What a douche

20 Mar
March 20, 2013

Over on PC Gamer they have an interview with Richard Garriott, where he talks about how most other game designers suck, and how he’s so much better than them.

I’m not exaggerating. Look at this shit.

And every designer that I work with—all throughout life—I think, frankly, is lazy,

Wow. Just wow. What an ass. Even if it were true, it is so incredibly lacking in grace to stand up in public and piss on all the other designers in your industry just to drum up support for your frikkin’ kickstarter project.

Screw you, Garriott.

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12 replies
  1. C. says:

    You are taking it a bit too personal. He is arrogant, but let’s not forget that he has some really good reasons to be arrogant. And if you forget for, a moment, that he appears as an arrogant ass, you’ll find that there is something true and insightful in what he is saying.

    BTW have you seem he history of development of Ultima Underworld? If you haven’t, please do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Underworld:_The_Stygian_Abyss

    Consider this: a team of 3-4 in less than two years produced a fantastic game, creating in the process a novel, probably revolutionary technology. Unimaginable today, eh? Not to mention, which gaming company of today is able to attract top grads from MIT? Or any grads from MIT?

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  2. gareth says:

    Um, no. I’m not taking it personally, what he said is not excusable by his past successes.

    If anyone, in any circumstance, stood up and said that about people with they’ve worked with in the past, that would be incredibly douchey.

    Imagine it, standing up and giving a speech about how nobody you’ve met is as good as you are (except for one or two other famous guys) and how all the people you’ve worked with in the past are just lazy!

    And to act so shitty for the crass reason of gaining financial support for your next project…wow. Unbelievably bad form.

    Classic rock star inflated-head syndrome. You start believing your own hype.

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  3. C. says:

    To be fair: he didn’t say that about all the people he worked with, just the designers. And a label “lazy” doesn’t sound to me that bad. I’m lazy myself, to a degree.
    Also, he is not acting jerky to get the money, he is acting jerky, because – most likely – he is a jerk. A game designer and a jerk. Well, nothing too novel in my book. Except that this one actually has something genuine to brag about.

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  4. gareth says:

    You sure you aren’t waving away his dickishness due to a fondness for games of his you might have played in childhood? 😉

    ‘Cause I gotta be honest, that “labeling people as lazy doesn’t sound too bad” was pretty weak, dude.

    Just call a spade a spade. People willing to piss all over others to get ahead are douches, Garriot’s a douche, that article was douchey. Hell, his kickstarter is pretty fucking douchey too.

    “Under his leadership, RPG’s evolved from simple dungeon crawls to immersive worlds where you could easily suspend your disbelief.

    Since then, most every other RPG has focused more on level grinding than on “role playing””

    Look at that shit. He’s basically claiming responsibility for RPGs being more than dungeon crawlers, and implying that they reverted to grind fests after he left. No credit to the other great games or teams that pushed the genre forward, nothing about Fallout or Baldur’s Gate or any of the rest. It’s all about Garriott’s ego.

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  5. C. says:

    But I do agree with you in principle: he is a douche/jerk/ass/…

    The only thing we’re disagreeing about is whether his jerkiness is worth such anger and condemnation. My approach is: yep, a jerk, a talented jerk with successes, nothing new, move along. While you want to stop for a moment and rage on and on about what a douche he is. Well, enjoy your anger, I guess.

    Oh and by the way, talking about douches-game-designers-(wannabees), your buddy VD (and I apologize if “buddy” is a wrong word) is a douche too. Not so long ago he was constantly bitching about WL2 and Fargo. More or less along the lines that Fargo is lying about WL2 delivery date and that Fargo’s credentials are very weak ‘coz his recent games are lame. Very ungracious. (His recent attitude seems to be much more pleasant. Not sure what happened in the meantime.) Shall we stop for a moment and discuss what an ungracious looser he is?

    “You sure you aren’t waving away his dickishness due to a fondness for games of his you might have played in childhood?”

    Yes, that too. But I am not denying that he is a dick. Just saying that his karma is high and no stupid interview will change that.

    As for ‘laziness’. OK, I got it, you feel it’s very offensive. Cultural difference, I guess.

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  6. C. says:

    Oh, and he did say some vaguely interesting things. For example about negative selection of game designers. I have no idea if this is true, but I do know that negative selection exists in other industries.

