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Keen game dev for Sacred 3 apologizes and offers his game key

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gogoblender    1,465

Not sure if he's real or not, but amusing none the less

http://steamcommunity.com/app/247950/discussions/0/35219681839092913/

 

Hi,

I was a Junior Game Designer at keen games and worked on Sacred 3. I joined the development team in May 2013. Overall development was a bit longer, as you may know.
My main tasks where design, implementation and maintenance of the enemies and the bosses.

I'm sorry for the die-hard sacred fans, that didn't get the game they wanted to have. As a developer I received a free steam key for Sacred 3, which I would like to give to a disappointed fan, who did not purchase the game already. It's not much, just a gesture.

Here the key: 3TRHM-F088L-55HJC

I've read a lot of hate against my former employer keen games, that they destroyed the franchise (on purpose)... All I can say is, that you should not overestimate the power of a developer in a "work for hire" constellation with a big publisher.

I could answer some questions but I would appreciate to not receive the full hatred package on a personal level.

- Sascha

Edit: Some people demanded proof. http://I.imgur.com/FTXrAgl.jpg?1

 

:)

 

gogo

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Ryanrocker    200

Not sure if he's real or not, but amusing none the less

http://steamcommunity.com/app/247950/discussions/0/35219681839092913/

 

:)

 

gogo

I'm not sure whether to be amazed that the game was so bad the devs are giving away their keys...

 

Or HORRIFIED that the game was so bad the devs are giving away their keys

 

:sob:

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gogoblender    1,465

I had/still have mixed feelings after reading this post. I can sympathize with the plight of someone having to do a job and then having to make do with the wrath of the fans afterwards...

Or, this is an absolutely genius move from Deep Silver to get away with their cash grab

 

;)

 

gogo

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colif    36

Giving away one key to this game isn't much of a payback. It reminded me of the idea that the price is the main difference between the xb1 and ps4 - its saying that the only reason no one bought the product is cause its too expensive.., and over looking all the other reasons (In xb1 case, the fact the graphics card will never be equal, and in Sacred 3's case... lots of things). Treating everything as equal is a curse... by trying to act neutral you are skewing the playing field. Some things don't deserve it.

 

If its one guy trying to make amends, thats okay... its all he can do. If its the actual company behind the game, need more than one key that's already been used to deflect the hate. Some devs seem to be driving their own franchises into the sea, the amount of changes in Sims 4 shows EA is after its blood next (not that I intend to play it) and its only lesson learned from Sim City is people will buy franchises based on previous games without looking too hard. I feel sorry for casuals who didn't look into the game before buying. They are the true target of these games.

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Flix    2,918

I was never inclined to heap the blame on Keen Games anyway (or anyone really, such is my lack of enthusiasm for S3). But it does sound like everyone wants to pass the buck here. "It wasn't me, or my boss, it was my boss's boss's bosses that ruined your game." Well, great.

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SX255    628

The comment section shines some light on the insight of the nightmare, as he continues to answers some very interesting questions.

 

 

The marketing department of Deep Silver was the only one with enough power to change the direction of the franchise.

 

I'm sorry for the wording. Of course I'm sorry for all sacred fans. This damn "3" in the title. I suggested to rename it to "Sacred - Brawling in Ancaria" or something like that... But the "3" obviously sells better.

 

I'm thrilled that this developed to a reasonable conversation. Didn't expect that. Thanks!

 

It did take me some courage to post here. The internet can be pretty merciless, so that scares a lot of other developers and that they could potentially lose their jobs if they share internal details.

 

Of course we played it. One of the level designers had a very deep knowledge of the whole sacred lore, but the whole story and chatter writing was outsourced (proof for that in the credits of the game I guess).

 

I bought the game, because it took my former employer some time to send me my steam key. So I had one extra key to give away. I also finished the game on day 2 (16h40m) on legend difficulty with a Safiri.

