Don't get me wrong, I hope the game is great.
Apparently this was more than just the ramblings of some "bored housewife." Most game sites are now running a whole bunch of info on how huge a disaster this game is and how f-ed up things at Rockstar San Diego are. Here's one example:
I'd keep your enthusiasm tempered for the time being. Too bad. An open world Western deserves to be made (and made well).
That quote is basically a paraphrase of a comment from an ex-employee on the Gamasutra open letter article. All of the current R* SD employees are saying that the ex-guys are quite bitter and talking crap about a game they didn't really even work on. They claim the game is very good, however I don't think I'd expect them to say anything else (although Gamasutra allowed pseudonymous comments on that article to let the current R* SD employees talk with relative impunity, so I guess they could have easily badmouthed the game). Most of them do echo the fact that the bigwigs took no interest in the game for most of its 4+ years of development and only started in the last several months demanding changes that would require massive rewrites of the game if implemented. They also complained that the build tools suck big-time, requiring a fairly long time to re-build the game just to check out and test feature changes. Whether this game turns out to be any good or not I guess hinges on how much the R* SD guys can keep the New York guys from forcing them to change the game drastically a few months before release.
Personally I only see this sort of thing coming out of dev's that treat their workers poorly; shuttering creativity for the pure business aspect of game development. Game development is both, but frequently you’ll get mid and upper level people in that only understand how to run a cost cutting, deadline hitting business.
That might work at wallyworld; but the returns in creative businesses in the short term are much less pronounced. They’re negligible in all business in the long run. (Look at EA trying to swing the pendulum back)
Dev’s know they’ll be working long hours to meet deadlines when it comes crunch time. That doesn’t mean they should be working 50-80 hours a week without overtime during the entire production cycle.
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That quote is basically a paraphrase of a comment from an ex-employee on the Gamasutra open letter article. [...] Whether this game turns out to be any good or not I guess hinges on how much the R* SD guys can keep the New York guys from forcing them to change the game drastically a few months before release.
At the very least, it's not good to have "bitter ex-employees" who were taken off of a project. Shuttering down half your studio is no good for anyone and will inevitably affect the final product in some way (small or large). No matter how you look at it, it's certainly not a good thing. If I were working on Red Dead Redemption, I'd be incredibly nervous and anxious. My friends and co-workers would have just been laid off en masse. I'd be damned sure to take whatever the bigwigs in NY say as "design gospel" at that point because I wouldn't want to give them any reason to let me go as well. Not to mention, there's the very real fear that they'd shut the whole studio down once RDR goes gold. Can't be a good environment to make a good game in. And that says nothing at all about how the actual game production process has been managed along the way.
But like I said, we'll have to wait for that pudding to know how all this shakes out.
Whats left are the lazy and incompetent that don't want to rock the boat.
It's a shame, b/c I had high hopes for this game. Hopefully they still manage to pull it off somehow.
Who wants to make a Posse with me
Now it's DEFINITELY a day 1 purchase. Really looking forward to forming some posses and taking care of business.
The camera flicks from its vulture's eye vantage point to the weathered face of my cowboy, whose narrow eyes dart between rivals, then pans behind before fixing to the standard third-person view. A final pause, then the screen explodes in gunfire as any semblance of strategy goes up in smoke and a wild spray of bullets.
Some slump to the ground almost immediately; others frantically back away, peppering shots at each other praying for the decisive strike. Meanwhile someone's tactic seems to consist entirely of running away as fast as possible without looking back, a successful wheeze until the inevitable bullet in the back of the skull, fired at a distance by the only other remaining combatant. A dramatic sweep, an orgy of violence and a slapstick finale, done and dusted in under 30 seconds. Yes, folks, we're in Rockstar country.
All multiplayer matches in Red Dead Redemption begin with a shootout, a frantically fun snapshot of self-contained action perfectly in-keeping with the Western theme of the game. During several hours of six-player multiplayer gaming at Rockstar's London HQ, I'm able to explore various permutations of this: sometimes it's a free-for-all, other times it's a three-on-three face-off; and occasionally in every-man-for-himself stand-offs the game gives you a specific target, delivering an XP bonus if taken down.
Grand Theft Auto IV represented Rockstar's most considered attempt to bring multiplayer to its open-worlds. For Red Dead, the goal is once again to complement the vast single-player experience, while creating modes which cater to the game's giant map, emergent potential and distinctive feel.
