PlugMonkey Comments

Page 1 of 101

  • After Star Wars Battlefront 2, EA changes Need for Speed Payback loot crates, progression

  • PlugMonkey 20/11/2017

    @dsmx

    It already is the norm. EA will shortly realise that being the 'good guy' nets them not one single extra cent, and even less extra good will, and will go back to selling things to people who want to buy them and not worrying about the vocal minority of put out ex-customers who don't.

    You heard it here first.

    Well, you probably didn't. You've probably heard it dozens of times. But you heard it here yet again and ignored it. :)
    Reply -6
  • New report paints Visceral's cancelled Star Wars project as troubled from the off

  • PlugMonkey 28/10/2017

    @Gearskin

    That doesn't fit with the received narrative that EA are evil, so will be rejected out of hand.

    A bit like the inconvenient truth of EA not actually having bought Visceral.

    EA buy great studios and then shut them down because they are evil. That's what happened here, and facts be damned!
    Reply -4
  • PlugMonkey 28/10/2017

    Further complicating matters was the fact that the Star Wars license meant that every major decision needed LucasFilm's approval. And while the company was said to be hugely supportive of the project, approval could still take months.
    Called it!
    Reply -2
  • Interview with the video game whale

  • PlugMonkey 25/10/2017

    @riceNpea

    What I found interesting that that the format that turned him off LoL is almost identical to the one he loves in CCGs.

    It's slightly less transparent in LoL, but it felt to me that it was more down to how well it sat in the overall experience. CCGs are all about the luck of the draw, collecting the cards as well as playing them. I wouldn't want to play a CCG that didn't have blind packs of cards. The experience would be diminished.

    In LoL the blind buying isn't integrated, it's forced. The metagame doesn't match with the game.
    Reply +4
  • PlugMonkey 25/10/2017

    @Zerobob

    How is it impacting, say, Divinity 2? I'm about 100 hours in and I can't say I've noticed anything so far.

    Edit: It's really very weird how invested people are in there being a crisis here, a battle to be fought for the very soul of gaming. To the extent that if you point out that gaming as it was and always has been continues unabated in parallel with any and every mainstream innovation - and shows no sign of ever stopping - people react with negativity. Why?

    If there is a market for 'old skool' games, and there is because that's you, then people will keep making 'old skool' games to serve that market. The very same forces that mean that the things you don't like are spreading in mainstream games will also mean that they only spread so far, and the things that you like will continue to exist. How is that a bad thing rather than a good thing?
    Reply -3
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' latest update makes blue zone deadlier

  • PlugMonkey 24/10/2017

    @Technoishmatt

    Personally, I never go to the military base unless the circle ends up centred there. Going to Pochinki sometimes means not having to relocate, except when the circle ends up somewhere like the military base.

    I generally go to the middle of the circle straight away, unless I'm enjoying a gunfight I'm in. The problem is when I'm in an enjoyable gunfight and have to give up on it because the circle dictates so.

    'Just going to the middle of the circle sooner' doesn't stop me having to pull out of those gunfights. The only way I can get there any sooner than I already am is to leave even more gunfights even earlier. That's worse, not better.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 23/10/2017

    @rubberducko

    It is possible to simultaneously understand how the mechanics work and think that they are not ideally balanced.

    At the moment, the cagey tactical portion of the game goes out the window a bit too soon and a bit too fast for me, with the blue circle already featuring too prominently in the games I play.

    It's there to force engagement. You've just said so yourself. At the moment, more often than not it breaks up engagements I'm in. So, that's wrong, by your own logic, isn't it?
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 23/10/2017

    Because enjoyable gunfights weren't being broken up enough by the encroaching blue zone already?

    Personally, I'd like a mode where the blue zone timings don't keep shortening quite as much. I'd like to be able to finish the gunfights I'm in a bit more rather than abandoning them to sprint across an open field and hope for the best.

