Learn from mistakes.
I didn’t drink anything at all – I swear.
By the way, I haven’t been doing anything for months: I don’t go out anymore, I don’t drink, I don’t dance, I don’t sing – this epidemic will give me a steel shape: it’s over to play the fool in the Evenings parties of my South. …well, okay…. I’m even going to end up enjoying it: after all, it allowed me to meet you, even if gna gna gna, well, I love it.
No, my title is like the game: completely failed.
That’s the good news for those who like to read me, after all: I will not spend my December and January nights playing Cyberpunk 2077 – although that was the plan, anyway.
You’ll tell me it stays in the general atmosphere – okay.
But still, what a disappointment from Space! – don’t worry, in French, it doesn’t mean anything either “disappointment from Space” –
Here is a game that has been announced for years.
A game where CD Projekt Red showed us that they had thought of all the details, even the very little things that are useless but “real”.
And the game, barely sold, is pointed out as the disaster of the year – yes yes in the general atmosphere – : it doesn’t run properly on any game console.
It only runs, it seems, on pro-gamers’ computers, which have a price that would offer me a new car, and I’m not exaggerating so much.
& I’m not going to – and most of the world’s customers are like me – buy a pro-gamer computer to play a single game.
The guys, they pay Keanu Reeves for their animations and they forget to pay proper developers.
I will not giggle, it’s not my style. But still, I’m laughing.
Unfortunately for them, the disappointment is commensurate with the envy they had managed to create.
Where is the mistake?
They designed a game that works great with their computers.
It blew everyone away at Gamescom.
Well – we’re very happy for them – they have good computers.
But, seriously, how do you spend so much money without worrying about your customers’ equipment?
Do you know what happened? They had to get the game out for sale, it was becoming urgent – I guess these people were aware of their deadlines, it’s still their game.
In a hurry, they made the console version.
And that’s the catastrophe.
In fact of vulgarity, it gave in the Immense : pornographic images: do you want some? here are a hundred of them, blocked characters, non-animated animations, special effects overloads to make a blind man epileptic, quests that end on nothing at all, splendid vehicles that start slower than my car – a complete festival of failures.
They are already releasing “patches” – i.e. updates that fix the flaws.
So that, if you’re a bit of a gamer, is a very common practice, called ” alpha” or “beta” game version.
But the alpha/beta version isn’t often paid for – and when it is paid for, it’s not expensive at all. [The alpha is at the very beginning of the game, the beta allows to make the last corrections – the alpha is often public and free, the beta is often free but on players’ selection.]
It’s quite pratical to create a strong community of players around a future game, who will take care of the communication and publicity (I’m just saying that like that – for nothing – , by the way, you know me now).
It’s all the more convenient since your alpha/beta players are delighted and will push your prototype to its maximum – allowing the professionals to fix all the flaws before the final version.
How do you think Minecraft has been so successful? That I don’t doubt for a second the success for Star Citizen? A game that was only funded by the community of players attached to Chris Roberts – because of his Wing Commanders series, Starlancer, Freelancer etc – currently his game is in “pre-alpha version” and it is still possible to play it for free .
On the other hand, selling an unfinished version at the usual price…. It hurts badly the reputation of the game first – and that of the company right afterwards.
They’ll never know how many customers they’ve lost.
They will always be able to console themselves with those who bought the game anyway.
So far, so bad.
What can I learn from this?
That we’re going to have to play with “old” or rotten consoles to make sure that what we’ll be offering via Altair Twin will be effective.
That we won’t have to release anything until we’re sure it works.
That we’re going to create a huge alpha/beta community for all the new Virtual Reality features that are planned – by the way, it’s an option that would finally allow companies that design this hardware to sell it to a wider audience. It would be a good idea to stop being stingy and think about offering affordable hardware – in fact, Altair should at least try to partner with one of those companies.
What’s the point of spending millions of dollars to behave like an amateur in the last category?
Even I would be ashamed.
But – let’s not kid ourselves: what I’m proposing doesn’t really exist. It will have to be tested. It has to be improved. Improvise when necessary.
We will have to eliminate everything that is great on paper and null and void in production.
We should not arrive by making the roosters that think they are the kings of the world – but by calling for help and rescue from the gaming communities.
They will come.
They will play.
They will give all their opinions.
They’ll get angry that we don’t follow everything – and that means, even before Altair existed, employees who manage this very special relationship with the public – that’s communication money well spent, and for the long term.
And they’ll be hooked on the existence of Altair/ Altair Twin.
So the audience will be there before the content exists – hooked and aware.
For Cyberpunk we’ve been hooked – but not warned of the big stupidity: forgetting the players’ material? it’s not serious at all.
Now, since I – I assume, it’s me – I want Virtual Reality content to be partly playable from home, it is imperative that this content be tested – and tested on cheap hardware that is easily found on the internet.
So I’m very sorry I’m not playing Cyberpunk – but well… I’m staying with you & I sleep afterwards – that’s fine.
Above all, I don’t want to forget the lessons of this fantastic crash: you work for your audience first. Not for the audience of 40 years from now, or 40 years ago.
And Altair’s audience is also the Cyberpunk audience. People rather in the youth, and rather penniless. But so capable of stating their opinions on what they like and what disappoints them.
Featured Image & all pictures : from Cyberpunk 2077 – by CD Projekt Red. I admit I’m a bit disgusted – I’ll play this game later, when the hysteria has subsided and the developers have finished the final version. One has to wonder if this date and this rush are really coming from the developers? This stuff is simply unbelievable and doesn’t fit at all with the totally psycho-rigid and perfectionist side of the developers.