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The Future of Planetcrap's Message Board
January 7th 2012, 08:01 CET by Charles

With Quarter to Three in the process of becoming a forum that no one can post on at all (with a current 1/15th of the posts belonging to banned users), is this finally Planetcrap's chance to regain the spotlight? Will the site revive? WILL MORN COME BACK?

Probably not.
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#167 by G-Man
2012-01-12 21:33:32
Koster is saying that the economic argument of investment vs skill is the same as in MLB, and people don't cry that the MLB is evil and stealing money out of viewers' pockets. It may be unfair, but it's not some new menace devised by cloven-hoofed game designers.

What you have said here does not make sense. The players in the MLB are not analogous to the players of video games since it isn't like MLB players have to pay to play the game. The real analogy is to say that the MLB team owners are the players of a F2P videogame since they can pay more money to enhance their competitive advantage in the league. The developers in this analogy are the MLB itself, which collectively sets rules permitting money to be used by team owners in this way. There is no mapping analogy for the viewers of MLB games in this context - except to suggest that maybe they are the gaming press?
#168 by Gabe
2012-01-12 22:06:47
http://www.dartpublishing.com
This discussion is just further evidence that baseball blows.
#169 by Wudi
2012-01-12 23:15:18
I don't think Koster has said anything even remotely intelligent in the last 15 years or more.

Zep--

w0rd up!
#170 by Shadarr
2012-01-12 23:17:49
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
I dunno if he's said anything, but he did have that puppycam.

"I hope you one day decide to smarten the fuck up so I can stand to look at your posts." - gaggle
#171 by Matt Perkins
2012-01-13 20:13:09
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Koster works very hard to make the F2P model seem less skanky. I don't think he succeeds.

His argument boils down to, "Look, some people have a lot of money. They will spend it on your F2P if you trick them into it really well. It's all right, because they were going to spend that money on something, why not convince them to do it with you!"

Not impressed.

"programmers talk from a very deep gnome cavern, full of gold mechanics" - wisdom from the ancients
#172 by m0nty
2012-01-13 20:20:15
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
His argument boils down to, "This is America. In America, we like capitalism. Capitalism is based on encouraging the maximisation of production efficiency to generate the highest profits. Many industries before F2P gaming have established that demand follows a long tail distribution, thus they concentrate on the high rollers. What are you, a goddamn heathen pinko commie?"
#173 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-13 21:51:21
http://uglycode.com
When I make a F2P game, it will have a limit on how much you can spend a month.

Of course, you'll be able to raise the limit by buying a budget extender item.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#174 by anaqer
2012-01-14 03:09:18
Didn't PA have a strip about a card-swipe peripheral for some game? My gut says it was about WoW, but surely that can't be right.

§ "Apple hates everyone now." - BJB
#175 by G-Man
2012-01-14 06:25:01
Animal Crossing had e-Reader support. Is that what you mean?
#176 by Charles
2012-01-14 07:30:15
www.bluh.org
F2P can go suck a dick*. I'd rather live in a cardboard box than make a game that subscribes to such ethically bankrupt game design.

Not to be confused with free games, or games that can be extended in a natural fashion with purchases.

No.
#177 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-14 11:12:12
http://uglycode.com
Charles - so what do you consider "natural fashion" and what is "ethically bankrupt"?

1. Are visual customizations (regardless of how lame or expensive some recent DLCs might be) evil?
2. Are extra weapons in single-player only games evil? (Just Cause 2)
3. Are different weapons with a slight advantage in PvP bad? Would they be okay in PvE multiplayer games?
4. Would it be okay if some iAP would allow you to make progress faster, but require the same skill to play the game?
5. Is a shortcut through grinding a bad game design, ignoring the fact that grinding itself is a bad game design?
6. How about game design elements, that don't give you any real edge (no weapons, powerups), but are just inconvenient for non-payers, e.g. if you die, you need to walk from spawn point to your corpse; or some UI improvements that add shortcuts or automatize micromanaging?

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#178 by jafd
2012-01-14 11:16:06
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
Well, Charles says he already has more money than he needs... so really, what value can his opinion on F2P offer? He's already Won the Game of Life! Move over, Bacon! Time for someone with a new moral compass!


Hey, do any of you guys like that dubstep stuff? I hear it is all the rage with the kids these days, I wouldn't know. Fuck kids these days, man, fuck kids.

