Mid August update! (Full Version)

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Marshall Ellis -> Mid August update! (8/21/2007 6:58:28 PM)

Hello all:

Just a quick update...

We've had a few testers come back into the picture and we've picked up a few more issues to fix before we release. We're also tweaking the AI to perform a little more up to the task!

Apologize for the slight delay. We're trying to keep our core testers in the circle but lives / availability change (over the years :-) ) and so do our testers!






Mardonius -> RE: Mid August update! (8/21/2007 9:36:46 PM)

No worries Marshall. Keep it up!!! Looking forward to it.



[image]local://upfiles/24637/CE34E6B98F7C460D8E2F7DFF489C71CA.jpg[/image]




hlj -> RE: Mid August update! (8/21/2007 9:46:14 PM)

Just sell me the game allready !!!

I can only wait a little while longer !!

Just kidding. Ill wait for as long as is needed [:)]




Punk Reaper -> RE: Mid August update! (8/22/2007 12:10:55 AM)

Take your time I'll be waiting. Number one game on my list. [sm=party-smiley-012.gif] (p.s. my birthday is in December hint hint)




timewalker03 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/22/2007 5:26:15 PM)

So that's what you are saying Marshall is that the testers are slowing down the project now? Interesting.




Howard7x -> RE: Mid August update! (8/22/2007 6:20:51 PM)

Damn it i thought that was a new screenshot.

Be gone with your sub-standard attachments [:D]




hlj -> RE: Mid August update! (8/22/2007 9:42:00 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: timewalker03

So that's what you are saying Marshall is that the testers are slowing down the project now? Interesting.


I belive he said that the testers have picked up a few more issues that he need to fix. That is not the same as saying they are slowing down the project. It sounds more like they are IMPROVING the game. Interesting. ^_^


[Edit: typo and gramma fix]




yesman68 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/23/2007 2:27:39 AM)

This is my first post but I've been watching this forum and the development of EiANW for several months and am eagerly anticipating its release. Thanks Marshall!!

yesman




jamo262 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/23/2007 3:57:00 PM)

I can hardly wait.[&o]

Do you think you'll stay on for patches and updates Marshall or are you keen to move on to other projects once the game is released?

You will surely have to play a few games online with us after we've been so good waiting.[:D] :-)

Except refuse to play the impatient ones to show disdain for their lack of stoicism.

J




timewalker03 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/23/2007 5:00:32 PM)

hey Jamo he's been on other projects and is probably on other ones as we speak. This game has been in the works now for over 5 years with this company. Hopefully he is dedicated to this project through many patches and such. We will have to wait to see though.




timewalker03 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/23/2007 5:04:06 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: hlj

quote:

ORIGINAL: timewalker03

So that's what you are saying Marshall is that the testers are slowing down the project now? Interesting.


I belive he said that the testers have picked up a few more issues that he need to fix. That is not the same as saying they are slowing down the project. It sounds more like they are IMPROVING the game. Interesting. ^_^


[Edit: typo and gramma fix]

quote:

I belive he said that the testers have picked up a few more issues that he need to fix. That is not the same as saying they are slowing down the project. It sounds more like they are IMPROVING the game. Interesting. ^_^



This line in his comment is what I was referring too. Apologize for the slight delay.

"We're trying to keep our core testers in the circle but lives / availability change (over the years :-) ) and so do our testers!"




jamo262 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/23/2007 5:09:12 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: timewalker03

hey Jamo he's been on other projects and is probably on other ones as we speak. This game has been in the works now for over 5 years with this company. Hopefully he is dedicated to this project through many patches and such. We will have to wait to see though.

Yes Ive been here since the start and am getting quite excited now[8|]




hlj -> RE: Mid August update! (8/24/2007 12:05:14 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: timewalker03
This line in his comment is what I was referring too. Apologize for the slight delay.

"We're trying to keep our core testers in the circle but lives / availability change (over the years :-) ) and so do our testers!"


I think we should be thankfull that Marshall has so many competent testers that they are able to identefy issues with the game even though they are busy with their lives.

I dont see his comment as a shift of blame to the testers. I see no blame at all in his comment. I see Marshall telling us that he has testers working on the project. And that ---OMG--- they are human.....[X(] I see that as a compliment.

I pity the man who wants to be superhuman just as much as I pity the man who wants others to be superhuman. You are being inhuman to yourself if you are trying to be superhuman.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the testers for their effort. Thank you for taking time to help us lazy forum readers get a great game as soon as humanly possible.

