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Nickname Ruffiana
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Signed On Jun 10, 2003, 16:04
Total Comments 894 (Graduate)
User ID 17414
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News Comments > Op Ed
47. Re: Ars Technica - Buying used games Aug 27, 2010, 20:42 Ruffiana
I tend to prefer comparing them to books, movies and music, which makes a lot more sense. In that comparison we see as well that gaming companies are the only ones trying to eradicate used sales aggressively, rather than just promoting digital distribution and waiting it out.

Why? Because they can, and people put up with it.

Movies have multiple revenue streams. If movies were only ever released on DVD direct to consumers then it would be an apt comparison, but by the time a movie reaches the home DVD ownership phase, it's already had a run in movie theaters and probably made a profit. It's been available on pay-per-view, and it's been on HBO/Showtime for a couple of months. Even after it's put onto a DVD and sold at Best Buy they can still make money from a film by licensing the rights to cable or network stations. Unlike games, movies have much more longevity. People will watch buy and a movie from decades ago.

Music has rapidly changed it's business model over the years to deal with digital format and ease of copying/distribution. Like films, a recording artist can bring in money from live venues and concerts (akin to movie theaters in being a unique, one time experience), album sales, individual track sales through iTunes, Amazon, etc...licensing of songs for use in film, television, or games. Like movies, music is ageless. People will buy music that they like and hold on to it. Unlike films or games, it takes far, far fewer people to produce a piece of the financial investment and risks are much lower.

As for books, it doesn't take multi-million dollar investments and huge teams of people to create a there is substantially less financial risk involved. There's also some value of a book associated with the physical good, the printed word on paper...and those goods do degrade over time. They grow musty, their spine gets broken, pages tear, print fades. Unlike a game, people are likely to hang on to a book for decades and re-read years, decades, or even centuries after they were written. Keep in mind that books in digital format is a fairly new industry, but it's already having an impact on retailers world-wide.

So while the formats of various media are similar their costs to produce and markets are radically different. Games really only have one market for making money, in a very limited time frame, and yet are still are on par with films in terms of cost to produce, market, and distribute. The reason you don't hear more from the film, music, or book industry about used sales is because it's just not cutting into their profitability in the same way...but that could very well change in the future.

This comment was edited on Aug 27, 2010, 20:48.
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News Comments > Ex-Devs Slam RTW
17. Re: Ex-Devs Slam RTW Aug 25, 2010, 14:15 Ruffiana
Pro-tip: If your game is unbelievably fun it will withstand a poor business model. If your game is mediocre, even a fool proof business model won't save it.

Pro-tip: "Fun" is subjective and the market is constantly evolving and fluctuating. If you think the secret of successful business is to 'just make fun games', then you're naive and ignorant.
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News Comments > Portal 2 Wheatley Trailer
5. Re: Portal 2 Wheatley Trailer Aug 24, 2010, 17:18 Ruffiana
Is it just me, or do they have a different voice actor? Something about this trailer just doesn't feel the same as I remember.  
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News Comments > Neverwinter Announced
17. Re: Neverwinter Announced Aug 23, 2010, 14:58 Ruffiana
Neverwinter Exclusive Q&A

GameSpot: Give us an overview of Neverwinter. What is the game and how will people play it? Will it be a full-on massively multiplayer online role-playing game, like City of Heroes or Champions Online?

Jack Emmert: I wouldn't say MMORPG at all--Neverwinter is a cooperative RPG. You can play with a bunch of friends and experience Neverwinter and D&D in a brand-new way. We're trying to create new sorts of games that we call "OMGs" (online multiplayer games).

Online multiplayer game. Genius! That concept alone could revolutionize the MMO genre. Just imagine...multiple people, playing the game!

Someone buy this guy another Prowler.
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News Comments > Realtime Worlds Courting Buyers
10. Re: Realtime Worlds Courting Buyers Aug 19, 2010, 20:13 Ruffiana
Fraud, or something to that effect. Some sort of con-op most definitely. It`s all too slick and what, you work on a game for few years and then it all folds in weeks? Mother&^#$*^s..

You guys act like this is uncommon in any industry.

RTW works on a product for a few years. They work until they run out of money. They're forced to release it arguably too soon because they've run out of money. They're forced to fold when it isn't an immediate hit because they're so far in debt that they don't have any capital to pay their daily costs of operation, let alone the costs of supporting the product. They go into administration, or outright fold, immediately.

