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View Full Version : LA GD stuff from DAKKA (FaQ's & stuff)



philbrad2
11-04-2005, 11:05
Posted by YAKFACE

Full thread (http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakka/Default.aspx?tabid=27&g=posts&t=5545)

I attended the LA Gamesday this weekend. I normally pride myself on digging through thepuckyto try to find out info that not everyone is looking at, even if it means by looking through designer sketch books or cornering the UK guests and asking them a slew of questions.

This year, I was particularly disappointed with the seminar. I know that the 6 month rumor policy is in place, and I'm dealing with that, but this means that the seminars have been drastically reduced.

The 40K, Fantasy and LOTR were all smooshed together into a single 'new product' seminar, and there was no Forgeworld seminar at all (at least not on the schedule; if there was one and I missed it, I'm pissed).

This may be old news to the people who went to the Atlanta GD, by I sure didn't read about this change in formats (it probably went unnoticed in the WAVE of new Tyranid information).

The seminar was exactly 100% the same as the Atlanta one, complete with the Carni sihlouette and the half-finished painting of the BT codex cover. I think the only thing new was a couple of slides of the new Wood Elf models; although I must admit I didn't pay attention to any Fantasy posts from GD Atlanta, so this stuff could have been there too.


As for minis, they had Marneus and his bodyguard for marines. For bugs, they had either the actual mini or the resin masters of the Hive Tyrant, Tyrant Guard, Zoanthrope, Lictor, Genestealers, and Raveners.

The Raveners are nice (you've already seen the pics on Dakka now), but they do seem a little static for my tastes. You don't get the feeling that these things can move *really* quick.


Okay, now for what little I could drag out of Graham McNeil. He was, as all the designers I've met, a very nice fellow. However, what he said to me was very disheartening.

GW has yet to decide on a schedule for how often they will release FAQs (they are currently doing that), but it will not be very often. I mentioned every six months to him, and I got the sense that was WAY too low. In fact, he said that FAQs probably won't be updated except in the case of a major reason, like a new codex changing something really big.

I now fully expect that the Ork FAQ with its incomprehensible use of the word "concealment" for the Kustom Force Field will be around until the FAQ is removed when a new codex finally comes out in a year or two.

Graham was insistent that it was important players not become confused at too many different FAQ versions. He said, what if one person shows up with a FAQ that says one thing, and another player shows up with another FAQ which says something else. I wanted to yell at him: "That's what revision numbers are for!", but it was clear (to me) that talking about FAQs was not something that he enjoys.

He did mention that they were only given a couple of weeks to submit the 4th edition FAQ answers and that it was all very rushed. He was ultimately disappointed with the way the FAQs were handeled but he feels that the rules are clear enough that anyone playing the game can figure it out if they need to.

In addition, there will be no CA annual this year, although he said there will almost certainly be annuals in the future when they have more stuff to put in it. I brought up the fact that the cut-and-paste corrections for the Chaos codex have yet to be printed to which he said that there will NO LONGER BE ANY CUT-AND-PASTE corrections because "it looks pretty ugly doesn't it?"


Another interesting tidbit from Graham was that there doesn't really seem to be a '40K team' and a 'Fantasy team' and a 'LOTR team' anymore. With perhaps a few exceptions, all the designers are now working on all 3 systems, if you hadn't noticed that already.

I also got the distinct impression that the designers are stretched pretty thin, and they certainly don't have someone heading up a 'FAQ' department. The way Graham described how someone came and asked them for their 4th edition FAQ submission gave me the very real impression that the FAQs are not updated unless someone from up above (whatever that is) tells them to do so.

So that's it. There weren't any design artists this year, so I don't have any cool descriptions of potential models like the Carnifex last year or the WH psyker on a cross (which sadly never made it) from the year before that.

Not too impressed with this pooling of design resources for all 3 systems TBH. Prolly fair for GW to be able to shunt additional design staff onto a project but I don't think we'll be seeing each product having a good follow through of ideas from project to project. The saying about "To many cooks.." springs to mind. Sound from YAKFACE's talk to Graham that things are stretched in the design studio this can't be good for the designers or finished product they put out to the buyng public. This concerns me. GW has always prided itself on the 'completeness' of its products this doesn't seem like the way to accomplish this. More like how to support as many game systems as possible with the least staff...

