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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A sorry heBETAting of the truth...

Part of blogging something that won't please all is the expected personal attacks. Particularly from fanbois and their ilk. Such is the case with my recent post (I) Don't Believe the Hype. It seems some of the faithful need to make up fatuous motivations for by post. I make it clear - my BS meter has been steadily increasing toward the marketing versus reality picture of the game Red Orchestra: Heroes of Stalingrad, and my goal is to get PC gamers to look behind the curtain and use their heads in deciding game purchases. This is not the first game to appear to be over-hyped, and won't be the last.

The popular fabricated motivation of the day attributed to me is that I am lashing out because I was rejected from the beta test of the game. That that is bandied about by ill-informed random fans of the game is not surprising. What is, and is revealing of the credibility of some TWI staff, is that it is offered up by TWI as the sole reason for my exposé.

Seems like the truth is stretched, or broken, in more than just the current apparent reality of the game. Were I actively involved in income production in the gaming industry, such apparently slanderous and defamatory actions would warrant swift legal action by me. As it is, no one pays me to do anything gaming related, I'm just a PC gamer, and I find this laughable. A piteous example of what appears to be marketing CYA.

The fact is, I declined the beta invitation. I was not interested in being just a warm body: told that feedback was not desired, simply bodies to fill servers to show off working parts of the game to press. Marketing, in other words. Others in the candidate pool at the time were rejected, including long standing members of the Red Orchestra community that had not always toed the glowing, Heroes of Stalingrad will stop global warming line, but instead offered constructive and valid criticisms.

Those accepted received an acceptance email. I have shown mine below, with my response. I marked out certain personal information. They are otherwise unchanged. Strange to "welcome" someone rejected, and provide an NDA, don't you think?

I'll leave it to you to decide what the truth is in this. It should be patently clear. And it should give one pause that some senior members of TWI do not seem to be above promulgating such falsehoods or making attack posts (while censoring or locking out replies), instead of offering facts. Hilariously, these douche nozzles seem to prefer fighting fires with a hose attached to a gasoline pump, rather than using the water of facts to put them out.

I'd be more than happy to post a response from TWI showing anyone that was rejected, yet mysteriously received the same acceptance email. 

Perhaps there's some strange black hole or other anomaly in their office, warping the truth. Maybe that same anomaly is also what's stopping them from offering a demo of the game, instead of making gamers fork over their hard-earned dollars to decide if it's great or a turd. A really great game can sell itself in demo form, and doesn't need hyperbole and secrecy. Any developer worth their salt that truly has a great game, and not just over-the-top marketing hype, should be willing and able to provide one. Do you buy your new cars without a test drive?

As a gamer, unless you've played the original and are enamored with it, I'd either wait for a trusted gamer you know to take the plunge and render an opinion (since, as already stated, reviews from magazines and press can be quite shifty), or wait for a demo. The latter is unlikely to ever happen. Wonder why?

As little as I believed the hype as of late, I believe it even less after these recent examples of the pomposity and perfidy of TWI. And it seems, so do more and more gamers.

Edit (7/21/11): Thanks to some recent messages, the story (polysemy intended) from TWI gets even more bizarre. There is now apparently another conspiracy theory there, one where old hands (guys around since the free mod days, active in the forums) of the Red Orchestra community are out to "get them" by spreading lies and innuendo and influencing others. What? Attacking your own faithful now? Perhaps the address in the acceptance email is a typo and it's not Roswell, GA but Roswell, NM instead. You know, where the aliens hang out...

Dedicated to the num nutz at TWI: 


  1. Wow. I've been following this for a few days. I've seen the post at their forum saying you were rejected for the beta. Someone else there says /you/ rejected it. Seems pretty clear from this your story is the truth. This and the posts by the company staff have made me wonder what else they are not telling. They look pretty foolish to me. They should have never lied about this, and maybe just said they are only telling and showing stuff to magazines.
    I won't be getting this now right away I'm going to wait to see how it turns out for real. No soup for snooty lying developers. At least you have a bunch of people in their forum with alot of posts that agree with you. Maybe they can still put out a good game but I will wait.
    By the way this and some of the other posts are really funny even though they show john carmack was right about snotty indie devs.

