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Real Name Tomas   
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Nickname Tomas
Email Concealed by request
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Homepage http://
Signed On Feb 19, 2003, 07:19
Total Comments 186 (Novice)
User ID 16212
 
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News Comments > Killing Floor Announced
15. Re: Killing Floor Announced Mar 20, 2009, 22:20 Tomas
 
Just some info:

This project is not Tripwire's "Game 2" although this will be their second game released. This game is based on the Unreal 2.5 engine and was a project they picked up from a mod team who wanted to use Red Orchestra as a base for their mod. Tripwire basically counter-offered and told them they'd help them publish their game and bought the rights to it.

Tripwire's "Game 2" that most Red Orchestra fans have been dying to hear an announcement for is still in development and there is very little info about it. The safe bet is it is something along the lines of Red Orchestra, but since there's next to zero info out yet nobody knows for sure. I believe it's also fact that it is being developed in the Unreal 3 engine so the graphics will crush those in Red Orchestra and the just announced Killing Floor project (which actually looks great considering it's Unreal 2.5).

Anyhow, just some info for those curious as to what is going on. I was personally really bumbed at first since I thought this was the RO2 game they'd been developing. The good news is it is not, and it still might be something really cool so now I'm much happier. You can get more info on their new Killing Floor forums (which is where I got all of this).
 
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News Comments > THQ & PhysX
27. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 06:59 Tomas
 
After DX10..I'm not as excited about future DX releases as I might have been in the past
.

So long as DX11 supports XP I'll be interested. =) I've always been a slow adopter of new versions of windows. I was using 2000 until SP 2 came out for XP and even then I was loathe to "upgrade." I will admit though that after these last few years I've become more or less accustomed to XP - though the first thing I do with a fresh install is turn off all the XP gui stuff and get back to the nice classic win2k look and feel.

Oh, and to at least superficially stay on topic I would assume the reason we don't see physics mattering more in games isn't because the technology isn't there, but rather that from a design standpoint it's a huge pain in the butt. People complain about poor level design as is...imagine what things become like when players can blow up your levels. What a nightmare!

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 06:59.
 
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News Comments > 96% of Games Unprofitable?
25. Re: 96% of Games Unprofitable? Nov 22, 2008, 13:38 Tomas
 
Since I used to be in the games industry and my last title was a multi-million dollar indie game here's a few things I'd consider "facts" about making games. I don't expect most of you to believe me because this is, after all, BluesNews, the place for people who think they know how the world works. =)

It's not as hard as you think to get investment for a project if you have the right people talking. It's the same with the movie industry - there's a lot of well-to-do persons who think the idea of "making a game" or "making a movie" is awesome. They know nothing about how the industry really works but they do have money and the idea that they could be "making a game/movie" is a really cool thing to them and is a more powerful force than the possibility of losing their money. So getting funding, even if the shot at profit is really low, isn't really that hard, it just takes hard work. I've seen both movies and games funded several times so I know you can do it if you have the right people involved.

Movies don't make money. Well, most don't. Games don't make money. Well, most don't. So why do people make movies/games? Because we love the good ones and its extremely exciting to think you might be part of making that awesome product and the hoards of cash that come with it. Look at how many good and bad game studios fail after their first title or two. It's not necessarily because they made bad games and it's obviously not because they made tons of money. It's simply because their investment money plus the cash from sales finally ran out. Games simply aren't that profitable in most cases these days.

There are of course the studios that do make it and you can usually tell which they are after their first project, but even those studios are often only one title away from shutting down. If you need facts just look at the entire history of the games industry. This is why the big guys buy up little studios and eventually take over in both industries. Their plan is the same as the movie industry. You put out X products a year knowing that most of them won't be very profitable but you also know that you only need one or two big sellers and you're fine for next year.

Anytime you see a good game come out that is successful watch for that studio to get bought up by a big studio. Some will try to remain independent and if they have great management they might be able to do so for a while. The reason they are such tempting targets is because finding a solid development team is really hard. A mostly great team often isn't enough. Having great guys in most departments but incompetence in one or two areas can really hurt your overall sales and chance at survival.

While I think the 4% number is a bit misleading it's probably not that far off. I wish I had some data on the costs/sales of every game this last year. I'd bet that it'd end up being pretty close to that number. Remember that there are a LOT of games you've never heard of and many didn't even get released. Additionally, nany don't miss profitability by much so that 4% figure is not quite as bad as it sounds. Again consider the investment mentality. You try to spread your portfolio because you know some are going to be winners and some losers. Games and movies are the same. Most investors know that 9/10 of their investments will not return a profit but it's still worth their investment because the one that does turn profit makes up for the other nine.