 

Atmosphere... most of the sacred 3 devs still like each other. Don't want to spill the beans.

The fan outrage didn't surprise me. I anticipated some rage, but it escalated a bit more than expected. Even with this anticipation, some things did hurt pretty hard. For me personally it was Totalbiscuits Holy Hannah!, RPS' Wot I Think and the steam tags of the german steam store (one tag is "Müll" which means garbage.

At least I unlocked a new passive skill (I hope): Rhino Skin

 

There are three difficulties from 1-25 and then our new game+ equivalent (deity). In the three lower difficulties the scenarios have their own recommended level, in deity all scenarios adjust to your level. So you should only play in deity mode.

 

Thanks for the kind words. "Outing" myself in this forum as one of the developers was a great experience so far. Didn't expect so much empathy and objectivity. Makes me love the "gaming community" even more.

 

As I stated before, there is no "black and white" answer for the question "who is to blame? Deep Silver or Keen?".
I don't want to create an "enemy image" or something like that. I don't want to tell internal details. It would be great for the community to have those details, but I'm certainly not the one who should give them to you. I'm not an official representative of deep silver or keen, I was just a Game Designers who built enemies and bosses for this game

If you analyze the Sacred 3 credits, you should recognize that there is always an extra "Lead Department X" entry. But not for the Game Design department. You won't find a Game Director, Creative Director or Lead Game Designer. Why? Because the project didn't have one.

Deep Silver owns the IP, they spent the whole money and had the financial risk on their own. Of course they say how it goes and in which direction. I don't have to have their oppinion, but it's their right to do so. They still paid salaries for us developers and our families, for a long time.

If a publisher owns an IP and would like to produce a sequel, he often gives other developers the opportunity to apply for this project. The interested developers then usually make a prototype, a high concept document and a production/budget plan. It's like a casting. In case of Sacred, keen did the best pitch and had the best prototype. Then they got the budget which enabled them to hire a lot of key personell and "infantry for the concent creation front". So no, the portfolio does not matter. Keen is an experienced developer with a lot of skilled individuals. Sometimes it's better to empower those people.


The player actions are very limited, yes and this was on purpose for couch coop party game reasons, but that does not mean that the combat is simplistic. We shifted the complexity away from the player to the enemies.
In the background works a solid "combat director" that stages the battleground, we spent a lot of time in finding the right enemy compositions that enforce different game dynamics, all enemy attacks have an anticipation animation that scales accordingly to the selected difficulty and so on.

But unfortunately you won't notice this on easy or normal difficulty... And sadly a lot of reviewers played it on normal (default) difficulty.

You will definately recognize the systems on hard and especially deity diffculty. There the game will become pretty challenging and demands knowledge of enemies, their attacks + animations, dodge/block timings and "super breaker" combat arts. The goal was to make a game that is beatable by everyone but provides a hard challenge for dedicated players. I think we did a pretty good job with that, but we did a really poor job in communicating the right difficulty level for every player. Normal is way too easy for core gamers and unfortunately people tend to not increase difficulty levels.

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AngelShade    48

I won't play Sacred 3 not because they screwed up badly in making it Sacred III , but because these type of game aren't my thing (Theres lots of words like "f...k you " or Go f yourself in my head going on as what I typed before but im tryin so hard to be objective and not lose sight that this was a monster failure in advertising). Also they spent alot of money to purchase the franchise and alot of money to fund the project but I doubt they will make enough or nearly the same ammount of money they invested.

Edited by AngelShade
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DreDBanGeR    30

in all fairness, I think their marketing was top notch from their point of view. They managed to get plenty preorders without ever releasing any gameplay footage. I think they wont run in the red with this game. mainly because of the preorders and the sales from those who are into this type of game.

 

they will loose a lot of their fanbase tho so here's hoping it will bite em in the ass later :P

 

not that I agree with what they did to the franchise. its an abomination that should not have been called sacred. but that discussion has been done ;)

 

as for the post from the dev.

