• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF

Nirolak
Mrgrgr
(05-15-2013, 07:09 PM)
Nirolak's Avatar
Well, at least by game development standards.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...of-an-underdog

Originally Posted by GamesIndustry.biz

One evening when Dean Sharpe arrived at his apartment after a long day at the office a dangerous looking Georgian man and his three-car armed entourage greeted him. Dean was told that, lease be damned, he had a day to clear out and find a new apartment.

Originally Posted by GamesIndustry.biz

And all of this is compounded by the conditions this Ukrainian team works under in Kiev. The entire 4A studio would fit easily in the (underutilized) gym at EA Los Angeles' offices. Yet Last Light's Metacritic score blows away Medal of Honor Warfighter. As undeniably fantastic as competitor BioShock Infinite may be, the team was given whatever resources they needed to make the title. At the same time, 4A's staff sat on folding wedding chairs, literally elbow to elbow at card tables in what looks more like a packed grade school cafeteria than a development studio.

When 4A needed another dev kit, or high-end PC, or whatever, someone from 4A had to fly to the States and sneak it back to the Ukraine in a backpack lest it be "seized" at the border by thieving customs officials. After visiting the team I wanted to buy them Aeron office chairs, considered a fundamental human right in the west. There were no outlets in the Ukraine, and our only option was to pack a truck in Poland and try to find an "expediter" to help bribe its way down to Kiev. We gave up not because this tripled the cost, but because we realized that the wider Aeron chairs would require spreading out people and computers, which would lead to extra desks, and that ultimately would have required bigger offices. Yes, really.

Originally Posted by GamesIndustry.biz

Let's be honest: 4A was never playing on a level field. The budget of Last Light is less than some of its competitors spend on cut scenes, a mere 10 percent of the budget of its biggest competitors. Yet it is lauded for its story and atmosphere. It is built on a completely original and proprietary second-generation engine that competes with sequels that have stopped numbering themselves, with more engineers on their tech than 4A has on the entire project. Yet its tech chops are never in question.

Originally Posted by GamesIndustry.biz

If 4A had been given a more competitive budget, in a saner environment, hadn't wasted a year-plus chasing the irrational requirement of THQ's original producers to fit multiplayer and co-op into the same deadline and budget(!), hadn't had to deal with the transition to a new publisher in the crucial few months before final, what could 4A have created?

I can only imagine, and I am looking forward to playing it.

Originally Posted by GamesIndustry.biz

I truly enjoyed Far Cry 3, which deserved its great reviews. But how many times did Ubisoft Montreal lose power for hours or days during development? Power outages are the norm for 4A. All developers have deadlines, but I know of few that had to bring in construction generators to be able to work the weekend before final submission because an extra day meant missing shelf dates by weeks. Montreal is cold, but when it gets cold in Kiev it's different. That's because the government provides all of the heating through a central coal burning facility that pipes hot water to homes and offices. Unfortunately, it breaks down reliably a few times a year for a week at a time. Then 4A works in their parkas and struggles to keep their fingers warm in temperatures well below freezing. That is unless it snows and they get stuck home for a few days at a time because snow clearing isn't up to Western standards.

Last edited by Nirolak; 05-15-2013 at 07:11 PM.
Miles Quaritch
lemme stick dat Red Ring
(05-15-2013, 07:11 PM)
Miles Quaritch's Avatar
Jesus, that sounds terrible.

The budget of Last Light is less than some of its competitors spend on cut scenes, a mere 10 percent of the budget of its biggest competitors.

Wow.
Nirolak
Mrgrgr
(05-15-2013, 07:11 PM)
Nirolak's Avatar
I added a bit more about their power outages.
Lord-Audie
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:13 PM)
Lord-Audie's Avatar
Hopefully something good comes out of this...

Those are terrible conditions to work.
GamerSciz
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:13 PM)
GamerSciz's Avatar
Honestly if that was the case then why not wait to release it. So many games are being pushed back but if anything that sometimes increases their hype even more. I mean this sounds really bad and unfortunate and in turn their game is getting lots of mixed reviews.
Volotaire
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:14 PM)
Volotaire's Avatar
Oh wow. It's impressive what they put out with all that .
StuBurns
just talking loud
and saying nothing
(05-15-2013, 07:14 PM)
StuBurns's Avatar

Originally Posted by Miles Quaritch

Jesus, that sounds terrible.



Wow.

