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ampersandrew

@ampersandrew@lemmy.world

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ampersandrew,
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What’s the scuttlebutt with GRRM?

ampersandrew,
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That doesn’t make it sheer greed; it’s what’s feasible to develop. A systems driven game like a city builder or a 4X game mean that you can’t just drag and drop old content in the new systems and expect it to work and look cohesive. Every fighting game launches with fewer characters than the previous version, and it’s not because it’s some conspiracy to delay dropping the SFV characters in SF6; it’s because swapping out the V system for the Drive system is a massive change, and the old characters take a lot of work to port over. Even the art style in Civ 6 is very different from Civ V. When you try to just copy and paste content between two different styles of art direction, you end up with nightmare fuel Chun-Li in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite.

ampersandrew,
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There was an article from years back, I want to say around 2019 or so on then-Gamasutra, about how it was already too late to stop the bubble from bursting because all of these games are trying to get everyone’s attention (I’m having trouble finding it now). Now the bubble is bursting, and big games these days have dev cycles of about 5 years, putting us right here in 2024. Get dev cycles to 3 years or less so that you can actually react to changing market conditions, and charge a fair price for a good product. Maybe sequel it or otherwise make regular old expansion DLC. That was sustainable. No one even makes a multiplayer game anymore unless it’s intended to be rigorously competitively balanced or suck up all of your time and money through grinding.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

The industry kept making games bigger that would have been better off if they’d stayed smaller. I’m not saying to make the games they make now in less time. I’m saying stop making games that take 5 years to make and instead make games that take 3 years to make.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

And what you’re describing is the economic realities of a bubble bursting, which means they have to pivot to making something sustainable that the market actually wants. That doesn’t mean AA or indie exclusively. It does mean smaller scope. Halo and Gears of War could be created much faster when they were linear games, and now they’re both open world and arguably worse off for it.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

What specifically didn’t you like about 3? I haven’t played any of them, but we’ve had a drought of crime stories in games lately, so I’m looking forward to seeing another one come out (that isn’t Yakuza).

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

Every major ratings board has rated it at this point. Yes, the game’s release is imminent. And by imminent, I mean, “likely between now and July”.

ampersandrew,
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Nah, there’s time enough to enjoy both games. (They probably will steer clear by at least a week though.)

ampersandrew,
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I just filled out my report to the DGCCRF, and I hope it’s even more damning, amidst my claims of forced obsolescence, that the game was removed from my account in the past week with a message telling me to check the store for new games to buy.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

Between that and the stop killing games campaign, the timing is no coincidence. Either way, they’re up to no good.

ampersandrew,
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The problem is this game can’t even be pirated due to how it’s architected.

ampersandrew,
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Is their removal of these licenses a measure to somehow prevent people from taking action?

ampersandrew,
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It’s DRM to authenticate your install. Also not a new thing, but still not great.

ampersandrew,
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The last game didn’t use Unity; it was coded in Java with some extra libraries. They dropped this game from Unity mid development.

ampersandrew,
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I’m not sure about anyone else, but I found there to be a lot of homogeneity here. The games that were the most up my alley were the ones I’d already heard of, but there were a lot of Vampire Survivors-inspired games and city builders.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

And what’s to stop this game from dying all over again? There’s still no way to run the game server yourself, right? Why do the work if they’re not going to future proof it against an outcome they couldn’t avoid the last time?

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

So the thing is, regardless of current campaigns to stop killing games, this is like the definition of throwing good money after bad…unless they actually offered customers assurances that they’ll get their money’s worth out of an up front payment to play the game. Because without that assurance, however long your free to play multiplayer game sustained an audience, the version where you have to buy the game up front will be worse off.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

He looks really cool. Unfortunately, this game needs some big system changes that I hope, but don’t expect, they’ll make some day. The way burst works, in particular, would be at the top at the list, and as long as there are good universal defensive options, more kameos can have ambush assists (the ones that can be done at any time), which would really open up the freedom of the game, where MK1 is at its best.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

That’s probably the Zelda game I had the most negative reaction to. Oh, you’re going to undo all of my progress because I didn’t know how much more there was to do in this quest line before the world reset? No, I’m not going to do all of that again.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

It would be one thing if I knew how much I had to do ahead of time, but until I’ve seen most of it before, I have no idea. There was some upgrade I could get only after finishing the entire goron temple, race, and some such, and I was on the final step of it when I ran out of time. I can’t do just the last step of it; I had to repeat at least the race, maybe the temple, in order to get to that spot again. I decided instead, “Nah, I’m good,” and put the game down. I respect that they tried to do a lot with a little on the development side, but it introduced tedium for me, the player, to be within those constraints.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

Mortal Kombat 9, also known as “Mortal Kombat” or “Mortal Kombat (2011)” is where the modern canon starts. It’s also delisted from sale, so you’ll need to find a used copy for consoles or pirate it for PC. It’s a soft reboot of the story and also establishes the bar for what fighting game story modes should be. It’s campy and leans into it, and that’s the tone that MK always has when it’s at its best.

Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 are sequels to that, and they escalate the ridiculousness. These are direct sequels, so while they make efforts to ensure you can understand what’s happening even if you haven’t played the games before, MKX is best enjoyed after playing MK9, and MK11 is best enjoyed after playing MKX.

Mortal Kombat 1 is another soft reboot, but (slight spoiler) it also does this while preserving the canon of, and sequeling, MK9, MKX, and MK11.

MK9 is a throwback to your favorite characters with modern (at the time) mechanics.

MKX brings back the run button and tries to keep all of the different versions of each character over the years in the same game via its “variation” system.

MK11 tries to do away with some superfluous features of MKX while adding more defensive options.

MK1 introduces “kameos”, which is like a Marvel vs. Capcom 1 style assist system.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

There’s reason to believe that the next Xbox will just be a PC with a coat of paint, the same way that the Steam Deck is, and so this preservation team would, in that case, probably be built to legitimately emulate the Xbox 360 on PC, because that’s where the biggest compatibility gap is.

HornofBalance, to games
@HornofBalance@mastodon.gamedev.place avatar

Horn of Balance - an indie 2D zelda-like

I'm developing 'Horn of Balance', a 2D zelda-like featuring 12 non-linear dungeons, 2 interconnected worlds and a TON of secrets.

Right now, the project is live on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hornofbalance/horn-of-balance) and we've almost hit the funding goal with just 24 hours left!

There's also a free demo on Steam (https://store.steampowered.com/app/2738140/Horn_of_Balance/) and Itch.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have!

@games

ampersandrew,
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You’d play it because you liked the other one, wanted more of it, but there isn’t really more of it to play.

ampersandrew, (edited )
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

No. As others have said, there’s just a lack of information about what’s coming out. Basically starting last year, companies got fed up with announcing release dates that they can’t meet, which has a tangible marketing expense on their side, among other problems. So now we basically only hear about games’ release dates when they’re imminent. This year, we’ve gotten:

  • Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore
  • Balatro
  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
  • Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
  • Penny’s Big Breakaway
  • Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
  • Tekken 8
  • The Thaumaturge
  • Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes

…and while it’s divisive, I quite liked Alone in the Dark.

We’ve got the likes of Palworld and Enshrouded in early access, with No Rest for the Wicked to join them shortly.

There are a couple of games from smaller developers and publishers I’ve got my eye on with likely or confirmed 2024 release dates. They may have a wide spread in quality when reviews hit, but some of them could be winners, especially since they’re in genres currently underrepresented by the wider market:

  • Aero GPX
  • Agent 64: Spies Never Die
  • Big Boy Boxing
  • Broken Roads
  • Conscript
  • Commandos: Origins
  • Core Decay
  • Fallen Aces
  • Kingmakers
  • Phantom Fury
  • The Plucky Squire
  • Streets of Rogue 2
  • Tempest Rising
  • Titan Quest II
  • V Rising (1.0 release)
  • Warside

Then some other noteworthy games that are likely going to be very good and have a real shot at releasing this year:

  • Avowed
  • Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
  • Gears 6
  • Hollow Knight: Silksong
  • Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
  • Judas
  • Mina the Hollower
  • The Rise of the Golden Idol

What this year doesn’t have, at least so far, is a clear front runner like Baldur’s Gate 3 or God of War, but there’s more than half of the year left.

ampersandrew,
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Yup, just made more sense to group it with the other high profile releases. I’m looking forward to that expansion, for sure.

ampersandrew,
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Epic Games has been clear about seeing Steam as a direct competitor, and has done everything from giving away free games to paying for timed exclusives to entice players.

Yup, that’s everything. Those are their only options. Yup. Nothing else to be done. It’s an unsolvable problem if those things don’t work.

This is supposed to be how competition in the marketplace works

In case the above sarcasm wasn’t clear, no, this is not how competition in the marketplace is supposed to work.

If you want a preview of an uncaring and anti-consumer Valve, look no further than the company’s efforts on Mac.

This is an example of Apple making life difficult for its customers, not Valve.

There’s no excuse for Steam on Mac to be a far worse experience than on other platforms, though.

There is, because Apple wanted to control their entire hardware pipeline, which meant breaking compatibility with the entire history of PC gaming when they did so. If this is your smoking gun, author, try harder.

