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Decline Why did Sir-tech go bankrupt?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Johannes, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I'll make it a clickbait: "Have Neanderthals predicted the death of a gaming company?"
     
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  2. :Flash: Arcane

    :Flash:
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    It'll be like all the "experts" who think they know what old games were like by reading an article about it on RPS.
     
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  3. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You know, you COULD just copy all of Cleve's posts in that thread and put them on a Pastebin. We won't care.
     
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  4. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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    I think the only thing that thread is missing (as far as I recall, been a while since I read it) is Robert Sirotek's Usenet post from 1998 discussing the death of Sir-Tech - to which Cleve immediately responded with a brief sympathetic statement :smug:

    original posts (open)
    Robert Sirotek:
    16/10/98

    Eric C. Liebl wrote:

    > Well...it was only a matter of time. Sirtech has been putting out more
    > tripe than decent product for years...read the news article at avault. I
    > got the impression we should be sorry for the Sirotek brothers...but from
    > what I read they totally botched managing the company's direction. They
    > should have stuck to their roots...created detailed RPGs. When they started
    > branching out to adventure games, action shooters, etc trying in essence to
    > land a lucky strike in the market without caring one bit what they were
    > marketing they shot their own foot off. Sirtech the publisher would still
    > be around if paid heed to their core audience...and still be making money.

    I don't expect anybody to be sorry for us. The press article tried to
    demonstrate the difficulties that go on in this industry, more often than not
    completely out of view of game buying fans. I thought this would help educate
    and maybe bring some good to the sad state of affairs out there.

    Think about it. If the dynamics of the industry don't change to make the
    horrendous cost of building quality product affordable, than nobody will invest
    in buiding it. Then you guys will be stuck with nothing but junk.

    Do you really thing we were completely ignorant of watching where we were
    spending money, knowing all along this was coming out of my pocket? Come-on
    boy, get a grip. Several people and firms did not deliver what we had
    contracted, and we were caught in the middle. I'm not saying Sir-tech or the
    execs were always perfect, far from it in that my crystal ball is as good as
    anybody elses and mistakes were made in picking who we should trust.

    You know, I found it amusing reading the raves of one notorious individual on
    this site. The fact is, that individual and his team cost us $300,000 when he
    failed to deliver product. So we killed the project to stop the bleeding. Yet
    he would have you believe we are sinister. Perhaps it was a rude attempt to
    bring noteriety to himself. Well we will see how good his product really is - I
    hope so for his sake otherwise he will be the laughing stock of the net. When
    will some developers realize that when they have been commissioned to do work at
    somebody elses expense that their customer they should cater to is the one
    paying the expenses.

    Mr. Liebl, do yourself a favor and invest your time in trying to bring about
    positive change for the industry. This way you will see more great product from
    publishers, rather than taking needless pot-shots at people who have invested
    much time in trying to bring good to this industry. If you do want to debate it
    publicly, at least know the subject you debate.


    ***

    Cleve Blakemore:
    16/10/98

    Robert Sirotek <nos...@dejanews.com> wrote:

    > I don't expect anybody to be sorry for us. The press article tried to
    > demonstrate the difficulties that go on in this industry, more often than not
    > completely out of view of game buying fans. I thought this would help educate
    > and maybe bring some good to the sad state of affairs out there.

    Robert, you and your brother Norman are poor businessmen, period. Your weak
    rationalization and lame denials about what will go down in history as the
    worst incompetence of all time is falling on deaf ears with people smart
    enough to read between the lines.

    The Wizardry series had to be the biggest cash cow in the computer game
    industry - one would think it nearly impossible to go broke with a raw stream
    of revenue like you had from this game. You and your brother fell
    ass-backwards into money with this franchise and all you had to do was keep
    feeding the beast and you would have been major players a long, long time ago
    ... instead of struggling hand-to-mouth for 18 years.

    I understand you have to go on living with yourselves - I'd expect the feeble
    complaints about "the big name publishers." The question remains ... how come
    you and your brother were never "big name publishers?" You sold 5 MILLION
    copies of Wizardry, Rob. 5 MILLION COPIES of this game. That is almost a
    surreal quantity. How could anybody possibly fugg this up?

    > Think about it. If the dynamics of the industry don't change to make the
    > horrendous cost of building quality product affordable, than nobody will
    invest
    > in buiding it. Then you guys will be stuck with nothing but junk.

    It is called creative destruction, Rob. I'm not going to give you an
    education in market economics, so just trust me when I say it is all in the
    natural order of things. It is inevitable that large, bloated inefficient
    games companies will eventually topple from their own cumulative financial
    waste and come to be replaced with small teams of craftsmen who work at very
    tight margins to deliver excellent product. This is the case throughout the
    software industry and not just in games development.

    The distributors for the retail environment may always be gigantic
    conglomerates. But the developers because of the risk and effort involved
    will always have to be small independent satellites who pay most of their own
    bills. The larger companies that have attempted in-house development with
    mediocre people working according to big centralized schemes of organization
    have failed miserably ... why did you think it would be any different for
    you? Games development is a craft, not an engineering science. Ask IBM,
    Netscape or Novell when was the last time they wrote quality software with
    all their vast resources. What counts is brains and talent - money is of
    little importance if you've got the Mhz upstairs.

    I'd recommend THE MYTHOLOGICAL MAN-HOUR by Frederick Brooks to you, except it
    would all be too little too late. Besides, I recommended it to you four years
    ago and you didn't pay me any mind then either.

    > Do you really thing we were completely ignorant of watching where we were
    > spending money, knowing all along this was coming out of my pocket? Come-on
    > boy, get a grip. Several people and firms did not deliver what we had
    > contracted, and we were caught in the middle. I'm not saying Sir-tech or the
    > execs were always perfect, far from it in that my crystal ball is as good as
    > anybody elses and mistakes were made in picking who we should trust.

