Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion still has no idea what they’re doing

, | Games

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Another month, another Marvel Heroes goat rope. Yet another rollback, yet another borked patch, yet another comedy of errors in which they try to fix one thing and break another thing, at which point the fix for the broken fix breaks two more things. Online games is hard.

The latest reason for a vote of no-confidence in developer Gazillion, whose Marvel Heroes is against all odds a game I really like, is a fumbled attempt to deploy patch whatever dot whatever dot zerozerowhatever. In addition to another rollback, everyone will have to download the entire game again. Furthermore, Gazillion admit they have absolutely no idea what happened. From the latest “Oops, We Screwed Up Again” FAQ:

How did this happen when Game Update 1.11 was on Test Center for all this time?

That’s what we’re trying to figure out ourselves. It’s a mystery right now. We were hoping it was an error in the deploy process, but we’ve been through that checklist and it’s not the case.

There are some truly admirable changes in this patch (notes here), including a move away from random hero drops to a resource called eternity splinters you can spend on whatever hero you want. The game sorely needs performance improvements, and that’s a promised part of the latest patch. Furthermore, Marvel Heroes will get options for graphics setting beyond the previous slider bar (in other words, it will finally work like every other PC game). Some overdue common sense is introduced into the interface, such as a level range for different areas. If you’re like me and you like seeing numbers pop out of your target, Marvel Heroes is finally getting that.

There’s no ETA for the patch, which was supposed to be out yesterday morning.

After the jump, exclusive transcript of the Gazillion meeting where they named eternity splinters.

“Okay, what are we going to call these new things players can collect?”

“What do they look like?”

“What does it matter?”

“Maybe if we saw them, we could get a better idea what to call them.”

“They’re small. They glow. They make a little sound when you pick them up.”

“Could you draw one? Up there on the whiteboard.”

“Okay.”

“You just drew an asterisk.”

“Well, that’s what they look like.”

“What color are they?”

“We don’t know yet. Alice is working on a few options now.”

“They should be orange. We’ve already got yellow bits, blue bits, purple bits, and red bits. I think orange is all that’s left.”

“What would you call something that’s orange?”

“Sun drops?”

“That’s Plants vs Zombies.”

“I love that game.”

“Me too.”

“Yeah, it’s really good.”

“My kids love it.”

“I hate the fog levels.”

“I hate the swimming pool, where you have to buy seaweed patches.”

“That’s a really good game.”

“So what about the orange bits?”

“We don’t know for sure if they’re orange. Alice is working on it.”

“We could call them orange drops?”

“We’re not going to call them orange drops.”

“What about galactic cores?”

“Hmm.”

“Galactic. Cores.”

“Hmm.”

“Anyone? No one has an opinion on galactic cores?”

“Well, it’s not in Plants vs Zombies.”

“We need a lot of them. It seems like a core is something rare. Like it’s what you get when you throw away the rest of the galaxy.”

“Are those suns?”

“What?”

“Aren’t the cores of a galaxy the suns? You know, the stars?”

“No, that’s the core of a solar system.”

“But if we’re using the plural — cores — wouldn’t those be suns, stars?”

“Kevin has a point.”

“Okay, how about galactic shards?”

“Anyone? Does galactic shards sound good? Kevin, you don’t have to raise your hand.”

“Why does it have to be space?”

“What do you mean?”

“This is space stuff. Astronomy stuff. This isn’t FTL or Master of Orion.”

“What are those?”

“Space games. I think those are space games.”

“Shut up, Paul. Let Kevin explain.”

“Well, all this galaxy stuff is very Fantastic Four.”

“We are introducing the Human Torch.”

“The Human Torch is cool, but I wish we had Reed Richards.”

“The animation is too hard. We’re not doing Reed Richards.”

“Maybe we should think bigger. More cosmic.”

“Bigger than galaxies?”

“Universes. Universe cores?”

“I’m pretty sure those would be galaxies. Galaxies are the cores of the universe.”

“What’s bigger than a universe?”

“Two universes?”

“Infinity?”

“Forever?”

“Eternity?”

“That’s pretty much the same as infinity.”

“Always? Always bits! How about always bits?”

“That’s really stupid.”

“It’s not as stupid as orange drops.”

“What about infinity?”

“I like always. It’s poetic.”

“Always shards?”

“Eternity shards?”

“Shards is too aggressive. It sounds like a weapon.”

“A shard is not a weapon.”

“It can be. Like when you break a mirror and use a piece of it to stab the killer.”

“Eternity splinters.”

“How long do those last?”

“I still have one of those in my hand from when I accidentally stabbed myself with a pencil.”

“Hey guys?”

“Trevor, this is a meeting for creative. No programmers allowed.”

“You guys might want to come look at this. Something, uh, broke again.”

“Okay, meeting adjourned. Someone write down that thing about always splinters and send it over to the Marvel guys for approval.”

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