Major Road Map update, and a change to development

So we got an episode of Pillar Talk yesterday. IF you have not seen it, do not bother. It was bad. Really bad.

Let me summarize it for you.

Erin Roberts - “We have missed the last couple of target dates for patches by a couple of weeks. What we had been doing was trying to get each feature done in 3 months to make the patch deadline. Now, to make things better, we are going to extend the time to get things done to 6 months but stagger the teams to deliver a patch each 3 months. This will be better.”

Eric KD - “How will this affect the timeline and roadmap?”

ER - “Well if a feature takes 6 months to get it done we will do it in 6 months, but if it takes 12 months we will do it in 12, or if it takes 9 months we will do it in 9. It is better.”

W T F?

I never felt very confident in Erin to begin with but this was bad. Just poor damage control for them having to push back the Road Map items.

And with that, we got a Road Map update a couple of hours later and sure enough, it was a massive delay in many features, with some being completely removed. It now shows dates out to Q2 of 2020 (v 4.0) but it is lacking all of the features we were told would be in 4.0.

So how should we take this news? Well, in the short, I am a bit miffed. I would rather they had put out a statement that explained all of this and not ruin a good show like Pillar Talk and use it for damage control.

But as for the change itself, well, it is a good thing. A hard pill to swallow but a good thing. Since 3.0 released the quality of patches has been degrading. This will allow the devs to really make the patches better before they get put into the game. That is great. As long as they are still held to this schedule and lets face it, that is not something the management at CIG has been very good at doing.

So it is the same as all things, wait and see. IF we get a strong 3.7 and 3.8 release from this change then I will be fine with the delay. We used to get patches that were very raw, back in the 2.0+ days and we were fine with it because little patches were often. With this quarterly schedule they have to be more polished patches so taking a bit more time to make them that way is not a surprise and not a bad thing.

The new Road Map removed fuel scooping entirely which means we will not see it for another year at least, and it added one more ship, the Hercules to be completed this time next year. Be sure to check out the rest of the changes on the Road Map

I watched about half of this yesterday. The whole we’re going to take more time to get the patch done but stagger what people are working on so they have more time to get their projects done so even though it takes more time it will be on time. So ya, WTF was what I was thinking as I clicked away cause it didn’t make sense to me.

I wonder if this might have anything to do with the lawsuit? Or the architecture of the hardware, or both. They seem to have hit some kind of snag somewhere don’t they?

Color me shocked that there is some sort of “delay” and the delivery is totally fumbled by Chris’s wife … oh sorry, his highly-paid, totally qualified PR Rep. Maybe they should think about hiring Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ wife for this job, she would do a million times better.

New lawsuit? Please go on.

Nope same one, just mutual stalling it seems to me. They are about to enter the discovery phase? Exploration phase? They get to look at each others record, emails finances… so on. For evidence to prove their claims. Since I have no idea what either side has to hide, both sides want to be protected from public disclosure of whatever is found. That’s about all I know. Well maybe not know, but that’s what the youtube fanboys are saying.

I would bet it has to do more with burnout than anything else. I think the initial adrenaline rush wore off a long time ago and you can only push so long before the weariness really sets in deep and then you are pretty done… not that that has ever happened to me… now I just do what I absolutely have to… errr… yeah my company always cares about me and I do my absolute best even on my days off… and yeah I log into work on weekend and PTO days, I’m still stupid… I mean ‘highly paid’ even though in actual purchasing power I am really no better off than I was 30 years ago but hey, the number is bigger, right!!!

I’m in agreement here, just an opinion as I hate speculation . It doesn’t look like Crytek has much of a chance for a win but perhaps CIG is not taking any chances by putting a lot of work into the engine at the moment. Continue to work but at a slower pace until there is a final settlement. I’m no lawyer and certainly haven’t been following the suit (or the game development for that matter). It might have something to do with the new Road Map. It gives them a bit more time to work out SSOCS I guess but then again, maybe they are hesitant to even do that. I thought the law suit was about wrapped up a year ago, hasn’t been much news in the usual outlets.

Nope its still on. I wouldn’t be surprised if a settlement is reached. This is my opinion only, but I haven’t seen any company want to have its laundry aired publicly. Companies these days seem to care about privacy a lot more than winning in court. My guess is crytec wants a piece because its broke. They had to cough up money to pay for RSIs lawyers if they lose and it took them several months to do so.

I pretty much lost any trust in them being able to manage anything years ago, but it’s still jarring to see it spelled out so blatantly.

I don’t think it is burnout.

I have a chance to speak with devs from time to time. I did extensively last year at CitizenCon and every single one, without exception, was on fire. Burnout would be a surprise to me after what I have seen.

I suspect poor management of the resources they have and poor planning. The one thing CIG has proven pretty good at is hiring talent. They bring in some of the brightest and smartest and most talented developers in every area of the game.

