Continuing this series until I get rid of all of my blog drafts in one form or another – either to complete the post, or kill it outright. This is part three of this series with parts one and two linked right there.
Not Buying the New Console – 9/2/2014
The snippet I had written for this post was a beauty of a run on sentence.
“Why would I? My PC has an X-box controller The games are better the mods are better No backward compatibility is just STUPID! Steam streaming onto big TV’s is supposed to be awesome. Why?What do you game on? Tablet? Share Surface Pro stories. and links. Consoles? Both? Why is there an advantage? RAzr blade”
At the time I was pretty serious about not getting a new console (I did, eventually, 30 days later…) because I was pretty incensed that they didn’t offer backward compatibility. For a platform built off of PC gaming for the most part this was an overt cash grab. I didn’t want to have to keep two machines plugged in or get rid of the old games that were still fun. Blue Ray players play DVDs. PC’s are extremely backward compatible. The X-Box was built by a PC company. None of this added up for me and I had, at that time, made up my mind that I wasn’t going to buy one. I did vote with my wallet and went PS4 instead this time. The truth of the matter is that gamepad games are much more fun with your kid than over a computer, and I didn’t want to invest the time and energy to hook up my PC in such a way that big screen gaming was possible. I also like to separate my work and gaming computers. Anyway, all relevant things I was going to put into that post (for the most part) was in this sentence. Outcome: Deleted. Just like my willpower.
I’m No the Only Dummy Complaining about Sales! – 9/10/2014
Steam as a platform lost my loyalty a long time ago and I finally found another post that discussed how gaming is ruining itself as a race to the bottom platform. I had been saying that for a long time, that there is zero incentive to buy a game full price because there is a near 100% certainty you will get it at a far lower rate just by being patient. Even a few weeks later sales start. I know there is some irony in complaining about getting something you want anyway at a lower rate, but I do believe that the industry should support good practices and these sales zergs have set a precedent we can’t go back from.
All I had in the body was a link to the article, which I will link here for funzies. Outcome: Delete faster than full price lasts.
Online Spaces – 10/04/2014
I had written a lot on this draft but never pulled it together. He is the text in it’s cut and paste entirety.
The purpose of servers in gaming seems to have outlived its use in the first place. From a programming perspective servers served a few functions:
- Limit the number of players in a specific place – server and programming limitations had to be taken care of. Too many players in a place could be bad for lag and code. Server access limits are still the norm.
- Contain specific and varied rulesets – PVP, PVP, RP of each (etc.)
- Service specific timezones – EU, NA, EST, PST, MST – some even have specific language servers.
While these items also became pertinent to the gamer, and from a gamer’s perspective servers had other, specific uses:
- Created a community identity – I’m on Whisperwind! Uldum is the best! etc. There are often bragging rights up for grabs =)
- Interdependency between gamers – limited people in limited spaces create needs (items, grouping) and wants (socialization, company) based on the community
- Potentially isolated existing relationships (wrong, separate servers) – half of my old guild went to one server, the other half to a different one – for different reasons.
Some games are shifting from this model to the GW2 or soon to be WildStar, MegaServer. The Megaserver (from what I can tell) grows and shrinks as per demand through area instancing. It has some benefits such as allowing you to play with your friends regardless of what server they were originally on, but also takes away any sense or thought of interdepency, or identifying with any particular community. Is that important anymore anyway?
The MMO tag on games is to encourage playing with one another – the truth is, playing with strangers is rare. Most games don’t force grouping with strangers and while it is convenient for a shared goal it usually doesn’t lead to long term commitments. I am not all hyped on the “must be online and group friendly” standard in games where I am forced to play alongside strangers. The analogy I like to use is a concert. Going to concerts is fun
- Going to a concert by yourself
- GOing to a coffee shop by yourself
- These are not social activities.
- So why is going to an online game, by yourself, considered social?
- What tools are games providing to you to actually socialize, not just be an anonymous member in the crowd?
Old Servers worked well – dependency, community.”
I think you get the gist. I should have fleshed out the concert analogy more – the point being that while you may be in the same space as 25,000 other people, and that is part of the draw, you are only really interacting with a select few. You see I linked to Bhagpuss because he was chiming in on the issue (as I recall, as well as Murf and the Aggronaut as linked) and I believe at some point I realized it had been discussed to death. Once you miss the timing of making a relevant post it is almost too late to be a part of the discussion. “Hey guys, I want to chip in here too” – except everyone else has already moved on and talking about something else already. Outcome: Deletamundo.
Why No Game? (Dr. Who) – 12/12/14
I am years behind on the new Dr. Who. Season 3 on Netflix. I don’t watch much TV. I go through spurts and I was working on catching up on the series, when it struck me there were no Dr. Who games. The text I started:
“In my mission to be a healthy gamer I have spoken here before of the strategic placement of my elliptical – in front of a 60” LED TV with both a PS4 and Xbox 360 in front of it. Some games are very challenging in this environment (Destiny, The Last of Us) and others are pretty mindless and simple (Diablo III). However, this perch is also from where I watch Netflix shows and for all of it’s faults, Netflix is good at catching up on TV series. I am currently on the last episode of the second season of the new series of Doctor Who (David Tennant) and as I was 6km into my “run”, watching Torchwood files, the thought struck me. Why hasn’t there been a Dr. Who game?
Turns out there was (is?) but at the time they only went to UK folk. Still, the question remained (although modified) – why wasn’t there a good Doctor Who game out there? So, enter my Google-fu and much like most things in the world, turns out there was a lot more behind Doctor Who games than I originally thought. Instead of rehashing the history, there is a good article linked right here from The Register.
I believe it would be a commercial success and the backdrop (infinite alternate universes) would fit in all sorts of great backdrops and game styles – the only one I can’t see one squeezing into is FPS. I have been familar with Dr. Who my entire life and there are many like me, and he is on a very popular new renaissance over the past 10 years as well.”
While a stretch to have other timelords around it is one of the universes where having a million Dr. Whos actually makes sense with all the parallel universes and time shenanigans going off. The truth of the matter is I believe there is no Dr. Who game because developers haven’t figured out how to monetize known properties in a non-combat setting type of game. I mean, Dr. Who Smash Bros style just wouldn’t cut it. Outcome: Go back in time and delete the original thought to make this post to begin with.
This is very therapeutic. Fun to revisit where my head was only a couple of years ago while I spring clean my back end. (Wait, wut?)