I've brought this up before but it seems relevant again today. There's a reason we see derivative games over and over. Those studios that do make money are run by business people who have the data and know which types of games made money and if you want to make something that isn't on their list of proven recipes you're going to have a really hard time getting it approved. This is all because of the fact that many great games will never make money.

The costs of development these days has become so large that it is very hard to survive with a product that only appeals to a niche market. Many creative and some of the best games made fall into this hole. They aren't going to appeal to the masses. Sure there are a few exceptions but as a whole this is a truth. It's the exceptions though that make that group of guys with an idea and the drive to make a new studio time after time and try to make it work. Few people go into a new project thinking that it's going to only make a few sales and appeal to a small number of people. We all think what we like is clearly the best thing and therefore everyone should like it as well.

As for the 60% of the budget being spent reworking or redesigning a game I'd say that is also true. However, in most of those cases I'd say that the more redesign or reworking that goes into a project the less likely it is to make money or even be "good" at release. If the design was bad...it's often cheaper to drop the project and start over. It may seem counter-intuitive that dropping a huge investment in a project to simply start something new is cheaper but it's often true. The costs and complications of changing something that wasn't ever designed to be changed are usually far greater than expected. This is why sometimes adding that feature post release that the whole community is clamoring for isn't as easy as it sounds. Just because that feature is commonplace or is in other games and isn't that complex doesn't mean it is easy to implement into the architecture of every project.
 
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News Comments > Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Announced
12. Re: Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Announced Nov 3, 2008, 16:50 Tomas
 
And really...why no Russian and Japan yet?

As a side note I'm still disappointed that they changed the LAN feature. We used to have big LAN events all the time but not everybody owned their own copy - however a bunch of the guys ended up buying it over time for the single player and to play at home...but now we don't play anymore. Seems like a bad decision for Relic to me. All they did was ended a lot of guys interest in the game and stopped any future sales that were going to come from us getting new players to try it out. (We have a bunch of PCs at my house which were all installed with the game so people could come play with us)

This comment was edited on Nov 3, 2008, 16:54.
 
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News Comments > Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Announced
11. Re: Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Announced Nov 3, 2008, 16:50 Tomas
 
I think the reason games won't move away from WWII is simply because it was the most interesting period of war ever. With countries constantly changing the face of military tactics and technology there are just so many interesting facets to tinker with. Agreed on the modern war point - while it's less explored in many ways it's just less interesting in most cases. WWII plays a lot like a chess game where we keep adding a new pieces every few months to counter your best pieces. It's like a game designers perfect playground.  
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News Comments > New Mount & Blade Patch, Trial
4. Seriously, try this game Nov 3, 2008, 16:45 Tomas
 
I still feel bad for anyone who likes anything to do with fantasy or medievalness who doesn't try this game out. Sure it's not the fanciest AAA title but the combat is so fun. Now that they've released the modding tools I'm pretty excited for all the free new games I'm going to get to play for the next few months. BTW, you should have bought it back when it was 12 bucks!  
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News Comments > Call of Duty: World at War Beta Live
10. Re: Call of Duty: World at War Beta Live Oct 28, 2008, 23:49 Tomas
 
I thought maybe it was just me but yeah, the textures are really low res and it feels a lot less impressive graphically than COD4 but runs about the same. I haven't had much time with it yet though so I'm not sure whether its the new replacement for Friday Night Frag Fest yet.  
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News Comments > DX3 Dev: Deus Ex was "Kinda Slow"
60. Re: DX3 Dev: Deus Ex was Oct 22, 2008, 19:59 Tomas
 
*sigh* Worst news bit for Deus Ex 3 ever. I was cautiously optimistic before but now I'm not sure this will even be worth picking up. How can the lead dev make a boneheaded statement like that? Did he even play the first one?

This is the game that had my younger sister sitting beside me watching me play for two days straight because it was so "slow" and unmemorable. I can't name many games that someone else actually sat next to me and watched me play from start to end.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
12. No subject Oct 9, 2008, 03:00 Tomas
 
Congrats! Been here since 1998 myself. Not sure how I missed those first years and survived! Here's to hoping that the next dozen are just as great. =)

 
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News Comments > X3: Terran Conflict Delayed Again
13. No subject Oct 6, 2008, 16:10 Tomas
 
How did you guys play X3 without the manual? I had to read and re-read that thing like 10 times to understand and figure everything out. There were a few things I just didn't get and it took a lot of looking around to figure out. It's definitely a complex game but I always enjoy the X stuff even though I never really do the story or get that far in it (I usually duck out around 30-40 hours or empire building but that's par for most games for me). All in all I'll probably buy this one too when I can afford it.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
2. Re: Noooo! Oct 1, 2008, 00:01 Tomas
 
*phew* it's back.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
1. Noooo! Oct 1, 2008, 00:00 Tomas
 
Everything is gone! Bring back Bluesnews!

