J.E. Sawyer opens a blog

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    The diogenes-lamp.info site finally gets a use again as J.E. Sawyer opens a blog. He sure likes that social thing. First entry is a counter to indie RPG developer Jeff Vogel's claim that developers should not read their own forums.<blockquote>Many creators make products to sell to people. It's our job. Well over a million people just paid around $50-$60 USD for something I helped make. If it doesn't work right or if they feel the product was misrepresented, it makes sense that they would be upset. The extent to which their reaction is justifiable or reasonable depends on what's going on, but sometimes, we actually did do something really bad. Sometimes, we can step back and realize that if we experienced the same problem on our own, we would kick our own (collective) asses.

    We have to accept that we make mistakes and we have to understand that it can really ruin someone's day. What we make is entertainment, but it's entertainment that can just as easily generate crushing lows as euphoric highs. A while ago, one of my co-workers received an e-mail from a gamer saying that she credits one of our games with saving her life. It shocked my co-worker. I've received similar e-mails in the past, going all the way back to to my early days at Black Isle. It shocks me every time it happens as well. I make video games, most of which I don't even think are anything to get excited about one way or another. Sometimes it's hard to accept how much what we make can impact people, positively and negatively, but this goes back to what I wrote above: reality is still out there. Sometimes we make people really happy. Sometimes we really upset them. Most people have no strong feelings about what we make. They look at it, poke at it, get bored, and move on. That's life. It's important to accept and understand these things.


    And sifting through all of that stuff, you're going to see a lot of harsh words. Some of it will be at your company, some of it may be right at you. But after a while, you can take anything. You don't need to get angry. You don't need to feel bad. There's no word, no phrase, no type of insult, no emotion that you can't brush off. If you're honest with yourself and level with others, you can take whatever's thrown at you. Accept the helpful, even when it initially stings. Reject the irrelevant, even when it feels good. As long as we care about what our audiences think, we've got to be willing to dig through some mud to understand it. If it helps us refine our techniques, improve what we create, and be more honest with ourselves, it will all be worth it in the end.</blockquote>Spotted on GameBanshee.
  2. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    Jun 11, 2008
    Thanks for the heads-up, this is great. Like his formspring stuff, now I have another link to bookmark.
  3. Vik

    Vik It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 6, 2011
    Wish Bethesda had someone this talented in charge.
  4. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    Cue post from Todd Howard's #1 Fan.

    Seriously, why doesn't Bethesda talk to their fans? Sawyer's still busy talking to New Vegas fans like he did pre-release while Todd Howard and co. either never post or only post in that Meet the Devs thread.
  5. Vik

    Vik It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 6, 2011
    Did you just insult me? Because anything with Todd Howard in it sounds like an insult.
  6. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    Um, I'll rephrase it.

    You-know-who never posts on the Bethesda forums, while Sawyer repeatedly chatted with New Vegas fans even while the game was being developed. Makes ya wonder.

    Oh, and You-know-who's #1 Fan is a troll poster here who worships You-know-who. He's amusing, so we let him stay.
  7. TheRatKing

    TheRatKing Vault Dweller

    Oct 7, 2008
    Judging from what Todd said in his most recent interview, he doesn't think about what the fans want to add or fix, he want's to figure out what's superfluous!

    Yay let's make the game simpler.
  8. Vik

    Vik It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 6, 2011
    Somehow I really doubt a guy called #1 Fan can be for real. I mean, it's like worshiping George W. Bush.

    You know, I actually think that Bethesda has some talented people on the team with a lot of potential. There's even one of Thief's lead designers there as far as I remember. The problem is that the people in charge are phenomenal idiots. Play Fallout 3 enough and you'll see that despite the terrible main story line , average writing and simplicity of the gameplay, it has a lot of good things here and there. Or look at the Point Lookout DLC, it shows that those guys can do very good things while Todd Howard and other similar idiots are on vacation and don't interfere.
  9. NiRv4n4

    NiRv4n4 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 16, 2010
    Well, when you think about it, games developed by Bethesda are quite successful, both in the sales and critic department. So, to make your analogy better, change Bush (who barely succeeded in sales, not so much in critic) to the omnipresent Obama, and you get a perfect analogy. Todd Howard is to video games as Obama is to politics; most people love him, while a minority does not. Not to say the minority is in fault, it's just better to recognize which side of that line you lay on.

