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"Delays"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Perfect Dark'.
Wed 26/02/03 at 19:16
Regular
Posts: 787
Is it better or worse to delay a game? I suppose there is more than one way to argue an answer, but for you, the actual gamer, do delays make a better game, or bring in the disappointment?

Again, you could still argue the idea of delays improving a game. Take Perfect Dark on the N64 for example, because it’s the best example I know at the minute. I haven’t really been keeping up with the times! Anyway, in the days when Rare were at the mercy of Nintendo’s grasp, a lot of their games saw massive delays. Perfect Dark is probably the best known for this. Rare kept confirming a date, then they’d delay it, confirm another date, delay it again, and so on. It seemed PD would never be finished, as Rare pondered over how to push the good ol’ N64 to it’s absolute limit, including the expansion pak. And, after months and months of delays, PD was finally released in the year 2000 and was a smashing success.

Delays allow the developers to have a bit more time to work on the game, but does it actually improve the game? For the majority of cases, yes it does, but that is only my opinion. Yes, there are times when delayed games have been complete crap, but again, that depends on your opinion. Some games you will like, and some you won’t, regardless of any delays, and how much work has gone into the game. I mean, us gamers, we don’t think about the difficulties and problems they went through to finish the game. We don’t think about how many cups of Nescafé they had to slurp through to stay awake all afternoon as they rendered every shape, pixel, sound and movement to perfection. All we care about is one simple question: “Do I enjoy the game?” We couldn’t care less if some of the team of developers had to go to hospital because of typing too much, as long as they produced a good game.

But “good” is in the eyes of the beholder, and as the old saying goes, “You can’t please everyone.” On the other side of the argument, there could be some people thinking, “Oh God! I waited all that time for this crap?!” Yes, there are some people who still preferred GoldenEye to PD, and some people believe FF6 is better than FFX. I’m one of them. FFX is rubbish! But again, that’s my opinion. If you’d like to argue against me, please do! But, maybe there is a way to please everyone. Maybe, if we had the technology, if developers had the time and the patience, it would be possible to make a game that everybody liked. No one would dislike it. That’d be good! Think of all the people that would own a copy, all the people you could ask if you got stuck! But that’s going away from the point.

Sometimes delaying the release of a game can cause more problems than it solves. When a developer promises to put certain features into a game, then the gamers expect it to be there, and sometimes this can cause big delays. But then, what is the result? People always want what they think might be great, but always get bored of what they craved so much, so quickly. It was just like me when I asked for a steering wheel for Christmas to play with all my racing games, and I was so disappointed with it. I expected a lot more from it, and a lot more enjoyment. Although, the production of the wheel wasn’t delayed, that’s just my quick story to introduce this idea. When developers implement the ideas of the actual gamers, sometimes the game can be ruined, because too many extras were put into the game, or they weren’t as good as expected. Just like GTA: VC. I got so bored of that game so quickly, and yet, I enjoy GTA3. I was attempting to play through GTA3 one last time before getting Vice City, because I was so certain that I would enjoy Vice so much that I would never plat GTA3 again, and so I wanted to complete it one last time to see all the cut scenes and finish all the missions for the thrill of winning that game one last time. Sure, it had all the extras I’d hoped for, but I was so disappointed with it. I still prefer cars to bikes, I find it hard to find my way around for some reason, and things just aren’t what they used to be.

But sometimes getting a game out quickly can be just as bad as delaying it. It means they get the game out on time, surely, but it means they had less time to work on it, less time to make things perfect, less time to make it “good”. Some games which were brought out quickly, if they bare some resemblance to another, delayed game, can be just as good as that delayed game. It just depends on how hard they worked on it, and what they had in mind. If they had the ideas from the start, they wouldn’t have to delay the release of a game to implement the idea into it.

And another thing which can be looked at from several viewpoints is delays and mistakes. Allowing more time for work on the game, ie. Delaying it, allows more room for mistakes and problems to crop up. Especially if they didn’t have the ideas from the start of development. If the reason for delay is to put in an idea which they thought up five minutes ago, they are going to have to change all that they have done so far to allow the new idea to be accessible by the gamer, or usable by the console. This means even more changes, and thus, more room for mistakes whist making those changes.

Overall, delays can be good or bad, problem-solving or problematic, and all else besides.

Thanks for reading
Happy days
Twain
Sat 01/03/03 at 14:15
Regular
"tinycurve.gif"
Posts: 5,857
The Game wrote:
> Right, well... my first note to anyone would be more a piece of advice
> than a command: Don't read one of Twains posts after reading The
> Times... your eyes might start bleeding.

Huh?

> As for my opinion on delays, well... As someone who works with Games
> and work within the industry, they're a pain. Not just because we as
> gamers want to play them, but because from a customer stand-point,
> they get messed around. Champ Man 4 was supposed to be out, as it is
> every year, about a month or two into the season. But thanks to a 2D
> match engine, production quantities and no less the looming transfer
> windows and what all, we've seen the game slip back a shocking 7
> months!

