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RandomGuy

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  1. RandomGuy

    Legal analysis roundup (for USA)

    Horrible work conditions are not "standard" on the level CDPR has them; they'd literally be illegal in the first world. And they can't make their games without those conditions; consider that, even with these bottom of the barrel labor costs, Witcher 3 still costed nearly $90 million to make. Thus, it is not a remotely sustainable model and doesn't solve the underlying issue of single-player games dying. You're just blatantly lying at this point. CDPR would have absolutely no one working for them if they were based in any developed country, and Poland is rapidly approaching that level. EA, the devil of the industry, pays its developers $90-100k on average with great benefits. And the vast majority of them are either total crap or never get made. They're no replacement for dedicated studios with hundreds of millions in resources. And it looks like crap. I don't want games to be either online-only MMOs or perpetually locked in the level of the 90s (even though I still play games from that time). The vast majority of people disagree with you about what constitutes a "good game." One of them is me. Thus, why I consider this an issue, and you may not. Which is fine for, you I guess, but other people actually like modern AAA single player games. It's not just graphics and voice acting, though both of those are a big issue (particularly the latter). It's also just presentation/polish in general as well as depth of mechanics. When all of this is considered I don't see how an indie dev could ever make something like, say, Fallout New Vegas. I don't consider any of the above scams. You get what you pay for and there's tons of information available on what you're buying. Crowd funding, on the other hand, is a complete crapshoot. They can take your money, give you nothing in return, and there's nothing you can do about it. Additionally, there's no real oversight and no real incentive for them to do what they say. Even actually good indie games like Minecraft fell into this trap (prior to becoming, well, not indie, thanks to Microsoft). That game was alpha funded; this is better than crowdfunding because you actually have to show the customer something first, then they pay you, and you promise to give them more later. But when the developer got his millions he stopped bothering to develop the game, there is a chart someone compiled that showed he spent over 50% of 2011 on vacation. The final product was also nothing like what was promised, showing how easy it is to scam people with such a funding scheme in even the most high-profile scenario. "Hobbyists" will not crank out games to the same extent that full studios will: these are, after all, thousands of man hours worth of work, even if the tools themselves advance to the point where they cost nothing. A consistent stream of good games, even indie ones, are only viable if the devs can do it full time and are compensated for their work. The problem with that? Well, there are two. One, indie developers are in the same boat as AAA developers: if they're not making a multiplayer game riddled with microtransactions (cf. Star Citizen), then they're effectively losing money when opportunity cost is considered. Two, the elephant in the room, digital piracy. Entire companies have folded because of it. While the exact figure varies, PC indie games without significant DRM tend to have around a 90% piracy rate. World of Goo had that. Some games, such as Heavy Hogur, can get a 98% piracy rate. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2008/11/acrying-shame-world-of-goo-piracy-rate-near-90/ http://m.slashdot.org/story/139522 http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JakubKasztalski/20171027/308436/So_5245_of_People_Playing_my_Indie_Game_Have_Pirated_it.php http://forums.indiegamer.com/threads/confirmed-98-piracy-ratio.23669/ https://thenextweb.com/insider/2016/03/22/indie-developer-sells-300000-copies-game-finds-1-million-pirated-copies/ Even 'casual' games get 92%+ rates: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/108301/Casual_Games_and_Piracy_The_Truth.php ...and games that cost literally 1 cent to purchase get 25% rates. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100576-Who-Would-Pirate-the-One-Cent-Humble-Indie-Bundle This means only the most insanely successful games can survive in spite of said piracy, essentially off of donations. How do you get around piracy (beyond actually enforcing penalties on everyone which no one is going to bother to do)? Make the game always-online. This has consistently been found to be the absolute best way of proofing it. Online games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft are a far larger percentage of the gaming market these days than ever before, and there is no significant piracy of MMOs and similar games because the server data is kept secret. You literally have to physically steal the hard drive from a company server and even then your pirate server is going to be out of date and really crappy. A good example of this trend in action is China. People in China are primarily PC gamers, and play all types of games. In fact, China is the biggest gaming market in the entire world, having surpassed the U.S. two years ago. But the only games that Chinese studios make are multiplayer always-online ones (F2P FPSes, MMOs, freemium mobile games, etc.). I'm serious, check; it's every single one. Why? Because it's essentially impossible for any other types of games to make money. There is no mass output of single player passion projects in China, even though Chinese gamers DO like to play single player games (we know, because Western and Japanese games are pirated or bootlegged en masse on there), and even though China itself is the world's largest producer of programmers (and second largest producer of software developers). Instead, the whole sub-market is just dead. This shift is happening right now, and it worries me. We can't close this box. In 20 years, single player AAA games may very well be extinct, and single player game output in general declined significantly outside of mods for decades-old games and engines. I don't see any way to reverse this.
  2. RandomGuy

