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Op Ed

Cliffski's Blog - Kickstarting inequality.
Kickstarter is the absolute poster-child for inequality amongst gamers, based on income. Now I am definitely not a raging socialist, but I know a lot of gamers are, and I find it a bit weird that it doesn’t bug them that when these kickstarter games ship, not only will gamers with more money that them be swanning around with better outfits and weapons, (This already happens in F2P games), but some of the NPC’s will have the names of the ‘wealthy’ backers. Some will even have their digitized faces in the game. Elite is actually naming PLANETS after people who back the game with a lot of money.

Gamers say they hate in-game product placement and advertising. It compromises the game design for the sake of money. I agree. So why are we deciding that the best way to name our planets or design the appearance of our NPC’s is to put that part of game design up for auction? Why should gamers who are wealthy get more influence over a game that those who flip burgers for a living? The cold hard economic reality of the real world is bad enough without shoehorning it into games too.

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104 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 5.
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24. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 21:16 MisterBenn
 
Of all the things that detract from gaming, like on disk DLC, consolitis, pay to win, deceitful marketing etc. - I would say that "lack of social equality in those who get to name objects in a kickstarted game" ranks pretty low down the list.

The funding upfront / honour system of kickstarters is unique but putting that aside, people are free to offer and price whatever products they desire, and consumers are free to part with their money or reject them. I'm frequently amazed that people pay up for some of the most expensive kickstarter products around, but there's nothing coercive about it at all.

If Cliffski's concerned with equality, shouldn't he be delighted that the barrier to entry to make money from the industry has been lowered? A couple of years ago it was just about essential to be part of a major studio or indie studio to make money as a computer game programmer. Now you can be a student coder in his bedroom, an ageing 80's game developer, or anything in between and you have a shot at landing profitable work if you have enough of a good product to show. A game studio might not touch you if you are of working class background but you could show off a prototype and get funded if it's good enough. Cliffski should be celebrating!
 
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Playing: Path of Exile, Pandora: First Contact
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23. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 19:54 Cutter
 
Prez wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 17:25:
I don't get his complaint at all. In-game advertising is a cynical money grab and annoying to those who already paid for the game (obviously exempting F2P games). Having characters, planets, or other things named after the largest donors (without whom the game very likely would have never been made) isn't the same at all. I don't get his reference to socialism at all either.

Spot on. Too many people bat around the word socialist without understanding what it means in the context of a democracy - particularly in the US where many have been brainwashed into using it in a negative context. There are plenty of rich people in socialist oriented societies - they just pay more in line with whats their fair share. That's it. No boogeymen. The sky doesn't fall. And they have a better overall standard of living for everyone.

His complaints are groundless because if you don't want to back a game that's obviously P2W like Star Citizen then you don't back it. Just because someone can afford to drop 5k on and get a mob named after them bothers me as much as not having any other luxury item in life. Sure it would be nice but it really doesn't bother me. So long as I get a good game in the end I could give a shit less. In fact I think its pretty fucking silly dropping several thousand dollars for a virtual item when it comes right down to it.

 
Avatar 25394
 
"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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22. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 19:50 edaciousx
 
blues news just trolled us all with this trick cliffy b news post... lol.  
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21. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 19:34 Asmodai
 
Prez wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 18:14:
Asmodai wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 18:09:
This is the same Cliffy B who oversaw Gears of War, an exclusive Xbox360 title (excluding PC and PS3 owners from playing it without buying the console)?



Nope - different guy. This is the guy behind "Gratuitous Space/Tank Battles".

Well that shut my mouth, continue good sir who I have no idea about!

; )

Still sounds like a load of horse puckey.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 19:06 Slashman
 
I haven't looked at Elite: Dangerous too closely, but Star Citizen is a definite point of worry for me. I really dislike people paying to get better stuff in a playing field that should be level.

That is the major reason I won't back Star Citizen and won't buy it until it is out and reviewed properly.

Having said all that, I don't know of many kickstarters which offered major in-game advantages for higher tiers. Maybe I missed a few, but none really come to mind.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:57 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Prez wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 17:50:
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 17:44:

I am, however, considering buying some pants for my templar in PoE once they start selling them

Off topic but I finally got some time to install and play the PoE beta. I am impressed - very tight for a beta. If not for the annoying chat that goes on incessantly in the chat window it feels like a very solid singleplayer ARPG so far.

