So…I’m about to head off on a much needed holiday somewhere nice. Right now it’s raining outside here. Haha, I shall think about the British rain while I’m here…
This will be the last time I actually have a real holiday before I release Gratuitous Space Battles 2. A small army of highly skilled assistants are working away on various cool art things while I’m not here. Unlike most geeks, I’m very into the whole ‘unplugging’ thing. I’m not taking a laptop. I have a ‘smart’ phone I guess, but I never use it for the internet. I’m taking it just for emergencies. I think it’s good to break away from the world of computers and games and get some fresh input into my mind. Maybe it will inspire me to make a different game, or who knows what. I’m away for almost three weeks, the longest holiday I have ever had, as I recall. I wonder if the cats will recognize me when I return.
Look at this sad, sad image below:
This is my internet speed, and this is a GODO day with a BRAND NEW router. TBH, the 6MB download is generally quite enough for me. I have a 110GB monthly cap anyway, and I can stream through amazon video on that, plus I don’t download a huge pile of AAA games every day so it doesn’t really bother me. I have a monthly cap because I’m with a really reliable ISP who charge a lot but provide decent tech support and actually have human staff who aren’t in some call center 10,000 miles away…
Anyway, it’s the upload speed that is a pain. Imagine uploading a 100MB game installer with that. Now imagine a 300MB installer… And then the mac build, then linux, then to 3 other portals, and then a 300MB promo video… And then all of it again because you found a bug :D.
When I check out the upgrade plans for the nearest exchange to me, BT list it as ‘2014’ which is very encouraging. So I *may* get faster broadband before GSB2 ships (I really hope so). I suspect this will be FTTC, and not FTTH, but to be honest if I can just get a service that doubles my upload speed it would be a godsend, let alone all this 50MB stuff people have.
I live in a pretty remote village of maybe 60 houses, so we don’t have any cable service here. Our telephone lines are all raised up on poles right outside the houses, subject to the random whims of the local vegetation and wildlife. There is vague talk of community broadband being set up using a radar link? but I think that might be unlikely to happen, whereas presumably if BT write ‘2014’ on the exchange, it’s definitely going to happen, even if it gets delayed.
I bet the prices go up too…
I’m against tax breaks. that makes me a pariah amongst UK games industry folks. I’m, not against these tax breaks, I’m against ALL of them, especially the French, who frankly wanted to have them, but deny them to us. Fuck that. But I’d be happier if no video game in any country had them, as they are a distortion that is unwelcome. However, in the real world, we have to compete so…yay? I bet it’s impossible to ‘game’ them right? No new tax law ever has loopholes, thats why Starbucks and amazon pay the same tax rate as me! Lets try anyway…
“3 points if at least 66% is set in the United Kingdom or another EEA state or set in an undetermined location;”
CHECK! GSB2 is set in the star system Zog, so that is an undetermined location. pretty british so far…
“if there are only three characters depicted in the video game, 4 points if two or three of them are from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location”
CHECK! I’ll get some tiny 32×32 faces drawn of 3 alien dudes who help with the tutorial. They are from Zog, which is undetermined, so yup, pretty british…
up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the original dialogue that is recorded in the English language or in a recognised regional or minority language as follows
CHECK! I have plans for zero dialogue, so I can state on oath that 100% of it was recorded in English.
2 points if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom
Ok, lets try to define 50% of the work. By time? by cost? By talent? by final contribution to the game? And lets define ‘carried out in’. If I have a design meeting over skype, where was that? here? the other guys place? skypes headquarters? the nearest fiber cabinet?
(a) 1 point if the project leader (or, if there is more than one, the main project leader) is a qualifying person;
Well thats me, so CHECK!
(b) 1 point if at least one of the scriptwriters (or, if there are more than three, one of the three lead scriptwriters) is a qualifying person;
Scriptwriter? is this a movie now? OK, I will write some dialog for the tutorial so thats me too. CHECK!
(d) 1 point if the artist (or, if there is more than one, the lead artist) is a qualifying person;
Yup, CHECK! Thats me too. I don’t get my hands dirty with actual art though, as lead, I hire other people to actually do my work…
(e) 1 point if the programmer (or, if there is more than one, the lead programmer) is a qualifying person;
(f) 1 point if the designer (or, if there is more than one, the lead designer) is a qualifying person;
(g) 1 point if at least one of the heads of department is a qualifying person;
(h) 1 point if at least 50% of the development team are qualifying persons.
Wow, that was an easy four points, as all those people are me too. As department head, and half the team, lead designer coder and artist, and scriptwriter, yeah, thats a lot of points.
So far so easy, now how much do I actually GET?
You hear the comment quite often ‘I’m not buying anything till I clear my backlog’ and ‘I bought that game then realized I already owned it’ and ‘I bought the first one but didn’t play it, might pick this up…’
This is nuts. Gamers are being played, played like a fucking piano, every time you see the word SALE. This is a big psychology trick that is being used to siphon money from gamers, and it’s a bad thing, and if we can (and I think we probably can’t) we should stop it. Here is why I think using deep discounting to sell games to non-players is bad:
I’m not sure there is anything we can do about it. Discounts work. Sales work. There is some mileage in building a reputation for maintaining high prices for longer, I think I’ve built that up to some extent. D3 has never been lower than 50% since release back in October, with no immediate plans to re-do that 50% off or go lower. This is quite rare though. I got called a ‘fascist who hates gamers’ one month after release because the game was not on sale. *sigh*.
I understand that varied price points to suit different gamers is good, I understand the reasons for sales being economically efficient ways to maximize global utility. But this implies utility is derived from the product. We are no longer selling products, we are selling discounts. The endorphin rush is now from getting a bargain, not the fun of actually *playing* the game. This is bad.
Am I right? Am I wrong. TELL ME :D