    At the moment it's like a super turbo poker tournament, and I don't like them much either. A bit of choice would be nice.
    Reply +1
  • The sad, slow death of Lego Dimensions

  • PlugMonkey 18/10/2017

    @djarcas

    Ye-es. It didn't exactly "keep Activision afloat" though, did it? They did have one or two other irons in the fire.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 18/10/2017

    They never quite managed to become greater than the sum of their parts. You got a game that wasn't quite as good as a regular game, and a toy that wasn't quite as good as a regular toy, and having them both together didn't quite make up for either. Reply 0
  • "We will NOT be selling loot boxes" says Fatshark as first footage of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 airs

  • PlugMonkey 18/10/2017

    @attomm19883

    You're not. You're in the majority. Hence the friction.
    Reply +3
  • EA has shut down Visceral Games

  • PlugMonkey 18/10/2017

    @tmcd35

    That was the old days. Lucas was happy for people to do whatever they wanted and then pick and choose what to keep. Disney aren't. Those 1001 novels aren't canon any more. When Disney bought Lucasfilm they officially hit the reset button on the entire expanded universe. They then set up a division - the Lucasfilm Story Group - to ensure that all future tie-ins don't contradict the films.

    Can't see why EA couldn't thrash out a compelling canon story with them ahead of time.
    Because they won't tell you what the planned canon is. It's too secret for them to risk a leak telling the developers of a game they don't give a shit about because the money it'll make doesn't appear on their bottom line anyway. And it keeps changing, and they don't want you to touch anything that anyone even might want to cover in a movie at a later date. They are fiercely protective of this stuff now.

    Coupled with the fact that there's a bunch of Lucas execs whose egos are all still smarting from being owned by Disney, and who are therefore doubly determined to assert their position in the food chain.

    I've had a light brush with this world, and the political bullshit alone would turn your hair white. Edit: which has just made me realise Iím just projecting my personal prejudices, same as everyone else. Still think it adds up more than the loot box theory tho.
    Reply +5
  • PlugMonkey 18/10/2017

    @Lukus

    Have a +. How everyone else knows that this game they haven't played was going to be fantastic, I have no idea.

    It's basically just because it's EA, and EA are evil. :rolleyes:
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 18/10/2017

    Always sad to see a studio close, but I take some comfort in the fact that redundancy from a massive publisher, for those for whom it comes to that, will be a massive silver lining to many of the people involved. A lot of peopleís personal ambitions will have just got a massive step closer. One small point of order though: EA didnít buy Visceral. Visceral is EA Redwood. You can put all your Ďbuy and burní mass grave tropes away.

    As for everything else, I think Iíll wait for more details to emerge. Iím not quite as ready as most to believe that EA are spending an enormous amount of money Ė a commodity I know they are particularly fond of Ė to cancel a fantastic game in favour of a terrible one as part of their ongoing commitment to evil. If all they wanted was a shallow multiplayer game to foist loot boxes on people, they would have made Star Wars: Battlefront. Which they did. Twice, already.

    If I had to make a guess, Iíd say that trying to make a narrative driven Star Wars game that tells an original story as part of a new and ever shifting canon without constantly treading on the toes of a $multi-billion movie megafranchise that must and always, always, always will take precedence but is also subject to such fiercely guarded secrecy that no-one will tell you whatís in it sounds like a complete fucking nightmare. Can you imagine if every single story decision had to be run up and down the Lucasfilm chain of command? Because I canít imagine any story decision not being subject to that level of scrutiny and interference. If people wanted to speculate on why this project failed, Iíd start there.

    That would also be entirely consistent with them moving towards something with a looser narrative that poses fewer problems to the movies, and with their mealy mouthed explanation. They can hardly pin the blame on their Star Wars overlords at Disney. Iím not saying thatís what happened, but I do think it holds more water than the loot box theory.
    Reply 0
  • Government response to loot box concern is predictably non-committal

  • PlugMonkey 17/10/2017

    @darky77

    Well, that's a very different kettle of ballparks. There being too many systems is not the same as the megapublishers finding rich new revenue streams in their AAA games.

