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Xbox Game Studios |OT5| The Cult of Phil in the Age of Booty: A Case Study

Aug 23, 2018
110
Try that again
Something happened on our end. Waiting a bit might help.



:(
That's after enrolling via the Insider Hub (Delta Ring tester). Hopefully it'll be fixed soon...
I have the same issue where it says it's unavailable.
I did too, but it worked after I restarted my console.

I’m still kind of shocked that this just renewed my Gold subscription by nearly 3 years for $1. MS must be wanting to use these betas to lock in their hardcore for next gen. I have literally no choice but to buy an new console at launch less I want to let this subscription go to waste
 
I did too, but it worked after I restarted my console.

I’m still kind of shocked that this just renewed my Gold subscription by nearly 3 years for $1. MS must be wanting to use these betas to lock in their hardcore for next gen. I have literally no choice but to buy an new console at launch less I want to let this subscription go to waste
Yeah, I tried a restart, without success. However, trying again now after another restart it's gone through this time - very pleased!
 
Dec 12, 2018
791
I wanna see how the new studios under Microsoft’s wings are doing before new acquisitions. If they end up doing only GAAS games then pls stay away from other studios.
At least as far as the new established studios go, and by the sound of it The Initiative, Microsoft is being pretty hands off and letting them run how they wanna run. Some of them will probably do GAAS type games though. From what I've heard they're giving hands where hands are requested, so if anyone makes a live service game, it's because they wanted to anyway and Microsoft gave them the money to do it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,307
You need to go back into the insider app to the insider content and click the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and below manage click Show in store then you need to subscribe for $1 dollar a month to make it official. You can then go to services and subscriptions online in your Microsoft account and turn off recurring billing.

I just signed up and I'm good til 2/13/2021.
thank you, thats it.

gamepass ultimate through aug 2020.

!
 
Mar 14, 2019
571
So, here's my wish for a game down the line, but Microsoft should start thinking about it now.

Cyberpunk 2077 is coming and it's gonna be huge.

But Xbox game studios can go even bigger.
How, you may ask? One word: Troika.
Obsidian has the minds of both Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky- that's 2/3s of Troika. Troika made several games that successfully combined firearms and magic. Obsidian's own Pillars of Eternity did that as well.

And Microsoft owns a fantastic IP. One that combines gritty cyberpunk with high fantasy in a meld that offers truly endless possibilities. An IP that recently saw a number of successful games made through crowdfunding effort, and is still part of the conversation regarding interesting RPGs.

Picture this, a few E3s down the line, Obsidian reveals a spiritual successor to "Arcanum: of steamworks and magick obscura" ... as a full-fledged 3D RPG. Bearing the title...

"SHADOWRUN"
 
May 17, 2018
2,153
So, here's my wish for a game down the line, but Microsoft should start thinking about it now.

Cyberpunk 2077 is coming and it's gonna be huge.

But Xbox game studios can go even bigger.
How, you may ask? One word: Troika.
Obsidian has the minds of both Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky- that's 2/3s of Troika. Troika made several games that successfully combined firearms and magic. Obsidian's own Pillars of Eternity did that as well.

And Microsoft owns a fantastic IP. One that combines gritty cyberpunk with high fantasy in a meld that offers truly endless possibilities. An IP that recently saw a number of successful games made through crowdfunding effort, and is still part of the conversation regarding interesting RPGs.

Picture this, a few E3s down the line, Obsidian reveals a spiritual successor to "Arcanum: of steamworks and magick obscura" ... as a full-fledged 3D RPG. Bearing the title...

"SHADOWRUN"
I've thought of this as well, it'd be incredible.
 
Jan 13, 2018
3,961
Theoretically, yes. See FH4 as a quality example. The problem is with GaaS games that ship unfinished and use the GaaS tag line as an excuse for lack of content.
So the problem is not with GaaS, the problem is with games that ship unfinished. Those are then either abandoned, which is by far the worst option for everyone who's invested in them, or they are supported with a steady stream of improvements and content updates, which essentially turn them into GaaS.

It's very similar to early access, which is a valid concept that's worked well for a number of games, but the problems arise when unfinished games are offered at full retail prices. However, those problems are diminished if they are launched into affordable subscription services like Game Pass. Some people are just not used to the concept yet, but give it some time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,033
Germany
Thank you for your patience; I've heard your cries, so without further ado, my predictions for E3-2019 is here!

(From most likely to least likely - by percentages - that may or may not be totally made up! Here we GO!)