My guess is that they have been doing the same thing that they have done since 2.0 and even before. They are planning out what they want to see done and not listening to the developers on what can be done. I also get the strange feeling that CR is not easy to work for. So telling him no is not something that happens a lot. Easier to tell him you missed a date after he has seen you working hard than to tell him no you cannot make the date he expects you should be able to make.

It is the same old story here. Top level management is changing priorities and making deadlines and the developers are still on fire and kicking ass.

What CIG needs is to hand over the reins to someone who can run the ship and create the Vision that CR started the project with. CR is known for this mismanagement. I trust Erin to be even less talented in that arena.

Like I said above, or I think I did, this is a good thing in that we will see more polished patches… I disagree with the whole polished patch mentality, but since that is where CIG is going this will certainly make that better.

What I really hate is that they wasted a Pillar Talk on something like this. This has nothing to do with the pillars of the game as they described to us months ago. This was complete damage control and wasted on of our better shows. And it was presented by the biggest mumbling buffoon in the company. So yeah I am a little salty.

I’ve not been following everything CIG very close, but from what I have seen over the years, this sounds very likely to be the case to me.

I actually thought the PIllar talk in general was very useful but everyone, being functionally deaf and illiterate, missed the point.

  1. They’ve made the same observations that we have over this year. They’re slipping.
  2. It sucks and they want to fix it.
  3. So, they are going to start doing sprints for given features earlier and that means an initial delay.

I’m sorry to say this, but as the more recent dev talk really drove it home - This is all filed under “shit happens”. It happens when you’re one guy like me, it happens when you’re a small team trying to do something as stupidly simple as just make an old game work of a new platform, and shit happens when you’re a huge international development team working on a huge product.

Yes, it sucks.
Yes, it means a 1 quarter delay.
Yes, they have to make new adjustments.

But that’s how it always is. The cheese keeps moving.

At the most basic level they’ve identified a problem and are taking steps to solve it. I’m getting tired of backers and community members screaming that CIG should just work harder and faster - basically asking them to do something they wouldn’t want asked of themselves. It’s selfish horseshit.

That being said, Yeah - pillar talk wasn’t about the pillars. That sucks. At least the same day the roadmap dropped with at least 4 things that we most certainly want right now.

You can’t actually work harder and faster for very long. It is a known fact of human psychology and physiology that your mental and physical capability decreases with continuous exertion. If you keep putting in 10 to 12 hours a day, month after month, your capabilities will be diminished compared to when you started that run. These guys are burnout, but they don’t know it. “Shit happens” is usually due to too long hours doing the same thing. The military knows this and takes steps to make sure it isn’t prevalent enough to make a difference, unless you have no other choice.
Anyway, they will get done when they get done. I think they should all go on a month’s vacation all at the same time, just have a company wide stand down and then come back at it. I think that would probably do more for them than anything else.

Well some in the military know this, or if all officers and 1st sergeants know it only some understand this. I was in a unit that was pretty nice until we got a new battalion commander. Was not fun losing every other weekend for training exercise because the new bc didn’t understand the communication equipment gets bounced around in the deuce and half and that’s why is doesn’t work when we get to and from the training location.

Also a lot of people will quit a job that that constantly requires 60+ hours a week which will slow down getting projects done. It may not be as bad if those doing the hiring are honest about the hours and picks out those that won’t last.

There’s been a lot of research, and there’s a lot of proof, that consistently working 60 hour work weeks is actually less effective than just working 40 hour ones.

As in you get less done, not relatively, but absolutely.

You haven’t worked in warehouses lately.

That was my real gripe with it.
I mean, they did a MUCH better job on the follow up in SCLive on Friday explaining what it was all about. Erin just sounds like a drunk homeless guy looking for french fries in his shoe.

I do not have a problem with the staggered development for what it is. But there are 2 things I really disliked about the Pillars show.
1- It wasn’t about pillars
2- Staggered development does not address inefficiencies in production, it simply bandaids them by extending production.

If they had put it forward in such a way as to say “Hey we found where we are inefficient and we will be working on that as well as extending our timelines to account for that until we get better” Then I would be all over it.

But it sounds way too much like “We cant code as good as we thought, so we will take longer”
Sorry, in the industry of software development that is a huge go fuck yourself because you wont have a job next week. It is unheard of. You do not just take longer, you address why you have to take longer. And they did not.
Not really. Other than to say code is hard.

Sorry, I believe very much in the heart of these developers. I believe they work very hard and are very talented. I am not as impressed with any level of management above the team leaders.

Yea, it might be a case of you didn’t get quite right the first pass. Let it go and start the next project scheduled and we will come back to it later., syndrome. Efficiency is to handle an item, or code or ship or mechanic as few times as possible. If your writer is inexperienced or just slow, I always made that person stick with it until he got it fixed or quit because they couldn’t figure it out. Its slower at first, but good at their job type people are ones who were forced to either quit or rise to the occasion. Of course in the army I had a lot more control as a leader than the civilian world has.