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In the New Age of Game Development, Gamers Have More Power Than Ever

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the become-the-squeakiest-wheel-for-only-$250 dept.

PC Games (Games) 101

Velcroman1 writes: "In the olden times before high-speed Internet, the game you purchased on day one was what you were still playing months later. Now we live in an era of day-one patches, hotfixes, balance updates, and more. Diablo III, for example, is unrecognizable today compared to the state it was in when it launched back in 2012. Nowadays, savvy gamers go in expecting their experience to change over time — to improve over time. Today, 'Early Access' is both an acknowledgment of the dangers of early adoption (no one likes to be a guinea pig, after all) and an opportunity for enthusiastic consumers to have a say in how the product they've purchased will take shape. In this article, Adam Rosenberg talks with Michael McMain, CEO and founder of Xaviant, and creative director on the indie studio's first project — Lichdom: Battlemage, which embraces the concept like never before."

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Bullshit (5, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 6 months ago | (#46995715)

We lost the ability to mod a lot of games because of stupid DRM controls and lock-down.

We had power when we could come up with something like Desert Combat mod, or there were tens of thousands of downloadable mods to turn the base game into really incredible things. There are some games like that still, like Minecraft, but for the most part, that is no longer true.

Re:Bullshit (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 6 months ago | (#46995889)

amen

so much lost, so little value gained

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about 6 months ago | (#46995973)

Well steam is DRM, but you can and are able to mod many of the games there without a problem. The problem though isn't so much the DRM in cases, it's the publishers/parent company throwing a hissy fit.

Re:Bullshit (1, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46996031)

It's not really that, either. It's that modding modern games is simply more difficult, because the games are more complex. Sure, a company can spend the time and effort to produce good mod tools, but that's not necessarily a good business decision. It's a major selling point for certain franchises, but not every game is going to develop a big modding community. Would Company of Heroes 2 have sold better if it had better modding support? Or would that just have been wasted money by the developer?

Re:Bullshit (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#46996231)

The mod tools usually were whatever the developers used to make the assets released under a free to use license that prevented you from selling what you made with them. There's little 'development' involved other than zipping them up and putting them on an ftp. Same thing with mod sdks.

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46996571)

If a tool is for internal use only, it can have a messy UI. It can involve half a dozen different programs that must be used in a particular order. It can have crap documentation, relying on the developers' tribal knowledge. If you were to just "zip them up and putting them on an ftp", your community would turn on you in a heartbeat, declare that you don't care about supporting your game, and that this justifies pirating it. They'll spam every review site they can find with the worst scores that the site will accept. They'll spam your message boards with abuse, and drive away other customers.

I've seen gamer communities fly into a rage over much less. If you're going to publish mod tools, you need to actually do it right.

Re:Bullshit (2)

BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) | about 6 months ago | (#46997865)

Between not having any tools and having sloppy tools, I'd much rather have the latter. In fact, I've scarcely seen official modding tools for games that weren't sloppy in a number of ways.

What a dumb reason to not release tools.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46999267)

I haven't used modding/mapping tools in a long time, and I'm going to show my age with this comment, but... I remember BUILD for Duke3D. It had a crappy UI, it crashed all the time, documentation wasn't that good, but they released it anyway, for those of us who were willing to put up with the pain to make a level. It was there if we wanted it, caveats and bugs and all. They could have used any number of aesthetic excuses to not release it, but they figured a butt-ugly level editor was better than nothing at all. You know what happened? Lots of people managed to make some really amazing levels with that crappy software. For as much as it crashed, and for as much as we bitched, we were still able to create art that wouldn't have otherwise existed.

I say that releasing mod tools is worth it no matter how ugly they are. We will manage to adapt, we always do. If you've got the time to polish things up and smooth out the rough edges, that would be a highly appreciated bonus and probably strengthen the mod community for your particular game even further, but I still don't think many of us are going to look a gift horse in the mouth if the tools are released in any condition, good or bad.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46999897)

Clearly written by someone who never touched modding. There's no evidence that releasing bad modding tools results in bad reviews.

Re:Bullshit (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46998215)

If you spent $200 million to develop a game, would YOU want to release all your development tools to the public so that they could give away the kind of content that you wanted to sell as DLC for free?

Increasing development costs, kids. It's what's really driving the industry today. Ever wonder why your favorite franchise decided to drop single-player for an MMO monthly-charge model? Development costs. Why are they nickel-and-diming us on everything from horse armour to day-one DLC? Development costs. Why are they suddenly cracking down so hard on piracy? Development costs. Why are they dumbing our favorite game down to appeal to the mass market? Development costs.

Developing a triple-A title these days is a whole other ballgame than it was just 15 years ago. Just look at the end credits of a typical big title these days. What used to be a team of maybe a dozen people has become an army of HUNDREDS of people. Shit, a triple-A title today will spend more on voice actors alone than the entire budget of a game like Duke Nuke'em 3D back in the day. Add in marketing, porting costs, continuing patches, etc. and you can easily get into the hundreds of millions of $ for even a relatively small title.

Re:Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about 6 months ago | (#46996239)

It's that modding modern games is simply more difficult, because the games are more complex. Sure, a company can spend the time and effort to produce good mod tools, but that's not necessarily a good business decision.

Really? Odd that modding in skyrim isn't really all that more difficult, or even complex. Or Dragon Age: Origins, how about xcom? New Vegas/FO3? Dark Souls, or NWN/2? The witcher games? Come on, it's not a franchise selling issue it's a laziness issue. And would have CoH2 sold better if it had modding support? Well...yes. Generally games that have open support for modding, have a longer shelf-life, and make more money in the long run especially games that milk the DLC train. A more recent example would be Saints Row 3/4 right? There's no steam workshop support, but there are tools, mods and no shortage of goodies. With developers answering questions on items, much like with the REDkit, and back before Bioware was bought by EA, you could find the developers doing the same. Notice that one? No mod support for their games since EA came along...

Re:Bullshit (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46996475)

Did you even bother to read what you quoted?

Sure, a company can spend the time and effort to produce good mod tools, but that's not necessarily a good business decision.

Read that a few more times, to be sure it sinks in.

Skyrim? Good mod tools.
DA:O? Good mod tools.
XCom? Good mod tools.
Fallout? Good mod tools.
Dark Souls? You've gotta be fucking kidding me, there are no real mods for that game. Just a borderline essential fix to boost the resolution, and some texture replacements.

Every good example you gave had mod tools released by the developers. Those aren't free to make, ya know. The time and money spent developing those could go towards making a better game. You call it a "laziness issue", but that's absurd. Have you ever worked a real job? I guarantee you, the developers worked their fucking asses off to get those games out the door. If they didn't have mod tools, it's not because they were lazy, it's because they had finite resources, and decided those resources were better spent elsewhere.

