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Author Topic: DiD: Beginning of the End
fire1
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Member # 167

posted 10-04-1999 12:30 AM     Profile for fire1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
EF2000V3 has to be done. To not do it would go against the will of the cosmos. Its predecessor, ef2000v2 is a masterpiece. No other sim(to this day!) has its balance of graphics, realism, immersion, and a working campaign. Janes F15 has no dynamic campaign, f1.5 lacks both dynamic campaign and graphics, GSC's hornet lacks dynamic campaign and graphics, F4 lacks working dynamic campaign and that something(immersion). I love all these sims btw and have them.

However, I understand some resentment for DID or whoever did the ADF/TAW fiasco. I did not by TAW b/c I had already paid $50 for ADF that was supposed to have a promised dynamic war. And I don't even know why they did Wargasm. As a flight simmer I was not playing Wargasm. Why they didn't go back to their bread and butter escapes me. Were ef2k sales that low that they would resort to the G-police like Wargasm.

I don't think the folks behind the scenes knew what they had in ef2k. They could have kept tweaking that bad boy little by little and I would have bought. Heck the fjords still beat anything in any flight sim now.

Somebody...anybody...see what DID did with ef2k and continue the legacy. To this day I prefer the plain grey inteface to anything else. Someone else mentioned. Its hard to explain but this little touch is important. The cartoony F4 main screen with all the frilly colors just makes me sick. Little stuff like the interface screen made ef2k great.

GET IT DONE

fire1


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arrow
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posted 10-04-1999 05:07 AM     Profile for arrow   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
And again, here we are, concerned about the future of our favorite hobby.

And again, we saw a nice company of developers, supported by a nice publisher, that suddenly cannot afford anymore long development times and high costs.

And again, its (it depends on the opinion of the poster):

fault of the developer, who didn't understand what we wanted (ADF>TAW at full price)
or
fault of the publisher, who didn't market it well
or
fault of the consumer, who didn't support it as it was needed

And again I'm here to support my opinion: something has to change in the way sims are developed, produced and sold.

I don't want to bother you again with another post of my theory about profesional sw vs. game sw, I just want to underline again that there's a problem, a big problem, and someone has to find a solution to this problem.

Otherwise we'll find ourselves here talking about who's to blame, but without anything to play.


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Larry Burdette
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posted 10-04-1999 08:53 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
DID screwed themselves when they charged every one to upgrade the original EF2000 to the 3D version. Or don't you guys remember that?
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fire1
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posted 10-04-1999 09:38 AM     Profile for fire1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Arrow,

I know your theories on strategies for software development. Your strategies are excellent and deserve serious consideration.

Although I say that I didn't buy TAW because I had already bought ADF, I was not giving the the entire story for brevity's sake. But to fill in the gaps: I didn't buy because I also didn't like the the concept that my plane would have to take out 14 enemy fighters. The philosophy of the sim was like aerial quake. Oddly, the might be a reality for the F22. I would pay $100 for a sim that did x, y, and Z. I would pay possibly pay 50 now for the shell and 50 for the war, but the problem is that some companies might not give you a war(the team'll break up) or the war will be flaky for your own taste.

Point is I'd pay $100+ for an ef2k to my liking. I have the $100+. THe issue is how the make to my liking, to arrow's liking, to bones' liking, to spectre's liking, to.... Flight sims to me are worth every penny. I can fly anywhere and do all kinds of tricks that would get me killed in real life.

fire1


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Ennio Liu
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posted 10-04-1999 09:44 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
No matter how you toss and turn,

It all begins with management. Both DID & Infogrames did something wrong.
But hey, thatís commercial market today. If you lose to many times, youíre dead.
And they lost, several times!
In the beginning of EF2000 we had an add on called Tactcom. Well, management thought that they could pull that leg again with F22ADF/TAW. Wrong! Together with a huge overdoses fly sims the market needed something new. Not another F22, especially not because there were already several new flightsims down the pipeline.(I agree, Mr. David Riley)
TAW was a joke. From the whole development team maybe 4 or 5 persons where working on TAW. Not enough game feedback what so ever.
Everyone else was working on Wargasm.
Because of bad management & bad game play, Wargasm ended up as a dead fish in a cup. Management didnít listen to there audience. (Itís difficult to listen you know..)

