a few kids to play with, run after, carry up and down stairs, get in and out of cars, get up for in the middle of the night, ... \:-D .

I'm "only" 29, but I feel like I'm 50 right now


"The Large Print giveth, and the Small Print taketh away" - Tom Waits
Re: A better world [Re: Sektor] #358410
08/12/08 02:49 PM
08/12/08 02:49 PM
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Posts: 19,683
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AlrikFassbauer Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Sektor
I'm "only" 29, but I feel like I'm 50 right now


I'm 39 now, and feel like 29.


When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
--Dilbert cartoon

"Interplay.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
Re: A better world [Re: AlrikFassbauer] #358416
08/12/08 09:42 PM
08/12/08 09:42 PM
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Posts: 1,541
London, England
Elliot_Kane Offline
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London, England
Not a day over a thousand, myself! \:D


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Re: A better world [Re: Elliot_Kane] #358422
08/12/08 11:33 PM
08/12/08 11:33 PM
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LightningLockey Offline

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Efficacy has been lost to the world in many ways. Ironically the amount of paper work computers were suppose to eliminate has been created on top of already existing paperwork.

It is disgusting to think about, so I try not to.

For a small company, I'd say you got it down pretty good about efficancy. I think it takes 4-5 years for Nintendo to make a new Zelda game. Your games are fuller then any Zelda game that I've ever played. And they got loads more programmers!


Every time there I run into trouble on the road, there is always a dwarf at the bottom of it. Don't they know how to drive above ground?
Re: A better world [Re: LightningLockey] #358429
09/12/08 11:49 AM
09/12/08 11:49 AM
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Posts: 588
Netherlands
Myrthos Offline
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Netherlands
Unless my own FAQ is mistaken, development on Divinity 2 started in 2004, which puts it in the same 4-5 year range of development time.
Any project comes with lots of documentation, discussions and making sure every stakeholder is kept happy. Even agile approaches need all of that, although they could give better time to market results. I never developed a game myself, but managed a lot of projects and don't really see how it can be done different.
As far as reinventing the wheel is concerned; in my personal observations there are those developers who are unaware of the existence of such a wheel, those that keep on searching until they find something that resembles it and there are those who suffer from the 'not invented by me' syndrome. The latter ones want to develop everything themselves as they feel what they make is indefinitely better than what is currently available. There is no known cure for these developers \:\) Fortunately every now and then they do come up with something that really is better, that would not have been there if they re-used an existing wheel.
(Disclaimer: I don't have a clue about the developers at Larian Studios, they could all be divine coders as far as I know :-D)


See me @ The Locus Inn & RPGWatch
Re: A better world [Re: Myrthos] #358445
10/12/08 04:08 PM
10/12/08 04:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 749
Lar_q Offline OP

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Lar_q  Offline OP

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Your FAQ is right though the first years were basically R&D spent developing new technology, prototypes and processes as well as going through various iterations of the design and re-inventing our studio ;\) Serious pre-production work started somewhere in 2006 and the "real" development only started in 2007. We calculated some time ago that we spent around 24000 mandays so far on and that number is only increasing ;\)

Re: A better world [Re: LightningLockey] #358448
10/12/08 05:09 PM
10/12/08 05:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 83
Holland
Foetsy Offline
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Holland
 Originally Posted By: LightningLockey
Efficacy has been lost to the world in many ways. Ironically the amount of paper work computers were suppose to eliminate has been created on top of already existing paperwork.

It is disgusting to think about, so I try not to.

Most 70s paperwork is digitalised, so in that respect the computers did their job. We humans began to use computers for alot more then just reducing paper-use. The world (well, my 'world' obviously) is way more specialised. But we could try to use computers solely for reducing paperwork, if thats what you want ;). Lets see what happens then.
No Divinity II to begin with...

Re: A better world [Re: Foetsy] #358463
11/12/08 01:17 PM
11/12/08 01:17 PM
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AlrikFassbauer Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Foetsy
No Divinity II to begin with...


Paperwork ! \:\)


When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
--Dilbert cartoon

"Interplay.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
Re: A better world [Re: AlrikFassbauer] #358489
12/12/08 05:20 AM
12/12/08 05:20 AM
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Posts: 8,265
Seattle
LewsTherinKinslayer13 Offline
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It's no worries though until someone floods the studio with water from falling asleep with the bath running though, right?



Re: A better world [Re: LewsTherinKinslayer13] #358500
12/12/08 10:55 PM
12/12/08 10:55 PM
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AlrikFassbauer Offline
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Yeah, right. \:\)


When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
--Dilbert cartoon

"Interplay.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
Re: A better world [Re: AlrikFassbauer] #358538
15/12/08 03:31 AM
15/12/08 03:31 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 891
LightningLockey Offline

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Here is where I'm going with flooded paperwork.

Files are kept in HDD's in server rooms and such. And often duplicates are printed out and immediately thrown away when not needed. Before when files existed, you just didn't constantly reproduce something. Got up off your rear and went to the filing room to get what you needed.

At my job, there is so much paper jammed in different places it is sickening. And once a year tons is just thrown out. I guess computers do eliminate paperwork, it is employee's that reprint too many unnecessary copies and just junk them or pile them somewhere that they become buried under a heap to be thrown out.