Re:Bullshit (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 6 months ago | (#46996591)

Oh look you're throwing a hissy fit. Well that's fine. Let's see, doing a quick search I can see 500+ mods for dark souls alone. And while that's not anything on say skyrim(50k+ mods), that's beside the point. As a useful tip: Those "mod tools" are the same "development tools" that were used to create the game. It's only in very rare cases such as ME/DA2/etc where people make their own tools. Or much like when I was younger and we had to make our own tools for 2da files.

As for those tools being "free" well actually they are. And worked at a real job? How nice of you to go back to insults, and if a game doesn't have mod tools it's because of laziness, or because the publisher doesn't want them to do it. See DA2.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996921)

The time and money spent developing those could go towards making a better game.

I can't speak for all the games on your list, but for TES/FO... No, no it couldn't.

Bro, do you even Bethesda?

The pittance of time/money spent on maintaining (at this point) TECS and GECK wouldn't fix even a quarter of the abandoned features, broken quests, wonky glitches, et cetera.

It's Bethesda. You can't spell Bethesda without beta. And we love them for it.

Re:Bullshit (0)

geminidomino (614729) | about 6 months ago | (#46998695)

Especially when the community then takes those tools and DOES fix [nexusmods.com] those problems [nexusmods.com]

Of course, they had to go Steam DRM, even on the CDs, so screw 'em now.

Re:Bullshit (2)

NickFortune (613926) | about 6 months ago | (#46997679)

Every good example you gave had mod tools released by the developers. Those aren't free to make, ya know.

True, but not always relevant.

You have to take into account that some of these tools, Skyrim's Creation Kit for example, are used in house by the developers to create the game in the first place. So while they do have a development cost, that cost is part of the cost of developing the game. By the time the tools are released to modders, they don't owe the developers a penny, nor is there any particular saving in keeping them in-house.

The cost of releasing the tools to modders is still non-zero, of course. In the case of Skyrim, Bethesda had to remove integration with Perforce and with the Havok SDK (the name of which escapes me) before they could legally release the CK. But that's just a fraction of any costs incurred in developing the tools.

Now if you're talking about a company that uses one toolset in-house and develops a separate tool for the modders, in that case you'd have a much stronger point. But but it doesn't apply to Skyrim, Fallout 3 or the other Bethesda/Obsidian games.

Re:Bullshit (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 6 months ago | (#46998949)

I was just going to mention Skyrim; the modding community for that game is absolutely huge. Damn near everything for that game can be modified

Re:Bullshit (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#47003157)

Many of these game franchises were moddable before "high speed internet" as well. Often they were moddable by accident, or as a last minute addition of an editor on the CD. Skyrim isn't new in this since the previous 3 elder scrolls games were moddable.

Re:Bullshit (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#46996505)

It's not really that, either. It's that modding modern games is simply more difficult, because the games are more complex.

Yes and no. Mostly no unless the developer was shit.

I've been dabbling in modding since Half Life 1. In a lot of old games you used to have to look through hex trying to find the right code, this took a metric crapload of guesswork. A lot of modern games can simply write a lot of it in XML, eliminating the guesswork about how to change things.

However the biggest problem for any modder is to find out the developer decided (or was told to) do things the quick and nasty way. This normally means hardcoding something which is an utter PITA to change if it can even be changed at all.

XML modding is really quite easy, This allows people to radically change the way games are played or add new art assets. Same with the old .ini files.

Re:Bullshit (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46997387)

By modding you are STEALING from them by offering DLC for Free and that is unamerican.

Re:Bullshit (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#46996447)

Well steam is DRM, but you can and are able to mod many of the games there without a problem. The problem though isn't so much the DRM in cases, it's the publishers/parent company throwing a hissy fit.

Also, the tools to mod games are not readily available. Some publishers provide excellent mod tools (Civ V was a really crap game but Firaxis has been pretty good with mod support) but most dont because they simply cant care less after the game has been sold. Time to move onto Call of Halo 126 slated for release six months after number 125.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46998741)

Ah, yes. The old "Steam is DRM" crap again. There are different types of DRM. And, yes, Steam falls in with one of those types. But it's not the type that everyone hates.

Type 1: DRM that requires you to identify yourself. This is done by an account login. The restrictions (the "R" in DRM) are tied to your account. Anyone that logs in with your account gets access to your stuff, wherever they may be. See also: every site that ever sold you anything that you can download. This kind of DRM is actually quite handy, since it gives the usually overprotective sellers a bit of a safety net (they know who you are) in return for them being less overprotective of their "precious IP".

Type 2: DRM that breaks things and makes you want to kill the media robber barons until they're dead. This is done by making sure you can't ever actually use what you've paid for, because you might steal it. This is the bad DRM because you don't actually get what you pay for. Instead, you get a broken, unusable piece of shit that you can't get a refund for, and if you dare work around how badly it's been broken, suddenly you're a criminal. This is the kind of DRM that you should never put up with. Ever. Have no mercy on these schemes or their schemers. Destroy them by every means possible.

Re: Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996143)

We lost the ability to mod a lot of games because of stupid DRM controls and lock-down.

You lost the ability to mod a lot of games because that feature is not provided. If a publisher wanted you to be able to mod a game it would happen. It has fuck-all to do with DRM.

LOLWUT? (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 6 months ago | (#46996247)

I've yet to see any DRM that prevents content mods. There are some games that aren't very moddable, their files are all binary and they don't release any tools and such, but I've yet to see one with DRM that stopped mods. The ones that are moddable, well they are more so than ever. Have a look at the Skyrim mods sometime. Even the ones that aren't moddable per se can usually be modded. The new Xcom is a good example. It has no mod tools, and wasn't designed with modding in mind, much like the original Xcom. However enterprising modders have figured out how to bust in to various files and mod the game. Not nearly to the extent as a game with tools, but there was nothing stopping them. The game doesn't have some DRM locking them out.

Moddability has been increasing. For one, there's more interest in it, what with the internet to distribute mods. Also there's the fact that increased CPU power allows for more user accessible files. The original Civ was hard to mod, since everything was binary. You needed to do that for efficiency. Civ 4 and 5 use scripting languages, XML, and SQL for most of their stuff, with only the engine and AI core being in C++, since it takes so little time for a modern computer to parse all that. Finally there's channels to integrate modding in to your game like Steam Workshop, that make it much easier for developers to integrate, and easier for modders to distribute.

Re:LOLWUT? (2)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 6 months ago | (#46996367)

SimCity 2014. Early Modding and get banned. All possible due to Always Online DRM.

Re:LOLWUT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996617)

And that was what happens when you let Republicans make games. EA said every single major decision was made by one of those CONservatives. You can tell it because the game was so horrific. The programming was excellent since they weren't able to find any programmers that were also gun owners. They wanted violent people to make a SimCity game. That is how out of touch Republicans are. Considering Rmoney's comments last September about the game, they still don't get it.

Re:LOLWUT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996655)

> find any programmers that were also gun owners.