    You were completely oblivious to where your capital was going - you had no
    idea the Wiz 8 project in Australia was in trouble until I told you so. I
    think you've been rewriting a lot of history in your head, but if you stop
    and consider you'll have to admit that you've been altering the past in your
    mind to pretend you were as cognizant of what you were doing wrong as I was.
    You weren't ... you were downright sloppy and let things run off the rails
    for years without auditing your teams to see what was going on in them.

    But more on this in the next paragraph.

    > You know, I found it amusing reading the raves of one notorious individual on
    > this site. The fact is, that individual and his team cost us $300,000 when he
    > failed to deliver product. So we killed the project to stop the bleeding.

    Oh, I cost you $300,000, Robert? This is slander. I cost you $12,000 Rob. As
    for the other $288,000 you spent, did you ask your Project Manager right in
    front of my face what happened to it? What did he say? He shrugged and looked
    sick and pale and sweaty, didn't he? Did he say "I gave it to Cleve?" OR did
    he admit he really couldn't account for any of the money?

    Was I ever given a checkbook? Of course not, I was a minor peon roundly
    despised by the nearly all-homo design team. I was Cinderella, they were the
    wicked stepsisters. I got no respect - I wasn't good enough to go to the
    ball. I was told on more than one occasion I was lucky I was even getting
    paid at all. When I was paid, my pathetic little $125 check was usually two
    weeks late. Try to imagine that horror story with a wife to support and rent
    to pay. You think I would go on welfare? How the hell do you think I worked
    full time on your wacky project and managed to survive? How in god's name did
    I ever get mixed up with you sick people and get into this dependent
    situation?

    Nobody ever bothered to talk to me about anything. I was expected to write
    the actual game. They were mainly concerned with the important things; long
    interminable meetings discussing the Gravis Ultrasound Card, masturbating
    frantically on the living room floor and arguing the various merits of gerbil
    versus hamster anal sex. Being far superior intellectually to mere heteros
    like myself, they did not have to concern themselves with things involving
    reality. Since their parent company indulged them freely in whatever demented
    scheme they could come up with from one day to another, they did not have to
    worry about constraints like money, time, experience, talent, effort,
    consistency, deadlines, etc... this was all to be left to the hetero slave to
    worry about.

    Now Cleve Blakemore, the Senior Programmer, was making $125 a week U.S. which
    by most standards is somewhat low for 20 hour days. But we do know that the
    cross-dressing alcoholic who was Creative Director was being paid $4000 a
    month U.S. for more than two years, right? So this explains where some of the
    money went. Did the cross-dressing sugarcube-eating public masturbator and
    his gay lover commission some $50,000+ worth of artwork from a graphics house
    without any proper design spec six months before we had a user test and some
    running code? Against the advice of both myself and the Systems Programmer?
    Before we even knew what resolution or size any artwork should be in or even
    had a real scenario document to outline what art was actually needed? I think
    he did. Did the cross-dresser order our full-time artist to work for over six
    months on character portraits scanned from gay pornographic magazines? I
    think he did. What about the long hard work spent on animations of the
    bumhole monsters or the giant throbbing penis creatures? How much did all
    that cost? I think it cost a hell of a lot. I think a single frame of that
    bumhole monster ended up costing more than I made in 3 months.

    What about the $30,000+ spent on the "RPG maths expert" who was so loosely
    supervised he was not contacted for nearly a half a year and when finally
    reached could not produce any proof he had worked during that time? He
    released his own MYST-style game about two weeks after he was fired?

    If Cleve Blakemore came into the project after it had been underway for a
    year when they had already spent $175,000 and these guys HAD produced NO
    source code or engines, then went on to singlehandedly build a Wiz 7 clone
    from scratch in XMode over the next 12 month which demoed at the Chicago
    convention for a cost of $12,000 in salary ... is it really evidence of sober
    perspective to decide this same individual is responsible for wasting your
    money? I don't think so. I think Rob and Norm be illing in the belfry.

    You killed the project to stop the bleeding? IT WAS MY IDEA TO TERMINATE THE
    PROJECT, ROBERT. WHERE DO YOU GET THIS FROM? YOU ASKED ME IN FRONT OF TEN
    WITNESSES WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WITH THE PROJECT. I TOLD YOU, I THINK YOU SHOULD
    TERMINATE IT. IT IS THE WORST MESS I HAVE EVER SEEN. Oh no, don't give up on
    it, you said, Cleve. Come to work for us in Ogdensberg and finish it here.
    This was maybe the 6th time I had tried to resign and you BEGGED me to come
    back. BEGGED ME to come back. The Project Manager almost started crying in a
    public restaurant in May 1994 BEGGING ME not to resign, HOLDING MY HAND and
    BEGGING ME to stay on. PLEASE CLEVE, DON'T LEAVE US. YOU'RE THE ONLY GOOD
    THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO US. PLEASE DON'T LEAVE US. PLEASE, IF I THOUGHT
    YOU WERE QUITTING I'D GIVE UP ALTOGETHER. Please CLEVE, don't leave us with
    the cross-dressing sugar-cube sucking child-buggering psychotics, we'll be
    doomed. PLEASE.

    Four years later, your official story is I "cost you $300,000." This is why
    you are out of business, Robert Sirotek. You and your brother stink at
    recognizing and retaining talented people. Forget about the SGI and the FMV
    and the Redbook Audio. You have had Andrew Greenberg, David Bradley and Cleve
    Blakemore working for you in your 18 year history and you thought they were
    all irrelevant, interchangable and no better or worse than any generic
    programmer out there.

    This is the Sir-Tech legacy. You had Cleve Blakemore sitting so close to you
    that you could have reached out and TOUCHED him. Cleve Blakemore, no less, the
    best computer RPG designer in the history of the Earth, probably our galaxy.
    When you think about it, never forget this. You could have reached out and
    TOUCHED me. This guy went off on his own time and built a superior game to Wiz
    VII working part time for $940.18 in C++ and STL. Never forget this, Rob.

