No devs allowed to speak II

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From the mouth, er, fingers of Gary “VXSS” Noonan:

When will you all be allowed, if at all, to comment on this months feature in GI.
Most likely never. We give magazines the information to give to you all so that we don’t have to. Allows us to keep working.

From Matt “GStaff” Grandstaff:

As mentioned by VXSS, we’re not commenting on the information reported in the magazine…sorry guys

And VXSS returned with this:

If you, the developers, want the fans’ input on how to improve the game, why is no information released until things are already set in stone?
I can assume the answer is, “My boss tells me not to,” but can you prove my assumption to be wrong?

Because as you put it, we, the developers, arent PR. As much as many of us may want to, it is not our task to relay snippet of info after info to the general public. So, in a sense, yes, it is a case of “My boss tells me not to”, but we also understand why, being on the inside. As for things being released before the stone chiseling, we all know just how much more gas would be thrown on the flames if info was released then pulled back because of changes. Happens with all games…. simple knowledge there.

Actually by not replying to the many doubts left by the GI article they are endorsing the rampant rumors and the wild number of interpretations that is going around, and that doesn’t seem a good idea, in public relations terms.

Oh well that’s life for you, still I have a feeling that in a year from now (or less) we will be reading words like this one from J.E. Sawyer after Van Buren:

How does the fan base hinder/help the projects that you’ve worked on?

They offer feedback. Some of it is good, some of it is not. They can also be evangelists, for good or ill. I’ve encountered people in the remote corners of the internet who have a completely incorrect understanding of what was intended for Van Buren simply because information wasn’t communicated properly to them. Partially our fault sometimes, of course.

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11 thoughts on “No devs allowed to speak II

  1. The idea of developers communicating with fans directly is a throw back at this point. From managements stand point the unauthorized release of information is a risk in that it may expose something that changes, isn’t fully informed, or at the least hasn’t been packaged up nicely for public consumption. Information could possibly hurt the title. PR will serve that function in giving polished walk throughs to authorized outlets which disseminate it as widely as possible. With only the Game Informer article (at this point) you have the problem of only one source and one writer to rely on. He may or may not have missed something, misconstrued something, or misunderstood something.

    The article did a tolerable job on some points but it left one with just buzz words on many others. I can’t tell if thats a failure of the presentation or the article. Suppose we’ll find out soon enough though.

  2. Yeah, it is understandable for dev to not want to say things that are still changing. I mean every little thing will get picked up and exaggerated (remember the shadow debacle in Oblivion ).

    But the game still has years (yes I expect delays) to go, therefore, none of the fans would be expecting everything said to be set in stone. So I don’t think it is very good to not address some of the concerns that people have raised.

    meh, what do I know, I am a engineer by trade, I cannot even grasp what my boss or people in our sale’s dept are thinking 99% of the time… So I am not going to try to figure out what bethsoft’s higher ups and sales people are thinking. There must be a reason for all this madness… (If nothing else, I have given up the habit of refreshing the FO forum constantly, ever since the release of the trailer 🙂 )

    I am wondering where are the other reports. I know there were more journalists that went to Bethesda, they need to say something right now!

  3. … I actually hope that is the case. Because I fear that the silence is due to the fact that there simply isn’t anything more that were shown to the journalists… though this is just me being pessimistic…

  4. GI No Show In Columbus Ohio!

    Lot of happy hype in the GI text. Not just the TB ‘power up’ quibbling.
    Potential proof of misdirection that will stick ‘less’ on the third party messenger, GI,
    more on the stone wall source.
    Teh Funny, BS does not need to lie about their product.
    For high human comedy, American political theatre points to Nixon, Clinton, Bush the Younger.

    No need to expose unfinished entertainment.
    A Vault Boy Cartoon twice or thrice a quarter could feed the need.
    A Vault Boy animated instructional document educator, [AIDE] educating the masses (with out divulging sensitive issues) about the Nex Gen SPECIAL and VATS might win da ribbon at the trade shows.

    June 18, 2007.
    After day shift, Columbus Ohio.
    Stopped at Barnes And Noble, Giant Eagle, Liberty, three magazine venues, large chain book store, supermarket, independent store front.
    No GI for July 2007.
    A PC Gamer, An EGM, A … whatever CGM name changed to after they stopped providing the monthly CD and I cancelled the sub.
    Did not check the British rags for freshness.
    Lots of game mags, no monthly wiper called, GI.

