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September 6th, 2007, 20:48
To say that todays entertainment industry is as exciting as it was in the 60's and 70's would be nothing short of bollox. Ofc Zappa is correct he lived through the time period as an artist.

P.S. His music is awesome as well.
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September 6th, 2007, 22:32
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Anyone else think, corperations not willing to take chances, is the main reason, as it happened with the music industry?
I have this opinion since the last years now (I think I developed it in 2004).
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September 7th, 2007, 01:01
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I have this opinion since the last years now (I think I developed it in 2004).
Unfortunately the idea of 'corporate pop' is likely older than you

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September 7th, 2007, 17:56
Thanks for the Zappa clip, Acleacius. Very appropriate to the "no-risk" view of game publishing. Attempts to control and channel art and creativity to a certain(especially finiancial) end are pretty much death to anything real being produced.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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September 7th, 2007, 18:20
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Thanks for the Zappa clip, Acleacius. Very appropriate to the "no-risk" view of game publishing. Attempts to control and channel art and creativity to a certain(especially finiancial) end are pretty much death to anything real being produced.
Yeah, you can see the meeting - "look, we tried that back in '92 when you were in diapers, so trust me on the fact that it just won't work!"

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September 7th, 2007, 18:50
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Unfortunately the idea of 'corporate pop' is likely older than you
I just wanted to say that I'm not at all surprised by this. I wrote quite a lot of lenghty posts in other forums - especially the Larian one - explaining my opinion.

Over there at the Sacred forum (the official one) we even had quite a deep discussion on it, althought it's well forgotten by now, I assume.

At the time when this idea was new to me, I was quite angry, and wrote about it everywhere I could.

By now, I've just resigned, realizing that there is no way to contact publishers (whom I blame for these recent developments mostly) directly, and not be able o tell them what i think.


Their communications pattern is basically like this:

- build up a forum, where the moderator acts on Our mercy. He has nothing to say without Our approvement, of course, and isn't allowed to forward complaints to Us.
- hide e-mail contact completely on the whole corporate or otherwise web page or
- only offer a contact address for Business Inquiries Only.


The overall effect seemingly desired and actually achieved is this: The people responsible for the design, marketing, and publishing decisions are well shielded from the public, work in and act like a Black Box and can never really be accessed.
They seemingly don't want to get in toch with the public at all, and most certainly don't want to be annoyed by customer complaints.

Customer complaints, however, "drown in the sand" like we say here, bcause no-one in the publishing companies ever sees them, or otherwise they would react to them.

Instead, they keep themseves on the Ivory Tower, never touching the actual public except on fairs, and ignoring the customers whishes altogether.

But the most important point is this : All public contact is delegated to employees which have nothing to say. At least not without Our approvement.

This sort of delegation keepo the upper heads well away from the real problems at the basis, enabling them to make decisions which are far away from any public need and mostly "unnatural".

So, the "upper heads" might even get false responses or wrong statistincs from "lower heads" without knowing it.

And everything "dirt-work" (bug fixing, cunsumer contact, etc.) is delegated to the actual developers of the games. The publishing "government" is kept hassle-free.


To me, it's like having a publishing company consisting of several layers or levels:

1. The lowest level: Consisting of the Grunts. Mostly PR types, Moderators, everyone staying in close customer contact.

Characteristics: Don't have anything to say, are mostly ignored by the rest of the government, are only receiving commands by the upper level(s), have to endure all of the customer wrath.

2. The middle level or mezzanine. The officers. PR types and the marketing.

Characteristics: They are operating on the basis of the general decisions made by the upper level(s). They are in contact with the Grunts, and sometimes get their messages of customer wrath and statistics. They give commands to the lower level(s), and receive some from the upper level(s). They report to the upper level(s).

They are NOT allowed to support a game or a developing company on their own. Everything is nbased on the next level.

3. The High Heads. The High Command. Acting independently from everything else.

Characteristics: Living on an Ivory Tower. Never ever in their whole life had or will have actual customer contactz. Maybe don't even want to.

Their decisions are based on what they get as reports from the mezzanine. They have never ever actual knowledge what's going on with the customer side and the actual development of games.