    Legal analysis roundup (for USA)

    People will still make mods for 20-year old games or flash games, but no one is going to hire hundreds of people (from programmers to to managers to artists to voice actors to writers) and spend tens of millions of dollars and 2-4 years making an actual high-quality modern game (or anything close to one) "just because." I have no confidence whatsoever in crowdfunded games, at least not without severe reform in that area to bring it in line with 'regular' businesses. It's way too easy to scam people. Good for you, but I'm not, and neither are the vast majority of people who play video games. I'll also reiterate that soon enough there won't even be much room for these smaller developers.
  3. RandomGuy

    Legal analysis roundup (for USA)

    It really hasn't. Making a game still takes enormous amounts of resources that are becoming increasingly harder to justify with piracy increasing, real game prices DECREASING, and online microtransaction-ridden MP games becoming increasingly popular. These are both absolutely terrible examples of whatever point you're trying to make. Witcher is viable because costs in Poland are very low and CDPR treats its workers like absolute dog shit. Star Citizen is viable because it scammed hundreds of millions in crowdfunding money for promises they'd never deliver on and is, you know, a multiplayer game loaded to the brim with microtransactions. The exact kind of game I am talking about. Neither model is remotely sustainable, in fact had a big game corp done the same things as these companies in the USA they'd probably have gotten sued by the federal government.
  4. RandomGuy

    Legal analysis roundup (for USA)

    I'm not really interested in this whole ongoing discussion because I fundamentally don't think that online-only games dying is the biggest problem facing gaming today (and of course, in the context of society as a whole, it's so minuscule as to not even be worth thinking about). I'd say the biggest issue facing gaming today is actually that online-only games are increasingly becoming the only way to make big games profitable in the first place. This seems to be because of absurdly high PED (games today cost about half as much to buy as games 25 years ago accounting for inflation, yet cost far more to make, and consumers have gotten used to it), rampant piracy ("indie games will save us when AAA can't" is a common refrain yet they can reach literally 98% piracy rates), and overall just how absurdly profitable microtransactions are compared to literally everything else (Clash of Clans, a crappy primitive freemium phone game, made more money than most of the actual biggest game franchises: $6 billion). It's gotten to the point that when opportunity cost is considered, publishers are effectively losing money by making single player games at all. I don't want every game to become CS:GO or LoL.
  5. RandomGuy

    Game Dungeon Wish List

    I do kind of want to see what Ross makes of the Tropico series.
  6. My favorite moment in season 2 so far is probably just Freeman casually referring to the Metrocops as "these Charles Bronson motherfuckers."
  7. RandomGuy

    Ross's Earning

    According to his donations record page, Ross got $35,545 in donations last year. Assuming a CPM of $2 (Youtube gets 50%), which seems average from everything I've read, his YouTube revenues should have come out to ~$16,000 in the same year per Social Blade. Meaning his income in 2018 was around $51,000 before taxes. By the standards of the area he lives in that should be solidly upper middle class. Assuming his wife brings in no income, he's making slightly over the median full time gross salary of the U.S., 30% more than the average full time gross salary of France (median should be lower), and over three times the average full-time gross salary of Poland (median should be lower). Though, I'm not sure what the taxes and transfers would be like for a non-citizen, self-employed immigrant in Poland, especially one who earns all of his income via either donations from around the world or commission from an American company. I do know that, after taking into account costs of living, subtracting taxes and, adding transfers (goods and services provided by the government such as health care, education and housing, received either free of charge or at reduced prices), median household income in Poland, France, and the U.S. is at $18,906, $31,137, and $44,049 respectively. Interestingly, Ross's donations have only grown over the years. Wasn't expecting that. 2018: $35,544.14 2017: $29,598.33 2016: $26,060.62 2015: $24,105.81
  8. RandomGuy

    Videochat March 2019

    Always love when a multi-hour chat gets cranked out. Gives me something to listen to while driving or exercising.
  9. RandomGuy

    Videochat November 2018

    The environmental records of socialist countries like the USSR laugh at the notion that capitalism is particularly bad for the environment, or that capitalism's successes are due to disregard for it.
  10. RandomGuy