Overall, is no good news for combatsim lovers. Too many fly games are canceled. And that's very bad development because of game market share we have. I hope it's not going to be a Quake world, or that light flightsim manufacturers who will rule the world. But it seems to me that if youíre a small/medium company and want to make a game nice game that rocks the gaming world, it will take a loooong time. If game response will be bad (Wargasm), and thatís the only thing you have been working on, well that simpleÖ
The company doesnít have the power to hold it out long enough to make another day..

Is there going to be a black hole?
Time will tell.
I feel a shame because I really loved the games, starting from the beginning.
But we will keep playing those great games of DID until better times..

Ennio Liu, PCZone Benelux Magazine


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arrow
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posted 10-04-1999 10:29 AM     Profile for arrow   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
to fire1 and everyone concerned about the problem of:

"maintenance=problem in accomplishing the individual desires of all the payers"

If we look at what we'll have in the next few months (hard core sims, of course) we end up with a bunch of sims all with:

pretty accurate flight model,
canned missions,
accurate avionics.

Looking at Flanker 2, Superhornet and F/A 18 by Janes, I think that it's safe to state what's above.

Is it enough for all the hard core simmers ?

Surely not.

I want a dynamic campaign.
Other wants dynamic weather, or ground war or other stuff.

All those nice features will be eventually implemented through addons and expansions.

Will those additional future features make happy all the simmers ?

Boh.

Point is: which difference you see in this kind of approach vs. the "maintenance approach" ?

I see no difference.

It all starts with a set of basic features (flight model, avionics and canned missions).

Then it's expanded with addons, eventually listening to the customer feedback.

So please, just imagine if Flanker 2 sells around 70K copies, Superhornet less because people wait for the gold edition and F/A 18 by Janes around 100K units, a lot less than USAF.

Then imagine that SSI, Titus and Janes all decides to let those nice sims die.

What we will have ? Nothing more than the three basic features above mentioned.

Now can you see a difference ? I see it: no future vs. a future.

So my point is: paying for a product and then a maintenance guarantee us that there'll be a future.

When I say that the company is tied to the customer, please, don't translate it into "the company has to accomplish every deisire of each one of the maintenance payers".

It's not like this in real life.

I work for a sw house that sells sw through this approach.

The concept here is that the customer has some benefits from our software, so he better pay the maintenance if he wants it supported and improved.

I'm thinking the same about sims.

I love simming: so I want simming companies profitable and well being, in order to support their sims through the time.

I'm not here to say that with this approach companies will have to make all of us individually happy.

I'm here to say that, of the three sims mentioned above, I'll surely buy two of them (SH and F2) and I will gladly pay for their maintenance through the years, as well as for Falcon 4.

We keep jumping from one sim to another because we never found in 1 sim all the feature we want. The only classics around there are sims that were developed and improved through the years (F3, EF2000, F1.5), but those are exceptions.

With maintenance we pay for (guess what) MAINTENANCE of the sim, and not to make the company develop every little meaningfull desire each one of us has.