That isn't quite true. On the AMA on reddit, one of them admitted that they worked with someone that owned one of those things. That person needs to be in prison for that. Their kind has made this country so unsafe that we can no longer go out at night. The Republicans have ruined this country.

PS: LOL at the CAPTCHA. It is brothel which is something Republicans love since they hate women so much.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996259)

Agreed:

1: No cheat codes anymore.

2: No modifying games. I learned a lot by screwing around with game files. Do this now, and all the anti-hack utilities will hand you a ban in seconds, then the DRM utilities will ensure the game won't run.

3: Used to be, you paid $40-60, got a game, manual,box, etc. Now, you pay that much, then have to download another $100 of DLC in order to actually do much other than play an expensive demo. This is mainly consoles, but it affects PCs too.

4: Games are not supported long. The initial release is really an early beta, which gets patched to a late beta, then support ends.

5: Open-ended games with long tails like NWN are not profitable in the next quarter, so are not made.

6: Again, only games that have an immediate profit are made. Another Madden. Another FIFA. Another Call of Duty. If it isn't a FPS, sports game, or another cookie-cutter item, it won't get done.

7: Again, games are programmed like shit. The lowest-tier offshore dev houses are the mainstay of game programming. From what I've seen, code quality is just shameful across the board, except for Blizzard.

8: Games that pushed the envelope, like Origin's "interactive movies" are just not made anymore. Not much, if any, new IP is coming this way.

9: Playability/replayability has gone to shit. Baldur's Gate 1-2 could give hundreds of hours of playing. Most games might give 8-20 hours before needing tossed.

10: What comes with a physical box is laughable. Infocom had their "feelies". Origin had a random item or two. Even Neverwinter Nights came with two rings. A new game may have a DVD, a paper with a CD key, and maybe a 1 page guide.

11: DRM. I have paid for games (just for kicks, I bought Avatar for a game on Steam back in 2010.) Can't use it after the first install, so even though it was a couple bucks on a Steam sale, it is money wasted.

All and all, the gaming industry has been completely useless. I really hope for a crash like 1983, just so the industry will move in some direction other than moldy stagnation.

Re: Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996811)

I paid 4â for Borderlands 2. And the available content lasted "only" 90h. True, there are DLCs out there that I may want to buy. But calling it a demo is rather unfair.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996495)

Getting access to a real game engine (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc) is a lot easier now though. So you're not limited by modding (which is still very possible with many engines, like the Source engine).

Re:Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996843)

Blame the cheaters.

It's one thing if a game is single player, mod and cheat at it all you want, the company already made it's money. But when DLC, and "Freemium" came to single player games, that had to be locked down. Because modding meant you could just give yourself all the freemium content.

Multiplayer is another animal and should never have been "mod capable", damn near every MMORPG has some built-in macro'ing but most of the cheating kids modify the game engine or failing that, the game assets.

But you know what, games wouldn't suck so much if we moved away from the single-threaded "prefork" model that half of Unix-land still embraces for some boneheaded reason. Games are constrained by the single-threaded nature of the rendering pipeline, and that can largely be blamed on having to support DirectX9/WindowsXP. Console games don't have this constraint but are still screwed because they are often weaker than a comparably priced PC with the same graphics performance.

Every time I see someone tout a game written in JAVA, JAVASCRIPT, PYTHON, or some other misguided JIT interpreter, there's 100 more of them that only use OOP programming as a matter of convenience and rely explicitly on the garbage collection of constructing and destruction of the objects. Damn near everything could be written in straight C and run faster, but would be buggy as hell because nobody seems to know how to initialize memory.

Private multiplayer modding ethics (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46998411)

It's one thing if a game is single player, mod and cheat at it all you want [...] Multiplayer is another animal and should never have been "mod capable"

I don't see what's wrong with modding a multiplayer game if all players are on the same box (USB gamepads+large monitor), or if all players in a LAN or online match agree to install the same mod. With respect to modding ethics, this sort of private multiplayer resembles single player far more than it does pickup multiplayer or MMO. Yet some pundits don't realize this and assume multiplayer must be public, and gamers end up losing modding support for private matches, or even the ability to make private matches in the first place.

Re:Private multiplayer modding ethics (2)

geirlk (171706) | about 6 months ago | (#47008097)

I've downloaded 33,6GB with extra campaigns and maps for Left 4 Dead 2. It has expanded the replayability of L4D2 tremendously. Fairly recently (considering the game is over 4 years old) it also got Steam workshop support now. So modded weapons, sounds, models, textures etc. is available quick and easy. Now I've reached some 240 hours in it, and still going strong.

It support online play through official servers, best available unofficial, local server and LAN.

Running your own server also means being able to tweak other variables (gravity, firendly fire etc.), and server side mods.

And even in vs. matches, there are seldom cheating. And should you experience it anyway, the voting system makes it easy to get rid of d-bags.

This is the kind of modding support I've come to expect from a good game. Some developers get this.

Re:Private multiplayer modding ethics (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#47008217)

It has expanded the replayability of L4D2 tremendously.

But did the publisher get remunerated for this replayability? A lot of publishers would rather have players spend money on paid DLC and new games from the same publisher.

And should you experience it anyway, the voting system makes it easy to get rid of d-bags.

How does voting off cheaters work in a one-on-one match? And how can you be sure that a legitimately skilled player won't get voted off?

Re:Private multiplayer modding ethics (1)

geirlk (171706) | about 6 months ago | (#47011229)

But did the publisher get remunerated for this replayability? A lot of publishers would rather have players spend money on paid DLC and new games from the same publisher.

This Publisher (Valve) in particular are a bit special. They dropped several DLC's as updates to the game, and not charging for them. They've also made available mod tools and dedicated server binaries etc. How far this goes to remunerating them fully for development etc., you have to ask Gabe about I guess.

Certainly a lot of publishers would rather have players spend a lot of money. That's not exactly a good thing though. Have a gander at eg. EA: BF4 standard costs 499NOK + 4 DLC's @ 129NOK a pop = 1015NOK, or $170. That is a horrible price. At the same time they've removed all possibilities of hosting your own servers, now you have to rent them for official hosting firms. Even the biggest Battefield community in Norway weren't allowed to host their own. And most gamers would agree BF4 is more or less BF3,5; too few news to warrant a new edition so close to the previous release. So in reality, we're talking 2x$170 + rental for clans own server since BF3's release. That amounts to a metric shit ton of money for EA, while my wallet bleeds.

Point is; as long as a publisher has released a game, and release dedicated servers and modding support, they can let the game loose to gamers, and let them "take over", without losing money (not earning money != losing money).

How does voting off cheaters work in a one-on-one match? And how can you be sure that a legitimately skilled player won't get voted off?