  2. Like watching an argument between steven hawking vs a room full of slow learners. You won. Now what was the apple joke LOL

  3. They really should just STFU, just digging a deeper hole for themselves. +1 to reveal the apple joke. I want to use it on my apple freak friends if its that good to get you ban points.

  4. something about iMeds for someone on the forums who got a little bit touchy...iMeds - cost 30% more than regular meds, but hey, they look cute

  5. @ Anonymous 7/21/11 03:09:
    Don't be too sure. It takes wiles too pull the wool over people's eyes like they appear to have. There are some smart people there from my impression and interactions. Alan Wilson, IMHO, seems actually quite brilliant. See below for joke.

    @ Anonymous 7/21/11 05:11
    It was not so much a joke, more of a fun poke at an apple worshiper that was getting silly. He had asked about the game on OSX. The thread had lots of people slamming apple. The dude finally snapped after someone posted another 'Apples are overpriced' response: he screamed he was 'getting sick of this' or something like that.

    I responded with (to the best of my memory, this was deleted, as were the posts LOLing at it...) "sorry to hear that, perhaps time for some iMeds, they only cost a third more, but work the same. Nice packaging though."

    That's it. But I'd decided to bail long before that because of the marketing hypocrisy and the ruling of the forums by the RO foamers. TWI gives great lip service to wanting civil and open forums with their occasional posts about forum behavior, but they really do nothing about it, as long as it involves posts fellating the TWI gods.

    I had convinced a long time forum member that was going to post his own "FU, TWI" and leave not to. Turns out his impressions were spot on.

  6. To the commenter claiming to be John Gibson:

    That was hilarious. If you are John - come on, you have my skype. And my email. If you can establish you are who you claim, I extend the same offer to you: I will happily post, unedited, anything you can provide to counter my *facts*. In this case, simply prove the email was not only sent to those accepted. Otherwise, nice try "John"...

  7. This looks like they've been caught with their pants down. But I wonder if you got some big forum violation for the joke was something else going on. Did you troll them?

  8. One more thing - it looks like they are doing damage control with a big post on their forum.
    Damage control usually means some truth has been exposed. Didnt even have the balls to name your post, just indirectly insult it.

    Keep up the good work, too many games have had big hype and turned out to be crap. We need more honest reviews.

  9. @ Anonymous 7/21/11 16:30 :
    Beats me. The forum has a 'rep' system for what that's worth (I think these are a creator of disharmony myself), and I had a very high reputation. Higher than most with my tenure there.

    For a 'troll' as they've labeled me, the only infraction I had was for that joke, and two when I first joined the forum for linking my blog (some technical posts, not game related) in the off-topic forum. Seems that is considered advertising. Fair enough. But that's it. Doesn't quite fit their story, does it?

  10. @ Anonymous 7/21/11 16:35:
    Thanks. I've had excerpts sent to me. Nothing surprising. Certainly not the claim that 99.9% of the beta testers love the game. Right. So that means some fraction of one single one of the testers doesn't, and all the rest do.

    If they keep this up, I may just post some *really* juicy commentary by beta testers. If you think their (the tester) comments have been harsh so far...

    Stay tuned...

  11. I was accepted into the beta test. I know others that were not. No one got that e-mail unless they were accepted. When the NDA is lifted, I have more to say. Keep writing.

  12. Good post. Hilariously enough, TWI has just announced bayonets will be day-1 items for people that already own ROOST, everyone else will have to unlock them. Way to miss the point! Nobody (or maybe very few) were complaining about that item (rifle bayonet) in particular, fans just don't want stupid carrot-in-a-stick tactics in their realistic, competitive PC FPS. Stand on the merits of gameplay alone, leave the unlock shit to COD! And if you MUST have RPG-like progression, standard troop issue(such as bayonets and PPSh drum mags, both unlockables in RO2) are the WORST possible choice.

    Please post the beta comments, by the way. I'll probably buy RO2 but I'm also curious to read a few adverse opinions. That "99.9%" remark by the TWI prez raised my eyebrow by quite a lot - Not to mention his other quotes, stuff like this:

    "Q: My opinion of realism is more correct than Tripwires

    A: Great, go start your own game studio and make a game exactly the way you want it. That is what I did :)"

    Just charming. If I were a bit less thick-skinned, I'd not buy RO2 over that comment alone.

