15 hours left
$3500 more needed or the project gets NOTHING.
Now is your chance to play the newly updated public demo where you can see my animation work. You can make a real difference in whether this game gets funded or not with just a few bucks or even just by telling your friends! And there’s pretty cool stuff in the rewards, too.
So I’ve been following every bit of news about these consoles and here’s the opinion I have formed of the XB1.
- Required internet connection - Almost an entirely anti-consumer practice. It has the potential to reduce costs for MS and developers (at the expense of Gamestop/ebay users) by furthering digital distribution, ending at a Steam-like cost for full games. However, just look at the ridiculous prices MS charges for full game digital downloads on the 360 right now. The chance of that sweet XB1 digital distribution money seeing its way to benefit consumers is essentially zero. Despite being such a clear anti-consumer move, I do feel that it’s not that big a deal for the majority of people. People will adapt and the requirement will be a minor inconvenience.
- No used games - Same as above, more money for developers at the expense of Gamestop/ebay users. Difference here is that some developers actually will lower prices when their income increases. But for budget-minded console gamers like myself, the net result will still almost certainly be a higher cost per game. I think my average purchase price for AAA 360 games is somewhere around $30, and there’s no way that will happen on the XB1.
- Built-in Kinect - MS has every right to push its hardware by leveraging its console’s (potential) install base. Sony did something similar with Blu-ray and that worked out for them. But just like Blu-ray, this has no benefit for the consumer. If enough people buy XB1’s, and If developers figure out how to make decent games with it, and If those are the kind of games you personally will actually want to play, only then will the Kinect have any value for you. The fact that so many people will be forced to buy one now is just MS’s way of getting an amount of early adopters for the product that greatly outweighs its actual consumer appeal. Maybe you think those three ifs will come true and it’s worth it. But keep in mind that MS is a business and if the benefit of those 3 ifs is 100x the investment they put in, the chance of those 3 ifs happening could be 10% and MS would still happily be going for this plan. That 10% chance means something very different for the consumer and most consumers wouldn’t take that chance if given the choice.
Journey to the dark heart of the Edgewood Home for Lost Children in this fiendishly difficult action RPG!
Our Darker Purpose is a game I’ve been doing animation work for. It’s a cool little project that’s really coming together and will definitely be worth playing when it’s done. The team is hoping to get some help via Kickstarter, offering some nice incentives to help reach a rather modest goal.
Street Fighter X Mega Man!
Huh? Okay! This surprise Capcom crossover releases as a free PC download on December 17. Instead of fighting eight Robot Masters, Mega Man takes on eight Street Fighters this time, gaining their powers with each victory.
This is all very weird! Maybe it’s awesome too? We can all agree, though, that it’s a thing with Mega Man. And it looks a lot better than a lot of the other Mega Man stuff Capcom has released lately.
I don’t like to reblog, but this is too awesome not to show off right away.
Goodbye to a childhood friend.
You’ve probably heard about this thing. $100 home game console meant to run games similar to those you’d find on mobile devices, and actually using Android to do it. It has absolutely destroyed its Kickstarter goal, tripling the $1 million the company wanted by day 2 of 30.
I don’t get it.
More than enough has been written about the console wars and who won and why, but I generally see it as revolving around two factors, price and games. This thing has the price thing down. It is going to fail because of the games.
The first line of games will almost certainly be ports from mobile devices. They’ll be already available in portable form and most consumer purchases will likely have already gone and then continue to still go to the portable versions. The company likely won’t have the funding for any decent first party games. So you’re left playing angry birds with a controller.
What the company’s banking on is therefore intrepid indie developers. Basement coders pumping out some indie gold designed to work on the TV. It’s happened before, XBLIG has seen some success stories, but it’s nothing I would put my hopes in. Any smart developer making a game for an Android-based console would likely simultaneously develop it for mobile devices. That’s a major loss of exclusivity.
The most impactful issue is that AAA games won’t be able to run on the system’s reduced horsepower. Say what you will about changing media, but people want to play the prettiest thing out on the market, so that’s where the money is.
How am I not in this video game!?
The NYU Game Center is doing what I consider to be a dick move. They’ve got this exhibition coming up where they examine games so bad that they’re good, like B movies. Listed among hilariously bad games like Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is GoldenEye 007. That’s N64 multiplayer classic GoldenEye 007, not even the new one. You can make a lot of arguments that GoldenEye isn’t as great as it’s hyped, or remembered to be, or that it could have done with certain improvement, but it is nowhere near the ranks of these other games. It’s inclusion is a clear troll tactic in order for them to get picked up by angry (or pandering) game bloggers for some free publicity. Fuck that. You don’t pull shit like that if you want to be taken seriously, which the Game Center generally does. Kotaku already fell for their ploy, and I guess I did, too, but at least I’m calling them out on it.
Now look at this weird situation: Dark Reign is an RTS from 1997 who’s IP hasn’t seen any action in over a decade. Now there’s a remake of the game being released by Activision on browsers (via Silverlight) and Xbox Indie Games.
Activision the indie publisher? Not so much, it turns out. Activision is licensing the IP to developer/publisher Magnetar who do actually fit the indie classification. Apparently Magnetar built a prototype and then (with the help of the original devs' CEO) convinced the big publisher let them go ahead with it. I can't imagine any reason why Magnetar would go after such a project unless they were immense fans of the original game.
While it doesn’t fit exactly, this example is fairly close to an officially sanctioned and published fan game. I would love to see more things like this in the industry.
I hate Zynga and every game of theirs I have tried. I hate being nickle and dimed. But I don’t hate the concept of Free-to-play games the way a lot of people do.
One of the main complaints about F2P online games is that they sell power. Players who pony up the cash become instant superpowers that a nonpaying player has no chance against. That’s an exaggerated description, but definitely an unpleasing concept. Another complaint is that so much effort is going into finding ways to get you to spend money that the overall game suffers. Also a crappy scenario.
But do I really need to remind people that someone’s out to screw you out of your money no matter which way you look? Tradition subscription business models for online games thrive on artificially prolonging the gaming experience in order to keep your subscription active. They also force you to play group scenarios in order for you to interact with other players, build bonds with them, and then you have to keep paying in order to be allowed to interact with these new “friends” of yours.
The traditional business model isn’t any better. There are so many types of shovelware out there. Gamer communities have simply developed a taste and way of identifying such crap at a moment’s glance. The F2P market is relatively new and eventually such second-nature refinement will come to all of us. Dismissing the idea now is just dumb.
In short, there are sucky forms of every concept. Find, and play, the good ones.
Fun fact: Image is originally from my defunct gaming comic.