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  1. #1
    radnomguywfq3's Avatar
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    Heartbroken MS Employee

    Anonymously posted by MS Engineer.


    This is great because it shows passion - but it also implies the family sharing was approximately only going to last for an hour, which means we didn't lose as much as we thought we did by giving up the DRM (BUT this is a rumor and a lot of people are calling bs on it.) It isn't the first time someone has spread lies about the Xbox One... That said, it is a shame that MS didn't take the next step in supporting developers.

    Meh, we'll see these features again - from both consoles - in another 5 years. The gameing industry cannot sustain itself like this - technology is getting more and more expensive. This console was supposed to be the last, now we're probably going to see another in 5 years.

    It's 4am and I'm still up, some hours ago, we at Microsoft had to basically redact on our Always Online infrastructure and dream. Being part of the team that created the entire infrastructure to include the POS (point of sale) mechanisms I must say that I am extremely sad to see it removed. But the consumer knows what is best, I can place the blame on no one but us here at Microsoft. We didn't do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model. We spent too much of our time fighting against the negative impressions that many people in the media formed. I feel that if we spent less time on them and more time explaining the great features we had lined up and the ones in the pipes gamers and media alike would have aligned to our vision. That stated, we felt the people we would have loss would have been made up by the people we would have gained. We have 48 million Xbox 360 users connected online nearly 24 hours a day. That is much more than any of our closet competitors and vastly more than Steam. The people that we would have left behind I feel would have eventually come around as they saw what advantages the platform had to offer. But as I previously stated we at Microsoft have no one to blame other than ourselves for failing to convince those hesitant to believe in our new system. Microsoft might be a big company, but we at the Xbox division have always been for the gamer. Everything we've done has always been for them, we have butt heads with the executives many times on what we've wanted to, some times we lost (removing the onboard processor from Kinect 1.0) and other times we've won (keeping Gears of War as an exclusive).

    While publishers have never come right out to us at MS and say "We want you to do something about used gaming" we could hear it in their voices and read it in their numerous public statements. The used gaming industry is slowly killing them and every attempt to slow down the bleeding was met with much resistance from the gaming community. I will admit that online passes were not well received nor were they well implemented, but I felt given time to mature it could have turned into something worth having as a gamer much like DLC (we went from pointless horse armor to amazing season passes like Borderlands 2!). Videogame development is a loss leader by definition and unlike other forms of media videogames only have one revenue stream and that is selling to you the gamer. So when you buy a game used you're hurting developers much more than say a movie studio. Many gamers fail to realize this when they purchase these preowned games. It is impossible to continue to deliver movie like experiences at the current costs without giving up something in return. It's what gamers want and expect, the best selling games are blockbusters, the highest rated are blockbusters, the most loved are blockbusters. How can developers continue to create these experiences if consumers refuse to support them? Many will argue the development system is broken, and I disagree. The development system is near broken, it's used gaming that is broken, but regardless I think more emphasis on this from both us at Microsoft and publishers would have gone a long way in helping educate the gamer, but again it is us who dropped the ball in this regard for that we're sorry.

    Going back to Xbox One's feature set, one of the features I was most proud of was Family Sharing. I've browsed many gaming forums and saw that many people were excited about it as well! That made my day the first time I saw gamers start to think of amazing experiences that could come from game sharing. It showed that my work resonated with the group for which I helped create it for. I will admit that I was not happy with how some of my fellow colleagues handled explaining the systems and many times pulled my hair out as I felt I could have done a better job explaining and selling the ideas to the press and public at large. I'm writing this for that reason, to explain to gamers how many of the features would have worked and how many of them will still work.

    First is family sharing, this feature is near and dear to me and I truly felt it would have helped the industry grow and make both gamers and developers happy. The premise is simple and elegant, when you buy your games for Xbox One, you can set any of them to be part of your shared library. Anyone who you deem to be family had access to these games regardless of where they are in the world. There was never any catch to that, they didn't have to share the same billing address or physical address it could be anyone. When your family member accesses any of your games, they're placed into a special demo mode. This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour. This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it then make a purchase if they wanted to. When the time limit was up they would automatically be prompted to the Marketplace so that they may order it if liked the game. We were toying around with a limit on the number of times members could access the shared game (as to discourage gamers from simply beating the game by doing multiple playthroughs). but we had not settled on an appropriate way of handling it. One thing we knew is that we wanted the experience to be seamless for both the person sharing and the family member benefiting. There weren't many models of this system already in the wild other than Sony's horrendous game sharing implementation, but it was clear their approach (if one could call it that) was not the way to go. Developers complained about the lost sales and gamers complained about overbearing DRM that punished those who didn't share that implemented by publishers to quell gamers from taking advantage of a poorly thought out system. We wanted our family sharing plan to be something that was talked about and genuinely enjoyed by the masses as a way of inciting gamers to try new games.