    I don't know who told you that loot boxes wouldn't ever be in a full price game, but I would suggest you never listen to those people again. That sounds like one of these mythologised 'rules' of game development I increasingly hear being espoused these days. Like how if I make a single player game and a multiplayer game set in the same universe, you've just said they are the same game. Who made that rule? Where is that enforced? There are no such rules! It's all just consumer led! Whatever people buy, that's what people will make more of. That there is the only 'rule'.

    Loot boxes proved really popular in other games, and so they spread. That's what happens with popular ideas, be it RPG style skill progression, or crafting, or zombies, or loot boxes. If there is demand, people will make more.

    Like TallPaul just said, if no-one bought them, they'd stop doing them. However, right now there are 1.2m concurrent Destiny 2 players. Many of them would appear to be buying the shit out of loot boxes, so you guys had better steel yourselves for the possibility that other people who aren't you might just like them.

    It needs monitoring, for sure. We need to make sure children are safe and vulnerable people aren't exploited, but for the vast majority of people enjoying loot crates on a perfectly healthy and sensible level, I'm afraid you just have to let them get on with it.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 17/10/2017

    @The-Doctor

    A part of me sees a future where all Kinder Eggs have "Please collect responsibly. When the fun stops, stop" printed on them in 2 point font, to the satisfaction of no-one on either side of this argument.
    Reply +4
  • PlugMonkey 17/10/2017

    @darky77

    Did Sterling really say that? Because I've always half suspected he's trolling his entire audience as some sort of elaborate wind up, and that level of nonsense would appear to confirm it.
    Reply -1
  • Star Citizen's off-shoot Squadron 42 probably won't make 2017 either

  • PlugMonkey 17/10/2017

    @Number1Laing

    I'd agree with your assessment of NMS, but that's not what the highly vocal 'experts' would have had me believe.

    What Squadron 42 was originally pitched as is by the by. It didn't go down that way. You probably could do that in 3 years, although not having a team in place poses a bit of a challenge.

    Frankly the idea of throwing together a team from scratch capable of making a game even that size boggles my mind, let alone what it turned into. I would imagine it all boggles Chris Roberts mind now too.

    I think this is the bit Roberts underestimated - the bit he had no experience of.

    This is the full credits of Cuphead. This is the full credits of
    Starlancer.

    Right now all those plucky Moldenhauers have experience of working with a larger programming team than Roberts had prior to Star Citizen. His last game was a production about the size of Cuphead.

    People who understand how this all works, and how it has all changed in 17 years, should approach this exactly the same as if the Cuphead guys were suddenly handed the keys to the kingdom and told to make the game of their dreams. That's the situation Roberts found himself in.

    His pitch was that he was the godfather of the genre, not that he was a modern video game production powerhouse, which he palpably wasn't.

    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 16/10/2017

    @wikidd

    That was when the original kickstarter launched. When I saw the scope (and hype) keep increasing with all the additional funding that came after, I knew that would take more time as well as more money.

    Anyone who didn't expect that doesn't know very much about game development, as Mr Semperger has already said. Something the scope of Elite: Dangerous they could have done in two years, like Frontier did, but this isn't that any more. I would have thought that was transparently obvious to anyone with even a passing interest in the medium.

    I also find it quite amusing that the consensus on No Man's Sky is that it absolutely should not have been released until it lived up to the hype. It should have been delayed until it was 'ready'. But some very similar sounding voices can also be found insisting that Star Citizen should have been released as soon as possible in its most bare bones form.

    Whichever one you do, it's a con.
    Reply -4
  • PlugMonkey 16/10/2017

    @Dizzy

    Star Citizen is the open world sandbox, so it's not just online battles. It's Elite, basically.

