ShiftyGeezer Comments

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  • Don't be surprised that just 2.2% of F2P players spend money

  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    @penhalion : I agree with what you're saying except the final generalisation that all F2P has the same faulted mechanic. Flappy Birds was true F2P as it was ad-supported. Other games can be F2P but you buy extra content.

    We have to be clear about the distinctions, otherwise people will be prejudiced against a F2P moniker instead of learning what the real cost structure is.
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    @General_Spiller : Headline titles probably have a far higher average spend. I expect CCSaga to have way more than 2.2% spend on it. Those games will be the outliers though, like GTA being a gaming cash-cow where 70% of games fail to break even.

    Remember that the 'news' only reports on extraordinary events and not the norm. You're never going to read 'Game X barely scrapes a living' despite that happening every day. It's only reports like this that make headlines and start to inform.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    @MCam435 : Again, it wasn't a survey.

    "Swrve tracked the habits of 10 million new players on 30 games in its network over the course of 90 days..."

    It's real, hard evidence, though confined to their titles on their network, whatever they are. They might be rubbish games.
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    @General_Spiller : I think the report tracks actual in-game purchases across 30 titles. The figures will be exact. Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    "It is natural that players will leave a game. This 'sessioning' is an important part of a game that aims to keep players playing for days, for weeks and for months.
    What's the point of sessioning if you can't make money from it? Why are devs targeting getting a repeating audience instead of getting revenue??

    Also, while the sample size of 10 million people sounds like a lot, in free-to-play terms it's not, really.
    Ha ha ha! Stats proves that a small but truly random sample is highly indicative. 10 million is a massive sample*. It'll only be unrepresentative if the sampled subjects aren't a true spread of mobile users. eg. Self-selecting survey audience, or only certain demographics.

    * Polls for things like TV audiences and political races use samples in the thousands
    Reply +5
  • The Last of Us' lead artist joins The Unfinished Swan studio

  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    @SpaceMidget75 : Surely any experienced dev knows it always takes longer? And management too. Every game released hits months of crunch time. That experience should be enough to gauge that targets should be extended 50%+ because everything takes longer than expected. I know exactly the 'it should only take such-and-such long', but I also know from experience that everything takes longer, so doubling estimates is actually realistic. It appears the human brain can't understand the complexity of jobs and human limits and overestimates what can be accomplished in a timeframe.

    So it comes down to bad management again. Management who don't understand estimates and won't listen to informed, experienced worker's giving sound advice. Or worse, who know from experience that estimates always fall short but who still fail to adjust accordingly.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 22/04/2014

    @Bleemo : Right. But everyone in the games industry has years (decades) of experience of this. So they can plan ahead, start the game 6 months earlier, and avoid the mad panic at the end. If these people get paid overtime, that time could be paid just as well over a longer period with less health costs. If they don't get paid overtime, they are being exploited.

    Either way, it should change and there's no excuse for it. It's not an inevitable part of game development. It's only inevitable at the moment because no-one's changing it.

    Perhaps the problem is a worldwide industry. In Europe, the devs could walk out after 48 hours per week and force the management to fix things. But with an international industry, the publishers would just ditch the European studios as troublemakers. Ergo the legal protection is completely undermined by free-market economics.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 21/04/2014

    @SenseiBandit : I never quite understood that. Why not up the working week from 40 hours per week to 45 for the whole development cycle rather than cram double-time into the last few months? Or better yet, design the game more realistically factoring in a finite human resource instead of trying to stretch your workforce unrealistically? Basically crunch in any business is shit management taking it out on their workforce, and it's only the valiant efforts of said workers that pull off the unrealistic. But if said workers just stopped and products didn't ship, management would soon learn to actually manage effectively. If every game publisher who asked 80+ hour weeks from their staff to finish projects on time found the staff unable to provide that, they'd soon learn to schedule longer development times in the first place. Reply +15
  • Entering the Avatar Machine, VR's next big step

  • ShiftyGeezer 20/04/2014

    Interesting article, but it's not going to be mainstream until we can do this without a camera on a 1 metre pole on our backs... Maybe when we have autonomous, flying, solar-powered drones that can hover behind us. Reply +1
  • Ron Gilbert's Humongous Entertainment adventures are now on Steam