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Deckard
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posted 10-05-1999 07:25 AM     Profile for Deckard     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm sorry I don't have anything new to say other than in the way of just adding weight to common sentiments. I bought EF2000 & Tactcom and found them to be fantastic products, in many ways ahead of the field. DID made a genuine (and appreciated) effort to support the EF2000 product and I thought did it well. Then I bought F22ADF and in one hit DID pretty much destoyed my (and apparently most others) goodwill. F22ADF had the engine in there and very little else but I was reassured that they were going to release TAW as a mission disk. Then TAW became a full price product which pretty much left me paying $90 for a TAW demo and having to pay anothet $90 for the other half. From that point on I wasn't buying TAW just on principle. I almost gave in with the positive reviews TAW got but I didn't. A lot must have felt this way too and now DID looks like history. I now do feel sorry to see DID go and maybe I would have bought TAW if I'd known how it was going to end. Perhaps DID did bring it on themselves but I guess the whole sim community is going to be worse off for their absence. The current trends in game development aren't encouraging either, it seems that it's more economical to produce another dozen FPSs than spend lengthy development time on one complex flight sim. I'm just hoping like hell that F18 (both of 'em) and Flanker 2, sell well enough that the developer interest in flight sims continues because if they don't things are going to be bleak indeed.
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Scam
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posted 10-05-1999 11:36 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Their fight sims were pretty good but Wargasim sucked big time. After I bought and paid for that awful game it soured my taste to DID. I would have been hesitant to buy another one of their games anyway.
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Carl Jackson
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posted 10-05-1999 11:56 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Those of you that are, you can stop panicing. DID has risen from the ashes, but is badly burnt.

Work will continue on Typhoon, so you can be happy about that.

Some of us lost our jobs along the way though.


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eserron
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posted 10-05-1999 12:13 PM     Profile for eserron   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Thanks for the update Carl. I hope you are right in saying that the work on Typhoon will continue. There are plainly a lot of people on this forum who will be happy to hear that.
I only wish your post was less cryptic. Can you give us any more details? What do you mean "DID has risen from the ashes." Are you referring to Infogrames and the 10 or so people left from DID that are left there? Who is the new "DID?"

Also, wasn't there supposed to be some kind or press announcement coming from Infogrames?


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JohnUK
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posted 10-05-1999 01:06 PM     Profile for JohnUK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Quoted from Scam:-
"Their fight sims were pretty good but Wargasim sucked big time. After I bought and paid for that awful game it soured my taste to DID. I would have been hesitant to buy another one of their games anyway."

Well a lot of people i know think its great. Just fell foul of DiD`s problems maybe and didnt get the 3rd patch it needs. Since a demo version was available i have no sympathy with anyone who bought it and for whatever reason didnt like it.


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The Dark Knight
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posted 10-06-1999 07:23 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The DID name and it's current projects where bought from Infogrammes by Rage for an 'undisclosed' amount. The mis-managers and the pawns in their game are firmly entrenched within Tannery Court again.
The show continues as normal, only this time, Colin, you can't blame your failings on Infogrammes.
Should be interesting.
Mezz.

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The Dark Knight
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posted 10-06-1999 07:29 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Carl, Dave, Fergie, Bill, Tony, NevP. Good luck for the future, guys. There's some real loyal people there who have become victims of people looking after number one.
Take it easy fellas.
My apologies to Infogrammes for believing a pack of lies told to me by people who would rather blame you than their own f*ck ups.
DID, you had better get your sh*t together now, there is no future for any of you in the gaming world/software industry outside of DID.
Mezz.

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raindog
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posted 10-06-1999 08:16 AM     Profile for raindog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I bought each of my last 2 PCs specifically to play DiD games - EF2K and ADF.

However, I have very mixed feelings about DiD/Infogrammes but don't know enough to attempt to apportion blame. TAW in particular pissed me off - the difference between TAW and F4 was that we had to PAY for TAW after having been told it would be a free patch. Completely out of order.

Comments on previous posts:
- I would definitely be prepared to pay more for 'heavyweight' games like F4. I'd remortgage for a state of the art Typhoon, or a UK based Harrier sim (bring on the grey and green!)
- Advertising for flight sims is woeful. I saw the digital ads for EF2K and TAW and it's absolutely true that if they had been shown on TV or in a cinema they would have massively boosted sales. The general public has no idea what these games offer.
- OSI for flight sims - great thought! But have you any idea how long and complex the negotiations on the real OSI were? Forget it in this industry.