Yeah, delays can sometimes cause big problems when the developing team are trying to keep a pattern to the dates of releases.

> Now, while the wait in the eyes of casual gamers might seem like an
> unnecessary one, EIDOS and Si, obviously have reason to hold the game
> up. There is, in common knowledge, a CM4 demo released to day in the
> 3rd / 4th issue of the Championship Manager Magazine, an issue that
> will no doubt sell well because of what it contains; And this would
> suggest that the game has, or is days off going gold. So, previous
> delays behind us, it looks like the 28/3 release date might stick...

I wouldn't have thought that a game like that would need so long to make. My brother has CM and CM2, which are absolutely rubbish, past the "Worse than Crap" mark in my opinion, and if it takes that long to make a crap game, just imagine how long it'd take the mto make it good.

> BUT WOULD ANOTHER DELAY BE A GOOD IDEA?!!!!...
>
> ... Like jumping off a bridge into a pile of gravel, it would! But
> there would be an arguement for delaying the game further! If you
> think about it, we're not too far off the new season, so it might be
> in Eidos' interests to release an update patch for 01/02 (Updating it
> to 02/03 - as is the new XBOX version), and waiting until the 03/04
> season to release CM4 on the first friday of the season. Wouldn't it
> make sense?! You can't in all honesty shout out a resounding
> "No!" Because it does!

I dunno. I don't watch football. I never keep up with it, I dunno when the season starts or what your talking about, but yes, it would make sense to release it at the right time.

> Delays aren't always done for quality reasons. Look at Tomb Raider...
> if it does indeed come out in April, will it not be a co-incidence
> that it is released along side the next rumoured Tomb Raider movie?!
> Or maybe, if as some say, it's hauled all the way back to NOVEMBER, it
> might just be in a perfect position to cash in on Christmas sales, a
> technical crime of which none of the top-three are innocent.

Games aren't always delayed to improve quality or put in that last minute extra. And sometimes it isn't even the games that are delayed. Microsoft wanted the XBox to be released alongside PS2, but delayed it in the hope that they'd improve it, and STILL beat the Gamecube. That's one of the tricks behind the scenes of console war.

> At the end of the day, you can only play the games you have, so why
> worry about when this is coming out or when that's coming out, when
> you have a back catalogue of games that you didn't just buy to use as
> Tea Coasters and missiles with which to render your litle brother
> unconscious. So next time you dial 08707-25-9999 to ask for a release
> date, just think about all the fun you could have playing through
> Gauntlett: Dark Legacy all over again!

Yeah, when I buy games, I don't care when I get them, as long as I get them. They're gonna be just as good if I buy them on release, or 6 months later. I mean, I still play my N64, more than my PS2. People ask me why, saying it's really old and crap. I don't care if it's old. As Long as it's still good and I like it. No matter how old it gets, the games won't get any worse unless I play them too much and get bored of them, but even then, they don't get worse, it's my tatse that gets worse!
Fri 28/02/03 at 12:52
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
Right, well... my first note to anyone would be more a piece of advice than a command: Don't read one of Twains posts after reading The Times... your eyes might start bleeding.

As for my opinion on delays, well... As someone who works with Games and work within the industry, they're a pain. Not just because we as gamers want to play them, but because from a customer stand-point, they get messed around. Champ Man 4 was supposed to be out, as it is every year, about a month or two into the season. But thanks to a 2D match engine, production quantities and no less the looming transfer windows and what all, we've seen the game slip back a shocking 7 months!

Now, while the wait in the eyes of casual gamers might seem like an unnecessary one, EIDOS and Si, obviously have reason to hold the game up. There is, in common knowledge, a CM4 demo released to day in the 3rd / 4th issue of the Championship Manager Magazine, an issue that will no doubt sell well because of what it contains; And this would suggest that the game has, or is days off going gold. So, previous delays behind us, it looks like the 28/3 release date might stick...

BUT WOULD ANOTHER DELAY BE A GOOD IDEA?!!!!...

... Like jumping off a bridge into a pile of gravel, it would! But there would be an arguement for delaying the game further! If you think about it, we're not too far off the new season, so it might be in Eidos' interests to release an update patch for 01/02 (Updating it to 02/03 - as is the new XBOX version), and waiting until the 03/04 season to release CM4 on the first friday of the season. Wouldn't it make sense?! You can't in all honesty shout out a resounding "No!" Because it does!

If Eidos release CM4 in March, they'll have to either charge unhappy fans another £34.99, or release a free patch from their website, effectively bogging down their servers and maybe even losing them money.

Delays aren't always done for quality reasons. Look at Tomb Raider... if it does indeed come out in April, will it not be a co-incidence that it is released along side the next rumoured Tomb Raider movie?! Or maybe, if as some say, it's hauled all the way back to NOVEMBER, it might just be in a perfect position to cash in on Christmas sales, a technical crime of which none of the top-three are innocent.

