The Big Picture: Mutants and Masses

Terminal Blue

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bringer of illumination said:
That's not advertising, it's hype.

A lot of the time during hype, people are still working on an unfinished product. They're often talking about what they'd like to put into it, or their opinion on it, rather than what they actually can put in it or what the fans can expect to see.

The biggest example ever here is undoubtedly Peter Molyneux. He "lies" constantly during development and we accept it because we understand it's just hype, he's just spewing random bollocks about what he'd personally like to put in the game, and yet when it comes from Bioware suddenly it's all official and shit!

Since this is coming out exactly like the last thread I just made, I may as well repeat the story. I pre-ordered Sword of the Stars 2 because I absolutely loved the original game. The day before it went live, Kerberos' head of PR wrote a huge press statement saying basically how proud they were of the finished product and how much they hoped the fans would enjoy it. The game wouldn't even play on my computer for two weeks. Nearly half a year later, despite regular patches, it is at best barely playable, and now costs 1/3rd of the price I paid for it.

That is lying, that is the kind of outright bullshit which people demand their money back for and actually get it. I personally forgave Kerberos because it was clear they had real problems, although I resolved never to listen to their PR material again.

Basically, don't think I don't understand how much it genuinely hurts to feel like you've been lied to just to get access to your wallet. It's a sucky feeling. However, this isn't even close to being a bad example.

Giving interviews which hint at the ending of a game being this beautiful non-linear experience and then not delivering on that is not really even a thing. It's like Peter Molyneux saying that the Fable games would have real time growing trees. It's something which probably sounded great right up until the point someone actually had to implement it, or the time and money ran out, and then it got scrapped. That happens quite a lot. Don't even get me started on cliched bollocks like "you as the player decide what your story is", of course you don't. That's patently rubbish, you and I had no input into making the game at all. That's hype-speak for "we think we have a player-focused design policy".

Basically, I think the thing we all need to learn is don't believe hype. Hype doesn't have to reflect the finished product, it isn't a "promise", and breaking it isn't a "lie", certainly not on behalf of the developer.

It's basically people who are incredibly biased and have a huge interest in selling you a product giving you their personal "opinion" on it.
 

shoddyworksucks

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People need to LISTEN to Bob's video instead of immediately becoming defensive. What he's saying, and what many others are saying, is that the problem is not that ME fans are complaining. That happens all the time. Sure, people not in the same boat are going to get tired of it after a while if it goes on for too long, but the issue isn't that fans shouldn't be able to speak their mind.

The problem is that those on the extreme fringes of this issue have taken it too far, and are starting to delve into some pretty murky water. Plus, this level of outrage is outsized for what it really is. Despite all the claims of "misrepresentation," "false advertising," and "defective product," what their outrage really boils down to is disappointment. They're disappointed that ME3 failed to live up to their expectations. That sucks, but it happens a lot, and claiming that there's some sort of corporate malfeasance going on is just a psychological tool to justify what they want. I think most of these fans wouldn't advocate for these kinds of actions under normal circumstance. But given their disappointment, they feel justified in trying to force BioWare to change their game.

Also, please stop using the "Broken Steel" DLC for "Fallout 3" as a premise for your conclusion that BioWare should change its ending. [SPOILER FOR A 3 YEAR OLD GAME] I beat F3, and if you chose the heroic ending to that game, your character died and the game ended. You couldn't complete more side missions or explore unless you had the foresight to keep a save before you played the final mission (I failed to do this personally). That kind of sucked, but I enjoyed the game so I didn't get all irate about it. "Broken Steel" simply changes this: instead of dying, your character goes into a coma for a few weeks (there's also a higher level cap and a few extra missions). That's it. The extra mission are just mop-up missions that don't really alter the ending in any way. They don't REALLY add anything to the ending of the story, so the only thing that really changes is that you get the chance to keep playing after the final mission. Not the same thing as what you're asking for ME3.
 

Terminal Blue

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bringer of illumination said:
Some of the quotes I gave you are from 2011 (And I have more if you want), I refuse to accept the idea that the script for Mass Effect 3 was not finished half-way through 2011.

Again, Bioware lied, and they knew they were lying.
The deadline for completion was probably set then too.

Look, in all types of media there are times when deadlines are looming and features, scenes or elements which haven't yet been implemented have to be cut. It's not a case that you just write a script and stick to it above all else like Moses just handed it down from Mount Sinai.

Scripts are rewritten all the time. Screenwriters on films or even TV will sometimes write 30 or 40 drafts of a single script throughout production to keep up with whatever changes are called for by the budget or the director changing his mind or whatever.

Actually, video games are kind of infamous for this. It's why there's such a tradition of great games having mediocre or even bad endings. The majority of work in a video games, oddly enough, doesn't ever go into writing the story, not even for Bioware. It goes into writing the mechanics and the actual shitwork of making those mechanics happen on screen.