Thanks ^_^


[sm=sign0031.gif]
[:)]




ess1 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/24/2007 1:34:00 PM)

hlj, My sentiments exactly.




nukkxx -> RE: Mid August update! (8/25/2007 4:55:45 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

Apologize for the slight delay.



That's Ok don't worry. It is just about 5 or 6 years now ... :-)





ASHBERY76 -> RE: Mid August update! (8/29/2007 2:06:25 AM)

I think this game forum is a pratical joke, like the Dukenukem forums.




StCyr -> RE: Mid August update! (8/29/2007 10:17:14 AM)

Dear ASHBERY76, I just hope you don´t ask anybody here to be superhuman. We just learned that this would be inhuman.
You are now allowed to thank Marshall - and PLEASE don´t mention or even compare this one to the World in Flames forum, it is nothing more but a shocking example for inhumanity. [:)]




gazfun -> RE: Mid August update! (8/29/2007 10:57:08 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: jamo262

I can hardly wait.[&o]

Do you think you'll stay on for patches and updates Marshall or are you keen to move on to other projects once the game is released?

You will surely have to play a few games online with us after we've been so good waiting.[:D] :-)

Except refuse to play the impatient ones to show disdain for their lack of stoicism.

J

He'll probably wait around as long as I have been waiting for and email reply from you on the subject [>:]




speedo -> RE: Mid August update! (8/29/2007 5:45:23 PM)

So clearly speaking we have to wait for another 12 months until release (like last year, where we were so close to the release).
It's kind of funny. Every time we get closer than close to the finish line testing and improving is starting all over.
I thought that there's just one bmp and the sound missing for release.
And suddenly 2 weeks later testing starts again.
Don't get me wrong Marshall, I really appreciate your work (watching now for more than 4 years)
but I'm not satisfied with your communication policy (like making everybody excited about the release and then anouncing a delay - as so often before).








von_Bülow -> RE: Mid August update! (8/30/2007 3:26:30 PM)

I totally agree with speedo. I registered nearly one year ago when the date of release was "very close". Now where do we stand? Lets face it: the way matrix games/the programmer is communicating with their "clients" is pathetic and very unprofessionell. No need to bash me, just my opinion...




hlj -> RE: Mid August update! (8/30/2007 6:59:42 PM)

Yup! You are right! It is totally unprofessional and pathetic of Matrix Games and the programmer when they implement changes based on their “clients” wishes. [:@] How dare they listen to us? Shame on them!!! [:-] And why give a damn if the product works as good as they want it to!! Gimme it now [:@]

I would much rather prefer if Matrix Games just made a product without asking their “clients” what they wanted. [sm=Crazy-1271.gif]

When you visit a restaurant you would get your food faster if the waiter just brought you something without asking you what you would like. But I would like to place my order myself.   [;)]

N.B. DANGER sarcasm above.




SamuraiProgrammer -> RE: Mid August update! (8/30/2007 8:16:19 PM)

HEAR! HEAR!

I agree with your sarcastic remarks hlj

It is truly sad to see this situation unfold.

A developer does a brave thing... he opens the development process to the input of the end users so that the product will be what they want.

And a very vocal goup of short sighted folks insist on whining because it is not done yet.

If Marshall (and Matrix Games) had decided to bypass the input of the end users, 2 things would have happened....

1.  We would have only recently found out that this game was under development and about to be released.
2.  We would have had ZERO opportunity to influence the design decisions and have to take or leave the product AS IS.

I believe that opening the development process to the end users will result in a superior product.  Unfortunately, it has also undoubtedly caused additional (and unnecessary) stress for the developer and producers.

Any of you who may have been involved in software development will understand this intuitively.  Allow me to explain for those who have not 'walked a mile in those shoes.'

Undertaking a large development project (such as EIA) is an act of faith that has to be experienced to be believed.  Especially when it is done by a single individual or a very small group.  One never knows what stumbling blocks and pitfalls will show up during the process.  One never knows how difficult certain tasks will be.  No amount of planning (per se) will be enough.  This is because, until it is done, it isn't DONE.  Until the last line of code is written, debugged, wrung out, optimized, re-debugged, slept on, and survives after all the other routines that use or affect it are debugged (and so on); IT IS NOT DONE.