 
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News Comments > Pirates of the Burning Sea Trial
7. No subject Sep 30, 2008, 19:48 Tomas
 
I can't tell you how excited I was for this game...and how disappointed I was when I finally got to play it. =( I'm still waiting for that swashbuckling/pirate MMO game that really does it right. This is one of the cases where I wish they'd basically made the WoW of pirate games.

 
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News Comments > Steam Ships Ahoy - Hinterland
9. Anyone played this? Sep 30, 2008, 19:42 Tomas
 
I've been on an indie kick lately - I'm guessing this is indie and it might be something I'd really enjoy. Anyone tried it yet? Legit reviews?

 
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News Comments > On Gears of War 2, PCs, and Piracy
77. Two last thoughts Sep 30, 2008, 18:26 Tomas
 
Unless something really interesting magically pops out of this thread here are my two last thoughts:

1. PC games are also less appealing to publishers/devs because they are increasingly losing both quality shelf space and the risks are high. Whether it is due to a small niche audience, piracy, bad game, bad marketing plan, or a dozen other reasons its becoming increasingly obvious that console development is a safer route. Naturally being tech savvy doens't make you a pirate but lets be honest...most of the guys I know who are only console players are pretty darn stupid when it comes to computers. I don't think CliffyB was suggesting that the only reason why he doesn't want to make games for PC is because everyone will pirate them, but it sure doesn't help things out either. Please note that he said:

Therefore, high-end videogames are suffering very much on the PC.

Notice the bolded part. And I think that's a fair statement.

2. Don't forget that the costs of a port also include marketing and the production which aren't cheap either. Just because you can save a lot of the development time doesn't mean you can save a ton on getting the game out there in physical form that people will know about. I think the old PC gaming model is going to die. I believe this is also why instead of getting cool boxes with real manuals, cloth maps, and all sorts of cool extras we get a crappy, generic plastic case with maybre a 10 page "manual" these days and that's it. My hope is that someday we reach a gaming plateau where the development costs finally come down (maybe hardware reaches a point where it's not needing to change much and thus toolsets have time to mature or something?) and therefore the smaller games and studios again can afford to make games that only need a smaller niche audience. We complain about lack of innovation these days but that's because innovation is not a safe investment in most cases.

This comment was edited on Sep 30, 18:27.
 
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News Comments > On Gears of War 2, PCs, and Piracy
53. In case anyone wonders about movies Sep 30, 2008, 04:05 Tomas
 
Just for your gee whiz file here's some info on how movies make money these days (just so you know I'm not blowing smoke out my backside):

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/Demyst3.htm

 
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News Comments > On Gears of War 2, PCs, and Piracy
52. Re: Well Sep 30, 2008, 03:58 Tomas
 
So why is hollywood so successful these days? I mean, how many Adam Sandler movies are there or movies with Ben Stiller and how many of those were blockbusters? Did they turn a profit too?

I hope PC games stay and we still see them push the art. Consoles sure as fuck won't because all they care about is $$$$.

I'm glad you asked since I happen to have experience in the movie industry. The reason there are so many of those movies is because most people like crap. Most movies don't turn profits - in fact it's a common, incorrect belief that movie X, which cost 40 million to make, made 50 million in the box office so it must have been successful. That movie failed miserably and those involved financially are now writing off yet another huge loss unless they have a some really quality DVD options setup as well as control over foreign rights and a number of other things. It's pretty complex - the whole movie thing but not completely unlike games although there are a lot more pricks per dozen in movies. But the bottom line is most of those Adam Sandler/Ben Stiller movies did make profit. As soon as they stop they stop making them. Herein lies the difference.

You can have a box-office failure that is still profitable because of the things I mentioned above. In fact you'll notice if you go to your local video store that there are many more movies that never release in the theater for that exact reason. It costs a lot of money to do a big ad campaign, get the screens, and cover all the costs of theatrical release whereas releasing to DVD and managing things like foreign rights has a much smaller investment and yet are the main sources of profit for most movies. With video games you don't really have this second, third, and possibly fourth stream of revenue. If your store/online sales fail...your game fails. Sure there's a bargain bin, but you don't make much on AAA titles when it reaches the bargain bin. After those first two weeks most titles lose their shelf space and the sales become very small except in the cases of the exceptions - the big hits like the WoWs or the Sims which can sell for months. This is why you're seeing many games pushing the first month of DRM and then not worrying about it so much. It's why you'll see the console version coming out first followed by the PC weeks or months later. It's all because the numbers that come in show this is the most "sure" method of sales for PC games and it's what the guys with the investment capital will always push for. It would be bad business to request anything else.