But let's assume they consciously lied and they actually just wanted to piss into your upturned face to ruin your day and make you sad.

They still only lied in hype.

And you shouldn't have believed it.
 

RTK1576

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shoddyworksucks said:
The problem is that those on the extreme fringes of this issue have taken it too far, and are starting to delve into some pretty murky water. Plus, this level of outrage is outsized for what it really is. Despite all the claims of "misrepresentation," "false advertising," and "defective product," what their outrage really boils down to is disappointment. They're disappointed that ME3 failed to live up to their expectations. That sucks, but it happens a lot, and claiming that there's some sort of corporate malfeasance going on is just a psychological tool to justify what they want. I think most of these fans wouldn't advocate for these kinds of actions under normal circumstance. But given their disappointment, they feel justified in trying to force BioWare to change their game.

Also, please stop using the "Broken Steel" DLC for "Fallout 3" as a premise for your conclusion that BioWare should change its ending. [SPOILER FOR A 3 YEAR OLD GAME] I beat F3, and if you chose the heroic ending to that game, your character died and the game ended. You couldn't complete more side missions or explore unless you had the foresight to keep a save before you played the final mission (I failed to do this personally). That kind of sucked, but I enjoyed the game so I didn't get all irate about it. "Broken Steel" simply changes this: instead of dying, your character goes into a coma for a few weeks (there's also a higher level cap and a few extra missions). That's it. The extra mission are just mop-up missions that don't really alter the ending in any way. They don't REALLY add anything to the ending of the story, so the only thing that really changes is that you get the chance to keep playing after the final mission. Not the same thing as what you're asking for ME3.
I listen to Bob all the time. When he uses the term "fanboy crybabies" in his Twitter, he's crossed a line from reasonable disagreement to namecalling.

Also, we're going to keep using Broken Steel because it's a legitimate argument that defeats the notion that changing a game's ending is either unprecedented or would ruin the game. The fact that it doesn't match up nice and neatly with what may be required for ME3 is irrelevant. But thanks for asking nicely.

Also also... didn't really alter the ending really? YOU DIED. Or someone else dies in your place. I don't know about you, but that's a big deal in my book.
 

Karnesdorff

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shoddyworksucks said:
"Broken Steel" simply changes this: instead of dying, your character goes into a coma for a few weeks (there's also a higher level cap and a few extra missions). That's it. The extra mission are just mop-up missions that don't really alter the ending in any way. They don't REALLY add anything to the ending of the story, so the only thing that really changes is that you get the chance to keep playing after the final mission. Not the same thing as what you're asking for ME3.
Except for the fact Broken Steel also added the option of not dying at all. You could send one of your radiation immune companions in there and not die. The game called you a dick and a coward for doing it (becuase the writer believed marching to your death needlessly is 'brave' rather than 'dumb' I guess...) but it closed up one very major loophole in the plot, why the hell do I have to go in there and die when I there are three companions I could have do it that wouldn't die and in the case of the one I'm most likely to be with at this point, he owes me his life?'.

While Bethseda did say Broken Steel was so they could add an Epilogue to the game and leave it as a sandbox, do you really think that if people had LOVED the original ending of Fallout 3 it would have been changed? It hardly would have been difficult to say that in Broken Steel you were playing a new character. ME3 on the other hand, opens up huge plot holes in the last five minutes of the story of a trilogy. How did anyone think that was a good idea even if they were planning a sequel?

Chris Avellone, the lead writer on the last Fallout game, said this when talking about this current furore on the ME3 ending, "game development is an iterative process. Our goal is to entertain our players. No one knows more about what they consider "fun" than the player themselves. While you can?t please everyone, there are iterations that make sense to do in DLC content and sequels."
The rest of his comments and a bunch of other game designers thoughts can be found at http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/23/mass-effect-3-ending-what-do-game-writers-think/ .

Also, IIRC doesn't Broken Steel include the final destruction of the Eastern Enclave (or the Capital Wasteland BoS if you are a dick)? That's not really a mop-up IIRC.

K.
 

Chaos999

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Looks like everyone rampages about Mass Effect 3. I am with you Bob about the author being in charge of his work. But what bugs me was your comment about ?artistic integrity?.
If you make a movie from a book/comic/game you should stick to the story as much as possible. That?s how you honor the author. Especially if the authors can?t speak for themselves anymore. You don?t change things, you don?t take the names of characters from the books/comics/games and make something else.

If you make such a movie then you are there to show the art of someone else not how you would want it to be. And the only way to do that is to stick to the story as much as possible.