You can hide the global chat so that you just see whispers and party chat. I'm just waiting for open beta to start now so that we get all the third act areas to play in. Best arpg I've played since D2.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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18. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:43 Golwar
 
I'm quite surprised about the nonsense that he wrote there. I consider him to be smarter than that, thus I must assume that he wrote it with the only intention to be the center of a (non)topic.

Supporter who can afford to spend more money achieve something for all gamers out there. They accept the risk to lose more money, their share to enable productions at all (or with more and better content) is rewarded with what: Their names being used in-game? Some additional items that don't affect anyone else? So what?

As long I don't have to see the face of Donald Trump handing out quests to prove his weird theories about Obama, I'm fine.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:31 Prez
 
I like Cliffski. Any developer who hangs out with gamers on gaming forums gets my respect. It helps that I loved Rock Legend and grooved to GSB. That said, he does have somewhat of a reputation for being a complainer. Maybe he writes pieces like this to start conversations about topics but he always comes across as though he feels threatened by everything.  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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16. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:21 Graham
 
Are we paying attention to this douchenozzle again?

Blue, I know it's decent linkbait, but come on. This guy is the poor man's Derek Smart.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:19 Dev
 
Cliffski,
First you are upset about some supposed $10 barrier for indie games, now you are upset about kickstarter.

I'm starting to detect a hint of jealousy. Look, go ahead and kickstart a game if you want in on it. If its worth more than $10 I'll back it. So far though, since that $10 statement, I haven't seen much new stuff from positech that interested me at above a $10 price point.

Now to address your points.
First,
it doesn't help much to use a photoshopped pledge screenshot from KS if you are trying to make a point about it.

Second,
the majority of this kinda thing is cosmetic. Who cares? Kickstarter aside, some AAA level games run contests to get someone's face in a game as an NPC or whatever. I haven't seen complaints about that. If someone has the money, why would it matter if they named a planet or got their face in it.

Third,
yes some of it is pay 2 win. Such as star citizen. I'm not a fan of it in star citizen either. I really hope chris roberts can overcome the obvious strings from the private funding (thats significantly more than the crowdsourced) thats pushing it towards MMO and P2W features. But there's stuff on the internet thats pay 2 win as well, it shouldn't be a surprise that it ends up kickstarter too. Backers are free to pass on such projects if they don't wish to back them. The pricing is entirely up to the kickstarter. Some of the thousand dollar+ packages are because it takes significantly more resources to make. For instance, designing someone's face into the game as an NPC. Its hardly fair to compare that to $10 DLC packages. If they priced lunch with devs pledge level at something like $100, they'd get so many responses they'd be having lunch with fans for the next 100 years. They could just offer 5 spots at $100, but then its going to be the 5 fastest clickers, which is hardly fair either. Since they need to reduce the demand on a package like that, it only makes logical sense to increase the price. And of course it makes business sense. The goal of a KS is to get money to start a project. If they don't offer higher tiers, they are leaving money on the table. If no one wants those higher tiers (as I've seen happen before) then no harm done.

Fourth,
yes, its selling a dream. Thats the entire point of kickstarter. Backers are also supposed to use their heads and not give tons of money they can't afford to lose to projects that aren't likely to deliver. Thats part of why KS has the model of not funding anything that doesn't hit its goal, to filter out crap projects. Its not KS's fault if some people don't bother to do that, just like its not the governments fault if someone dumps all savings into a stock they got a spam email about, then lost it. Its simple common sense, if a person cant afford to lose the money, they shouldn't be putting it into a KS project. Similar to venture capital funding. Its high risk. But just because its risky, should the option to fund a KS or VC be prevented to those who CAN afford to risk it?

Fifth,
you say kickstarter could make devs lazy. Yeah maybe. But here's the thing, many of these projects (wasteland 2 for instance) have been dreams of developers for DECADES. They've been repeatedly going to publishers and getting turned down. Why the FRACK would they screw up their own lifelong dream like that? Also, the kickstarter should be just the first chunk of "pre-sales". If they make it successfully they are looking at possibly far more income. So there's monetary reasons not to be lazy.

Sixth,
The devs always have the ultimate say over fan input. It would be silly to design a game entirely by committee. However, it wouldn't hurt to take feedback into account when making decisions either. Since these fans are what's making the game possible, its probably a good idea to pay at least some attention. And it can't be worse than a publisher dictating all sorts of weird inclusions just because they want a marketing point. Like games with tacked on multiplayer or whatever just so they can say they have it have often had focus taken away from single player. At least with fan input, a dev can say no. With publisher input, they don't have that option. So its actually better this way (unless the dev really is lazy and isn't self disciplined enough to finish projects on his own).