They literally bet the farm on this game. It did not pay off. They have no cash to continue.

The vast majority of game studios work like this. People think that every game developer is driving around in gold Ferraris after something ships, but the truth is many of them don't stay solvent long enough to get another project rolling.
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News Comments > On APB Support
1. Re: On APB Support Aug 19, 2010, 13:16 Ruffiana
I wish more MMO developers would take this tact. I can't think of a "failed" MMO that couldn't have been sustained on some level and still be profitable enough to be self-sustaining. Netdevil kept support going to Jumpgate with less than 1500 players.  
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News Comments > Dungeons Trailer
4. Re: Dungeons Trailer Aug 19, 2010, 13:08 Ruffiana
Can't wait! Has there been a good DK-style game since Evil Genius?

Overlord had a bit of the same feel.
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News Comments > Op Ed
8. Re: Op Ed Aug 18, 2010, 12:54 Ruffiana
That's not necessarily true. The game could be so good that you've played it over and over and over again, finding shortcuts, zipping through the difficult parts with ease. I remember doing just that with Super Metroid back in the day and there are plenty of YouTube videos demonstrating speed-runs for practically every game under the sun.

I've also seen plenty of television programs or news segments talking with speed readers and their phenomenal ability to read and digest gargantuan novels in record time. In a modern world obsessed with productivity, speedily performing a task is something that's highly regarded by many people.

What I find interesting is how Cliffski makes the claim that the length of a game has no bearing on how good it is, that most people don't finish playing a game...but then he holds up War and Peace as an example of good literature and scoffs at the notion of someone bragging about finishing it quickly specifically because it is known for being a lengthy novel.

Is "War and Peace" a better piece of literature than "Dead in the Family"? Personally, I probably enjoyed "Dead in the Family" better, but I haven't finished either book, so I have no idea which is longest.
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News Comments > StarCraft II Free Name Change Coming
16. Re: StarCraft II Free Name Change Coming Aug 17, 2010, 10:27 Ruffiana
This is cool news. I put in my RL first name when I made my account because I assumed it would be a local profile type deal. I didn't realize it would be the name that showed up on their forums and Battlenet. My own fault for not really reading what's pretty plaingly spelled out, but's so non-intuitive to what gamers are used to that there should be some leniency there.

Now if I can just get the damn game to run without blue-screening my computer we'll be set.
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News Comments > Bill Roper Leaves Cryptic
10. Re: Bill Roper Leaves Cryptic Aug 16, 2010, 23:58 Ruffiana
ColoradoHoudini wrote on Aug 16, 2010, 22:25:
So.. Champions Online.. failure or marginal victory or what?
Everything I have read/seen on it says it failed, and his name was attached to it.. so....

Bill Roper had very little influence over Champions at launch. By the time he was on board, that ship had already set its course.
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News Comments > BFG RMA Refusal
27. Re: BFG RMA Refusal Aug 16, 2010, 13:45 Ruffiana
No, it's someone that makes decent money and can afford to have high end stuff. Every one of your points is wrong. You just sound bitter and jealous.

$1500 for a HDTV is not exactly high-end stuff. You can walk into a Best-Buy or Fry's and see HDTVs for $6k+.

Me personally, I just bought an HDTV for $1200 about a month ago and as far as my wife and I know I'm not a virgin, we don't live with our parents, and we have zero CC debt. Granted, that price was with Fry's extended warranty and CA's ridiculous sales tax tacked on.

My and my family enjoy a lot of TV. My wife and children watch a lot during the day, I watch a lot in the evenings, we all watch a lot on the weekends. I play console games on it, we get Netflix streamed right to it in HD through a wireless adapter. It's our main source of entertainment since it's such a hassle to go out to see a movie in the theaters with a 6 year old and 2 year old in tow. I have no problems spending some money on something that occupies a lot of our time.

This comment was edited on Aug 16, 2010, 19:25.
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News Comments > BFG RMA Refusal
22. Re: BFG RMA Refusal Aug 16, 2010, 13:13 Ruffiana
Boy I tell you, if I was some competing hardware brand I would really be capatilizing on this turn of events.

