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On 8/12/2020 at 7:21 PM, RobertaME said:

I wonder if anyone has considered the possibility that Take Two bought KSP just for the good PR it would bring them for making a really good sequel?

Think about it. Not every decision a company makes is based on immediate profits. Some business decisions are made, knowing it will be a loss to the company, just so they can improve their image... which helps make profits in other areas. (companies with a good rep can sell more product than one with a bad rep)

Such decisions are increasingly rare, with CEOs focused on short term yields for their shareholders. You really need a strong CEO with a big stake in the company like Musk to be able to pull off longer plans. 

That said, I'm having doubts about the sequel from a gameplay perspective but that's for other threads.

So far the only gameplay doubt that I had that has subsequently been removed relates to the orbital dynamics of Rask and Rusk... it seems like they will do that properly.

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On 8/5/2020 at 7:56 AM, Dragon01 said:

The thing is, corporate executives are typically not aware of what the fanbase wants or likes. They don't play games and don't visit the forums. They only see numbers and only care about them.

Buying an indie IP makes sense because that IP seems to be making money, and more money than usual, at that. They think that by making a prettied-up sequel they can make even more money. That's enough to buy an IP. 

Exactly! This is how decisions are made in large corporations. Usually by a CEO who walks through a hallway, insulting everyone he encounters, and thinking about this company he noticed this morning in an article in Bloomberg. There might be an intern or so who will try to point out some flaws in this plan, but those are laughed away. That’ll probably exactly how it went... in a movie.

In reality though, shareholders are not that pleased with willy-nilly takeovers that fail miserably. Aside from screening the company financially (so there are no skeletons in the closet), market research is conducted, as well as an evaluation of doing things in-house would be cheaper. Buying privately owned companies tends to be expensive as a good amount of the price will include “goodwill” instead of tangible assets like property, staff and IP.

By the time the deal is inked the CEO and those involved will have a very good idea of the audience of the game, and in what ways they can—and cannot—make money from it. KSP is a great product for T2 because it’s very predictable. They know how many copies they can sell looking at KSP1 and there’s no reason, if the product is good enough, they can’t sell that with KSP2, and with they right marketing probably even more.  It’s highly doubtful the game will be a commercial succes if it betrays the character of KSP1. A large part of the audience will not buy it then.

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54 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

By the time the deal is inked the CEO and those involved will have a very good idea of the audience of the game, and in what ways they can—and cannot—make money from it. 

Those involved - yes. The CEO? Not really. In a large company like T2, the CEO is separated from "those involved" by several layers of middle management. The CEO's decisions are based purely on what manages to filter up through the management. This is usually numeric data, graphs and such. That's what they teach about in MBA courses. The upper management simply doesn't make low level decisions such as what kind of game the company is going to make. You've been watching too much SpaceX, most normal CEOs aren't Elon Musk.

And no, CEOs don't walk through hallways. They park their expensive cars in a private parking space, go through the upper management entrance straight to the elevator, and don't come out until it gets to the executive suite. Underlings (like anyone with an idea what the company is actually doing) don't even rate insults. And an intern found trying to talk to the CEO would shortly find him/herself reassigned to the company's offices in Svalbard, because they're supposed to submit their suggestions through the management chain to be quietly forgotten about. The guy doing the hallway strutting, dismissing interns and insulting cubicle drones would be a manager, with not much more actual power than the drones in question.

58 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

In reality though, shareholders are not that pleased with willy-nilly takeovers that fail miserably. Aside from screening the company financially (so there are no skeletons in the closet), market research is conducted, as well as an evaluation of doing things in-house would be cheaper. Buying privately owned companies tends to be expensive as a good amount of the price will include “goodwill” instead of tangible assets like property, staff and IP.

And yet, such takeovers still happen. Yes, market research is conducted, then the 60 page report is compressed into a 6 page presentation for management and then, if it passes muster, into a 1-page summary for the CEO. The summary has all the important numbers and none of the subtle context. What the actual T2 CEO gets on his desk is probably something like "Company A made X dollars out of IP Y. We calculated that our company will make X+Z dollars if we can take control of IP Y, and that'll cost us M dollars." The CEO's actual job is to go through several such reports and decide which of these deals will make money. 

It's up to the underlings to actually decide what the game will be, and if it'll be good. For that, they have to be competent and actually care about the product they put out. Better hope that's the case here. A stupid decision can appear very workable on paper, if the person in charge does not have a good picture of the situation or is simply incompetent. 

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3 minutes ago, Dragon01 said:

then the 60 page report is compressed into a 6 page presentation for management and then, if it passes muster, into a 1-page summary for the CEO. 

And in that 1 page document you will find something among the lines of "a light-hearted space simulator that has an educational and a management side" followed by a more or less accurate description of the target audience, game dimension, development costs, studio requirements and potential profits and not "basically Fortnite in space, watch this trailer it's Lolsokerbal!".