Eventually, the bomb will go off, and the full ‘enshittification’ of Steam will commence.

I hate this enshittification term so much, because all it means is that they got complacent, and competitors can pick up the slack. You just spend your money elsewhere, whether it’s Xbox vs. PlayStation or Steam vs. GOG. It is a problem that Steam has so much control of the marketplace, but they got there because their competitors aren’t truly competing. I finally found a reason to shop on GOG again, despite the fact that they don’t support their Linux customers as well as their Windows customers, and definitely not as well as Valve treats them, but DRM-free is a compelling argument for me. Epic does not make a compelling argument for the consumer, which is why that meme, pasted in the middle of the article, exists.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

Is it perhaps a slow, laggy mess because Apple decided to break from the same convention that everyone else uses and has used for decades and now has to emulate a different processor architecture? Apple is the one who made gaming shittier on Macs, and they’re going to point to Death Stranding and Resident Evil 4, expecting the flood gates to be open, and now everyone’s going to port their games to Mac. Except they’re not. Apple won’t understand why not, but once again, as they’ve always done, breaking from convention and establishing your own standard that doesn’t play nice with what everyone else is building around is bad for developers. Before this, they were still making developers’ lives harder by not supporting certain graphics APIs. Valve made a Vulkan translation layer to Apple’s Metal, since Apple wouldn’t officially allow for Vulkan, and that was shortly before the architecture change.

ampersandrew,
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It is an excuse for Valve, because their business is selling thousands of games that do not have ARM-native builds. No action of Valve’s made Steam worse for Mac users. An action of Apple’s did that. At some point, it’s not worth it for Valve to update their application to be better for a platform that’s actively hostile to its business partners.

ampersandrew,
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You can only throw away hundreds of millions of dollars on Avengers and Suicide Squad so many times before they decide to come up with something people are willing to pay for.

ampersandrew,
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Even if every $200M game was good, you’re still competing against the other $200M games out there, and that’s very risky.

ampersandrew,
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True. There would also be even more layoffs in this industry if they threw out years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars at the finish line because they decided not to release a game that didn’t turn out to be as good as they’d hoped.

ampersandrew,
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I was being facetious. If your development timeline is 7 years, you have no idea how it’s going to turn out at the end, but they all set out to make a good product, especially when it takes that much time and money to make. Guardians of the Galaxy was supposedly a very good game that bombed horribly, for instance. There’s a lot of risk when your game is that expensive to make, because there are only so many customers out there, and they’re already playing other big expensive games. Even Sony is finding that their marquis titles aren’t bringing in as many customers as they expected anymore, so they can’t keep spending more on games and expect them to be profitable.

ampersandrew,
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What do you mean? It’s already profitable for them. I’m far more concerned with Nintendo’s online subscription than Microsoft’s. Nintendo’s already crossed the line, and Microsoft still stands to make more money by offering games for sale on Steam than to make them only available via a subscription that isn’t doing well with regards to acquiring more customers.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

So if they only make 2.7 billion and spend more than a billion a year with some games costing $200 million….

How is it profitable?

$2,700,000,000 -$1,000,000,000 = $1,700,000,000

If the rest of their expenditures are less than $1.7B, then it’s profitable for the year. Since we’ve already accounted for the line item where they’re licensing products for their service that they don’t own, I’d be surprised if they had $1.7B worth of other operating expenses left to pay for, unless you can share a source stating otherwise. But what I see is this stating that it is profitable.

They are being intentionally vague and not releasing intimation as it would show they are doing very illegal things.

The burden of proof is on you if you think they’re doing something illegal. It’s not difficult at all to believe that they’re doing everything by the book, have a profitable service, and also found a plateau in how many customers are interested in using such a subscription.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

Critical thinking: $200M game budgets are not “per year”. They’re 5+ year development timelines. Microsoft’s output was only a few games. Starfield had a $200M budget over the course of 5 years. Forza wouldn’t surprise me if it had about that for its own budget, even though it reuses a lot of legacy code and assets to get there for cheaper than building it from scratch. But that’s not $200M per year for those games. How much do you think Hi-Fi Rush cost? We’re talking 8 figures for that one, not 9, and that’s over the course of 4 years.

they could also spend more than 10 billion, but they omit that specific information. Why? Because it would show the lie….