They are only interested in sales. Nothing more. If bugfixing means losing money, they won't allow it, even if the customer wrath is quite audible.

Only act at the absolutely highest amount of wrath from below. And even then, they at very, very, very slow, almost sluggish, and measure everything else up in dollars, before they do make any decision.


So, with that layout, it will go on forever. Nothing will ever change, because the high heads will never ever know what customers actually want - apart from neutralized statistics from the mezzanine.

That's in my opinion how it comes that some games are

a) are rushed out (the money factor ! No customer satisfaction at all ! Because they actually don't know about it ! )

b) developers and games alike don't get any support from the publishers at all - apart from the marketing, and even that is withdrawn as the high heads sees that fit.

Atari/Infogrames is a really good example ion my opinion of that - based on what I've seen in the past.

The number of these levels may vary, but that's the basic layout.

And, of course this is the case in any bigger company !
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September 18th, 2007, 14:27
In the last minutes, I wrote a text over there at the Larian boards I'm quoting here.

Alrik has also questioned the necessity of violence in RPGs, here and in other forums.

At RPGWatch, I recently mused about the lack of a system nowadays like we had with the Virtues in the classic Ultima games.

This is also a question whether I really needd violence in order to complete a task at all - nd in general: Whether I need violence (and *any* combat is violent !) in *any* role playing game at all !

I recently read a review of the old D&D game (by SSI) "Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse") stating that this game gave experience points rather for solving riddles instead of fighting.

With the top-seller on top of all C-RPGs made by Blizzards, combat has become the de-facto standard (you could call it an "industry standard" as well) for ALL role-playing games to give experience points to characters.

The industry seems to believe that non-violent games wouldn't sell at all - or at least would have no appeal to the potential, desired target group of buyers - otherwise they would've implemented that.

PS:T proves otherwise, but still the industry clearly orients itself towards what slls most : And that was 8and still is) everything involving fast-paced action, like in Blizzards Action-RPGs.

Non-violent RPGs just don't exist. It's as simple as that. Therefore one could argue that violence is in part defining the genre itself. Like FPS games, as well.

Any non-violent RPG would rather turn into an adventure game, only, that no-one ever made this attempt (except in part from PS:T, in which you can fight as well).


The total absence of any ethic system (apart from reputation) like the Virtues System shown in Ultima means in the end that the uindustry believes that ethicvs have no use in C-RPGs - or in ANY video game at all ! I mean - I hardly don't ever know any game outsoide the RPG genre which has some kind of ethics in it. I just don't know any.

The amount of ressources, time and involved developers needed to develop any ethics system in an C-RPG seems so "high" that the companies rather tend to decide to leave such an ethics system out - simply because it costs ressources.

And in the end here the "economization of the real world" takers place, where anything social is consideredmerely to produce costs and is therefore NOT supported, meanwhile everything that FDOES bring money in - the economy, as a whole, companies in special - is supported.

Ethics are seemingly considered an "fluffy", "cloudy" thing that has no real-life effect, instead of for example money coins you can actually hold in your hands and buy miney with them. So, the one thing is supported (the money), manwhile the other thing is not, because you can't hold fast to it.

Which means, that whole concepts like ethics are currently regarded inferior to material concepts, like money, otherwise it would be rather emphasized than they are right now.

In the total end, this "economization of the real wold" leads to something that weighs something rather on its economical ability, status and economical usability than for anything else. Social networks cannot be measured in economical terms, so they aren't implemented and rather ignored.

In the end,. this leads into human beings considered as nothing as "useable" or "non-useable" for econoimy. And that is, in the last end, what the Nazis did with everyone who did - from their point of view - produce nothing but costs. Old people, handicapped people.


This lack of any philosophy, and of any ethics, is a purely materialisric point of view.

And this materialistic point of view materializes in games which implement no ethics, because the companies see no use for ethics to be implemented, because otherwise it *would* be implemented, and because there are no ethics implemented, everything is allowed. Yes, EVERYTHING.