    Rob, I make nearly a quarter a year as a software developer since I left Sir-
    Tech. Why do you think people pay me this kind of money? Because I have a
    nice smile? Or because my references say, "IF you want the best in Australia
    and maybe on Earth, this is the right guy. Pay him whatever he asks, he's
    worth it, trust me. This guy could write more code in an hour than most
    people will write in a year. He's like a Zen master of software development."
    I'm fickle, a prima donna and manifest a serious attitude problem at all
    times. How do you think I get away with that and still pull down 8 large a
    day? Because I'm just too damned good. You telling me you ever had ANYBODY
    with that kind of market value working for you before? No way. You can't
    afford somebody like me, I was fire from heaven. I was a blessing that fell
    out of the clouds at Sir-Tech, you shouldn't even ask what you ever did right
    to deserve to even sit with a serious powerhouse like me.

    You and your brother had a chance to hire that kind of magic and put it to
    work for you. You looked right AT the guy, you saw nothing. That about says
    it all.

    Guarantee you, go through one of those sliding doors like Gwyneth Paltrow and
    somewhere Sir-Tech software is in the black and has a development monster
    named C.M.B. at the Canadian Lab who pisses out three Wizardry scenarios a
    year in the time it take most people to talk about creating a game. This guy,
    combined with the Wizardry brand name, is like a force of nature. Sir-Tech
    software sweeps the shelves every Christmas and kicks ass on it's competitors
    like Bill Gates with an attitude. Too bad you and your brother never went
    through that door, Rob. I see it in my mind's eye all the time. If you took
    my brains and added it to your intellectual property, you guys would have
    been the first games company in history to get dragged in front of a Senate
    Committee and questioned about your "anti-competitive practices" in the
    multimedia industry.

    >Yet he would have you believe we are sinister. Perhaps it was a rude attempt to
    > bring noteriety to himself.

    Or a desire to warn other talented people to make sure nobody ever went
    through what my wife and I did. That's all it was. I wanted to make sure
    others knew about you.

    > Well we will see how good his product really is - I
    > hope so for his sake otherwise he will be the laughing stock of the net. When
    > will some developers realize that when they have been commissioned to do work
    at
    > somebody elses expense that their customer they should cater to is the one
    > paying the expenses.

    We (me & the Systems Programmer) did nothing but cater to you and Norm. You
    said 8 way step engine, we did it. You said smooth scrolling, we did it.
    Mobile NPCs, done. Double heighth buildings, done. Navigate anywhere by
    remote control, done. (Not as good as Grimoire by half, though) Unlock
    critical after use, done. The more you saw, the more you decided what you
    wanted really was something like HEXEN instead of Wizardry. That's not my
    fault. In some quarters this is considered moving the goalposts, but hey, who
    is nitpicking now? You had us by the balls with our white slavery contracts
    anyway, so what could we do but comply?

    We danced, shimmied, dodged and ducked like Mike Tyson on amphetamines. Design
    spec changes every hour? No sweat, we're pros, watch us work. Cross-Dressers
    insist all existing code be destroyed and replaced? Why not, we're fugging
    supermen, we can rewrite it all by end of week anyway!

    Shams? Mike loses more brain cells in a bowel movement than anybody who ever
    worked at your company. Take a look at the graphics in ENEMY INFESTATION,
    just out now. Shams could eat a roll of toilet paper and s**t the Unreal
    Engine between breakfast and lunch. He's bad to the bone. He did his job, I
    did mine. Who came up short? Not us, that's for sure. We did more programming
    in 12 months than most games programmers will do in their lifetime to keep
    you vague, confused and demented fools happy. Like me, Michael did the best
    he could with an almost impossible situation.

    > Mr. Liebl, do yourself a favor and invest your time in trying to bring about
    > positive change for the industry. This way you will see more great product
    from
    > publishers, rather than taking needless pot-shots at people who have invested
    > much time in trying to bring good to this industry. If you do want to debate
    it
    > publicly, at least know the subject you debate.

    If you wanted to do good in the software industry, pay your authors the
    royalties you owe them. Otherwise - good riddance, the world is a better place
    without you.

    > > Well...it was only a matter of time. Sirtech has been putting out more
    > > tripe than decent product for years...read the news article at avault. I
    > > got the impression we should be sorry for the Sirotek brothers...but from
    > > what I read they totally botched managing the company's direction. They
    > > should have stuck to their roots...created detailed RPGs. When they started
    > > branching out to adventure games, action shooters, etc trying in essence to
    > > land a lucky strike in the market without caring one bit what they were

    .... everything Eric said was so spot on it was amazing, it was like he was
    inside the company.

    Truth is, Norman and Robert Sirotek were the LAST ones to know when Sir-Tech
    went out of business. Everybody else knew you were on your way out a long,
    long time ago.

    ***
     
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  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    85,695
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Zorba the Hutt Do you have all of those saved up somewhere in addition to your scattered forum posts? Could be useful for any future Cleve Blakemore Archival Project.
     
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  6. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
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    1,865,663
    Yes, got a rambling bunch of txt files going back to the Usenet days... not very organised though. Added to them over the years, but Google ended-up saving some of the Usenet stuff in an archive - I think that post is still there if you search google groups.
     
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  7. GlutenBurger Cipher

    GlutenBurger
    Joined:
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    644
    The post that ensured over a decade of obsessive finetuning.
     
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  8. thesoup Arcane

    thesoup
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    Oct 13, 2011
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    This is, without hyperbole, the greatest post and online bitchslap I have ever read.
    Cleve, you are a God among men, or rahter, a true Thal among Saps.:salute:
     
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  9. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Yeah that's a good one.:salute: Zorba


    The most fucked up thing is that despite reading the codex for a decade, and following Cleve's adventures for 15 years... sometimes... welp...


    :ibelieveincleve:
     
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  10. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Ingrija
    It will turn out "because mysogyny111".
     
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  11. Irenaeus II Unwanted Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

    Unwanted
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    Location:
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    :lol:
     
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  12. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    casting coach
    Next up: thread moves to the Strong Museum.
     
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  13. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Sceptic
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    Mar 2, 2010
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    I'll give it to Robert, he got that part right.
     