    Squadron 42 is specifically the Wing Commander style linear narrative featuring Genuine Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities.
    Reply +8
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War's Denuvo protection is cracked in less than 24 hours

  • PlugMonkey 16/10/2017

    @mcronline

    Me too. That isn't news to me. The reduction of distribution costs and the increase in the size of the market are two of the reasons for the freak occurrence of the price of (AAA) (console) games not going up for 25 (and not 30) years. (Pedants happy? ;D)

    It's still a freak occurrence, and hence unsustainable now distribution costs have stopped going down and the market has stopped rapidly expanding.

    That was kind of the whole point. The price of a 'full price game' remaining static for a quarter century is not normal, and the reasons why it happened have gone away. Normal service is now being resumed.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 16/10/2017

    @mkreku

    What I remember buying is games (games). There are many reasons people have fixated on £40 being the price of a 'full price game'.

    That they used to be delivered on ROMs is one of the reasons for the establishment of this misconception.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 16/10/2017

    @MarkMarkYepMark

    I put the prices in dollars because you put the prices in dollars.

    I've already conceded that the time frame can be reduced to 25 years, if it helps. I actually initially wrote "25 years" and then thought "isn't it closer to 30 years now". Apparently not close enough. I think it's probably about 27.5 years ago. Who cares? "A very long time".

    25 years ago I was most definitely paying £40 to £50 for Megadrive games.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 13/10/2017

    @MarkMarkYepMark

    The current #1 game in the charts is Madden 18. It costs $60. The #1 game this time 25 years ago would, at an educated guess, have been John Madden '93. It would certainly have been there or thereabouts. It cost $60. That's the same price. 25 years apart.

    "Yes, but the game you get for $60 isn't the complete game!"

    It's a fuck of a lot more 'complete' than John Madden '93!

    How has the price of a movie not increased in the last 25 years? People in 1992 were paying $12 for a cinema ticket? $25 for a video? No they weren't.

    Who said anything about rational people, BTW? Scroll through this thread, or any thread about pricing, DLC, loot boxes, cheat codes. Anything game development related with triple figure comments is a good start. If you ain't one of 'em, there is no way you're telling me you can't see 'em.
    Reply -1
  • PlugMonkey 13/10/2017

    @MarkMarkYepMark

    None of that makes inflation go away. That alone makes a '90s console game £75 in today's money. That's $100+.

    The market has increased, but budgets have spiralled.

    Increasing market size and reducing production costs have absorbed the inflation and budget increases for so long everyone seems to think they've been conquered forever.

    But if games make so much excessive extra profit, why do so many studios close?

    There's no point me pointing any of this out though. It disagrees with the mythologised version of game development that is so vogue these days. Who wants to be a beginner in something real when they can be an expert in something fake?
    Reply -1
  • PlugMonkey 13/10/2017

    @mkreku

    Sorry, has it only been 25 years? Well, that undermines my point entirely.

    My source is me. I remember buying Master System and Mega Drive games for £40. I was there at the time.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 13/10/2017

    @McFoxy

    At $80, games are still cheaper than 30 years ago.

    Bigger, better, still cheaper.

    Edit: Oh look. Three people in denial of basic economics. Or three people who think games in the 80s were better than today. Three wrong people anyway, one way or the other.
    Reply -7
  • PlugMonkey 13/10/2017

    @mcronline

    The price of games hasn't gone up in 30 years. That is not normal or natural.

    The number of people on this thread in denial of basic economics is just staggering.
    Reply -4
  • Elite's alien menace has finally returned

  • PlugMonkey 30/09/2017

    So, we've got one numpty claiming that the game is a rip off because it revolves around live events, and another numpty claiming the game is a rip off because there's no reason these live events couldn't all be run offline.