First off, I'm not saying voting would be ideal in all games. But in smaller mp games like eg. l4d2, and with no ranking system in place, voting can work very well. One-on-One and voting is a mute point as in that case you quit the match instead. But voting off one griefer from a match with more than two players, instead of having to quit the match to lose the a-hole is a better option. Sometimes genuinely skilled players gets the boot from various servers, that is true, but I have seldom experienced it. But griefers, trolls, cheaters, major a-holes and rascist/sexist fuckwits are booted out quite often.

Atleast as long as the legitimately skilled player is playing on ranked servers with punkbuster, and repeatedly kicked out and reported to PB, he will eventually be banned on eg. BF4 servers, and might even lose his entire EA account with _all_ games. That doesn't happen in L4D2 :)

The cheater gets a win (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#47011465)

not earning money != losing money

Not earning money is an opportunity cost [wikipedia.org] . When compared to other things that a company could be doing with its resources, not earning money is losing money.

First off, I'm not saying voting would be ideal in all games.

I understand. I'm just trying to find counterpoints to the talking points that console fanboys have used against the promotion of PC gaming [pineight.com] . They try to spin the lack of mods as an advantage.

One-on-One and voting is a mute point as in that case you quit the match instead.

I've played one-on-one games on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection against Tetris DS players who used Action Replay to, say, get all I pieces. If you disconnect in a one-on-one stranger match, you get a loss on your record, and the cheater gets a win. In Mario Kart DS, on the other hand, I didn't see quite as much cheating, but I saw plenty of people complaining about snaking [neogaf.com] , a novel use of the game's drift mechanic to gain speed on straightaways.

Re:The cheater gets a win (1)

geirlk (171706) | about 6 months ago | (#47016071)

not earning money != losing money

Not earning money is an opportunity cost [wikipedia.org]. When compared to other things that a company could be doing with its resources, not earning money is losing money.

There has to be a balance between bankruptcy and greed. There should also always be a balance between production cost and price to consumers. And just because one has a monopoly on a service/product, doesn't mean one has to rob the consumer blind. So as long as they do earn money, and the product is priced fair, all is well.

First off, I'm not saying voting would be ideal in all games.

I understand. I'm just trying to find counterpoints to the talking points that console fanboys have used against the promotion of PC gaming [pineight.com]. They try to spin the lack of mods as an advantage.

Well, console peasants would do that =) I love how that article is strewn with liberal political quotes. The points made reminds me of GOP talking points; like why paying out your ass for medical help is soooo much better than "socialist welfare".

One-on-One and voting is a mute point as in that case you quit the match instead.

I've played one-on-one games on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection against Tetris DS players who used Action Replay to, say, get all I pieces. If you disconnect in a one-on-one stranger match, you get a loss on your record, and the cheater gets a win. In Mario Kart DS, on the other hand, I didn't see quite as much cheating, but I saw plenty of people complaining about snaking [neogaf.com], a novel use of the game's drift mechanic to gain speed on straightaways.

I can see how that would be irritating. Personally, I'm not a very competitive person, so losing doesn't bother me half as much as it should. I can sum up why I play a lot less MP today than say 10 years ago; Griefers, trolls, cheaters and obnoxious assholes. But still, different games draw different crowds. I haven't heard much insults etc. in ArmA 3, atleast compared to CoD.

These days I prefer a good coop game together with friends over the more individualistic MP games. I get much more out of having a good squad cohesion in eg. BF3, than actually winning the match, or be the best player etc.

Re:Bullshit (1)

NaughtyNimitz (763264) | about 6 months ago | (#46997079)

As an Arma-fan , i am very happy this game is modifiable. Just look at the DayZ-mod or the Life -mod. (I prefer to play with Blastcore, JRSM soundmod and Shacktac HUD for example)

There are still some A-list game developers like Bohemian Interactive that love their customers.

Re:Bullshit and Shameless Plug (1)

Draconi (38078) | about 6 months ago | (#46998185)

May I interest you in Shards Online: A Customizable Sandbox RPG? [kickstarter.com] :)

We felt the same way, and as former UO devs we wanted to create a fully playable MMO with all its systems that can be modded by anyone at anytime.

I never asked for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46995723)

My gamer peers and I never asked for:

- dumbing down of game design elements (level design, gameplay, mechanics, dialog, storywriting, character development, etc etc etc etc)
- massive increase in retail cost
- changing business model such that we are renting the game rather than buying our own licenses to play the game
- DLC
- hamfisted execution of social justice ideals (how long before my game punishes me for selecting 'male' at chargen?)

Re: I never asked for this (2)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 6 months ago | (#46995923)

Actually, they did... Maybe not you, but there are plenty of people who clamoured for "easier" titles, and simultaneously for replay-ability. Easier was accomplished through hand holding (ala "Press Y now or you will die", whoops, you died, let's rewind 15 seconds to the cutscene. And news was, the first of those games sold AMAZINGLY well. And when you are stuck with a fully scripted game, the only way to make replay ability without feeling stale is through adding content. And who wants to write that content test it, and distribute it freely?

Re: I never asked for this (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#46996269)

1. Dumbing things down just breeds better idiots who will then require even more dumbing down. Offering challenge above and beyond the players current ability is what grants the opportunity for improvement. You don't learn how to play by sticking with "I'm too young to die" mode.
2. we won't know who might want to as long as they refuse to release the tools required.

Maybe gaming has become a victim of the race to the bottom. It's too bad, because I remember a vibrant modding community across many titles: mapping competitions, whole communities surrounding specific mods, LAN events and the like. Now it's all feed-it-to-me-through-a-needle.

Re: I never asked for this (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46996523)

1. Dumbing things down just breeds better idiots who will then require even more dumbing down. Offering challenge above and beyond the players current ability is what grants the opportunity for improvement. You don't learn how to play by sticking with "I'm too young to die" mode.

How dare those people enjoy different things!?

Did you ever think, maybe some people don't care about honing a useless skill, and are just looking for some light entertainment?

It's not like hard games no longer exist. New ones are being made all the time. The casual market has been booming, so as a percentage, hardcore gaming is down, but why get upset over that?

Hollywood pushes out mindless crap like the Avengers, but that doesn't mean quality films no longer exist. The TV is full of reality shit, but there are still good programs to be found. Trashy romance novels make up a sizeable portion of book sales, but you can still find fantastic literature being written every year.

Stop dwelling on the fact that things you like aren't the most popular things. Unless the thing you like best is being angry, in which case, don't let me stop you.

Exposure; platform gatekeepers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46998487)

Stop dwelling on the fact that things you like aren't the most popular things.

The complaint is that influential publishers want only "the most popular things". This means people get exposed to only "the most popular things", causing most people to become unaware that things other than "the most popular things" exist. That and the fact that school and office politics encourage people to become familiar with "the most popular things" in order to avoid becoming that guy [theonion.com] .

And these influential publishers end up influencing the policies of platform gatekeepers, which currently are Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Sure, it's possible to release a game without the approval of platform gatekeepers, but then it's likely to require hardware that most people don't have, such as a second PC to put in the living room or a MOGA clip-on gamepad.