First up, the concept of lobbies has been dumped in favour of a flexible free-roaming environment within which players can explore the full map, hop in and out of matches, form groups, take on individual challenges or just mess around. With all negative and positive actions tied to XP (maxing out at level 50), there's reward to be found everywhere, encouraging a spirit of playfulness with the toys in Rockstar's sandiest of sandboxes.
16 players can enter Free Roam together, which also features a comprehensive cast of lawmakers, breakers and wildlife to interact with (read: kill). Within that, posses of up to eight players can be formed, either by creating your own posse or joining an existing one. Posse leaders then select a location and game type (either one-offs or playlists), to which other members are able to warp.
A variety of challenges are featured in Free Roam. Hunting involves seeking out deadly predators, then surviving their attacks; in Survivalist players search out rare herbs protected by savage animals; Lawbringer requires you to take down gang hideouts, teaming up with other players to tip the odds in your favour; Outlaw challenges are triggered when you have a Wanted rating, with XP on offer for kill streaks, taking down other Wanted outlaws, and so on.
More on the multiplayer experience here:
That's funny because I'm doing the same thing. Sent that link to a friend and got back a "HELL YES", so it's looking pretty good so far.
I hope this game is the next big AVS hit. BFBC2 was a big one, but this should be a great change of pace from that game.
We'll keep this thread alive and when the game is out, everyone will be able to know who is playing and have their PSN ID to form Posses.
Tombstone is one of the greatest movies to come out in the last 20 years, and it'll finally be out on Blu next week.
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So I'm going to have to wait another month to hook it up. Looks like it'll be an all-Western birthday. Can't wait!!
Maybe I'll go hit up the bluray subforum and see if there's any discussion on it........
I usually check it every few days to see if they have posted any new updates. I expect them to be active these last few weeks to get as much excitement as they can before release.
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Ask Dan Houser what Red Dead Redemption is about and the usually loquacious VP of creative at Rockstar Games pauses for 10 seconds. "It's America," he finally replies. "The birth of modern America. What was gained and what was lost."
"They're called westerns, not outlaw' or cowboy' films, and that's an inherently geographical word," said Dan Houser, a fast-talker with a shaved head who cites "The Wild Bunch" and 2005's little-seen Australian film "The Proposition" as inspirations. "One thing games do better than any other media is give you a sense of place. This is what we consider doing a western properly."
The Proposition has been in my Netflix Watch-It-Now queue for a while now. I'll have to check it out prior to the game release. Anyone see it?
Roughly 500 people around the world have contributed to Redemption over the last five years. By contrast, Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the bestselling game of 2009, was made by fewer than 100 people in two years.
It hasn't been an easy five years, insiders admit, with several journeys down paths never finished. It's difficult to imagine the finished product being much bigger, however, as it takes at least 40 hours for a single person to complete and hundreds more for those who pursue optional challenges and play together online.
Because Red Dead Redemption takes place in desolate, rough country, integrating a hallmark trait of Rockstar's past games the ability to chance upon interesting people and things to do was a major challenge. "It would have been contrived to say Here's another small town and another small town,' " said producer Steve Martin. "So we made the natural world alive with bears, coyotes, cougars and snakes. It gives you that sense of struggle against the wilderness."
"We have just over 500 characters who all have names, family members and jobs," said Josh Bass, head of art. "You can see a man at 7 a.m. in a Mexican market manning the chicken stand and at 6 p.m. he'll go over to the local pub."
The least defined charcater in the game, in fact, may be John Marston. Though he has an overarching goal, players define what kind of man he is and what kind of game Red Dead Redemption is based on how they handle the thousands of interactive moments that make it up. In one optional mission, Marston finds a woman being held up at gunpoint along the side of the road. He can save her, participate in the robbery and pocket the money, or ignore her and ride off into the sunset.
"The morally ambiguous cowboy is the perfect protagonist for the style of game we make," observed Houser. "Sometimes you can be the hero, sometimes you can be the bad guy, and sometimes while you're deciding what to do, a bear comes out of nowhere and eats someone."
I enjoyed it. I was immediately reminded of it when I heard John Marston describe his situation in the original Red Dead Redemption trailer; Guy Pearce has to hunt down one of his brothers in order to save another. It's grim, though; a Western in the tradition of Unforgiven, rather than Tombstone.