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  • Originally posted by tsukiakari View Post
    Where/when was this, though? I've never seen any concrete information about Her having that amount of employees, so I must have missed something big.
    Unfortunately we can't link but it was reported on a major industry business news site in May 2015, just before SEA came out and shortly after the new CEO. Also if you go to another site where people talk about their jobs, it says that many people were laid off. Also on sites where people post their work history, you can check the cvs of people who left HeR last year. It was discussed on the boards with a list of all the employees who left, but I dont think you can search the message boards anymore.

    Anyways, I just went back and read the article again, and it is very interesting what was said now that we know the "new direction" HeR has taken.

    "the recent reduction in staff was tied to “changing market conditions in the game industry and shifting priorities at Her Interactive.”

    “This decision was not performance related in any way and it was very difficult for us to say goodbye to some immensely talented employees,” said Nieuwenhuis. He added that the Bellevue-based company remains in a good position in the gaming industry, noting that more girls are becoming interested in coding and game design.

    “We are extremely excited about the company’s future,” he said. “Our vision remains the same, to be the undisputed leader in creating high quality, fun and inspiring games for women of all ages regardless of platform.”

    The new CEO said HeR must "continue to adapt our games to different platforms and playing preferences. A big part of my job will be to accelerate our ability to bring innovative games and apps to our customers more quickly."

    Not sure about the quickly part!

    Maybe they are having a hard time designing an adventure game that works on a tablet, as well as a pc, and have to change the navigation. I tried GTH but it was really awkward to navigate, especially because on a tablet with no mouse there is no magnifying glass/hot spots, you just had to tap all over the board until you found stuff, so I gave up.
    Last edited by paperstreet; June 23, 2016, 10:49 AM.

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    • Reply About Mobile

      Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
      Maybe they are having a hard time designing an adventure game that works on a tablet, as well as a pc, and have to change the navigation. I tried GTH but it was really awkward to navigate, especially because on a tablet with no mouse there is no magnifying glass/hot spots, you just had to tap all over the board until you found stuff, so I gave up.
      This is a really great point! One suggestion I might add is perhaps for them to allow one finger to be the magnifying glass, and if you want to click on anything, to tap with two fingers on whatever there is to click on if the magnifying glass lights up, or you want to change directions in the game. That might make it easier to navigate.
      Although I have to be honest, I just want to see the MID computer game come out! I've been playing since the first Secrets Can Kill game, and I am pretty sure they'll release it near Fall this year and we won't hear much about it til August, which is about when we heard about upcoming Fall games anyway. But who knows!

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      • Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
        Unfortunately we can't link but it was reported on a major industry business news site in May 2015, just before SEA came out and shortly after the new CEO.
        Ah, I remember this article! I found it after reading your post, and I remember reading it back in the day. Thanks for refreshing my memory I didn't take it to mean that Her getting rid of their entire creative staff, though. I'm pretty sure there were at least some people left on the team when that article was published (or at least, I was under that impression), so when more people started to leave, I figured that replacements would be hired. Sure, it's an "undisclosed number of staffers", but all the language in the article implies that it was a cut in staff, not a total purge.

        Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
        The new CEO said HeR must "continue to adapt our games to different platforms and playing preferences. A big part of my job will be to accelerate our ability to bring innovative games and apps to our customers more quickly."
        It makes me a little confused about this, for example. How exactly are things going to be brought more quickly if nobody works for the company? I know the popular assumption is that they're outsourcing - and at this point I wouldn't be too shocked if they were - but if there was any confirmation from official Her accounts that outsourcing was taking place, I've definitely forgotten (or missed) it. I'm actually pretty sure I remember a post saying that Her was not going to outsource, but with the search broken right now, I can't even begin to find it.
        neverending song
        2008-2018

        So far from me walks your dear self
        So far from me too is your home
        to which I can never find my way
        your fairy tale...

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        • Originally posted by taylorcocoa View Post
          . And I saw Codes and Clues did really well on the itunes app store, I saw adds for it on the first page, like in the top 20 or something. At least, I thought I did.
          Nice! I may be frustrated with C&C right now, but I do think in the future once HER gets used to Unity and is on a roll again about making the games that it wont feel like Codes and Clues is interrupting anything. And if that's the case then I can go back to appreciating that HER is reaching out to younger girls and getting them interested in gaming and Nancy Drew.
          Castle Quote
          Sorenson: Really, we're gonna waste time on the insights of Nancy Drew here?
          Castle: Is that supposed to be an insult? Because Nancy Drew solved every case!
          I love this line!

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          • Originally posted by tsukiakari View Post
            It makes me a little confused about this, for example. How exactly are things going to be brought more quickly if nobody works for the company?
            What confused me, is how could they possibly get games out "more quickly" than they were before? I thought two games a year was pretty fast and generous.