Undertaking a project like this demands that a programmer BELIEVE that it can and will be done.  There are times during every large project where the programmers begin to wonder if it will ever come together.  Having to listen to the whining of bystanders who couldnt' code their way out of a wet paper bag and who have probably never written anything more complex than a bubble sort is just one more reason not to bother.

This game had to be developed by an individual (or very small group) because, I suspect, the sales projections would not support a big team.

We have a saying in the industry:  There are three factors wanted in a project - Done Quickly, Done Well, and Done Inexpensively - You can have any two but not all three.

Done Inexpensively is a must due to the rather narrow consumer base of a game like this and the unlikelihood that we would pay $99.00 or $199.00 for a copy rather than what seems to be the going rate for games.

Done Well is a must because otherwise the project will be a failure.  Marshall's pride and reputation along with Matrix Games' must be satisfied with a solid piece of software that is the best that can be done.

Done Quickly, then, must fall by the wayside.


It pains me to think that the whining of the short-sighted people with no patience might prevent such behavior in the future.

With all the whining going on, why would anyone bother?

I hope that the folks at Matrix (along with the developers who are working on their games) continue this practice in spite of the whining.  It has to make for better games.

I salute Marshal and Matrix for being that open and am truly sorry that you had to listen to all the complaints.  I hope you will continue the practice in the future.

FINALLY

For those of you who are pissed of at me for stepping on your toes, consider this..

Visit bluesnews.com or gamespy.com or ign.com or some other site and only look at the 'gone gold' announcements.  Maybe you can handle a wait of two weeks.  I'm betting you can't even do that.



These opinions are mine and do not reflect the position of anyone related to any company anywhere unless they jump in here and agree with me.




StCyr -> RE: Mid August update! (8/30/2007 11:40:01 PM)

well Samu, why change the publisher to have a look at other games ? Just look at World in Flames forum and you will see how to handle not only problems but the whole development professional.

It´s ok if you feel with another programmer- but for how many years may your arguments justify the delay of EIA ? 2 ? 4 ? 10 ?
Don´t you think it might help to be honest and call a mistake a mistake, a failure a failure and not to give a general excuse for everything ?


hlj, why do you insist that the delay is caused by changes Marshal made in reaction to the comments at the forum ? This game is late for years now, and even Marshal himself never used the fact that he left out several rules and reincluded some of them later again as an excuse so far.








SamuraiProgrammer -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 12:03:15 AM)

I follow the World In Flames forum and am completely astounded at the amount of time the developer spends communicating with the denizens of that forum.  However, even with his multi-page monthly status reports, he gets about as many 'why isn't it finished' and 'I've been waiting too long' complaints as this game does. 

As for justification for delay, I can't think how to say this where it won't sound smart-a$$ed.  So, please don't take it as off the cuff as it sounds.

I am a dyed in the wool free market capitalist.  I believe that the only people whose opinion should count are those who are investing (money, time, use of equipment / office space) toward the completion of the project.  All other opinions, including mine, are irrelevant. 

Anyone who wants to complain enough should pony up some cash and ask to become an investor / producer.  Until your assets are on the line, your opinion is not nearly as important as those whose assets and resources are being consumed by the production of the software.

Things would be completely different if people had already paid for their copy of the game.  Things would be completely different if people were stockholders in Matrix Games (though one could certainly argue that a users forum is poor choice for airing stockholder concerns).

As it is, I occasionally feel compelled to occasionally balance the vocal complaints with another view.  When I do so, I get carried away.


As for it being a failure, I think it is safe to say that there was a failure to meet original scheduling goals.  But, how firm were those goals?  How important were they to the Developer/Producers? 

Will the entire project be a failure?  If they got pissed off at the negative comments and gave up, it would certainly be a failure.

If it comes out and sucks, it will be a failure.

Until then, it is only late.








Monadman -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 12:57:57 AM)

Guys,

I guess needs repeating:

The game and test team of 2002 is not the game and team that is in place today (save a few and very little). Early on, as the game struggled to become an “EIA-like” game under the name “The Napoleonic Wars”, the EIA game connoisseurs (the game purists) were pushed aside. At some point, Matrix gained the rights to EiA and the game began its journey back to the fold. Since then, it has been a long, and at times unorganized, morphing experience to get EIANW as close as possible (within programming constraints) to the original EIA game (sorry fellow purists but it will never be pure EiA).