There are only a few movies which stuck to the story, but most of them were a success. When will Hollywood see that?s the path it should go? I am an author myself (obviously in another language) and I know I wouldn?t sale my work whiteout having a word in the script. I know there a changes when you adapt a story from a book/comic/game, but that?s even more reason to stay truth to the story as much as possible, even in the little things which don?t need changing. Because once you begin to change thing you don?t stop.
Its true people can enjoy (even me) movies which have almost nothing to do whit the book/comic/game but such movies shouldn?t call themselves an adaptation. Now that I think about it they should have a separate label.
 

Yvressian1

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I was watching the outrage to the ME:3 ending for weeks now, and like Bob, I thought it was ridiculous. And then I played the game... I'm now completely pissed at Bioware.

My outrage has nothing to do with rejecting the fact that an artist has control over his art. It's not about having MY way, or conforming to MY expectation. It's about staying true to your own storytelling ability and previously demonstrated quality.
For example, since we're all nerds here: I would hate to see an ending to Star Wars in which Luke Skywalker turns to the dark side in the end, but I would accept it. What I wouldn't accept is an ending in which the emperor pulls out a accordion and the last 15 minutes of the movie are a polka dance number.
 

Jegsimmons

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told status for all the fanboys who have ruined the forums on this site:
[] told
[] not told
[x] stone told steve austin playing knights of the told republic while collecting Told McFarland made toys in the city of Toldsville in the state of Told Island.


Bravo Movie bob for putting them in their place.
 

370999

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Yvressian1 said:
I was watching the outrage to the ME:3 ending for weeks now, and like Bob, I thought it was ridiculous. And then I played the game... I'm now completely pissed at Bioware.

My outrage has nothing to do with rejecting the fact that an artist has control over his art. It's not about having MY way, or conforming to MY expectation. It's about staying true to your own storytelling ability and previously demonstrated quality.
For example, since we're all nerds here: I would hate to see an ending to Star Wars in which Luke Skywalker turns to the dark side in the end, but I would accept it. What I wouldn't accept is an ending in which the emperor pulls out a accordion and the last 15 minutes of the movie are a polka dance number.
I know, if you told me before this whole controversy that I would take the side of being so completely dissatisfied with an ending to request it's rewrite, I would of laughed. But it just seems so disappointing, so lackluster and outright lazy of Bioware to do this that I feel compelled.

It's not about the ending not being what I want, but it completely failed.
 

Kunzer

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I liked what MovieBob said regarding life in general.

If your greatest source of stress is the Mass Effect 3 ending, you're probably doing pretty well in life.

Truth.
 

Elamdri

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Orcboyphil said:
but stop having such a ***** whinefest over it.
Wait...did you just tell someone to stop having a ***** whinefest over a ***** whinefest?
 

Elamdri

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Wicky_42 said:
I find it amusing that after ragging on Transformers and god knows how many other geek things that were done wrong, Bob defends Bioware when they step wrong. Seems a little ironic/hypocritical. When things are done horribly, are not the fans entitled to complain, or should they just take the blow quietly and be happy for some perverse reason?
Bob ragged on a lot of stuff, but I don't remember him ever demanding that someone change their work because he was unhappy with it.
 

Elamdri

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Saviordd1 said:
And, as always, bob misses the point and makes himself look like a pretentious idiot.
I thought he was pretty spot on, changing the Mass Effect 3 ending because people are unhappy with the ending, no matter what your reasoning for being unhappy, is objectively bad for games. All people do is whine and complain about how the games market is flooded with generic FPS games and then when someone takes a risk and stumbles, consumers get so upset that they demand an ending to be changed, which causes everyone else to go, "Gee guys, we better play it safe, don't want to end up like Bioware. They screwed up and were eaten alive for it. Better go make another generic FPS."
 

wulf3n

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Elamdri said:
no matter what your reasoning for being unhappy, is objectively bad for games.
I see everyone saying this but i've yet to see someone explain why?

Elamdri said:
All people do is whine and complain about how the games market is flooded with generic FPS games and then when someone takes a risk and stumbles, consumers get so upset that they demand an ending to be changed, which causes everyone else to go, "Gee guys, we better play it safe, don't want to end up like Bioware. They screwed up and were eaten alive for it. Better go make another generic FPS."
This is where I couldn't disagree more.

I can't understand how people think the fan base asking the creator to "change/fix" the ending is WORSE than the fan base loosing trust in the creator and not buying any of their creations ever again.

In the former the creator has a second chance to create something that truly resonates with their fans, reinforcing future loyalty. In the latter the creator dies off, their talent wasted.

The way I see it, having your fan base beg for a new ending, is more likely to empower creators to explore strange and risky concepts, as it shows that even if you screw up you can still make amends.
 

Crossforge

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shoddyworksucks said:
People need to LISTEN to Bob's video instead of immediately becoming defensive. What he's saying, and what many others are saying, is that the problem is not that ME fans are complaining. That happens all the time. Sure, people not in the same boat are going to get tired of it after a while if it goes on for too long, but the issue isn't that fans shouldn't be able to speak their mind.