However, this video makes me wish that I did, in fact, like dubstep. Maybe turn the sound down and play some Mozart or Wagner or something. Just watch the pretty pictures.

Video of the year already, imho.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#179 by Shadarr
2012-01-14 11:44:49
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
#175 by G-Man

Animal Crossing had e-Reader support. Is that what you mean?

I think the PA comic was about that game for the Playstation camera where you got MTG-style cards and held them up to the camera and then you could use them in the game or some such.


#178 by jafd

Hey, do any of you guys like that dubstep stuff? I hear it is all the rage with the kids these days, I wouldn't know. Fuck kids these days, man, fuck kids.

However, this video makes me wish that I did, in fact, like dubstep. Maybe turn the sound down and play some Mozart or Wagner or something. Just watch the pretty pictures.

Video of the year already, imho.


Good video and a fine song, but can somebody tell me what differentiates dubstep from other types of techno?  Because it doesn't sound significantly different to me than what Utah Saints were doing 20 years ago.

"I hope you one day decide to smarten the fuck up so I can stand to look at your posts." - gaggle
#180 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-14 11:47:31
http://uglycode.com
#179 by Shadarr

Good video and a fine song, but can somebody tell me what differentiates dubstep from other types of techno?  

People didn't use to have seizures while dancing to techno.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#181 by Shadarr
2012-01-14 11:56:52
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
Depends whether there's a strobe light, I expect.

"I hope you one day decide to smarten the fuck up so I can stand to look at your posts." - gaggle
#182 by jafd
2012-01-14 12:32:09
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
What's the difference between Robert Plant and Elvis Presley? Well, one of them is dead... and the other, is fucking Elvis Presley.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#183 by Greg
2012-01-14 18:19:29
How are those boots treating you?

#184 by jafd
2012-01-14 18:42:10
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
Hey, what's the link to OpenCrap? I bet it is super useful now.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#185 by Greg
2012-01-14 19:12:26
OpenCrap

#186 by Sgt Hulka
2012-01-14 20:13:26
I am rolling in money now.  Literally. I threw a bunch of pennies on the floor and I'm rolling in them.  I feel like a Kardashian, only I"m more of a whore.

#187 by Charles
2012-01-15 01:48:11
www.bluh.org
Milan -
Charles - so what do you consider "natural fashion" and what is "ethically bankrupt"?

1. Are visual customizations (regardless of how lame or expensive some recent DLCs might be) evil?
2. Are extra weapons in single-player only games evil? (Just Cause 2)
3. Are different weapons with a slight advantage in PvP bad? Would they be okay in PvE multiplayer games?
4. Would it be okay if some iAP would allow you to make progress faster, but require the same skill to play the game?
5. Is a shortcut through grinding a bad game design, ignoring the fact that grinding itself is a bad game design?
6. How about game design elements, that don't give you any real edge (no weapons, powerups), but are just inconvenient for non-payers, e.g. if you die, you need to walk from spawn point to your corpse; or some UI improvements that add shortcuts or automatize micromanaging?


1. Nah, anything that doesn't affect gameplay is perfectly fine.
2. You are crossing streams. There are no real SP F2P games.
3. Yes. No.
4. No.
5. You can't separate the two, if they make things to buy that skip grinding, chances are the fact that grinding exists is specifically and deliberately linked.
6. Well I wouldn't call that evil, but I wouldn't ever play a game that did that.

No.
#188 by Matt Perkins
2012-01-15 08:28:34
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
A breakdown of dubstep and other electronic styles. Very informative.

"programmers talk from a very deep gnome cavern, full of gold mechanics" - wisdom from the ancients
#189 by jafd
2012-01-15 10:35:03
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
Thank you for that, Matt P. That is some quality linkage.

Hey, Greg... are you still the same "Greg" I used to know? If so, that would explain why you are still a spindly, immature little boy.

Best of luck, Chuck!

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#190 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-15 15:56:51
http://uglycode.com
Charles, thanks for the answers.

So from the few options I presented, you're okay only with aesthetic enhancements and maybe items for single player games.

7. What about games like Savage or Nuclear Dawn, where most of the players are units on battlefield and one person is the commander.
a) Could the commander position be allowed only for paying customers? (Assuming the it would be a F2P game.)
b) Could the player matches be divided into F2P-only matches and paying-only matches with both sides having a limited budget or otherwise limited the resources?