Currently, EiANW is a combination of EiA, parts of EiH (OOB, map and some rules), and a boatload of deviations. It is still progressing but during this journey, we (the testers) can only move as fast as the programmer’s pace and the programmer is a very busy person. Anyone familiar with satellite technology knows that data is downloaded in bursts (not dynamically streaming). That pretty much sums up how this project has been progressing (in bursts), what with a part-time programmer and a skeleton test crew to boot.

Richard




StCyr -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 1:53:48 AM)

quote:

At some point, Matrix gained the rights to EiA and the game began its journey back to the fold.


Well, I guess 2002 was still the starting point

("Staten Island, NY, September 23rd, 2002 - Matrix Games and Australian Design Group (ADG: www.a-d-g.com.au ) are pleased to announce that the classic game of Napoleonic Grand Strategy, Empires In Arms, will be adapted for computer play with some new enhancements and features. Development is already well underway, with an expected release date of mid-2003.")

Richard, I just hope hlj does not call you inhuman for describing Marshall as "part-time programmer" [;)]




Monadman -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 5:04:34 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: StCyr

quote:

At some point, Matrix gained the rights to EiA and the game began its journey back to the fold.


Well, I guess 2002 was still the starting point

("Staten Island, NY, September 23rd, 2002 - Matrix Games and Australian Design Group (ADG: www.a-d-g.com.au ) are pleased to announce that the classic game of Napoleonic Grand Strategy, Empires In Arms, will be adapted for computer play with some new enhancements and features. Development is already well underway, with an expected release date of mid-2003.")

Richard, I just hope hlj does not call you inhuman for describing Marshall as "part-time programmer" [;)]



I wasn’t around in 2002 but I think “new enhancements and features” would have caught my attention as it does now. From my perspective 2007, I’m more incline to call it “deviations and workarounds”. Anyway, Marshall already knows I’m inhuman and now hlj and everyone else knows it too.

Richard




gazfun -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 9:14:23 AM)

Ive probably started to get inhuman to, after helping out with this for a time.
Ah well you get that, but at least we are getting somewhere, hey [8D]




von_Bülow -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 2:49:34 PM)

hlj and Samuraiprogrammer:

please read my post above closely, you obviously did not get my point.

I do not criticize the fact that matrix games opens the programm process for the public nor do I criticize the fact that the game is still not available. And I am definitely not part of a "very vocal group of short sighted folks", but thanks for that.
I only criticize that at regular intervals "the date of release is very close now". That's unprofessionel, I just call a spade a spade!

And if you emphasize that matrix opens the development process for public than you will accept my objection as valid criticism.

Please change your communication policy in future, that's all I am saying.


Thanks!




speedo -> RE: Mid August update! (8/31/2007 4:26:18 PM)

I think von_Bülow just perfectly got my point...

@ samuraiprogrammer
as i always say, people who can read definitly have an advantage

I am not criticising the process of involving customers, just the communication policy...
JUST SAY ITS DONE OR WILL BE DONE SHORTLY, WHEN YOU HAVE IT READY TO SHIP AT YOUR DESK, thats all I was saying

******
END JULY

"Just an FYI since we DO have some different news to report!
We are beginning to put the dress pants on the game!

The manual is almost complete!
I am awaiting final music.
I am awaiting one last BMP file from the graphics team.

When these things happen then we can produce a Golden Image within a week (+/- week).
This doesn't mean that it will be released in a week or two since there is a lot that Matrix
has to do to get this thing dressed up for release (Boxes, manual, CDs, etc) but MAYBE I won't
be the delay any longer."


MID AUGUST
"Apologize for the slight delay. We're trying to keep ..."

MONADMAN END AUGUST

"The long march continues . . . "

******

and by the way... watching the process for 5 years is everything but short sighted and impatient.
just mention that before you write about 50 lines of b.s.

"Any of you who may have been involved in software development will understand this intuitively. Allow me to explain for those who have not 'walked a mile in those shoes.'"

Bringing out a product that is 100% free of bugs and perfectly customized to the users is impossible and an economic desaster.
I think the lifetime of a human (in this case Marshalls) is too short for that.
(just an experience of 10 years of work in the software industry as akey acc. manager)

My strategy would be:
Bring out the Product with the common features of the game and some goodies
Then improve it and add features with Updates.
With lots of people playing the game you get a more sophisticated input for new features (in my opinion)






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