Who's minding the store?

Order of Battle is a series of operational WW2 games starting with the Pacific War and then on to Europe!

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bru888
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Who's minding the store?

Post by bru888 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:04 am

Eh, what the heck. I almost embarrassed myself with my last post, going into a rant about something that I thought was being ignored but found it was finally fixed without anybody official ever saying anything about it. Par for the course around here; God forbid somebody coming forward and conversing with the community about the game they supposedly care about enough to share with the public even though it may not be very lucrative financially.

Oh yeah, I said some things alright but then I edited them away. But the following comments will stay and I will shift my address to Shards, AlbertoC, whoever else at Slitherine may care to listen. Not answer. Listen. You guys are not the brain trust of OOB but you are, from what I can gather, responsible for whatever financial gains that Slitherine can get from it.

So forget about the obsolete manual. Forget about stuff that never gets fixed or needs repeated posting to be fixed. Forget about no social media presence for the game that I can see. Forget about the developers not talking to their customers and keeping them informed. No, I have one particularly stupid, nitpicking irritant in mind right now: What in the heck is the point of having Online News, the one direct selling communication that OOB has, still talking about Burma Road and Patch 4.1.1?
Screenshot 1.jpg
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From the very beginning, I have seen this franchise being run in a slipshod and unprofessional manner. Disappointed or tired, sick or distracted, bitter or bored? Which is it?

Can you get The Artistocrats to sell it to somebody else who will run it professionally, take care of it, and grow it? Heck, I could probably buy them out myself. I'll think about making an offer.

The current developers need to be employees, not entrepreneurs.
- Bru

Mojko
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by Mojko » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:40 am

I have to agree that this game has a "open source project" feel to it. It's quite common for an open source project to have delayed developer response, long development cycle and unprofessional community management because, you know, people are working on it in their free time. I know what I'm taking about since I'm running open source project on my own - an online collectable card game. I've been running it for almost 12 years now and I can tell you some features took years to deliver because of limited developer resources and shifting priorities. But whole content is free of charge and always will be.

I don't think bru888 's points are unreasonable since this is NOT an open source project. We are actually paying for the content.
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Andy2012
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by Andy2012 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:17 am

I appreciate the passion, bru. But I think it is mostly because this is an absurdly small market so teams (and their budgets) are smallish and things develop in a, uh, non-linear way. But I am not sitting on adherbal's or Slitherine's lap or in their offices, so I most likely know nothing. :?:

(Yes, PM me job offers for official spokesperson jobs. I can justify the absurd with a straight face as long as the paycheck is right. "Yes, Gentlemen, the mandatory Hello Kitty patch for OoB may have angered the wargaming community, but it has opened the market of 8-10 year old girls for us, so there." :mrgreen: )

PoorOldSpike
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by PoorOldSpike » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:56 am

In 35 years of computer wargaming, I've often noticed that although game designers and companies may be fabulous programmers, they're usually not so hot at actually marketing their products on the business side. Me and other gamers have tried to help with advice and suggestions for free but they usually ignore us, perhaps they don't want to become millionnaires, I dunno..;)
The Aristocrats seem a friendly bunch, one of them actually spoke to me the other day-
http://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=264&t=82825
and even Matrix Big Boss Iain McNeil once spoke to me-
http://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=464&t=81069
but sadly most other companies rarely speak to us poor slobs, grrr..

If I was a Marketing Manager my strategy for Order of Battle would be-
1- Bring out a West Front 1944/45 DLC as soon as possible because it's a glaring omission that needs to be filled pronto.
2- Gather all the OOB DLC's into one convenient package called "Order of Battle Gold', because at the moment the DLC's are scattered around and have to be bought separately which puts off potential buyers.
(The Panzer Corps people did it by neatly putting all their DLC's into a 'Panzer Corps Gold')
3- Looking much further ahead, eventually bring out an 'Order of Battle 2' which would be a completely revamped OOB with the little annoying glitches cleaned up, and with some graphic modifications and new features etc.
(A Panzer Corps 2 is being already being worked on).

PS- two of my life mottoes are-
"There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being, to help someone succeed"- Alan Loy McGinnis (1933-2005)
"Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality... that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hall-mark of excellence." - Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)

So, like most other gamers I'm only too glad to freely help companies (no charge) to bring out games that'll blow everybody's socks off if they care to get in touch with me..:)

steevodeevo
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by steevodeevo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:25 pm

great comments all.

