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What Works and Doesn't Work - A Letter To Squarenix

#1Altrus02Posted 4/3/2013 11:33:49 PM
I'm not one to rant, (usually), but I've already seen a lot of posts and red-hot opinions expressed about people's thoughts on recent statements from the company. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it seems a lot of people get confused over Details vs. Policies. What one player hates in any given game might be warmly approved of by another player. This simple list isn't intended to explain why people loved Final Fantasy X but didn't like any other numbered entrant in that series. This simple list is intended to be a general overview of advice that might, (with luck), be more useful. It is far from complete, but I think starting points ought to be simple.


WHAT WORKS:

1.) Get people in charge of storylines and world creating that do their work first, without regard to other aspects of the project. Let them explore the limitless boundaries of their imaginations without hearing about budgets, headlines, popularity polls and what the best selling game of the previous year was.

2.) Focus on finding the right system of mechanics, (battle or otherwise), for the story and world you are working with. Don't be afraid to reuse an older system if it allows the player to sink right into the environment, and conversely don't be afraid to try some radically new providing it does not require a lot of time, delicacy or frustrating actions by the player. Find what is right for any given game, and don't be afraid to abandon a mechanic you put a lot of work into if it just isn't turning out right.

3.) Start making games. True, it takes longer to program a hugely complicated game on a modern system, but there is a market for real RPG games in the modern era. I promise you. All you have to do is look at the outcry for a good import, as surrounded White Witch, and the way RPG fans leaped hungrily on top of it to see that we want such games. Not "games with RPG elements", or "RPG-like character development". We want RPGS. Especially those of us who, over the last two decades, used our wallets to create your American market.


WHAT DOESN'T WORK:

1.) Put the right people in charge of each project. Do not put an director with lots and lots of MMO design experience in charge of an offline console game. It is inevitable that the worst elements of each platform will survive to clash together while the best elements slip away like slippery fish.

2.) Stop announcing games you haven't even started any real work on. A player gets excited when they hear about a new project or entrant in a favorite series. As a year, or two, or six, go by, there is no possibility of positive feelings increasing during that time, and every possibility of negative ones filling up the available brainspace. Put your teams to work on projects, then instead of wasting money doing conferences and press releases, just spend that money on their budgets. When a game is 80% done and within a few months of release, then it is permissible to start telling the world about it. Trust me, the fans will keep themselves up to date.

3.) Confusing titles. You can SAY that Lightning Returns isn't really FF13-3...but since it continues the story of 13-2 and takes place after it, it really is 13-3. Don't try to soften a totally new battle system by giving the game a different name. It is 13-3, so call it that. And lay off all the dumb titles that make a game purchaser sound like a sleep-deprived accountant with a speech impediment. I don't want to have to pull a note out of my pocket just to tell the guy behind the counter what I am looking to buy.

4.) Enix. Go back to the Squaresoft roots. Square had a line-up of games that were created by people who understood how incredibly fun an RPG could be. Enix had lots of titles too, but just didn't quite have that "Square spark". After the merger, it seems that a lot of the Enix thinking spread across combined company, and is subsequently responsible for a lot of Squarenix's problems.
#2KaliestoPosted 4/3/2013 11:37:37 PM(edited)
I'm sorry to be blunt, but you can't tell a company what to do if you don't personally know the company of it's ins and outs.

Also I'm getting tired of the rants that Square and Enix shouldn't have merged, it was their decision and for the reasons only they understood.
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#3Altrus02(Topic Creator)Posted 4/3/2013 11:43:30 PM
Kaliesto posted...
I'm sorry to be blunt, but you can't tell a company what to do if you don't personally know the company of it's ins and outs.

Also I'm getting tired of the rants that Square and Enix shouldn't have merged, it was their decision and for the reasons only they understood.


Thank you for freely admitting you don't understand how the real world works. I am also glad to see you have voluntarily waived your right to ever express your opinions on any part of the world beyond your doorstep and your grocery store. I'd direct you to some opinion polls, but as you just declared, the concept of such things are deplorable to you. Enjoy your 17th century life.
#4KaliestoPosted 4/3/2013 11:48:58 PM(edited)
Altrus02 posted...
Kaliesto posted...
I'm sorry to be blunt, but you can't tell a company what to do if you don't personally know the company of it's ins and outs.

Also I'm getting tired of the rants that Square and Enix shouldn't have merged, it was their decision and for the reasons only they understood.


Thank you for freely admitting you don't understand how the real world works. I am also glad to see you have voluntarily waived your right to ever express your opinions on any part of the world beyond your doorstep and your grocery store. I'd direct you to some opinion polls, but as you just declared, the concept of such things are deplorable to you. Enjoy your 17th century life.




and you sir are just a user on the internet acting like a know it all just like the rest on here. I seriously doubt you worked for SE and I have not either, so thus it doesn't give anyone a right to criticize if you don't know the company personally. Work for SE and find out for yourself what goes on in there and then I will take you more seriously. Also get off your soapbox with that post, take some steam off in the CE board because it looks like you need it.