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  14. DashiDMV Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    DashiDMV
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    So figured it was time for an update:

    Spoke to Victoria at the Strong Museum about the Sir-Tech lot that was supposed to be opened to research/exhibit years ago now.
    She basically said someone else handles that and that the Sir-Tech batch will never be put on exhibit and that any requests to look at it must be formally sent and are "likely" to be denied.

    We kinda of knew this since Brenda was on the board at the time they pulled what they did on ebay(http://romero.com/bios/). Brenda's friend Shannon Symonds was one of the curators for the computer dept. It doesn't take much of a stretch to see they used museum money to moth ball anything that would make them look bad. Also Victoria said that the Sir Tech lot "took a lot of man hours and had many people going through it". I'm sure you can guess who some of those "people" were and more than likely any penissaurs and ass monsters found their way into a shredder.

    Still if anyone lives in the area or is planning to visit, it couldn't hurt to nose around. I am supposed to get a call next week from the person who is supposedly in charge of that lot to get further info but I'm not holding my breath over it.
     
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  15. Crispy I'm trying to improve my attitude. Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

    Crispy
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    Cleveland Mark Blakemore, thoughts on the possibility of some of Max Phipps' finest work being lost to a shredder for all eternity?
     
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  16. Somberlain Arcane Zionist Agent

    Somberlain
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    Basement
    Rumors say that Cleve inherited Phipps' dildo collection and is keeping it in his bunker.
     
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  17. agris Arcane Patron

    agris
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    Holy shit, what is Rob's reply to Cleve?
     
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  18. EG Nullified

    EG
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    Of course, the greatest show of poor businessmanship was hiring Cleve.
     
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  19. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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    I never saw him reply, don't think he did. Pretty hard to respond to that wall of text, but I also think at that point they'd made a strategic decison not to respond to Cleve at all, no matter what he posted. In 1997 the Sir-Tech "webmaster" would routinely engage with Cleve, mock Grimoire and defend Sir-Tech, but they were never going to win that argument. Communication suddenly ceased, after this post I think:

    I guess someone told "Charles" that it was probably best not to poke Cleve with sticks any longer, and perhaps if they left him alone he'd eventually move on from attacking Sir-Tech :cool:

    An example of their clashes:
    Show Spoiler

    (non-Cleve posts in colour)

    28/7/97
    dracon@cyberpromo.sux (Dragon Master) wrote:
    >
    > No wonder you are bitter. I was once under the impression that the
    > brothers were cool but now I doubt that. Is Bruce still at the Oz
    > distributor or did he fall on his sword ( he used to run it from his
    > home ) maybe he should have stuck to being a pilot, he had grand ideas
    > but they were thwarted by Max.
    >

    It is actually not both brothers who are crazy and demented - it is just
    one.

    The other brother (guess) seemed like a pretty reasonable and sober guy.
    It is the short one who just sort of flings himself around like he is
    nuts or worse and just tears anything that is working in the company to
    pieces. When I was there, I noticed the guy went to great lengths to
    humiliate the regulars who are resident there at company headquarters -
    they treated any employee who was not related by blood to them pretty
    badly. They have a turnover rate like a revolving door but this does not
    seem to bother them.

    Since this guy has got the purse-strings, his relatives have to play
    along with him although it is obvious they should have committed the guy
    ten years ago or at least bought out his half of the company and put him
    out to pasture. What is incredible is that these guys have more luck than
    any other company in the history of computer games. They have hired and
    lost three of the best authors in the world in their 16 year history all
    due to blatantly self-destructive tendencies in this guy. Many game
    companies would have given their left arm just to have one person of this
    calibre fall in their lap, they have been through 3.

    When you think about it, it is a heck of a lot cheaper to deal fairly
    when you have talented people working for you - any short term gains you
    might realize by creative accounting methods are more than offset by the
    difficulty in finding replacements ... if you think that is off-base,
    look at this company ... 7 years later and no decent replacement for DWB.
    I could be arrogant and toss my own name in there and say they also
    failed to retain me, but I have yet to prove I am as good as I think I am
    so I will wait until my game is released.

    The distributor had a lot of ambition - he has run a pretty good software
    retail distribution ring in Australia, and more impressively he has built
    it up from scratch. But he was another one of these guys who saw things
    like MYST and 7th GUEST out there and started thinking "Software
    development - seems like a cinch, I'll bet I could make a mint at that
    too." He had no prior experience and did not realize that good software
    development is counter-intuitive and a good team cannot be put together
    using the methods that might be great for a warehouse operation or
    storefront. It is like a guy who was running an extremely successful
    medical supply service decided to open a school for neurosurgery ... he
    did not understand he was way out of his depth until they had burnt some
    crazy sums of money on utter boondoggles.

    I never did understand how MR. X and some of the other people who got
    canned later came to be involved in the project ... when I was hired, I
    understood that the project had been underway for at least one year but
    these guys had no source code, no artwork, no music, no story, etc. ... I
    was told later that the situation that led to MR. X being hired was more
    based on a "I know this mate, he's played BCF and CDS and seems to be a
    regular bloke, plus he's got some experience as a reviewer ... so he's as
    good as anybody for creative director of the project." Within a few
    months it was obvious to everybody on the team that MR. X was pushing his
    luck to be roaming around outdoors without a straitjacket and the project
    was in terrible trouble every single day he remained in charge.

    The distributor is still running a distribution company as far as I know,
    but I think his wife warned him against ever trying to start a games
    development team again, so I doubt if you will ever see him trying to get
    into that business after the huge fiasco that was "GIZZARDRY VIII."

    ***

    14/8/97
    webmaster@sir-tech.com wrote:
    > The lead programmer for Wizardry 8 is Norman Sirotek's brother-in-law. The
    > designer is his sister.

    Incorrect. Ian Currie is waaaaayyy too busy working on JAGGED ALLIANCE
    II to also program WIZARDRY 8.

    Linda Sirotek Currie is a member of the design team. She is (gasp!)
    married to Ian. She's also been involved with Sirtech and the games
    industry since the WIZARDRY 1 days.