(Except of course things not allowed by some design decisions.)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 18th, 2007, 15:42
Originally Posted by woges View Post
To say that todays entertainment industry is as exciting as it was in the 60's and 70's would be nothing short of bollox. Ofc Zappa is correct he lived through the time period as an artist.

P.S. His music is awesome as well.
Did you also Know That Steve Vai in his younger days was taught or inspried by Fran Zappa

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September 18th, 2007, 16:02
Originally Posted by YellowWing View Post
Did you also Know That Steve Vai in his younger days was taught or inspried by Fran Zappa
… Vai played and toured with Zappa for a while, including on two of my faves - You Are What You Is and Ship Arriving Too Late

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September 25th, 2007, 22:53
Just had a thought : "RPG gaming - is an RPG about nothing but loot ?"

(Okay, my it's late and my grammar just sucks …)

It arrived in my brain just because there is no C-RPG I could remember WITHOUT looting.

But I'm to tired to think more about it, actually.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 26th, 2007, 00:18
Jade Empire didn't have loot.
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September 26th, 2007, 01:28
While you could loot in the Ultimas, it wasn't usually advised as you took a Karma hit!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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September 26th, 2007, 19:43
Right. But that was long ago …

(Oh my, I must've been *very* tired then …)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 15th, 2007, 00:21
A few minutes ago a game asked me to put its "original CD-ROM into the drive".

Why, I thought a few seconds (and thought-steps) later, doesn't there exist a Freeware game that askes me to put a CD-ROM into the drive ?

Maybe in the style of "please put the original CD-ROM or at least a copied one of this Freeware game into the drive".

It's a bit like this sentence I read on the Microsoft-CD-ROMs :
"You are not permitted to use illegal copies of this CD-ROM". (Roughly translated.)

Why, what if my copies had been made legally ?

But everyone assumes that there is no thing like a "legal copy".
Is this true for family movies as well ?
Of course not, because there's no money to gain and "save" with it.

But no-one actually thinks this way, because to "normal" people it's just stupid thinking, nothing more.

But me, I find some fun in trying to see things from the opposite site, switching meanings with words.

For example, you all know what goods are.

Well, I once thought, if there are goods, does it man that there are bads as well ?
And if so, how do they look like ? Rotten, for example ?

So I tried to think it in a similar way concerning "original CDs" and … well, "unoriginal CDs" ?

Or rather, Freeware programs insisting on having a CD-ROM in a CD-ROM drive while using these programs ?

Of course no-one makes this, because it would render the concept of "Freeware" useless and nonsense, because everyone believes that having a program's CD-ROM in a drive is part of the program's copy-protection, which is obviously not needed in a "Freeware"-program.

If I was a Jester, I would send any big, big companies home-made Freeware or even worse: Public Domain-programs on CDs to them - forcing them to always have the CD in their drives. Just to annoy them.

Or making DVDs with family movies and setting the region-code so that people outside my region won't be able to see them.

(Of course, I don't believe that current DVD burning programs would allow THAT. How about the story of someone I know from another forum who wanted to burn a real family movie made with his camera on DVD, and the burning program didn't let him ? As he asked about this in the forum of the company of this burning program, his thread was deleted and his account closed. This is real, folks !)

What always strikes me is that the companies are heavily supporting copy protections of any kind - to protect intellectial property ! - At least that's it what it boils down to.

The striking point in that is that no-one ever developed copy-protecting software for private home users. No-one in the industry seems to be seriously interested in protecting the intellectual property of everyday home users.

Of course, they don't do it because they believe it wouldn't sell, too.
But on the other hand, this also says quite a *lot* of how the comanies think of home users …

Business is good.
Only the home user is a bit in the way.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 25th, 2007, 21:48
Games have an "use-by-date".

Books don't.

Therefore books are superior.


Take a game for example that has copy-protection enabled.

The game always needs the CD-OM for starting.

Doing so over the years makes more & more scratches on the CD.

Of course, in some countries, backup copies are allowed.

That the industry behaves as if it wouldn't allow it or only with gnashing their teeth, is a different story right now.

But in fact the industry won't tell anyone how to make legally allowed backup copies from games - or software in general - because this would mean revealing the process of how a game was made copy-protected.