  • ShiftyGeezer 19/04/2014

    The right place for any such games these days is on the the tablets. Reply 0
  • Disney Infinity 2.0 debuts in August with Marvel characters - report

  • ShiftyGeezer 17/04/2014

    Infinity +1 Reply +14
  • "Gritty, uncompromising" RPG Prisonscape on Kickstarter

  • ShiftyGeezer 11/04/2014

    @Morte-360 : The idea could be to make the themes more palatable to the mainstream. Seeing someone get their brains bashed out in sprites is a lot less offensive than seeing the same in a realistic artstyle. Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 11/04/2014

    What is the point of any Kickstarter article on EG? There are gazillions of Kickstarters and people are free to explore Kickstarter itself, so I'd have thought they appear here because EG staff thinks a game is worth a mention. If it's just a case of exploring what Kickstarter is doing and the widespread games, how's about an article listing several different KS hopefuls to illustrate this better?

    As is, I don't understand the purpose of this article. Is this a game we should back? A game we should avoid (in which case, don't mention it)? Or a news piece showing that the sociopolitical landscape of game themes is wide open to exploration by indies to the point of even 'playing' at the horrors of prison life?

    Ultimately, as I'm not the first to say, the real message of this article is missing and we're left scratching our heads.
    Reply +4
  • Hack 'n' Slash is "just weeks away" from Steam Early Access

  • ShiftyGeezer 11/04/2014

    Changing parameters isn't a hack. A hack requires accessing things you weren't supposed to, finding a way to change code that wasn't designed to be changed, or circumventing security that tries to lock you out.

    This is a good idea to show gamers what the underlying logic of a game can be and how it's all parameters, comparisons, and glue logic, but I wouldn't say it was a game about hacking going by that trailer.

    Also, like the cheat codes of the 80s, the ability to mess with the underlying mechanics and game balance can rend a game seriously boring!
    Reply +2
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel confirmed for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

  • ShiftyGeezer 09/04/2014

    You could have just had the video seeing as that repeats the text, rather than have us read the text and then hear it a second time as we watch the video... Reply -1
  • $499 Virtuix Omni VR treadmill shipping September

  • ShiftyGeezer 08/04/2014

    @Furnace-Inferno : With this thing, gameplay would actually become more realistic in a load of ways. People won't keep jumping around to avoid snipers because that'd be utterly exhausting. However, games would have to adapt. Sniper calculations would have to factor in all the environmental elements that affect real sniper accuracy instead of the laser-beam accuracy of games. Currently the ability to down anyone as soon as they are lined up in the crosshairs is tempered with the fact everyone's bouncing around like a lunatic and it's hard to get a fix on them. ;) Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 08/04/2014

    @Frybird : my solution? Inflatable shoes! Expand to fit any size. Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 08/04/2014

    Sounds ideal for arcade, except the pricing would be insane. Stick in a £2 coin every 2 minutes or something utterly ridiculous. Reply +4
  • Borderlands 2 prequel set for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

  • ShiftyGeezer 07/04/2014

    The shooter is set between the events of Borderlands 1 and 2, and...apparently the story revolves around a younger Handsome Jack, who is after a powerful alien artifact.
    Well he's not much younger, as very little time has lapsed between BL1 and BL2. All the other NPCs haven't aged.
    Reply +7
  • MSI GT70 2PE Dominator Pro with GTX 880M review

  • ShiftyGeezer 06/04/2014

    @Baraa03 : I'm not comparing MSI to Apple. I'm citing an example of a very hot machine being adequately cooled by one fan to disprove the assertion that a single fan is insufficient to cool a PC. The problems lies not with using one fan, but with the whole thermal-engineering design. Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 06/04/2014

    @Suarez07 : Aren't all laptops and big rigs that aimed at gamers (Alienware etc.) great big monstrosities though? There are nice, high end laptops out there, but AFAICS every PC targeting high-end gamers feels the need to go ugly, in-your-face design. Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 06/04/2014

    @Baraa03 : getting hot isn't due to having one fan. MSI design and build quality may be rubbish - I have no opinion - but a single fan does not equate to inefficient cooling. eg. The new Mac Pro has a single fan cooling a monster rig extremely quietly. Reply -1
  • ShiftyGeezer 06/04/2014

