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I am a PS3 owner and someday hope to be a PS4 owner, yet I am not at all dissatisfied with my choice to delay purchase, solely based on the current PS4 library. When I transitioned from a Playstation 1 to a Playstation 2, I was pleasantly surprised that I could for the most part rid myself of my PS1...

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The Search for Optimal Bake Time
Posted on Wednesday, December 17 2014 @ 14:36:19 Eastern

Something percolating in my mind for a while now is the question of an 'optimal' development time for a given game.  If a game is given too little time in the oven, or if the post-production work is rushed, the resulting game is unfinished.  This can also be a result of any of the worst practices following through.  If a game is given too much time, however, the results can be equally bad for a number of reasons.   Is This Even Bread Yet?
The underbaked game is easy enough to spot.  Features are either missing, broken, or in need of an overhaul.  Some get fixed with time or mods but others will remain forever broken or missing.  They tend to be highly unstable at launch with patches smoothing things out.  Someone who knows how to look for it will find the scars where content was clipped.  What they all have in common is that simply extending more time and/or funding to the development process, whether at the creation phase or the testing phase, would have prevented these problems from arising in the first place.  Whether a lack of available capital, a need to have something in the company portfolio for a given fiscal period, simple short-sighted greed or some other thing games get sent out the door early all the time.
It's Not 'Burnt to a Crisp'!  There's Nothing but Crisp!
The overbaked game is harder to pin down because while something went wrong in development along the line in such a way that the whole project should have been shut down or radically redone it is not merely a project that went bad but one which was not abandoned when it should have been.  The overbaked game tends to have a few warning signs prior to release.  It will slip deadline after deadline though this could also be the developer working outside their comfort zone and the pre-launch PR got going too soon.  But atop the missing deadlines follows a worrying trend with the overbake; information on the project slows to a trickle but even the trickle may dry up.  Before the development goes dark, if it goes dark, numerous features and design concepts talked up at some point in the past will cease to feature in pre-release campaigning.  The developer and publisher will instead talk about art direction, theme, the reputation of the creator or other insignificant trivialities instead of the game.  After launch, no matter how many copies the game sells, the studio will often shut down or hemorrhage talent while stories come out of the project director repeatedly killing viable work and demanding incessant retooling amid massive turnover within the team.  The game didn't lack for commitment from the publisher; it lacked for control.
This Was Never Going to be Bread
In truth the overbake is just a subset of the misguided development pipeline.  At some point someone should have taken the project in hand, forced development on certain elements to stop cold while others would be pushed to the fore and something shippable ironed out and released.  It's baseless speculation to assert it outright but it's possible that the vast majority of projects which are ever greenlit fall under such a header.
I Don't Know How, But This is the Best Bread I've Ever Eaten!
Sometimes the story does get a happy ending.  In spite of every adversity a project which goes off the rails can right itself.  Some of the most beloved games ever made are would-be disasters saved from the brink.  So how does anyone achieve the 'optimal' development path?  Sadly, by doing the same thing over and over again.  That's why annual franchises, anaphylaxis-inducing mediocrity though they be, arrive on schedule with little indication of stopping short of catastrophic sales losses.  Experimental or artistically bold stuff breaks the mold and will, as a rule, impose unforeseen challenges upon development no matter what.  The most well-prepared such plan will still go over budget and past deadline.

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Dark Souls Steamworks Migration Available, Masochists Rejoice by Screaming in Pain
Posted on Monday, December 15 2014 @ 08:33:53 Eastern

The announcement turned out to be that the Steamworks version is available today.  Check the game's forum page from your library and look for the pinned thread for instructions on how to migrate from GFWL to Steamworks and enjoy the game without the frustration of GFWL causing crashes and other nonsense left and right.

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Dark Souls Steam Migration Delayed but on Track?
Posted on Sunday, December 14 2014 @ 07:03:34 Eastern

November came and went without Namco Bandai's promised Steam migration but an announcement on the 25th of did say news was forthcoming.  Later an announcement was made that information would be revealed 'soon' and that the migration was pushed back to December for undisclosed reasons.  An announcement is planned tomorrow and the steam achievement page shows that someone is running through the game without Live and is racking up Steam achievements.  We'll see after tomorrow.

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The Witcher 3 Has Been Delayed to May 19
Posted on Monday, December 8 2014 @ 17:45:28 Eastern

David Thier's reaction here.

My reaction here.

EDIT: For some crazy reason I thought the Forbes piece was written by Paul Tassi.  I was tired when I wrote this post....   read more...

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InXile Files Trademarks for 'Van Buren' and 'Meantime'
Posted on Monday, December 8 2014 @ 17:19:36 Eastern

PC Gamer has the scoop and credits RPG Codex as their source.

For those not in the know, Meantime was an aborted followup to Wasteland and Van Buren was the internal codename for the version of Fallout 3 Black Isle almost got to make.&...   read more...

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GoG Winter Sale In Swing!
Posted on Thursday, December 4 2014 @ 16:12:55 Eastern

GoG is running their annual winter sale.  Scope that stuff out if you're looking for something good.  It runs until the 15th of December....   read more...

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Why Has Bethesda not Made an Announcement?
Posted on Thursday, December 4 2014 @ 15:04:04 Eastern

The following post will be mostly speculation and guesswork pulled together from interviews, modmakers' notes, newsposts, discussion boards, twitter exchanges with relevant personnel and so on.  It isn't journalism or even anything close...   read more...

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Yet Another Nitpicky Essay Whining About Clickbait
Posted on Sunday, November 30 2014 @ 13:03:35 Eastern

In the grand tradition of all my previous whiny nitpick articles I'll begin with something pleasant and go on to cause nothing but misery and it's all my fault.

First, Zappa Plays Zappa with The Black Page 1 and 2

...   read more...

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Wish List for Fallout 4
Posted on Monday, November 24 2014 @ 12:38:46 Eastern



So I promised that list and here it is.  It's late and it's not as thorough as I'd hoped.  I also wish I had images handy to illustrate every point where helpful.  So, in no particular order - a subjective s...   read more...

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Ubisoft Tries Potomac Two-Step; Pratfalls
Posted on Saturday, November 15 2014 @ 07:35:20 Eastern

Via Gamespot (but there's no point in reading the Gamespot article because it just repeats what others are saying) comes this BBC news post, "Assassin's Creed: Unity criticised for widespread glitches" in which a Ubisoft PR rep trie...   read more...

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