Author Topic: What the hell?  (Read 8117 times)

TranqFrollman

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What the hell?
« on: (13:44:40/12-27-10) »
Quote from: NotMe
So the shovelware cycle continues at Catalyst. I am going to need a lot of mead to review any of it, because the "File Dump" structure is apparently going to be not only standard in upcoming works but sold as a feature.

In the near future Jason plans to release Artifacts Unbound, Jet Set, Conspiracy Theories, Corporate Adventures, and "more". These books will be compiled out of a series of ~5000 word essays by different authors who may or may not be talking to each other - each of which is about some vague topic and presents "possible adventure and plot ideas" that a GM might want to fit into their campaign. In short: someone convinced Jason that the White Wolf Time of Judgement books were a great idea.

So buckle up and wait for things to get extremely stupid. Each book is going to present alternate and wholly incompatible progressions of the metaplot that are not discussed amongst the writing staff or checked against the history that Shadowrun has. So internal contradictions are basically impossible to avoid with the way Jason is acting as developer, so he has given up even trying to not have them. From now on: internal contradictions are a feature because he's putting the power to resolve them in the hands of the game master (because he is too fucking lazy to notice or fix them himself).

Furthermore, Jason has totally thrown in the towel as regards to keeping Shadowrun history straight. From this point forwards, the Shadows of XXX books are off the required reading list for authors of upcoming books. But don't worry, Jason has also thrown in the towel as regards to keeping Shadowrun rules straight - the secondary core books are off the required reading list too. So for example, the people who write Artifacts Unbound are not expected to have read or be able to reference Street Magic, let alone Ancient History's artifact guide.

It's not just that the books are going to be a file dump of incoherent postulates, it's that in addition to being roughly 120,000 words of wild speculation no more interesting or official than a forum discussion about where the plot might go, they will also be written by people whose knowledge of Shadowrun begins and ends at the SR4A Core Book and the atrocious Sixth World Almanac.

Yeah: and the big reveal for Artifacts Unbound: the artifacts are Dragon Balls. If you put them together you get powerful one-off magic effects, but then the artifacts fly away and hide themselves again. I'm not making that up.

By the way, I would send letters of complaint by mail to:

      Topps Incorporated
      One Whitehall Street
      New York, NY 10004
      USA
Emphasis mine.
« Last Edit: (13:59:29/12-27-10) by TranqFrollman »

Semerkhet

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #1 on: (14:13:49/12-27-10) »
Having read both Frank's post and the leaked document for "Artifacts Unbound" I agree that what is *not* listed in the References section is pretty troubling.  I can only hope that there is a taken-for-granted reading list that all freelancers are expected to be familiar with.  Unless I see an official CGL freelancer's required reading list I can't just take Frank's statement
Quote
"From this point forwards, the Shadows of XXX books are off the required reading list for authors of upcoming books."
as unvarnished truth.

Frank paints the worst case scenario, as per usual.  Although if he's right about the "Dragonball" thing about the artifacts gathered in the DotA series I will be, to say the least, disappointed.  I've read Ancient History's draft for Harlequin's Gambit and I like it.  If the current writers don't tie the DotA artifacts into a bigger picture, I'll just skip "Artifacts Unbound" and finish developing Mr. Derie's draft for my own use.

TranqFrollman

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #2 on: (15:02:24/12-27-10) »
I can only hope that there is a taken-for-granted reading list that all freelancers are expected to be familiar with.
Considering the number of writers without previous Shadowrun ties taken in recently, I doubt it can be expected implicitly.

Bull

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #3 on: (15:04:04/12-27-10) »
As usual, Frank and his sock puppets don't present all the facts, and they make wild assumptions based on very little information.

Bobby, of course, posts the latest leaked information (3 days, not bad turn around time there guys, though a little slow.  I figured this would be posted by Christmas afternoon)...  But, I note he doesn't quite post all of it.  And one of the points on the second page that wasn't transcripted into PDF specifically deals with one of Frank's comments:  That the writers will be expected to communicate and work with each other to make sure the entire thing fits together.

But, to answer the general point of this...  Referenced Reading listed in Bobby's PDF is the Almanac and all of the SR4 "Place books" (RUnner Havens, Feral Cities, etc).  Street Magic isn't listed because, as freelancers, we all assume that the core SR4 rulebooks are included in that.  Common sense and all that.  

And this is why these "leaks" are annoying.  They're presented with little secondary information, they're incomplete, and they're presented with commentary not backed up by fact.  