    Some other talented people who worked on the award-winning JAGGED
    ALLIANCE series are indeed working on WIZARDRY 8. But none of them (and
    I'm sorry to disappoint you) are related by blood or marriage to the
    Siroteks.

    Charles

    Sirtech Software

    P.S. Since this sort of thing seems to obsess you so much, here's a hot
    lead. I hear the head of the American Red Cross is married to someone
    who used to be verrrry highly placed in the US government.....


    ***

    14/8/97
    > Incorrect. Ian Currie is waaaaayyy too busy working on JAGGED ALLIANCE
    > II to also program WIZARDRY 8.
    >
    > Linda Sirotek Currie is a member of the design team. She is (gasp!)
    > married to Ian. She's also been involved with Sirtech and the games
    > industry since the WIZARDRY 1 days.

    Uh-huh. I really believe you. Glad you cleared that up for me. At least
    Linda is not deliberately using her maiden names, married name,
    abbreviated name or any of her other aliases like she did with WIZARDRY
    NEMESIS to hide the fact she is Norman Sirotek's sister.

    I notice you did not mention who is lead programmer on Wiz 8 ... odd! Who
    is he/her? I hope it is not the poser who worked on "BLEW IT: REAMED IN
    MY OWN MIND." You should see that game stacked up in the bargain bin at
    Harvey Norman for $9.95, all you can haul. I'm sure Sir-Tech would not
    turn around and put that person in charge of Wiz 8, would they?

    > Some other talented people who worked on the award-winning JAGGED
    > ALLIANCE series are indeed working on WIZARDRY 8. But none of them (and
    > I'm sorry to disappoint you) are related by blood or marriage to the
    > Siroteks.
    >
    > Charles
    >
    > Sirtech Software

    Well, if they are so talented, then why does Ian Currie have to address
    all questions about the project? Are they in fact, domesticated keyboard
    monkeys chained to a desk who work on lists made up by Ian and Linda?

    Charles I hate to break your heart but I know how Sir-Tech thinks and
    works and breathes. There are people who could spend ten years there and
    not know anything more about the company than a casual visitor ... then
    there are people like me who would know the place back to front from a
    single 24 hour visit. I know more about how your company works than you
    do or anybody else there. I saw enough of the place to know exactly how
    the employees think and develop games.

    Does a truck pull up to the development offices each morning and unload a
    couple of crates of spoiled resale fruit you toss into the programmer's
    pit to give them enough energy for the rest of the day?

    Once a month, do you spray the programmers down with a fire hose and have
    a keeper go into their cages with a wire brush and a bucket of detergent
    to scrub them off? You are responsible for their hygiene, I believe they
    can transmit diseases to human beings if they are not cared for properly,
    as well as being host to a wide variety of parasites.

    What do you do if one of them gets loose? Call animal control, corner
    them and shoot them with a tranquilizer dart? Maybe Marlo Perkins
    wrestles them into a big cargo net with commentary ... "You've got to be
    so careful with them once they are sedated, because you could easily
    damage them and affect their ability to do more abstract work - a single
    slip and you might never be able to get a b-tree or hash table out of
    them again." Then they have a voice-over while we see them being released
    in the yard behind Sir-Tech's office ... "Well, it looks like the effects
    of the tranquilizer have worn off and his little adventure is over. He is
    back at home in his pen where he belongs. Strangely enough, these
    creatures can often lead a full and productive life in captivity like
    this and their owners can look forward to many years of jewel-case
    products from them. Fed well and given regular medical attention,
    keyboard monkeys have been known to live up to forty years and produce
    many games during that time."

    ***

    18/8/97
    > I notice you did not mention who is lead programmer on Wiz 8 ... odd! Who
    > is he/her?

    <lengthy insulting ramblings snipped>

    Nope, sorry, won't fall for that one. We all have much better things to
    do around here than as act as the targets of your rants....for example,
    work on our game. We'd rather spend our time creating something
    worthwhile than wallowing in the mud.

    Charles

    Sirtech Software


    ***

    2/9/97
    Neil Fradkin wrote:
    > October 31st ... HALLOWEEN ... (eerie John Carpenter tune starts to play
    > in background, Neil breaks out in cold beads of sweat on his forehead in
    > terror thinking about how awesome final product is going to be)
    >
    > The schedule is up at "www.grimoire.net"

    I can't ask a simple question without you crazed obsession over me
    kicking in, please just forget my name. Why the hell would I be scared
    of grimoire? I didn't start a thread saying, "Grimoire, the reaming
    ceremony begines", and harp on about your missed released date. All I
    did was nicely ask when it would be out, but you can't resist the need
    to make it personal. I disagreed with your posts, now you have made me
    your nemisis in your mind. Get over it and act like an adult.
    If it's an awesome game, I'll be happy, despite your crazed arrogance.


    ***

    3/9/97
    > I disagreed with your posts, now you have made me your nemesis in your mind.
    > Get over it and act like an adult.

    Not true, I think of you as my little buddy down the hall, like Newman in
    Seinfeld.

    ***

    10/8/97

    You never worked at Hurl-Dreck, you have no idea how pitiful or confused
    they are. David Bradley doesn't work there anymore, the people left
    behind could not walk and chew gum at the same time without years of
    private tutoring. These people used to fret over the simplest ideas about
    design like somebody was trying to teach them integral calculus.

    Wiz 8 is being put together by a brother-in-law, a sister, the hint line
    girl and some chained-up keyboard monkeys who worked on disasters like
    Wiz Gold. Worship that.

    ***

    13/8/97
    webmaster@sir-tech.com wrote:
    > Sir-Tech's entire company history is one court suit to another. Between
    > now and next year they basically have almost everybody in North America
    > bringing some kind of suit against them. So far I have been in contact
    > with four people suing them and I would guess there are more than that.


    Well now, this is news to us. If you have any concrete information on
    this, please have these people contact us. Our lawyers naturally like to
    be filled in on this sort of thing. It would be kind of embarrising to
    be sued and not know about it.

    Of course, if you're just blowing smoke, please ignore this message.

