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Games Entertainment

Dynamix Closed Down? 231

Posted by michael
from the bullet-holes-in-their-altimeter dept.
ioctl writes: "According to Planet Tribes, Dynamix is being shut down by its parent Sierra (or more appropriately, Vivendi Corp.). Story here and here. Looks like my buddy just wasted $50 on Tribes 2... =P"
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Dynamix Closed Down?

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  • when Vivendi/Sierra start closing down other "not-profitable" game workshops they own.

    GL to all current members of Tribes 2 development team.

    Regards,

    =}DS{= Gunt.
  • by Dasher42 (514179) on Friday August 10, 2001 @12:02PM (#2111525)
    I am utterly surprised that the V12 engine, a derivative of the Tribes 2 engine by GarageGames at www.garagegames.com [garagegames.com] hasn't been mentioned. With minor exceptions where Sierra's intellectual property was removed from the engine and replaced with other code, it essentially the source code to the Tribes 2 game engine, already near the state where it could be used to create high-quality games for Linux. The EULA requires a $100 per-seat license fee for the source code and distribution must be through GarageGames, but the model seems quite pragmatically attractive, seeing as how open source hasn't quite caught on in the 3D games arena like it has for operating systems etc. If you ask me, this is a big chance to improve the gaming scene for alternative platforms.
  • $50 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iGN97 (83927) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:04AM (#2111595) Homepage
    $50 dollars can hardly be spent on anything more worthwhile than Tribes 2. It's a great game, and it's been released. I don't think all the servers out there will disappear.
    • Don't forget that Tribes connects to a central server to give you a list of all the other servers. If that gets shut down then you'll have to go into irc and give IP's and whatnot to connect to a game. Not fun.
    • Re:$50 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sopwath (95515)
      Considering I usually see well over 250 servers, I doubt that T2 will go away. I hope Sierra doesn't get retarded and shut off the master servers.

      How the fuck is that a troll? Is it becasue he's disagreeing with the story or something? I don't get it.

      sopwath
  • Its quite a shame if they quit tribes. I really liked the new challenges that game offered, outdoor shoot-em-up in large teams with cool teamplay features.
    Hope someone else picks up the thread, i'd like more of those "RTS-battlefield-simulator-FPS"-games :-), Especially for linux. Maybe something for Loke ?
  • In my opinion, and others' Tribes 1 is a far better game than Tribes 2. Tribes 1 is a faster game that takes more personal skill aswell as team tactics.
    There are still alot of people who are playing Tribes.

    Thowards the release of Tribes 2 cheats started poping out for Tribes 1, which dynamix refused to patch, saying Tribes 2 comes first.

    Like Quake 1 before they should open source the game and let the players themselves patch it.
  • by mattsking (472366) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:22AM (#2112532)
    I don't like the fact that Dynamics is going out of business but if you look at Sierra's history with the company it really is no suprise. Example: Sierra buys Dynamics, the Red Baron series, (one of the first games to use 3d cards) is cancelled for lack of support and staffing is shuffled or cut. Starsiege comes out, finally breaking out of the hideous Earthsiege series. It's an average game but shows great potential. Before it hits the shelves most of the Starsiege team is rolled into the Tribes team or laid off. Let's face it, Sierra cares about Racing sims and Half-Life. I realize they have thei place but the company isn't known for innovation. fnord
  • by ClayJar (126217) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:24AM (#2112535) Homepage
    Having been one of the fans whose hopes for the Babylon 5: Into The Fire space combat simulator were screwed by Sierra, I can only say that this is yet another bucket of water in the ocean of disgust for anything related to Sierra.

    The B5:ItF fans and developers fought for about two years to keep the project alive somehow, and at several turns, Sierra (and whatever parent company, of course) all but threw monkey wrenches into the process. Now the project is officially dead, and I will probably retain my bitterness toward anything Sierra (other than mountains, which are not associated with the company using the name) for a very, very long time.

    And don't ask me about TNT. :/
    • If you are looking for something that is very very close to the B5 universe check out www.parsec.org

      Parsec is a really cool project but it does require some pretty decent hardware as the graphics are quite heavy. you can jump from system to system, you dont have unlimited firepower, you have to recharge from either a station or from the star in that system... etc...

