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User information for Russ Whiteman

Real Name Russ Whiteman   
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Nickname Stormsinger
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description
Homepage http://
Signed On Mar 13, 2007, 01:11
Total Comments 277 (Amateur)
User ID 34954
 
User comment history
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News Comments > SOE Going Forward With Unified Subscriptions
19. Re: SOE Going Forward With Unified Subscriptions Jan 7, 2014, 22:50 Stormsinger
 
Ryan Lange wrote on Jan 7, 2014, 20:01:
Stormsinger wrote on Jan 7, 2014, 16:55:
Anyone know what their reasoning is/was for requiring monthly claims? I couldn't see a good reason for it on the original proposal, and they're not clarifying it here (nor did they include a link to that other thread).

The "other thread", I believe, is here. There's a lot of enlightening information there, but you might have to dig for it.

The gist of it, as I understand it, is that Station Cash in general is a financial liability. You can buy $10 worth of SC, but SOE can't actually count that $10 until the SC is used to purchase something. Until the SC is spent, the transaction sits on their books as a liability, making quite a mess of things. Allowing "idle" accounts to accumulate SC makes things even uglier.

I think this stems from the little-understood notion that SOE isn't selling the SC itself; they're selling the items that you purchase with that SC. The SC is just an intermediate storage of value, like store credit or gift cards, that doesn't actually count for anything until you buy something with it.

Thanks for the link, I'll go spend a bit of time reading it. I rather suspected it was an accountant's problem, not a real issue that lead to this rule. The fact is, they have been paid, and they're apparently concerned that one form of virtual goods (SC or any form of credits) is bad for them, while another form (virtual items in a game) is good. And people think we gamers have problems with reality...

Many of the problems in our society can be traced back to the games accountants play to hide the facts.
 
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News Comments > SOE Going Forward With Unified Subscriptions
9. Re: SOE Going Forward With Unified Subscriptions Jan 7, 2014, 16:55 Stormsinger
 
Anyone know what their reasoning is/was for requiring monthly claims? I couldn't see a good reason for it on the original proposal, and they're not clarifying it here (nor did they include a link to that other thread).  
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News Comments > Elite Dangerous VR Support
2. Re: Elite Dangerous VR Support Dec 20, 2013, 11:23 Stormsinger
 
Flight sims (space or air) are one of the places that VR headsets -really- shine. Going all the way back to the Virtuality Arcade in the early 90s, even as crappy as their resolution and response was, the ability to track the enemy just by looking around made it a whole new game.  
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
11. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 17, 2013, 20:27 Stormsinger
 
Beamer wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 20:00:
Stormsinger wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 19:36:
Beamer wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 18:14:
Stormsinger wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 10:32:
I'm reaching the conclusion that Popcap has totally abandoned the PC as a platform...how sad that they seem to think they've outgrown their roots.

Well, their original platform was actually Flash. They started with browser-based games.

Why don't they make them anymore! It's such a shame when people abandon their roots. And, on that note, why isn't George Clooney doing a new Facts of Life TV show and why isn't Christian Bale doing more crappy musicals about newsboys!?

That would be a more valid snark if I were complaining that Popcap only made backup software now, and wasn't making games any more. Or maybe if I were complaining that they only made hardcore RTS games, instead of casual games.

Casual games, you know...the ones where the platform doesn't much matter, because they don't stress even a phone's hardware, and don't need a DVD or two's worth of files.

I think the previous poster hit the nail on the head...it's just that they're EA now. I'd forgotten that.

EA isn't an evil monolith, any more than any other company driven solely (and myopically) by the bottom line. If EA thought it made economic sense to release on the PC, they'd release on the PC.

Ultimately, someone did an analysis and decided that the incremental gains of releasing on the PC weren't worth the investment. And, honestly, given that they have infinitely more data than most people here, they're probably correct. They'd probably need to hire a PC team. They'd have to put resources away from things guaranteed to have big returns (mobile casual) and put it into something less likely to have as big returns (PC casual.) The time and money spent to release on the PC has to come from somewhere, and would anyone really be surprised if investing it in iOS casual games gave a higher return? Angry Birds is (or was) one of the biggest games franchises on the planet thanks to mobile - no one is playing that crap on PCs.

Armchair CEO all you want, but I find that older PC gamers, in particular, tend to be as blind (and contradictory) as teenage girls when it comes to defending their favorite hobby.

