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News & Features Discussion  » [Editorial] General: My Own Kobayashi Maru

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53 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/15/09
Posts: 1236

Tumbling down the rabbit hole?

12/26/13 3:56:34 PM#41
Make your own game, your own destiny, your own new company and all the best. Han shot first, blew up the death star by shooting first and helping, nailed the princess and had his own ship. Nothing stopping you doing the same. Er, metaporically nerd style doing it, that is.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/13
Posts: 6

12/26/13 4:06:08 PM#42

Actually it's 'The' Kobayashi Maru, and it is correct English to say it is 'his'. Think of it like this: 

The situation is my own personal Kobayashi Maru.

That sounds better, right? Now remove the words 'own personal' and you can see how this can be done. :)


Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 520

12/26/13 5:05:53 PM#43

So basically he was against Durability & for Tiers.  He begins this with mentions of Phat Lewts / Purples which we all know also means runaway RNG metrics & dragonchasing.   ...I think that also cements where the source of most of the Run-away Vertical Progression has been in the game and WHY its now been scrambling to make content that atleast nips at the heels of that Progression.


 It's been surprisingly fun for an MMO (most aren't), and his overall contributions must be recognized.  But if this departure in any way takes even a portion of the focus off Tiers, Loot, & Jedi Vulcan melds and puts it back on skill-appropriate challenge.... then I'd say this was a necessary bloodletting


Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/04
Posts: 1532

12/26/13 11:16:34 PM#44

There are always more than one side to any story and truth be told neither side will ever be 100% truthful.  The innate need to protect oneself is overriding.


With that said, no idea who this dude is and couldn't care less.  This post though is quite interesting.  First, as a gamer for over 30 years and someone who frequents news sites I, for one, did not even read about this dude getting fired not that I would have given a crap anyway for as everyone knows, that knows anything about the industry, being let go is not uncommon especially for individuals that aren't the idea men/women.


[mod edit]


Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7201

12/27/13 5:52:17 AM#45

Funny how good designers have problems leading a company.  Firefall could eventually be a good game, but the game changed direction so many times I think a lot of players gave up on it.

Hopefully you will find a niche that suits you.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/27/13
Posts: 5

12/27/13 8:12:28 AM#46
Originally posted by severius

With that said, no idea who this dude is and couldn't care less.  This post though is quite interesting.  First, as a gamer for over 30 years and someone who frequents news sites I, for one, did not even read about this dude getting fired not that I would have given a crap anyway for as everyone knows, that knows anything about the industry, being let go is not uncommon especially for individuals that aren't the idea men/women.

[mod edit]

This post made me smile- I always love it when people think that their ignorance or lack of knowledge reflects poorly on anybody but themselves. So you follow gaming news closely, but you never heard of Mark Kern (I will ignore that you "couldn't care less", and still felt the need to post)? Interesting- I work in the games industry, and I feel that someone who used to be a Key person (Team Lead) in bringing what is one of the bigest games ever, World of Warcraft, to market has contributed more to gaming than most devs will. But hey, if I ask my Grandmother, she probably doesn't know Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, so I guess they aren't so successful after all ;)

And contrary to what you say, quite a few people seem to care that he is no longer with Red 5, if you look at comments here and on gaming sites across the web. Sadly for Mark of course, most of that sentiment is not exactly sadness about his departure^^

Either way, I wish him all the best in his future endeavours (ideally in a creative, non-business capacity), whereever they may take him. And hopfully, FireFall will one day live up to the promise it always showed, but never fully managed to deliver (Founder myself here, but haven't played in months).



Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/04/04
Posts: 32

12/27/13 9:31:52 AM#47

This happens all to often, there is a half backed idea, it isn't fully fleshed out or falls short in the execution and the person responsible isn't given enough support or is unable to bring themselves to accept the help required and the game falls flat. 


Alot of people are able to be the pitch/idea man but can't quite execute, often pride, arrogance or simply a lack of followthrough leads to something not achieving its potential. I feel that is the case here.


I tried the game and it had some nice ideas and a base for something more but after the initial concept the game fell FLAT, it was a directionless piece of trash after the first 30 minutes of playing around and like it or not Mark, it has to do partially with many of your decisions. I can only hope you learn from them because you can potentially influence more games in the future and i think the community in general doesn't want a repeat performance of Firefall.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/21/06
Posts: 17

12/27/13 1:52:04 PM#48
Originally posted by indef
[mod edit]

He was the CEO of Red5.  He was forced out about a week ago.  The game they were making is facing difficulties.  The initial vision of the game has been lost.  Money was wasted on silly things like buying and modifying a bus.  Yes, an actual bus...  Add to that the hiring of friends that destroyed the community.  The staff of the game was been cut.  The key investor has sold off a portion of his investment and the game seems to be going no where. Etc...  His "commentary" was basically an attempt to shift the blame for a failing product.

