Dates

Started by rcallicotte, June 23, 2008, 08:26:52 pm

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rcallicotte

Jo and Matt,

To put an end to all of this constant attention toward the unending release, help us.  Would you please put out a table showing release dates (including the GOLD date) that are based upon sound programming?  I know you two are intelligent.  Few people can program at this level. 

Otherwise a pattern of apparent lying is going to undermine anything Planetside could do...unless, of course, the real concerns aren't about us (the people who are paying bits and pieces).  It's not really a long shot possibility to think that the real concerns are for some big FISH who is going to use your product in Hollywood, etc.  Whether through a realistic inability to finish the product or through a hidden deal with someone who is going to pay you big money for the core TG2 engine, what is happening at this level (you know, the $200 level) doesn't appear to be a fair shake for any of us who paid this comparatively small amount. 

In case I'm being quick to judge, I'm sorry.  But, what I'm asking isn't unreasonable, if you guys mean to make a product that isn't vaporware...vaporware that the general public believes is real.  If you are going to give us an honest to goodness reliable product, please take time to figure out realistic dates that you can meet and let us know what they are.  In that case, we can quit coming here and asking you every other hour what you're going to do about this or that problem or new idea we think you should do.  We'll just wait for your feature locked release.

Because I have had confidence in you guys, it would be easy to hope you wouldn't keep us in the dark.  But, in case I've had false confidence (otherwise known as being scammed and it happens daily in the world I live in), this would make us all a bunch of test stooges, who (you should readily admit) would happily put an end to all of this fiasco.  That feeling of being privileged to be in on the ground up is not feeling as privileged as about 18 months ago.  We need real dates or it's going to be easy to maintain that Planetside will never release an actual 2.0 product to the general paying public.

I'm a programmer.  Telling my paying client to keep waiting is the surest way to lose them.

"If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is." - Anonymous

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There's_a_sucker_born_every_minute

So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Zylot

June 23, 2008, 10:53:20 pm #1 Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 10:55:17 pm by Zylot
I think this is a bit extreme, I mean, surely TGa3 is enough to show that they are still at least working on the product.  I understand that some of us have paid money for an essentially incomplete product, but you know what.. I knew that when I shelled out..  way back when.  I knew exactly what I was getting into.  If I had a chance to do it over again, I'd still pay for it.

I am enjoying the product despite it's current flaws, and I have full faith that Planetside will eventually (keyword) pull through with TG2 and I'll be even more a happy camper then.

Edit: not, of course, that it's unreasonable to feel entitled to knowing more behind the scenes stuff, and definately getting some timeframes.  But, ETAs are silly, they never turn out right.

rcallicotte

@Zylot,

Interestingly enough, my attitude is like yours.  The only difference is that I've never had faith that is equivalent of blindness.  If you think having scheduled dates on a program is out of touch, then you've never programmed or you don't know the history of Terragen.  Another possibility is that you are one of the few who work in the industry who show up on this site once in awhile to tell us that all we need to do is be patient...the same industry in which DD does its work.  If you are really and truly honest, and you know the history, while still maintaining that it doesn't matter if there is a due date on this product, then you're one of P.T. Barnum's majority.

Vaporware is one thing.  But, people paying for vaporware is the equivalent of fraud.  We need actual due dates.  No fooling.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Zylot

June 24, 2008, 12:15:07 am #3 Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 12:17:54 am by Zylot
Hate to break it too yah, but I'm just a hobbyest.  I purchased TG 0.xx ages ago, nabbed world machine, and eventually TGP/TG2 when deep became avail.

I'm not in any industry (except the "making bad flash games" industry, and I'm not out of the loop.  I just lurk moar, and post when I feel like it (specifically, when My PC is in a working state, which unfortunately hasn't been to often lately). 

Your argument would be 100% valid and correct if, and only if, Terragen was vapourware.  At this time, I don't believe it is, vapourware doesn't get updates.  When was the last time you played the Duke Nukem forever demo, or tested the Noctis V preview, or seen a shred of news on Alan Wake.  These are much moar likely candidates for being abandoned then T2 is.  I'll be more worried when the news from Oyishan dies down and the updates stop coming.

(If I recall, that was more like the old days, and lo-and-behold, along came the tech preview)

You can try to drop me into whatever stereotype or group you want, but in the end, I'm just some guy with his own ideas, speaking his mind.

Always got an edit:  I don't recall saying that 'dates are out of touch', simply that demanding dates when a company isn't ready to hand out hard ETAs is foolish, because you'll be more upsat when they don't get met with results (when not if mind you).  Timeframes, yes.  ETAs, no, not till they are ready.