    Charles

    Sirtech Software


    ***

    14/8/97
    > Well now, this is news to us. If you have any concrete information on
    > this, please have these people contact us. Our lawyers naturally like to
    > be filled in on this sort of thing. It would be kind of embarrising to
    > be sued and not know about it.
    >
    > Of course, if you're just blowing smoke, please ignore this message.
    >
    > Charles
    >
    > Sirtech Software

    Tell me which one of these cases is hearsay.

    1. Challenge to your rights to brand name license & royalties next year
    on final appeal

    2. Being sued by former author for royalties owed on previous game

    3. Being sued by former employee for money owed on completion of previous
    game

    4. Being sued for breach of contract by former author

    Mind you, this is hearsay, don't go making libel noises on me, because I
    am issuing this disclaimer if any of these is not genuine. All four of
    these people have contacted me since I started my thread on Hurl-Dreck.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but make sure you are in a position to know what
    the company is standing against already. I realize you are merely a
    spokesperson on the Internet for the company and this does not
    necessarily mean you get any more information than anybody on the street.

    ***

    18/8/97
    webmaster@sir-tech.com wrote:
    > Tell me which one of these cases is hearsay....

    All of them.

    Charles

    Sirtech Software


    ***

    18/8/97
    > All of them.
    >
    > Charles
    >
    > Sirtech Software
    >

    What baloney. You lost your final appeal against going to court against
    an original author and his case comes up for trial next year. You've been
    fighting him for 10 years using legal footwork, it finally got to court.

    If you don't know about the others then you soon will.

    ***

    25/8/97
    webmaster@sir-tech.com wrote:
    > Don't know what to think about your story, but I assume the cross-dressers
    > are no longer in charge of Wiz 8 so I have hope, especially if Ian Currie
    > and Madlab will be involved. Jagged Alliance is one of the better games
    > released in the last few years. It's certainly within the realm of
    > possibility that Sir-Tech will produce something worthwhile. If the game is
    > bad, people won't buy it. <shrug>
    >
    > As to invoking Lord Dracon aka Dragon Master, well, he has little, if any,
    > credibility with this newsgroup.
    >
    > Mark Asher

    Never fear. There are currently no cross dressers, Aussies, or people
    named after towns in Ohio involved in WIZARDRY 8!

    We do have some of the key JAGGED ALLIANCE people involved in WIZ 8, but
    not Ian Currie--he's busy working away on JAGGED ALLIANCE II.

    Charles

    Sirtech


    ***

    26/8/97

    I was frankly sick of the subject, Charles, and had no intention of
    talking about it anymore, but you had to go and shoot off your mouth and
    maybe you should have shut up while you were ahead, because you posted a
    bunch of fallacies.

    (snip long wallotext)

    > Charles
    >
    > Sirtech Software
    >

    For god's sake, man, get a decent job other than front man for these
    boneheads. There are things opening up all the time in the food service
    and tourism industries. You are paid rice'n'beans to be a barrel-organ
    apologist and what the hell do they ever do for you anyway? Bitch-slap
    you and throw a moonpie through the bars of your cage at Christmas?

    ***

    28/8/97
    > webmaster@sir-tech.com wrote:
    > But screw it, Cleve, there's no point. You've already shown everyone on
    > Usenet exactly what you are. Anything I could add would just be gilding
    > the lily.

    Well, whatever I am, I am definitely HONEST, which would not apply to
    your sleazy crew there, right? You seem to like to play sort of
    free'n'easy with the facts. Everything tends to get colored a bit after
    it passes through the Sir-Tech "enhanced reality" spin-doctor denial
    mechanism.

    > So go ahead, reply with another one of your patented rants. Knock
    > yourself out. We have better things to do.

    Same here. Just don't go posting any more bogus statements about
    cancelling projects that were not up to your high standards, because that
    is a fantasy and a complete fabrication on your part. The project
    collapsed because you were not competent enough to manage it or support
    it ... PERIOD. End of story. What sort of denial you want to practice in
    private is up to you. Since you know nothing about the project other than
    what the man holding your leash is feeding you, be careful about letting
    him dupe you into posting his own contrived fantasies up here on Usenet.

    ***

    28/8/97

    > How to respond to a guy like you, Cleve? I suppose I could resond with a
    > lengthy, precise refutation of your various half-truths, lies, and
    > paranoid imaginings.

    Well, if there is ANY untruth I have posted up here WHATSOEVER, then your
    company should get their lawyer to send mine a cease & desist order, I
    would if somebody was making stuff like this up about my company.
    Cross-dressers, pedophiles, thousands of dollars spent on gay porno
    character portraits, giant penis creatures and bumhole monsters? Truly
    life is stranger than any fiction.

    Maybe you can't because every word of it is TRUE and there is not a heck
    of a lot you CAN say about it other than "oh, yeah?"

    > Or I could return like with like and send you a
    > rambling, hateful screed.

    I doubt it, I was never anything but a saint when I worked for your
    company.

    If there is anything I've said that you don't think I can back up in a
    court of law, let my lawyer know, you've got his address. I'd be happy to
    pay your airfare over here. Maybe if we could get Sir-Tech back into
    Australia we could finally get some damages off of them, it is about
    time.

    My lawyer says you might get into the country, but before you get out the
    Australian Trade Commission would like to speak to you about your
    business contracts and the special clauses you put into them in violation
    of Australian Trade Practices law, as well as your abandonment of the
    agreement you had with our team.

    ***

    29/8/97
    webmaster@sir-tech.com wrote:
    > The whole back-and-forth has me convinced you're not lieing. What would
    > come of it? What do you have to gain? And reading Sir-Tech's replies...
    > they have 'cover up' written all over them.
    > I won't be buying anymore Sir-Tech stuff. Jagged Alliance was the last.
    >
    > Tim
    >

    Again, read Cleve's posts. Given everything he's said about himself and
    the Aussie team he was working for, do you truly believe they could have
    done a Wizardry that would have been worthy of the name?

    Of course, maybe we were wrong and Cleve is really the world's greatest
    game designer as he claims. Play his game and decide for yourself. His
    web page says it will be available for download Sept. 1.

