The state of videogames

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Akratus, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    I just wanted to add that I'm never wrong either.
  2. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    fred2 >

    Not quoting everything, but because the bank is awfull, so the publishers should be ? I think that your point wasn't that because x is awfull everyone else should be, but it leave that impression.

    Also, i work in film production in France and the author is recognized and his rights are defended with the law. It doesn't prevent production company to get some income in the use of what they did for the franchise. And even if another production company produce a sequel, it wouldn't prevent the previous production company (and the author) to get income for the use of previous movies. The distributors/TV channels still gain huge income for the use of these movies but they never have the property of the IP. That system is not perfect. No system is perfect, but it's work and it respect the people who provided the fictionnal universe. I give you my word at 100% that this is a reality. France in a country that exist. I exist, and i verified what i am saying. (even studied it lenghty) If it exist, then it must be real.

    I am not saying that US video-game industry should copy-paste french film-making industry, but rather saying that, from my perspective, from what i am used to in my environment, the publisher's way seems unbelievable and if there were some attempt to make the same thing in the french film industry, there would be A LOT of people in the street, renting agains't the evil gov. Are you saying that those people would be wrong to rage agains't unfair laws ? Most "good" laws that we got were only obtained because people fought for it. It was never freely given by the government.

    Beside that, i kind of sick of the way the IP system is handled beyond the atlantic, but i also remember that there is also a cultural issue, that exist since decades/centuaries. Since i don't live in the US, i was wondering how the people consider it out there. Does them consider it normal, abnormal or a non issue ?

    On that point, Lujo answer seems pretty convincing, in a way that, not only there is a strong weight coming from lobbyist that have the power to advocate their ideas, while some other don't, but also, that video games are not yet considered as art. Movies weren't considered as art for decades. It could take even more years to make that happen for video games, as they are still called games. It hard to have art and game in the same phrase. Maybe interactives stories or alternative storytelling medium could be more viable candidate. We currently have that issue in France with the transmedia storytelling. There are people like writters that are the facto authors, but other that take huge part of the creative process have yet to gain that status. But i am sure it would be quicker for transmedia storytelling, as the people who are working ont it are those that used to work for movies. (considering that we protect the authors of posters and other drawings, i have no doubt we will find a way to protect our video-games authors) Also, there is the general opinion of considering games as for children, even if some are forbidden for children. But in the end, regadless of it is books, movies, video-games or transmedias, we still talk about storytelling, with a very huge range of style and quality depending of the creators.

    Also, i have to remind you that i was talking about very specific develloppers. I am talking about develloppers that have the skill and the experience to provide games that would blow your mind, keep millions of people fascinated for decades, and yet, have no powers in the franchise their produces, and fail to get publishers that is not willing to publish anything other than the usual clones. Even if the game would work great. For the sake of the quality of new IP, they have to get rid of that publishers influence.

    Devellopers that share the same vision of publishers, solo devellopers that could make mini-games at home, or have a supporting publishing company are other situations that would need their own debate.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  3. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jun 14, 2013
    @Naossao: Really, that IS the history of Copyright / Intellectual Property rights. Did quite an in depth course on it, that's kind of the gist of it. Also, I made a mistake, the Anglo-Saxon system allowed for author rights (or at least more protection for authors than it originally had) by accident. A bunch of London publishers were suing a bunch of Scotish publishers for pirating, and managed to lobby for a law which protected the holder of the rights (because at that point it was them, and they never thought that an actual author would have enough money/social pull to challenge them). So they set themselves up later, but I forget exactly how. I could dig it up probably. It's quite a huge topic currently because of people mapping out genes have started trying to get "distribution rights" on species (plants and animals mostly). It's a really bizzare and kind of frightening area, I got into it through my ex-wife a corporate biologist.

    @Fred: Dude, that wasn't a rant, that's the history of publishing, and it is what it is. It doesn't matter what I think or don't think or feel about it. A stable job cranking out formulaic crap in a semi-cornered market where you're sort of sure it'll sell and the law is on your side by default IS good for the broader economy and all the people who have those stable jobs. Heck, if the distribution of the profit was a little less management/marketing oriented it'd practicaly be the most banal form of socialism. Or some form of cartelism at least.