Its noticeable Bruce has periods where he stays quiet then exasperation overwhelms him and hes off to the races! :)

You know what, I bet the Devs don't disagree either. Spike is probably not far off with his comments, it does have a bit of an Indie feel at times..but it is Indie isn't it?

That said, we're a pretty easy going and appreciative customer base, maybe too forgiving? I'm playing SOTA right now and its buggy as hell, same issues on responsiveness and feedback and the community is often rabid and toxic. Not fun.

All of this frustration comes from a love of the game, or a love of at least what OOB can and hopefully will become, it is good now but has huge potential going forward. I just hope the Devs aren't over extended with other projects; which will never be as popular as OOB which has wargamer mass market appeal, unlike some of the other niche projects.

13obo
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by 13obo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:39 pm

The reason OOB community is great is that the average age of the player is probably (I'm guessing) 30-40 years of age, while other mainstream games have a much lower average age that is closer to the teens.

Anyway, some of the things in OOB development/support can be quite frustrating indeed, but let's be honest- OOB DLC's are great value for money. All of us have spent hundreds of hours for a game that costs peanuts compared to other titles.

I think we're (myself included) falling into the "modern gamer" trap where we tend to expect the same quality/support from indie games as that offered by big studios despite paying a lot less for the content. We shouldn't focus so much on what isn't offered, but rather on what we get for our money, and I'd say the price for OOB is right.

Here are some fun steam stats for OOB- you can compare OOB stats to other games:
https://steamdb.info/app/312450/graphs/

conboy
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by conboy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:58 pm

Thanks for all the great comments, all. I tend to agree with the Indie/open architecture part, ok, but if ye gon do it, do it right, by jingoes... so perhaps Artistocrats could fix (with alacrity) the obvious things that irk good Bru888 so, and then work on moving ahead. You can be professional and loosey-goosey, too. But what aggravates people the most is if you give them the impression that you aren't paying attention.

Nevertheless, Artistocrats, you have a great product with a lot of interest -- and potential. Thanks for all you do!

conboy

Navman2854
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by Navman2854 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:09 pm

You guys are all right on with comments, observations, suggestions, etc. OOB is a good game with plenty of promise and I've already spent many more hours playing than I should be :lol: I do want to thank everyone involved for their hard work from the Aristocrats to the mods to the free scen/camp designers and to of course we the users who care about the quality of OOB. All of you put in hours of work (some unpaid) and a lot of us truly appreciate it :D . We users, if we didn't care we wouldn't complain (sounds good anyway :wink: ). All that being said, my statement is pretty much what everyone states "try and fix what's broken first and acknowledge same". I understand to stay in business you have to SELL SELL SELL but if you lose caring, paying customers, well that ain't good :cry:

Let's all be positive, work together and keep a good thing going :idea:

Andy2012
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by Andy2012 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:54 pm

steevodeevo wrote: Its noticeable Bruce has periods where he stays quiet then exasperation overwhelms him and hes off to the races! :)
Yeah, bru mostly beavers away quietly, but then he picks up the drum-fed AR15 and goes on a rampage. (true yank... :mrgreen: sorry bru)

I think a lot of this has to do with prioritising work and all the many things happening behind the scenes most of us dont see (and probably wouldnt care about). So lets pitch in and sign up for that beta, btw. :D

bru888
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by bru888 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:05 pm

Andy2012 wrote:
steevodeevo wrote: Its noticeable Bruce has periods where he stays quiet then exasperation overwhelms him and hes off to the races! :)
Yeah, bru mostly beavers away quietly, but then he picks up the drum-fed AR15 and goes on a rampage. (true yank... :mrgreen: sorry bru)
Yes, I have noticed that I am in a cycle concerning this game. I am taking steps to change that situation now.
- Bru

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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by GabeKnight » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:11 pm

Bruce, I vividly remember this:
Bruce's Confidence.jpg
Bruce's Confidence.jpg (25.89 KiB) Viewed 1593 times
(http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 64&t=81664)

At some point in the past, I said I've reached "acceptance" from the stages of grief concerning OoB, but I've noticed that's not true. I gave up on bargaining and there won't ever be depression, but I think I'm somewhere back at anger, so I refrain from posting much these days - as I'm rather the direct and less "diplomatic" kind of guy.

