I’ve been watching some Youtube channels that talk about the Demise or just Problems of a few games recently and wondering what’s up. And then I saw a video about “Games as a Service is Fraud” and finally something has clicked for me. Here’s my theory about what’s happening in parts of the Game Industry.
Game Studios want to be like Movie Studios. Games have not, traditionally, been like movies. When games come out, they have been designed to be played for years, and that’s not surprising because making a good game takes years. Leave aside MMOs for the moment which take much longer, but there is a lot of person hours in creating a game. If you watch the credits for movies, you see 1000s of names, but not nearly that many folks are marshaled together to build a game, so it in the past making games has taken longer. Movie studios and the surrounding special effects and catering etc etc services are all geared up to put massive effort into a movie for a short time. Game Studios [Art and Software folks] don’t work like that obviously.
But this is a problem for Game Publishers – the ones doing the Business, not the ones doing the Art, Story and Software.
I just saw a review for the new Alienware Aurora R8 and I was shocked. This is a premium system. At least it has a Premium Price and is touted as having Premium Specs. Here’s the review.
Ok. So it’s a mid tower case. Not just a square box, but not like the Alienware Designs of Old to be sure. This case has as few angles as possible, and still have anything but 90 degree angles. Not very exciting. Slightly Trapaziod on some sort of “Stand”.
But things have changed out there since 10 years ago when it was ok to not powder coat your case metal. Everyone is coating “Premium Cases” in black these days. But look at the back of the new Alienware Case!
Cheap Tin is no longer a Thing DELL. Get with it. Your metal should be powder coated BLACK not just galvanized Tin. Or bare Aluminum? A while back I built a new computer using a Glass case and it cost about $1000 less than this new thing from Alienware. All the parts of the case were coated black. That build cost about $1400 with a nice graphics card, a sweet processor and a nice lit up motherboard and lit up RAM modules. There is no way to show off the interior of this Aurora R8 case since the power supply is folded over the motherboard, which makes the case fatter of course.
But, they can’t even powder coat what shows in the back? Sigh. Why have a black motherboard connection surround if you are going to leave bare metal all around it?
Looks like Alienware is just a meaningless name now. A Brand without Distinction of any kind. Nice going Dell.
I keep tripping across this flawed thinking in the Marvel Universe. And with the new movie coming out recently, maybe it’s time to remind us of the flaws. I’m not rushing out to the movie. I’ll see it when it comes to Netflix. But, as far as I can tell, Thanos is an idiot with no math or astronomy skills. Here are some of the reasons I say this:
If you HALVE the population of any critter in a constrained environment – and apparently Thanos’ “snap” halved the population of all critters in the universe, according to this account – then it doesn’t really take that long for the population to recover. Most populations follow a Leaning “S” curve, this is because growth slows as resources are depleted. So, if the population is suddenly reduced by half, it will make a sudden jump in growth rate to compensate and if the resources available are the same, it will recover to the same level. So snapping only has a short term effect. And I’m not even talking about the Avengers returning from the Phantom Zone or wherever they went. But then what?
There are no images in this post, since that might cause an Article 13 Copyright Violation and prevent my readers in the EU from being able to see this. [Satire Intended]
In case you missed it, here is an article that summarizes Article 13. I will not quote any of the article here, since that might awaken the Copyright Dragon.
Under Article 13, the hosting service – WordPress, Youtube, Facebook, you know. Those guys? will be held libel, with big fines, for hosting any content that infringes on anybody’s copyright. So this is the “Old Guard” media companies – Movie studios, Record Labels, Newspapers, etc etc. You know who they are too. – trying to protect their last vestiges of “rights” from the Old World.
These “Old Guard” have, as Old Guards always do, missed the point of the New World. The new world is about “Exposure that Captures the Hearts and Minds”. Let me give you some examples.
Hiding Files in Images?
I’ve known about Stenganography for some time. And no, it’s not spelled wrong. That’s not Stenography, but Steganography. Two different things. I’ve been thinking recently about all the news items that are talking about privacy erosion and governments around the world passing or about to pass laws to break into your private messages of any kind. And then the above video popped up in my Youtube suggestions. From 2 Feb 2019 no less. Quite Recent. I’ll provide a link at the end of this post, but it’s not the main point of the video. I’m going to take that primitive program’s idea and show how it can be extended, a lot. I’m saying primitive and if you don’t believe that, watch the video. Sigh.
Steganography ( (listen) STEG-ə-NOG-rə-fee) is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, or video within another file, message, image, or video. The word steganography combines the Greek words steganos (στεγανός), meaning “covered, concealed, or protected”, and graphein (γράφειν) meaning “writing”.
