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TSL Postmortem in this month's issue of Game Developer


Achilles
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Originally posted by Prime

They did know that, which is why they were licensed the engine, development tools, support, and all the assets. They were by no means making a game from scratch, and so the 14 month schedule is at least in theory feasible.

Point taken. Although OB was expanding on Bioware's system, Bioware did have a little over 36 months to do KoTOR. More than 2 times than what Obsidian had to develop TSL.

Originally posted by Prime

They accepted the offer because it was a good opportunity and at the time they felt it was doable.

And they did do it...to an extent of course. And for that, we give them credit. :)

Originally posted by Prime

Sure. But that does not equal a proportional increase in sales.

Heh. Sometimes it does, but yeah, sometimes it doesn't *thinks back to Beyond Good And Evil and Prince of Persia* :o

Originally posted by lukeiamyourdad

Nevertheless, there's little chance that a February release for the X Box would've been more profitable.

Who knows? Maybe they would've made great Valentine's gifts. :sweat:
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Yeah, but both Beyond Good & Evil and Prince of Persia didn't have great marketing campaigns. I barely heard about Beyond Good & Evil until I saw that a demo existed for that game and to my knowledge, Prince of Persia didn't get that much marketing space either...except in Montreal, since it was made here, they made sure everyone in the city knew of our baby :)

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interestin read thanks achilles that article does answer a lot of questions

 

but here's where i'm a little confused

 

ok so obsidian admit that if they had more polish time and such we'd have a better released version of tsl, now we all blame LA fo this but srely if they new this at the time and from the sounds of that article they did long before deadline why didnt they ask for an extension on the deadline

 

or maybe they did and got told no but i cant see LA being that stupid a finished game is better than an rushed to market with all the bugs under the sun finished game

 

but this is what i think the real problem is LA gave a slightly unrealistic deadline but obsidian were too proud to say umm Mr LA we need a bit more time to give you the fully furnished finished game

 

and i believe that LA gave them that deadline so that they wouldnt drag their heals and actually work for there money but probably believed it couldnt be done and was waiting for obsidian to ask for the extension the proof of that is when the release date kept being changed obsidian said that their deadline had never changed

 

however this article does give me hope for kotor 3 to become game of the year 2006 or 2007 as i believe lessons have been learned from this experiance

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Originally posted by Aleggy

but this is what i think the real problem is LA gave a slightly unrealistic deadline but obsidian were too proud to say umm Mr LA we need a bit more time to give you the fully furnished finished game

 

Very good point I think. I believe the blame is equally shared between both companies.

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Originally posted by Hugh Jass

It's really BioWare's fault for making such a good fame the first time. Obsidian just couldn't live up to the first. :D

Well, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I for one think that TSL holds it's own against the original. It seems that everyone has forgotten that it took 3 patches to get KotOR right. Oh well...
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Originally posted by Achilles

I for one think that TSL holds it's own against the original. It seems that everyone has forgotten that it took 3 patches to get KotOR right. Oh well...

I agree! KOTOR I was far from flawless when it was first released. People just tend to remember what games were like the last times they played, and not what it originally was, and the time it took to become what they remember.

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Yeah, but one thing is a game with some bugs that can be fixed, another is a game with missing content that would vastly improve it...

 

Also @ Darth_Crow, I think that the TSL storyline has much more interest than Kotor I's... it just wasn't all shown in the game... :(

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Originally posted by Aleggy

ok so obsidian admit that if they had more polish time and such we'd have a better released version of tsl, now we all blame LA fo this but srely if they new this at the time and from the sounds of that article they did long before deadline why didnt they ask for an extension on the deadline

When a company contracts out to a third party, there are always clauses that spell out the penalties for late deliveries, and those penalties are usually very steep (i.e. millions of dollars). Usually when a deadline is renegotiated, the penalties are still incurred. So Obsidian probably felt that taking extra time and paying the penalties did not make sense in terms of what was left to polish up.
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Originally posted by RedHawke

I agree! KOTOR I was far from flawless when it was first released. People just tend to remember what games were like the last times they played, and not what it originally was, and the time it took to become what they remember.