As for a studio flooding out and having their equipment all fry, I'd hope that there would be full backups kept off site at a different location in case there would be a disaster like a fire, earthquake or giant sandworm swallowing the studio. Let us just hope it doesn't come to the sandworms...


Every time there I run into trouble on the road, there is always a dwarf at the bottom of it. Don't they know how to drive above ground?
Re: A better world [Re: LightningLockey] #358619
17/12/08 03:49 PM
17/12/08 03:49 PM
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Posts: 4,357
malaysia
janggut Offline
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should that happen, Lightning Lockey, Lar will re-emerge as Muad-dib. Larians will be Fremen.



......a gift from LaFille......
Re: A better world [Re: janggut] #358621
17/12/08 06:20 PM
17/12/08 06:20 PM
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AlrikFassbauer Offline
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Us, too ? ;\)


When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
--Dilbert cartoon

"Interplay.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
Re: A better world [Re: AlrikFassbauer] #358920
06/01/09 04:52 PM
06/01/09 04:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 349
swordscythe Offline
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Don't fret, even as gamers have become more and more demanding, they are generally also becoming more mature and understanding. I remember when WoW came out and there were loads of bugs being reported, for every guy that started whining and calling it crap, there were 500 defending it, teeth bared. The most important thing is bringing a great game to the table, and it seems that's what you guys are doing. Everyone will understand if there's a delay, look how long Dragon Age has been taking to complete, and all that happens is more and more hype the longer it takes. Few people whine, because they also realise it's better to buy a 100-hour game next year than buy a 15-hour game next month.


What I'm trying to say is; take your time, just make sure when it's finished, it's actually finished. And if it is, I'm sure you'll reap the rewards.

Re: A better world [Re: swordscythe] #358962
08/01/09 09:31 PM
08/01/09 09:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 197
Belgium
Khamul Offline
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Belgium
Very very interesting to read about the life of a game developer. It isn't all about having fun and gaming all day so it seems ^^

Well, remember that you have a very loyal fanbase that knows that "de gasten van Oudenaarde hun werk goed zullen doen" ;D

Last edited by Khamul; 09/01/09 08:47 AM.

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Re: A better world [Re: Khamul] #413101
23/05/10 12:53 PM
23/05/10 12:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
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Yrth Offline
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The life of a developer is a weird one, I grant you that. Of all tradesmen/artists/scientists/engineers (depending on how you think of it), we are the only ones who can manifest an idea from inside our head as a thing in the real world that others can touch, feel, see, and experience, but the thing itself is no more real than the idea in our head was in the first place. It's just a stream of electrons flitting around in a machine, and all we do is tell them whether to go left or right. Bit-fiddling - a strange occupation, to be sure.

The frustrations are there. I've been doing this for over 30 years now, and I still feel the same; "I wish I had time to make this better!" At this point, if I can go back and look at something I wrote 6 months ago without slapping myself in the head and asking myself, "What was I thinking!!", then I know I've become complacent. If I ever stop learning how to write a better program, then I will know that I am finally, truly dead.

There is always a way to do it better. There is enough time to do it well enough. The trick is always to find the place that's 'good enough for now', and then be able to stop. If you can't do that, then you wind up with "Duke Nukem II", the mega-game that never was, or the "super-Vax" that would have re-made the mini-computer industry - if they had ever finalized any design. They coined the name 'creeping perfectionitis' as a disease, because it is - the inability to stop.

It would be great if programming was always that voyage of discovery where you know where you want to be and you know where you are, but you just haven't figured out how to get there from here yet. That's such a wonderful trip. In the end, however, no matter what your occupation is, there is always the **** work that comes with it.

I'm sure for a vintner, the wonder and joy is in trying new varieties of grapes, new techniques, new ideas, and finding ways to make better and more fascinating wines. The art in the craft is what makes it something you can love. But unless you are going to be the only person who ever drinks the wine, there is the inevitable day when the thing you must do is shove a cork into a bottle - not the sexiest job. That isn't good or bad. That just is - and it is for everyone. A painter must inevitably wash his brush. A musician must inevitably clean his instrument. An architect must inevitably try to explain to a carpenter why the joist has to be just *so*. A doctor must inevitably stand aside a allow death its dominion.

And programmers? We must inevitably sit there and run the same chunk of code every way from Sunday, over and over again, until we're confident that it will do what it is supposed to do, and then write the instructions explaining how everything works. Yeah, that sucks. Big time. I know how beautiful it is, and I frankly don't know or care if anybody else even *can* understand. These things are like my children, and I love them because they are a part of me. If, however, I am a part of something larger than myself, then I must 'take one for the team', as it were, and do the **** work, if for no better reason than precisely because I *am not* the only person drinking the wine \:\) Perhaps it helps that I came from a poor family, so when there was something that had to be done and you were the person standing there, you did the work.

Perhaps the thing that is wrong with the world isn't that we don't have the freedom to do solely and exclusively that which we love, but rather that a lot of people lose sight of what they are doing, and what the work is actually about. The truth and beauty of our work in in the thing itself. The *value* of it is in what it means to *others*. That's why they pay us. I still look at my paycheque thinking, "It's good that they don't know I'd do this for free!"


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