An attempt to explain why the new Demigods take so long to develop

By on October 27, 2009 11:57:55 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Colonel_Jessep

Join Date 09/2008
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I see the threads about: 'Where are the new demigods?' every week and there are a lot of people who are angry or frustrated because it takes so long. There are a lot of accusations, questions and misunderstandings on the topic. So I decided to gather all the available information and explain to you guys why we are still waiting. I'll illustrate my post with some pictures because... because it's more fun!

Let me assure you, I'd prefer nothing more than to play them right now and get a new patch every week. However, good things take time and here is why:

 

Who is responsible for what?

First of all, a common misconception of many players waiting for new content is that Stardock could speed up the process and Frogboy can miraculously deliver the Demon Assassin and Oculus by his sheer force of will. (I wish!) However Stardock is the publisher (although you could say Publisher ++...) and GPG develops Demigod.

Stardock can help with certain things like ingame overlays, new web designs, maintanance of the servers, basically everything that doesn't require any changes to the game engine and core game. GPG is responsible for new content and bug fixing and Stardock's responsibility is to test the updates and new content for bugs, gather information on new bugs and report them to GPG, customer support, maintanance and delivering the game and patches to you via Impulse.

 

 

 

Why is it taking GPG sooooo long?

GPG is working on the new demigods, bugfixes, SupCom2, Dungeon Siege III and maybe even thinking up a new project right now.

I'm sure they would like nothing more than to get the patch out as soon as possible but it takes a lot of work from many different content engineers, artists, programmers and testers to finish a new demigod. For more information on the topic I recommend reading Sorian's blog: http://soriandev.blogspot.com/

Sorian describes the work that goes into making a new demigod in a 3-part series:

part 1part 2part 3;

So why don't they just speed up the whole process you will ask. Fortunately they have already contracts for at least two new games and they have to meet their schedules (called milestones). I say fortunately because while it means we have to wait longer for the new demigod it also means GPG is busy and earning money. This means they stay in business and we will get our demigods eventually.

 

Why not hire more people then will probably be your next question. Well they did. They hired Sorian and he pretty much splits his work hours between Demigod and SupCom II. However, GPG is not Blizzard II and there is a limit to the number of developers they can afford in the current economic situation.

And you can't just add new people to a developer team and expect to speed up the process as many failed game companies have learned that the hard way. Two times the number of people doesn't equal two times the output!

A developer who is familiar with a game can create the same amount of content in hours that would take a team days. A bunch of developers have left GPG a while back, including the original fathers of Demigod Scathis and o and have formed a new company Uber Entertainment.

GPG is doing what they can and yes, we all wish it wouldn't take that much time but they have to make due with less developers on more projects and they have to fulfill their contracts at the same time.

So please be patient, check out Sorian's blog and play a bunch of games. I strongly recommend 'Crazy Cataract'. It's a 4v4 or 5v5 on Cataract (obviously) with high towers, strong creeps and fast respawn rate. It's insane fun, give it a try, why don't you?

 

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October 27, 2009 12:04:34 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

 

Speaking of the new Demigods, Frogboy just released a video showing the Demon Assassin at work:

HQ Youtube Video

 

You can see Oculus fleeing after a battle with Rook at 0:10.

 

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October 27, 2009 12:18:52 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Well said

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October 27, 2009 12:26:39 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Even I have to admit that it's a really good post.

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October 27, 2009 12:43:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

 The frog pic cracked me up!Thanks Colonel.

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October 27, 2009 12:45:02 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I won't speak for anyone else but the frustration isn't from waiting for new Demigods, but the countless bugs with the game.  I would gladly swap 2 new Demigods for a robust client-server netcode with plenty of features, support for clans, matchmaking and competitive play.  The fact is this is the only thing that will reverse the decline in popularity for DG.  Two new Demigods will see a temporary increase in support and then the downard trend will continue.

Incidently, I'm sure playing 'crazy cataract' with 8 or 10 players is really fun, however its not possible for those of us who don't happen to have 9 other friends that we can be sure have great PCs and connections, because the P2P netcode will just make it a lagfest.

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October 27, 2009 12:54:20 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting GnomeChomp,
I won't speak for anyone else but the frustration isn't from waiting for new Demigods, but the countless bugs with the game.  I would gladly swap 2 new Demigods for a robust client-server netcode with plenty of features, support for clans, matchmaking and competitive play.  The fact is this is the only thing that will reverse the decline in popularity for DG.  Two new Demigods will see a temporary increase in support and then the downard trend will continue.

