Electron Dance
10Jun/15Off

A Week on Twitter

Here’s a little post that I’m not even going to bother sharing on social media. It’s just for you happy Luddites who don’t do Twitter. These are the big stories in my Twitter feed that, try as I might, I couldn’t ignore. A lot seemed to happen in a few days. I think also some games were released but no one was interested in those.

MONDAY 1 JUNE

Never mind whether Hatred is any good, your review of Hatred is not good enough.

TUESDAY 2 JUNE

Public shaming of the week award: That Polygon Rock Band 4 preview is the worst game journalism EVER. It’s like the Hatred of video game journalism.

“Shooter” book launched - anthology of essays on FPS games. (Ethan Gach kept retweeting about this all day. It felt a bit heartless if I blocked him for this crime.)

Oh my god there’s a Fallout website oh my god oh my god it’s got to be just got to be--

WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE

---yessss Fallout 4 is real! Squeee! Hold up, those graphics taste like horse manure smeared on toast.

Steam refunds are proof that Valve is out to destroy all games less than 120 minutes in length.

THURSDAY 4 JUNE

If you think The Witcher is racist then maybe you are the racist.

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  1. C’mon, what about the “Steam Refunds are killing indie developers” story followed soon after by “puppygames says screw Twitter”? I caught that last one just as it was happening (I suppose this is not so revolutionary if you use Twitter in some way other than “Every so often randomly load someone’s profile in your Web browser”).

    Also, since it may seem like I’m making fun, I agree with puppygames on both these points.

  2. Wait, you got the Steam Refunds thing. YOU NEED BETTER COMMENTERS BECAUSE THE ONES YOU HAVE ARE UNSATISFACTORY AND THIS IS YOUR FAULT.

  3. You’ve been caught in my trap, Matt. Unfortunately I acquired you as a commenter more than 120 minutes ago so, well, not much that I can do.

    I’m more on the side of Steam refunds a good thing, but the 120 minutes angle having the potential for abuse. There’s something to be said for those people not leaving money with you being the kind of people who used to be pirates and were only locked in via DRM. That is: taking money from people who don’t actually like your game. (see Rob Fearon’s article on this today which I’m pumping out on the @WeaponProgress twitter tonight)

    But I imagine only Steam can see the ultimate impact of the 120-minute window is having on developers (anecdotes aside) which means if they think they’ve made a mistake, they’ll adjust. Sometimes they course-correct pretty quickly – other times, like Greenlight, it takes awhile…

  4. Yeh, I found the graphs showing the plummeting sales pretty compelling–I’d figure that the hope would be that people would try it, like it, and keep it, but that doesn’t seem to be happening yet. Maybe eventually. And Rob says a lot of what I was thinking… the way things go now is people buy a bunch of stuff not particularly intending to play it and the Refunds thing may be clawing back some of that (though, aren’t they playing it a bit within two weeks to get it?)… except then I also think that seems chintzy, or at least that the devs are probably doing a lot worse than the customers these days. Or that, well, the best way out of the current unsatisfactory equilibrium probably isn’t to start by whapping the developers. Or will the refunds policy help lead to an end to constant discounts?

    Dunno, I’m one who’s got tons of stuff in bundles and doesn’t really begrudge the money that went to games I’ll never play, and I even pull one off the stack occasionally. (Latest thing is I tried Eets Munchies for some reason and now Older Kid keeps wanting to build puzzles and now Younger Kid wants to watch too–my complaint besides some fiddly physics is that it keeps asking me for a key for the updater and the website says “Just use your Steam key” and I’m not on Steam.

    …also, WTF Humbles, “Humble Bundle All-Stars,” could you be any more “Hi! We’re repackaging the same games for the twentieth time!” Although on the other hand maybe this does give people who haven’t been there since Bundle 2 a chance at the classic. Although on the first hand it seems like this bundle will throw zero dollars to devs that aren’t successful, and anyone who wants Braid or Super Meat Boy can probably find it for purchase somewhere.)

  5. Well I suppose I am paid back for shooting my mouth off because Her Story fails in a timewasting way on my OS X–the app starts but the videos don’t run, and it took me about an hour to figure this out (at first I thought my computer was being slow, then I had to spend a while searching around for technical specifications until I found the thread where the developer realizes he uses a video plugin that doesn’t work on 10.7). If I had bought it on Steam I’d be able to get a refund and just buy the iOS version instead, but as it is I either have to hassle someone or, more likely, just suck it up and pay for it twice. Or I could wait until I update my OS (something I don’t want to do right now, because it seems like a horrible pain and is probably going to break my music player at least), but all my friends are talking about it now, you know?

    I’m kind of bitter because it’s like unwrapping the new toy everyone else got and trying to put it together and the piece that makes it all work is broken. Also going back to the last Cas Prince thing, where he was pointing out that it’s not economical to do customer support anymore, one of the things he was saying is that the problem is often that people had the wrong drivers installed, but sometimes it’s just that the dev didn’t specify the tech requirements. (The link to tech requirements on Humble Bundle is now hidden under a collapsible.)

    Maybe relevant: Raph Koster, in particular the comment that demos reduce sales.

    Anyway if someone wants a copy of Her Story for the Mac (or I guess I have a Steam key?) get in touch.

  6. I’m sorry Matt! We never wished this upon you. I think.

    (Guys, can someone undo the hex?)

    (I did read that Koster post before, really liked some of the points he was making. I think Raph is mandatory reading right now.)


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