Err, you mean the conversation about Wasteland 3, which none of us has played? Or do you mean the conversation about the developers (e.g., "What is undeniable is that most of these developers clearly don’t give a fuck anymore.")? If there's someplace where I offered an opinion about TTON as a product, as opposed to the development of TTON as a process, I'd be happy to retract it. But to the extent you're invoking "wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen," that would seemingly apply more to people who hadn't been involved in game development or worked with these particular game developers issuing conclusions about the content of their characters, I would think, just as well as it would apply to people who haven't played TTON (like me!) opining about the content of its gameplay.First of all what the hell are you doing in a conversation about a game you have not played?
Oh.developers knew what people wanted, but made multiple design decisions to suit their believes and agenda to make a game only they wanted
¯\_(ツ)_/¯You have said that when people were young they could spare more time. Something like 14 hours. Now people have wifes, children and they can't spare that much time on development. Ergo they are the reason the developer performance suffers. And then I said: Are children guilty of stupid design decisions? Blaming fitness also makes as much sense.
I offered an explanation as to why the same developer might seem to "care less" at time X+n than he did at time X. Either you think caring can affect the quality of the game or your don't. If you do, then you should probably accept the possibility that the reason why an older developer is less of a hardcore gamer/game developer might have to do with important competing demands for his care, rather than being exclusively a matter of moral degeneracy.
I'm sort of perplexed that you can't see why "14 hours of pure devotion" and "8 hours of apportioned devotion" would yield different outcomes. The gist of it is that generally speaking certain things work better when there is a single author. I believe I've written about this in other posts, but one reason this is so is that there are often connections and resonances that an author creates subliminally. These might even become the theme of the game. When you have multiple authors, it is highly unlikely you will get that. Incidentally, "authors" here doesn't just mean "the dude who puts the words on into OEI." If the same guy designs the areas, designs the encounters, writes the words, oversees the artists, etc., etc. he will draw connections among these things -- there are implications in his area design that he might not articulate but which will be teased out in a scrap of dialogue, a character's attire, whatever. If you don't get this, maybe try giving AOD or Grimoire a play.
The larger the project, the less feasible this kind of auteurial quality becomes. First you start to divide among competencies (so-and-so will be the area designer, so-and-so the encounter designers, so-and-so the writer). Then within the competency you subdivide the work. Sometimes that is done with some hierarchy. But even then, having the lead writer review and revise every other writers' work is not feasible. Some of the harmonizing and authorship can come from the project lead, as it can come from a movie's director, but it's not quite the same because the scope of is so much larger.
One reason PS:T's story is so strong, I suggest, is that a single author wrote so much of it. I really like Colin's parts of the game, too, but they are noticeably out of sync (especially in hindsight). The only reason a single author was able to write so much of PS:T is that Avellone worked 14 hour days and stopped caring about other things. The only reason that was a legitimate life choice (if it was) is that he was like 25 or whatever. It isn't a life choice he would, or could, make today. Today he either carves off a smaller piece or he delegates on a larger project or simply gives general guidance. I simply don't think it's possible for him to make another PS:T. It might be possible for a younger person other than him to do it.
Obviously, it's hard to trace a particular shortcoming in a game to any particular thing. TTON's intro was reworked several times. Generally speaking I think revisions are a good thing. But I also think that beginnings can be hard to get right, and they are exactly the place where the auteurial aspect may matter most. I tend to think the intros to my legal briefs are pretty good. Part of that is because I prefer for my briefs to be my own product start to finish, not the product of a team of people doing research for me, writing different parts for me, etc., etc. By the time you're done writing the whole thing, you go back to the intro and it is a distillation of everything that has gone into writing the brief. If there are problems with the intro of TTON, it might partly be because it's not a distillation of the entire content of the game by the person who wrote the entire game because the demands of a large-scale RPG made that infeasible. I dunno.
The first part of this is hard to object to, but it's a little question-begging (what level? mandated by whom? measured how?). The second half is more complicated. I certainly don't think anyone should be defrauded of their money. For instance, if a customer who buys Primordia doesn't like it, I always offer to give them another game they might like more. If I had my druthers, there would be an infinite refund period. I don't like Kickstarter or pre-orders because they are a way of taking someone's money before they know what they're getting.I do think that some talent level should be mandatory as is desire to give the customers what they paid for.
But the mere fact that someone pays for something doesn't give them the right to demand it be a certain way -- after all, we all agree that stupid Steam reviews of AOD and Grimoire aren't grounds for Vince or Cleve to change the game. And Codexers seem not to like it when developers pander to players, giving them what they want no matter how stupid or degraded it is. I think the truth is that developers should try to give players something between what they want and what the developers think they need -- developers should always be pushing to make players better as players should always be pushing to make developers better. I think adventure games should have challenging puzzles, for instance, even if players assert a preference for easier puzzles because I think in the long run players will be happier that way. I think RPGs should have stories that are not just wish-fulfillment anime or political pandering, even if players would prefer to be the chosen one abolishing slavery and injustice.
Finally, there is a problem (one we deal with a lot in the law) of multiple intentions. What if two players "paid for" different things? One person paid for TTON because he likes Monte Cook's politics; another because he wants PS:T's real-time combat; another because he liked the half-naked townsfolk in PS:T; another because he really likes the cypher system; etc. etc. Sometimes those things will not just be different, but actually conflicting. Like, some people may have paid for TTON precisely because they thought it wouldn't have combat (misremembering PS:T), while others may have paid for it precisely because they enjoy RPG combat. Whose desires win?
Ultimately, what matters is that for each customer who doesn't like your game, you have failed as a developer. I firmly believe that, which is why I apologize to everyone who doesn't like Primordia and (as I said) offer a refund. It doesn't matter if they don't like it because they think its politics are too conservative, its pixels are too blocky, its puzzles are too numerous and hard, its politics are too liberal, its puzzles are too simple, Crispin ruins the mood, the mood is too dark, whatever. Every single complaint is valid, even conflicting complaints, because each of those customers gave their time and money to something I made because I wanted to, and they came away unhappy. Very few people buy a game to dislike it; very few people make a game despite not enjoying game development. So basically, every time someone buys a game, it is because they have put their hopes in the developer, while subsidizing the developer's dream job. When those hopes are disappointed, the developer should be humble, appreciative, and apologetic that the person misplaced their hopes.
Thus far, you and I are in complete agreement. The only place we disagree is that I don't believe that the reason bad games are bad is because of malice, laziness, carelessly, stupidity, cupidity, fraudulence, liberal or conservative politics, cynicism, or any of the other bad motives that get ascribed to the developers. Games can go wrong for all sorts of innocent reasons, despite good, talented people working hard in good faith with good intentions. If TTON went awry (which seems to be the Codex consensus), I can speak from a position of first-hand knowledge saying it was not because of character flaws, whereas you are just inferring bad traits from a bad outcome. As I said before, it's fine to hate the error, but it's wrong to hate the errer.