Da li AA svakom novom verzijom postaje sve losija?
Na to pitanje je tesko odgovoriti. Prvenstveno radi subjektivnosti u razmisljanju o omiljenoj nam igri. Tu je i stvar ukusa, a kako znamo, o ukusima se ne raspravlja. Ipak cinjenica je da svakom novom verzijom ima sve vise nezadovoljnika koji zamjeraju novosti, kojih za moj ukus ima previse svakim novim patch-om. Kao prilog mojoj tvrdnji mogu nabrojati nebrojene postove sa mnogih foruma s naslovom “The Official “I hate 2.xx” thread”. Takodjer nemoguce je ne primjetiti da su takvi threadovi krenuli pojavom verzije 2.0. Istina bilo je i prije takvih postova ali toliko malom broju da vjerujem da ih nitko nije niti citao, jer bi takav post pao u zaborav sa eventualno jednim replayem.
Evolucija je zeznuta stvar. Ako uzmemo u obzir da evoluciji podlijezu sve stvari koje se razvijaju, rastu i na neki nacin disu, onda je lako ubrojati pod takvu definiciju i kompjuterske igre. Armija nije izuzetak. Dakle armija je evoluirala iz neceg sto je krenulo kao cista proba u stilu “Hajde da vidimo kako ce ovo proci” do necega oko cega sada americki kongres raspravlja. Da, pogodili ste ako ste pomislili da je novac u pitanju. Naime troskovi armije iznose svega 1% dijela budzeta americke vojske namijenjenog za regrutaciju, a preko nje u zadnjih 2 godine je regrutirana 1/3 novih regruta. Shvacate matematiku? I odjednom su sada svi zainteresirani za tu istu armiju i svi pokusavaju iz nje iscijediti sto se vise moze. Nazalost, to za posljedicu ima degradaciju armije iz verzije u verziju. Iako mozda nece svi razumijeti o cemu pricam i pisem ovdje jer armiju pratim i igram od verzije 1.2 i to vrlo aktivno, osjecam se kompetentnim davati ovakve izjave.
Prije otprilike godinu i 5-6 mjeseci sam na trackeru napisao post pod naslovom “Is AA going downhill after Abraxas left”. I mene samog je iznenadila reakcija zajednice, a ono sto me je najvise iznenadilo je da sam uspio isprovocirati Abraxasa da se javi. Za vas koji neznate o kome pricam, Abraxas je prvi DEV armije, odosno prvi glavni dev. Dakle on je napisao AAO 1.0 i pisao ju je sve do sredine 2004 godine. Nakon njegovog odlaska stvari su se stubokom promijenile. Najveca promjena koju su svi osjetili je bila sutnja novih developera. Naime novo pokoljenje nije pricalo, nije igralo armiju i nije se udostojilo niti jednom odgovoriti na upite zajednice. Doduse u zadnjih pola godine to se pomalo mijenja, pa se ipak moze pronaci tu i tamo koji dev post u nekom od regularnih threadova, a da nije nekakav annoucment ili sticky thread. Iako zvuci malo fantasticno u vrijeme 1.4 do 1.6 igrati sa nekim od dev-ova ondasnjim SCI ili HomeLan serverima je bilo posve normalno. Danas takve susrete mogu nabrojati na prste jedne ruke. Uglavnom, zasto je doslo do promjene i zbog cega je cijeli originalni tim devova napustio razvoj armije je bila je nepoznanica. Sve do danas kada sam preko jednog posta na tracker forumu dosao do linka gdje je jedan od originalnih prvih devova, doduse anonimno, napisao sto se sve desavalo u pozadini. Iako je dev pokusao ostati anoniman, vrlo je jasno da je clanak napisao sam Abraxas, sto daje posebnu tezinu tekstu i vjerodostojnost.
Tekst je zasluzio da se procita. Donosi puno nepoznatih stvari o armiji, a mozda i potvrdan odgovor na naslov ove vijesti. Svakako procitajte. Dakle kliknite na more i pazljivo citajte.