Nice...too bad I said nothing about any of that. I said it was a shame they'd forgotten those of us who made them big, the PC crowd. I didn't call them evil, I didn't even call EA evil. Believe it or not, I do understand something about business, even the game development business (having spent some 15 years working in it). Hell, I can even remember when the EA name on a box was a decent indication it was a great game.

Sorry to interrupt your snark. Carry on.
 
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
9. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 17, 2013, 19:36 Stormsinger
 
Beamer wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 18:14:
Stormsinger wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 10:32:
I'm reaching the conclusion that Popcap has totally abandoned the PC as a platform...how sad that they seem to think they've outgrown their roots.

Well, their original platform was actually Flash. They started with browser-based games.

Why don't they make them anymore! It's such a shame when people abandon their roots. And, on that note, why isn't George Clooney doing a new Facts of Life TV show and why isn't Christian Bale doing more crappy musicals about newsboys!?

That would be a more valid snark if I were complaining that Popcap only made backup software now, and wasn't making games any more. Or maybe if I were complaining that they only made hardcore RTS games, instead of casual games.

Casual games, you know...the ones where the platform doesn't much matter, because they don't stress even a phone's hardware, and don't need a DVD or two's worth of files.

I think the previous poster hit the nail on the head...it's just that they're EA now. I'd forgotten that.
 
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News Comments > Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay
70. Re: Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay Dec 17, 2013, 15:12 Stormsinger
 
Atoth wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 15:07:
Long story short; they were going to release the module to get more money but they got more money elsewhere and now can release the proper module they originally wanted to put out, hence the delay...

Not quite...the long story in short form is they promised it in December, "no matter what". And didn't deliver...no matter how you want to spin it.

Remember, I did say I understood the reasoning. But to make a public promise and fail at it is still a flop, no matter the reasoning. It's poor management and worse PR.
 
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News Comments > Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay
64. Re: Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay Dec 17, 2013, 14:50 Stormsinger
 
Slinkycatz wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 14:04:
Stormsinger wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 13:50:
You're missing the point completely. Delays happen, we all know that. But waiting to announce it until there are only two weeks left, rather than as you put it, last year when there was a change in scale and scope...well, that looks awfully snake oilish.

Like Cabezone said...

Those of us who have actually been following what has been going on have been aware for almost a month that they were debating which path to take on the dogfighting module. Release it with existing Crysis code or build it from scratch?

I've seen a number of comments here on BluesNews by those who aren't really following the game but are on the distant sidelines, making comments that indicate they don't really understand the context of what they are talking about.

So let me see if I have this straight now. You're saying that as of a month and a half before the deadline -they- had set, they hadn't even decided what engine they were going to use? And you're saying that's not waiting until the last minute to start on something they'd promised "no matter what"?

I guess I've been put in my place... I was being far more generous than that, assuming they'd actually made a decision in time to reach their deadline but just not announced it. This just screams of mismanagement.
 
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News Comments > Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay
53. Re: Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay Dec 17, 2013, 13:50 Stormsinger
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 12:58:
Stormsinger wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 12:25:
You can't make promises that it will release in December no matter what, then delay it because you decided to make it better. Well, you can, but you're still not keeping your promise.
The pledge to release the dogfighting module was made last year before the Kickstarter was a runaway success and it broke all crowdfunding records, leading to a change in the scale and scope of the game. Those following the YouTube channel have known for a while that the dogfighting module was facing a potential delay so as not to delay the final release of the game by forking the code. Don't forget that every other major Kickstarter game has faced delays (Wasteland 2, Double Fine, etc).

So fuck all the moaning. Go back to your caves.

You're missing the point completely. Delays happen, we all know that. But waiting to announce it until there are only two weeks left, rather than as you put it, last year when there was a change in scale and scope...well, that looks awfully snake oilish.
 
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News Comments > Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay
42. Re: Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay Dec 17, 2013, 12:25 Stormsinger
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 10:57:
panbient wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 10:51:
SpectralMeat wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 10:38:
not sure why you guys throw stones at them the first time they delay something.

Because the man in charge is notorious for promising the moon and taking forever to deliver.
Then don't support them, until they deliver something worthy for you.
I am looking forward to this game just as much as the next guy, but I don't understand this "I'd love to see this fail" mentality a lot of people have.
Sure Elite looks awesome and will be released sooner then SC obviously but that doesn't mean I want SC to fail.
The amount of detail they put into the ships and ship designs so far makes me hopeful that this will really be an epic game.
But it will take time
For myself,it's not that I'd love to see it fail...it's that I expect it to turn out to be a scam/flop. It's just not possible to live up to all the promises that have been made, and keep getting expanded on. You can't sell $1000 in-game items and not be pay-to-win, for example. You can't make promises that it will release in December no matter what, then delay it because you decided to make it better. Well, you can, but you're still not keeping your promise.
 