Re: I never asked for this (1)

geirlk (171706) | about 6 months ago | (#47008201)

My issue is with the dumbing down of known and loved franchises.

Take an example: Anything Tom Clancy.

Rainbow 6? Died with Vegas and Vegas 2
Ghost Recon? Died with Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Third person, are you kidding!?

Those games are such radically different and dumbed down games that they bear little semblance to the original games but in name.

Re: I never asked for this (1)

felipou (2748041) | about 6 months ago | (#46997529)

That reminds me of this comic: http://sinfest.net/archive_pag... [sinfest.net]

Lots of people don't want to play. They want to win.

Re: I never asked for this (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46998233)

Would you rather play Space Ace? I dare you.

Now I also have to QA my games (1)

sinij (911942) | about 6 months ago | (#46995735)

Early Access is a scam, where they expect "the community" to do free testing for them.

Early "access", "free" to play, micro transactions, always-online, Day-1 DLC...

While I still enjoy gaming, they succeeding in making it less enjoyable.

-OR- You could just pay for what you want to get. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#46997127)

Early Access is a scam, where they expect "the community" to do free testing for them.

Well, I agree that Early Access is free testing, sometimes it's also "startup money". That's why I set the price very low initially, and grant a free copy and full DLC to those that do the testing work, raise the price and taper off benefits towards completion as it gets closer to being the full game and there's less testing work to be done overall. Some folk don't think it's worth it, other folks do. Some folks just want to see the game development as it progresses and enjoy being early adopters; They like giving feedback and having some influence on the way development progresses. Lots of the latter type of folks learn from the experience and go into gamedev themselves. I do try to provide benefits to compensate for the "free" testing, but some studios really do abuse their fans, fortunately that can have disastrous results.

Day-1 DLC...

I dislike gratuitous Day-1 DLC; Where devs who would have made the original release even better get pulled off head the DLC team, or when stuff is removed from the game expressly to turn it into DLC. However, sometimes it's not all bad. Sometimes that DLC is made by folks who are sitting around twiddling their thumbs after the release goes gold and no more changes can be made, but the release isn't scheduled for weeks or months (and they're not involved in pre-production of the next product -- better to not lay off the folks who just made the game you like, eh?). Lots of games' Day 1 DLC gets made and tested during that "down" time between gold and release. No game is ever "done". There is always something someone wanted to put in, but couldn't. Sometimes things that got cut to make the deadline become the Day-1 DLC. On disk DLC is pretty shitty though. If they had the time to make it, test it, put it on the disk, then it should be part of the game, or just leave it online as Day-1 DLC. The Day-1 DLC also "helps" to kill used game sales (or at least devalue them), which is stupid because most folks trade in used games to buy new releases, and 1st week sales are key. Protip: Rather than boycott a product it's just as effective to wait a few weeks after release before purchasing; Seriously, statistically its indistinguishable from not buying the game at all.

"free" to play, micro transactions, always-online,

"Free to play" (pay to win) is bullshit, but folks rarely will buy a mobile or PC game for a few bucks anymore. I've tried to go with the old school shareware "demo" + full version method, but that's shooting myself in the foot. It's a conflict of interest: I have to show you how cool the game is going to be... but that leaves the player satisfied with just the demo (they go play another demo, and another demo, and forget to ever buy the game... OUYA!) -- Or, I have to make the demo really crappy so you're left "wanting more", so then players have a bad experience and they don't buy the game. What used to work is just videos, screen-shots, maybe an article or two, some word of mouth from closed beta-testers, and a full version of the game to buy with a falling price gradient over time to hit each impulse buying price point. That gets interests piqued and curiosity drives sales. However, since the competition is now $0.99 or "free" to play, no one will just buy a $9.99 game anymore. They'll D/L the "free" game and spend $20 to $100 in "upgrades" and shit though, ugh. Pisses me off, and I don't do that on principal (monetization is not a game mechanic), but I suffer for the stance immensely (probably won't ever be able to quit my day-job), and can fully understand why "Pay To Win" is happening: It works.

Here's the thing: It's stupid to sell copies in the first place! That's artificial scarcity. Copies are in infinite supply and econ101 says they should be $0. What's scarce is the ability to create new works. What I'd love to do is just get paid to do work: Propose the idea and price, make the game, then give it away to everyone "for free" (since the work was paid for), just like I do in FLOSS or any other labor market. There's no real difference between working for a Publisher and working for the Community -- Except that the Publisher tries to monetize the output via artificial scarcity, draconian DRM, Online-pass, Zero-day DLC, etc, when instead working for the Community I'd get the same money and everyone could just have the output they paid for without all that artificial scarcity enforcement bullshit.

However, everyone has got this really weird and fucked-up idea of what Crowd Funding is supposed to mean. So, devs typically can't just ask for 100% of the money they actually need to get out of the game up front. Hardly any of those projects get funded (and the ones that do are usually small). That means devs have to guess how much they can get started with, then do the rest of the work for free (eating into existing capital and Ramen) and hope to recoup the costs on sales of artificially scarce 1's and 0's after release -- Either by making a deal with publishers, VC investors, bank loans, or hocking the kids' college funds, etc. The crowd funding method ensures folks don't waste time on bad ideas, but currently it generates just as much churn as working under a Publisher -- It's that whole "working for free" thing (gambling in the copyright futures market). If you miscalculate under a Publisher then your studio gets canned; If you miscalculate projected sales under "kickstarted" Crowd Funding, then your meals get canned (same difference).

While I still enjoy gaming, they succeeding in making it less enjoyable.

Yep, it's asinine, but it's mostly everyone's fault. Please stop paying for shenanigans! Unfortunately, everyone has bought into Brawndo Economics - It's got what markets crave!(tm): The gamedev's fucked up. Ah, consumers buy like a hag, and their shit's all retarded.

Re:-OR- You could just pay for what you want to ge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46997673)

Good example of free, early access and continuous game development based on user feedback:
Paraversume (http://paraversume.com/)

Re:-OR- You could just pay for what you want to ge (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46998493)

From your comment, it's pretty clear you're a game dev with an Early Access game on Steam. While I think it's definitely a good idea for SOME independent devs to be able to put up games on Early Access, it's definitely a very bad idea as a whole. Giving early adopters the game at a discount plus DLC is fine, there's really nothing wrong with that. However, I've seen PLENTY of abuse (I have 800-something games on Steam right now) of Early Access and of Greenlight.

Take, for instance, the game "Towns", which purported itself to be an RPG/medieval SimCity clone. It was actually one of the sparks for Valve to create Early Access. The game itself was Greenlit a few years ago, but when it was ultimately approved the game was still in alpha testing. Valve wouldn't allow the developer to release the game as an alpha (their requirement at the time was that a game had to be at least in beta to be approved for sale).. so the developer rushed a patch containing (to the best of my memory) a single bugfix and called it beta.