If it has to be simplified even more (like when the head of Private Division is explaining to its parent company T2 the next year of investments) it would probably be in terms of budgets allocation, costs, time and profit returns and not with a "looooool that explosion was sick! Did you see that? This is going to be the next Candy Crush!".

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Hi Nate! I have a quick question, what should we expect from KSP 2 in terms of the sound for instance, should one wish to try recover a booster "spacex style" and had to observe from a distance, would the sound of the engines be "delayed" and could we possibly hear sonic booms? Anyway, loving what you and your team is doing. It's looking excellent so far and it can only get better from here. Good luck and godspeed!  

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1 hour ago, Master39 said:

If it has to be simplified even more (like when the head of Private Division is explaining to its parent company T2 the next year of investments) it would probably be in terms of budgets allocation, costs, time and profit returns

Actually, that was my point. A CEO at Take 2 makes decisions based on things such as costs, time and profit returns. If you told him about Candy Crush, he'd likely don't even know what that is. The man in charge of T2 is a lawyer and an MBA. His job is to ensure that whatever T2 does, it'll be profitable and legal (in that order). 

PD is not an independent entity, they can't really do anything without T2's approval. The head of PD would get the information you mention, but only after T2 finalized the deal from their own side, based on numbers, not on such details as target audience and whatever. "Here's a new IP, make a game out of it, and it better make money".

BTW, the "target audience" they'll know all about? Not just "science nerds", but also children. "It's for kids, kids are dumb, let's dumb it down for kids!" kind of reasoning is the most likely way they could screw it up. KSP1's advertising doesn't do it any favors at all, it makes it seem like a kiddy game (in fact, because of that it was a hard sell with a few of my friends at the university, though that was early on). Casual, but adult gamers were never a particular concern here, children are, especially considering that most adults don't give them nearly enough credit.

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2 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

Those involved - yes. The CEO? Not really. In a large company like T2, the CEO is separated from "those involved" by several layers of middle management. The CEO's decisions are based purely on what manages to filter up through the management. This is usually numeric data, graphs and such. That's what they teach about in MBA courses. The upper management simply doesn't make low level decisions such as what kind of game the company is going to make. You've been watching too much SpaceX, most normal CEOs aren't Elon Musk.

I work for what you’d call a fortune 500 company if it were a US company. It’s a global company, and yet I recognize nothing of what you claim about CEO’s. He is exceptionally well connected to the business, and knows exactly who our largest customers are and what their issues are.

Perhaps in an industry like banking or insurance which traditionally is build upon layers upon layers with many sub branches this might be the case, but in most business you can’t make decisions without knowing what goes on. The CEO of Pepsico visits supermarkets to see how her brands are doing. Now that I think of it, the C-level executives of a large oil company seemed pretty well connected to what was going on when I worked with them.

And Strauss Zelnick having no clue what Candy Crush would be? That’s like Jim Hackett claiming he doesn’t know what Ferrari is. You can’t lead a business without knowing its industry.

Finally, games are not “dumbed down,” but a lot of effort is made to make them easier to pick up, as it increases accessibility. A great example is Portal; a painstaking amount of detail went into the first levels of the game to ensure the player was taught everything they need to know to play the game without noticing that they’re actually working their way through a tutorial.

 

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1 hour ago, Dragon01 said:

but only after T2 finalized the deal from their own side, based on numbers, not on such details as target audience and whatever. "Here's a new IP, make a game out of it, and it better make money".

Those details are already taken into account when running the number, they're not ignoring them, they're delegating the work to the subordinates.

That's how any industry works.

 

No, there is no possibility that T2 bought KSP, fixed Squad, built PD to deal with smaller games, contracted KSP2 to S.T, revoked the contract and opened a new internal studio all while not knowing what they were doing.

The CEO doesn't need to know how the algorithm behind wheels suspension in landing gears work to do his job, that's not how thing works in any company, from a giant publisher like T2 to the mom and pops restaurant behind home.

 

To go back where all of this started, no there is no way they bought KSP thinking it was anything else different that what it is, it makes no sense given the creation of Private Division, Private Division behavior since its creation, KSP1 treatment and what we have seen up until now regarding KSP2.

And saying that everybody in T2, PD and Intercept is too stupid and greedy to understand videogames and what we're seeing are not good news but them failing at doing a quick cashgrab makes even less sense than no sense at all, it's just forcefully distorting every known fact to fit the stereotipe of a evil company doing evil things.