As for the real world, I know how it works, but your post is just all kinds of rant that does not offer any credibility. You guys like to do this alot for a specific final fantasy that has come along, you and other people that do this on GFAQS seriously need to get a life, that is all.
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"GameFAQs is a giant MMO text adventure." - Clarifinatious
"I've beat it twice." - TheLichLord
#5RoxasANobodyPosted 4/3/2013 11:49:45 PM
Altrus02 posted...
Thank you for freely admitting you don't understand how the real world works. I am also glad to see you have voluntarily waived your right to ever express your opinions on any part of the world beyond your doorstep and your grocery store. I'd direct you to some opinion polls, but as you just declared, the concept of such things are deplorable to you. Enjoy your 17th century life.


I'd take the time to explain to you why a post on GameFAQs wouldn't do anything for Square, but you're just unbelievably rude. Business plans to start-up a business can be lengthy [I've seen some get up to 104 pages]. Changing a business is a lot more than, "Hey, some guy made a post on GameFAQs, let's do it!"

The "real world" you're attempting to get at sounds nothing like the "real world" of management, accounting, marketing, and logistics.
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#6KaliestoPosted 4/4/2013 12:08:44 AM(edited)
I hate making posts like that as I'm trying to curb that old habit I've had on here, but I will bite back if I need to after that stunt.

My point wasn't to make you hostile, I've seen alot of people on gamefaqs claiming they know how to run a business, but in reality have very little experience on the subject. There is only a few on here that are legitimately businessmen and things are not as simple people tend to make them out to be. The majority on here are at least in their early 20s close to reaching their mid-20s (from a Poll on G-FAQS, how reliable that is, I can't say) and far as I can tell they don't know how business works..given some here are probably teenagers as well, this is video-game site after all. Course we have few people in their 30s and 40s in here too.

If people just don't like the direction a series takes then at least give them feedback, you maybe of the minority or the majority depending on the opinion. I just don't like it when people feel the need to rant the same old things on the forums day and day out. I won't hide the fact I've been there too, but I learned to cool it with that seeing the big picture in things.

It's nice we have passionate people here, but there's problems that come with it. When people get too passionate for a series, they ignore their own flaws in their arguments and fail to see the big picture.
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"GameFAQs is a giant MMO text adventure." - Clarifinatious
"I've beat it twice." - TheLichLord
#7Altrus02(Topic Creator)Posted 4/4/2013 12:24:17 AM
Kaliesto - What really amazes me are the things people assume. To calmly make my point: I was not, (as seems to be implied), at all heated when I wrote my initial statement. My statement was my own response to all the things I have been reading following the president's statement, most of which centered around why 13 sucked and why every game in the future should be a 10 clone.

Nor, in any way, is it an attempt, (an assumption I REALLY find laughable), to somehow create a business plan for a company on another continent. As I said, it was only my thoughts on what basic views might best be kept in mind if the president is going to, (in his own words), squeeze out what doesn't work and keep what does.

The POINT, as seems to have been missed, is for people to stop complaining about the things that won't even be mentioned during this process and contemplate what might be most beneficial for the future.

I only got heated reading the immediate replies, which really seemed to have come too soon for anyone to have really fully pondered the point I was intending to make. I happen to believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, including you, though the idea that a paying customer is not entitled to express opinions on a company they do business with is not one I happen to share with you.

I've been a lifelong gamer, seen the rise and evolution of games from atari to modern technological miracles, and can only express my own opinions based on what I have observed and experienced. Which is all that I have done. I didn't do that necessarily because I wanted anyone to agree with me, but because I was tired of it festering inside me.

As for RoxasANobody: don't preach to me about how company business is organized and carried out. I won't even waste the time to explain why that is laughable. But, out of a faint hope that it might do some good, I will point out two things.
1.) ALL business changes initially start by the participants identifying some basic STARTING POINTS to work from as they make their future, more detailed decisions.
2.) Not that I actually care much, but most big companies these days have these little divisions within them called "Social Marketing" or sometimes "Social Media Managing". One of the duties of their office, (because hey, it creates more jobs!), is to comb lots of sites not unlike Gamefaqs to collect consumer feedback. These days when a company says it has been listening to customer feedback, they often mean their SMM office has been printing lots of posts.

As I said, I don't actually care if Squarenix ever sees my own thoughts, and I don't much care if you think I am being rude or on a soapbox. I've said my piece, so now I can get to sleep more easily in the next 10 minutes.
#8TehAssasinPosted 4/4/2013 12:36:34 AM
Add in 'Fire Toriyama ASAP' and we're good.
#9SightoPosted 4/4/2013 12:53:25 AM
WHAT DOESN'T WORK:

1.) Put the right people in charge of each project.

lol
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#10KaliestoPosted 4/4/2013 12:28:48 PM
Now I did actually learn something new from this, I wasn't aware they did social marketing around sites like this.

I'm still a believer though that giving direct feedback is the better way to go.
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"GameFAQs is a giant MMO text adventure." - Clarifinatious
"I've beat it twice." - TheLichLord