Originally posted by Bleyn
I thought it was clear from Stormhound's posts in the MOO3 forum thread on the cuts, at least on the matter of MOO3, the cuts were being done by the choice of the Quicksilver team, in order to meet the schedule that they have in place. Yes, there probably some prodding on the side of Infogrames that went along with this. But that is supposed to be part of a publishers job. At least, in this case, it was the choice of the designers to make some cuts, and early enough to potentially make a real impact on the rest of the project schedule.
Looking over the thread on the MOO3 annoucement, it appears to me that you have either little appreciation for the job of project manager, or just have something against Alan and Sid. I will admit that I have never worked on any sort of computer software project, but I can at least appreciate that their job is not an easy one.
It is, to my understanding, very normal for a lot of game projects to start out with a grand list of "We'ld like it to do this" ideas. At various times during the project, these ideas are evaluated for how well they are developing. Some remain the same, some get reworked, some get canned, some get postponed to an expansion or sequal. Some times, these changes happen late in the development cycle.
And while yes, I am willing to concede that some of the time when the developers have to can something late in the project, they might have been deluding themselves on the feasability or required timeline for an idea. There are also plenty of times where something is removed or reworked because they find that while it may be on schedule and working exactly the way it was planned, but they find that it just isn't fitting in with other parts of the game, or just plain isn't as fun or nice as they thought it would be. And unfortuantly, there are going to be times when an idea has to be worked on for a long time before they can really see these things.
Given how much things can potentially change in the development of a game, I am honsetly surprised that some developers give us as much info as they do. If it were entirely up to them, I suspect a few would rather not even announce a game is in the works until its ready to ship. However, that would be unrealistic market-wise, and at the very least the publisher is going to try to hype a game at least a little bit before it ships.
On another point, I think you are also somewhat mistaken. IIRC, Firaxis did Not choose to work with Infogrames on Civ3. I believe that they were originally contracted to work with Microprose. It was not Firaxis's choice for Microprose to be bought by Hasbro, or for Hasbro to then sell Hasbro Interactive to Infogrames. And given the amount of time that MOO3 may have been in the works, Quicksilver is probably in a similar situation. And there is no telling what sort of changes in relationship may have occured between the developers and publishers in the buy-outs.
Among other things, a number of people around here seem to want to blame the developers for absolutely every little thing, and few seem to consider that maybe some of the choices they don't like are either being made for them by the publisher without or because the publisher gave them no better option. Personally, I think it says something about both Firaxis and Quicksilver that they are willing to remove or delay certain components of the game to ensure that the product that is released is the best they can make it, rather than release it with multiple sections that need more work that may never happen.
Finally, I would like to remind people of an old axiom of computer hardware and software development that applies as well to games as :
In any project there are three options, but you can only have two. It can:
1. Work well (ie. few if any bugs/lots of features)
2. Run fast (ie be optimized)
3. Be cheap (ie. come in on time/under budget)
And thats just the way that things are.