I also don't consider this blind faith, simply normal faith in a company that has updates and news, as infrequent as they may be, and a hope that they prove me right.

Oshyan

If we were to give a release date, to be truly "safe" it would have to be much further in the future than would really bring anyone comfort anyway. I think it's clear from past history that specifying dates just doesn't work and doesn't make anyone happier for long.

Obviously you can see progress is being made, and of course behind the scenes I see it daily, but it's remarkable how much that last 10% of development takes so much longer than the other 90%. This is a well-known fact of software development in fact. In a way TG2 has been at 80-90% complete for years now (as far as the core engine goes - obviously multithreading was a big, fairly recent addition), it's the fine-tuning, polishing, and bug fixing that take so long.

Believe me, we all wish it were easier and that the release were available months, years ago. And it'd be great to be able to hire another team member, but we don't have millions in investment capital to throw around (and others have tried that route and failed anyway)

TG2 is coming, and it will be better than ever (in other words it will be an improvement on the Technology Previews, naturally). We can't be much more specific than that, but we absolutely do appreciate everyone's patience and understanding. I am looking forward more than anything to a final release.

- Oshyan

Moose

Oops :-[ - I just made a post in the other thread that would probably have been more fitting here, had I seen this one first.

As more noise comes from those with concerns, which I imagine can sound negative and demoralising from a developer's perspective, I'd just like to speak-out here in this thread aswell to show my support for Planetside. I'm sure there are many more silent lurkers who feel the same too. :)

rcallicotte

There are two kinds of software development marketing in the world -

1.  Freeware - Like Linux
2.  Retail (shareware fits here)

Freeware gets updates continually and never really finishes.  But, no one is paying for it.

Retail has due dates and no one pays, until there's a product.  A retail product has a GOLD release.  Then, there are updates.  If the programmers are good programmers, these updates to the final product are mostly enhancements to the final product.  If these programmers are unreliable, then the updates are mostly bug fixes and frequently carry the company's reputation into disdain.

So...when a company charges customers and never releases a product, are we defining a new marketing scheme?  If Duke Nukem Forever had tried this ploy, they would have been in the American courts already and made restitution for a .9999 product. 

Planetside (Oshyan, Matt and Jo), maybe you should take time off and get away from all of this for long enough to forget about it and come back with fresh eyesight to see that your repuation is at stake.  I believe you have integrity, but this isn't what is coming through right now. 

Just give us dates.  Otherwise, the same delusional aspect of the previous version might continue into the future, meaning no final product and constant changes to people who have paid for something unfinished.  The only reason I purchased this product was because there was a planned date that has come and gone.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have spent my money.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

sjefen

Quote from: Moose on June 24, 2008, 04:39:27 am
I'd just like to speak-out here in this thread aswell to show my support for Planetside. I'm sure there are many more silent lurkers who feel the same too. :)


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Harvey Birdman

June 24, 2008, 09:31:27 am #8 Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 09:38:33 am by Harvey Birdman
Quote from: Oshyan on June 24, 2008, 01:21:48 am
If we were to give a release date, to be truly "safe" it would have to be much further in the future than would really bring anyone comfort anyway.
- Oshyan



So you now openly acknowledge that you have been lying all along about when a useable, complete product would be released.

The truth is you have lied to and basically stolen from every person who has paid in advance.

Your tactic has been to maintain that a real product was right around the corner, while privately realizing that it was bullshit.

This is fraud. You people are thieves. To hell with 'encouraging Planetside'. Encourage them to do what? Steal from more people?

If PS was in the US they would be sued and forced to desist from their dishonest business practices.

So the truth is out. PS has no idea when they will release a product. They don't have any intention of sticking to any date. They are doing what they have always done - basic R&D on the product, working on whatever their heart desires, funded with our money, and lying all the while. Not too long ago Oshyan mentioned new GI controls that would be in the next 'alpha-beta-gamma'. New controls. Does that sound like a frozen feature set?

PS is a crooked, dishonest operation that has stolen from every person who has paid in advance.

And the big diff between DNF and TG@ - at least the producers of DNF weren't such sleazy scumbags as to sell licenses back in 1998.

You can bet your ass that if this scam had occurred to PS earlier, they'd have been ripping people off that much sooner.

PS sucks. TG2 is an amateurish piece of shit that will never be completed.