I’m not mentioning anything the NSA does not know, but apparently the lawmakers around the world have not called in an expert who has mentioned the science of Steganography to them in their hearings for their new lawmaking regarding Privacy.
Let’s look at what’s happening to Privacy / Encryption around the world.
I’m beginning to believe that Game Studios – The Developers of the Games – are incompatible with Wall Street goals and expectations. In other words, Art is Incompatible with Greed. I think recent events are bearing this out.
GW2 is great fun, but I don’t like playing it.
FFXIV can be boring at times, but I love playing it.
Here’s a large group of folks in the Crystal Desert doing bounties and me crossing the 9000 mark in Achievement Points. Yeah for me. Great Fun. I love it. And I hate it.
Sound strange? Let me explain.
Early in my MMO experiences I played a lot of GW1 and was looking forward to GW2 when it came out. As an early player, I suffered through the early teething pains and grew to love it. I quickly made many alts of all professions and races and played through to the end of the core game, and cleared the map on most of my characters. Loved it.
But then came Living World Season 1. I played some of this. Most noteably I climbed the Tower of Nightmares in Kessex Hills. But alas I was doing other things and missed the war that Scarlet made on Lion’s Arch. But I did come back and see the devestation over the next couple of years until it was rebuilt.
The core game areas are all solo-able by a level 80 character with “Exotic Gear” which can easily be crafted by you and your alts for all the classes. Exotic gear is only 5% less powerful than the much more difficult to craft Legendary or Ascended gear. There are tons of attractive armor skins that can be earned through dungeon tokens or purchased with Karma or Gold. All my alts have attractive cultural or dungeon skins over crafted exotic armor.
I love rocking and rolling with large groups of folks, sometimes 50 or more, doing open world events. BUT
DesignSpark Mechanical is an Easy to Use CAD tool. I’ve done a few hours research over the past few days to figure out a quick to use FREE CAD tool that can be used to draw wood working projects and dimension them to produce drawings for building home projects.
As you may know from my site, I’m a long time user of 3D Art software including 3DSMax and Carrara. But these are expensive. Even Carrara costs more than $250.
I’ve looked at FreeCAD, Blender and a host of others. But the idea is to find something free that’s as easy to get going as possible and allows you to produce drawings with dimensions. There is no doubt that FreeCAD, and Blender can do this, but FreeCAD is quirky – at least for me – and Blender has a very high initial learning curve and no dimension tool built in. There may be plug-ins for that, but that is more learning curve.
Dust Deputy Cyclone Separator
A while back I bought and hooked up a Dust Deputy to the shop vac that I have been using to clean my pellet stove. The Dust Deputy is an after market DIY cyclone separator. And for what you get it’s pretty pricey.
The kit I got comes with two 5 gallon buckets and a hose along with the separator. But it required some ABS pipe, glue and some work to get it hooked up to the shop vac that I’d been using. Turns out that hose diameters are no where near standard on these vacuums of course. But I’ve got it going and have not had to clean the vacuum filter in over a year. I have emptied the 5 gallon bucket once in that time. But Wait There’s More. A Better Solution has arrived.
Home Depot Dustopper
The Dustopper from Home Depot is a much better solution. And Cheaper.
The left picture shows the Home Depot picture for this use of this device. Clearly a mess since you are dragging two separate canisters around your shop or other area as you clean it. That’s gotta be a pain. On the right we see a fellow who has designed a simple modification for a Ridgid vacuum to hold the Dustopper together with the vacuum. Takes less floor space and moves as one unit.
Clearly this is what I should have done. And I may yet do this.
I still cannot understand why Ridgid or some other shop vacuum company, Dyson even, has not just made a vacuum with a cyclone separator built into it. Why these nonsense add-ons? Is Dyson holding a patent that keeps others from doing it, but is not doing it themselves? Dyson does not make a vacuum suitable for cleaning shop areas after all this time.
In December 2017, Blizzard released details of their Game Wide Level Scaling and I was able to play it in the Public Test Realm [PTR]. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t articulate just why, but it seemed to be a betrayal of the nature of the game for me.
Now I understand better why I felt that way after watching a talk from the recent Game Developer Conference on Youtube. Here is that talk:
In this classic 2012 GDC talk, Naughty Dog’s Kaitlyn Burnell explore games that break autonomy, competence and relatedness in powerful ways to inspire developers to think outside the box.
This talk covers the importance of game players feeling Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness as they play the game and how the game design in these areas greatly effects the engagement that the players have with the game.