 

Mmmmm... point 1/2 taken. KOTOR I even when released was almost perfect. In fact, the XBox version IS perfect without any patching. In all the 16 times I beat it, I only had 1 major problem, and it was derived from my own stupidity. Ive played it for the PC without patches, but dont own it, so I cant really give an opinion. But TSL had tons of bugs everywhere! Even the XBox version. It crashes totally like 4 times per game run. The amount of patching well need for the PC version of TSL will be incredible. I feel so angry at the game companies, not Bio, but LA and Obsidian as they are almost forcing me and other users to buy the PC version 2 to enjoy the game fully. KOTOR II isn't bad in terms of story, content, sound, etc. Maybe a litle on graphics and all the load of bugs. Thats why KOTOR I is overall better. Id rate TSL: 8/10 and KOTOR I 10/10. I cant wait for III, but at the same time, wish they have lots of time to do it right, making it 20/10 for me :p and the best game EVER to conpensate all the BS in TSL.

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Well, not everyone had loads of bugs and crashes you know.

 

KOTOR I, even after three patches, still crashes every two hours of play or a bit less often.

 

KOTOR II, at the highest, crashed twice during a full playthrough and with newer Catalyst drivers and the patch, I haven't had any since then.

 

I do agree that at 1.0, KOTOR I felt more complete then TSL, but claiming that KOTOR I was more stable is bull.

The XBox version of KOTOR had an infamous bug on the Leviathan that basically crapped your save.

That's worse then most, if not all of TSL's bugs.

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Originally posted by stingerhs

agreed. i still find it interesting that he declined to comment about even parts of the cut content. perhaps it was even more than what we know.

 

and

 

Originally posted by Emperor Devon

It's a bit outragous that someone has to make a mod to restore the content.

 

Perhaps they don't concider it something that is relevant to comment on since the content is cut, and as such not a part of the final product. :)

 

Content seems to get cut from a lot of games at various stages prior to release to meet milestones and deadlines. Or simply because the story is altered along the way and some elements already started on no longer fit in it.

 

From Obsidian's perspective I would imagine the biggest mistake in this area was not devoting time to clean out remnants of cut content from the game data prior to delivering the game. If they had eradicated all traces of what they had worked on at various times but didn't finish, then people would be none the wiser as to what could have been, and would have one less thing to complain about. :)

 

Then Obsidian would have avoided the public embarassment of having a group of fans slap them on the fingers and say "This is how you should have done your job!" by finishing the unfinished content by using their interpretation as to how the pieces should fit together, use their imagination to fill in the blanks and then release it.

 

Other companies are usually much more thorough in ensuring they leave as little scraps as possible. Concidering that Bioware were not publically lynched by the fans for cutting Sleheyron, and Ionstorm wasn't repeatedly ridiculed for cutting the whole Moon colony and Washington DC locations from Deus Ex prior to release, perhaps it would have been worth it to Obsidian to take that extra cleaning time to avoid future trouble. :)

 

Of course, from our perspective as modders it's fortunate they they did leave scraps of unfinished content in the game since it gives us more to play with. :)

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Originally posted by lukeiamyourdad

Well, not everyone had loads of bugs and crashes you know.

 

KOTOR I, even after three patches, still crashes every two hours of play or a bit less often.

 

KOTOR II, at the highest, crashed twice during a full playthrough and with newer Catalyst drivers and the patch, I haven't had any since then.

 

I do agree that at 1.0, KOTOR I felt more complete then TSL, but claiming that KOTOR I was more stable is bull.

The XBox version of KOTOR had an infamous bug on the Leviathan that basically crapped your save.

That's worse then most, if not all of TSL's bugs.

 

Mmmm... Never got that Leviathan bug. In fact, I only had 2 real bugs in the first game, plus the one I stupidly did, and they were not really ones. Im telling ya, TSL has a lot more bugs than KOTOR I, at least in the XBox version.

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Originally posted by stoffe -mkb-

Perhaps they don't concider it something that is relevant to comment on since the content is cut, and as such not a part of the final product. :)

There are various reasons for which they may have decided not to comment on this, including legal reasons. From a lawyer's pov, I am surprised at how much info they disclosed about this, even on the Obsidian boards (no wonder a few threads mysteriously disppeared after a day or so).

 

However, I guess the fact that there were so many noticeable elements of cut content left in the game (example the HK quest that leads nowhere) and so much noise around this, didn't left them much choice and they had to explain themselves publicly.

 

As mentionned by Stoffe, Bioware did left some unused content in the game files but it was not noticeable when you played the game and normally the general public does not dig into the game files.