At the end of the day, you can only play the games you have, so why worry about when this is coming out or when that's coming out, when you have a back catalogue of games that you didn't just buy to use as Tea Coasters and missiles with which to render your litle brother unconscious. So next time you dial 08707-25-9999 to ask for a release daye, just think about all the fun you could have playing through Gauntlett: Dark Legacy all over again!


Game
Thu 27/02/03 at 19:47
Regular
"tinycurve.gif"
Posts: 5,857
Yeah, it does, but that isn't always a good thing . . .

I mean, more anticipation means bigger disappointment if the game isn't as good as it wants to be.
Thu 27/02/03 at 19:45
Regular
"Jog on, sunshine"
Posts: 8,979
Nice post Twain.

I hate delays. But still, your anticipation does indeed rise.

:D
Wed 26/02/03 at 19:16
Regular
"tinycurve.gif"
Posts: 5,857
Is it better or worse to delay a game? I suppose there is more than one way to argue an answer, but for you, the actual gamer, do delays make a better game, or bring in the disappointment?

Again, you could still argue the idea of delays improving a game. Take Perfect Dark on the N64 for example, because it’s the best example I know at the minute. I haven’t really been keeping up with the times! Anyway, in the days when Rare were at the mercy of Nintendo’s grasp, a lot of their games saw massive delays. Perfect Dark is probably the best known for this. Rare kept confirming a date, then they’d delay it, confirm another date, delay it again, and so on. It seemed PD would never be finished, as Rare pondered over how to push the good ol’ N64 to it’s absolute limit, including the expansion pak. And, after months and months of delays, PD was finally released in the year 2000 and was a smashing success.

Delays allow the developers to have a bit more time to work on the game, but does it actually improve the game? For the majority of cases, yes it does, but that is only my opinion. Yes, there are times when delayed games have been complete crap, but again, that depends on your opinion. Some games you will like, and some you won’t, regardless of any delays, and how much work has gone into the game. I mean, us gamers, we don’t think about the difficulties and problems they went through to finish the game. We don’t think about how many cups of Nescafé they had to slurp through to stay awake all afternoon as they rendered every shape, pixel, sound and movement to perfection. All we care about is one simple question: “Do I enjoy the game?” We couldn’t care less if some of the team of developers had to go to hospital because of typing too much, as long as they produced a good game.

But “good” is in the eyes of the beholder, and as the old saying goes, “You can’t please everyone.” On the other side of the argument, there could be some people thinking, “Oh God! I waited all that time for this crap?!” Yes, there are some people who still preferred GoldenEye to PD, and some people believe FF6 is better than FFX. I’m one of them. FFX is rubbish! But again, that’s my opinion. If you’d like to argue against me, please do! But, maybe there is a way to please everyone. Maybe, if we had the technology, if developers had the time and the patience, it would be possible to make a game that everybody liked. No one would dislike it. That’d be good! Think of all the people that would own a copy, all the people you could ask if you got stuck! But that’s going away from the point.

Sometimes delaying the release of a game can cause more problems than it solves. When a developer promises to put certain features into a game, then the gamers expect it to be there, and sometimes this can cause big delays. But then, what is the result? People always want what they think might be great, but always get bored of what they craved so much, so quickly. It was just like me when I asked for a steering wheel for Christmas to play with all my racing games, and I was so disappointed with it. I expected a lot more from it, and a lot more enjoyment. Although, the production of the wheel wasn’t delayed, that’s just my quick story to introduce this idea. When developers implement the ideas of the actual gamers, sometimes the game can be ruined, because too many extras were put into the game, or they weren’t as good as expected. Just like GTA: VC. I got so bored of that game so quickly, and yet, I enjoy GTA3. I was attempting to play through GTA3 one last time before getting Vice City, because I was so certain that I would enjoy Vice so much that I would never plat GTA3 again, and so I wanted to complete it one last time to see all the cut scenes and finish all the missions for the thrill of winning that game one last time. Sure, it had all the extras I’d hoped for, but I was so disappointed with it. I still prefer cars to bikes, I find it hard to find my way around for some reason, and things just aren’t what they used to be.

But sometimes getting a game out quickly can be just as bad as delaying it. It means they get the game out on time, surely, but it means they had less time to work on it, less time to make things perfect, less time to make it “good”. Some games which were brought out quickly, if they bare some resemblance to another, delayed game, can be just as good as that delayed game. It just depends on how hard they worked on it, and what they had in mind. If they had the ideas from the start, they wouldn’t have to delay the release of a game to implement the idea into it.

And another thing which can be looked at from several viewpoints is delays and mistakes. Allowing more time for work on the game, ie. Delaying it, allows more room for mistakes and problems to crop up. Especially if they didn’t have the ideas from the start of development. If the reason for delay is to put in an idea which they thought up five minutes ago, they are going to have to change all that they have done so far to allow the new idea to be accessible by the gamer, or usable by the console. This means even more changes, and thus, more room for mistakes whist making those changes.

Overall, delays can be good or bad, problem-solving or problematic, and all else besides.

Thanks for reading
Happy days
Twain

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