I think he's genuine, he's probably a gamer like most devs and really somewhat shocked by all the negativity..

 

but ive been fooled before.

Edited by DreDBanGeR
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Dobster    35

Did anybody actually want the key? :P

 

I get the impression Keen were told what game to make and they did the best they could. Some Brawler fans are even enjoying it....

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gogoblender    1,465

Did anybody actually want the key? :P

LOl

...owch

 

:)

 

gogo

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DreDBanGeR    30

the key was picked up not 2 minutes after it was posted I think, I never bothered trying it myself. ah well some people will grab any game if its free :)

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gogoblender    1,465

U guys think there will ever be a day when Deep Silver starts a dialogue with us?

 

That's the part that just rankles me. If they are big enough to have a marketing department, wouldn't then know better than to just hide from fan wrath?

 

:blink:

 

gogo

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DreDBanGeR    30

lets just say the depressing sheit forums are rife with people wanting to talk to devs.. and Keen games doesn't have a forum.

 

if depressing sheit is ever coming out of the woodworks about it its gonna blame Keen games even if they did it on order of depressing sheit.

from the perspective of depressing sheit its 1 game thats busted, but they have ample other titles that seem to be doing allright. saintsrow 4, risen 3 and Metro : last light are their best sellers I think.

so they will just shrug it off and continu ruining other games if they can get their hands on the IP

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wolfie2kX    522

U guys think there will ever be a day when Deep Silver starts a dialogue with us?

 

That's the part that just rankles me. If they are big enough to have a marketing department, wouldn't then know better than to just hide from fan wrath?

 

:blink:

 

gogo

I thought they did a while back... Didn't they have a community rep posting here?

 

Or did we scare him off?

 

As far a them hiding from fan wrath - seriously.. they've been doing that since they posted the first bits of info on the game (not being an open world, being linear instead. etc...)... They clammed up on the game, releasing no further info - nothing to entice any interest in the game. Granted, there was a lot of negative feedback on what little they did release.

 

So them hiding now.. not reaching out to FDM - not surprising. Not the slightest bit. They've written us off.

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AngelShade    48

My big question of the day is:

 

Why would they do this game ? and not continue the work from sacred 2 ?

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SX255    628

My big question of the day is:

Why would they do this game ? and not continue the work from sacred 2 ?

 

Big dumb fanbase = money. Lost tools to Sacred 2.

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wolfie2kX    522

My big question of the day is:

 

Why would they do this game ? and not continue the work from sacred 2 ?

 

Short answer: Deep Silver are run by cowardly, cheapskate bean counters...

 

Long answer:

 

1.) Sacred 2's production was ambitious. It cost a LOT of money. And as such, left Ascaron bankrupt.

2.) They could not or would not (for whatever reason) retain the services of the development team. (Gonna guess it had to do with COSTS)

3.) Sacred 3 was promised, had to be delivered.

4.) Deep Silver's bean counters grant a small budget to produce something called Sacred 3. The budget is small because they're afraid of repeating Ascaron's mistakes.

5.) Someone somewhere realizes that they're not gonna be able to do much for the money allocated.Still something MUST be released.

6.) Deep Silver hire Keen Games to do the deed. How and why Keen got the task - no one knows BUT if I had to bet, they low balled the bid.

7.) Deep Silver releases some info on the game, gets horrendous backlash from the fans.

8.) Deep Silver decides to go full Stealth Mode. Releases no more information on Sacred 3 until it's released.

9.) Sacred 3 gets released. Reviews suck.

 

That, in a nutshell is how Sacred 3 came to be...

Edited by wolfie2kX
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gogoblender    1,465

 

My big question of the day is:

 

Why would they do this game ? and not continue the work from sacred 2 ?

 

Short answer: Deep Silver are run by cowardly, cheapskate bean counters...