Also...  We really would like to do more general bandying about of these projects on the freelancer list.  So we can fact check each other better.  But when we can;t even brainstorm or spitball ideas without them getting posted online and blown way the frag out of proportion, it severely hampers what we can do and how much double checking those of us with more extensive background knowledge of Shadowrun can actually to do help.  War didn't get bounced off all the freelancers for this reason, and with a bit more time, some of us could have caught and commented on some of the problems in there.  Attitude's getting a bit better treatment, but still it's limited because none of the authors want to see their rough drafts posted online.

So, yeah, what the hell indeed.  

Bull

Kot

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #4 on: (15:12:18/12-27-10) »
So, give all those unhappy SR fan-experts a way to help with stuff if they want, under a NDA agreement. This way you both get what you want - CGL a better product, and the fans their beloved Shadowrun...
Maybe something like RedBrick's Open Call, or 'which way should Shadowrun go' polls?
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

Critias

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #5 on: (15:15:51/12-27-10) »
So, give all those unhappy SR fan-experts a way to help with stuff if they want, under a NDA agreement. This way you both get what you want - CGL a better product, and the fans their beloved Shadowrun...
Maybe something like RedBrick's Open Call, or 'which way should Shadowrun go' polls?
Anyone that wants to can approach Jason for a job.  The guy's easy enough to get ahold of, and willing to give you a shot and let you in on an upcoming project spec (to submit a proposal just like everyone else).  That proposal may or may not be the one selected, but anyone who wants in on the process can get in on the process.  Hell, I got started just by tossing him a PM.

Semerkhet

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #6 on: (15:19:03/12-27-10) »
As usual, Frank and his sock puppets don't present all the facts, and they make wild assumptions based on very little information.
 Not helpful language.  I consider Frank to write in a very entertaining style and after you correct for his hyperbole and biases he actually provides some very insightful commentary.  Does that make me one of his sock puppets?  I certainly don't take what he writes as gospel, as I hope my first post in this topic shows.  

Bobby, of course, posts the latest leaked information (3 days, not bad turn around time there guys, though a little slow.  I figured this would be posted by Christmas afternoon)...  But, I note he doesn't quite post all of it.  And one of the points on the second page that wasn't transcripted into PDF specifically deals with one of Frank's comments:  That the writers will be expected to communicate and work with each other to make sure the entire thing fits together.
It hurts Mr. Derie's credibility that he did not post the entirety of the document, assuming that whoever leaked it to him didn't do that bit of editing before handing it over.

But, to answer the general point of this...  Referenced Reading listed in Bobby's PDF is the Almanac and all of the SR4 "Place books" (RUnner Havens, Feral Cities, etc).  Street Magic isn't listed because, as freelancers, we all assume that the core SR4 rulebooks are included in that.  Common sense and all that.

This is what I presumed and it hurts Frank's credibility that he made such a big deal over this particular point.

Also...  We really would like to do more general bandying about of these projects on the freelancer list.  So we can fact check each other better.  But when we can;t even brainstorm or spitball ideas without them getting posted online and blown way the frag out of proportion, it severely hampers what we can do and how much double checking those of us with more extensive background knowledge of Shadowrun can actually to do help.  War didn't get bounced off all the freelancers for this reason, and with a bit more time, some of us could have caught and commented on some of the problems in there.  Attitude's getting a bit better treatment, but still it's limited because none of the authors want to see their rough drafts posted online.

Okay, so you know that there are going to be leaks during the development process.  That's unfortunate.  Even more unfortunate if documents are posted incomplete or out of context.  Still, I am of the opinion that circling the wagons is the wrong response to this problem.  You are pretty much acknowledging that War! didn't get the "eyes" on it that it needed because of precisely this wagon-circling.  I think you guys need to just suck it up and be prepared for the Internets to freak out periodically about your (the freelancers) collective work-in-progress.  These leaks are *not* going away in the near-to-mid term and if you let that push you (again, collectively) into adopting practices that result in inferior products...well, that just seems like a express train to Bads-ville.

Semerkhet

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #7 on: (15:24:36/12-27-10) »
So, give all those unhappy SR fan-experts a way to help with stuff if they want, under a NDA agreement. This way you both get what you want - CGL a better product, and the fans their beloved Shadowrun...
Maybe something like RedBrick's Open Call, or 'which way should Shadowrun go' polls?
Anyone that wants to can approach Jason for a job.  The guy's easy enough to get ahold of, and willing to give you a shot and let you in on an upcoming project spec (to submit a proposal just like everyone else).  That proposal may or may not be the one selected, but anyone who wants in on the process can get in on the process.  Hell, I got started just by tossing him a PM.
I am going to PM Jason to offer my services as a proofreader.  I'm not one who has completely written off CGL and is just waiting for them to fail and lose the license.  That seems counter-productive.  If I am able to help, I will. 

