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User information for Dave Something

Real Name Dave Something   
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Nickname DG
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
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Homepage http://
Signed On Oct 12, 2002, 03:11
Total Comments 1672 (Pro)
User ID 14793
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Valve on Community Funding
9. Re: Valve on Community Funding Jul 20, 2009, 18:03 DG
 
When you pre-order I think the money goes into the store's bank account and the dev doesn't see a dime of it until the store orders, receives and then pays for a shipment (probably 30+ days after receiving it).

When you buy stock in a company, unless it's new shares you're buying from another guy and the company never sees a dime of that money (though on large scale it can benefit indirectly i.e. push up share price and hence they get more money if they do issue new shares).

I guess what Valve is suggesting, or at least my take on it, is that basically an indie dev can list games on Steam and Valve can pass on the cash right away. Maybe the price would be 1/4 say 2 years before release, steadily increasing to full price maybe a month before release date. Obviously the starting date, price and speed of increase would depend on how "blue chip" the game appears to be - though this could be changed in real-time depending on demand.

As far as the bottom line is concerned, reduced sales could be matched with reduced interest expense - a $5m loan at 5% APR is $250k in interest per year (and you're compounding that the next year).

They could up the ante some by including actual profit-sharing, but that sounds like it makes Valve a stock exchange and hence subject to an extreme amount of regulation. Can't see it.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
5. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2009, 13:19 DG
 
the KB isn't even a good controller - it's just that it's good enough a lot of the time, and, significantly, it's both familiar and ubiquitous to gamers. It's the mouse that is what puts the PC's controls head and shoulders above joypads etc for certain genres.

To be fair, the KB & mouse combo is excellent, but while someone certainly could design something better to replace the keyboard I highly doubt they could best the mouse - except for the very stick/pad friendly genres (flight sims, fighting, racing, other sports).

This comment was edited on Jul 20, 2009, 13:19.
 
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News Comments > C&C4 Info, Screenshots
1. Re: C&C4 Info, Screenshots Jul 20, 2009, 13:03 DG
 
Looks like APOC has now deleted that entry

Not liking the look of those scans, reminded me of Tiberian Sun
 
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
6. Re: 10 dirty little secrets you should k Jul 18, 2009, 07:00 DG
 
Here's a dirty little secret. You'll hear reasonable salary figures and interesting projects but when you arrive at the job, your employer treats you like shit. They constantly put new work on top of your responsibilities without asking you or investigating the consequences. workers are treated as if they are robots.

I've seen it all. work sucks.
Fixed

Try working in accountancy practice. Every minute is logged and costed to the job, and even thought the charge rate includes profit margin if the fee to "cost" isn't 100% they act like you were caught at your desk sleeping off a hangover.

Say the time budget was 30 hours last year but it actually took they guy 40 (plus say 10 hours unpaid overtime), next year the budget is cut to 25 hours. And in the mean time disclosure requirements have increased plus they've added more file schedules to complete, and now that you mention it last year's file was sloppy.

If the client has screwed up their bookkeeping, make this known ASAP, though if the client isn't going to pay an increased fee due to the extra work required to sort it, actually it makes no difference at all. Oh and then they make you re-do something a different way because they don't like the approach, which you took by following last year's file where they approved it. Failing to see the irony, the next review point complains that you did something differently to last year's file even though you wrote a paragraph detailing and proving how last year was completely wrong.

Then they want you to make an utterly trivial change in complete ignorance of the cascading consequences which means that it's actually a lot of work.

*breathes*

But, there is a trick! When you get home, read Dilbert.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
5. Re: Op Ed Jul 18, 2009, 06:08 DG
 
I like some elements of "new games journalism", like the emphasis on whether the game is a good/fun experience instead of banging on about "features" which 99% of the time I've seen before and are only ever interesting in how they make the game a good/fun experience. The waffling, when it's done very well, can be an interesting read but it does not make for a good games review.