100% - Phil Spencer will come out on stage and say "The future of Xbox could not be better! With Xcloud (X-Stream), a new family of devices, and services, so you can play how you want to play where you want to play. Along with our great partners and new studios making Xbox the best place to play(sic), There is no greater time to join the Xbox Family. Feedback! Choice!

90% - Gameplay from Outer Worlds, Gears 5, and Ninja Theory's new game. (It is at 90 percent what did you expect?)

82% - TEN (10) World Premiere Never seen before games! - That are multiplats.

71% - Kareem Choudhry - X-cloud (X-Stream) Beta coming this holiday.

55% - IO Interactive and Stardock Acquisition announcement.

49.9% - Conference will start with an Xbox/PC exclusive and end with an Xbox/PC exclusive!

39.1% - Shannon Loftis makes her E3 "STAGE" return announcing 3 no 4 AAA Exclusive games from 2nd/3rd party developers
Housemarque
Ubisoft
Capcom
and wait for it ...Remedy Entertainment

22% - No mentions during the E3 briefing, but word will leak out about Microsoft buying Unity Technologies Inc.

10% - Live expanding to many more platforms including more Nintendo titles.

1% - Lisa Su returns the favor to Phil and talks about the wonderful partnership between AMD and Xbox!

0,0001% - Crytek concedes they are not doing well financially and may be looking for a buyout...

That's it see you at E3-2020! I can't afford to go to Fanfest two years in a row. Hey Phil, I promise not to give out any more secrets if you can send me those Fanfest tickets for 2020! CHOICE!
I like that ...
 
Feb 3, 2019
99
Theoretically, yes. See FH4 as a quality example. The problem is with GaaS games that ship unfinished and use the GaaS tag line as an excuse for lack of content.
Phil spencer has talked about the fact that they want games that are ready to be out in his interview with major nelson on that podcast of major...i dont know how you seem to think relaseing of game without content is a problem unless you have not followed what Phil has been saying....
 
Feb 3, 2019
99
i dont know all this issue with unfinished games when Phil spencer has basically talked about how moving foward they will make sure games are fully finished evenn on his podcast with major nelson...its nothing to worry about because they are aware of it unless you have not been following what Phil has been saying then it will be a problem
 
Jan 21, 2019
550
I wish they didn't cancel the Project Spark project, we would finally have a CPU that would solve the issues I had with it, bad framerate.
So sad. Pour one out.. They murdered it so hard, wish they would have kept the servers going. That's one of the black marks on MS in my book this gen. They killed the servers just a few years into its life. I get that they're expensive.. But still. That should have been one of MS's strengths. And they couldn't figure out a way to reduce costs? Maybe you delete old projects or something like that. Just frustrating that you can't even share anything at all anymore.

Wonder how dreams or Mario Maker deals with server costs.
 
Apr 27, 2019
53
I wish they didn't cancel the Project Spark project, we would finally have a CPU that would solve the issues I had with it, bad framerate.
Project Spark was available on PC, but only via the windows store until W10. I was disappointed that Microsoft didn't try and incorporate it into a learning ecosystem for kids and make something more out of it. Instead, we got the Conker bait and switch. Shameful episode, really.
 
Jan 21, 2019
550
Project Spark was available on PC, but only via the windows store until W10. I was disappointed that Microsoft didn't try and incorporate it into a learning ecosystem for kids and make something more out of it. Instead, we got the Conker bait and switch. Shameful episode, really.
1) Windows Store was a fine place for it. I didn't even have an Xbox when I started playing. The interface was definitely console first, but I always preferred it on my PC.
2) They tried to tie into educaiton. In fact, the visual programming language they used was based on a language developed by microsoft for kids. But there were still just a few too many barriers and hurdles that made the entire package not quite appealing enough.
3) Conker was a fine project. Team Dakota tried their best, and really developed something IMO faithful enough to the original (probably TOO faithful. They even coded in some of the character animation lag that was present originally, which was really unnecessary for modern audiences, but whatever). It was never meant to tide over #RealConkerFans. It was a fan project, made in the most fan project of ways, with some amount of funding. And I thought it turned out well enough (3d platforming is still not great unless you're Mario Odyssey).

Who knows if Project Spark could have survived now. It was underfunded through and through, and maybe didn't have the ambition, backing, and time it needed to really stand out (whereas Dreams was given the time to get it right and do it big). Even Halo Forge ended up being more capable than Spark. Bleh. But, it's hard to do right because you have to think of everything or you have to be able to constrain creatively. But with MM2 and Dreams, I feel Spark's absence all the more.
 