Tangled-Universe

Come on Harvey, get yourself together and back in line again...
I understand your and everybody's frustrations and I have to admit my patience decreases as well in the meantime.
However I think in posts like these (also previous posts elsewhere) you're being too disrespectful.
As said I understand (y)our frustration but keep it respectful, though you might find yourself being treated disrespectfully.
As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
For your understanding, I'm not defending PS's interests/strategies or whatsoever...

Martin

Harvey Birdman

June 24, 2008, 10:16:04 am #10 Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 10:17:38 am by Harvey Birdman
Sorry, but I don't feel obliged to show respect to an organization that has stolen from me.

I'll tell you something else. I'll preempt the expected 'oh yeah, well you couldn't do what they're doing' BS. Yes, I could. I have successfully developed and released commercial multithreaded OpenGL apps myself; WHICH IS SOMETHING PLANETSIDE CAN'T CLAIM TO HAVE DONE!!

The development process described by PS is the most hackish, amateurish process imaginable. I can't believe anyone would release a product ( AT ANY TEST LEVEL ! ) with memory leaks, resource leaks and bugs in the quantity PS does. It's clear that there is no discipline in their process - no unit testing, no leak testing, no discipline at all. This business of 'oh, we'll finish it and then go back and debug' is the sort of thing one would expect from a high-school age hacker.

Nope, I have no fear of burning bridges here. The company is a sham and they have no idea how to even begin developing a quality piece of software. I'm willing to take a refund; that might quiet me down, but it won't alter my impression, or the truth about PS.

Zylot

Hmm, the buzzword around here is date.  Date date date.

Alright, I revise my stance.  I also *strongly advise* on the verge of demand that a PS dev come in here (Matt, Jo) and post some date.  It can be a realistic expectation of when PS feels they will be able to release TG, or it can be some arbitrary date they pull out of they rear ends cause they're a dirty dishonest company and don't care cause TG is clearly vapourware.

For this example, we'll set the TG date at September 23rd, it's my anniversary, so it's a good lucky day.

I'll now use my latent psychic powers to see into the future.

Sept 23rd rolls around, and lo and behold, TG is nowhere to be found.  Seems like testing didn't go so well, a few critical bugs appeared and it had to be delayed.  Everyone is up in arms.  A thread is started (something along the lines of "Terregen release announcement discussion thread") and everyones posting about "Why did Planetside post a release date they knew they couldn't make."

And we've come 'round full circle.  Inky can wave a checkered flag, the crowd will cheer, a thread like this will reappear, and I'll be up in the stands munchin' on a hotdog (or whatever you eat in a race).

rcallicotte

Zylot, don't be an arse.

Harvey is right about a programmer's process.  And anyone who defends paying for something again here for something that is ONLY being promised is missing some understanding about what your money is for.  I can be tolerant, but being exploited isn't on that list.  Unless Planetside has real dates that we can hold them to, then this is all just bogus nonsense and Zylot is proving it by treating this like he's a frikkin' expert.

Again, if this was 3DRealms (or fill in the American development team here) and this was Duke Nukem Forever (or fill in the vaporware here) at a discounted price before it was released, it would have been in court already. 

It's beginning to be admitted (which I see as a valid step to recovery) that this was just not a good business practice.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Zylot

I'm not being an ass or an expert.  The fact is, we bugged them for dates in the past, we got them, and then they were missed.  That's not my expert opinion, that's history.

My ultimate point, is how is anyone going to bring a release date here or anywhere else, and have it be taken seriously.  I completely understand the frustration everyone is experiencing, but I don't think yet another projected release date is going to change anything.

How would that make them accountable?  How would it change anything?  My answer: It hasn't, it won't, and it never well.  Planetside does what they do, and no amount of dates will change the fact that it'll be done when it's done.

I'm not saying you need to relax, stop complaining, etc...  I'm saying the end result is your rallying for something that changes nothing.

otakar

TG2 has potential. Big potential. However, given the PS track record, I decided not to commit myself financially. I wanted to see that a final version was immininent before that happens. Of course, it has not come to that so far. I have no clue whether it will, but I am trying to be optimistic.

I doubt you'll see any dates as you demand, Calico. With such a tiny team and the past mistakes they cannot assure anyone that something will be finished by any date that is not years away. Sure, the pressure grows the longer it takes, but they'll relieve the pressure by releasing TPa4, then the beta. If you don't like it you better come to terms with it because unless something unexpected happens to PS that's exactly where I see it going.

I am very sympathetic to all those unhappy pre-purchasers. Let's hope for good news from PS.