    So you can't really go all "get a job you f***ng hippies" at us (or at least me). Because what the system before steam was bringing me was mostly very uninteresting games. That's what the Anglo-Saxon system devolves into - formula, formula, formula, brand name, brand name, brand name, sequel, sequel, sequel, hyperpoduction, hyper... I mean, if the only point is to employ a whole lot of people in a stable way - sure, cool, but if it's also the biggest way for managers to earn money, it's kinda perverted. It stifles diversity and innovation like you wouldn't believe.

    Now I don't mind a good bit of socialism when it comes to basic human needs - but games aren't those. They're luxury goods. People can live without them. There's no reason to buy or play a game that doesn't appeal to you or doesn't interest you - you'll go watch a bad movie with a bunch of friends if the price isn't too high, but you're not going to sit in front of a computer for hours playing something that doesn't appeal to you. So if the system isn't giving me what I'm interested in we don't exist as far as each other is concerned. Everybody in Bethesda or whoever's making CoD games can die of starvation tomorrow and I wouldn't notice - that's the harsh reality. I'd probably care that other humans starved, but as a gamer - I really, truly wouldn't notice. The opposite is also true - the industry doesn't care about me, and has given me no reason to believe it ever will.

    But I also know that most of that industry and it's franchises started out with someone's bold experiment or reinvention of something that was stale before, and that the system made it proffitable to acquire IP rights and reduce the content to make it as safe and as unimaginative as possible, the "progress" as superficial and tangential as possible, and just milk the fact that someone once had a good idea for as long as possible. I'm not giving a dime for that. Sure, that dime would help keep a lot of coders, graphic designers, bureaucrats and PR people fed, but to what end? I could dump money into that hole until hell freezes over and they still wouldn't give me anything truly worthwhile. Socialism is necessary for food, tools, basic clothing, modest housing, education, health care, policework, maintenance... But videogames? I don't see how the world is better for a new CoD game or two coming out every year, or a TeS game coming out every few years if they aren't gonna be Morrowind.

    But if I do like a game I'll support it with my money, my time, my good word of recommendation, my playtesting. I'll buy copies for people who I think might like it but might not have herd of it as gifts. It's not about being sold a gamepad or a mention for a donation, those are just token compensations for people who might feel underappreciated because they're giving money on a bet to see magic happen and noone can guarantee that. But I'll pay a lot to see an attempt at a sequel for Planescape Torment or even just a graphics/interface update to Alpha Centauri. If the system prevents those two from happening for 15 or more years just so it can keep cranking out stuff I don't care about - why am I to care about it? If there's enough people who feel the same way, and we can come up with money to fund it - why the hell not? What should I do with my money, what's a better investment? Buy a new fancy mobile phone? Some high quality cocaine? Latest TeS game? Hookers? Hookers who like the latest TeS game?

    And it's not just about small games. Warcraft 2 was is a pittiably small game by today's standards, it built an empire. So is Diablo 1 - that wasn't even a game, it was just the combat part from a much larger RPG which never got made so they just ironed out the combat and put it out there. Look where that led. Look at Dota. LOOK AT IT. It was a WC3 map. People are playing a WC3 map with a minor graphics update with yearly prizes in the millions. Millions of people. There's a documentary about people playing a WC3 map with a modest graphic update for a living that just came out, called "Free to play", payed for by the company who earned a lot of money for making a graphics update to a WC3 map and letting people play it for free. There's people paying for online tickets to WATCH people play that, so much so that those sales quadrouple tournament prize pools. For a WC3 map. Lol was made by a bunch of WC3 map modders, and it's even bigger. Moba's took down MMO's. And it happened through word of mouth and the industry didn't even notice until it was all over. Dota 1 sold more WC3 copies than WC3 ever did, and if all the pirated copies (why pay for WC3 if you only really want to play Dota?) were sold for a few dollars on steam for the decade it was played...

    In case you haven't noticed - "indies", guys working outside of the established publisher/distributor system WON. Dota, what's good about it, was made by people with 0 ties to the industry. You can say they used a Blizzard engine, but that engine actually SUCKED. It sure as hell wasn't what was keeping people playing it for years long after it was outdated by an eon. I know this. It was made by gamers, for gamers, refined and tested by legions of people who had no life but gaming for years. And I'd rather give my dollar to those poor shmucks than anyone who worked on 95% of the "mainstream" games. Because the only thing that was keeping it non-mainstream was all the crap peddlers hogging up the main street. And all the while there were LAN cafee's all over the world who only ever had to have WC3 installed to make a load of money off gamers playing Dota for more money per hour than the WoW monthly subscription cost.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  4. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    Almost got suckered in to read all those blocks of letters.
  5. fred2

    fred2 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 2, 2013

    Maybe I am missing some fine point here, but as far as I know developer are the IP holders, which is defended by law - everywhere. When you sign with a publisher, you can decide to retain your IP rights or how to deal with sequels. Of course the riskier your game the less favorable deal you'll be able to get, don't expect people to throw money at you just because you claim to know best and every developer that signed off their IP right to the Publishers knew what they were doing.