That about sums it up.  I am sure Kern is a nice guy and may be a great developer but a good CEO he was not.  Not saying I could do a better job either.  Hopefully he will land on his feet and once again be a taxpayer.  


Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1807

12/28/13 6:37:05 PM#49
Want to find a bottom of the barrel CEO?  Look at one in the gaming business because they are almost always underqualified and then therefore underperform.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/29/13
Posts: 2

12/29/13 8:55:19 AM#50

Well, can't say as this all really surprised me. I had a bit of an inside look at Red5 and Firefall. I was one of the original forum members there and I was one of their NCO's that they had for a time not to mention I and a couple other forum members got to take part in one test under the Friends & Family pvp match in May of 2011. Hell, I was even invited out to Red5 and take part in their first community event. So, needless to say I've seen behind the curtain a bit at what the "Wizard" was up to.

What was he up to? I have no idea what he personally was up to because he didn't even show up for their community event. Not sure how the CEO wasn't capable of managing his schedule so that he could be at his company for something he authorized payment for. Regardless the company culture was there and we got fed lots of pipe dreams with little information as to if it was even possible. It was either refuse to answer, make overly vague statements or simply say they will announce information on that later. Strange, even after another two years of his games development, we are being given the same answers. Not that you will find such things on their forums as they bully, block, delete and ban people for calling them out on their bullshit. I can name plenty of forum members that have copies of exchanges between themselves and your team so no point in denying that one.

That brings me to my next point. Your company culture that you helped create. It was little more then a frat boy club house where you were all living on daddy's (The9) money. It had no direction, unprofessional environment, a lack of accountability on many fronts, passive aggressive idiocy and not a soul there was acting as an actual production manager. No wonder the game went nowhere fast. All of your grand promises were built on a faulty foundation and done with no one to make sure that it all worked as a whole. You had a bad foundation and rather then fix it, you went on to work on the roof of the house. Skipping the walls that were going to support the damn thing or even justify it having existed in the first place. Like I said, no accountability.

The game you pitched something like seven years ago was a great idea. The execution was pure shit for a lack of a better term. You over promised, under delivered, over advertised years too early, failed to lead and in the end you failed to even keep your job as the captain on a sinking ship. I learned my lesson from the whole experience. I will never give a dime to any game that you have any connection to along with the remaining pseudo manager that remain at Red5. Trust is initially given freely. It is yours to grow or destroy. You chose the later of the two and now you will find it very hard to regain.

I'll leave you with this.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren Bennis

“Most people who want to get ahead do it backward. They think, ‘I’ll get a bigger job, then I’ll learn how to be a leader.’ But showing leadership skill is how you get the bigger job in the first place. Leadership isn’t a position, it’s a process.” — John Maxwell



Elite Member

Joined: 7/23/07
Posts: 394

12/29/13 9:17:59 PM#51
With a name like Kern he should know his Star Trek vs. Star Wars.

Elite Member

Joined: 5/24/10
Posts: 1620

12/30/13 3:29:25 PM#52
Originally posted by ApocalypseSunrise

Nah. He hasn't mixed anything up. He mixed those references and quotes together on purpose because they were "true to him and his perceived situation".

He had what he refers to as "a Kobayashi Maru test". - Statement

He claims that Han always shot first. Cinema history-wise this is also true because in the original release of Ep. 4 Han shot and killed Greedo before he could act. I have no idea what Mark was refering to in regards to his career but I am assuming that someone is trying to claim that a situation happened in a reverse manner than he claims it did. - Either way this is intended to be a seperate statement

In his final paragraph it should be obvious that there is an intended mixture.


Aside from those things I don't know who this guy is but it seems rather obvious he is not liked by the masses. I hope his next job places him in a position that is best suited to his strongest talents rather than his greatest weaknesses.

Good to see i wasn't the only one who understood what he was saying perfectly.  Of course, expecting the general internet to have basic reading comprehension skills is asking a bit much these days.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

- Friedrich Nietzsche


Novice Member

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 3

1/02/14 10:50:41 AM#53
I am going to take a shot at interpretation.  Pitfall Hairy was a reference to the game "pitfall" made by Activision.  So maybe he is going back to Blizzard.  Everyone knows the kobiyashi-Maru reference but I am interpreting it to mean that He forced red 5 to fire him in some way.  This was his "way out" solution to what he believes was an unwinnable situation.  With the Han reference He is saying that he was in control of the events, rather than the victim.  Like saying "I quit, I wasn't fired".  So ya it sounds like from his perspective He couldn't win so he forced them to fire him.
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