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            • Originally posted by MrsSleuth View Post
              What confused me, is how could they possibly get games out "more quickly" than they were before? I thought two games a year was pretty fast and generous.
              My take is that the "more quickly" comment comes into play when thinking about the Unity engine. It's not that PC games would be released more quickly; it's the fact that apparently the Unity engine allows a swifter porting over to mobile. And I believe that this switching to the Unity game engine is all about that, rather than the other things we were told about it: namely, that it would allow for longer games and more complex game play. Sure, it's possible that the Nancy Drew adventure games *might* benefit in this way by being built on the Unity engine, but I don't think that is why they decided to make the switch (and if the new engine makes navigation in the games more cumbersome, that will be a huge minus as far as I am concerned - I don't want to have to struggle with the interface). They tried to make it sound like the new-engine switch was all in response to players' requests about what they would like to see improved in the games, but honestly I think that what drove this decision was the idea that they could get the series out more easily to mobile and thus hopefully make a profit.

              It seems obvious to me that this switching to Unity was all about being able to port to mobile more easily. I could care less about mobile games, but unfortunately I think that's what this is all about.

              After having read LJ's comments on the blog, it seems very unlikely that MID will release this year. If they are still in the "pre-planning" stages with some or all of the work on the game, that definitely doesn't sound like the release is imminent, to say the least.

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              • Originally posted by MrsSleuth View Post
                What confused me, is how could they possibly get games out "more quickly" than they were before? I thought two games a year was pretty fast and generous.
                Apps take A LOT less time to develop. Think of C&C the entire plot and script development could be done in 4-6 weeks (if not less). Compare that to the adventure games, with so much dialogue, story and different choices. Also apps are pretty linear and simplistic, in terms of game play, but with ND games each player can do things in different ways.

                I just hope C&C turns into some kind of cash cow that can keep the adventure games going!

                TedBear

                I think also it will be easier to find game designers who already know unity. Before, they had their own proprietory software, which means it is unique to them, so there would be a learning curve and training

                tsukiakari
                outsourcing is bad per se, especially if they only need programmers for the final stage of game development, it makes more sense to hire them on a contract basis. I also remember people saying parts of SAW were outsourced so I think they have done for parts, but maybe not an entire game.

                I doubt they will hire more staff until the game goes into production. right now if they are pre-designing that is just the lead creative and lead tech staff working things out.

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                • Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                  outsourcing is bad per se, especially if they only need programmers for the final stage of game development, it makes more sense to hire them on a contract basis. I also remember people saying parts of SAW were outsourced so I think they have done for parts, but maybe not an entire game.
                  Yeah, they had consistently outsourced character animation up until VEN, and I know that the Mac adaptations of the newer games were outsourced to another company as well. There might have been other stuff, but that's what I've gathered looking at the credits, at least.

                  Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                  I doubt they will hire more staff until the game goes into production. right now if they are pre-designing that is just the lead creative and lead tech staff working things out.
                  The thing is, I know they also fired their concept/character artist, Van Ong, because he very clearly lists Her as his former workplace on LinkedIn. So are they outsourcing the characters again? What about location designs? Tim Burke and Kyle Jones, creative director and art director respectively, are now also gone. And the list goes on...this is why I said I probably wouldn't be surprised if they were indeed outsourcing, but it's also a source of frustration. If outsourcing is mainly for the "grunt work" of game production, such as animation and 3D art, then Her must have lead staff as you said, but we don't know who they are (except for Cathy Roiter).

                  Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                  I think also it will be easier to find game designers who already know unity. Before, they had their own proprietory software, which means it is unique to them, so there would be a learning curve and training
                  For what it's worth, Tim Burke listed Unity on his list of skills in his resume (although I don't know about most of the other ex-staff).
                  Last edited by tsukiakari; June 24, 2016, 03:18 PM.
                  neverending song
                  2008-2018

                  So far from me walks your dear self
                  So far from me too is your home
                  to which I can never find my way
                  your fairy tale...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by tsukiakari View Post

                    For what it's worth, Tim Burke listed Unity on his list of skills in his resume (although I don't know about most of the other ex-staff).
                    Yeah getting rid of Tim seemed like a strange move thought he would have been good going through a transitional period.

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                    • tsukiakari
                      HeR linked to an article on huffpo on their FB (written by the voice actress for George in C&C, but they are promoting it to look as though huffpo wrote it -- "thank you huffpo!" lol) In that article it said someone named Andrew Yang drew the characters. Maybe he is also doing the adventure series?

                      as per unity, Tim BUrke, being at Creative Director level wouldnt be doing any execution himself.

                      Not having a writer worries me, because that means they aren't developing anything post-MID.

                      I just feel the games before were run by CEO's with creative flair who really, really loved games and that is what gave the company its human touch. The new CEO is the first who is a Business School grad who is running things not out of passion for the product but just as a business.