That's just because of the cost of wages though. It's like when people say The Witcher 2 was a couple of million, yes, it was, but it's not like it didn't still take a full team a full dev cycle to build it.
Nirolak
Mrgrgr
(05-15-2013, 07:14 PM)
Nirolak's Avatar

Originally Posted by GamerSciz

Honestly if that was the case then why not wait to release it. So many games are being pushed back but if anything that sometimes increases their hype even more. I mean this sounds really bad and unfortunate and in turn their game is getting lots of mixed reviews.

This is Jason Rubin looking back, not Deep Silver reflecting.
Nemesis_
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:14 PM)
Nemesis_'s Avatar
I am really pleased that the game turned out great and hope that the sales reflect that and these guys get the recognition they deserve.

It truly does sound horrible to work in an environment like this.
Reiko
Banned
(05-15-2013, 07:15 PM)
Now these are hardcore developers.
Glass Rebel
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:15 PM)
Glass Rebel's Avatar
That sounds terrible. I hope the game does well for them and something can be changed.

Also that quote about THQ is so not surprising.
scar tissue
Junior Member
(05-15-2013, 07:15 PM)
scar tissue's Avatar
I had no intention of buying or even playing Last Light (disliked the first game on the 360 due to clunky controls and bad graphics), but I'm kind of tempted to buy it full price just to support these poor guys.

Edit: Just so we're clear, with "playing", I mean borrowing the game, not pirating it.
MormaPope
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:16 PM)
MormaPope's Avatar

Originally Posted by Lord-Audie

Hopefully something good comes out of this...

Those are terrible conditions to work.

If the programmers and designers continue working in Ukraine, nothing will change. The game could be wildly successful, won't change a thing at that studio.

Terrible conditions, the people at 4A must be madly determined and love videogames intensely.
Eusis
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:17 PM)
Eusis's Avatar
Almost makes me want to buy the Ranger Mode DLC alone honestly, that's just nuts.
Enduin
No bald cap? Lies!
(05-15-2013, 07:17 PM)
Enduin's Avatar
Now I don't feel so bad about it running crumby on my AMD GPU because of the Nvidia partnership.
greenjerk
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:17 PM)
greenjerk's Avatar
holy shit that's... fascinating.

Not that I had to deal with anything near what they have with thugs/bribes/etc...

But as an artist (MFA) some of my best work has come from working in the shittiest conditions and with least amount of support and resources.
kylej
Banned
(05-15-2013, 07:17 PM)
kylej's Avatar
Great article. Amazing studio. I too would like to see what they could do with Irrational's space and budget.
MrHicks
Banned
(05-15-2013, 07:17 PM)
MrHicks's Avatar
poor ukraine
still in post soviet misery
nhlducks35
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:17 PM)
nhlducks35's Avatar
So it was like the game?
sn00zer
(05-15-2013, 07:18 PM)
sn00zer's Avatar

Originally Posted by MormaPope

If the programmers and designers continue working in Ukraine, nothing will change. The game could be wildly successful, won't change a thing at that studio.

Terrible conditions, the people at 4A must be madly determined and love videogames intensely.

Cant Deep Silver move them?
Loxley
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:18 PM)
Loxley's Avatar
Wow :( Hopefully these guys can move to a better location now that Last Light is out and reviewing well.
greenjerk
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:18 PM)
greenjerk's Avatar

Originally Posted by MormaPope

If the programmers and designers continue working in Ukraine, nothing will change. The game could be wildly successful, won't change a thing at that studio.

Terrible conditions, the people at 4A must be madly determined and love videogames intensely.

this.
you find out in a hurry who really gives a shit when adversity hits.
Kallor
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:18 PM)
Kallor's Avatar
Goddamn. Still made a fantastic game too. Hope their next game goes a lot smoother for them.

Fucking THQ wasting time on that multiplayer.
therealminime
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:19 PM)
therealminime's Avatar
Amazing dedication. They have crafted a phenomenal game. I really hope it sells well.
Jawmuncher
(05-15-2013, 07:19 PM)
Jawmuncher's Avatar
Makes the quality of the product even more amazing considering the working conditions.
Metro Devs now have my full respect after reading this.
JDSN
You must walk home naked, dragging behind you the Stone of Shame.
(05-15-2013, 07:19 PM)
JDSN's Avatar
I am pleasde with the game so far, the reviews are obviously gonna lack that AAA journalist boner that big productions get despite being homogeneous shit like Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3, here is hoping their get great sales that result into better work conditions.
DSmalls84
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:19 PM)
DSmalls84's Avatar

Originally Posted by nhlducks35

So it was like the game?