    @Baraa03 : the number of fans doesn't matter. It's airflow and internal pressure that matters. One fan for CPU and GPU can be great, like PS3, as long as the rest of the cooling is sound. Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 06/04/2014

    Why are all high-end gaming rigs so frickin' ugly? They never do cool, svelte power machines. It's all in-your-face, up-your-nose angles-and-lights brashness. It's like bling for PC gamers. Reply +9
  • Planets≥ offers voxels, survival and exploration on a giant cube

  • ShiftyGeezer 31/03/2014

    @penhalion : You assume radiation is emitted perpendicular to the surface. There's no reason to think this. Cut a piece of Uranium into a cube and it'll still radiate in all directions. Also the radiation wouldn't be focussed from one side all onto the tiny Earth area - we'd just get the Earth's area of radiation form that side of the sun. Think of it as the sun being a large, square laser beam and the Earth sitting as a pin-head in the middle. Replace the laser beam with a lamp of equal brightness and the pin-head will receive the same amount of light.

    Anyway, this is hijacking the thread too much! Sorry to the devs who have made a cool game concept who's geometric construction is a lot easier on the eye than the current cubic voxel games. Good luck to you!
    Reply +4
  • ShiftyGeezer 31/03/2014

    @FeralGamer : Planetary science is just a bit interesting. ;) nothing wrong with it in the game whatsoever.

    Incidentally, I have a 1920's Children's Encyclopaedia at home that states men of science believe the world will become a tetrahedron as the core cools, and they cite the alignment of the continents as proof of this. So once upon a time, non-spherical solar bodies seemed quite plausible!! :D
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 31/03/2014

    @avluis : Pretty much the same, assuming same volume and radiation. Shadows and highlights might look square instead of round, but the relative difference for each part of the Earth receiving energy would be virtually unchanged. Remember the sun is MASSIVE - you wouldn't have a situation where one edge of the Earth overlaps the flat edge of the sun unless you made the sun much smaller. I suppose orbiting the sun in a year, there'd be four periods where we were aligned with an edge and presented with root(2) length of sun width instead of 1. To preserve volume, there'd be less than the current area of sunlight when facing a face flat on, and more than the current spherical sun when 45 degrees around and aligned with one edge. That'd change the seasons and whether, but not climatic zones AFAICS.

    The Kickstarter vid showed solar systems and galaxies with systems arranged in a grid, so I expect stellar exploration is part of the plans. Like most lazy folk, I only got as far as watching the vid and haven't read any of the details. ;)
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 31/03/2014

    I'm gonna be a real ass now and get all scientific, but you won't get a conventional temperate, tropical, equatorial zoning on a cubic planet aligned like that as all points on the face present to the sun are equidistant so receiving the same radiation. If the cube were tilted 45 degrees, you'd have a north pole on the top vertex, then northern and southern hemispheres, with the equator at the edges around the cube.

    Ignoring that, the game looks quite good as an advance on Minecraft.
    Reply +16
  • Threes dev reacts to clones with 42K word blog post

  • ShiftyGeezer 29/03/2014

    @SpaceMonkey77 : How would releasing on Steam prevent mobile clones? Game gets popular in the gaming press, cloners see it, cloners release to a virgin mobile market where its new and win all the interest. Originators release to mobile space afterwards and don't get noticed, instead being considered by mobile gamers as a clone.

    As for Ouya, same problem. Releasing a game on Ouya won't stop it getting ripped off on the other platforms, and those other platforms is where you make your money.

    This is why consoles and more complex games still have their value to developers. A game on consoles won't necessarily port to mobiles, will take longer to clone (due to the nature of the games), and gets protection from the platform holders. Sadly it costs a lot to launch there and Indies are dependent on small, lightweight, cheap to make, easy to copy ideas.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 29/03/2014

    @penhalion : the time spent developing the game wasn't due ot the complexity of the implementation, but the developing of a whole new play mechanic. It is quite often true that clones of a new idea are better than the original because they can learn from the mistakes that the original made. But whether a clone is better or not is immaterial to the issue of the work of the originators being undervalued due to clones/iterations. In the patent world, an invention is secured for 25 years to cover the cost of R&D and capitalising on the work needed to make a breakthrough. Without that protection, R&D becomes worthless. The lightbulb exists because the inventors were able to work on inventing it knowing that they'd be recompensed. If they knew the moment a wire in a glass vacuum bulb was revealed, every one else would copy it and sell it cheaper as they didn't have the years of R&D to recoup, they wouldn't have bothered.