This doesn't discount the notion that people don't like being treated like thieves. If you feel that way I'd suggest you relax and take a deep breath. If you think someone is insinuating that all PC gamers are thieves then you are way too sensitive. The PC games industry is simply reeling from increased complications in a quickly changing market. They are trying to find solutions and not all of them are well thought out or good for consumers. There's backlash as there should be but in the end there are no really easy answers. Sure we could do away with all copy protection and just hope people become more honest but that's not going to significantly increase sales. To suggest that having some sort of copy protection in a game makes honest folks justified in stealing is silly as is assuming that have that same protection helps the honest folks in any way. Again...it's a bad situation for both the companies trying to make money and the consumer exacerbated by the fact that it's so easy to pirate and it's becoming more of a social norm than it used to be.

I remember when I was a kid and I had a friend who had a pirated game and my first though was, "but that's illegal...what if the FBI comes to my house and catches me." Sure I was a bit dumb to think the FBI would actually show up because my buddy copied King's Quest and gave it to me, but these days most have lost that sentiment and replaced it with some sort of feeling of entitlement as if that somehow made sense.

Anyhow, long post for a short concept but sometimes you just get going. The bottom line is hollywood isn't successful because of the box office. In nearly all cases their real revenue comes from secondary sources and not the percent of the ticket sale they get (which in many cases is a lot less than you probably think). PC games do not yet have a good secondary revenue stream though there are some attempts to at least help with that such as GoG.com, Steam and a few other sources. In the end though this isn't enough to make up for most games - not even for the good ones. If you want to know the state of the games industry then go try to find investors or an investment group who want to make anything other than a clone of the top 5 games.

I too hope that PC games stay as I'd rather play a PC game 10 times over than most console games. I don't think it's fair to say console people only care about money, but it's definitely the safer avenue right now. Sure there is console piracy but its no nearly as easy or widespread an audience. This could change, but it's a bit easier to combat as well since the hardware is all proprietary etc. Sucks for us PC gamers who just want to enjoy awesome games at a good price without the DRM or hassle...but until someone comes up with some big changes for the industry it's not going to improve. The costs simply outweigh the potential profit in too many cases for the money to keep flowing.

 
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News Comments > Game Reviews
1. Mount & Blade Sep 30, 2008, 03:32 Tomas
 
For all its shortcomings (come on...it's indie afterall) I can't remember the last time a game kept me up several days in a row past 6AM. Sure I wish it was more robust in areas...but it's just so fun as it is. I am glad I bought it back when it was $12 though! =)

 
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News Comments > On Gears of War 2, PCs, and Piracy
27. Re: No subject Sep 29, 2008, 23:53 Tomas
 
But apparently 'some profit' isn't 'enough profit'. Making money just isn't what it was in the past. If it's not a million-seller it's not worth it (even if it DOES turn a profit). Hell, a digital distribution-only release on the PC is totally feasible and yet they still shun the increased income stream that method would produce.

I think what most people here who aren't involved in that side of the PC business don't understand is what "some profit" really is. There are still a lot of costs involved with porting unless you want a really bad port (which we've all seen done and moaned about). So as a business you have to sit down and put the numbers on paper - often they just don't make sense when you consider the cost vs. risk analysis. Sure they might make money on the port, but they also might lose money. Considering how many good games don't make profit the chances are often simply too high to make it worth the effort.

As for online sales models I think you're right and wrong. It does provide an interesting option and many companies are testing those waters. Look at how many games that aren't Valve productions are now on Steam. There's a reason that other companies are trying it out but there are also reasons some aren't yet.

I find it funny how people like to over simplify things. The PC games market has always been full of big successes and big failures. The sad truth is these days the investment risk is significantly higher and therefore the concern over failure is that much greater.

 
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News Comments > On Gears of War 2, PCs, and Piracy
15. Re: No subject Sep 29, 2008, 23:03 Tomas
 
Cliffy B is a traitor to PC gaming. What has changed about PC piracy between when Unreal got released and now? Nothing.

Mmm, there was this small thing called the internet. In the old days pirating software was mostly something you did with people you knew in real life. Sure there were the few BBS guys and a few groups like that but it was nothing near as common as it is today. To pretend this isn't the case is silly.

I'm not sure why people here on Blue's News won't accept that piracy is infinitely more easy these days on the PC than it was in the past.

If Cliff doesn't want to release games on PC that's his prerogative - tons of companies don't. If you look at sales performance statistics and see that the average console games' sales are generally better than that of the average PC game's sales then why wouldn't you hedge your bets by going with the more solid fiscal choice? Sucks for us PC gamers, but that's not his problem.

The fact remains that most guys I know who are PC gamers pirate games and those who are console gamers don't. Whether its the state of their technical savvy or something else the proof is still in the pudding.

 
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186 Comments. 10 pages. Viewing page 7.
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