You read my mind.
Fourman
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:20 PM)
Fourman's Avatar
Wow. They put out one hell of a game and should be proud of what they made in those conditions. Here is to more from 4A in the future and much success.
GamerSciz
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:20 PM)
GamerSciz's Avatar

Originally Posted by Nirolak

This is Jason Rubin looking back, not Deep Silver reflecting.

Ahh I see now. I misunderstood where they were coming from. Still though it's unfortunate nonetheless.
Heart Attack
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:20 PM)
Heart Attack's Avatar
much respect to the developers. Metro is one of the most underrated new IPs.
LTWheels
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:21 PM)
LTWheels's Avatar
Putting aside the poor working conditions and lower wages, it says a lot about the budget of games in the west. Over inflated maybe??
JaseC
gave away the keys to the kingdom.
(05-15-2013, 07:21 PM)
JaseC's Avatar
Awful though no less fascinating. It's remarkable that despite such conditions the studio has put out two competent FPS titles.
SniperHunter
Banned
(05-15-2013, 07:21 PM)
sounds like someone stole the AMD hardware. No wonder this game runs like shit on my 7970. Fucking nvidia agents!!1
Cramoss
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:22 PM)
Cramoss's Avatar
And they made a really good game. damn
jabuseika
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:22 PM)
jabuseika's Avatar
I can't complain now as I seat in this comfy chair with 3 monitors. :\


So is it corruption, just not having money, what's the problem?
Kinyou
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:22 PM)
Kinyou's Avatar

Originally Posted by MrHicks

poor ukraine
still in post soviet misery

They should probably make the jump to Germany. Though I can obviously see why you wouldn't want to leave your homeland
GamerSoul
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:22 PM)
GamerSoul's Avatar
Man those guys have a lot of dedication. I wish them the best of luck. You often don't hear about developers out the normal central areas so it is a very interesting.
antitrop
does not much care for
anti-shooter bias
(05-15-2013, 07:22 PM)
antitrop's Avatar

Originally Posted by Nirolak

Well, at least by game development standards.

So basically it was a prison camp, then?
MormaPope
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:22 PM)
MormaPope's Avatar

Originally Posted by sn00zer

Cant Deep Silver move them?

That's probably the best thing that could happen to 4A. The people at 4A might have family in Ukraine or ties to Ukraine that might make it hard for them to leave though.
Raptor
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:23 PM)
Raptor's Avatar
This developers have earned to be in better conditions.

To develop in those conditions and still make a great game has embarrassed the Ubisoft's of this part of the world.
BraXzy
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:23 PM)
BraXzy's Avatar
That sounds almost made up it's that bad, you don't think something like that could still be happening in this day and age.

I hope something is done to get these talented guys into better conditions with a bigger budget jeez :|
RyanReedyMusic
Banned
(05-15-2013, 07:24 PM)
I have such respect for these guys. Absolutely love the game so far.
CheesecakeRecipe
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:24 PM)
CheesecakeRecipe's Avatar
Deep Silver, if you're reading this do me a favor. Most of the cut of the money I gave you guys for this game needs to get put to a "Move 4A somewhere the fuck else" fund.

The game may be less difficult than I was hoping for but in almost every other way it's been stepped up from 2033 and seeing how they did it under these conditions I'm really glad I decided to support them at launch.
RPGamer92
Junior Member
(05-15-2013, 07:25 PM)
RPGamer92's Avatar
This makes me almost want to buy the game to support the devs alone after reading this.
ironcreed
Banned
(05-15-2013, 07:25 PM)
ironcreed's Avatar
Poor guys. Sounds like hell.
sflufan
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:25 PM)
sflufan's Avatar
Once again, I am pleased to see the superiority of my Eastern European developer overlords!
Adam Blue
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:25 PM)
Adam Blue's Avatar
I respect these guys even more now. The game is better on all fronts than most FPSs!

Awesome cat fight between Dent and Rubin on Twitter, btw.
Valkyr Junkie
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:26 PM)
Valkyr Junkie's Avatar
Is this all legit? I have difficulty believing that Kiev is this much of a shithole. Maybe the rest of the country though. I guess I should ask my Ukrainian friend.
Kimawolf
Member
(05-15-2013, 07:26 PM)
and people wonder why developer costs in those Eastern block countries are so low, look at the shit they have to put up with.
antitrop
does not much care for
anti-shooter bias
(05-15-2013, 07:27 PM)
antitrop's Avatar
So much respect for these devs after reading that.

Fucking dedication and passion, this game is.

Thread Tools