      BTW, it's beta and freeware (but not open source yet.)
  • Ironically, Windows is probably required to view this but here is a C|NET video clip of an IBM engineer ripping on Bill Gates right in front of him. [cnet.com]

    My favorite part is the little geek "high five" to the coworker next to him. Looks like they planned this.
  • Games have been shown, and I am sure you all have anecdotal evidence to prove it, to improve productivity at IT firms.

    Are shareholders at Dynamix aware of the effect that this will have on the technology sector as a whole?

    The ongoing demoralization of people at these firms can only be complicated by this development.
  • Maybe the price of Tribes2 will start falling so normal people can buy it (I bought mine used at EB fer $25 :). If this spells the end for T2 it'd be a shame cause this is the first game in a while that actually looked like it coulda been a killer app. If you look at the minimum requirements you'll see that this game need some descent horse power just to get off the ground, pIII/thunderbird and 3D accel better than voodoo2. Hell.. A friend og mine hase q3 runing on an overclocked p166mmx with a voodoo3. Granted he only gets 30 fps. Too bad T2 was too damn expensive. Oh well, I'm just hoping the Linux version drops in price and the online game finder\player still works.
  • by Kintanon (65528) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:06AM (#2113016) Homepage Journal
    A good friend of mine works at Dynamix and was in fact the production manager for Tribes 2, he had NO IDEA that this was going to happen, apparently no one told the employees anything. So now he's out of work unless by some miracle he's one of the tiny handful of people that Sierra decides to keep on in some capacity. This is definately a bad thing for all involved...
    I'll try to get in touch with him to get more info as soon as I can, he should be online sometime today.

    Kintanon
    • T2 was the most bug ridden piece o' crap ever to be mass produced on the CD media. There were over 30 patches the first week it was out, and yet it still doesn't run at all on 20% of the machines out there. UE error after UE error. It's about time a company that tries to rip off the public got shut down.
    • Well if he wasn't one of the guys scheduled to get the axe, I bet he is now !
  • I blew good money on Tribes2 looking for a Q3 replacement. :(

    Sierre is spending money on better games [stainlesss...tudios.com] than Tribes2 now. :)

  • Damn, if those servers go, it's back to Rune.
  • What about Loki? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BadBlood (134525) on Friday August 10, 2001 @11:22AM (#2114571)
    Wouldn't Loki still be able to update the Linux version. If the win32 port is no longer updated, couldn't this potentially be the killer game app that forces the masses to Linux? I'm guessing this all depends on what rights Loki has to the game code.
    • LOL .. are you delusional? T2 a "killer app"?

      A killer app is something everyone wants/needs, I hardly think a game will ever fall under this category, especially since T2 has been out for a while now and I don't even have a copy or the urge to go buy a copy.

      No, the only thing that's gonna drive Linux desktop usage to the top is when it can run Windows apps cleanly, quickly and without endless hours of tweaking to get things running in the first place.

      A game just doesn't cut it.

      Trips
    • Wouldn't Loki still be able to update the Linux version.

      Gee, I sure hope so... but it depends on how the deal was structured; we can't just guess about it.

      If the win32 port is no longer updated, couldn't this potentially be the killer game app that forces the masses to Linux?

      I know you have tongue in cheek here, but to answer seriously: I don't think the numbers on Tribes 2 are high enough to be "the masses". What is interesting is to speculate whether existing Win32 customers might migrate to Linux Tribes. If the Win32 version is no longer maintained, and the Linux version is still maintained, and enough bugs and/or cheats come to light that the existing customers start to really want an update... then, just maybe, something like what you describe might come to pass.

      I see two major problems, though.

      It is hard to install Linux, and harder still to get 3D working; I can't imagine a truly wide-scale move to Linux until this changes.

      Loki has the code, but that's not always enough. When you have really weird difficult bugs, it saves a lot of time to have the people who wrote the code fix those bugs. (By shutting down Dynamix, Sierra is essentially saying "We no longer care if any bugs are found.")