 

Long answer:

 

1.) Sacred 2's production was ambitious. It cost a LOT of money. And as such, left Ascaron bankrupt.

2.) They could not or would not (for whatever reason) retain the services of the development team. (Gonna guess it had to do with COSTS)

3.) Sacred 3 was promised, had to be delivered.

4.) Deep Silver's bean counters grant a small budget to produce something called Sacred 3. The budget is small because they're afraid of repeating Ascaron's mistakes.

5.) Someone somewhere realizes that they're not gonna be able to do much for the money allocated.Still something MUST be released.

6.) Deep Silver hire Keen Games to do the deed. How and why Keen got the task - no one knows BUT if I had to bet, they low balled the bid.

7.) Deep Silver releases some info on the game, gets horrendous backlash from the fans.

8.) Deep Silver decides to go full Stealth Mode. Releases no more information on Sacred 3 until it's released.

9.) Sacred 3 gets released. Reviews suck.

 

That, in a nutshell is how Sacred 3 came to be...

Love this encapsulation Wolfie

 

:)

 

gogo

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gogoblender    1,465

8.) Deep Silver decides to go full Stealth Mode. Releases no more information on Sacred 3 until it's released.

More than anything, this was the part that P'd me off the most. Sacred universe is a strong community. It's been like that since the beginning and even with years of no news about sacred 3, there was still an active community here, which kept up with the wiki which has become massive!

Communities need feed back, dialogue.. when Deep Silver went this route it hurt a lot of people

 

:cry:

 

gogo

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wolfie2kX    522

 

8.) Deep Silver decides to go full Stealth Mode. Releases no more information on Sacred 3 until it's released.

More than anything, this was the part that P'd me off the most. Sacred universe is a strong community. It's been like that since the beginning and even with years of no news about sacred 3, there was still an active community here, which kept up with the wiki which has become massive!

Communities need feed back, dialogue.. when Deep Silver went this route it hurt a lot of people

 

:cry:

 

gogo

In truth.... The more I think about it... The less I think Deep Silver really gives a flying fig about the Sacred franchise.

 

Consider:

 

1.) Games have a shelf life and as such, they are only popular for just so long. People play the game get sick of it and move on.

2.) They figured (incorrectly) that the Sacred franchise was dead.

3.) The death of Ascaron, and Deep Silver's thumb twiddling, made sure that, by conventional wisdom, Sacred was dead.

 

 

And yet it isn't.

 

So... Deep Silver chose to not communicate with the communities out there that are (like us) keeping the faith alive.

 

And this tells me one thing...

 

Deep Silver doesn't care about Sacred any more. It's as if they're trying to drive the proverbial stake thru the heart of the franchise.

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gogoblender    1,465

 

 

8.) Deep Silver decides to go full Stealth Mode. Releases no more information on Sacred 3 until it's released.

More than anything, this was the part that P'd me off the most. Sacred universe is a strong community. It's been like that since the beginning and even with years of no news about sacred 3, there was still an active community here, which kept up with the wiki which has become massive!

Communities need feed back, dialogue.. when Deep Silver went this route it hurt a lot of people

 

:cry:

 

gogo

In truth.... The more I think about it... The less I think Deep Silver really gives a flying fig about the Sacred franchise.

 

Consider:

 

1.) Games have a shelf life and as such, they are only popular for just so long. People play the game get sick of it and move on.

2.) They figured (incorrectly) that the Sacred franchise was dead.

3.) The death of Ascaron, and Deep Silver's thumb twiddling, made sure that, by conventional wisdom, Sacred was dead.

 

 

And yet it isn't.

 

So... Deep Silver chose to not communicate with the communities out there that are (like us) keeping the faith alive.

 

And this tells me one thing...

 

Deep Silver doesn't care about Sacred any more. It's as if they're trying to drive the proverbial stake thru the heart of the franchise.