    The motto around the offices for the family plan was "It's the console gaming equivalent to spotify and pandora" it was a social network within itself! The difference between the family sharing and the typical store demo is that your progress is saved as if it was the full game, and the data that was installed for that shared game doesn't need to be erased when they purchase the full game! It gave incentive to share your games among your peers, it gave games exposure, it allowed old games to still generate revenue for publishers. At the present time we're no longer going forward with it, but it is not completely off the table. It is still possible to implement this with the digital downloaded versions of games, and in fact that's the plan still as far as I'm aware.

    Another feature that we didn't speak out about was the fact we were building a natural social network with Xbox One in itself that didn't require gamers to open their laptops/tablets to post to their other friends nor did they need to wrestle with keyboard add-ons. Each Xbox Live account would have a full "home space" in which they could post their highest scores, show off their best Game DVR moments, what they've watched via Xbox TV and leave messages for others to read and respond to. Kinect 2.0 and Xbox One work together and has robust voice to text capabilities. The entire notion of communicating with friends you met online would have been natural and seamless. No reliance on Facebook, or Twitter (though those are optional for those who want them). Everything is perfectly crafted for the Xbox One controller and Kinect 2.0 and given that shine that only Microsoft can provide.

    We at Microsoft have amazing plans for Xbox One that will make it an amazing experience for both gamers and entertainment consumers alike. I stand by the belief that Playstation 4 is Xbox 360 part 2, while Xbox One is trying to revolutionize entertainment consumption. For people who don't want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it's called Xbox 360.
    Last edited by radnomguywfq3; 06-20-2013 at 01:48 PM.



    There are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.

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  3. #2
    Auxilium's Avatar
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    "it was a social network within itself"

    A PC is an all around machine that can do anything.

    Consoles are made directly with just playing games in mind.
    When they focus more on all this "revolutionary" social and connected stuff, that only 10% will actively use, I think they have their priorities wrong.

    If you want to be social, use a PC.

    Just my take on it, because I sort of hate social networks in general.

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    Youtro's Avatar
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    TL;DR: /2short
    Quote Originally Posted by Adolfmay View Post
    while Xbox One is trying to revolutionize entertainment consumption. For people who don't want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it's called Xbox 360.



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    radnomguywfq3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youtro View Post
    TL;DR: /2short
    Change that quote, I didn't say that, that was said by Don and the anonymous ms engineer. Though I would agree with that statement.



    There are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.

    If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?


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    Auxilium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adolfmay View Post
    Change that quote, I didn't say that, that was said by Don and the anonymous ms engineer. Though I would agree with that statement.
    Which is a problem. Just because people didn't want to have all these new decisions shoved down their throat, doesn't mean microsoft should tell them to fuck off and use a 7 year old console.

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    Technology is getting more and more expensive because more and more people want a cut out of it.





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  9. #7
    radnomguywfq3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auxilium View Post


    Which is a problem. Just because people didn't want to have all these new decisions shoved down their throat, doesn't mean microsoft should tell them to fuck off and use a 7 year old console.

    They said Xbox 360 because they are Microsoft - but he really meant any console that isn't taking a "step into the future." Like the PS4 or the wii, or the PS3.

    Do you notice the slightly better graphics? I sure don't. I really don't think that the PS4 is much different from the PS3 in terms of application. At least now that MS has implemented a bunch of backend support for their console there is actually a difference between it and the xbox 360. This DRM & purely digital content system was one of the big changes that I was looking forward to. I mean - why the fuck do we still have CDs when server space and harddrive space and bandwidth is so goddamn accessible these days? It is just absurd in my opinion.

    The point is, all that new memory - all that processing power, the remote cloud. It needs to be filled with something. Just becuase its there doesn't mean filling it is free. There is a quote from a 3d environment artist below that explains that without DRM there is no way the studios will have enough money to fill the thresholds of new memory they are granted - i.e. the advancement is essentially pointless to any studio that isn't drowning in money.