The game itself was one gigantic lie. The screenshots on the Steam Store page were made using a third-party mod that didn't even work with the version of the game that was released on Steam. It wasn't finished, had virtually no content, and was full of bugs that in many cases would stop the game from loading at all. The developers wiped any and all comments on their Steam forum about the game being unfinished or buggy, and insisted that the game was "good enough" to be a final build. They then went completely silent for something like six months, saying that some of their developers "needed a break" and they wouldn't be releasing a patch anytime soon.

Finally, over six months later, they released a single patch for the game that added a few features and fixed a handful of bugs. The developers then went silent again, until early this year when they announced that they were discontinuing development because one of the only programmers they had (who was also the game's lead financier) left to work on another game and took his money with him. The remaining developers did make some empty promises about "We'll look into getting people who purchased Towns a key for the new game" but they never did.

I was one of the people who bought Towns on the promise that it was a finished game. You can imagine why I distrust Early Access so much now. If there was something holding the developers to their word (ie; Valve permanently banning developers like the team behind Towns) it might be different, but that would be extremely difficult to implement.

Working Games (5, Funny)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46995783)

Ya, and far more of those games that we never patched did not need patches because they got enough QA to produce a stable playable product before launch.

Re:Working Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46995921)

Can you name ONE?

Re:Working Games (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 6 months ago | (#46996381)

Haven't purchased more than a couple games since Quake 4 but anything produced by Id up to 2005-6, so Commander Keen to Quake 4. I purchased Mechwarrior series up to mercenaries which didn't need patches. I don't remember having to patch Morrowind, Oblivion or Fallout 3. I didn't buy the next in the series because I heard it was DRM'd to all hell and was a pita to play on a PC. Turned out to be true. If I could name the number of sims from Micropose I bought, Pacific Air, B17, the Civs.

Re:Working Games (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#46996407)

Haven't purchased more than a couple games since Quake 4 but anything produced by Id up to 2005-6, so Commander Keen to Quake 4.

All of which received patches after release.

I don't remember having to patch Morrowind, Oblivion or Fallout 3.

You either never played them or are lying. Those games had to be patched to fix tons of bugs after release. Morrowind and Oblivion also had lots of patches for bugs from modders that Bethesda never fixed themselves.

In conclusion, your post is total BS.

Re:Working Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46997131)

Ya, and far more of those games that we never patched did not need patches because they got enough QA to produce a stable playable product before launch.

Haven't purchased more than a couple games since Quake 4 but anything produced by Id up to 2005-6, so Commander Keen to Quake 4.

All of which received patches after release.

"stable playable product" - you could buy the game, install it, play it and finish it without encountering major glitches. I'd add starcraft to that list - sure it was patched many times, but for balancing, not inoperability.

An example of one that doesn't fit that category: Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. In one level your objective is to run and jump into a boat. Maybe 1/20 times it worked. The rest of the time you either fell through the boat or the game crashed to the desktop. I believe there were several patches made post release that had to be applied before the game could be completed. Now that is horrible QA.

Re:Working Games (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#47003311)

Yes, but on PCs just about everyone got patches to the games. Not just the moddable games like Morrowind or Thief, but _every_ game had patches. Sure, most of the time you could complete it without a patch but you would often run into strange issues that could not be resolved at all (sometimes you could patch the saved game, but if you were on a console you were out of luck and had to restart). A lot of the game FAQs at the time would come with advice about how to get past problem areas.

The problem wasn't necessarily QA but that the games would always have a hard deadline that had to be met whether or not the game was finished. That deadline might mean when the game had to be given to the publisher to start making CDs and shipping the boxes. You would really notice this when the first patch would come out simultaneously with the game's official release date, because the devs kept working even after the discs were being pressed.

Re:Working Games (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 6 months ago | (#46997203)

I don't remember having to patch Morrowind, Oblivion or Fallout 3.

You either never played them or are lying. Those games had to be patched to fix tons of bugs after release. Morrowind and Oblivion also had lots of patches for bugs from modders that Bethesda never fixed themselves.

In conclusion, your post is total BS.

Well I have never played the PC versions of the above however I do have the PS3 version of Oblivion and I have not seen any patches for it and the game plays fine. The only complaints for the PS3 version of Oblivion is the character generator were everyone appears to be hit with the "Ugly Stick" :) and the fact that levelling up appears to be pointless since all the enemy does as well.

Re:Working Games (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#47003775)

A lot of the problems that could occur on the console would be if you played in an unexpected way, not following the traditional path. For a game like Oblivion that gave you an open world with freedom of choice this meant that a lot of players could run into serious troubles. There were definitely bugs that caused crashes, places where you could fall through the floors, etc. Bugs that only manifested if certain cells were in memory or in particular cases (if you had bound armor on while being put in jail then it would crash).

So the games were playable by most people. But there were definitely some players who would have show stopping bugs; as in they would have to reload to a much earlier saved game to continue safely (not truly show stopping but highly annoying to rewind by a day or more of play time). Enough bugs that people were very angry at Bethesda for low quality.

Re:Working Games (1)

qwak23 (1862090) | about 6 months ago | (#47006137)

Don't worry, the "Ugly Stick" is applicable to all platforms the game is on! ;)

Re:Working Games (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46997499)

You either never played them or are lying.

Double dichotomy. OP could have played the games without patching them. All of those games were playable without any major show-stopper bugs.

Re:Working Games (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 6 months ago | (#47014959)

What patches are you talking about? Outside of adding rocket arena to the quakes, I never made changes to any of them. I re-installed Morrowind and Oblivion just to make sure I hadn't gone senile. Both are playing fine. What patches were released for CK, the wolfs, the Dooms, and the Quakes that were necessary to be able to play them? I don't download much in the way of additional content. Are you saying "for bugs from modders" that the modders released patches so additional content worked? If not, tell me one place in any of those games that can not be completed or enjoyed without a patch.

Re:Working Games (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#46996091)

-+5 funny. Would laugh again.

Re:Working Games (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#46996187)

Nope. I buy games when the major glitches are fixed. Typically this is also when prices drop due to first adopters trading in, which also means secondhand market availability.

I don't mind buying new, just buying buggy. Now its fixed, but only available used. Publisher loses my money.

Works day 1? Don't believe it. Day 7? Maybe. But I don't buy until someone has a complete playthrough, and at least some ending variations are documented, meaning tested.

Sorry, game industry, you screwed yourself into a corner here.

Re:Working Games (2)

billy3 (1152353) | about 6 months ago | (#46999027)

I wouldn't be surprised if making games that require online patching is just a form of DRM.

Re:Working Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46997601)

Whoa whoa whoa.. are you saying 'Early Access' and 'early adopters' are just buzzwords to cover up insufficient testing and a 'good-enough-to-patch-later' attitude? That's a wild notion!