:cool:

Alpharius
11-04-2005, 14:04
I find GW's lack of faith (in terms of updating FAQs)...disturbing.

And really, there are a LOT of instances where the rules are NOT " clear enough that anyone playing the game can figure it out if they need to"!

Seriously!

And not just in terms of the "make do" FAQs to "hold us over" until the 4th ed. codex in question comes out... But issues left over from 3rd that were not addressed in the 4th ed. FAQs!

Sorry to rant here, but hopefully this was just Graham not wanting to talk about and/or write FAQs as opposed to an actual GW "attitude" or "policy" on them...

Ugh.

Drabant
11-04-2005, 14:12
No longer any cut and paste corrections. That is good, seriously, is there anyone who will paste stuff like that into their codex and ruin it? I just keep it loose in the book. So, will there be some other kind of corrections, like a proper errata page?

What bothers me is that some corrections needs to be done, and most of them could be done rather quickly.

charlie_c67
11-04-2005, 14:35
In that case why not try ideas with ur friends, play and fine tune them, then send to GW with a note saying "we've tried this and found it works for us, hope it helps you." After all, look at the revisons that cam after druichii.net (or.com) playtested dark elf rules.

Delicious Soy
11-04-2005, 14:45
I had thought that each design team lent assisstance to each other on occassion, or a member with an army would come over and offer suggestions but having simply a development team as one whole is rediculous. Especially in regard to LOTR which is very different to 40k and WFB. I'd say the lack of chapter approved/chronicles articles is indicative enough of thestrain being placed on the studio.

I'd also prefer it if GW at least announced what the hell they were doing outside of six months, even a rough guide. Having no long term idea of whats coming is mightly annoying.

grizzly ruin
11-04-2005, 14:46
I find GW's lack of faith (in terms of updating FAQs)...disturbing.


Yeah me too, especially considering that the 4th ed Chaos FAQ left out a whole bunch of important things from the 3rd ed FAQ. :rolleyes:


Where's the sense in rushing out FAQs and then never updating them because "anyone can figure it out". Obviously if we need a FAQ in the first place, not "anyone can figure it out."

ugh.

charlie_c67
11-04-2005, 15:21
Perhaps portenters should work on our own FAQ's?

Wolf Scout Ewan
11-04-2005, 18:22
One team for all dev and design.

Bloody LoTR again.

cyndre
11-04-2005, 19:06
One exemple of rule that went worse with 4th, Tau drones, my friend mailed them about it, and they said something that meant "Hum, pretty much only when new Tau codex comes out".

Be patient my friend, be patient... ;)

Drabant
11-04-2005, 20:15
Perhaps portenters should work on our own FAQ's?

The problem is that FAQs are needed because the rules are unclear, or in the case of some older codices need to be changed to suit 4th ed. So if we made our own FAQs we would have to make up our own rules, and they could never be a real substitute to official FAQs/rules.

Marsekay
11-04-2005, 20:38
I just dont think GW have enough staff to cope anymore.
I think they need to recruit a few more designers, sculptors, painters etc....

Bruen
11-04-2005, 21:07
I don't mind about them reorganising the developers, as long as they keep the quality up they can have them all doing handstands for all I care.

The poor GD quality doesn't really matter to me because I stopped going a while back.

The thing that really bugs me is the FAQ thing. There are and always will be rules that are less than clear; even if they are clear to the developers not all of the players are going to read the same rule the same way. Hence the need for FAQ's. Now IMHO GW needs to get off its high horse and start helping its players clear up these misunderstanding.

These rules problems result in tons of minor but annoying gripes and distractions that interrupt peoples fun. And thats what we play and pay for, fun.

At minimum they need regulary updated (I would suggest at least every 6 months) FAQ's that answer the questions that players really pose and not just those that GW wants to answer.