    People are still afraid of the kinect because of privacy concearns. Jesus christ. You are a fool to think you can win over the utter stupidity (that, not ignorance) of most gamers.

    From a 3d environment artist:
    I've been doing game environments for the past 13 years. In that time I have worked for 4 major game studios in the US. I don't see the 3D artists perspective voiced much during next gen discussion and I want to give mine. I also want to explain why I am supporting the XB1.
    On current gen consoles (512mb ram) we would be lucky to have 200mb available for art at any one time. That means 200mb per load. Some engines like GTA or Red Dead constantly stream data, (no load screens) but there is still only about 200mb loaded for art at any one given time. When I say art I mean all the environment meshes and textures, vfx, characters, vehicles, 1st and 3rd person weapons, light maps, custom skins etc...Audio would get around 75mb, UI around 10mb and the rest of the memory would be spread out through dozens of other systems. Each engine is different but from my experience 200mb has been pretty standard for art.
    Now over half my job is figuring out what compromises I need to make between what I really want to put on screen and what is technically possible to put on screen in 200mb. We take a piece of concept art and mentally chop that up into repeatable modules that become our set dressing and props. We want to make everything you see unique and high resolution but this is not possible because we have a tight schedule and we are limited by that 200mb gate. (More on the schedule later) To make things more complicated, we need to pre plan for worse case scenarios when designing environments. We need to account for times when every player is on screen, all shooting and throwing grenades, spawning blood splatter vfx smoke grenades, rocket trails... We can't just make a scene run at 30 fps in isolation and call it a day. We need to leave room for a cluster of intense gameplay to happen on top of the scene. This further eats into our vision.
    This 200mb limit has been the gate for realtime 3D graphics for the last 8 years. PC exclusives are free from that gate but if it was cross platform that gate effected that art team even if they had high detail mode on the PC version.
    The point of me explaining this to you is to illustrate how much more room we now have on next gen systems and how that gate will be pushed up to around 3gb. It could be a bit more or a bit less but that's my estimate. You may be asking why I am not saying 4,5,6,7Gb. This is where the schedule comes into play. It is simply not possible for a team of 15 artists to fill that much RAM full of art data on our tight schedules even if it is available to us. Instead of hiring more artists, studios start outsourcing to churn out more content. Some studios crunch for months filling up 200mb worth of detail. Imagine trying to fill 4,5,6 GB worth of data. Now factor in the state of the industry. Game staff is constantly getting laid off. Publishers have a hard time making profits on all but the biggest franchises. If we don't find ways to create a constant revenue stream (dlc, microtrans, mmo subscription), or limit used games and stop piracy, studios simply cant pay a staff to utilize all this extra RAM. You need staff to stay, to become senior and to know the tools inside out. Artists jumping from studio to studio from layoffs creates a brain drain and ultimately hurts the quality of games. It can take a new artist 6-12 months to fully ramp up on all the tools and custom tech and become proficient. This is a huge inefficiency in the games industry and hurts the final product. This is one reason I support What Microsoft is doing. They understand this vicious cycle and are trying to improve not only games, but the industry as a whole. I'll get off that soap box now. I hope you get it.
    Back to the fun stuff. If a game like Gears of War can look good using 200mb, imagine what we can do with 3gb. That is just an unbelievable amount of resources for us to play with. I don't have to sacrifice the concept artists vision any more. I don't have to burn the time and effort making compromises any more. It is much harder to constantly optimize assets than it is to build high resolution from the get go. 3gb is almost enough resources to skip the compromise phase entirely. This makes my job so much more enjoyable and also gives players more immersive worlds to explore.
    But...we are not there until developers stop supporting current gen consoles. This is why console games keep looking better and better each year. As we drop the current gen SKU's we can now focus entirely on the next gen without the 200mb gate of current gen. If you think those launch titles look good, just wait to see what is coming in the next 5 years.
    Edit: For clarity on why I'm supporting Microsoft.
    What Microsoft is doing (limiting used sales, stopping piracy, allowing additional revenue streams) is as big a factor for next gen graphics as the new tech is. if you can't pay artists to fill the gigs of data with art, all that extra ram is just wasted. The industry is having a hard time paying 15 artists to fill up 200mb of data. How do you expect them to pay 35 artists to fill 8gb. The industry has to change to allow greater revenue, which allows more artists which allows more detail. Microsoft is trying to do that.

    Last edited by radnomguywfq3; 06-20-2013 at 02:07 PM.



    There are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.

    If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?