      I would love it if, say a year from now, Sierra decided they had milked this particular cow as much as they can, and released the sources to Tribes 2 to let the T2 community support themselves. Given Sierra's history, that seems rather unlikely; it's more likely they would build a big warehouse, fill it with brand-new copies of Tribes 2, and then burn the warehouse down.

      steveha

  • 1. Buy a little company that puts out great games and has a loyal following.

    2. Force them to release a game too early and spend months releasing patches to fix the problems.

    3. Fire the staff and close the company once the game comes near to a final product.

    I'll never buy another Sierra product again. And this is from a guy that bought *both* the Win32 and Linux versions of Tribes 2!

    They really have some idiots running Sierra, eh?

  • Tycho and Gabe (of Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] fame) are, in my estimation, going to either:

    1) Die
    2) Go into seizures
    3) Make a really good comic about this
    or 4) All of the above

    But, um, GOD DAMN. Is there no hope for GOOD GAME DEVELOPERS in this modern age?!?!

    -NeoTomba

  • It was nearly free (as in beer) -- I had never played with it, but always wanted to. The thought of licensing an engine for $100 was always intriguing to me, even if they didn't have a Linux port (blasphemy!).

    What will happen to these licensenees? Will GarageGames.com continue?

    .. and more importantly ..

    Who will support my copy of Stellar 7 for the Amiga?!

    Jason F
  • I really like this game, it is the only FPS I've wasted my time playing in the past few months.
    I'm curious why (or if?) Dynamix is the only software house this is happening to with the merger. It doesn't seem like they are dead wieght, I mean Tribes 2 is a great game and I can't see why it should see an early end.

    If only the source code would somehow 'accidently leak' out now ....
  • I watched my good friend from high school pour his heart and soul into this game. They re-invented the FPS and brought people together in a way which was more positive than other team games like tac ops and team fortress only tried to do. I would send my bud an email to console him but his account is probably already locked out :( Well hopefully Loki has the rights to continue with the game. This is a sad day for gamers.
  • Sierra "management" knows exactly what they're doing here. Tribes 2, like its predecessor, is a game with a very strong cult following, and less of a general appeal to the average gamer. Most people who really enjoy T2 were also avid Tribes fans, and were watching the whole development process very closely.

    What this means is that most of the target audience for Tribes 2 has already bought the game. Management knows this, and so they will feel completely justified in cutting off T2 support, since most of the profits from the game have already been made.

    And from upper management's point of view, things like "customer satisfaction" mean nothing in this case, because it doesn't have a dollar sign in front of it.

    • Customer loyalty is obtained in one of several ways- of which "customer satisfaction" is one of those things.

      Piss off too many customers and they tell their friends, etc. There's a bitter harvest Sierra's going to harvest at some point and Vivendi's going to pull the plug on the whole division at some point. Of course, it's nothing but business, right?
      • You're right about customer loyalty, but I'm not sure it works the same way in the game industry (especially with the game publishers).

        If I buy a car and have a miserable experience with the dealership or company, I can always get my next car somewhere else.

        Games, unlike cars, are one of a kind. When a great new game comes out, you don't have the option of choosing which publisher to get it from; you take it or leave it.

        Suppose Tribes 3 was published by Sierra in a few years. How many people here would honestly not get it because of what Sierra did to Dynamix?

        • Think Again (Score:3, Interesting)

          by powerlord (28156)
          After two bad experiances getting games from Sierra (as publishers) I decided to pass on by.

          One of the two was Lords of Magic. Quite honestly the game was buggy, features were missing (like the note in the Readme file that going to the World map would crash the game). This was nothing but Beta at best and I was very anoyed after 2 months waiting for patches, to the point that I just gave up.

          THe other (whose name eludes me), looked nice, I say looked nice because I never got to play it. It had a bug where it couldn't handle your CD-Rom drive being anything besides D. I had two Hard-Drives in the machine. They offered to let me send it in and they would replace the media for a nominal cost (realise I just spent $20 on the game).

          At that point I wrote off Sierra for good and have actually been excited about a product, and have forced myself to put it back on the shelf and walk away when I see the Sierra logo on the side.