                      It's like they transformed from being mac to microsoft. ;)

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                      • Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                        tsukiakari
                        HeR linked to an article on huffpo on their FB (written by the voice actress for George in C&C, but they are promoting it to look as though huffpo wrote it -- "thank you huffpo!" lol) In that article it said someone named Andrew Yang drew the characters. Maybe he is also doing the adventure series?
                        Yeah, that's the guy who made that Charlotte doll that they gave away some time ago. I was actually going to (jokingly) suggest that he was doing character design for the main series as well, although I really hope not because I don't like his artwork at all.

                        Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                        as per unity, Tim BUrke, being at Creative Director level wouldnt be doing any execution himself.
                        True, but if Tim was at that high of a position and learned Unity, wouldn't that mean that other employees would have as well? It's difficult to find resumes for a lot of the people who used to work at Her, but I'm of the opinion that if you're employed in the realm of game design you wanna keep up with the technology so you can stay employable. Not knowing common game engines would make companies hesitate to hire you since they'd have to train you - at least, that sounds logical to me, but I could be grasping at straws.

                        Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                        It's like they transformed from being mac to microsoft. ;)
                        It's ironic, because Stuart Moulder used to work at Microsoft!
                        neverending song
                        2008-2018

                        So far from me walks your dear self
                        So far from me too is your home
                        to which I can never find my way
                        your fairy tale...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by tsukiakari View Post
                          ity, wouldn't that mean that other employees would have as well? It's difficult to find resumes for a lot of the people who used to work at Her, but I'm of the opinion that if you're employed in the realm of game design you wanna keep up with the technology so you can stay employable. Not knowing common game engines would make companies hesitate to hire you since they'd have to train you - at least, that sounds logical to me, but I could be grasping at straws.


                          It's ironic, because Stuart Moulder used to work at Microsoft!
                          I think you understood me backwards, its not that the employees didnt know unity, it was that before the games couldnt be offshored or contracted because they were NOT using unity, but an engine that was HeR's own software. Once they decided to make the switch to unity, they could get rid of everyone, because they would be easier to replace. Now, with unity, instead of having to retain a full-time staff because they were familiar with the HeR proprietary software which was not industry standard, they can contract teams or programmers for 3-6 months for the production period and not have to give benefits.

                          Still, stu kept it real, ha ha ha, he loved programming and games not business. Although, when he came on the games did start getting a bit more mini-gamish , linear and less organic, although they were much, much easier to play , in terms of interface, etc.

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                          • Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                            I think you understood me backwards, its not that the employees didnt know unity, it was that before the games couldnt be offshored or contracted because they were NOT using unity, but an engine that was HeR's own software. Once they decided to make the switch to unity, they could get rid of everyone, because they would be easier to replace. Now, with unity, instead of having to retain a full-time staff because they were familiar with the HeR proprietary software which was not industry standard, they can contract teams or programmers for 3-6 months for the production period and not have to give benefits.
                            Ooh I see! Sorry for the misunderstanding That makes a lot of sense. If this is the case, is there a chance of future games changing in terms of art style, depending on who's creating the assets? Kinda like how a hand-drawn cartoon will look different depending on the artist even though they're using the same designs. That would be interesting, albeit a very unique thing to get used to when I've only ever played games made by the same staff constantly (even non-ND!). It makes me wonder, too, if there's such a benefit to the games being made this way, why they didn't switch much sooner. Have they been expanding on and building up their proprietary engine since the earliest SCK days?!
                            neverending song
                            2008-2018

                            So far from me walks your dear self
                            So far from me too is your home
                            to which I can never find my way
                            your fairy tale...

                            Comment


                            • Wonder how far they are away from Beta Testing MID? I remember when the MED beta leaked in Feb of 2014 and that was around 3 months before MED's release. Assuming something from MID does leak could we hear about it as early as next month?

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                              • Originally posted by DPL_93 View Post
                                Wonder how far they are away from Beta Testing MID? I remember when the MED beta leaked in Feb of 2014 and that was around 3 months before MED's release. Assuming something from MID does leak could we hear about it as early as next month?
                                Yeah, I remember finding beta leaks of the entire soundtrack and character designs, plus a bunch of screenshots for SEA in like Feb 2015, so if there was beta, you'd think the Russians would have it by now :P
                                To the message boards: When I think of this place, I think of the many wonderful memories and friends that I made here as a young teen (some of which I have to this day!). I would just like to say thank you to everyone who made this place special and added so much joy to my life. From alternate endings, to entertaining message board games, to picking through the details of every game, to being so excited when a new game was released, to speculating if MID would ever come out, and of course to the time where so many of us sleuthed every inch of CRE to find that darn (fake) easter egg , I have had so much fun here and made so many memories. The boards may be all but dead but I will forever cherish this place, even if I never return to it. Thank you to you all

                                My threads:

                                R4JC!!
                                Olivia Trey Penelope

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