They could omit all kinds of things that they didn’t do from their financial reports, sure. Why didn’t they say that they spent $10B? Perhaps because they didn’t spend $10B…

Your link, which I have seen before, refers to how much games are estimated to cost to come to Game Pass, some of which happened and some of which they turned down because they were too expensive. They famously low-balled the impact BG3 would have on the industry and how much it would take to secure that game for Game Pass…if they were interested in doing so.

ampersandrew,
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In the link that you provided, which I have seen before, you can see that they turned down games for hundreds of millions of dollars but estimated that that’s what they would cost to get on Game Pass when they launch. Have you noticed that games often leave Game Pass as well? That’s because they have to keep paying those people for those games, and they don’t see any value in continuing to do so. If they were spending 10x on licensing what they reported to investors, that would have come out in these leaks, especially since the licensees would be able to do some back of the napkin math when they can see what was spent to license their competitors. But that didn’t happen. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there’s no conspiracy here. Microsoft just has a profitable service.

ampersandrew,
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In fact lots are claiming the opposite since this leak came out and they started looking at the numbers and taking directly to devs involved.

Then please link that instead of their estimates, because if they were lying, publishers calling out bad math is exactly what I’d expect to happen. What I see on this list though are a bunch of costs that can be spread out over several years, not paid out all at the same time. Jedi Survivor, Suicide Squad, and Mortal Kombat account for $800M of this list, and none of them came to Game Pass, meaning Microsoft did not opt to spend that money.

Games leave gamepass since when it comes to renewal they don’t want to since streaming cannablizes sales and leads to lower revenue (already said this) so it’s not Microsoft deciding it’s not profitable, it’s the game wanting control back.

You are misplacing cause and effect. It’s more expensive for Microsoft to get someone else’s game on Game Pass right at launch than it is after launch, because if it’s a game people are already excited for, it will eat sales, as opposed to something like Descenders where most people never even heard of it, so it would serve as a form of marketing. In that case, Microsoft and the other company are essentially making a bet with regards to how much the game would make if it’s not on Game Pass, and Microsoft pays them a guaranteed sum up front, which reduces risk but also reduces reward. When a game leaves Game Pass, it’s not because they saw their sales tanking and wanted to “take back control”. It’s that Microsoft isn’t offering them enough to make up for the sales they’d expect to otherwise make for the next leasing period. Microsoft doesn’t offer them as much for the next period, because they don’t expect that keeping that game on the service keeps more people subscribed.

If you can produce that link that demonstrates what you’re claiming, I’ll read it, but otherwise, this sure looks like you’d rather believe in some boogeyman conspiracy theory than a simple truth.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

It’s the “complaining when they end” thing that I’m interested in, for sure. Especially if a government listens, which he’s aiming to make happen here.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

I just added it to the description too. Whoops! That should have been there from the start.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

I take issue with the requirement being “when it’s no longer supported” for similar reasons. I can foresee an argument where a company advocates for some scenario where they’re going out of business and can’t do it, and some 75-year-old judge who hasn’t played a video game since Tetris lets it slide. Still, this is the shot we have, and we need to take it.

Gameplay mechanics were also a lot better with more replayability. (lemmy.world)

Ignoring the lack of updates if the game is buggy, games back then were also more focused on quality and make gamers replay the game with unlockable features based on skills, not money. I can’t count the number of times I played Metal Gear Solid games over and over to unlock new features playing the hardest difficulty and with...

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

Cosmetic DLC feels like it’s for chumps too, but it’s lucrative. The best example is going to be Simon’s Quest, without a doubt. The strategy guide was in an issue of Nintendo Power. I’m sure they were also happy to let social pressures on the playground either sell the strategy guides or the game just by word of mouth as kids discussed how to progress in the game. A Link to the Past is full of this stuff too. The game grinds to a halt at several points until you happen to find a macguffin that the game doesn’t even tell you that you need. Without the strategy guide, you could end up finding those things by spending tons of hours exploring every corner of the map, but by today’s standards, we’d call that padding.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

That’s commonly said but ignores other economic factors such as income, unspent money, and cost-of-living.

Inflation is derived by indexing all of those things. Some things are far more expensive or far cheaper relative to each other, but we approximate the buying power of a dollar by looking at all of it.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

If memory serves, Valve got the idea for the loot boxes from Korean free to play games. As far as I know though, they did invent the battle pass with Dota 2.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

I don’t see how the amount of “completeness” can even be measured. Is it really so much worse that you can buy extra fighters for the Street Fighter 6 that you already own rather than buying Super, Turbo, and then Super Turbo at full price every time? Or that you can choose to buy just the stuff you want for Cities: Skylines for half the price instead of paying twice as much to get stuff that don’t care about along with it? Plus, expansions like Phantom Liberty and Shadow of the Erdtree are bigger than most entire video games from the 90s.

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

How do you figure?

ampersandrew,
@ampersandrew@lemmy.world avatar

The median US household income in 1998 was $38.9k, and today it’s $77.3k.

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