          Which brings us back to the present. They are acting as publishers for a rather intersting new game thats due out in about two weeks Arcanum [arcanum1.com] The music they have on-line is wonderful. The demo I downloaded is intreging enough that I just might buy it even though it has a kiss of death from them. It also looks like it is designed to have other games plug into it to expand the universe (ala modules in D&D). I would recomend any fan of games like Baldur's Gate or Septera Core to take a look at it.
  • Dynamix had about 100 employees... about 30 of them were working on Tribes 2. so, obviously, there was a lot of slack there. Tribes 2 is being advertised on http://www.sierra.com startup page. It's not like they aren't going to support it anymore. the master servers will still be up! And I have a feeling that if anyone at dynamix is going to be offered a job with Sierra, it's going to be those that were working on Tribes 2.
  • Sierra also killed the Babylon 5 game when they were taken over by Havas. Eventhough previews for the game were great, a ton of people were waiting to buy it, and development was nearly done.

    Corporations couldn't care less about customers.

    D

  • by ShaggusMacHaggis (178339) on Friday August 10, 2001 @08:02AM (#2116963) Homepage
    here are some posts from dynamix employees that i've ripped from http://www.tribalwar.com "It is true that the lot of us were locked out of the building today. Why this is happening nobody knows for certain, aside from those in upper management at Siera/Vivendi. The whole thing is quite a shock for most of us, aside from those few in upper management at Dynamix who could not manage the meager bit of human decency that it would have taken to give us a warning. It is like that in corporate america, these people really do not seem to have come equipped with a soul. I blame the 60-70 percent of Sierra that has nothing to do with creating anything but instead leech of the top like a bloated lamprey. Not only are they the cause of this situation, but they are the ones that stand to benefit in the short term whether they intended it or not. This liquidation is all about artificially inflating 3rd quarter profits for V/U, much like releasing before the game was ready wasabout inflating 2nd quarter profits.We should have become wary last week when a part of Dynamix management took their sick days afterreturning from a visit to Sierra One thing I would like to say about the Tribes team: Please do not hate Dave Georgeson or the rest of the team. We all busted our asses and worked longer thanhumans ought to to make this game great, and you willsee that the latest beta patch has many of thefeatures that were cut for release, and the stabilityand performance that it should have had. Dave did whathe could to make this game work and fought for moretime when Sierra insited that we ship a buggy game. He also has been religious about reading beta and meta tester's input and post release comments and doingwhat he can to make the game what the audience wanted. Please do not flame this guy. He can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, and working under him was hard, but I really think that he tried to do you right with T2. (Dave, Mitch, and Eric can ignore that comment). Trust me, this whole thing is a lot more complex that that, and cuts straight to the heart of the greed of VU's corporate interests. If you work for a major conglomerate, this will happen to you too someday. These types do not care about you or anything but cash. I would like to say also: Thank you for your help in making the game. We tried always to weigh game changes against the community's wishes, and where we have failed, it was not for trying. We did our best. So long, and thanks for all the Fish. See you in the pubs." and from Rated Z, a dynamix employee (and great tribes player) " Ok, I've kept my mouth shut for a long time. I'm Eric, and working for Dave wasn't "hard", it was fucked! I will never work for anyone like that again. Whoever you are, Anonymous employee, no offense, but you must have had an office in the far corner. As for Dave trying to do you (the Tribes playing public) right: Bullshit. Dave did what Dave wanted to do. And Dave's "you" was the 5 guys on TW that posted 2 page bitches about one thing or another who managed to offend him enough that he replied. Actually, I shouldn't even say "caught his attention" since a major part of his day was spent surfing and posting on TW. Dave G is/was PRODUCER, not Publicist, QA Lead, Art Director, and Lead Designer. There were 30+ people on that team; everyone of them worked very hard, and very long. How many of them have you even heard of? I love Starsiege: Tribes. I've played 5+ days per week, since the day it came out. First, as BMF Balefire, then as Rated z. I try hard not to appear a bitter, petty, disgruntled ex-employee, but I'm sicker than shit of the spin doctoring that I've seen on this forum in the last few months. So here I am, disgruntled and saying "Fuck that." "
  • Like other recent stories where some of us looked back to when we were teenagers BBS'ing and stuff, this thread brought it back.