So, now, I can ask thecompany which made or distributed the game (often these are two different companies) for a replacement copy.

How will they react ?

Will I have to buy a new game for that ?


The "use-by-date" comes then into bearing when the company has no more replacement CDs in stock - assumed they would send one out.


Of course, this os *so* far into the future that barely any one might be affected by this out-of-stock.

In fact, I assume that the stock of replacement CDs is so calculated that it lies so far into the future thast it might be used up to the point hardly anyone remembers the game.

Maybe this point is reached with the advent of a new operating system which renders the game incompatible.

With that, I assume that the calculators try to project people's behaviour - and in this case, demand - so into the future that the amount of replacement CDs is so calculated that it will last until no-one … might … need it.

Note the word "might" : This is just a calculation. It is based on assumed behaviour - demand - of gamers into a certain, fixed point into the future.

Maybe there's a study out there, I mean statistics, which say that according to a "nomal distribution" line of some sort ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution ) the demand will be near zero at a certain point in the future. In marketing, I think this is called a Decline in a product life cycle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product…cle_management .

What I'm writing this for is not statistics or economy, but human behaviour.

The development of a product life cycle is a direct projecting of human behaviour. Human behaviour becomes something predictible: A sort of science in itself.

No, I'm not explicitely meaning Psychology (implicitely maybe), but rather a "science" in its own right which has no name yet: "The Art On How To Predict Human Behaviour", to express in a rather … theatralical way.

The economy buddies in a company try to predict human behaviour of gamers so that they can say "well, at this point we don't need any replacement CDs anymore, so we can safely say that the company can safe money by no more producing them at that point and instead relying on the secondary market".

This puts me to the point that MONEY has become an omnipotient factor in defining human behaviour : We as gamers are measures against how much money we consume or a company (money spent for replacement CDs).

This is in fact kind of an elaborate version of Nazi thinking: People were meaured against how much they produce costs for he state - nd handicapped people or those who are elderly shall be wiped out - according to this thinking - because they produce hardly more than costs.

Okay, now I've come to a point I couldn't forsee when I began writing this text and didn't want to,

but in fact I tend to express that the Nazi thinking has finally arrived in the World of Economy : Measuring people against MONEY.

This is non-human.


Back to the point I wanted to go to : Companies are trying to project and foresee human behaviour regarding replacement CDs.

The WAY of how they project human behaviour says imho much about how or even who projects this. It says imho quite a lot of how we are considered.

To put it into a rather bitter and rather cynical tone, companies don't act out of mercy ( having more replacement CDs in stock even after the point of no return ) , but rather out of economy.

Of course, everyone assumes that thinking economally (right spelled ?) is right, and that there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, we do it in our local supermarkets every day.

But … - wouldn't it be wiser to just release a final patch that removes the copy protection after let's say 10 or 20 years ? I think this wuld reduce the costs of manufacturing enough replacement CDs altogether (plus the costs needed for employees or accountants doing the actual "projecting work").

And at this point the companies seem to react irrational. They just sit on what we call "intellectual property" even long after anyone can possibly remember this game - just in case. Just in case it could be helpful.

And the developers - are soon forgoten, even by the distributing companies., They produced the cash for the distributing company, the shareholder value, apart from that they're of no use, cyncally said.

And so, the makers of the games never get the order to produce a patch which officially removes the copy protection.

Because the Projecting says: "the people won't hardly ever remember this game, so we don't need to produce a patch that ends the copy-protection because this would mean more money spent that could be saved instead".

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

So, we games lose in any case. The companies will spare their money for the time beyond this projected - predicted "point of no return" - and they will most probably save the money for the copy-protection-removing patch as well, because they assume - through predicting human behaviour - that no-one will need EITHER of them.

When I apply this to myself, I just feel like cattle.

Cattle that is milked for money.


So, the fact, that books are superior over software (games) is because books have a far longer livespan - no scratches, mainly, because people tend to use books more carefully.


Maybe this whole industry suffers from the short attention lifespan it has all of the time - with software, with hardware, with gaming.

To them - the producers - it seems to be quite okay & normal to assume that gamers might not want to play a game over a longer period of time.