    If mobile games get cloned, there's no point in innovating in the space. There's no point spending a year developing a whole new game paradigm if it's going to be duplicated and iterated. There HAS to be protection of some form for innovation if we are to have both investment (of time as well as money) and fairness.
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/03/2014

    @ghostgate2001 : Presumably with a committee, perhaps the IGDA, who evaluate games and determine, via criteria, whether it constitutes a clone or not. They could then contact the offending clone developer with a list of what's wrong and have them change it.

    Probably more cost and effort than any wants to go to though. The patent system is supposed to do similar (refuse patents that are already covered), but ignores its responsibilities, takes the patent applicant's money, and let's the lawyers argue about them after the fact. Best we'd be likely to get is a legal specification and a lot of law suits. Which would be hell with international development.
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/03/2014

    @DreadedWalrus : Fair point, which opens a can of worms common to patent and IP law - You need to prove you were first. Releasing a game announcement could do that, but what if someone was working on the same idea? Is it fair that an announcement could trump someone else's hardware work?

    The patent system works on the principle of secrecy. You don't go public until you have secured rights. I'd say game devs would have to not announce their project if they want app rights on the stores. Larger games like Kickstarters don't have to worry about clones - it's only the two-weeks-to-make games that need protection, and for these, secrecy is probably a reasonable requirement.
    Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/03/2014

    It's a horrific travesty, but what's the solution? Copyrighting ideas and gameplays? Maybe the originator of a game should have the right on the app stores to flag copycats and, if the similarities are too great, the originator has the right to refuse a clone for a year or two? Whoever came first should be determinable from publish date. Reply +7
  • This is Flockers, Team17's first non-Worms game in quite a while

  • ShiftyGeezer 28/03/2014

    @SubPixel : What with? Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/03/2014

    Team17 has unveiled Flockers, its first non-Worms game in over a decade.
    That's not true, though I appreciate the sentiment. They've released Alien Breed and Lemmings before now. This is the first new IP in probably two decades though!

    Although as others point out, it looks like Lemmings, so not a new game.

    Really weird. T17 used to be awesome in Amiga days. Now in this age of Indie Opportunity, why aren't they doing more?
    Reply +18
  • Blek review

  • ShiftyGeezer 24/03/2014

    @Eoin : It costs money to support a second platform. I own Android stuff. Ergo my developments are for Android. It'll cost me a few hundred quid to release on iOS and that'll basically wipe out my profits. If I owned iStuff and a Mac, I'd be developing for iOS.

    A lot of indies release a game with no knowledge of whether it'll do well or not. Gambling with a release on another platform could prove to be a waste of money, and probabilities are that this will be so. So releasing on one platform and porting to the other once it's proven that the game can make money, at least enough to cover the cost of buying into the new platform, is sensible.

    Blek appears to be these guys' first game going by the website. They probably knocked it up without great expectations for their own devices. Now it's garnered interest, a port makes sense.
    Reply 0
  • Microsoft reportedly working on VR devices for Xbox

  • ShiftyGeezer 19/03/2014

    @EEEinator : No-one's interested in most of the dumb comments posted on EG, although 2 likes suggests at least two people were interested. ;) Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 18/03/2014

    Eurogamer has contacted Microsoft for comment.
    One rather wonders why? We know the response. I suppose it's just tradition at this point and MS's feelings might be hurt if they don't get to say, "we don't comment on rumour and speculation." - they'll think no-one's interested ;)
    Reply +2
  • These Nintendo toys launch in McDonald's Happy Meals next week

  • ShiftyGeezer 12/03/2014

    @super_monty :
    Crappy quality processed meat...
    They use only whole cuts of boneless forequarter and flank, minced and flavoured with salt and pepper. It's 100% high quality beef, high in protein. It's great muscle-building food.
    Reply -1
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/03/2014

    @Spetzomancer : Have you any idea what goes into the modern MacDonalds? It's pure beef, potato, natural sunflower oil, etc., almost all sourced in the UK. They don't even add MSG. You get more poisons (transfats, additives) in many ordinary, trusted foods.