    I'm a UKian, but for three months lived in San Diego, CA - I got my first proper computer, an AST PremiumExec 386sx/20, and ran a WWIV BBS. (Was anyone here ever a user of Xcellent! BBS in 619? It would be cool to chat.) I went out and bought Red Baron and was amazed! It was something like six discs and seemed massive, hi-tech and atmospheric. I also got Heart Of China which took ages to complete - it had a plot about saving a nurse from some triad in China, and that only got completed a couple of years ago =). It was my first real foray into big, good, games, and though I don't play them much now, it gives me plenty of nostalgia! I remember me and a Russian friend got 4D Drive and 4D Boxing, and a few others...

    Ah memories.

    thenerd.
  • Tribes players knew about it around August 9th at 7PM.
  • When Sierra started out, it was a nothing, nobody company that made it to the top with some really awesome ideas. It was "driven by passion, not profit." Dynamix was one of the few segments of Sierra that was still respectable, in my view, and put good gaming first.

    It looks like Sierra is trying to shed itself of any remaining talent and decency. They pull this kind of crap every year, screwing over some part of their workforce. It's no wonder the company does so poorly, they shoot themselves in the foot annually. "Oh, gee, we have so few good titles, we're not making much money. Let's dump the people that make our few remaining good games, and save money! YEAH!"

  • Oh, for a second there, I thought the article might be talking about Dynamix.net, where one can get all that good japanese porn.
  • It seems to me that the adventure gaming genre pretty much died when 320x240 went out of style.

    Once King's Quest 8 went to 640x480 hi-color, that series went downhill, with Space Quest coming soon after.

    For anyone looking to return to the low-res days, though, do some searching for abandonware. A great place to start is The Gaming Depot [gamingdepot.com].
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:47AM (#2128164) Homepage Journal
    The Computer Game industry always seems to be this brutal, why should anyone in a subsidiary of Sierra actually be surprised, didn't they do just the same thing the year before, and the year before that?

    Actually, I think the first warning to any of the developers on a project is when their company is bought by another. Followed closely by their shipping of the product.

    In essence, your nothing but a contract programmer when you work on a computer game, and its probably even worse for the graphic artist and other "support" specialties.

    Not an industry for the faint at heart, all guts and no glory.
    • Still, the Tribes franchise is very successfull. They already sold 200 000 copies and they probably will sell another 300 000. There just isen't anything that compares to Tribes in terms of sophistication.

      I would have at least expected Siera to keep the core programmers and artists since it's them more than anyone else that made Tribes what it is today. I don't have much hope that a Tribes 3 would be just as good.

    • by Glytch (4881) on Friday August 10, 2001 @09:39AM (#2156836)
      Friend, you're dead-on accurate.

      There's a small community college in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada that offers a two year program in "Electronic Game Design". Basically, it's two years of learning the entire development process of a typical software business. Documentation, project management, overall design, game theory, application programming, 3D modelling, 2D graphics, and a little bit of artifical intelligence.

      The intent of the program is to have people learn to make modern PC video games. It's a nice place: very up-to-date hardware and software (industry standard stuff like Lightwave, Photoshop, Maya, etc), smart instructors, not too expensive to attend, either. The overall goal for the two years is to form a team of roughly 4 to 6 people from the various graphics and programming streams, and develop a commercial-quality PC game. It doesn't have to be on the level of Quake 3 or Mechwarrior 4, but should be at an appropriate level for a B-title. Demos are acceptable, as these are intended for portfolio pieces for the team's members.

      But the *stress*, my god! If working in an academic environment, without the pressure of having to generate revenue was bad, then I can't imagine what it's like in the real industry! I'm amazed that any PC video games turn out as well as they do.

      Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever done a study on the suicide rate of game developers? :)
  • I was in a flame war on a portmaster/radius mailing list about how putting a banner (to protest) on your website was lame, and some webmaster from Sierra got into a flame war with me... Go figure...

    I have attended Tribescon 1999 and Tribescon 2000, even have a signed Tribes 1 box with all the developers on it. (Very cool!) Very sad to hear about Sierra's sleazy business practices. But then Tribes2 was just about patched enough to play. Wonder if they ever get the VCR Demo record function working correctly. Guess we just have to wait and see.