The problem is that those on the extreme fringes of this issue have taken it too far, and are starting to delve into some pretty murky water. Plus, this level of outrage is outsized for what it really is. Despite all the claims of "misrepresentation," "false advertising," and "defective product," what their outrage really boils down to is disappointment. They're disappointed that ME3 failed to live up to their expectations. That sucks, but it happens a lot, and claiming that there's some sort of corporate malfeasance going on is just a psychological tool to justify what they want. I think most of these fans wouldn't advocate for these kinds of actions under normal circumstance. But given their disappointment, they feel justified in trying to force BioWare to change their game.

Also, please stop using the "Broken Steel" DLC for "Fallout 3" as a premise for your conclusion that BioWare should change its ending. [SPOILER FOR A 3 YEAR OLD GAME] I beat F3, and if you chose the heroic ending to that game, your character died and the game ended. You couldn't complete more side missions or explore unless you had the foresight to keep a save before you played the final mission (I failed to do this personally). That kind of sucked, but I enjoyed the game so I didn't get all irate about it. "Broken Steel" simply changes this: instead of dying, your character goes into a coma for a few weeks (there's also a higher level cap and a few extra missions). That's it. The extra mission are just mop-up missions that don't really alter the ending in any way. They don't REALLY add anything to the ending of the story, so the only thing that really changes is that you get the chance to keep playing after the final mission. Not the same thing as what you're asking for ME3.
Yes, but I'm pretty sure that neither Todd Howard, nor the rest of the staff at Bethesda, ever made any pre-release comments about the ending to Fallout 3. Probably because Todd is very hesitant to talk about anything that hasn't been 100% confirmed to be in. For good reason.

The very reason that Casey Hudson shouldn't have said ANYTHING about the ending prior to release, it was still in development. The game is STILL IN DEVELOPMENT, and anything that is in "the discussion" phase should be left at that, and not further commented on. Hudson and several others failed to do so, bit off more then they can chew, and are now paying for it. And no I'm not going to say "they lied" because at the time somewhere deep down they thought they could deliver on it. I think this is more of a case of overconfidence then duplicity.

If you advertise a specific feature in your product that is not in the actual product. Then the consumer is going to be irate about it, or at the least annoyed, and they have a right to be so.

In the end this should be a cautionary tale of what not to do when it comes to PR and dealing with the media. Keep your answers short, and only comment on that which has made into the final production.
 

Elamdri

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wulf3n said:
Elamdri said:
All people do is whine and complain about how the games market is flooded with generic FPS games and then when someone takes a risk and stumbles, consumers get so upset that they demand an ending to be changed, which causes everyone else to go, "Gee guys, we better play it safe, don't want to end up like Bioware. They screwed up and were eaten alive for it. Better go make another generic FPS."
This is where I couldn't disagree more.

I can't understand how people think the fan base asking the creator to "change/fix" the ending is WORSE than the fan base loosing trust in the creator and not buying any of their creations ever again.

In the former the creator has a second chance to create something that truly resonates with their fans, reinforcing future loyalty. In the latter the creator dies off, their talent wasted.

The way I see it, having your fan base beg for a new ending, is more likely to empower creators to explore strange and risky concepts, as it shows that even if you screw up you can still make amends.
Because "fixing" something is expensive and gaming companies are a business. A company like BioWare certainly could probably fix the ending of Mass Effect without really cutting hard into the bottom line. But what about other companies?

What happens when it comes time for them to create a game?

"Well guys, should we try something risky and innovative?"
"Well what if we screw up? Look what happened to BioWare. They messed up and people forced them to make a new ending to their game. We couldn't do that. No, we better just make Gears of Halo: Modern Combat 5. "
 

RTK1576

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Elamdri said:
wulf3n said:
Elamdri said:
Because "fixing" something is expensive and gaming companies are a business. A company like BioWare certainly could probably fix the ending of Mass Effect without really cutting hard into the bottom line. But what about other companies?

What happens when it comes time for them to create a game?

"Well guys, should we try something risky and innovative?"
"Well what if we screw up? Look what happened to BioWare. They messed up and people forced them to make a new ending to their game. We couldn't do that. No, we better just make Gears of Halo: Modern Combat 5. "
It's cheaper than losing business. Imagine the amount of revenue they'll lose out on from consumers who return their games or don't buy it at all. How about the DLC they desire to put out but that many fans won't buy because they know it all ends BADLY?

Also, I call BS on this reasoning. You're basically saying "Don't complain, you might scare them off."

Either they have the balls to try new things, or they don't. Silence is consent. They make mistakes, we say nothing, they keep making the same mistakes. And it's a big one - endings matter, especially with a game as story driven as Mass Effect.