The following anonymous real-life adventure is written by a respected developer deeply involved in the making of America’s Army, a PC-based shooter designed as a recruitment tool. I’ve asked for permission to repost it here (it originally appeared in a restricted list about six months ago), as I think it’s an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the ups and downs projects can go through, and the too common silly politics involved.
I was involved with the America’s Army project through most of the
game’s development. During the peak of production we had somewhere
around 27 or 28 people on the team. About a year ago, the Army
decided to make serious and fundamental changes to the team. As a
result, they have steadily hemorrhaged talent and people have left in
droves. The entire programming and design staff is decimated, and the
art team is now a shell of what it used to be.
The Army doesn’t really know anything about making video games. Why
would they? It’s not what they do. When I came on board the project,
it wasn’t in the best shape. At that time, the Army was desperate to
get a game out. People’s military careers were on the line.
Originally there were two game projects in the works (the other was an
FMV piece of tripe that died a sad and whimpering death before ever
seeing the light of day). The development of the game was a huge risk
for the Army, and if it failed heads were going to roll. Because of
this, the Army was much more hands off (although they were still
pretty difficult to work with even then), and pretty much just held
their breath and hoped we’d pull something out. We barely were able
to make the July 4th deadline they set for us. The team that was put
together, although pretty green, put in a phenomenal number of hours
to get the job done. The game wasn’t perfect, but we felt like we
pulled off a miracle under some pretty bad conditions.
Once the game hit its peak of success, the Army began to rewrite
history. It was around the time we hit the number three spot on the
Gamespy stats page that they started complaining about how we weren’t
meeting their expectations. We began to read news stories
interviewing Army personnel who talked about how they had built the
game. The Navy started to get pissed at the Army because there was
never any mention that the game was actually built within a Naval
think-tank. A lot of political fights over the project broke out not
only between the Army and the Navy, but within different divisions of
the Army itself. When the project was just a fly-by-night rogue
mission, no one paid much attention to it. Once the Army figured out
that the game was the single most successful marketing campaign they’d
ever launched (at 1/3rd of 1% of their annual advertising budget), we
suddenly came under a very big microscope. Personally, I saw the end
coming months in advance. It was pretty inevitable what would
So, one morning about a year ago, the Army shows up in force at the
Naval Postgraduate School. They arrive in full dress uniform and
bring generals and lawyers with them. They go to the school’s Provost
and make accusations of mismanagement by the school. They make claims
that the game is a failure and that the school has not lived up to its
contract. Tempers flare and the Navy and the Army both agree that they
should get the hell out of NPS. The Army takes their ball and goes
home, and several of the team members are not invited to come along.
I think the first resignation came within a month of this event, and
the exodus has not stopped to this day. They’ve probably lost
somewhere around 20 people since they took the game “internal”, and
they’ll surely lose more before all is said and done.
At this point, I’m not sure if they’re going to be able to ever
recapture what they had. The Army is basically clueless when it comes
to making games and they don’t know how to treat people, especially
game developers. They had an A-level team, but I honestly don’t see
them building another one (particularly since they weren’t the ones
who built the first one). It’ll be interesting to watch what happens
though. Essentially, there was a magic couple of years there where
two totally alien cultures came together to do something cool. It’s
sad to see it all crumble so quickly, but again, I pretty much saw it
coming all along. Some things, by nature, just can’t last.
In the end, I’m happy for the experience. It was extremely valuable
to me, and was a wonderful opportunity. It was unique and different,
and a chance to take a shot at something that no one really had any
expectations of. It was also a chance at creating a small snippet of
history. The game is far from perfect, but I’m still proud of it
simply because of how much was stacked against it. I worked with some
wonderful people, many of which I hope will have long and successful
Anyway, that’s the short version of this story. The whole story could
fill a book. Today, the game is limping along, but has not recovered
from the ordeal. Last I heard, the Army and the Navy were both being
audited by the Department of Justice. No idea how that’s turning out.
There’s a lot more to be told, but I don’t know if it will ever be
made public. Working on the game was a wacky adventure, and not the
type of thing most game developers will ever experience. The job of a
game developer is pretty strange as it is, but making a game for the
Army was a down right surreal experience.