    Also, I wonder who shows up from Dynamix at Tribecon3 [tribalwar.com]. Humm, Ill buy first round of beers for the Dynamix crew. (-;

  • by stud9920 (236753)
    Does this mean I will find no more soft asian pr0n on www.dynamix.net [dynamix.net] ?

    happily, I still have the hun [thehun.net]
  • more on this (Score:5, Informative)

    by Barbarian (9467) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:05AM (#2132452)
    tribalwar.com [tribalwar.com] has more on this, and apparently some (ex)-Dynamix employees are dropping into the forums (look for the topics with like 20 pages of replies).
  • I fondly remember the Dynamix logo on one of my favorite games for the Amiga, ArcticFox, way back in 1986 or so, back before Dynamix had anything to do with Sierra.

    You guys did fine work, and will be missed.

  • Back when I was in college in the late 80's (till about '91 or so) I used to deliver pizza to the Dynamix office.

    Eventually, they got an charge account. The old bookkeeper thought they were a cement mixing company (she always pronounced it dyna-mix.) When she found out it was a software company, she thought that giving them a charge account wasn't a bright move, as she said "computers are just a flash in the pan".
    • > When she found out it was a software company, she
      > thought that giving them a charge account wasn't a
      > bright move, as she said "computers are just a
      > flash in the pan".

      Evidently she was right, for Dyna-mix, at least.

      That's the funniest pronunciation I have seen since SCSI drive maker for Sun (among other things) named Andataco, supposed to be An-data-co, or something, but much funnier as And-a-taco.

  • Eulogy for Dynamix (Score:4, Informative)

    by Greenrider (451799) on Friday August 10, 2001 @08:10AM (#2136967)
    Let's not forget that these are the wonderful people who brought us:

    Red Baron
    Betrayal At Krondor
    Aces over the Pacific
    Tribes 1&2
    Outpost
    The Incredible Machine
    The Adventures of Willy Beamish
    Stellar 7 (anyone remember that one?)

    Red Baron was the first truly engrossing gaming experience that I had as a child. Playing Red Baron on The Sierra Network (later renamed The Imagination Network) was an experience far, far ahead of its time.

    Farewell Dynamix, you served us well.
    • Ah, the Incredible Machine. Seeing that I'm still young, this was my first real chance to absorb computer screens for hours at a time and enjoy it, for it was not homework or some simple game like PacMan.
    • No love for the first-person adventure games?

      There were some major titles in that section too from Dynamix:

      -Rise Of the Dragon
      -Heart of China

      Not to mention some incredible sports games in the "Front Page Sports" series.
    • Don't forget my favs:

      Earthsiege 1 & 2
      Battledrome

    • And Project Firestart... man that was awesome.

      I can't believe they're gone.

    • by grahams (5366)
      Man... Everyone talks about "remembering" Stellar 7 on the PC... How sad.. :) In truth, the PC version of Stellar 7 was really a remake of the original that was released in 1983!! I played this version on the Commodore 64, but it might have also been available for other machines of that vintage. Here [retrogames.com] are some screenshots of the original c64 version... Irregardless of the pointless information above, Dynamix will be missed (even though I never liked Tribes).. :)
  • by SteveX (5640) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:13AM (#2145995) Homepage
    If I spend $10 going to see a movie whose production company has been shut down, is my $10 wasted? Not unless the movie sucks.. and from what I've heard, Tribes 2 doesn't suck...

    A game is entertainment, not an investment...
    • Especially now, the game is pretty stable with the latest patches and such. If they got the axe the day it was released that would not have been good at all. The only way I can see a game being an investment is if you are the type wait for a mission pack or map pack add-on. There can still be good mods to look forward too. I got my copy for 27 bucks. I still think it is money well spent.
    • by IdentityCrisis (235840) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:21AM (#2112530)
      For an online game like Tribes 2 it's very important there will be a company behind it. Master servers, IRC server (irc.dynamix.com), patches that will eliminate bugs and cheats. Hopefully sierra will take the place of dynamix on the above. but if it won't Tribes 2 will die All you need is one widespread cheat and the community dissolves.
      • ...it's very important there will be a company behind it. Master servers, IRC server (irc.dynamix.com), patches that will eliminate bugs and cheats. Hopefully sierra will take the place of dynamix on the above. but if it won't Tribes 2 will die All you need is one widespread cheat and the community dissolves.