If anything, the backlash from this game has driven UnBended and given it an enormous head of steam. Donations jumped, the fans are getting their dialogue with the Devs, and...we got a Crypt!!

 

:dance:

 

gogo

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Shadeling    15

in all fairness, I think their marketing was top notch from their point of view. They managed to get plenty preorders without ever releasing any gameplay footage. I think they wont run in the red with this game. mainly because of the preorders and the sales from those who are into this type of game.

 

they will loose a lot of their fanbase tho so here's hoping it will bite em in the ass later :P

 

not that I agree with what they did to the franchise. its an abomination that should not have been called sacred. but that discussion has been done ;)

 

as for the post from the dev.

I think he's genuine, he's probably a gamer like most devs and really somewhat shocked by all the negativity..

 

but ive been fooled before.

Top notch? Uh no.

 

I've been keeping an eye on the Steam Sacred 3 forums a couple months before it even launched, a launch btw, that happened before its official launch date in order to screw over as many pre-ordered gamers as possible so they have no recourse for a refund and get those sales before the ending of the review embargo would clue gamers into the fact the game truly sucked.

 

Even the first day I checked out the Steam forums it was lit up with posts about how Sacred 3 was NOT Sacred. I actually felt bad for Keen at that moment because the deserved vitriol was relentless. These weren't dumb gamer sheep Deep Silver were counting on to mindlessly pre-order their terrible game. The voice of the righteous outrage definitely drowned out anything else on that forum. And perhaps that's what inspired DS to launch the game early, wouldn't put it past them.

 

It wasn't with a small amount of satisfaction that I watch Sacred 3 quickly sink on the top sellers list, even with full on Steam advertising support on the front page. And that junior developer post helped so much in shedding light on the problem. Normally I would immediately dismiss that kind of post on Steam but it came off as legit to me, as I said in that thread, and I guess it was cleared by Gamespot who made it a news piece on their site.

 

That alone should tell you that their marketing strategy was not 'Top Notch'. If front page Steam advertising can't help you, well, 'nuff said. It wasn't even a week when Sacred 3 was completely off of Top Sellers list and at the same time Divinity: Original Sin which was released a full month before was still sitting happily on the first page, often jockeying for positionfor #1 at the same time.

 

So yeah, one would hope that heads were rolling at Deep Silver for allowing their marketing execs to moonlight as game developers (because, ya know, it's so easy anyone can make a stupid game) and besmirching its name because now the common impression about DS is that's its the new EA.

 

That's not Top Notch marketing in my opinion. That's near criminal business practices that got its just desserts.

 

Edit: I haz gramr and I spel gud.

Edited by Shadeling
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wolfie2kX    522

I maybe wouldn't quite go so far as to say "criminal" but perhaps dishonest... Douchey, for sure.

 

I doubt that DS would do anything that would blatantly violate the various laws out there. That wouldn't be a good thing if they had to go to jail for something as lame as that.

 

It's not exactly fraud. They delivered a game - OK. A sucky game, but a game, never the less. That it didn't live up to the franchise's legacy, well, it's not written anywhere they HAD to do so. They just had to deliver a product - which they actually did.

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Shadeling    15

Oh I know, that's what I meant by 'near criminal' because what they did had nothing to do with whether or not their CUSTOMERS had a good experience but with how best they could dupe them into spending money on something that had nothing to do with the franchise but was using the Sacred name alone to sell games.

 

Definitely near criminal, nothing impressive about it. They don't care about giving their paying customers a good experience, they only care about getting the sales for their shareholders and their quarterly statement. It's the fundamental flaw in how publishers should be playing no role at all in game development because their ultimate goal has nothing to do with the quality of their fans experience.

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gogoblender    1,465

 

 

Deep Silver doesn't care about Sacred any more. It's as if they're trying to drive the proverbial stake thru the heart of the franchise.

And this scares me

I mean...what if they try to make a Sacred 4?

 

:blink:

 

gogo

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