    Finally asked, clerk blamed local distributor, “”always a problem””.

    Old Toyota did not like the stop and go in today’s summer traffic, but any salmonella in the Giant Eagle freeze-cicle chicken might just love thawing out …

    May or may not drop by Micro Center on Tuesday, and not be too tired and dehydrated to ask,

    “Yoo got G-I?”
    “Luv G-I, long time, NO lie!”

    That’s the pass word for this over complex and TOP SECRET exchange of information, correct?

    After Oblivion, Bethesda must have been shocked – shocked that they were held to their own hype.
    Now to maintain that CO-DE-PENDANT, S+M, relationship of the BS fountain of LUB and the unworthy unbelieving puerile peons of all platforms …
    well anticipate more group punishment, until the morale improves.
    Some console hearted troll at NMA spoke the future.
    We are getting the FO3 we “”DESERVE”” (his cap’s not mine).

    “Yoo got G-I?”
    “Luv G-I, long time, NO lie!”

    BS, lub yoo lawg thyme, no lie …

    4too

  5. I can’t say I agree with their reasoning. Pete Hines’ job is not working on the game, it is PR. The same goes for GStaff. I can understand Hines not speaking, but what then is GStaff’s job? Community manager means that when an issue comes up, you talk to the developer to get an answer from them, and relay it to the community.
    I’ve unofficially been doing this for another developer (along with other people), and it always brought good results. As a big fan of their work, I felt it would be good to set up a stronger communication than it was at that point, because they had no time to do it themselves, and the guy who was supposed to be doing it – assigned by the publisher, made literally 8 posts and was there only around the immediate release, in total less than 5 months. The game was not successful, and a good deal of fault was on the publisher, but instead the guy just disappeared and left the developer to do all the fixing and take all the flak. At that point we decided to talk to them more to be able to relay correct information to the fans at the official fan forum. A few times since then we had been translating parts of articles from magazines which were not in english, and everything we published, we double checked with the developer to ensure that the information would be correct. Didn’t stop some news sites from misreporting things (even when information was quite clear), but then that’s “professional” journalism for you.

    I can understand that they do not want to release things that may change. It is not unreasonable to assume that, for example, the SuperOrc… err Supermutant could get a remodelling job. That is quite common, so it wouldn’t surprise me. On the other hand some things won’t go, such as VATS. The core gameplay won’t make a 180° turn. They can talk about that, that’s for sure. Why they don’t want to is left for you to figure out.

    All in all, my conclusions are these: if the game doesn’t look to be on the right path, and Bethesda has repeatedly shown lots of mistakes in design, and the developer doesn’t wish to communicate with the fans, then it is VERY likely that the game will indeed be bad and so is the developer.

  6. 15 days window, true. In 14 days or so we’ll see the first web reviews, starting with Voodooextreme and other sites, then the rest of the magazines. I heard both Edge and PCGamer also have FO3 articles ready, but can’t confirm it.

  7. It’s interesting what Noonan said. It kinda reflects my slight hopes that this info was released to see the reaction and that some things may be changed.
    I think they do watch the feedback, they don’t give feedback to feedback, it’s their policy here I think. They just like to throw things like pics and teasers and watch the crowd digesting it, then they take what they like and make some changes. The one thing that is still worrying me is that I’m not sure that what they like is what we like.

    @Gimli: Community manager works under PR-boss. So if PR boss tells no to reveal anything what can mere community manager do? He is just a mouth of Bethesda on forums, nothing more.

  8. There is also an upcoming article about Fallout 3 in a swedish magazine called Super PLAY in mid July, though I don’t expect much of it (magazine with focus on consoles). Still, I guess the more magazines that cover it, the more we can construct an image of the gameplay.

    I’m still disappointed that they didn’t involve anyone from the fansites, I guess they were afraid that someone would *gasp* present the information in a negative light rather than hyping it. Again, I suppose it’s understandable when viewed from a companys point of view, but as a consumer it’s very frustrating to not being able to get a good grasp of stuff like the combat when the magazine people obviously were meant to give that information to us.

    As for Bethesda being quiet, it’s a shame of course.
    I think it’s a direct result of stuff like the famous “Oblivion dev quote list” etc that came back to bite them in the ass after Oblivion was released. Still, I don’t see it being harmful if they just clarified things that the article brought up. And if these things changes along the way (which, from what I can see, I certainly hope VATS will do), inform us about it.

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