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
2. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 17, 2013, 10:32 Stormsinger
 
I'm reaching the conclusion that Popcap has totally abandoned the PC as a platform...how sad that they seem to think they've outgrown their roots.  
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News Comments > Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay
4. Re: Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delay Dec 17, 2013, 10:25 Stormsinger
 
Honestly, his explanation makes sense. But he had to have made that decision quite some time back...why wait so long to announce it? I suspect the last minute announcement is going to make this a much bigger thing than if it had been announced a few weeks ago.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
32. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 6, 2013, 14:20 Stormsinger
 
I've got a -very- strong suspicion that the coffee/beer study shows nothing at all like what the writer claims. He apparently knows nothing about science, tech, or measurements, and not much more about the English language.

"But a low concentration of caffeine, similar to the amount found in a shot of espresso, shortened telomeres, and exposure to a 5-to-7 percent ethanol solution lengthened telomeres."

A concentration is not comparable to an amount. And if you've got a 5-7% alcohol concentration in your body, you're a corpse already, so telemere lengths are rather a moot point.
 
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News Comments > New EA CEO
10. Re: New EA CEO Sep 17, 2013, 23:42 Stormsinger
 
EA has fans?! Who'd have thought...  
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News Comments > EA: Possible All-Games Bans for Unreported SimCity Beta Bugs
78. Re: EA: Possible All-Games Bans for Unreported SimCity Beta Bugs Jan 22, 2013, 22:23 Stormsinger
 
nin wrote on Jan 22, 2013, 08:41:
Stormsinger wrote on Jan 21, 2013, 22:46:
I can't imagine how I ever got the idea that these forums have been getting toxic lately.

Feel free to raise the thread to your level of genius, champ.


Prez wrote on Jan 22, 2013, 00:38:
Jesus, you'd have to be the thinnest skinned person here to consider this thread "toxic". It isn't like a company threatening its beta testers who are performing a service for them with losing access to all the games that they paid for simply for failing to report a bug in one game isn't grounds for some pretty righteous anger.

Seriously...it's attacks against the posters I'm talking about. I can't imagine why you think it's okay to be nasty to someone just because they have a different opinion than yours, but whatever.

After almost six years, you guys win, I'm outta here.
 
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News Comments > EA: Possible All-Games Bans for Unreported SimCity Beta Bugs
74. Re: EA: Possible All-Games Bans for Unreported SimCity Beta Bugs Jan 21, 2013, 22:46 Stormsinger
 
I can't imagine how I ever got the idea that these forums have been getting toxic lately.  
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News Comments > Gas Powered Games Layoffs
44. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 16:41 Stormsinger
 
Sepharo wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 16:36:
Stormsinger wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 16:31:
Clear enough this time?

Yes, it is clearer now, you are blaming programmers who get into business for the industry's woes. Pretty silly but so are nearly all generalizations like that.
Yeah, I guess it is silly to think that poor management accounts for most business failures...it's -much- more reasonable to think that the game industry is just "special" and ever so much more difficult than any other industry.
 
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News Comments > Gas Powered Games Layoffs
42. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 16:31 Stormsinger
 
Sepharo wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 16:21:
Stormsinger wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 15:59:
m00t wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 15:52:
You claim to have worked in the industry for 12 years, but you show a pretty piss poor understanding of how it operates and how it really is substantially different from most other industries. Certainly every industry shares aspects of what the games industry does, but very few of them have to deal with all of the problems as extreme as this industry does. The nature of digital gaming is that it's actually very easy to get in to but much, MUCH harder to survive in. There are fewer protections against bad actors and sudden shifts in the environment, both of which happen with high frequency. Most publisher contracts are fairly draconian, yet aside from the novelty that is Kickstarter and the ilk, there are few alternatives to them aside from simply not existing at all. Recently that's improved somewhat with Steam, Faceobok, and the proliferation of flash games, but doing A - AAA games as an independent is still one of the hardest, yet rewarding, things to do. Still, even people in the industry don't seem to value the work that is done as much as it is in other industries. Part of that is simply the immaturity of the industry, part of that is there are a lot of eager people who are willing to forgo pay and benefits for the opportunity. Either way, the industry is different.

In your infinite wisdom, if every industry is the same, why did you leave?
Keep being an asshole, and this will be the last time I respond to you.