I've been playtesting my mod within BurmaRoad/Panzerkrieg/Marines/SinoJap and some custom scens the last weeks to see how it goes and if or what still may be missing. I've got myself a bigger desk and a second monitor just recently, so I'll continue correcting all these little "glitches" in my mod and testing them with the official scenarios/campaigns.
And I'm angry and frustrated because that's work that shouldn't be done by me. I'm not talking about enhancements or "missing features", but plain errors in the data/stat tables or scenario's trigger settings. Most of it had been reported (multiple times), so I don't see a point in reporting the new issues, either. I own all the DLCs and it was not that cheap. With that money I could've bought myself two Assassins Creed games instead of this "Indie" game easily.

But like you I'm a fanboy and won't give up on this game... just need some time to cool down again... :wink:

PoorOldSpike
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by PoorOldSpike » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:49 pm

If I had to choose half-a-dozen really good computer games out of all those I've played over the years, OOB would be right up there among the crème de la crème, so my compliments to all concerned..:)
It's not perfect, but then neither is any other game I've ever played.
I especially like OOB's scenarios, most have got twists and turns and hidden depths that make them far from bland and predictable.
For example I'm currently halfway through Rising Sun> 'New Caledonia' as the japs; I withstood the American AI's attempts to crush my beachhead and have plunged across the island and reached the other coast, cutting the island in half, but have unwittingly run into the guns of his battleship and cruiser and have started to bleed, so I'm hastily switching my 5 carrier planes from bombs to torpedoes to take them on. Should be quite a show..:)

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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by Mojko » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:20 am

PoorOldSpike wrote:but have unwittingly run into the guns of his battleship and cruiser and have started to bleed, so I'm hastily switching my 5 carrier planes from bombs to torpedoes to take them on. Should be quite a show..:)
Something tells me you don't really use scouting units like recons and fighter planes.
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PoorOldSpike
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by PoorOldSpike » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:43 pm

Mojko wrote:Something tells me you don't really use scouting units like recons and fighter planes.
I do, but the problem in the Rising Sun> 'New Caledonia' scen is that the US battleship and Cruiser are going to shell us whether we know they're there or not, because they're bombarding our only route of advance and their guns have the range to reach far inland..:)
SPOILER ALERT-
Look, my Jap Army lead units have swept down the red arrow towards the US base at bottom right and the battleship and cruiser are laying down fire (blue arrows) to clobber them. The only way I could have avoided their fire would be to have advanced through the mountains at top right but it would have been so slow that I'd have run out of time long before the end of the game.
At the moment most of my B6N Tenzans are busy re-arming with torpedoes on their carriers way off to the north, and as soon as I can get them into action I'll give the US ships some serious payback..:)

Image
Last edited by PoorOldSpike on Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CoolDTA
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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by CoolDTA » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:06 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:The only way I could have avoided their fire would be to have advanced through the mountains at top right but it would have been so slow that I'd have run out of time long before the end of the game.
Well, you can also stay out of their range until your planes pay those annoying vessels a nice "friendly" visit. IMO you have plenty of time to rest and heal your ground troops at this point. An advance through the mountains is indeed not a good idea. I only send couple of Marines that way.

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Re: Who's minding the store?

Post by PoorOldSpike » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:49 pm

CoolDTA wrote:..you can also stay out of their range until your planes pay those annoying vessels a nice "friendly" visit...
Yes, I'd bought 3x Tenzans (not Kates as I mistakenly said before) and they quickly sank both US ships with torpedoes, each hit knocked 4 strength points off each ship, good stuff..:)
I also had 2x Vals and I wondered why the game wouldn't let me arm them with torpedoes too, but then the penny dropped and I realised they're bombers not torpedo planes, duh..
PS- I lost the game because I ran out of time just 4 hexes from the final Primary objective; my excuse is that I wasted valuable turns waiting for my bombers to fly a long way back to their carriers to switch to torpedoes. With hindsight I should have used all 5 bomb-armed planes to hammer the ships and not wasted time re-arming the Tenzans with torps.

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