Most of all though...I just wanna fly the Fjords again!!

------------------


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Insight
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posted 10-06-1999 08:49 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi TDK,

NIce to see you here. I've been spying on the Infogrammes chat site every now and then, I'll tell you, its so hollow there right now. Its like the body's there but the spirit's gone !

If what you say is right, DID exists ??? Well that's a great relief for a lot of people here. EF2000 V3 is something that we MUST have. Yes right !!! Back to the fjords anyday !

Best regards..Insight


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Carl Jackson
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posted 10-06-1999 10:14 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Cheers, "Dark Knight".

I agree with everything you said. What's happened is that they've pushed out the loyal 10 people who they left behind, they've returned to the building they walked out of and are carrying on as if nothing happened.

They used to be great friends of mine.
A sad story indeed.


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The Dark Knight
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posted 10-06-1999 11:58 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi Insight, V3 will be nothing at all like the previous incarnations of Eurofighter 2000. Sorry to burst everyones bubble, but if you are expecting the next EF2000 V2, you will be very disapointed.
I can't wait. What are they gonna do without DavidF to bail them out.
Onwards and upwards Carl.
Infogrames, you only bought them for the name anyway and that isn't gonna be worth sh*t once the world sees V3. So, good riddance to bad rubbish is what I'd be thinking if I were you.
Mezz.

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Saxon
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posted 10-06-1999 04:48 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Oh come on Carl, you can't blame people for walking out. They made a decision for their futures. It's not like school anymore with gangs of mates. In this business, people have to look after themselves. Some of them have families to feed and have to take drastic decisions to secure their futures. They shouldn't stop being friends of yours just because of that surely? Some people are just scared of making a move.
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Thomas AV8R Spann
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posted 10-06-1999 06:15 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I still refuse to take EF2000 V2 (Evolution) off my HDD. Not that I get to fly it much,
but because of the super memories.

I learned my Multiplayer experience with this sim. Running it on DOS over Kali. Remember the days of memory managers, modem init strings, and your very first 3DFX card? EF2K took me through all those innovations.

But what is special about EF2K, is that it was and always will be in the Hall of Sim Fame, a real bonefide classic sim. Was it a
legit "hard core" sim? Not when compared to Falcon4 or Su27Flanker, but it was hardcore for its day. It was also a very robust and complete product. From stunning graphics, to stable multiplayer, to coop missions, to a wonderful dogfighting vehicle, EF2K delivered the goods.

But not without a cost. I remember suffering through all the patches and bugs. Yet DiD, did work through the major ones until the product's epogee with V2.

When I saw F22ADF and TAW, I knew DiD was in trouble. Not that they werent good products, just that they were about 6 months to a year late in hitting the right market window. As much as you want to implicate Infogames, (and Im sure thats part of the picture), I remember DiD vascillating over support of 3DFX or DX which cost them precious time to market opportunity. As we now see with sims, if they come out a few months late, another sim will out shine it and all investment is lost. Desert Fighters and ProPilot2000 are classic examples. Now this WarGasim is just an indication that DiD lost thier sense of good marketing. I knew at that time that DiDs days were numbered.

Hopefully the spirit of EF2000 will rise again out of the dust like the mythical Phoenix. I wish them the best, and thank you for the great product and the wonderful online flight simming. EF2000 CSs will always be in my personal Hall of Fame and be housed in my virtual sim hangar.

AV8R


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Meesha
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posted 10-06-1999 06:52 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Infogrames sux...
DID is one of the best developers ever(maybe just not better than our russian "Flanker" guys .
EF was my favourite longest time , if any sim had to be at least half of it (WWIIfighters maybe very close for now, time will show).
Also I was so surprised with Wargasm after tryin' the demo, that I buyed it right next minute I saw it on the shelves.