8. What about some sort of compensation mechanic, where every time a paying player would use some iAP boost, the opposing side would get either the same boost, or a boost that would be strong enough to counter the benefits of the other boost (e.g. fire damage / fire resistance)?

9. What about F2P co-op games, with nonexistant, or purely volunary PvP?

10. What other chances do starting indie developers have? Besides selling their apps and offering ad-supported versions, there's not much they can do. Subscription models is hardly relevant for small indie developers; getting drastic exposure for their app involves some luck and/or lots of marketing. It's even worse for web games - hardly anyone will pay for a browser game, even when it's a well-polished, replayable, original game.

I think the challenge lies not only if finding acceptable mechanics, but also in convincing players that it's a good idea. Paying players already expect to get better in the game by buying crap - offering them something that doesn't give them edge would be insulting, and demotivating them from repeated investment.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#191 by LPMiller
2012-01-15 17:53:11
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
jesus, Milan, what's with all the prodding?

"Testiculos habet et bene pendentes" - "He has testicles, and they dangle nicely."

"LP, your big balls are a religion." - Jibble
#192 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-15 18:00:05
http://uglycode.com
I'm lonely and I have no life.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#193 by jafd
2012-01-15 18:25:46
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
That certainly explains the content of most of your posts over the last decade, Trooper.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#194 by Greg
2012-01-15 18:33:58
If we never knew you, how would you know me?

If the boots don't fit, we must acquit.

#195 by gaggle
2012-01-15 20:48:35
Milan is hitting on all the right points though. There's no way to take a hard stance on the F2P model because it's a landscape of slippery slopes, there really are infinite permutations between selling visual-only doodads to "selling win".

Specific F2P implementations can piss off (fuck you Tiny Tower!) and indeed most F2P games are terrible in my eyes, but I think an open mind is required to see how the landscape is shaping up. League of Legends is the oft-used example of F2P done right and they certainly sell more than just visual fluff.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#196 by BobJustBob
2012-01-15 21:29:13
Tiny Tower is the only good F2P game. Way to continue being gaggle.

BUYBUYBUY
#197 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-15 21:47:02
http://uglycode.com
Funnily enough, Tiny Towers was the very game that (I think) made Charles despise F2P.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#198 by gaggle
2012-01-15 22:00:31
Tiny Tower is entirely warped to serve its F2P master. 4 hours to make a condo indeed!

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#199 by Charles
2012-01-15 22:23:53
www.bluh.org
Milan -

7. Haven't played them, so couldn't say.
a. Something like that would be interesting, where there are different game slots, and some of them are only playable if you pay. As long as that slot is something that is synergistic with non-paying players.
b. Potentially. If you don't mix those who've purchased upgrades with those who haven't, it makes sense.

8. I've been thinking about something similar myself. If you are competing in a game with someone who has purchased stuff... you get that same stuff for that game. Seems valid to me. At that point you pay not for the ability to win over others, but the ability to play with something regularly.

9. I'd need more detail to judge.

10. The same chances as everyone else? F2P isn't some magical way to make money, it's certainly not any more reliable than just making a good game and relying on base sales. And the reality is that while you can abuse F2P mechanics (aka the corruption of good game design) in order to produce money, if making money is all you are interested in then I don't know why you are making games to begin with.

No.
#200 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-15 23:29:54
http://uglycode.com
Geez, thanks for assuming I'm a soulless asshole. If all I was interested was making money, I wouldn't be talking with you about which iAP mechanics spoil the game and which not.

The fact remains, the first few games I make will have probably just a few hundred app store downloads. If I charge money for the app, I'll have less users. If I make the game free, it will be more accessible, but I need to make *some* money to survive. I can work on building a community, I can request donations, earn a few sleazy dollars from in-game advertising, but that alone won't keep me floating. I'm not expecting F2P to be a magical shortcut to millionairedom, because if I'll have 1000 players, I'll still have only 20-40 paying customers.

Like the other guys said,

Our strategy with SQUIDS was super bold. We would spend more to develop it than Angry Birds, and earn less. That was the plan.


Just to be clear, my plan is to take a loan, spend 2012 developing games, fail, get another boring webdev job and pay the loan back in the next 5 years. I ain't going to sell no chicken coops either way.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#201 by BobJustBob
2012-01-15 23:42:52
Also, Squids is a fun game.

BUYBUYBUY
#202 by Charles
2012-01-16 00:49:19
www.bluh.org
Squids is a *great* game. And they went into it not expecting to make money.