Re:Working Games (1)

billy3 (1152353) | about 6 months ago | (#46999083)

They're also known as post GA beta testers

Re: patching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46999497)

Ya, and far more of those games that we never patched did not need patches because they got enough QA to produce a stable playable product before launch.

I think you mean when you downloaded the cracked version from the BBS it already had hacker written patches injected into it.

Don't mind me, I'll just go away day dreaming about 6502 / 6510 op codes and search my closets for old cassette tapes [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Working Games (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#47003229)

Definitely games have been patchable since games first showed up on computers. The article writer seems clueless. The first games came with source code. Later when on floppy only a lot of people still figured out how to patch the games and distributed patches around the "net" (ie, arpanet, BBS, compuserve, computer club, etc). In the 90s it was almost considered a rule of thumb on PCs to never buy a game on the day of release and instead to wait a month for the first patches to come out. Modding of games was huge more than a decade ago, it is not a new phenomena.

Most definitely before the high speed internet gamers were actively modding and patching their games.

Re:Working Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033311)

www.oyunoynaaraba.com/oyunlar1

"new", yes. More power, no. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46995843)

I've been playing video/computer games for a ridiculously long time now. In the past if a game was released before it was thoroughly tested, it flopped. Even if it was patched later.

Battlecruiser 3000AD being one example. The first studio that released it ran into financial trouble and rushed it out the door before it was ready. Patches were eventually released and development continues still, at least the last time I looked It's had a somewhat cult following, but never attained the status it probably could have.

I don't have the time to play games I used to. But most are in even worse shape than BC3KAD was at it's release. I have no desire to do free beta testing for something that I already paid $60 for. And now most games have downloadable content that I have to pay for too. Sometimes on the day of release. If I wait a year or two, I can usually pick up the game in patched form with several, if not all, add-ons for $30.

Re:"new", yes. More power, no. (1)

Zarhan (415465) | about 6 months ago | (#46996687)

Battlecruiser 3000AD being one example. The first studio that released it ran into financial trouble and rushed it out the door before it was ready. Patches were eventually released and development continues still, at least the last time I looked It's had a somewhat cult following, but never attained the status it probably could have.

Are you kidding? Derek Smart's personal little ultimate vaporware project, where we couldn't see anything like that until Duke Nukem Forever? It was not "rushed", considering it was like what, 10 years in the making?

BC3000AD was one of those things were the dev(singular) attempted to bite down more that he could chew.

EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (2, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 6 months ago | (#46995847)

In the "good" old days, there was mods, maps, map editors.

Now a days good luck being able to do any of that. The big publishers only care about pushing out the "next big" title, year after year.

There is a player created 16 player coop patch for Rainbow Six: Las Vegas 2. Lots of fun.

Ubisoft shits on its PC gamers -- who supported and _allowed_ the company_ to grow before Ubisoft sold out to console gamers because those "PC Gamers" are all "dirty pirates".

How about respecting us gamer and giving us tools so you have free marketing like Valve does with Portal 2 Workshop !?!?

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (2)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 6 months ago | (#46996001)

Standing Ovation.

Modding creates the ability for every player to create the game the way they see fit. What I like may not be what you like, hey, is there a mod for that? NO? Then it had better be the most kick ass game ever written.

In addition, Quit dumbing down the games! I don't care if some of your potential audience isn't smart enough to play. 13 year old foul mouthed griefers shouldn't be your target audience. I like games that require a bit of thinking on my part, not twitching.

Oops, didn't mean to go on a rant.....

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 6 months ago | (#46996233)

Agreed.

CounterStrike started it's life as a Half-Life Mod that reached popularity and then it's developers were hired by Valve to make it an official title.
Tools like Portal 2 Workshop has provided us with amazing mods like "Thinking With Time Machine".
Red Orchestra was an Unreal Mod that finally reached enough popularity to become a stand-alone title.
Battlefield 2 was made by the same people who made "Desert Combat", a Battlefield 1942 mod.

Seems like the only companies that still embrace modding are Valve and Blizzard, with everyone else treating it as either a necessary evil or a truly horrific thing to be avoided at all cost as to maintain the integrity of their work of art.

The good news is that now most studios use the same engines anyways, and those engines now cost less than your typical Adobe app.

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#46996097)

The vast majority of games even from the 80s and 90s did not support modding.

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46996285)

In the "good" old days, there was mods, maps, map editors.

“You Have Died of Dysentery”

Oh. You mean "the good old - but not quite *that* old - days"...

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (1)

narcc (412956) | about 6 months ago | (#46997219)

Creative Computing, Volume 4, Issue 3 [archive.org] (1978)

It starts on page 132. Mod to your heart's content.

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 6 months ago | (#47000769)

Nice find!

Bunch of fun puzzles on Page 66. :-)

Re:EA, Ubisoft, others, shit on respect for gamers (1)

qwak23 (1862090) | about 6 months ago | (#47006173)

Nice =)

There is nothing better to give a 5 year old than a computer and a subscription to a magazine with code for games in it every month =)

I was thinking of doing something similar for my niece, though I don't know if my sister would appreciate what learning how to type before you learn how to write does to your handwriting ability.

A tad overstated.... (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 6 months ago | (#46995879)

After I RTFA (I'm sorry!) I can find no links (even with google) to this amazing community they keep referring to. No forum on the homepage, just a steam link. I did find a Steam community forum....but, nothing like KSP, NCG, or a couple of other early access I'm involved with.

And yeah, in a way it is a scam to get free testing of your Alpha state game. But we all do it willingly. And I hope (since none of the ones I'm involved with have technically 'released' yet) that the final products will be superior, simply due to finding bugs at an earlier stage. (Players tend to do shit no developer would ever expect, or plan for) Once they leave the creative Alpha stage the Beta bug squashing stage should go more smoothly . Yes, I have heard about Minecraft abusing the beta model, but I have no opinion as I don't play Minecraft.
I can only hope the ones I'm involved with don't follow that trend.

As for this game, Skyrim on steroids without swords. Of course a cinematic never gives a really good idea of actual gameplay. so, meh.
Never cared for wizard characters. So, wait and see.

that's not power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46995919)

gamers pay for a game that's still in a beta state.

More marketing BS... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 6 months ago | (#46996137)

... the reality is game developers have more power than ever because the internet allows them to tap the enormous stupidity of kids and mankind as a whole. You can now sell an unfinished game before you even finish it. You can now F2P classic games and charge for endless money for "fake unlocks" that you'd normally get with a full game. Like with league of legends, heroes and skins, and it's friggin ridiculous because most gamers are so god damn tech illiterate. Game devs/pubs have finally reached utopia of stupid morons feeding them endless amounts of money for worse content as a whole. Diablo 3 sucked a lot more than diablo 2 from both a multiplayer and single player standpoint. Same could be said of other games where it's merely rehashing and taking fans for a ride.