Infogrames is the BADDEST marketeers on the planet, I think. To kill such team.... There are no , really, ANY good sim salers, with RIGHT ads and really smart politics in title publishing, but Infogrames are most suckers.
To lose a diamond right from THEIR hands.

Seems like 2-3 such years, and there will not be any other games on the shelves, than all this Deer's-sport **** .

Sweet memories, DID !
My hat is down...


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Magic65
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posted 10-06-1999 07:58 PM     Profile for Magic65   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Back in 1993 I bought my first PC, along with a copy of TFX, better, I bought a copy of TFX and a 486Dx2 to run it. I passed months closed in my house, flying the EFA, the F117 and The F22 (that I did not liked at the time) I still remember very well the first mission of TFX, or the routine used by the MiGs to dogfight. I loved that game. Then with EF 2000 I was absolutely hypnotized, I was risking my wedding for "just one more mission honey! I swear! Let me land and I came to sleep!" The avionic wasn't that complicated, but the overall level of being involved, feeling inside the game was incredible. Once I flew a mission in a LAN with 7 other simmers, I was in the strike group, we flew in formation, we had a lot of fun.
When ADF came out I was loosing my job, along with my sleep, with TAW I reached the no-return point, and I passed ages playing the PARADOX TACTIC refusing even to upgrade the directx, fearing that could have affected taw ( dx6 in W95 with 3DFX1 caused a terrible crash, forcing me to reformat the HD) Red eyes in the morning and just 4 hours of sleep per night was routine.
Now I have F4,a Top Of The Line Machine and 2 Kids. Sure, Falcon is a great sim, great AI,fantastic graphic but.... I JUST CAN'T WAIT FOR EF2000 V3! That athmosphere, that feeling! So DID, please start working, and if you ever need a beta tester, e-mail me, thanks.

Paolo

GO DID !


[This message has been edited by Magic65 (edited 10-06-1999).]

[This message has been edited by Magic65 (edited 10-06-1999).]


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Victor
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posted 10-06-1999 10:58 PM     Profile for Victor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Carl..from your post it looks like you lost your job. (since you were one of the loyal 10). If so; I'm really sorry to hear that.

They shouldn't be punishing you 10 just for doing your job. If they had an class; they'd hire you 10 back and respect the choice you made.

What would have happened if things had not worked out and Infogrames would have killed DID because of the walkout (and Typhhon since they owned the code). So many people would have been screwed; including the people who've supported DID in the past by buying their products. The bad guys wouldn't have been you 10; both rightfully those 30 people that left.

DID,if the walkout was just a ploy to get away from Infogrames (and nothing's wrong with trying to get a better deal); don't screw those 10 who believed in the product first.


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Victor
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posted 10-07-1999 03:58 AM     Profile for Victor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
OK..I've calmed down now.

Anyhow, I hope that this new arrangement between DID/Rage/Infogrames is the best for all parties involved; including we the consumers. In the end all we (at least those who were looking forward to Typhoon)really want is a great product.

It still stinks that 10 people have to lose their jobs for being loyal.

Also I do believe that Typhoon will be the proper successor to EF-2000. Let's just hope their heart is into make a serious flight sim and some arcade game in the "Incoming" style.

Guess we wait and see. Now maybe Rage/DID will do some promotion on Typhoon.


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Spectre
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posted 10-07-1999 09:33 AM     Profile for Spectre   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Picked this up from Avault.com:

Thursday, October 7, 1999 - 08:34 CDT
Infogrames Unloads DID

Following confused speculation over the Warrington-based developer's future, Rage has snapped up DID from Infogrames for 5.5 million British pounds, or $9.1 million. The news comes hot on the heels of reports suggesting that Rage had poached staff from the flight sim specialist. It also comes as a surprise, given that Infogrames purchased the studio itself just four months ago. However, it seems Infogrames, which already owned 25.5 percent of DID, but acquired it outright in June, was effectively grooming the company for a buyout.