Ideally they would have some sort of evolving knowledgebase online, something like this:

1) All rules calls, emails and other enquiries are sent to a specified department. GW already has guys doing this job in the form of customer services so its not like we are talking a lot of extra expense here. All answers given by this department should be considered binding and official.
2) This department first cosults the database to see if the question has already been answered, if it has just reply with the database entry.
3) If it hasn't been answered then they send the question to the Studio for an authoritative response.
4) The Studio response is entered into the database and sent to the customer.

The database should also be available to the public from the GW website.

Over time this system should develop into an comprehensive system, without the overhead of trying to answer everything on day 1. It can also be used when writing new books to see what sort of rules and what sort of writing style causes the least problems. Its a tried and tested solution to this kind of problem.

t-tauri
12-04-2005, 18:49
The idea of a knowledgebase type system is a good one. Involving Mail Order Rulesboyz is probably not the way to go as most of the time any two will give diametrically opposed and contradicting answers.

They could hire a fan fresh out of university for a small salary and put them on the job. Half the posters on any internet forum would jump at the chance. Ideal training for a wannabe Games Designer and it would be phenomenally cheap and effective.

So obviously they aren't going to do it. The rationale offered for not putting out regular FAQs is just stupid. All you do for conflicts is put a version number and date on each page of each FAQ and the newest one is correct.

Bruen
12-04-2005, 19:44
The idea of a knowledgebase type system is a good one. Involving Mail Order Rulesboyz is probably not the way to go as most of the time any two will give diametrically opposed and contradicting answers.


Part of the point of what I suggested is that the guys answering the phones or emails never think up any answers at all. They ALL either come from the Studio or the knowledgebase.

boogle
12-04-2005, 20:05
do you not think the studio is stretched enough?, they would be answering the phone from 9-5 7 days a week if that system was to be put into place, the webteam should liase with the studio (indeed Owen Rees was one of the main reasons that the DA Codex got its update), and get these FAQs out quick, it seems that GW it alienating its fanbase by not updating

Inquisitor Engel
12-04-2005, 20:17
They could hire a fan fresh out of university for a small salary and put them on the job. Half the posters on any internet forum would jump at the chance. Ideal training for a wannabe Games Designer and it would be phenomenally cheap and effective.
Most of the Games Designers are there because their love of the Hobby and connections. Andy C was there from the virtual start, and Pete Haines was his mate for a long time before he became a Games Designer.

GW definitely has to know who you are to become a Games Designer, or so I've gathered.

*sucks up*

Bruen
12-04-2005, 20:24
do you not think the studio is stretched enough?, they would be answering the phone from 9-5 7 days a week if that system was to be put into place

Why do you think that?

Remember that the Studio would never talk to the public, they could just schedule a meeting once a month or so to answer all of the outstanding issues. GW claims that all the rules are clear so at least the designers should be able to answer any queries pretty fast because thay already understand what the rules are supposed to say.

t-tauri
12-04-2005, 21:34
Most of the Games Designers are there because their love of the Hobby and connections. Andy C was there from the virtual start, and Pete Haines was his mate for a long time before he became a Games Designer.

GW definitely has to know who you are to become a Games Designer, or so I've gathered.

*sucks up*
Pete designed Golden Heroes for GW in the very dim and distant past so he was published by GW well before Andy was. Andy was a bit of a johnny come lately by comparison.

Keep sucking, Engel. ;) Seriously though someone like yourself would be ideal to run that kind of project.

charlie_c67
12-04-2005, 23:28
So long as you err keep in contact with on here of course... ;)

Alpharius
13-04-2005, 00:19
The more I think about this new "policy", the more annoying it becomes.

No more "cut and paste" errata, because it is too "ugly" and no one uses it.

No more frequent (ha!) FAQs, because the rules are already easy enough to understand.

Wow.

I'm almost afraid to ask what color the sky is in their world!

The Chaos Space Marine codex NEEDS some sort of official "update" or whatever, as the various editions (at least THREE at present count, possibly FOUR) have not been identified and/or had the list of changes clearly spelled out, anywhere.