    Videochat March 2018

    Ross, that political incident you're referring to is Preston Brooks' caning of Charles Sumner. It started when Sumner gave a speech attacking slavery and slaveholders. Brooks, whose family were slaveowners, took offense and ambushed him in the house a few days later and beat him nearly to death with a stick while his friend, Laurence M. Keitt, held a gun on the other representatives and threatened to shoot them if they tried to intervene. Later a Congressman named Anson Burlingame called Brooks a coward for the incident. Brooks then challenged him to a duel; Burlingame accepted Brooks' challenge, and then watched Brooks wuss out of it when Brooks learned Burlingame had a reputation as a marksman. Brooks resigned soon after and was found guilty of assault but was not incarcerated and only fined a little over $300 (about $9,000 today). He was reelected (the assault was very popular in his home state of South Carolina) but died of a respiratory disease in 1857 before he could serve his term.
  11. RandomGuy

    FREEMAN'S MIND 2: EPISODE 1

    Yes, the ultimate quote mine is BACK! "What the hell?! What's going on? Desperate women love me!" "I got my degree under the tutelage of Dr. Pepper." "It's best to grab it out of someone's hand on the street. Because they'll chase you, but they won't file a police report over a stolen hotdog."
  12. RandomGuy

    Videochat March 2017

    Shame I couldn't make this one. Though, it seemed like a couple of comments were aimed in my direction.
  13. RandomGuy

    Questions for November Video Chat

    So wait, is the chat at 4 PM EST or 10 PM EST? This thread says the former, Ross says the latter on the front page.
  14. RandomGuy

    Questions for November Video Chat

    1. What was your opinion on that Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco nearly five years back? I recall that blowing up to the point that even publications and groups that usually showed no interest in video games covered it. This question is not so much about the content of the endings themselves (since I'm not sure if you've even played those games), but more like: was the fan backlash justified, was Bioware's response sufficient, and does this whole event say generally good or generally bad things about the future of gaming in general, in your opinion? 2. Are you a fan of Mike Judge's work, besides Office Space? 3. Do you vote from abroad? (note: not asking WHO you vote for)
  15. RandomGuy

    ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: DEUS EX

    There's a lot of disagreeable things in this video, but I'll just stick to one particular point. Ross makes a point to mention that wages have been decreasing as a percentage of GDP, and uses this as evidence that the globalist corporations are draining wealth to the top. If I recall correctly, I debunked this exact same myth several months ago when he brought it up in another form (saying wages haven't kept pace with overall productivity increases) by pointing out, among other things, the deliberate exclusion of non-wage benefits in the chart he was using, which have risen massively in the past 40 years. Ross simply responded that he didn't study such things and that what I was saying sounded like gibberish; which is fine. However, I do have to get a bit annoyed when he proceeds to make another video mentioning this subject and repeats the same myth using the same fallacious logic (excluding non-wage compensation). In case the argument I made earlier was really that poorly put/difficult to understand/whatever, here's a video that I think quickly sums up the whole issue in plain and simple terms: fHm7P4TA97U tl;dr: actual compensation has risen more or less proportionally with productivity increases. Now, on using percentages of GDP to see what people 'should' be paid: this is also fallacious. Corporate profits and worker compensation should be measured as a percent of corporate income, not the economy as a whole, because the GDP is not increasing solely on the back of corporate profits. Federal government spending in general as a percentage of the GDP has increased quite a lot, for example. To relate to another one of Ross's points, defense spending as a percentage of GDP has been generally decreasing since the Cold War started, so you can't say that all that GDP is going to the "military-industrial complex" either. In the 21st century in general, defense spending is lower than it has been at any time since WW2 ended, except for the brief period between then and the start of the Cold War where the Americans genuinely thought that Uncle Joe would be their bust bud. Anyway, when we measure employee compensation (not wages) as a percentage corporate profits (not the whole country's GDP), we get this result: Employee compensation as a percentage of corporate income has consistently stayed at 10-13%. Currently it is much higher than it was in 1970, and just about the highest it has ever been- the exact opposite of what Ross claimed (I put a thin black line on the picture to make that more noticeable). And overall standard of living, of course, has increased massively, just as productivity has. So yeah, there's no dystopia here. To relate this back to Deus Ex, I don't think there's another level to Deus Ex either. It's a hackneyed, stock, sci-fi plot that cherrypicks a handful of statistics out of context to lend its story some credibility. Really no deeper than any cyberpunk dystopia story with an evil corporate or government villain. It's still a fun game, though. EDIT: As a bonus, Ross also tries to use the progressively lowering corporate tax rate as evidence that the rich are gaining more power at the expense of the common man. Someone better go tell that to the anarcho-capitalist hellholes of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Pages 173-175 the World Bank and International Finance Commission's report puts the effective corporate tax rate of the USA at 27.9%. By contrast: Denmark: 20.3% Sweden: 16.1% Norway: 24.8%
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