I believe that there really isn't anything serious to worry about and we will be seeing Typhoon sometime on 2K.


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skypilot
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posted 10-07-1999 10:28 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I get a little angry at the way top quality sims are treated in the market place today. I have been flying since the 286 platform was all the rage and flight sims flew across your screen like pac man. When you look at the quality and the imersion you get with sims like EF2000 why discount the product. Theres enough of us that would recognise the quality and pay whatever it took to keep the quality high in sims and keep the companies making those products in business to make more quality sims. Quality not quantity.

Skypilot
91st BG


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Saxon
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posted 10-07-1999 12:43 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well I'm afraid that just isn't the case. It is extremely difficult to recuperate the long development costs associated with a game with the complexity of say TAW. Why do you think DID produced F-22? It was because the US market was generally loathe to buy and fly anything other than a US aircraft. The situation is changing now - slowly but that is why the majority of sims so far have been based on the US.

The flight sim market is very niche and ingeneral the audience very fickle. They'll love a game to bits and praise it to high-heaven, but as soon as they find a bug it's a complete bag of crap and they'll vent their spleens all over the newsgroups. Unfortunately, this too affects sales.

Don't be mistaken in thinking that there is a great deal of money to be made in sims - there isn't. The only real way to make money is to develop other types of games as well.


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Carl Jackson
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posted 10-07-1999 02:32 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Saxon, the people who left, then returned weren't thinking of their futures, they were thinking of the future of Colin and the other DID managers.

They weren't faced with an impossible situation, they could have chosen to leave with Colin and go to Rage, or they could have stayed with Infogrames. Either way they would still be working on the same games, in the same building, with the same money. What they chose though, cost people their livelihoods. Not the actions of friends, in my opinion. When we went back in to collect our things, not one of them could look me in the eye. They know they've done wrong.

Anyway, Typhoon will be finished and that's the main thing. It was looking bloody brilliant when I last saw it last week.


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Su27Angie
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posted 10-07-1999 03:10 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hurray!! Typhoon (EF2000 Version3) is alive?

Carl, I hope you dig in and show those chaps in Microprose/Hasbro and SSI that EF2000 can hang with the best!

I could tell you of the wonderful missions we had over internet with your sim, but everyone else beat me to it. I hope that you make the sim as stable as EF2000 Version2 was and I volunteer if you need an online tester. Being we just finished with FlankerV2 I am available. 8)

Thats my message for all you in this forum. Dont get mad, dont get even, just volunteer to help make EF2000 Version3 the best it can be. I think that flight simmers are too hard on developers who barely make their money back in trying to give us in depth sims. Which is why I am so dedicated to Flanker. Now there's an online sim that you can fly formation with only 6 virtual feet between you and your wingie. Used to do that in EF2000, but not TAW for some reason.

Ah, those memories of destroying that dam with the TIALDs guided bombs while you stirred up the hornets nest of MiGs. And
that ability to choose a mixture of human and
robot planes for dogfights with the custom mission feature. Remember those Hinds from Hell? hehehehe Loved it.

Da Svedanya,

Su27Angie ([email protected])


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Saxon
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posted 10-07-1999 05:53 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Oh come on Carl, I think it's a little silly to think they were thinking of Colin's future and the other DID managers. That smacks of sour grapes. We all know how they were perceived from within. Most of the DID employees probably did feel bad about the way it was handled but they aren't responsible for that. It doesn't change the fact that they made a decision for their own futures.

You can never rely on other people for your livelihood because when the cack hits the fan you're going to be left high and dry.

The problem with the people at DID was they were always too scared to leave because most of them were young and had been at DID since leaving college.

You know I still love you though.


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Roger Godfrey
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posted 10-08-1999 08:44 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I remember most of my time at DID as being both the best of times and the worst of times. Particularly with EF2000.

The best of times with EF was seeing the response on the news groups when it was first released (we all knew that it was something that was going to create a stir). Also meeting people who played the game at shows. We met some remarkable people through our work at DID.