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    Can somone explain meh in short?? Lazy to read the whole story :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adolfmay View Post
    They said Xbox 360 because they are Microsoft - but he really meant any console that isn't taking a "step into the future." Like the PS4 or the wii, or the PS3.

    Do you notice the slightly better graphics? I sure don't. I really don't think that the PS4 is much different from the PS3 in terms of application. At least now that MS has implemented a bunch of backend support for their console there is actually a difference between it and the xbox 360. This DRM & purely digital content system was one of the big changes that I was looking forward to. I mean - why the fuck do we still have CDs when server space and harddrive space and bandwidth is so goddamn accessible these days? It is just absurd in my opinion.

    People are still afraid of the kinect because of privacy concearns. Jesus christ. You are a fool to think you can win over the utter stupidity (that, not ignorance) of most gamers.

    From a 3d environment artist:
    I still do see a reason in optical disks though. Many people do infact.
    The best part about it is, once you have it, you have it forever. Sure, server storage and harddrives are there too, but they won't be gauranteed to be working in 20 years.
    I know that Microsoft probably won't soon, but let's say they do go out of business. If somebody wants to play their games they cannot.
    Servers will only last as long as they want to support it.
    Yes, playing off a hard drive is sure more convenient, but instead of just making the discs glorified installation media, they should have allowed people to use the disk to play if they want.

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    I think i'm just going to avoid the whole fiasco and just buy a good gaming PC ._.

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    4 the TLDRS:

    XBOX game sharing is basically a demo mode where you get up to a hour to demo the game where you can then buy the game after. Isn't true game sharing because game developers are bitching about the fact you can share something you bought...

    24 hr checkin: blah blah Steam, etc are doing it

    Social networking: 48m users, we are building our own





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    radnomguywfq3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auxilium View Post


    I still do see a reason in optical disks though. Many people do infact.
    The best part about it is, once you have it, you have it forever. Sure, server storage and harddrives are there too, but they won't be gauranteed to be working in 20 years.
    None of my optical disks that I use from 20 years ago probably work. At least, no more likely than my harddrive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Auxilium View Post

    I know that Microsoft probably won't soon, but let's say they do go out of business. If somebody wants to play their games they cannot.
    Servers will only last as long as they want to support it.
    Yes, playing off a hard drive is sure more convenient, but instead of just making the discs glorified installation media, they should have allowed people to use the disk to play if they want.
    You could make that same argument regarding every game you ever played on your PC. Microsoft's glorified installation CDs are what they should've been in the first place.

    But nevermind that wasn't the point of my post that you just responded to, I edited it to make it more clear.
    Last edited by radnomguywfq3; 06-20-2013 at 02:21 PM.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Auxilium View Post
    "it was a social network within itself"

    A PC is an all around machine that can do anything.

    Consoles are made directly with just playing games in mind.
    When they focus more on all this "revolutionary" social and connected stuff, that only 10% will actively use, I think they have their priorities wrong.

    If you want to be social, use a PC.

    Just my take on it, because I sort of hate social networks in general.

    the future will consist of basically a giant computer that has TV, games, and regular windows shit (MSWOrd and so on) the console was wanting to create a revolution. And it very well did. With the Nintendo and so on because computers back then were not as "powerful". However the consoles today are leaning more into have the power and capacities of computers. Consoles are just going to loop back to the PC.

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    Auxilium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adolfmay View Post
    None of my optical disks that I use from 20 years ago probably work. At least, no more likely than my harddrive.



    You could make that same argument regarding every game you ever played on your PC. Microsoft's glorified installation CDs are what they should've been in the first place.
    Really? Have you tried? Because most removable media is very built to last. My floppy disks from the 90s still work. My CD games from the early 90s still work. And even audio cassettes from the 80s work.

    The main problems with hard drives are that they can fail, but unless you destroy the removable media, it won't (same goes for destroying a hard drive)

    And I don't know about you, but the PC games I play always require the disk in the tray and it actually loads from it during gameplay. so.....

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    radnomguywfq3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auxilium View Post

    And I don't know about you, but the PC games I play always require the disk in the tray and it actually loads from it during gameplay. so.....
    That's literally only as a DRM measure, and it is an ancient crap DRM measure that Microsoft was trying to improve.

    My point of that statement was that there is nothing wrong with a glorified installation CD. It is much quicker to read from the storage medium, it is safer, and redeployable if you need to redeploy it.



    There are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.

    If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?


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