The only reviews I pay any attention to are the couple of paragraphs in a forum comment - how one gamer describes a game to another.
 
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News Comments > Call of Duty: World at War Patch & Maps
17. Re: Call of Duty: World at War Patch & Maps Jul 18, 2009, 05:42 DG
 
I'd think that delivery on the PC would be the easiest.
Not if you want to deliver to the right people, i.e. those that paid for it.

If we as console gamers don't raise awareness of how we're being exploited compared to PC gamers, and start to complain about it instead of being complacent sheep, then publishers and developers will keep trying to up the ante and exploit us even worse. Publishers and developers will start to pay attention when they start getting bad PR for such an obvious double standard, and more console players start demanding equal treatment compared to PC gamers.
I'm guessing you have an idea in your mind that this would somehow result in more free content on consoles. Um, no.
 
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News Comments > etc., etc.
2. Re: etc., etc. Jul 18, 2009, 05:32 DG
 
Yeah I maxed out the old cap about 2/3 of the way through the vanilla game (doing quite a lot of exploring) and the game was extremely easy, especially if you focus on small guns, VATS and critical hit perks.  
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News Comments > Left 4 Dead Lobby Browser
27. Re: Left 4 Dead Lobby Browser Jul 18, 2009, 05:23 DG
 
While I agree with you, it's simply not realistic, and definitely not what happens in Versus matches.
Yeah OK, I totally forgot about Versus. Though I stand by it as far as campaign and survival is concerned.
 
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News Comments > Call of Duty: World at War Patch & Maps
12. Re: Call of Duty: World at War Patch & Maps Jul 17, 2009, 19:14 DG
 
correct me if I'm wrong, but it is free for PC users. I'd like to know how game developers such as Treyarch justify this
MS charges them to release it and strongly encourages charging for DLC, presumably thinking that if some people release DLC for free then other games will have a harder time charging for DLC (and thus wont make the DLC at all). I seem to recall a Valve interview saying what a nuisance this is for L4D since MS only gives them like 8mb for free patching.

I also have a 360 and I expect a different deal. Games are expected to ship complete and essentially bug-free, and it's expected that any further content would be paid for. Charging for DLC is only really a nuisance in that it can divide the player base. 'Course, this only applies to a point, but DLC that's free on PC is usually very cheap anyway. Thinking back, all the PC games I've been really into I'd be happy to pay that small amount for some DLC, instead it's nearly always been everybody wishing some new content would be released. The problem on PC is delivery, at least until something like Steam becomes ubiquitous.

This comment was edited on Jul 17, 2009, 19:19.
 
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News Comments > Left 4 Dead Lobby Browser
24. Re: Left 4 Dead Lobby Browser Jul 17, 2009, 14:32 DG
 
FWIW, this works basically in the opposite direction to before - instead of inputting the settings you want and having it find a suitable lobby for you, now when you hit the campaign button you now just get a list of lobbies and you select one that has the settings you want (or you can create a lobby, which is the same as before).

TBFH, I don't know why anyone would want a server browser for this game. IMHO, server browsers are great where you have big games that roll on and on and it doesn't really matter if people join/leave mid game - the server itself generates a reputation and a culture which is more significant than individual players.

L4D however is all about the individual team mates, you want 4 people all starting and finishing at the same time, and the server itself doesn't matter as long as it performs. The lobby system works great for this.

The previous L4D lobby was a completely pull system, you told it what you wanted and it chose the lobby for you. This makes it very quick & easy when you have a limited number of variables to choose from and a big enough population that you can usually get whatever you want. Throw in custom content and a dwindling population and it's a lot harder to do that, hence the new approach being a push system that turns it around - now it tells you what you can have and makes you do the choosing. At first look this update addresses that pretty well.

IMHO it's a very smart move, though it should have been timed with the SDK release.

As Verno says though, no you still can't force a lobby to a particular server (say, the one you rented) and yes it is bloody stupid.
 