    McD's deserved the reputation they had, but that criticism caused them to change (at least in the UK). People need to update their resentment index towards corporations more deserving of it now.
    Reply +1
  • PlayStation Home is getting an update

  • ShiftyGeezer 11/03/2014

    @GamesProgrammer : Actually I hear from someone who develops for it that it's not profitable for Sony and that's why they're canning it for PS4. It's probably break-even or thereabouts. It's not a money maker anyhow. Sony really didn't know what to do with it sadly, as the original idea was quite good, using a VR open hub to meet up before games instead of staring at an XMB chat screen. Reply -2
  • ShiftyGeezer 11/03/2014

    Curious comments. I agree that Home has no appeal, but I know people do use it and some companies make a living creating content for it. So this comment thread only goes to show that gamers aren't the only market that consoles can and do appeal to, and there's still value in supporting a wider demographic.

    Sony, please don't pander just to us gamers and our values, and ensure you continue reaching out to as many people as possible! (only don't forget us either ;))
    Reply +26
  • Frog Fractions 2 brings absurdist humour, wonder to Kickstarter

  • ShiftyGeezer 10/03/2014

    Frog Fractions worked entirely because it was unknown. I can't see how a sequel could ever work. The bizarreness was explosively funny because it wasn't expected, whereas it is expected in a sequel. If they didn't make lots of money off the original, they deserve it from a kickstarted game, but I'm really sceptical that the Frog Fractions idea can work a second time.

    I'll be happy to be proven wrong though!
    Reply +1
  • Tales from the Borderlands story, mechanics detailed

  • ShiftyGeezer 10/03/2014

    @Schiraman : The original Borderlands story was utter poop. It wasn't a story. It introduced a question, then led you to a pointless finale that didn't fulfil its promise and didn't resolve anything. B2 tried to reverse engineer the story and make some sense out of B1, but it's a hack, and the writing is incredibly shallow. Making Jack hateable is easy, as they removed all redeeming features from him and made him a fairly one-dimensional psychopath (like pretty much every character in the story). I don't know what sympathy we're supposed to feel for him at the end. He had a naff job and was disfigured, so that excuses his power-crazed mass-murdering and torturing and enslavement of his daughter??

    Borderlands is a fun game, but it's not good writing. It's simple writing that works well for those who like the humour, but otherwise contributes very little to the experience. When I first played B1 and the apparent corruption of Tannis by the blue rocks, I was expecting something explaining the psychosis of everyone on Pandora similar to the Reevers in Firefly. But it wasn't explained. Turns out everyone on Pandora is just a selfish scumball with no regard for human life. ;)
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 10/03/2014

    The only real reason Vault Hunters are superior to ordinary folk is that Hyperion keep regenerating Vault Hunters (even when those same Vault Hunters are attacking Hyperion :confused: ). If not for the regeneration, all the Vault Hunters would be as dead as the rest of Pandora's population Reply +1
  • The next-gen Digital Foundry PC: chasing the 1080p60 dream

  • ShiftyGeezer 08/03/2014

    @marcofdeath : Biggest one there. Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 08/03/2014

    @VariantAEC :
    (at least in the US)
    Eurogamer
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 08/03/2014

    What's the fan noise like? Reply 0
  • Games are squandering their potential to truly immerse us

  • ShiftyGeezer 08/03/2014

    Collectibles completely break stories. "Quick, get out of the burning building!" "Hang on. I'm just going to root around for 15 minutes looking for trinkets. The building may be burning but it's not going collapse until I leave."

    But the obvious fix is remove them from the first play through and add them as gameplay value in subsequent plays.
    Reply +27
  • The mystery of FIFA Ultimate Team's rarest items

  • ShiftyGeezer 07/03/2014

    So real players who don't like their realistic stats are given a card where they're boosted beyond normal capabilities, and then they get to play these against real players?

    That's cheating! And prima donna -ish
    Reply +20