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On 6/4/2020 at 1:59 PM, Matt Lowne said:

I can’t help but feel partially responsible for some of the hysteria surrounding the KSP 2 move from Star Theory to Intercept, and I am glad that spirits within the dev team remain high. I am disappointed that some viewers interpreted the news as a sign of cancellation or other deterioration of KSP 2’s development. The focus of the reporting (and my video) was to highlight the business side of Take-Two’s hostile acquisition of the KSP 2 development, which is something I still feel is a wholly negative thing and is part of an aspect of the publisher/developer relationship across the games industry that I hope will continue to grow better as the industry matures.

I wish no ill-feelings to any of the KSP 2 developers, and I am still wholeheartedly excited for the sequel. I have no doubt that your collective passion will result in an incredible sequel and I am very excited to see what you and your team produce.

Good words Matt Lowne. Remember him saying: "Is Tylo made out of cheese? Who knows?"

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What constitutes the value of a company?

 

 

Their Intellectual Property,

Their market position (brand)

Their people

Their management,

 

Star Theory doesn't have much IP; maybe Planetary Annihilation - no value in acquiring them for that

Star Theory doesn't have a strong market position; noone is searching for 'Star theory games' - no value in acquiring them for their brand

Star Theory had *good* people - enough to get handed an expensive IP by Take Two, and enough to offer to hire en masse when the wheels came off

Star Theory doesn't have great management; the company was left high and dry after they failed to deliver on schedule their *only* billable project. That's a management failure

 

What that points me at is that the owners had an out of whack view of what *they* contributed to the operation. Apparently their employees felt the same way. 

 

 

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On 6/4/2020 at 3:59 PM, Matt Lowne said:

I can’t help but feel partially responsible for some of the hysteria surrounding the KSP 2 move from Star Theory to Intercept, and I am glad that spirits within the dev team remain high. I am disappointed that some viewers interpreted the news as a sign of cancellation or other deterioration of KSP 2’s development. The focus of the reporting (and my video) was to highlight the business side of Take-Two’s hostile acquisition of the KSP 2 development, which is something I still feel is a wholly negative thing and is part of an aspect of the publisher/developer relationship across the games industry that I hope will continue to grow better as the industry matures.

I wish no ill-feelings to any of the KSP 2 developers, and I am still wholeheartedly excited for the sequel. I have no doubt that your collective passion will result in an incredible sequel and I am very excited to see what you and your team produce.

Nice to see your back. Been watching you since 3k subs. Loved the Sea Dragon vid. 

 

@Nate Simpson, what is the expected release date, that yall are shooting for. And yes, its good to see that KSP2 Devs care as much about the community as KSP1 did. Thanks for the hopefully great KSP sequel.

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On 8/19/2020 at 9:16 AM, Dragon01 said:

And yet, such takeovers still happen. Yes, market research is conducted, then the 60 page report is compressed into a 6 page presentation for management and then, if it passes muster, into a 1-page summary for the CEO. The summary has all the important numbers and none of the subtle context. What the actual T2 CEO gets on his desk is probably something like "Company A made X dollars out of IP Y. We calculated that our company will make X+Z dollars if we can take control of IP Y, and that'll cost us M dollars." The CEO's actual job is to go through several such reports and decide which of these deals will make money.

Takeovers typically happen because those personally involved with the takeover demand fees and get bonuses far beyond anything else you can do in corporateland.  They rarely benefit either company, except when creating a monopoly or at least reducing competition to the point where the bonus to price fixing exceeds the cost of the transaction.  Its one of those dirty open secrets of Wall Street.

On 8/19/2020 at 11:44 AM, Kerbart said:

Finally, games are not “dumbed down,” but a lot of effort is made to make them easier to pick up, as it increases accessibility. A great example is Portal; a painstaking amount of detail went into the first levels of the game to ensure the player was taught everything they need to know to play the game without noticing that they’re actually working their way through a tutorial.

That's the goal, and good games work that way.  But as you mentioned, it takes painstaking detail.  Publishers like to cut costs to make a game, and "dumbing down" is the easiest and cheapest way to increase accessibility.  They do it a lot.

You really can't dumb down KSP without breaking the physics simulator.  Sure, you could try something like the the beta (I loved the beta.  And I miss a lot about it.  But it really wasn't as good a game as KSP>=1.0), but even that was a game of rocket science: you got to ignore aeodynamic stability and the drag was calculated in a stupid manner.  Flying pancake rockets for the win!

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On 9/23/2020 at 7:05 PM, wumpus said:

You really can't dumb down KSP without breaking the physics simulator.

No, but you can make the parts overpowered and introduce "fudge forces" that would make dealing with aerodynamics easier. In fact, this is already a thing in KSP1, IIRC it gives you more lift at low speeds than it really should. 

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12 hours ago, The Kerman said:

I Have A Question For You @Nate Simpson
Will We Be Able To Convert KSP 1 Saves To KSP 2?

I am 99.99999% sure that is a no. KSP2 is a completely different game build from the ground up with different progression features, parts, etc. Simply not worth it. 

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