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
1. Re: 10 dirty little secrets you should k Jul 17, 2009, 13:53 DG
 
Nothing special about IT there, context might be different but any decently paid profession faces the same kind of shit. Actually, I'd expect pretty much any employee does, to some extent at least.  
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
7. Re: Morning Consolidation Jul 16, 2009, 16:01 DG
 
If gaming went single platform publishers and developers would get even more screwed over by the platform owner than customers would.

Careful what you wish for Dyack.

This comment was edited on Jul 16, 2009, 16:01.
 
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
4. Re: 54.99 Modern Warfare 2 Jul 16, 2009, 15:49 DG
 
You cant continue to trade as normal when the biggest territory in Europe has seen cost of goods increase by 30 per cent due to the strengthening of the Euro. Publishers somehow need to offset this drastic increase in costs.
Um, that doesn't make any sense - to a Euro publisher it's not an increase in costs, it's a fall in the value of GBP revenue - splitting heirs maybe, but it still only happens if you record that revenue in EURos.

To a British publisher, your GBP sales remain constant while your Euro sales just increased by 30%. Tell me again, why are developers and publishers moaning about how "uncompetitive" it is here unless they get the subsidies?

THQ who gave the quote, along with everybody involved in Modern Warfare 2, are all American. The GBP to $USD exchange rate is close to what it was on this day in 2006 (and the $USD to EUR isn't far off either).

Any claim that their costs have risen or revenue fallen is completely bogus unless you compare to the short term high of the GBP, in which case the argument still doesn't fly since they never cut prices during that high period. Nor are they cutting prices to Europe even though the Euro is on a high.

We're wise to the little trick of "let's compare to when we were dicking you over before and pretend that was normal". The gas companies have abused that one way too much to go unnoticed.

And hey, while you're at it, if you're going to complain about the exchange rates it's help if game prices had ever vaguely reflected the exchange rate: 55.99 is today $91.70. 45, the most I've ever paid for a game, is $73.70 ($64 after VAT).

Are these people really that stupid, or do they think we are? The Online retailers evidently are neither, since they've simply discounted it even more heavily so it's almost at their usual release price for a AAA.

This comment was edited on Jul 16, 2009, 15:56.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
13. Re: Racism in video games Jul 16, 2009, 14:29 DG
 
What a terrible article by a complete idiot.

Actually, no. I think he's just trolling for the hits.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 15, 2009, 13:47 DG
 
Try seagulls outside your window. It doesn't help when the trash collection is changed from morning to evening, and they forget to tell anyone. Cue seagulls at dawn waiting to have a party throwing the trash all over the street.  
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News Comments > PC Alan Wake up to MS
26. Re: PC Alan Wake up to MS Jul 15, 2009, 13:35 DG
 
Some people appear to expect MS to build and support PC gaming like they do Xbox. PC gaming isn't console gaming, we have no reason to expect that MS would support it like one. That's a good thing - who wants PC gaming to be like Xbox where everyone has to get MS's approval to release a game, and pay them a royalty?

The DX10 fiasco is the only recent time I can think of where PC gamers have had a rightful expectation for MS to support PC gaming (DX10 is part of the OS) and for them to take a dump on it instead. Not that they were trying to fuck over PC to favour Xbox, they were trying to fuck over one PC OS in favour of another PC OS.

MS isn't going out of it's way to fuck over PC gaming. You're giving it too much credit. It neither cares about nor knows what to do with PC gaming. Buying PC-game developers and turning them into 360 game developers, well no publisher has any obligation to provide PC gamers with games, and every right to do what they think (rightly or wrongly) is best for their business. It sucks and everything but MS is hardly unique in this.

GFWL? Somebody somewhere probably had a pretty good idea with GFWL originally, but it's the kind of thing that takes a real investment, keen knowledge of the market and a strong motivation. It's a piece of shit because MS has none of those things.
 