That being said, there are some bright spots like crowdfunding but those possibilities have been extremely uneven and there's a high failure rate. We have yet to see if 'big games' can be down via crowdfunding and not be as lackluster as every other typical publisher funded game.

Re:More marketing BS... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46997407)

For example Battlefield 4 : so many bugs you cant finish the game, Multiplayer worthless due to random invisible walls.

That game is a prime example of complete and utter crap churned out by a puppy mill.

Re:More marketing BS... (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 6 months ago | (#46997435)

News flash: game companies are businesses. Don't want to pay, go somewhere else. Easy as that.

Lichdom: Battlemage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996209)

Hey, this looks interesti... Wait, it's Windows-only?

Fuck you.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996215)

"Early access" is an way of taking advantage of gullible gamers who'll throw cash at anything without performing any level of quality control. It's a means of scamming said people since there's no requirement to produce a final, finished version of a game. Not all games made using early access are scams of course - perhaps even the majority. But it invites so much potential for misuse and in particular due to Valve's hands-off approach to how publishers and developers can now sell their games on Steam, there's no quality control.

In any case, I take exception to the idea that "savvy gamers go in expecting their experience to change over time â" to improve over time". There's no guarantee this will happen. Buying a game early with the expectation that it'll eventually reach a state that you can enjoy it is just a way to demonstrate that you haven't been burnt yet and haven't learnt how to be a smart shopper. Fuck early access.

Early access, perpetual "beta", and other powers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996313)

Games have always suffered from bugs, some of them crippling. I see no difference between then and now. The hotfix beta churn that many of today's games (particularly online) suffer from is just a slap in the face to anyone who pays good money for poor planning. I particularly loathe the companies that play the, "Oh, sorry, we're in beta," card with their PC game while they use their customers as free labor to identify all of their horrible glitches and playtest the fixes (then they can port it over to the game consoles to get some "real" money!).

Game Changing Patches (1)

Dutchy Wutchy (547108) | about 6 months ago | (#46996323)

How about Sony Online Entertainment management of Star Wars Galaxies?

The game went from Real Time RPG to 3rd Person Shooter after release.

EVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46996385)

No mention of EVE online? I would think it to be a perfect example of what the article mentions.

If gamers have power...... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#46996763)

Then let's get some LAN play in Starcraft 2. It's annoying to be sitting next to someone and have massive lag.

It Works (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 6 months ago | (#46997421)

Bash Sony and SOE all you like, but I've been enjoying the hell out of Alpha/Closed Beta testing Everquest Landmark. The most satisfying part is that the devs are really paying attention to feedback and making substantive changes as we go, not just bug fixes. I'm looking forward to working on EQ Next as well.

wow (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46997509)

Wow, nice slashvertisement.

So now we're celebrating releasing unfinished games that don't work as some sort of innovation? How often to you get a game like this that has promise of becoming something great, only to get involved as you watch the game go in the completely opposite direction promised? "I paid $50 for this game and now they're turning it into a fermium game and releasing it for free! Fantastic!"

Diablo III still looks the same to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46998041)

still overloaded with DRM.

Oh come on... (1)

bloggerhater (2439270) | about 6 months ago | (#46998399)

Asheron's Call 2. Turbine let lone time AC players provide inout on the game systems. Turbine then thoroughly demonstrated that gamers have no damn clue what they actually want. Give gamers everything they want and you get a shit product.

It gets worse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46998501)

Asheron's Call 2. Turbine let lone time AC players provide inout on the game systems. Turbine then thoroughly demonstrated that gamers have no damn clue what they actually want. Give gamers everything they want and you get a shit product.

This is pretty much responsible for the sudden implosion of every "massively" multiplayer game, since the days of text-based gaming. But it does get worse.

Want to see what happens when you start letting players have control over content, rather than just giving ideas? It's called Second Life.

Dicks.

Dicks, everywhere.

It isn't just "those" people, either. Look at any game. Half of Skyrim's mods, for example, are completely retarded. LOL JIGGLY PENORZ. LOL I MAED DRAGONZ IN2 PONIEZ ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!111111111111 BEWBZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111eleven

Thankfully, in most games, you can ignore the lot of that crap. But I cringe if more games do start putting actual control into the hands of players. I've seen the unconscious will of the Internet. It's boring and childish. I'll pass.

Re:Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46999601)

Better than Blizzard's balancing system for PVP in WoW, at least during the Burning Crusade era. Arena was "balanced" around the experience of a few developers (Tom Chilton in particular), who spent hours PVPing. If your class managed to beat one of them, they were due for a nerf the very next week. I can still remember a month-long patch cycle that corresponded directly to his arena record.

Week 1: Siphon Life/Soul Link Warlock (a popular "tank" build for warlocks at the time) famously beats Chilton's arena warrior 1v1. The next Tuesday, a patch is released that nerfs Warlocks to the ground. The nerf revolved around Resilience, a stat that was found only in low amounts on caster gear, but in very high amounts on heavy armor - especially warrior gear. Resilience now reduced damage from all Warlock spells. This was a specific nerf to Warlocks, and not to Mages or Druids or the other caster classes.

Week 2: Presence of Mind/Pyroblast Mage beats Chilton's arena warrior in a key ranking battle. The next Tuesday, a massive nerf patch for mages goes out, lowering their damage across the board. At the same time, a further buff to warriors and rogues (one of the other developers on Chilton's team played a rogue) is released that reduces their stun cooldowns, effectively letting either class destroy anything not in heavy armor in seconds without them ever being able to act.

Week 3: Cat or Bear Druid (I forget which) beats Chilton's arena warrior. Guess what happens next Tuesday? Hint: Druid nerfs, and further warrior/rogue buffs.

Week 4: A Warlock owns Chilton's arena warrior again (from what I understand, a hunter on the lock's team had weakened him and the warlock finished him off). The next week, Chilton attempts to have Life Tap (the only ability that makes the warlock viable in PVE) removed and all warlock gear re-balanced to have less damage and more spirit (a stat that governs mana regen for every class but warlock), forcing warlocks to be half-baked mages. Hunters also receive a massive nerf to a bunch of their pet-based stats.

By the end of BC, warriors and rogues were so blatantly overpowered that it was virtually impossible to do any kind of PVP against them. This lasted approximately until the start of Wrath of the Lich King.. when Chilton and his buddies re-rolled casters.

Money Talks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46999057)

How much money did Dice get paid to shove this Slashvertisement to the front page?

Very poor title (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#46999103)

This same article was written elsewhere which was much more direct in what was happening: we are all now beta testers.

The adage that the company will roll out improvements is typical double-speak. They're not improvements, they're what should have been in the game when it was released (levels, abilities, etc) and the obvious bugs and faults that should not have been in the game when released.

Game companies are doing exactly what I keep harping on: releasing bad software.

We shouldn't have to put up with this nonsense considering the cost involved, but like good Pavlovian dogs, we'll keep shelling out our money because we think, "This time it will be better."

designer sunglasses for sale (0)

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