Kot

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #8 on: (15:26:31/12-27-10) »
Critas, i didn't mean 'job', just 'fan-help'. As in for free, because they want to be a part of the process of making Shadowrun, and making it better.
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

TranqFrollman

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #9 on: (15:28:07/12-27-10) »
Also...  We really would like to do more general bandying about of these projects on the freelancer list.  So we can fact check each other better.  But when we can;t even brainstorm or spitball ideas without them getting posted online and blown way the frag out of proportion, it severely hampers what we can do and how much double checking those of us with more extensive background knowledge of Shadowrun can actually to do help.  War didn't get bounced off all the freelancers for this reason, and with a bit more time, some of us could have caught and commented on some of the problems in there.  Attitude's getting a bit better treatment, but still it's limited because none of the authors want to see their rough drafts posted online.

So, yeah, what the hell indeed.  
Actually, if conversation in "The Champagne Room" suggested that things were going well (such as ... problems getting caught before release), no one would bother to leak anything.

Critias

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #10 on: (15:30:31/12-27-10) »
Actually, if conversation in "The Champagne Room" suggested that things were going well (such as ... problems getting caught before release), no one would bother to leak anything.
Nice.  Defending leaked partial conversations with a leaked partial conversation. 

TranqFrollman

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #11 on: (15:39:56/12-27-10) »
Nice.  Defending leaked partial conversations with a leaked partial conversation. 
I'm just saying that if any of an extremely long list of errors in War! had been caught and corrected in sight of whoever leaks stuff, that person would likely be happy and see no reason to leak anything. The same can still apply to forthcoming books, contrary to Bull's belief.

Bull

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #12 on: (16:40:13/12-27-10) »
@Semerkhet:  No, not helpful language.  But since whoever "TranqFrollman" is pretty much created his account, choose his name, and only posts here to stir up crap, I don't particularly feel like I'm under any obligation to humor him, or even be all that polite to him.  I'm not particularly fond of anyone who is willing to takes shots at people behind a pseudonym, either.  Nor people who will sign an NDA, pretend to be a part of a team, and then undercut that team by leaking information solely to undermine and undercut that teams efforts.  And at this point, I believe that everyone still around has signed an NDA.

But, one thing I haven't seen noted by any of the "Leaks" yet is the fact that several of the freelancers, myself included, have said that we don't give a rats ass about he leaks.  It just looks petty and stupid to most of the internet population that's paying any attention, and is completely irrelevant to the vast majority of Shadowrun fans and players out there since the internet fanbase is a small minority of SR fans.   My thoughts for a months now have been "Eh, whatever.  Ignore it, it shouldn't effect us."

But still, it's tough to work in that environment.  And not everyone is comfortable with it, especially some of the freelancers who've done work for other companies where current (and former) freelancers act a whole lot more professionally.

Bull

Ancient History

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #13 on: (17:20:56/12-27-10) »
Bobby, of course, posts the latest leaked information (3 days, not bad turn around time there guys, though a little slow.  I figured this would be posted by Christmas afternoon)...
For what it's worth, Bullock, I didn't post jack shit. I tend to follow that particular scribd account because they uploaded a bunch of my stuff, and I find it useful to link to items on it from time to time. Despite some of Jason's allegations, I don't make a habit of spoilering material about upcoming products (the fact that shit I was working on still constitute "upcoming products" is something else to reflect on).

Mystic

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Re: What the hell?
« Reply #14 on: (17:42:56/12-27-10) »
Ah, I miss the days when people expressed dislike of a product by simply not buying it, and letting the market take it's course instead of spending time personally attacking those who make the product and spending a lot of time trying to convince everyone else why the product, and those who make it, "suck" by airing all the supposed "dirty laundry" and little secrets.

Seriously, does anyone think that this will do any good in the long run? Are the developres at CGL suddenly going to go "you know, you're right...we suck, we're ruining Shadowrun/Battletech and as of now, we're going to quit." All the personal attacks are doing is making the attackers look immature at best and unprofessional at worse. All it will accomplish is to create an schism between the fandom and developers, one of "us versus them" rather than one of cooperation with little chance of improvement. Not to mention how it is damaging the Shadowrun reputation with Topps and the gaming comunity in general.  

Ultimately, it is the job of the developers to determine how a product will go, for better or worse. If they screw it up, eventually they will replaced; that's the nature of business. And this IS a business, period. Ultimately, all we can do is support the product if we believe in it, good AND bad. Because if we don't, someone higher up may ultimately decide that our product is not worth the effort to produce.

But then what do I know. Just my .00568 cents (after taxes).
« Last Edit: (17:45:08/12-27-10) by Mystic »
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