Incidently, I'm sure playing 'crazy cataract' with 8 or 10 players is really fun, however its not possible for those of us who don't happen to have 9 other friends that we can be sure have great PCs and connections, because the P2P netcode will just make it a lagfest.

okay we get it you dont like demigod how about in the future you

A.) not try and de-rail the thread with a different topic where your just bitching

b.) leave the forums

c.)pumpkin

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October 27, 2009 1:02:18 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

cool post!

The frog pic cracked me up!Thanks Colonel.

same with me

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October 27, 2009 1:03:26 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting GnomeChomp,
Incidently, I'm sure playing 'crazy cataract' with 8 or 10 players is really fun, however its not possible for those of us who don't happen to have 9 other friends that we can be sure have great PCs and connections, because the P2P netcode will just make it a lagfest.

We have played it quite a couple of times with many different people and simspeed was never an issue. Simspeed is only an issue on the big maps with more than 4 portals, mostly.

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October 27, 2009 1:26:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

If you are referring to a PuG 5 vs 5 then I don't think that is an accurate statement.

And its not just simspeed, its bandwidth as well which isn't affected as much by map size.

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October 27, 2009 1:29:01 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ah, yes, but that applies to any 5v5 game, not just the Crazy Cataract variant. And bandwidth issues will show themselves right at the start, so you can just rehost with different people in that case.

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October 27, 2009 1:34:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

"Ah, yes, but that applies to any 5v5 game"

I know, and that is my point.  I think when the best solution is to "just rehost" we have another good reason why this game's popularity has dropped so much.

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October 27, 2009 1:40:44 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I think most (rational) people understand that a lot of work goes into these sorts of things.  They (myself included) still can't help being frustrated by the timelines considering that we've been hearing that this content is in the works since before the game went retail.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a qualified game developer but what has it been?  7 months?  On the gaming scene, that strikes me as an incredibly long time, not just for content that was supposedly already planned since the game went live but for several of the other things that Gnome mentioned above.

Now I'm willing to accept that perhaps I just got the wrong impression back when the game released but the way the talk was looking around here, it seemed like decently paced content delivery (especially of content that was already in the pipeline) was one of the selling points and really, I think a game like this absolutely screams for it.  I enjoy the game for what it is but to me, it's easy to see why people have been routinely disappointed.  Even when they understand 'why' things are taking so long, there's still plenty of cause for disappointment and frustration.

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October 27, 2009 2:13:49 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

As the joke goes, "adding 8 more women won't get you a baby in a month". Me, I'm happy that we're getting two new Demigods at all but, in the mean time, I'm having lots of fun with what we already have

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October 27, 2009 2:18:01 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I am totally fine if the new dg's take some time to develop.  What bugs me is that communications go out indicating that they are right around the corner, only to find another delay is forthcoming (a quick search of the dev journals and I'm sure you'll find something indicating that the DG's are right around the corner).  And that is pretty reasonably frustrating. 

I'm really glad Sorian was hired over at GPG and I read his blog as he makes updates.  Thanks again for all those background pieces of info.  Very exciting to hear about some of the bug fixes and all that cool background info on DG creation. 

Thanks for the well written post with great pics.  And I'll try one of those crazy cataract games sometime soon.  Sounds like fun!

I'm having lots of fun with what we already have

dito

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October 27, 2009 2:19:50 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Sakhari,
I think most (rational) people understand that a lot of work goes into these sorts of things.  They (myself included) still can't help being frustrated by the timelines considering that we've been hearing that this content is in the works since before the game went retail.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a qualified game developer but what has it been?  7 months?  On the gaming scene, that strikes me as an incredibly long time, not just for content that was supposedly already planned since the game went live but for several of the other things that Gnome mentioned above.

Now I'm willing to accept that perhaps I just got the wrong impression back when the game released but the way the talk was looking around here, it seemed like decently paced content delivery (especially of content that was already in the pipeline) was one of the selling points and really, I think a game like this absolutely screams for it.  I enjoy the game for what it is but to me, it's easy to see why people have been routinely disappointed.  Even when they understand 'why' things are taking so long, there's still plenty of cause for disappointment and frustration.

 

First of all Colonel, great post. Secondly, I can't do more than agree with you Sakhari.

There is a lot of competition in the gaming business, to be able to remove bugs quickly should be a must for this kind of game. Still we have had many bugs for a very long time now and more get added to the list now and then. Still I enjoy the game very much but I cannot help but feel sorry that Demigod could be so much more.