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News Comments > On C&C4 Persistence
9. Re: On C&C4 Persistence Jul 14, 2009, 13:04 DG
 
What can the features be that you need to be online all the time? If it's for stat tracking and so on that could easily be stored and uploaded when you do go online with the game. If LMN8R's point is accurate I'd still wager that they've created the problem because they have a desired solution, otherwise they could easily let you play offline without levelling (call it 'practice mode' or whatever).

I can't imagine they are featuring anything that either really needs to be online nor is on balance better than not being able to play if:
- the DSL goes down
- my router goes down
- I've just moved and DSL isn't connected yet
- I'm travelling laptop with no free wifi available
- their servers choke
- x years down the line they decide to chop the server and for whatever reason haven't patched out the online requirement (unlikely IMO, but a factor)

It's an anti-piracy measure, can't they just be honest? It appears to me they're simply doing this to prevent two instances of one game licence running at the same time, now that limited activations has such bad press. OTOH, if they actually are intending on following the service model to combat piracy, then they need to, you know, offer a valid service.

This comment was edited on Jul 14, 2009, 13:09.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
10. Re: Op Ed Jul 13, 2009, 13:54 DG
 
Multiplayer on the 360 is a huge phenomenon
That's true, but everybody's playing GOW and HALO and not much else. Every single game that they could tack an MP onto had an MP tacked onto it, but they can't compete with GOW and HALO.

Not that it's unique to consoles, for a long time nothing could come close to CS. But with PC gaming there were still plenty of people being hardcore fans of other games like RTCW. The difference is RTCW was distinct to CS so it didn't compete directly (a niche, console games generally seem more focused on mass-market), and PC gamers seem to be somewhat more singular whereas consolers are perhaps more inclined to play what their IRL friends are playing.

Personally I think it's daft to try to do a game that is both. I want different things from single- and multi-player games, and above all I want the game to be good. Why waste resources on a crappy multiplayer when you could be making your good singleplayer even better (and vice-versa)?
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
2. Re: Op Ed Jul 11, 2009, 13:56 DG
 
Governments shouldn't pick winners that should be left to the market. If a government interferes they distort the market and decisions, so you end up with an unnatural position. In the longer term you either need to continue the grants or the company will be uncompetitive for the "natural" reasons (lack of talent etc). So in the longer term either the company moves away or it will do badly. Ultimately the public loses out as it is an inefficient allocation of resources - if the company needs a grant to locate somewhere, clearly it would otherwise have been better off somewhere else. If a company requires $1m in grants just to make one location be equally attractive as another, that $1m is the net cost to society of the government interference (irrespective of the amount of grant actually given).

Sure, that one locale might have a net benefit, but actually that one locale usually ends up getting less for the grant than they anticipated, as companies import their own employees from elsewhere (hence lessening the local jobs created) and use transfer pricing etc to shift profits to areas with lower taxes. And then they move away when the subsidies stop. Plus subsidies usually end up in a kind of arms race that other governments start competing with, and before you know it you're having to increase a subsidy even more just to minimise the losses on earlier subsidies given. This is expounded further when the industry, or worse all industry, develops an expectation that grants are par for the course.

Subsidies can work in short term situations - say you have strong natural advantage for the industry but the industry needs some help with cashflow to get off the ground. But they must be short-term solutions to ease specific problems, and absolutely not interfere with the competitive position.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
5. Re: Op Ed Jul 9, 2009, 13:36 DG
 
I think there's a place for both. Mostly it depends on how easy it is to sink into the game atmosphere. I enjoyed the render/video cutscenes in the older C&C/RA games and found the Generals game-graphics ones a big step backwards. On the other hand, Half-Life's in game cut-scenes work very well.

It also matters whether it's a cut-scene (i.e. cutting away to somewhere else) or live-action. If the video scene is showing something happening somewhere else, I tend to prefer a rendered video. But if I take the game character to a point and the video takes over from there, I prefer it to continue with in-game graphics.
 
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1672 Comments. 84 pages. Viewing page 44.
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