Oct 30, 2017
471
Nearly forgot about Gears Tactics, hope the game won't be cancelled or something, I could need something new, as it still seems that XCOM 3 is a long way off, but maybe they'll announce it at E3?
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,379
Regarding the GaaS concerns, Matt Booty has said that they aren't mandating anything from any of their studios. If they want to make a SP only game with no MP, that's fine for example. So if a studio comes out with a GaaS or MP only game, that's likely because they wanted to do it. They key will be to make sure any game, GaaS or not, is released in a finished form. No more releases like SoD2 or SoT.

I highly doubt 343 goes back on their 60fps initiative for Halo. They can still push a lot of other things and target a lower resolution and less details on XBO platforms if necessary and max everything out at 4k for next gen.
Resolution has no effect on aspects like AI, which has suffered because of their 60fps push. They should target 30fps for the campaign and 60fps for the MP. It's likely next gen systems will have the overhead to offer 60fps all around for Infinite, which would be a nice perk for those that upgrade and another way to show the advancements of the next gen hardware.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,448
Regarding the GaaS concerns, Matt Booty has said that they aren't mandating anything from any of their studios. If they want to make a SP only game with no MP, that's fine for example. So if a studio comes out with a GaaS or MP only game, that's likely because they wanted to do it. They key will be to make sure any game, GaaS or not, is released in a finished form. No more releases like SoD2 or SoT.



Resolution has no effect on aspects like AI, which has suffered because of their 60fps push. They should target 30fps for the campaign and 60fps for the MP. It's likely next gen systems will have the overhead to offer 60fps all around for Infinite, which would be a nice perk for those that upgrade and another way to show the advancements of the next gen hardware.
How exactly had the AI taken a hit due to 60fps?
 
Jun 12, 2018
751
A friend and I were lamenting that XBL parties have killed some of the fun in meeting randoms in gaming. We loaded up some sea of Thieves arena just in case our team talked and we were immediately met with some of the most obnoxious “trash talk” I have heard in some time. After that match, “aren’t you glad we have XBL Parties?”

I must have had them rose tinted glasses on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,471
Speaking of ruining surprise announcements, it's been one year since Chris Avellone's famous fight with Obsidian on the Rpgcodex forums and I went looking to see if he had any other far out contributions to the site since then and yeah he had an absolute whinge over them being sold to Microsoft and leaked the new game they're planning to make with Xbox —





tl;dr It's a TES-like, maybe set in the Pillars of Eternity games, the rpgs Obsidian made on kickstarter.
I would love seeing Obsidian or even InXile tackle a project like this. Idk why Chris Avellone continues to be so unprofessional, but I like the idea of a Skyrim like game.

Though they are already working on Outer Worlds, so they are already working on a bigger RPG right now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
16,349
Basically all my friends are gushing over Plague Tale... Wonder how the negotiations went or if Ms will try again with all those positive impressions.
Told you guys a year ago already Asobo would be great. There werent any negotiations tho?
But i doubt their were or are planned with how Asobo is now making more games with Focus Home.
 
Mar 7, 2019
465
A friend and I were lamenting that XBL parties have killed some of the fun in meeting randoms in gaming. We loaded up some sea of Thieves arena just in case our team talked and we were immediately met with some of the most obnoxious “trash talk” I have heard in some time. After that match, “aren’t you glad we have XBL Parties?”

I must have had them rose tinted glasses on.
Were they at least following Microsoft’s new Trash Talk Guidelines? Any instances of you being called out for your “potato aim?”
 
Nov 2, 2017
3,066
How exactly had the AI taken a hit due to 60fps?
AI is CPU intensive. So is frame rate. If you’re going to increase frame rate, there’s less CPU resources to use for AI. It’s never been confirmed this is the reason for the poor AI in Halo 5 despite AI being a strength of the franchise in the past. It’s a theory that does make sense. That said, even with with CPU resources, you can have bad AI depending on the developer. I remember some 343 dev interviews where they said they dumbed down the AI because at one point it was too good which ruined the balance of the gameplay. Not sure whether to believe that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,379
AI is CPU intensive. So is frame rate. If you’re going to increase frame rate, there’s less CPU resources to use for AI. It’s never been confirmed this is the reason for the poor AI in Halo 5 despite AI being a strength of the franchise in the past. It’s a theory that does make sense. That said, even with with CPU resources, you can have bad AI depending on the developer. I remember some 343 dev interviews where they said they dumbed down the AI because at one point it was too good which ruined the balance of the gameplay. Not sure whether to believe that.
Yup. Of course design also plays a part and you can see in Halo 5 how the prometheans do not fit the holy trinity of Halo's design template. Due to the number of enemies on screen at once and the simpler design of their AI, firefights with them tend to be nothing more than a pop from cover and shoot encounters. There are little opportunities for melee and grenades in those fights.