A more recent example? How far is a deep striking land speeder considered to have moved? Can it fire any weapons upon deepstrike arrival? This isn't clear to me, even after having read the Clear Rules in the latest codex.

Then there's the Wisdom of the Ancients and Flesh Over Steel questions, etc.

This is a rather short sighted and not very customer service based "policy".

Of course, it cannot possibly be an established official policy, so, quite possibly I'm off on a rant filled tangent.

I hope...

GAWD
13-04-2005, 01:01
Frankly, while this nauseates me, I can't say I'm surprised.

The idea that we can figure it out really pisses me off most. WE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT! Write some damn rules that are clear and strive to NOT be purposely ambiguous. The game isn't fun when we have to spend 30 minutes debating whether or not your vehicle can be hit in hth during your turn. I can't stand playing 40k anymore b/c if I'm not playing against a friend then I KNOW that we're going to be playing w/three different sets of rules (the ambiguous BGB & codexes, his/her interpretation of the ambiguous BGB and codexes, and my interpretation of the BGB and codexes). For cryin' out loud 40k is a warGAME not rocket science ... the developers should figure it out for themselves and not leave their work up their customers.

Darius Rhiannon
13-04-2005, 04:54
I started this thread on a post made by Gavin on another forum.

http://www.portent.net/forums/showthread.php?p=15199#post15199

boogle
13-04-2005, 07:41
then why don't we make a sub section in the 40K rules forum where we discuss the interpretations of the rules and we have a definitive rules panel (4-5 people on here we know know the rules) and try and sort out the rules ambiguities, how does that sound

GAWD
13-04-2005, 16:47
@boogle: No, No, No. Your idea is cute, and I used to think like you do. But ... No. We are supposed to do the games developers job for them. For that matter, Nurglitch's work w/Dark Millenium should be our guide. If we need to go so far as to set up "living" rules review, then we should just write our own game.

On track: I find it admirable that GW doesn't want supplement the rules w/FAQ's. Rulebooks and Codexes need to be definitive; unfortunately, the design team is evidently incapable of writing clearly defined rules.

Alpharius
13-04-2005, 18:06
Ha! No kidding!

Look at a basic example - the difference in wording between the Rule Book and SM codex regarding Thunder Hammers!

Look at the problems that has caused...

Are their no proofreaders at GW? Does no one edit these things before they go to press?

Drabant
13-04-2005, 20:02
Are their no proofreaders at GW? Does no one edit these things before they go to press?

Obviously not. There's a lot of linguistic errors as well.

Delicious Soy
13-04-2005, 22:53
GW definitely has to know who you are to become a Games Designer, or so I've gathered.

*sucks up*Just remember who your friends are Engel. And by friends, I mean those willingly to bribe you to influence the game in their favour :p

foehammer888
14-04-2005, 16:16
Look, they already have an "Answers from Pete..." post on the GW forums page. Would it really be that difficult to transplant that list to the 40k page of their website with a disclaimer saying "these updates to the 40k rules are official". I don't need some fancy pdf sheet with a photoshop background. Just make it a printable sheet with a number at the top that's incrimented every time it's updated. Stores could keep a printout of the document in a binder in their gaming area.

I also wouldn't mind if it didn't really include much on 3rd edition codexes. I understand them not wanting to make rules twice, once for the game revision and once for the codex revision. However, if there are misconceptions about about new codexes, that should be addressed.

I think it all boils down to one point. GW needs to do more "Ravening Hordes style stuff for it's new codexes. 3-6 months before a codex is realeased, a plain text document of the rules should be made available for download for "playtesting" by real players, not developers. Most computer game companies do this with beta tests. Why? Because it results in a better product. And i really don't think it would reduce the sales of the actual codex all that much.

foehammer

Colonel Krieg
15-04-2005, 23:00
Sorry a bit OT


A more recent example? How far is a deep striking land speeder considered to have moved? Can it fire any weapons upon deepstrike arrival? This isn't clear to me, even after having read the Clear Rules in the latest codex.


IIRC according to the rules for deepstriking DE raiders they would count as moving beyond 6" and below 12" with regards to glancing hits and shooting