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Originally posted by stoffe -mkb-

From Obsidian's perspective I would imagine the biggest mistake in this area was not devoting time to clean out remnants of cut content from the game data prior to delivering the game. If they had eradicated all traces of what they had worked on at various times but didn't finish, then people would be none the wiser as to what could have been, and would have one less thing to complain about. :)

well, in the article, it explains quite well the OE didn't even have time for proper QA to test for bugs. and IMHO, you always want to do the QA before you start combing through the game files for cut content so that you don't have to release 5+ patches for the game.
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Originally posted by AngryFan

I TOLD you guys the mods are up to something. But did you believe me? Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!

 

;)

:dev11: Oh no, you got me! (j/k)

 

lol! I was speaking of threads on the Obisidan boards, not here! :D

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ok Prime has made some very good points here

 

1. if obsidian did not believe they could complete the game in the alotted time they should have passed

 

2. if obsidian had renegotiated the deadline they would have incurred penalties

 

so we can blame LA for the unrealistic deadline but in the end it was obsidians decision to accept the terms, they probably thought star wars game previously made by bioware we get their game engine and tools and technical backup cher ching how can we loose sure no problem mr LA we can do it

 

and now they say they didnt have time to properly play test it and deal with the known bugs

 

we cant blame all that on LA

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Originally posted by The Hidden One

To bad he didn't mention anyhting about KOTOR 3....

Us Xbox user are left out on the porch again whil the PC people are getting served dessert....

:(

 

Oh! Finally someone who agrees with me. I dont know you, but Ill make the switch friend. I have a word of advice for you all: Every SW game that s released for both the XBox and the PC, please, buy the PC version to eliminate further controversy.

 

And in conclusion, I blame both, LA not giving OE time, but then Obsidian knew the deadline they had at first place and didnt do it correctly. Both parts of the team didnt do what theyre supoosed to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The article was decent enough. He discussed what they felt they did right and what was screwed up.

 

I was kind of surprised seeing the general background of alot of their people. A bunch of those guys were on teams that produced great games. It looked like the time schedule is the culprit of the half-a**ness that we see in KOTORII sometimes. The X-Box release came out very early and the PC version earlier than I expected.

 

I'm really curious to see what this dev team could have done with the appropriate time.

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  • 2 months later...
I TOLD you guys the mods are up to something. But did you believe me? Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!

 

;)

 

Yeah! All the patch threads get closed or deleted very fast. They even hired a team of moderators to over see the clean up.

 

With out coming off too negative, do you guys believe that I should leave the mods thread over at ObsidianEnt? Could advertising our mods there get this place caught in the backlash? I don't want to advertise this forum at OnsidianEnt if there is going to be some conflict between Lucas Arts and Obsidian. That article was focused on placing some blame... When they mentioned the time restraint that was a small shot at Lucas Arts. Very small, but could it cause some conflict?

 

I will keep it there until I get some feedback. My loyalty is to this forums and to the great modders who make it their home, so let me hear what you think.

 

From a newspaper ad designer perspective, we have to give our clients a clear time period for deadlines. If we were to outsource some of our ad designs, and they came back with: "Sir, we can get your ads done on time.", and then when deadline comes around they say, "If we had enough time, we could...", I would charge them for damages, for they cost us clients. Since they excepted the time frame, the outsource company would be 100% responsible. You see the oursource company would have agreed to the time frame to make a quality design. Obsidian clearly admited they said to Lucas, "Hey we can do that." Like Darth333 had mentioned, from a leagal point of view, Obsidian could be responsible for reimbursing Lucas Arts for their own errors. Its all about buisness, and not about anything else.

 

I knew this company who outsourced a project to a freelance designer, and the designer meet the deadline. However, there were errors that he missed before it went to print. He was sued for the price of printing, time spent, and the reprinted merchandise. All total was around $150,000.00. Small company that does medium buisness.

 

Lucas Arts is a larg company, and Obsidian could eat the cost of production for admiting their error.

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What's with resurrecting such an old thread?

that'd be my fault ;)

I mis-hapenly re-sparked an interest in this article. Seeing as MacLeodCorp oversees & runs a stickied thread over at Obsidian that mentions our mods, I believe he's wanting to make sure that we wouldn't be taking any heat from it... be it Obsidian or LA...

 

http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=150819

 

@MacLeodCorp

personally , I wouldn't worry too much over the us getting 'flak' from the Obsidian Community. We all play nice together, and the fact that one of the moderators over there thought there was no harm in sticky-fying the thread... I'd just run it as you normally do. I'm sure if anything were to ever change, we'd all be informed ;)

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