Seventh,
The game does NOT have to be fixed. I've backed KS projects that changed from what they promised. The best ones offered refunds or additional options to make up for it. Just recently a game (I think it was shadowrun) said they weren't going to be able to include the social option of adding friends characters to a party. They changed from what they promised on KS. They explained how they've made a schedule and budgeted out from the KS time from the team on each feature, and ended up needing to cut something, so that was cut. And who knows, if the game is a success after its released, maybe they can add it back in.

Eighth,
If you dislike KS and crowdsourcing so much, no one is forcing you to back projects, or start projects. There's also non game projects that deliver physical tangible items if one prefers that. For instance the various arduino ones, or the blink (1), or many many more. I'm personally excited to see what the affordable and easy to use sous vide device will do to for home cooking.

This comment was edited on Nov 24, 2012, 18:30.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:15 SlimRam
 
I'm fine with the Kickstarter model for non-pay-to-win games. I've funded quite a few games, the only ones I won't are the pay-to-win ones like Star Citizen.

If I won the lottery, you'd see my name on all the inns/planets/etc I'd rather see someone's name than the name of a company.

Hmmmm....Planet Julio... I LIKE IT!
 
Avatar 57335
 
I'm bringing Sexy Back

Luckily, I kept the receipt
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13. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:14 Prez
 
Asmodai wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 18:09:
This is the same Cliffy B who oversaw Gears of War, an exclusive Xbox360 title (excluding PC and PS3 owners from playing it without buying the console)?



Nope - different guy. This is the guy behind "Gratuitous Space/Tank Battles".
 
Avatar 17185
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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12. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:10 Julio
 
I'm fine with the Kickstarter model for non-pay-to-win games. I've funded quite a few games, the only ones I won't are the pay-to-win ones like Star Citizen.

If I won the lottery, you'd see my name on all the inns/planets/etc I'd rather see someone's name than the name of a company.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:09 Asmodai
 
This is the same Cliffy B who oversaw Gears of War, an exclusive Xbox360 title (excluding PC and PS3 owners from playing it without buying the console)?

Talk about hypocrisy...

 
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10. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:05 SlimRam
 
He's just butt-hurt because when he invested in the Elite kickstarter to GET his own planet, David Braben told him that 'Frontier Developments' couldn't oblidge a planet named 'Cliffski' because is just sounded too damn silly  
Avatar 57335
 
I'm bringing Sexy Back

Luckily, I kept the receipt
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9. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:01 Acleacius
 
NigerianRoyalty wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 18:00:
Erm... Cliffski =/= CliffyB
Opps. Wrong person but still completely disagree.

This is about fans, not about corporations exploiting customers for the bottom line.

This comment was edited on Nov 24, 2012, 18:06.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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8. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 18:00 NigerianRoyalty
 
Acleacius wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 17:54:
No wonder epic got so fucked up, with him running development. Also shows why he should never develop games, ever again.

Kickstarter is nothing like when you sold out to ms, to help destroy PC Coop gaming. Kickstarter is much better than you will ever be, mr b.

Erm... Cliffski =/= CliffyB
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 17:54 Acleacius
 
No wonder epic got so fucked up, with him running development. Also shows why he should never develop games, ever again.

Kickstarter is nothing like when you sold out to ms, to help destroy PC Coop gaming. Kickstarter is much better than you will ever be, mr b.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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6. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 17:50 Prez
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Nov 24, 2012, 17:44:

I am, however, considering buying some pants for my templar in PoE once they start selling them

Off topic but I finally got some time to install and play the PoE beta. I am impressed - very tight for a beta. If not for the annoying chat that goes on incessantly in the chat window it feels like a very solid singleplayer ARPG so far.
 
Avatar 17185
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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5. Re: Op Ed Nov 24, 2012, 17:48 Tumbler
 
I love the kick starter system. To me it feels like a choose the price you want to pay. A game like project eternity I only want to spend $15, so I did. But a game like star citizen I want to spend tons more and making so many choices available is great! T-shirts, models posters, USB sticks,I love all the options. Its like a build your own collectors edition.

The choose your an price bundles seem to be popular with gamers and even those try and offer incentives to spend more.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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104 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 5.
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