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Author Topic: Agent D's House of Rant.  (Read 8618 times)
Hathen
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2012, 02:07:34 PM »

As I understand it, games are pretty much always released in a "unfinished" state in the eyes of the developers. You had games where it was apparent like Fantasia for the Genesis, which didn't even have polished game mechanics. Chrono Cross was a finished game, but it was pressured into release before they had tons of other stuff they really wanted to add to the game. Both of these were before the days of DLC.

I think video games are pretty much the only art product where this happens on a regular basis.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2012, 02:15:58 PM »

I think most creative endeavors fall into that category, actually.
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2012, 02:58:03 PM »

You have to remember too that in the eyes of developers, it is rare indeed for a thing to feel "finished". I have this same problem at work when it comes time for a new release - I almost always feel like there are a few things I could have tightened up or done differently or more elegantly, but in the end you have to actually release a product or you never actually get paid. You do the absolute best you can with the timetable you have.

I think the old expression "A work of art is never finished, only abandoned" may apply here in a way. At least nowadays with DLC it takes longer for it to be abandoned. :-P
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2012, 03:06:07 PM »

In fact, just ask John how long it takes me to be happy with projects around here... I'm sure he could give you some horror stories...
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2012, 04:48:32 PM »

Dave, John- yeah, I see your points.  Good, valid, and perhaps that moment of rose-colored nostalgia got the better of me. 

The fact that bug fixes are so much easier these days is good.  The only issue I'd take is if that ease is used as a crutch to rush out a project to the public.  Of course, that's more in the hands of publishers than developers.  And you know, publishers do wield some evil power.  I don't need to tell all the college students about how publishers price-gouge the hell out of textbooks and then render them obsolete the next semester when a new edition comes out.  And when some books cost $150 a pop these days...
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2012, 05:28:51 PM »

I was going to comment, but John beat me to it.  He said everything I was going to say...

But in addition to the fact (and it is a fact, you can't just ignore inflation...) that games are cheaper now than ever before, development costs are higher now than ever before.  It's a peculiar situation, and developers have to find some way to make money.

Though personally I hate the nickel and diming.  I actually would prefer to just pay more (and wait longer) for the complete product.  But I feel like I'm in the minority there.

I wonder how much snes and sega carts in Japan cost back in the day compared to current day Japanese prices for PS3 games?
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Monsoon
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2012, 07:53:34 PM »

I for one welcome our new digital overlords.  Games are cheaper than ever, most of the AAA games are multiplatform, and there is a burgeoning indie scene that is stronger and more visible than ever.  We'd never have that in a gaming culture without digital distribution - DLC is an inevitable symptom of the new digital model.  And hey, if you don't like it, don't buy it.  Vote with your dollars.  But I'm not complaining because DLC is helping to save the gaming industry while used game sales and piracy are trying to destroy it. 
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2012, 08:51:33 PM »

Dave, John- yeah, I see your points.  Good, valid, and perhaps that moment of rose-colored nostalgia got the better of me. 

The fact that bug fixes are so much easier these days is good.  The only issue I'd take is if that ease is used as a crutch to rush out a project to the public.  Of course, that's more in the hands of publishers than developers.  And you know, publishers do wield some evil power.  I don't need to tell all the college students about how publishers price-gouge the hell out of textbooks and then render them obsolete the next semester when a new edition comes out.  And when some books cost $150 a pop these days...

Excellent point on publishers. I definitely think dlc can be used for evil, I just don't think as a concept it is inherently bad.
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2012, 09:03:04 PM »

Dave, John- yeah, I see your points.  Good, valid, and perhaps that moment of rose-colored nostalgia got the better of me. 

The fact that bug fixes are so much easier these days is good.  The only issue I'd take is if that ease is used as a crutch to rush out a project to the public.  Of course, that's more in the hands of publishers than developers.  And you know, publishers do wield some evil power.  I don't need to tell all the college students about how publishers price-gouge the hell out of textbooks and then render them obsolete the next semester when a new edition comes out.  And when some books cost $150 a pop these days...

Excellent point on publishers. I definitely think dlc can be used for evil, I just don't think as a concept it is inherently bad.

Agree completely.  Namco Bandai is the worst at it.  See: Graces f, Tales of and Combat, Ace.
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2012, 09:08:21 PM »

computer games worked perfectly right out of the box

That never happened :( It's just that back then the patches were /free/.

Anyway, my issue with DLC was explained elsewhere -- it's a channel for devs to constantly /redact/ their work in a way that wasn't economically feasible with patches. Patches are maintenance to fix things that are legitly broken. DLC let's you just outright re-write stuff to the point where you CAN bend to the whims of the fanbase. Which kind of puts artistic integrity at risk.
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2012, 09:16:20 PM »

I for one welcome our new digital overlords.  Games are cheaper than ever, most of the AAA games are multiplatform, and there is a burgeoning indie scene that is stronger and more visible than ever.  We'd never have that in a gaming culture without digital distribution - DLC is an inevitable symptom of the new digital model.  And hey, if you don't like it, don't buy it.  Vote with your dollars.  But I'm not complaining because DLC is helping to save the gaming industry while used game sales and piracy are trying to destroy it. 
And this, sir, is the logic that allows companies to pull the bullshit that I hate. "If you don't like it, don't buy it." It has nothing, I repeat, NOTHING to do with liking anything. It's the fact that dlc is getting outrageous. Announcing downloadable maps 6 montgs before release for example, IS BULLSHIT. Companies are making games knowing full well they are going to put bullshit add ons into the game a week later for a price, and generally a price that isn't fairly adjusted to what you are getting. Yes, I admit that piracy and used game sales are hurting companies as well, but it furthers my stance on people being stupid. People blindly buy dlc because not buying it won't solve anything, someone else will buy it. It's that kind of crap that forces smart people or even worse, people with ideas, to pull off a stunt like the sony hack. The idiots run around en masse doing shit that anyone else in the world with a complete thought would denounce immediately.