    It's a good day for the ignore list.
    Reply +2
  • PlugMonkey 29/09/2017

    @CommanderKryk

    It's a live event. If you miss a live event that doesn't make it a bad event or a waste of money.
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 28/09/2017

    Just when I think I'm out, THEY PULL ME BACK IN! Reply +8
  • Firewatch review-bombed following PewDiePie racism incident

  • PlugMonkey 20/09/2017

    Everything wrong with video gaming culture in a nutshell. The review bombing twunts complaining about 'butt hurt cry babies ' is just, well, what can you say? Reply +1
  • Celebrating Devrim Kay, Destiny's first gay character

  • PlugMonkey 13/09/2017

    @lostmuppet

    I haven't played it. Are you saying that no other character in Destiny's universe has a back story featuring a romantic partner?
    Reply +2
  • Star Citizen 3.0 update "akin to Early Access" launch

  • PlugMonkey 13/09/2017

    @kangarootoo

    Fun is no more elusive than designingÖan effective lawn mower - we just sometimes use that as an excuse for a lack of method.
    I disagree. And also agree. I think fun is more elusive than designing an effective lawn mower. Firstly it is a lot harder to define. How do we know if our lawn mower is effective? Well, is the grass shorter than it was before? Then itís an effective lawn mower.

    How effective is it, exactly? Well, can our competitors make this much grass this much shorter this quickly? Then our lawn mower is more effective than their lawn mowers. We could probably even pinpoint why. Our hopper is bigger. You donít have to empty it as often. That means more time spent making grass shorter. I mean, sure, there are some other considerations. A few bugs to iron out. It would be nice if it didnít deafen you and you could operate it without limb loss, but basically we fully understand the problem we are trying to solve: making grass shorter. Our metrics for success are clear.

    How do we know if our game is fun? Is it more fun than their game? What makes it more fun? What is fun anyway? If Ďfuní is no more elusive than Ďshort grassí, why are there so many more and longer books offering competing theories on the former than the latter? I mean, youíre an expert in game development, and I donít even own a lawn mower. Can you define a fun game more easily and thoroughly than I can define an effective mower? I bet you canít. I couldnít. Thereís your elusiveness.

    And then people use that as an excuse for a lack of method. Itís actually the reason we need a hell of a lot more method, to help us define what it is weíre trying to do and how weíll know when weíre doing it.

    Great to shoot the breeze with you again, BTW.
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    @kangarootoo

    Ah, yes. The ancient, internet tradition of agreeing from opposite sides of the argument. :D

    I never intended it as an excuse for games being years late - which I don't think SC is yet, btw - but as a reason why games are less predictable than more staid forms of industrial development where fun isn't remotely a factor.

    You must at some point have worked on a project where some feature or other - or possibly an entire game - has delivered every possible technical component required to be called complete, apart from it being no fun.

    Probably because of an earlier self-imposed time limit on pre-production. :P
    Reply 0
  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    @kangarootoo

    Yes, it was a simplification of the overall process. You would do this many times in a project, not once, but the same applies to a prototype.

    The point was to highlight the bits of the process that can be scheduled accurately - constructing the components that make up your prototype - and the bit that can't be scheduled accurately at all - making that prototype fun.

    Most industries only have to do the first part. The safe and easy way to do the second part is to find something that's already fun and copy it, but SC can't really do that.

    These core mechanics of yours. Can you put a time frame on 'establishing that they are fun'?
    Reply +1
  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    @RPMcMurphy

    You know I said you couldnít possibly believe a development team size is arbitrary? Well, I take it back.

    Because you also couldnít possibly believe my post suggested a 2/3rds team sits idle until it is a full team, but there you go! You're like a Kinder egg. A surprise every time.
    Reply +3
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @RPMcMurphy

    You can't possibly believe that the number of people in a game development team is 'arbitrary'.

    How many people do they have now? Is it more than 268? If so, what are the additional bodies bringing to the already "fully staffed" team? Other than a lot of coffee, obvs.
    Reply +4
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @RicardoG

    Ah, the 'Two Wrongs' hypothesis.
    Reply +5
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @superfurry

    GTA5 took 6 years to make and no-one was asked to spend money on it before it existed.
    I'm pretty sure someone was. Shareholders, ultimately, in this instance I suppose. I can't imagine Take2 need venture capital.