    And how are you so sure that Howard had nothing to do with Point Lookout, and everything to do with the main story? If you really hate the plot, bitch about Emil Pagliarulo, he was the lead writer.

    Nice to know that Sawyer is making a point to communicate with his fans better though.
  10. Vik

    Vik It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 6, 2011
    Not 100% sure, no. But as far as I remember, after F3's launch most of the team went on vacation, probably along with Obama Howard. And I've read somewhere that Point Lookout was the only DLC done by F3's lead designers and they had absolute freedom to do whatever they want with it. Considering how good it is, I think that might be true.

    And I'm sure it was Howard's idea to make the BoS vs Enclave war the main sotryline.

    Finally, many call Obama a disappointment these days, so your analogy isn't that accurate either.
  11. Elven6

    Elven6 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 23, 2010
    Is it really Howard that they love though, or simply "Bethesda"? If you were to go to a Fallout or Elder Scrolls launch event and ask attendees if they knew who Todd Howard was, I doubt most would know. But if you ask them something like "do you know who Bethesda is" they'd likely respond better IMO.

    It's unfortunately how the games and movies industry is, most people don't recognize the names behind the production unless they're prominent on the front of the box.
  12. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    I believe Mr. Sawyer is not right on this topic. Well, it depends. If you are a part of an indie development studio its something where forums and close contact to the community really matter, maybe a bit exaggarated, but even single posts can divide a community and thus divide potential buyers of your product from people not buying it or people stopping to endorse your product and rather pirate it. The percentage of people using forums of AAA titles in comparison to the average gamer is rather slim, so one can talk more "freely" inside the borders of this realm.

    First I was amazed about that Mr. Sawyer talks so freely about stuff, but he really just talks about stuff, never really about usefull informations. Want to know really important stuff besides the "lol u are a cunt what will u answer???!!!11" "no u!!!11" or his thoughts about marriage which no one really wants to know? Wrong adress!

    So if you really want to hear about a gun nut talking, subscribe to his blog, if you want to hear about a guy developping games, I'd rather suggest to keep listening to Jeff Vogel, because he knows what he is talking about.
  13. C2B

    C2B Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Aug 17, 2010
    Personally, I heard from Sawyer so far more important information regarding the development of F:NV than I EVER heard of Vogel. (Sawyers community contact on his previous works not mentioned though it was siginficantly less) Sawyer has a tongue that is more loose and talks also about the weather. Yes. But that doesn't mean that with it doesn't come a lot of information.
  14. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    well something they said a long time ago was "they" (Bethesda, Todd what ever) dont like to focus on their old games but kinda like always imagine something completely new with every sequel.

    Though if you ask me they do not really anything new. They just make their games more "simpler".
  15. Kindo

    Kindo Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 26, 2003
    I, for one, really appreciate Sawyer's openness and tendency to communicate with the players like this. No matter what you may disagree or agree with regarding his statements, this act alone makes me respect him so much more as a game designer.
  16. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    Nice to see Sawyer open up to the community like that. I always like it when developers explain what they do; Blizzard does it, Bioware does it, and looks like Obsidian is following suit with Sawyer and dear ol' MCA, to a lesser extent. You may agree or not with what they do,but sensible explanations always motivate me to watch out for the dev's next game/xpac/dlc/whatever since it shows they have a willingness to discuss how to improve themselves.
  17. Alphadrop

    Alphadrop A right proper chap.

    Aug 21, 2008
    I think he used that line once to explain why they didn't patch their games more.
  18. TheRatKing

    TheRatKing Vault Dweller

    Oct 7, 2008
    That is so painful to hear.
  19. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Not sure ... but I dont remember it that way. I mean I think they said something about patches once but I dont know if it was about that.

    I think they said it regarding the loore and why for example Oblivion looked so "different" to past games or why there was no conection. You always play a new character Bethesda games, with new story without ANY conection to past games at all (either from gameplay nor canon).
  20. LinkPain

    LinkPain Mildly Dipped

    Jan 18, 2011
    Well why don't they do Final Fantasy 16 or something noncanon like that then . That would be awesome to see . Next awesome to see -> seppuku .

    Communication isn't so hard . It works as a stress treatment also . All in all he has a huge point . Bookmarked :D
    Not related to Fallout but take a look at Walking Dead or A Game of Thrones for example . Huge fanbase , but the "developers" take time to answer to some questions or at least read fan reviews . And they care for their product and fans beyond the point to just sell the product and hope for the best .