But there were bad times as well. EF2k was about a million lines of code, about 3\4 of it was utter pants code. Most of it had to be thrown away for F-22 ADF. EF2k never had a game design, never had code design and certainly never had project plan. It was the project from hell. Its amazing we ever got it in to releasable state. Many would argue that the first version was not in a releasable state (including me).

I also have something of a confession to make. I was the one who advocated removing the campaign and going for canned missions in ADF. The project was failing badly at the time. We were very much operating in a rescue mode and the campaign coder was having serious problems. In short, we had no choice. Most of us who worked on ADF still feel quite bad about having to axe it.

There is so much I could write about our time at DID. The parties, Carlís and Andyís bands, the nights out, testing multi-player campaign through the night while eating curry and the camaraderie we had in the teams in the end phases of the projects.

Itís just a shame that serious combat flight simulation does not make money. Maybe Novalogic had the right strategy in the endÖ

Roger Godfrey (ex-DID, ex-flight sim)


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posted 10-08-1999 09:31 AM     Profile for arrow   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Roger,
sad to see all those posts from ex DID employees that seems to be so passionate for their job.

I have only one objection to your opinion about sims not selling and Novalogic "maybe right" approach.

Sims don't sell well if they are sold as games.

But I saw no law or obligation to sell sims as games, especially if sims are no longer games...

Because sims are (more than games) software, and there are a ton of ways to sell software and make profits.


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Die Hard
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posted 10-08-1999 09:43 AM     Profile for Die Hard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yeah, right!

Maybe a bit less curry and bit less fannying about might have meant that you were able to release the working product you had promised your loyal customers.

Your excuse stinks.

Do you still have your job?


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Die Hard
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posted 10-08-1999 09:46 AM     Profile for Die Hard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The above post intended for Rodger Godfrey
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daveb
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posted 10-08-1999 10:09 AM     Profile for daveb   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Roger, I can forgive the canned missions in F22-ADF but when coupled with TAW on top of that and the broken promises .. the management (whoever it might have been) should have been taken out and burned at the stake. Actually, I can think of worse .. how about being forced to endure x pints of Greenall Whitley in a Spice Girls themed pub?
Anyway, EF2000 was despite the problems a superb piece of software for us users. Sorry, but as a techie myself I cannot help thinking that if the spunk bubbles had realised the true value of your programming efforts, we users might have had a different perspective on the recent events.

------------------
Best wishes,
Dave B.


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daveb
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posted 10-08-1999 10:15 AM     Profile for daveb   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
To Diehard,
In many respects you are right but when someone admits to feeling guilty about omitting something in a software release- that indicates a willingness to listen to other people and admit you didn't get it right. On a public forum like this I think that takes courage and I think he's a decent bloke to admit it publicly.

------------------
Best wishes,
Dave B.


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posted 10-08-1999 10:35 AM     Profile for arrow   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Roger and all,
I have to disagree with the above posts.

My post was only intended to say one thing.

I'm mad about the fact that there surely is a problem in selling hard core sim today, and the only reaction I see is complaining and a "let's do like Novalogic" general feeling.

Somebody once told me that (in business), if you are loosing, you have to change the rules.

If hard core sims are sold as games, there's a problem.

But IMO making a sim more "a game" than "a simulation" is not the ONLY solution.

There's another one, and it's selling sim in another way. And I'm not talking about development, because developing sims is ALREADY different than developing games.

I'm only talking about selling.

Because sims, more that games, are software, and nobody or nothing ever said that a sim has to be sold as a game.

Other than this, I want to express my gratitude to all DID folks.

I don't want to know who has faults, who is wrong and who is right: there's better people than me that is good in telling what's right or what's wrong.

I just want to express my gratitude to people that gave me some of the better sims of my simming life, and I wish them a better future, whatever they'll do.