Anyway Milan, almost all 'good' F2P mechanics in the sense of making money rely on using psychological principles to not only hook your players but goad them into spending money. Anything that's not evil is not set up to do anything other than let the gamers play less and pay less to do so. Which means at the end of the day, you get less money unless you make a truly great game.

IMO, the key to making money without being evil is to give away a free game, and then add unarguable value using in-app purchases or subscriptions. Of course, the game has to be good for that to matter.

But you also have to realize you can't make a classic style game. If you are making a Zelda clone, then goddammit, let me just pay you $5 and you can fuck off and let me play it, instead of that crazy shit that Zenonia dumps on you.

Also, no one is really using the social space in order to engage friends and get them playing as well. They *abuse* friends in order to get people playing. But that's just BS. Why not design in a direction where you want your friends to play, and they find it interesting to play as well?

No.
#203 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-16 01:41:24
http://uglycode.com
Amen. I have yet to play a single social game with a meaningful interaction.

I don't know if it wasn't one of you guys who linked this article on G+ about monetizing cows - Ian Bogost's attempt to parody social exploitationware which resulted in him running a blatantly obvious, but still addictive F2P game.

I wasn't joking when I said earlier that if I ran a F2P game, I'd add monthly limits, to avoid exploiting people that much, but I guess that's the problem with F2P vs normal purchase - when you have a game for a fixed price, you can set it high, and you can let people worry if they want to spend that much or not. When you're running F2P, you only have people who don't know how much they're going to spend. And no matter how low you set the price, 96% of players will never give you money. So you know you have your 4% and that the more you exploit them, the more money you'll have.

Aaaah, I guess I'll just stick to the traditional, good old moral method of selling content. And passwords.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#204 by m0nty
2012-01-16 01:50:28
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I plan on doing all the things Charles hates in my upcoming Facebook game, and making a squillion dollars.
#205 by TreeFrog
2012-01-16 01:56:10
#204 by m0nty

I plan on doing all the things Charles hates in my upcoming Facebook game, and making a squillion dollars.

Oh, I wouldn't do that. We know where you live.

"One part disembowels me while another slowly eats its way through the gas line. As I bleed out on the floor, it reminds me that I need to buy milk." - Jibble
#206 by m0nty
2012-01-16 02:07:01
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
A squillion dollars buys a lot of security guards. And sniper ammo.
#207 by jafd
2012-01-16 03:02:19
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
And ten bucks buys a whole lot of sodium chloride, fluoride, and saltpeter. Probably enough for a whole continent!

Not that every continent would need THAT much.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#208 by Charles
2012-01-16 06:55:33
www.bluh.org
You can have your money, monty, I'd rather be happy. And, you know, not evil.

But then again, I approach games as an art, not a business. If I can make money off my art, great, but really want I want to do is speak to players.

No.
#209 by Charles
2012-01-16 06:55:46
www.bluh.org
Not directly, mind you. I want nothing to do with those unwashed masses.

No.
#210 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-16 10:48:49
http://uglycode.com
Don't forget to call them illiterate mouthbreathers.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#211 by Shadarr
2012-01-16 10:49:06
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
Awesome Matt, thanks.  Now I'm wondering why they did the interview in a car. It's like Bangbus Larry King.

"I hope you one day decide to smarten the fuck up so I can stand to look at your posts." - gaggle
#212 by m0nty
2012-01-16 11:57:03
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I'm glad you realise how pretentious that sounded, Charles. :)
#213 by jafd
2012-01-16 13:58:01
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000033180
Charles is in no danger of turning evil--that would require free will, and the cognitive capacity to choose it.

Hey, is it crunch time again yet? Best of luck, Chuck! Don't say anything I wouldn't say!

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#214 by Battle-Dwarf
2012-01-16 18:28:27
www.myspace.com/OlSchoolMedia
Not directly, mind you. I want nothing to do with those unwashed masses. ---Charles




O.K...

I laughed at that one.
:)

They say a midget standin' on the giants' shoulder can see much further than the giant...
#215 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2012-01-16 22:31:39
http://uglycode.com
Also, I remembered the last game that was had a fun, interesting and enjoyable social interaction.

PlanetCrap's Minecraft server.

Fuck you, Zynga.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#216 by Greg
2012-01-16 22:33:50
Alas, it was deleted a few days ago.

Thanks, Gabe!


(Good riddance)

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