  13. Oh man, get a load of this fatass at the TWI forums:

    "Problem is they weren't valid points, they were opinionated points that didn't take into account the fact that Tripwire is (still) a small developer and is under immense pressure both from the community and the press to deliver an amazing game."

    Wow! Ever heard of a non-opinionated point, especially one that deals with speculation? Nice one! And what the fuck "pressure to deliver" and "being small" have to do with the points you were addressing? Nothing! You are fat!

    "HeyCarnut overstepped far too many times in that blog post and, having gotten such exposure, it ended up being an incredibly unwarranted attack on Tripwire and RO2's image."

    What is "overstepping"? What exposure constitutes "such exposure" ? And why is it "unwarranted", is TWI exempt from the destructive side of free speech? Right now, this kind of post permeates their forums, either purposefully vague or lacking direction due to poor argumentative skill. But to me, their common observable goals are adulation and sounding "grown-up".

  14. Well If i remember correctly the apple thing was closer to e-bullying at some point than just a joke.

    Which might be the reason for the infraction, the op seemed to get close to breaking point, and clearly asked people to stop. Once someone shows that you can either continue to make jokes or stop, its deciding to continue that likely got you your infraction. Things can always be interpret differently by various people which is only human.

    Can you perhaps show show what the commenter john gibson had to say about this thing. Otherwise effectively you're doing the same as you're claiming TWI is doing =\.

    I don't know whats going on here between the two of you, but it feels like we're not getting the whole truth from both parties. We're now receiving 2 one sided discussions, that still seem to have something missing.

    As there hasn't been a lot of hype from this title in general, and unlike TRTL you haven't been acting angry against people liking HOS initially. It feels as if something happened to cause you to start posting in a more aggressive matter than just observing matter.

    Once things get personal people always get angry, but the first post in here already had a very negative undertone. That you didn't seem to share last time I spoke with you.

    It just seems as if something is still missing in this conversation.

  15. It's unbelievable that TWI are so ruthlessly lying.

    If they're lying in that aspect... it makes me fear the worst for the game.

  16. @ Zets:
    I have no reason to believe that commenter was in fact John Gibson. As replied, John has my e-mail. And my skype. And my phone number. I will post, unedited, anything directly related to the facts I've presented that he wants to send me. But what appears to be a spoofed account for him will get no play from me.

    I have (well, had, since the lying and attack posts by TWI started) no intrinsic animosity toward TWI. Until their recent behavior, I had a pretty high opinion of those I'd interacted with. But then TWI went bizarre.

    First, the attack/insult post by Yoshiro (who was all too willing to KMA when he wanted my help understanding cheat methods and engineering), the blatantly pro-TWI censoring at the forums (pro-blog entry posts deleted, bans threatened, yet posts slamming/insulting/ridiculing the blog allowed to remain untouched), and then of course the complete fabrication by JG.

    I almost want to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he's just been told BS from an underling: he seemed like an OK guy in my direct interaction with him.

    But, he is the CEO, he should check his facts before making public proclamations, and others that claim to know him say he is not beyond lying for his company.

    So, that's the nasty turn.

    What started as a query from some gamers (what are your thoughts on this game?) to which I responded became a blog entry at the suggestion of other gamers.

    I presented my opinion, and facts (*still* unrefuted by TWI).

    You are right: I never posted anything "angry" re: TWI or red Orchestra. I've had no reason to be angry at them or their game (is the latter even possible?).

    The original blog entry was not angry - I certainly can't see it that way. It simply provided facts and opinions. Controversial facts and opinions, perhaps. But nothing more.

    I am not angry now. TWI's transparent attempts at covering their butts are hilarious to me.
    This really is sport. TWI got caught with their pants down, and instead of addressing the facts (I don't expect them to address my opinion: opinions are not really arguable, just perhaps changeable), they chose personal attacks and lies.

    I didn't start the war. But I can finish it.

    I appreciate your feedback Zets - you have always been a logical and rational advocate of the game.