    Crowdsourced or not, someone spends money on it before it exists or it doesn't exist.
    Reply +13
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @polaris70

    Nothing suggests a sound mental state like a 1200 word comment.

    SC wasn't even what you would call fully staffed until the end of 2015. It's not easy to hire 400 professionals.
    I hadn't even thought of that. That's an impossible task on its own.

    This whole damn project is impossible, which is why I'll never regret backing it. Now more than ever this industry needs people to attempt the impossible, to see how close they get. I look forward to seeing how close that is.

    jcrg99 would call that 'anti-consumer'.
    Reply +17
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @GAmbrose

    The reason for that, as Roberts mentions above, is that normally a game this ambitious would be in development for years without you hearing about it. Then it would pop up out of nowhere already three or four years old, and you would follow the last two or three years of development. Not that I can think of many games this ambitious.

    A bit of trivia, just because it's on my brain: did you know that Limbo took seven years to make?

    Three and a half hours of side scrolling puzzle platforming.

    Seven years.

    Then Inside came out six years after that. O_O

    Boggles my brain.
    Reply +23
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @Glasofruix

    You think the late comers should pay the same as the early adopters, who shouldered the risk to make all this happen in the first place?

    Interesting.

    I can see there being no possible backlash to that.
    Reply +6
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @Rational

    Welcome to EG! In my experience, people tend to mutely downvote things that are true but they don't like being true. ;)
    Reply +7
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @Rational

    That's not even the biggest challenge. Lots of other industries have a bug fixing phase.

    The problem unique to game development is that the nature of Ďfuní is quite inscrutable. You can schedule how long to model the space ships, you can schedule how long to build your physics model and set up all the handling, and you can schedule how long to plan and author all the weapons. These, as in alevanís example, might have a 200% margin for error already, so weíll be sure to make our estimates generous.

    Then you put them all together...and itís no fun. Which one do you change? The handling? The weapons? Something else? The audio or GUI that gives you feedback on whatís going on? The context that gives it all meaning? Add more depth? Simplify what you have? What?

    If anyone has a system for reliably estimating this, thereís a multi-billion dollar industry that will pay a lot of money if you to explain it to them. A LOT of money.

    Most industries just have to make something that works, not something that works and also spontaneously generates joy.

    Edit: Yay! My fans are back! By all means, neg me for suggesting that generating the joy you feel when playing your favourite games might be a difficult thing to achieve, and everyone not negging me can just sit there and appreciate the source of my frustration at the current generation of video game 'enthusiasts'.
    Reply +39
  • PlugMonkey 11/09/2017

    @alevan

    But either this guy is one of the worst manager I have known, or there are internal problems hidden from the backers.
    Or game development is even more unpredictable than whatever it is that you do.
    Reply +17
  • PewDiePie apologises for racial slur

  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    @CalamityJames

    Personally, I suspect he isn't a racist.

    I suspect he's probably just lazy and ignorant, and so said something racist out of ignorance and laziness. Hence him apologising for exactly that.
    Reply +7
  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    He said: "What a f***ing n*****! Geez! Oh my god! What the f***? Sorry, but what the f***?"
    Really? Is that what he said? Bit of a mouthful.

    There's an uncensored video clip two paragraphs later for f***ing f***s sake. Quote it or don't quote it, but that just looks f***ing stupid!
    Reply +6
  • Jelly Deals: Nintendo Switch from as low as £255 this week

  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    @Maleta

    As a reference data point, how many 3DSs would you estimate seeing on the same journey?
    Reply +1
  • Please Knock on My Door review

  • PlugMonkey 12/09/2017

    @smelltheglove

    Not trite at all. Excellent advice.
    Reply +2