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daveb
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posted 10-08-1999 10:44 AM     Profile for daveb   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Arrow,
I agree with you. As a software support engineer and developer I always have to remind myself of one axiom:

The customer is right even when they are wrong!
BTW that's not intended as a glib response to your point but hides a very true fact that software is not just about code it's also about marketing,sales and support. As you state, if you get either of software, marketing, sales or support you won't make much money (short term or long term)

------------------
Best wishes,
Dave B.


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Roger Godfrey
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posted 10-08-1999 11:04 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have just re-read my original post and it sounds more harsh on EF than I intended. Donít get me wrong, I love EF (and so did many of the team who worked on it), but it was a very difficult birth. My memories of the development are mostly pleasant. We effectively gave up all our free time and social lives to make EF. Several marriages were put on the line and at least two of the team came down with serious stress related illness. But we got it done, saved DID from ruin and pulled Oceanís nads off the barbecue with that release.

Die Hard: As for the Ďcurry and fannying aboutí as you put it. This was all done working through the night on the patch to get the multi-player campaign working. It was the only time we had enough machines available to get the game working to test the code. We enjoyed our work. I can still remember the first time the multi-player campaign worked for the first time. It was amazing to fly the first campaign mission with eight players.

As for TAW, that was a commercial decision and had nothing to do with the development team.

Unfortunately there just is not the market for complex combat flight sims at the moment. Which is a problem because they cost a lot more than games which are intended for mass market. EF2000 with a clear pitch and technology roughly 2 years in advance of the competition (they soon caught up) sold about 700,000. These days with a sim you would be lucky to recover your development costs.

I no longer work for DID so I have no real reason to defend them. The only reason I am making this post is to let you know what happened inside the teams during development.

Regards to all,

Roger


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posted 10-08-1999 12:03 PM     Profile for arrow   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Roger,

"Unfortunately there just is not the market for complex combat flight sims at the moment. Which is a problem because they cost a lot more than games which are intended for mass market. EF2000 with a clear pitch and technology roughly 2 years in advance of the competition (they soon caught up) sold about 700,000. These days with a sim you would be lucky to recover your development costs."

Aaaaaaaaaarrrgh.

I'm mad about this kind of argument.

What does it mean "there's no market" ?

700.000 copies and there's no market ?

Let's re-state it: there's no PROFIT in selling 700.000 copies of a sim as a GAME (so 30-50 USD per copy).

Why there's no profit ? Because you have longer development times and more costs in developing a sim than any other GAME.

But I'm wandering: anyone in the marketing dept of a simming company ever noticed HOW MUCH a simmer SPEND EVERY YEAR for his HARDWARE ?

HOTAS, video cards, new faster processors, RAM, various peripherals.

We are a little market. But we are RICH.

We are the dream of every marketing guy.

So I agree with you: if you try to sell SIM AS GAMES YOU'LL LOOSE.

But what if you stop consider sim as games and start to consider them as software.

And what if you charge something more for the initial product (say 100 USD), and then propose a maintenance fee (say 100 USD per year)?

We pay A LOT MORE THAN THIS only for the hardware we use to play sims.

I don't know maybe I'm wrong.

But I'm tired to see awfull complaint as "there's no market" or "let's do like Novalogic".

The market is here, is little, is competent, is demanding but is RICH.

Tima has come for a company to be brave and bet on us.

Naturally, IMO.


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Saxon
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posted 10-08-1999 02:36 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
After listening to the rants and raves of so-called flight sim fans for years on the flight-sim newsgroup I can assure you they are not a dream - in fact they are a complete nightmare - for everyone involved in a project.

DieHard - you're the sort of person who presumes everything but knows very little. DID staff took a lot of abusive flak from 'flight-simmers' and I was glad to get out of that market - because of the people who buy the products.

Sure, there are decent people out there but as a whole the flight-sim community stank - especially those in the US who were the rudest and most abusive idiots I ever had the misfortune to meet.


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