    Charles

    Sirtech Software


    ***

    1/9/97
    > It's the simple truth, Cleve. Face facts and move on. You're hurting
    no one but yourself.
    >

    Face facts? What facts? What do you know about the project other than
    what you have been told to put up here, Charles? You're hurting no one
    but yourself by posting those kinds of fantasies here. That is delusional
    self-defeating denial so that your company can continue in some crippled
    fashion with day-to-day operations and somehow live with themselves.

    Has anybody accused you of having sex with his wife yet? I thought at one
    point all Sir-Tech employees were accused of having sex with somebody's
    wife there, it is par for the course. Be patient, there is a waiting list
    and he will eventually get around to you. No matter how improbable, you
    will eventually be subjected to paranoid ranting about having sex with
    his wife. When the Wiz 8 project in Australia was going down the toilet,
    the guy could care less. The only thing that seemed to interest him was
    establishing who had sex with his wife and when. Nobody had sex with this
    guy's wife, he's a nutjob.

    Your "facts" are verbatim transcibed from the mouth of a man who is pure
    fruit salad. He's got tangerines for frontal lobes and a banana split for
    a cerebellum. If you look up "fruit" in the dictionary, you'll see that
    they have a small black'n'white photograph of him beside the definition
    there, along with some woodcutting plates of apples and pears.

    Do you have any direct knowledge of the Wiz 8 project in Australia at all?

    No. You are a hired hand who types what you are told to type on Usenet.

    Why don't you tell the guy to post himself here, instead of hiding behind
    you?

    ***

    1/9/97
    > Again, read Cleve's posts. Given everything he's said about himself and
    > the Aussie team he was working for, do you truly believe they could have
    > done a Wizardry that would have been worthy of the name?

    I've already written a game far better than anything that ever came out
    of Sir-Tech software ... not by a little, but by a country mile. Who
    would know better than me - the only person who has worked for Sir-Tech
    in the past six years good enough to bring the sequel to Wiz 7 to a
    viewable alpha in front of the public? You trying to tell me your hoax at
    E3 was comparable to my alpha in 1994?

    No way. You're not even in the ballpark. I had SOMETHING. It might have
    had problems, like penisaurus creatures and pouting rangers (hardly my
    jurisdiction, that was your call in management), but my alpha was
    otherwise a clone of Wiz 7 created from SCRATCH! Not a single line of
    code or algorithm used from the former game! In 18 months! Working under
    2 madmen! Holy cow, my s**t literally smells like rare and expensive
    perfume!

    Unbelievable! Talk about one dangerous cowboy! If you kicked my ass into
    the sky it would come down as sunshine!

    Charles, your own CEO said it was proof I could write a game as good as
    Wiz 7 or better. Your own programmers begrudgingly conceded they broke
    the mold when they made me. Do I need to bring forward witnesses, now? Do
    you people EVER tell the truth about anything? Do you think all this
    compulsive lying and denial is anything but the mark of a troubled,
    distressed company? Do you think professionals or serious developers ever
    have these kinds of problems with former employees? I don't think so. Has
    Sir-Tech ever had a former employee that did not cringe to hear their
    name?

    I'm only one man though, and no matter how big I might be as an
    individual, enough Lilliputians can pull anybody down if they work
    together. The Wiz 8 project in Oz was proof that even the finest
    programmer in the world can be thwarted by bad management.

    Hell, man, despite the best efforts of your pedophiles and cross-dressing
    whackos, we were nearly THERE. Another 2-3 months and we would have had a
    solid alpha or even beta. Short of abandoning the project and intervening
    directly to screw it up, what could Sir-Tech have possibly done to stop
    it from reaching completion? You had to f**k up big time to mess up
    someone like me. I had to effectively write TEN games in order to work
    around the mental patients you put in charge and gave complete creative
    control to ... and I was still punching out code like a brick s**thouse!
    Your only resort to stop the game from being completed was to cut off
    salaries and abandon all communication! You had to f**k it up, it is who
    and what you are! Your company is self-destructive and they could screw
    up a wet dream. "We really messed up this time, it looks like in spite of
    our best efforts this Blakemore character is in fact an extremely
    competent boy. We'd better think of something drastic in a hurry or he is
    actually going to complete this game ... and god knows we don't want
    that."

    > Of course, maybe we were wrong and Cleve is really the world's greatest
    > game designer as he claims. Play his game and decide for yourself. His
    > web page says it will be available for download Sept. 1.
    >

    A lot of people are playing it right now and they say it gets a 50 meter
    running start and kicks every RPG ever made so hard in the ass it leaves
    a size 12 jumpboot behind. What is your longwinded explanation for that,
    little man?

    I've got about 3000 pieces of email from true connoisseurs telling me my
    Alpha, released FOUR MONTHS ago, was one of the coolest RPGs they had
    ever seen. Has Sir-Tech ever had that kind of response about ANYTHING
    they ever produced? Of course not. Does your web site get nearly 100
    unique hits a day? I think not. Have you had 22,000 hits since April? Bet
    not.

    UHDEEUHDEEUHDEEUHDEE ... you keep talking a good game, I'll keep writing
    good games. We'll see which company is still around in two years.
    Sir-Tech has a turnover rate like an apple danish factory, I doubt if
    you'll still be around that time to compare notes, Charles.

    P.S. I just have to twist the blade and break it off, Charles, so here
    goes ... the code I wrote for Sir-Tech was the intellectual equivalent of
    a disposable handiwipe I dragged across my own ass. It was the best I
    could do working within the limitations set by your pink-sequined child
    buggery experts, who exercised an iron hand of control over me and the
    project. The code I have in GRIMOIRE is the genuine article. I'd be
    scared for your current staff to even look at it, being it is polymorphic
    32-bit protected mode C++ with a complete family of inherited objects and
    STL. It is likely their skulls would crack and fissure, spraying their
    somewhat thin, greasy and decrepit brain tissue everywhere. It is for
    your own protection ... but you are free to DREAM about what it would be
    like to have a library of modular, reusuable C++ code with infinite scope
    for expansion and reuse over the next 25 years for RPG games. Tell Norman
    that it would and should be the ultimate goal for all CRPG producers, but
    unfortunately it will never be a reality at Sir-Tech. For you, the gnarly
    spaghetti chuck-away disasters of C to the reaches of hell and beyond,
    for all eternity.