    As I said before, this is a standard practice in every industry or even for you when you go to a bank to get a loan, where you sign a very lengthy contract. If you don't like the deal you are offered, look elsewhere for a better one, but if you don't like any of the deals and start ranting how they are all evil, then if you are so smart let see how do it, start your own bank/publishing/whatever put your money where your mouth is.

    Again is this is in anyway unique to gaming industry? e.g. In film industry there are a lot of creative producers/writers/.. and yet we get mostly the usual clones and blockbuster filed with special effect, only few rare gems and shit load of good IP going down the drain(at least for us)

    When you say "even if the game would work great" it is your opinion. The burden of proof is on you not the guy whose money you want to take. For example the guys who make good ol' RPGs, I love those games, I put money in recent-ish kickstarters for those games, but lets not kid ourselves those are niche markets that are much smaller and capricious, and if I was a publisher I would have NEVER funded those games (even with kickstarter success in mind)

    Again my bottom line is that all this rage against the system/machine is cute but not unique to the game industry nor likely to go away any time soon, deal with it. Also overall the game industry is right now in very good place, the economical crisis passed we have online distribution and crowdfunding which made self publishing easier, allow alternative means of funding and gave access to previously untapped niche markets. (and IMO the PC image has improved)

    kid, indies are part of the industry.. and to sum your argument you rant against mainstream the "crowd" - grow the fuck up, its not just games deal with it.

    Anyway, the core of all those rants is about content. I don't think that you'll find any fallout old timer, who will disagree that since then "golden age" of RPGs it's harder and harder to find games we like were sidelined by today mainstream gaming.
  6. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    When i read you, it seems that you want to tell that tthe publishers has to take the IP from the author and that the culture should be dumbed down.
    Because the bank fuck us, then everybody should fuck us. Otherwise we will all be unemployed.

    I think that with crowdfunding/system in other countries like France, things could work in a way that seems more fair, that exist, economically works, and doesn't cause unemployement. So cut the crap of bein unrealistic or not growing up. Also, talking about differences in others countries, how system would work better, thinking of improvements, asking how people in countries with different system react to it doesn't hurt anyone. Actually, it's quite the opposite.

    So when you are unhappy with you bank, you suddenly have enough money to make a bank, then the day after, you can start a publishing company ? Then you will propose any contract to develloppers, because if they are unhappy with other publisher, they need someone to make contract they would actually choose ? So if you unhappy about Monsanto, you will make a gigantic crop industry while not knowing anything about crop ? And you are talking about being realistic ? Most people don't have money to make a corporation that would be big enough to make all the big publishers change their mind about the market. From where i come from, unsatisfied people tend to create syndicate and put some kind of pressure on the government. (march, boycott, lobyism toward local representatives, public speeches, maybe some books/movies on the subjects). They communicate share ideas and regroup when necessary, and ask some money to be functionnal, but don't have millions to spent in buying Microsoft.

    Also, it would be a totally another debate, but i don't think capitalism is a way to help everyone keeping a stable job. Back home, it's quite the opposite, with investors taking a lot of money, employee here for decades being fired, then the factory relocated in Africa. IMO, capitalism is viable for a very limited number of person, while for everyone else, it's a continuous sink under the ground... Of course, if we get to debate about it, it would be fucking lenghty, but, in any case, you can't take for granted that "capitalism=job for everyone", and base you argumentation on this.

    I think the way it is handled on that specific situation is a mess (doesn't mean it isn't a mess in other situation). Do you consider it a mess or the perfect situation ? If it is a mess, how denying it would improve the debate ? If it is perfect, how it is perfect ?

    I don't see what is your point beside
    "It is perfect, let's keep it that way. If you unhappy, create your corporation and do the exact same thing"
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  7. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Sorry for the double-post, but it has been a month.

    For those who have steam, it is possible, sometime, to try an entire game for 2-4 days.
    The problem is that, currently, you can't choose which game to try and when.
    But that thing, without replacing demo, that can be playing an infinite time, seems to me a very sane way to handle sellings.