Even with the more traditional covenant enemies, the downgrade from previous games is clearly visible.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,471
Told you guys a year ago already Asobo would be great. There werent any negotiations tho?
But i doubt their were or are planned with how Asobo is now making more games with Focus Home.
Yeah, i think you may be the one that tipped me off on Plague's Tale, and ive been keeping an eye on it ever since. Great game so far. Only on chapter 5 right now, but loving it
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,448
Yup. Of course design also plays a part and you can see in Halo 5 how the prometheans do not fit the holy trinity of Halo's design template. Due to the number of enemies on screen at once and the simpler design of their AI, firefights with them tend to be nothing more than a pop from cover and shoot encounters. There are little opportunities for melee and grenades in those fights.

Even with the more traditional covenant enemies, the downgrade from previous games is clearly visible.
Yeah, I'm not seeing any of that.

There's no obvious downgrade at all.
 
Dec 14, 2017
782
Yup. Of course design also plays a part and you can see in Halo 5 how the prometheans do not fit the holy trinity of Halo's design template. Due to the number of enemies on screen at once and the simpler design of their AI, firefights with them tend to be nothing more than a pop from cover and shoot encounters. There are little opportunities for melee and grenades in those fights.

Even with the more traditional covenant enemies, the downgrade from previous games is clearly visible.
That's design, though, and not a sacrifice for a frame rate target, because the Prometheans had the same sandbox problems in H4, a game with a 30 fps cap. For instance, the Knights don't leave room for grenades because of their armor having only two weak spots and melee attacks are out because of the strong melee damage that they do (one hit kills on higher difficulties, even) and that they often wield scattershots (or incineration cannons). They can also spawn watchers, who throw grenades back at the player.

The AI is H5 is good, but they need to further tweak Promethean design than to go back on 60 frames. Or just have the primary enemy be the Banish, I'm cool with that, too.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,379
Yeah, I'm not seeing any of that.

There's no obvious downgrade at all.
Go back to Halo 3 or maybe Halo Reach and play those at legendary. Then compare the enemy behaviors to the covenant in Halo 4 and 5.

The difference should become clear.

Thought the AI in Halo 5 was pretty good. Atleast above many other games.
I don't mean to frame it as having bad AI. The AI was above many other games but still a downgrade from past Halo games.

IMO the peak of the series AI was Halo 3. Even in Reach, some downgrades can be seen, likely from the increased number of enemies in the encounters, leaving less resources per character. Halo 4 went further down and Halo 5 beyond that. I want the AI from Halo 1 and Halo 3 to return.

That's design, though, and not a sacrifice for a frame rate target, because the Prometheans had the same sandbox problems in H4, a game with a 30 fps cap. For instance, the Knights don't leave room for grenades because of their armor having only two weak spots and melee attacks are out because of the strong melee damage that they do (one hit kills on higher difficulties, even) and that they often wield scattershots (or incineration cannons). They can also spawn watchers, who throw grenades back at the player.

The AI is H5 is good, but they need to further tweak Promethean design than to go back on 60 frames. Or just have the primary enemy be the Banish, I'm cool with that, too.
I think it's a combination of the two. It is a fact that 60fps leaves less resources on the CPU side. Add in the larger numbers of enemies and it wouldn't be surprising if CPU resources were spread too thin.

Edit:

The quarter and half rate animation found in the AI characters is another clear sign of CPU limitations in the game.
 
Last edited:
Feb 22, 2019
844
I dunno about anyone else but nades are suepr useful for me vs. knights. Promethean nades especially.

That said most Promethean fights do play differently, and that is likely due to numbers. I don't see that as an issue though: Halo has always had different enemy behaviours, Prommies sit between Covies and Flood.
 
Jun 12, 2018
751
Were they at least following Microsoft’s new Trash Talk Guidelines? Any instances of you being called out for your “potato aim?”
Kept using gay slurs and saying that we must be slamming our mice down. (In a fit of rage I suppose) I play with a controller... Just young idiots who thought they were super funny. I rarely play Sea of Thieves and i find the PVP sword and gun combat really boring and clunky. Probably the worst aspect of the game. Ship combat is something else though. So satisfying. Wont be doing arena again.

If they had said I aim like a potato I would've agreed and sent them a friend request.