        Um, wrong. One example would be Counterstrike, a Half-Life mod with a thriving community of players. It has no master server distributing patches, and cheating is easy. On the other hand, the code is solid if quirky, and the gameplay is fantastic.

    • Tribes 2 does suck. The product release was a complete disaster. Took them weeks to make it barely loadable/playable. I waited a year for T2 to be released, pre-ordered, next-day'ed and what did I get? A beta/alpha product who's minimum/recommended specifications were so unrealistic - my machine surpassed the recommended setup and I still received sub 30fps, sometimes as low as 10fps.
      • That's 'cuz Sierra forced them to release early, so it would show on Q2 as profit, much like this mass layoff will show a nice cost-cut on Q3 books.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Tribes 2 is mainly an online game. If the master servers get taken down, you can no longer play online (except over a LAN). Hence, your money would be wasted.
  • Form a company that develops software for obsolete consoles. There are heaps of them out there and it takes less money to develop for the limited systems -- more skill, but less money. Just think how well a new game for the SNES would sell.
  • by DarkFencer (260473) on Friday August 10, 2001 @12:22PM (#2152878)
    In the past year or two, the following has happened:

    Sierra shuts down their Yosemite division, firing some great programmers, game designers, and others. This was the group (for the most part) responsible for the great Kings Quest, Quest for Glory (earlier Hero's Quest), Police Quest, and many others.

    Origin systems closes down in two phases. They went "Online Only" after Ultima IX, and those that stayed with the company were assigned to work on Ultima Online 2. Earlier this year, with the game a good deal finished, Electronic Arts stopped production on the game and fired all the employees.

    Looking Glass studios, the maker of great, revolutionary titles like Thief I and II, and Ultima Underworld I and II shuts down due to lack of funds (mostly because Eidos had to sink so much money into Ion Storm to keep Daikatana afloat).

    And now, as this story mentions, the gutting of Sierra is almost over, with Dynamix (the source of my favorite game of all time: Betrayal at Krondor and may others) being shut down.

    I really worry about where the industry is going. There are many other companies that are wholly owned by larger companies that have had the quality of their products go down hill - New World Computing (of Might and Magic fame) has been taken down that road by 3DO, not to mention others.

    How much better would things be now if Richard Garriott never sold (or had to sell) Origin to EA? The same could be said of Ken Williams selling Sierra. This list goes on and on.

    Well, I'm done rambling on about the game industry. I'll go back to browsing the game stores for real games while avoiding "Who Want's to be a Gazillionaire 12" or "The Sims 15th Expansion Pack", or whatever crap the industry makes money on.

    Incedentally my first word-processing software was Sierra's Homestar Plus for the Commodore 64. Yes, Sierra made a Wordproccessor!
    • > How much better would things be now if Richard Garriott never sold (or had to sell) Origin to EA?

      Things wouldn't be any better. As Richard Garriott said himself, Origin wasn't big enough to survive by itself because Origin didn't have the muscle and deep pockets to grease the distribution channels well enough.

      The reason EA does so well is that its management understands the distribution channel and has the size to pay the big stores to display their games.

      (This also ignores the fact that with Ultima 6 and Ultima 7 Origin pushed itself to the financial breaking point. :sigh:)
  • With only 15 minutes to clear out I wonder what it was like. Were there mobs of people running around screaming holding their most dearest possesions?? The whole thing is unbelievable.
  • There's a petition to save Dynamix up here [petitiononline.com].

    Dunno what good it will do, but it's worth a try.
  • Deja vu... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lskovlund (469142) on Friday August 10, 2001 @07:47AM (#2156699)
    This has happened one before, when Big Bad Sierra(tm) closed down Yosemite Entertainment, the division that made Leisure Suit Larry etc. I am not surprised that this happens now - Sierra's upper management appears to be clueless. Ken Williams should never have sold the company.
    • Let's not forget how they shut down "Babylon 5: Into the Fire" after about 75% of it had already been finished, but subsequently refused to give the ex-developers access to their work.

      It really seems that Sierra Management consists of the most clueless of assholes, worse than anything else you usually see in the world of the big game developers...

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.

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