    P.P.S. Somebody told me there is not even a programmer who can code in C++
    working at Sir-Tech, is that true?

    ***

    1/9/97
    Charles, your company ROUTINELY "LOSES" * Y E A R S * ... they vanish
    like drops of oil from a leaking carburetor, never to be seen again and
    never accounted for. You have millions of dollars in capital, several
    dozen paid employees, and a complete squad of full time support staff.
    Are you really comparing yourself to me now, are you admitting I am
    kicking the living s**t out of your entire company with one hand behind
    my back?

    My game is coming out on Halloween. Being realistic, can you say Wiz 8 is
    going to be out before the turn of the century? I don't think so. Do you
    think it will be comparable to my game when it does come out? Maybe in
    the eyes of a few novices who don't know too much about RPGs.

    ***

    1/9/97
    Any journalist you talk to will tell you in
    private email that E3 was a hoax and some of the more shrewd ones are
    telling me they think your desperation is in direct reaction to the alpha
    of GRIMOIRE.

    Far fetched? Or eerie reality?

    You guys are such losers you can't even win the psy-war, even with
    full-time paid propaganda windpipes on your payroll! You're still getting
    your tiny shriveled up little prune-skinned meatless butts kicked!
    Imagine how deep you'll be in it once you turn to actually writing a
    game!

    "Not up to our standards!" Yeah! Right!

    I heard one of your employees wandered out into freeway traffic after
    somebody tossed a candy apple out their car window! Good luck! I think
    you better start applying some tougher standards in your recruitment
    methods - like using a pocket hand mirror to see if your potential
    programmers can fog it up when it is held beneath their chins.

    I spoke to one of your programmers via email about a month ago and
    frankly I was amazed this guy could punch out his own name on a keyboard.
    I would not have believed this "human" could have passed the Turing Test
    but then I recalled some of the complex tricks I've seen chimps do in
    theatre acts and I suddenly realized where those missing monkeys have
    been vanishing to from circuses passing through Ogsdenberg.

    "Sure, I don't see why we couldn't get away with it. Our regular staff is
    halfway there now anyway. We get ourselves a forty gallon drum of
    Barbasol and a couple hundred crates of Bic disposables, we could easily
    cut half our budget allotment for salaries within a year. I think we
    could pull it off as long as we keep them dressed in bluejeans and
    tee-shirts and don't let them go outdoors without an escort."

    ***

    3/9/97
    > Has anybody accused you of having sex with his wife yet? I thought at one

    Notice the second I brought this up all communication with Sir-Tech
    ground to a complete halt. It suddenly hit them that aside from their
    fabrications and fantasies there are the hardcore realities of the flakes
    and fruits they serve as apologists for. Once reminded, they decided
    instantly the best policy was to refrain from posting anything else,
    because they are so embarrassed of the massive flakiness that is a way of
    life for these people. Unless they can make a good case for being unhappy
    with somebody being incredibly competent and doing a nearly perfect job,
    it occurred to them they inherited nothing but a wealth of shame when
    they became part of this nut brigade.

    Sir-Tech software has owed me a formal letter of apology for three years,
    on company stationary signed by Norman Sirotek. But this is not a real
    company and I'll never get that letter.

    ***

    3/7/98

    Grimoire has a storyline I have been assembling for almost 20 years, based on
    characters and a campaign I was running back in 1976 in high school. The
    story is important to me, it isn't an afterthought. This tends to make for an
    incredibly rich environment ... one I think will hold the attention of
    hardcore RPG players for 1000 hours and maybe beyond. But Grimoire would
    never be a bunch of empty vacant lots of filler and some token dragon thrown
    in with a magical sword. Even the dragon Q'Orl is a unique personality in my
    game, with a long prehistory of captivity who is a prince on the Astral Plane
    imprisoned in the Royal Bestiary for centuries before we free him. I did not
    throw in a dragon because (like Sir- Tech) I was sitting around with a bunch
    of doofus losers in a circle jerk and one of them blurted out (dribble
    running down his chin) "Hey! What about ... dragons! N'Stuff! People like
    Dragons, then, don't they? Yeah!! Let's put them in ... er something!!"

    (If you think I am making this up, go to the article at Games Domain in the
    archives and read about the author's visit to Sir-Tech to see "Wiz 8" during
    the "planning stages." Read Brenda Garneau's comment to the visitor about
    Dragons. These people have no clue. They gotta make a mortgage payment, that's
    where their mind is at.)

    ***

     
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  20. Lagole Gon Arcane Patron

    Lagole Gon
    Joined:
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    Retaken Potato
    I still think the original Sir-Tech thread should be pinned on the codex front page.
     
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  21. Bumvelcrow Bellator Sempervirens Patron

    Bumvelcrow
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Greater Celtika
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    What could have been, eh? :(
     
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  22. Cleveland Mark Blakemore Golden Era Games Übermensch Developer

    Cleveland Mark Blakemore
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    8,227
    Location:
    Australia
    Think of the sheer evil that dwells inside this she-hag. So vain they cannot look at their own reflection, like vampires.

    If they were 1% non-scum they would simply allow everybody to view the materials for posterity.

    These people are evil. They're awful, awful people. Really bad. Always trying to control perceptions and manipulate others impressions. They seem to enjoy tampering with any sort of truth.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
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  23. EG Nullified

    EG
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,265
    Like Cleve, really.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  24. Crispy I'm trying to improve my attitude. Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

    Crispy
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,869,238
    Location:
    Future Wasteland
    Well that took a while. Guess all the work going into Grimoire takes precedence.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Fabulously Optimistic Fabulously Optimistic x 1
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  25. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    10,114
    Location:
    casting coach
    The bunker is the first priority.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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