"Send us your broken BFG hardware and we'll give you 25% off one of our products!"
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News Comments > Op Ed
11. Re: Op Ed Aug 16, 2010, 13:10 Ruffiana
Verno wrote on Aug 16, 2010, 12:48:
Prez wrote on Aug 16, 2010, 11:47:
World of Warcraft Strategies - "World of Starcraft" A remote possibility, or reality?

God I hope not. We'll probably never get another proper Warcraft game because of that abhorrent fashion show grind-fest WoW as it is. I'd hate to lose Starcraft too.

I'm still waiting for a proper sequel to Warcraft II. Warcraft 3 was just a bizarre experience.

Warcraft III always struck me as a "Holy cow, this 3D stuff is hard." type of experience.
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News Comments > Realtime Worlds Follow-up
5. Re: Realtime Worlds Follow-up Aug 13, 2010, 16:46 Ruffiana
I'll bet those people in the Art, Audio, Coding, Design, Production, and QA departments weren't told they'd be redundant once they were done crunching to get the game out the door when they were originally hired.  
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News Comments > id: No Tech 5 Licensing
18. Re: id: No Tech 5 Licensing Aug 13, 2010, 00:32 Ruffiana
Its not a matter if its a "fair" thing, it's "is it a SMART thing to do?"

No one is going to buy a game simply because of the tech involved. In the end how an engine looks is in the hands of the artists, not the programmers. Why wouldn't you want to recoup all the labor costs that was involved in making the engine and its peripheral apps? Saying "it needs to be published by Bethesda" is an asinine statement that smacks of empty PR cheerleading for the company.

Speaking as a game artist, you're mostly wrong here. You can only do what you can do with the tech and tools. No engine is capable of doing photo-realism, and until it is you're working within some forced stylization because of the tech. The tools have a huge impact on how much you can do in the time you have to do it.
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News Comments > BioShock Infinite Announcement
18. Re: BioShock Infinite Announcement Aug 12, 2010, 16:33 Ruffiana
If we see problems with a game, we should point them out.

Why is that exactly?
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News Comments > Dungeons Officially Announced
6. Re: Dungeons Officially Announced Aug 12, 2010, 13:23 Ruffiana
I really liked Dungeon Keeper, Evil Genius, etc. and could really go for a similar game that runs in one of the more modern engines.  
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News Comments > John Carmack: No New id IP for Years
17. Re: John Carmack: No New id IP for Years Aug 12, 2010, 13:07 Ruffiana
I didn't find Quake 2 to be anything like Quake 1. Quake 3, with it's heavy focus on multiplayer and mod friendly capabilities was a completely different beast. Doom 3, for all of it's technological bells and whistles, was certainly more involved in presenting an experience than Doom 2 was.

Out of everything, Doom 1 and Doom 2 stand out as being the most similar in my memory. Much like Evil Dead and Evil Dead II are practically the same damn movie.

Sure, all of id's games have similar game play, much in the same way that nearly all FPSs have similar game play to me, with only a few standout moments here and there to distinguish them from one another. Maybe id hasn't taken some of the big risks that other companies have in terms of stretching outside of their comfort zone, but Rage doesn't seem like the safe bet to me.
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News Comments > Half-Life Petition
3. Re: Half-Life Petition Aug 11, 2010, 10:28 Ruffiana
kxmode wrote on Aug 11, 2010, 10:19:
Once again another useless petition, only this time they're confusing freedom of information with entitlements. Companies don't discuss what they're going to put in a game until they feel ready to let the public know. So they sure as hell aren't going to discuss their plans, because the moment that happens gamers will hold them to their word.

"I bought the Orange Box, I have a right to know!"
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
6. Re: Morning Consolidation Aug 10, 2010, 17:50 Ruffiana
There's a consumer demand to get the exact same thing for less money? Shocking! Why aren't publishers knocking $5 off the price of new games so that more people will stop buying them from Gamestop?

If anything, the used game industry proves that games are not ordinary goods. Clearly, they have no diminishing marginal utility to warrant a reduced price for being pre-owned. That used game will work exactly as well as a freshly minted game and for all practical purposes has an unlimited lifespan. The analogy is often made between used games and used cars, but the more apt analogy would be between used games and used movie tickets.

The whole argument is moot at this point. The entire industry is moving away from the traditional development and distribution model. Every game will eventually have at least some of it's content tied to online verification.
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894 Comments. 45 pages. Viewing page 20.
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