Money, stability, and poor management (mostly because of programmers whose egos make them think that they are too smart to fail at business), are the biggest reasons. And #1 and 2 are mainly caused by #3.

That's why the industry is the way it is or that's why you left? Either way... Blame it all on programmers? Come on...
Hmmm...didn't think it was that hard to understand, but I'll spell it all out.

The game industry is notoriously low-paying and unstable. Most of the studios (that I've dealt with, and definitely the one I worked for) are/were run by programmers who started their own company with the attitude that "well, I'm smarter than a business grad, so I can certainly run a business. That's simple compared to writing excellent code."

That lack of business savvy, combined with the ego to think it doesn't matter, is the primary reason the game industry has a worse record than most others. The converse takes care of most of the rest...businessmen who think that game design and programming are so simple that anyone could do it are just as bad, but there are fewer studios run by those sorts.

Having gotten married while I was working in the industry, my ability to tolerate low pay and risk was substantially reduced when the recession hit. After being laid off, I migrated back to the real world for about double the pay, and a significantly larger market for my own skills (which means more stability).

Clear enough this time?
 
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News Comments > Gas Powered Games Layoffs
40. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 15:59 Stormsinger
 
m00t wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 15:52:
You claim to have worked in the industry for 12 years, but you show a pretty piss poor understanding of how it operates and how it really is substantially different from most other industries. Certainly every industry shares aspects of what the games industry does, but very few of them have to deal with all of the problems as extreme as this industry does. The nature of digital gaming is that it's actually very easy to get in to but much, MUCH harder to survive in. There are fewer protections against bad actors and sudden shifts in the environment, both of which happen with high frequency. Most publisher contracts are fairly draconian, yet aside from the novelty that is Kickstarter and the ilk, there are few alternatives to them aside from simply not existing at all. Recently that's improved somewhat with Steam, Faceobok, and the proliferation of flash games, but doing A - AAA games as an independent is still one of the hardest, yet rewarding, things to do. Still, even people in the industry don't seem to value the work that is done as much as it is in other industries. Part of that is simply the immaturity of the industry, part of that is there are a lot of eager people who are willing to forgo pay and benefits for the opportunity. Either way, the industry is different.

In your infinite wisdom, if every industry is the same, why did you leave?
Keep being an asshole, and this will be the last time I respond to you.

Money, stability, and poor management (mostly because of programmers whose egos make them think that they are too smart to fail at business), are the biggest reasons. And #1 and 2 are mainly caused by #3.
 
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News Comments > Gas Powered Games Layoffs
36. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 15:36 Stormsinger
 
m00t wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 14:26:
Stormsinger, you must not work in the games industry. Often it is completely irrelevant how good your management is and how well prepared you are. Sometimes contracts end before you expect (often with no warning) and not everyone can spare the resources to have many projects going at once (actually very few do). Bad management would be to run the company into the ground, beg people to stay with no pay for months without a realistic plan. At least paying severance and PTO gives people some cushion to find some place else. There are a lot of things that are simply out of your hands as an independent game developer and you gamble every time you choose to make a game.

As a matter of fact, I do not work in the industry...any more. Not that it's relevant to my points in any way, but I spent over twelve years doing so. But thanks for pointing out the absurdity of making assumptions based on a few sentences.

Frankly, not one reason has been given to support the idea that the games industry somehow operates under different conditions than other industries. EVERY industry has to deal with changing conditions, failed contracts, and limited resources.

Good planning allows for that...poor planning does not do so...worse planning never even considers the possibility. The only thing debatable about that statement is the adjectives one chooses to use, the spectrum stays the same. Maybe you'd prefer "fantastic management can avoid laying people off, good management lays them off with warning, and bad management destroys the company." I fail to see any meaningful difference there...except how low or high you want to set the bar for "good". I prefer a higher target myself.
 
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News Comments > Gas Powered Games Layoffs
32. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 14:15 Stormsinger
 
Dev wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 12:30:
Its very common for game companies to lay off people between games, and re-hire them when games need a team to work on them.

This is actually GOOD of them and shows GOOD planning to do this before they run completely out of reserves, which would lead to them being bankrupt. Doing it before that point means they can continue until they get a game going (which they are hoping is wildman).

I think you're confusing "good" with "less than fucking horrible". Massive layoffs with reserves is a less horrible plan than closing the company...but it's a long way from a good plan, except for the owners.
 
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277 Comments. 14 pages. Viewing page 4.
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