    For those who still hesitate after playing the demo, it allow to try the main game for an extended period of time, to really get an idea of the quality of the game.
    Take Fallout 3, for instance. If you play only vault 101 in the demo, it doesn't provide enough informations to make you certain you will like the whole game.
    If you are able to spend entire days on the main game, you will be more aware about the general emptiness and the quality of writting, be able to get used on how the fight are handle, agains't many kind of foes, and so on...

    Do you think what steam does now as minor ? Or all client like steam will someday allow every user to try, let's say 4 games of their choice every months, for 3 days each, unallowing to try again those you already tried ?

    As a customer, the concept is incredible.
    It allows you to buy games you actually likes instead of games that looks good on the trailer, but become disapointing after a few hours.
    On the other hand, it would probably need a DRM client, to check games you already tried.
  8. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
  9. BigBoss

    BigBoss Your Local Scrub

    Dec 24, 2012
    Read my signature, Message from OG Black Isle to Bethesda. This in reality, is an Esham lyric from his song "I Don't Owe You Shit". I adapted it to the said matter.
  10. fred2

    fred2 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 2, 2013
    Huh?! What I said is that the gaming industry work just like every other industry and that overall it is currently in very good place, the economical crisis passed we have online distribution and crowdfunding, which made place for small medium developers by allowing alternative means of funding and access to previously untapped niche markets. With many "pc genres" coming back to life.

    Who said that it couldn't? put your money where you mouth is, but do me a favor and keep the rants about capitalism consumerism and whatever not specific to game industry to an appropriate thread, same goes about whining about the quality of popular games its as annoying as rant against Justine biver or whatever is the new sh** is.

    With that said, even though I have crowdfonded several games through kickstarter, I find the process exactly as the service name implied a kick starter, not as a sustainable model. Because from a consumer stand point, crow funding is the worst kind of scheme that the industry came up with.

    Hey with kickstarter, you don't even get that, you invest years a head paying extra for shovelware, some people even donate extra money.
  11. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Didn't we covered this ?
    Sorry if i misunderstood you when i felt you took capitalism as the right model for granted.
    (you are free to prefer it, but there are fair concerns and alternatives that shouldn't be forgotten)

    About Kickstarter, i picked it as one of the alternatives, but i don't think it is perfect either.
    The way i see it, it helps new comers to make their first projects, or well known devellopers to prove that the genre they propose is hugely wanted.
    Also, it could help some creators to come up with unexpected genre/gameplay/setting that wouldn't seem viable on paper, but that could show great results if done well.
    But i wouldn't feel comfortable with develloppers having gained enough ressources to make they own games, to still occupy the ground that could be usefull for newcomers.
    About what you know and not know before, it is another matter.
    The thing is, if the kickstarter project wants your money, they will have to convince you, by being as much as complete as possible in explaining the things they are planning, so you would be more comfortable to invest in it in advance. It shouldn't be something would give a chance, but something you really want. I wouldn't invest much time and money in advance if their explanation are not enough convincing.
    Another thing to consider is that the kickstarter projects creators should be accountable if they fail to deliver.
    If the delivery is underwhelming, well, they won't catch you twice...
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  12. fred2

    fred2 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 2, 2013
    That pretty much why I invested, to kickstart some mid sized devlopers into the market that was eroded over the years, but then again I don't see this a sustainable model, to me this is nothing but a worst case of long term of Pre-order.

    Bullsh**. It is same Hype machine that the big publishers employ, only here the selling pitch was "Good ol' Games" and "rage against the Publisher" for the "repressed <strike>white male</strike> gamer". Take Wasteland2 for example, the majority of people who pledged knew nothing about Wasteland and pledging because they assumed that it would be the "real" fallout 3 i.e. take that Bethesda *put on hypster glasses*.

    Like I said the great thing about kickstarter that is for hardcore fans is what Vegas casinos are for gambler, selling the feelling that they belong and contribute, getting shovelware and cult recognition in return only they care about. It's perfect and something that the Publishers can't cash. Which is why if I was publisher I'd never finance neither W2, eternity nor torment, because there is no way people would say "shut up and take my money" this way with EA, even donate extra money(like the obsidian order badges) but as a developer I'd be praising the upfront salary and job security every single day. While for us it is pay way up front as oppose to pay upon delivery with refund option. Nothing new under the sun.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014