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October 27, 2009 7:23:26 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Esuzu,

Quoting Sakhari, reply 12I think most (rational) people understand that a lot of work goes into these sorts of things.  They (myself included) still can't help being frustrated by the timelines considering that we've been hearing that this content is in the works since before the game went retail.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a qualified game developer but what has it been?  7 months?  On the gaming scene, that strikes me as an incredibly long time, not just for content that was supposedly already planned since the game went live but for several of the other things that Gnome mentioned above.

Now I'm willing to accept that perhaps I just got the wrong impression back when the game released but the way the talk was looking around here, it seemed like decently paced content delivery (especially of content that was already in the pipeline) was one of the selling points and really, I think a game like this absolutely screams for it.  I enjoy the game for what it is but to me, it's easy to see why people have been routinely disappointed.  Even when they understand 'why' things are taking so long, there's still plenty of cause for disappointment and frustration.
 

First of all Colonel, great post. Secondly, I can't do more than agree with you Sakhari.

There is a lot of competition in the gaming business, to be able to remove bugs quickly should be a must for this kind of game. Still we have had many bugs for a very long time now and more get added to the list now and then. Still I enjoy the game very much but I cannot help but feel sorry that Demigod could be so much more.

This

From what i understand from Sorian's blog the 2 new demigods are a priority for them, and the major issues (invalid error and the connectivity bug) are secondary/optional. I cant say im happy with it though. I would prefer these issues fixed first and then the new content.

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October 27, 2009 10:00:13 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting DraekAlmasy,
As the joke goes, "adding 8 more women won't get you a baby in a month". Me, I'm happy that we're getting two new Demigods at all but, in the mean time, I'm having lots of fun with what we already have

LOL SO TRUE! but adding 8 more women would be sooooo much fun

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October 28, 2009 2:16:21 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

HAHAHAHA, that was a good one Draek!  

I'm glad you guys like the pictures and thanks for the karma. Had some huge Wall of Text(TM) prepared but my intertubes suddenly gave away yesterday.

Short version: I think GPG tried to make all ends meet, SupComII, Demigod bug fixes, other projects but they had bad luck. First with the connectivity, the stats, a bunch of experienced developers leaving. IMO they did the best they could under the circumstances (like hire Sorian). Still, they never gave up on us, Stardock took a very active part in developing overlays, rewriting the whole netcode and even pulling developers from their own projects to get the show on the road.

A big thank you to Frogboy at this point who reassigned two of his developer teams from his own products to help with Demigod- more than once!!! He even accepted a delay in the development of his own game Elemental to fix Demigod up! And lets not forget about the daily progress updates we received for quite a while. Please keep that in mind the next time you feel The Fury(TM) coming over you after a crashed connection. (I know it's hard, I bit into my keyboard several times...)

Oh oh, gotta run. My boss expects me to be punctual for some silly reason...  

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October 28, 2009 2:29:42 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

WOW i didnt know that about Elemental! Thanks Colonel!

I have to say that i am pleased with SD too.

But not not with GPG.

They could have attempted to develop the new demigods months ago so that they are ready in August like they promised us.

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October 28, 2009 4:00:39 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Orcasms,
 The frog pic cracked me up!Thanks Colonel.

Ditto...

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October 28, 2009 4:03:18 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

i didnt even NEED to read the text and i knew exactly what you were talking about. good job!

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October 29, 2009 2:28:09 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Speaking of the new Demigods, Frogboy just released a video showing the Demon Assassin at work:

HQ Youtube Video

You can see Oculus fleeing after a battle with Rook at 0:10.

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October 30, 2009 4:32:55 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Apparently patch 1.2 was finished on Wednesday . Now Stardock needs to finish work on Impulse for DLC and release it as a Beta to the Ready To Play users.

http://soriandev.blogspot.com/2009/10/ill-never-use-that-in-real-life.html

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October 31, 2009 2:59:00 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

So... Sorian is the only guy working on coding the new abilities?

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October 31, 2009 3:33:45 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

He's new at GPG and has been assigned to work on Demigod.  Seems like he goes back and forth based on projects.  Also seems like a very talented individual from what I've read about his work on Sup Com 1.  That said, he is the new guy at GPG and was assigned work on DG, so take that as you will, but I'm confident he'll provide quality work on DG. 

If I understand it right, GPG is essentially done with Demigod.  SD says we want X features and contracts GPG to implement them.  I think Frogboy went into a little more detail on this in his dev journals.  SD might already be contractually obligated for X number of updates and simply be able to purchase more, but I don't know.  That said, as long as SD is willing to pay for updates, we'll keep seeing content, but as should be apparent, at a slow rate.  Anyway, if I'm wrong about any of the above, feel free to correct me as I'm not certain.  

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