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  7. gareth says:

    Vince can be a jerk, sure, but not to the point of pissing on his own team mates and employees. That’s a whole different level to ranting about how modern games are being dumbed down for casual gamers.

    Also, it’s just a quick rant on a blog, mate. Hardly “on and on.”

    About the thing with game designer selection, it’s a little bit of a false representation. Designer positions are both the most desirable and scarcest in the industry. The standard advice for anyone who wants to get into game design (for AAA industry) these days is to go into QA because the analytical skills you develop and display are most likely to allow you to move onto design positions.

    So it’s not quite the case that people who become designers are just not able to hack it in any other area. Many go into it because that’s seen as the path toward their desired end goal of working in design.

    And while it is certainly valuable to learn a bit about the programming/art side of things, those are the kinds of things you can and should pick up unless your company enforces heavy silo-ation.

    It’s just as important for artists to pick up technical skills (and most don’t start with those skills), for example, in order to work their art around the technical limitations of the engine. In a similar way to how you teach those artists about technical issues, you should be teaching your junior designers.

    Also, I’ve known plenty of QA folk who are actually trained programmers.
    Most look to move out of QA into other departments, QA tends to be a starting point for most people, not a final destination.

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  8. C. says:

    Well, Vince is very protective of his “team-mates”, to the point of being comical. I was referring to his pissing on Fargo for no good reasons.

    Re QA: strange. Generally speaking, QA positions in IT are the ones with the lowest entry requirements. They’re also the most boring ones and usually offer the lowest job protection (almost no, in fact). High-flying engineers do not come from QA. It seems the gaming industry is very different in this regard(?)

    Anyway, I managed to misspell “loser”, high time for me to go.

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  9. gareth says:

    Sure, QA positions are generally bottom-tier.

    But game dev is a bit different for a few reasons. One, it’s a “creative” industry, and a desirable one. Which means there are MANY more skilled and motivated people wanting to “get in” than there are actually positions for.

    Which means that often the only “in” for people is to take the exploitative drudge positions in the hope of being able to stand out and be promoted to a more desirable job.

    Secondly, few game companies pay for full time designers. Mostly, you have to be able to do something else useful. If you aren’t an artist or programmer, what is the only other way for you to contribute, that isn’t a management position like producer for which you need to prove yourself with experience? Tester.

    From what I remember talking to him, Vince is critical of Fargo because of some decisions he made in the days of Interplay that contributed to its downfall. It’s easy to be taken in by the excitement of KS, but it’s reasonable to be wary of a man who you feel made poor decisions in the past. Easy to talk the talk and
    take backer money, harder to walk the walk.

    Reply
  10. C. says:

    The fact that mainstream game dev is still being considered a desirable place to be in can’t stop amazing me. It was surely a fun place ~20 years ago, but now?

    But of course what you’re saying makes sense.

    Re: bad decisions. It is still a douchery, even if it comes with a little extra of rationalization. Only the people who don’t make decisions don’t make bad ones from time to time. Fargo’s name is on so many acclaimed titles that it is not hard to see that he made a lot of good decisions too. And considering the fact that there is quite a chance that AoD won’t sell too well, Vince’s own game dev career started with some bad decisions too. Anyway, I hope you see my point.

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  11. gareth says:

    “The fact that mainstream game dev is still being considered a desirable place to be in can’t stop amazing me.”

    Yeah, I hear you. But I guess there is a never-ending steam of bright-eyed young things.

    “Anyway, I hope you see my point.”

    Sure, I do. It’s certainly not the approach I’d take, in many ways (I’m talking about some of his stances in interviews, not about Fargo particularly).

    If you read through the forums you’ll find Vince and I can argue quite fiercely on a number of topics, despite being good mates.

    That being said, I think Vince was fairly convinced that it was more than simple bad decisions. I can’t remember exactly what, that conversation was a long time ago and I don’t want to put words in his mouth. But I think was it.

    Still, I think that if Fargo delivers, Vince will give him credit for that and let it go.

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  12. JudgeHershey says:

    I found Garriot’s rant mildly amusing. I really don’t care about his opinions enough, to get mad at him. So yeah, whatever, Richard.

    “Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.” ― P.T. Barnum

    Reply

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