They just assume a so shortened (game-) attention lifespan, that they think what they assume as mormal actually IS normal.

So, to conclude this writing, there are always schemes, thought-patterns, belief-systems, thought-structures, that are developed and evolved in predicting something - us.

The demanding question is: On what ere they based ?

Because WE don't have any influence on HOW we are … analysed. Our behaviour. Predicted, projected by … people responsible for these tasks.

We don't have - in the end - no influence in how we are considered, how we are … assumed to act.

Because there is danger in this predicting: WE can't say, after which rules or formulae OUR behaviour is predicted … - of course I'm sure there are economy rules and formulae for that and that someone has developed them … But I can't say.

It's like saying that all people living in a Ghetto are criminals. This is a prediction as well, although a false one.

What I see personally as a danger is that the people trying to project - predict - our behaviour do this out of .. their personal experience which micht be "misled", like in this example.


And what I also don't like in this pojnt if that I#m measured and analysed as cattle - that the principle that EVERYTHING can be predicted, reduced humans to something inhuman.

And that is not human.

I conclude at this point, because my ideas have run out. Good night.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 26th, 2007, 00:37
Looks like someone had a HARD day!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 26th, 2007, 14:51
Hm ? No, i've got thoughts popping into my head from time to time …

This is just one example …

By the way, I think this stuff could be transferred into a blog … I already have a Opera Community page, and I think I might place this stuff there someday.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 3rd, 2008, 12:13
I just had one of my "mad thoughts" , as I call them …

I quote myself:

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
In the Age of Visuals, the Graphics Artist is King.

Who needs Writers ?

Action-Games most certainly don't.

My "crazy thought" was now that developing costs & time could be reduced - by simply eleminating what's unneccesary.

What's unneccessary in Action games ? Writing, Story.

What's Unneccessary in story-based games ? Graphics …

Today, the pointers heavily point towards "leave out story & writing". Because the "Action" genre (I just call it that right now, no matter whether it is right or wrong), which ultimatively doesn't need it, is so immensely popular.

We already had the opposite: Text Adventure Games …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 31st, 2008, 01:00
I have just seen Bento, a new database program that claims to be intuitively useable.

It's a product of Apple / Filemaker, respectively.

It occurred to me that this is the new step: Everything is said to be programmed/made so that it is rather intuitively useable. Especially Microsoft claims that.
Word, Excel, Powerpoint … Microsoft claims that there's not much hassle in using them.

Except databases.

That's because databases was considered to be for companies only, not for end users.
That's why MS Access can be found only on the priofessional editions of MS Office, which are aimes at business customers or rather power users, not at all at home customers.

And well … Now that's what I'd call th3 "new step" or the "next step" : Databases for the masses. Shown by an web interface.

And when I write "masses", I really don't mean people who use Apache or the IIS … No, I mean plain simple home users who just want to have databases self-built and displayed - and no hassle at all. A web page application is able to display databases perfectly, imho, and that means: Beautifully. Design.

Look at one of the the description pages: http://www.filemaker.co.uk/products/bento/style.html

It really lists something like different "designs" and "themes", made by "Mac artists".

I believe, this could be to databases, what was Ubunto to Linux.

Of course, *real* database programmers might just hate that, because the look of a database distracts them from the *real stuff* - the database itself.

But now, I strongly believe that this could be a revolution: "Databases coming home", to use a slightly changed version of an old marketing saying, ironically by Microsoft.

I hope they'll release it for windows one day.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 22nd, 2008, 12:34
… I had this thought only a few days ago … And the more I think about it, the more I'm intrigued …

How do PR people of game companies see their influence on the game industry themselves ? How do they see themselves all in all ?

Same goes for the bookkeepers : How do they perceive their influence on the gaming market, on industry decisions ? Do they see their influence at all ?

I'm not interested in how they see the market itself - that might be pretty obvious - or at least we can all imagine what they probably might say.

No, I'm interested in how they see themselves and their influence on the market.

To me, several interviews covering that would be pretty interesting.

I want to learn about the patterns that influence their decisions that influence the video game industry.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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