Basically, I'm at the point where raising the price on games to further content would be fine. I understand how hard work deserves proper pay, but at the end of the day, joe programmer at game maker company B isn't getting a bonus for bringing out dlc later, he gets paid weekly for services performed. Dlc is just wasted effort on a game that 2-3 months after it comes out is old news. Rather see time spent making the next game not suffer from stupid problems and not needing content added later.
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2012, 09:18:09 PM »

Which kind of puts artistic integrity at risk.

This is a sentiment I kinda call hogwash due to experience with the novel publication process. Stories go through beta reads, editor reads, and live field tests via e-books. Fan feedback is used to see if things need altered or clarified; not always but sometimes including tweaks to the plot. Movies also have things like this with early test screenings where scenes, story elements, and even endings can be changed based on what the 'fans' want. All before the general public even sees the final result. I'd bet good money games go through a similar process (albeit not as thorough as the others; if ME is any indication).

So the thought line that changing something because the fans say so hampers artistic integrity is a misnomer; it already happens and no one's cried foul yet.
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« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2012, 09:27:41 PM »

I used to get pissed off by it.

I just gave up. Now if I hear a game has DLC I automatically wait a year for a game.

Then I either pick up the GOTY edition for cheaper than the original game was or I buy it used, for a price I find acceptable for an incomplete game.

Works for me.
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Monsoon
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« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2012, 10:03:08 PM »

I for one welcome our new digital overlords.  Games are cheaper than ever, most of the AAA games are multiplatform, and there is a burgeoning indie scene that is stronger and more visible than ever.  We'd never have that in a gaming culture without digital distribution - DLC is an inevitable symptom of the new digital model.  And hey, if you don't like it, don't buy it.  Vote with your dollars.  But I'm not complaining because DLC is helping to save the gaming industry while used game sales and piracy are trying to destroy it. 
And this, sir, is the logic that allows companies to pull the bullshit that I hate. "If you don't like it, don't buy it." It has nothing, I repeat, NOTHING to do with liking anything. It's the fact that dlc is getting outrageous. Announcing downloadable maps 6 montgs before release for example, IS BULLSHIT. Companies are making games knowing full well they are going to put bullshit add ons into the game a week later for a price, and generally a price that isn't fairly adjusted to what you are getting. Yes, I admit that piracy and used game sales are hurting companies as well, but it furthers my stance on people being stupid. People blindly buy dlc because not buying it won't solve anything, someone else will buy it. It's that kind of crap that forces smart people or even worse, people with ideas, to pull off a stunt like the sony hack. The idiots run around en masse doing shit that anyone else in the world with a complete thought would denounce immediately.

Basically, I'm at the point where raising the price on games to further content would be fine. I understand how hard work deserves proper pay, but at the end of the day, joe programmer at game maker company B isn't getting a bonus for bringing out dlc later, he gets paid weekly for services performed. Dlc is just wasted effort on a game that 2-3 months after it comes out is old news. Rather see time spent making the next game not suffer from stupid problems and not needing content added later.
I've dismissed that bullshit you hate because it's part of the system.  Games are 1,000,000x more complicated and expensive to make then they were 10-15 years ago, but gamers' expectations have only amplified in that time, so we gamers expect the same level of quality on the same timetable and at roughly the same price (even though games sell for cheaper than ever).  And it doesn't help that piracy and the used game market are more powerful than ever, making success in the game industry tougher than ever.  Don't even get me started on shit like the hours developers have to work or the rate of turnover. 

And really. it's extremely rare that a game is SO incomplete at release that it REQUIRES downloadable content in order to be recognized as a full game - the best example I can think of is the 2008 Prince of Persia, but even then you had a solid game on your hands without touching the epilogue DLC.  I like some DLC and don't like others, so I'll buy some and not others.  I've been gaming for over 20 years and have been following the game industry with zeal for the last 10-12, but I'm not about to get mired in oldschool elitism. 
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2012, 11:17:42 PM »

Which kind of puts artistic integrity at risk.

This is a sentiment I kinda call hogwash due to experience with the novel publication process. Stories go through beta reads, editor reads, and live field tests via e-books. Fan feedback is used to see if things need altered or clarified; not always but sometimes including tweaks to the plot. Movies also have things like this with early test screenings where scenes, story elements, and even endings can be changed based on what the 'fans' want. All before the general public even sees the final result. I'd bet good money games go through a similar process (albeit not as thorough as the others; if ME is any indication).

So the thought line that changing something because the fans say so hampers artistic integrity is a misnomer; it already happens and no one's cried foul yet.

The issues more that they can endlessly go back and fuck with shit. You don't have to actually be committal with what you're doing. Something's not complete when it's /complete/ but when it becomes financially pointless to continue working on it.

Also fan feedback is usually pretty poor because fans generally have no idea what they actually want.
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o/` I do not feel joy o/`
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