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Default Dungeons of Dredmor - Pricing

June 12th, 2011, 12:14
That all goes back to my old philosophical approach (which I really don't want to explain *again* - but here I go - ) that

"a game is a game as long is its inherent and innate quality characteristics are maintained which define a game a game".

This means, for example, that a game is a game as long as one can play with it.

When the "play factor" is taken away, and - even worse - it is replaced by something else, then it isn't a game anmore.

The current example with the "gaming industry" ( how can "playing" become "an industry", anyway ? ) is that the "play" - I mean the quality characteristic called "play" that defines a game to be a game, and which is - normally, in a situation healthy for the as such defined object - innate to it - when this quality called "play" is replaced by the uality called "ware".

When the quality "play" that defines a game - under the assumption that a game is ONLY a gme as long as one can still "play" with it - is taken away and replaced by the quality characteristic of "ware", then the game which has been "re-defined" through this process isn't any "game" anymore -> it has truly become a "ware".

And the thought-model is what defines the actions, the handling of the object.

If I consider (and re-define) a thing as a different thing, then my actions and my handling of this thing will follow my thought-models I use.

If I consider a "game" as a "ware", I will rather treat it as a "ware" and NOT as a "game".

And that's what "the industry" currently does.

And that's why so-called "games" become "cash-cows". Or, in your own definiotion, they don't become "wares" but instead "consumables".

Which leads in the end to the (roughly) same result - in terms of handling.

(When I use the term "consumables", I always use the image of a cigarette in my head : The cigarette is "consumed" - and the remains are nothing but ash.)

If I think this to an end, then we come to the point where "everything can be transformed into money / into a ware that can be bought by money".

And that's capitalism.

And this means that everything that can be transformed into money or into wares - and EVERYTHING can be, even thoughts, orgasms, lives ( of plants, animal and even of humans ! ) - this means essentially that EVERYTHING IS a ware - in the bitter end.

And the most inhuman, but still consequent approach to it was what the Nazis did : Decide whether humans are a "cost-facor" or a "profit-factor" - with the result of killing handicapped people because they weren't "life-worthy" because they were only "producing" nothing but costs for them. Human lives transformed into money - into numbers representing money on sheets of paper.

And this is why this approach of transforming everything into a ware is - at is very end - deepest inhuman.

And it begins with games being considered as wares, food being considered as wares, animals considered as wares, orgasms being considered as wares - as everything that can be expressed as numbers representing money on sheets of paper.

And that's why I believe - after this philosophical approach - that Capitalism is - at is very core - inhuman.

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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June 12th, 2011, 20:26
As an Environmental Economist who once had to determine the cash value of a threatened species in my state, I wholeheartedly concur with that last statement.
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June 13th, 2011, 16:55
Ah, I see, you're saying that looking at games as wares or widgets or what have you leads to an exploitative mindset.

Yes, I agree, though I think this will happen anytime big business moves in to mass commercialize an art form.

For myself, I was talking merely about games being consumable in the sense that any event is, from riding a rollercoaster to having a 5 star meal. I didn't mean it as a judgement on artistry or passion. In that sense, a new good has value even if there is a lot of goods you've already experienced available, ie GoG and Vogel.

As an Environmental Economist who once had to determine the cash value of a threatened species in my state, I wholeheartedly concur with that last statement.
Urk. That's insane.

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June 13th, 2011, 17:28
Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
Google is your friend mate. Try "iphone piracy"

http://blog.costan.us/2009/04/iphone…-for-soft.html

http://ps3computing.blogspot.com/200…d-figures.html

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur…side_story.php

http://gizmodo.com/5477732/the-myth-…one-app-piracy
Thanks for posting. I think we are looking at it in different ways though. The data you posted definitely show a piracy rate of around 90% on those apps, but the last link makes the point that it's not that big of a deal (overall, obviously not necessarily to specific developers).

When we are talking about an app, like the first one that only has around 500 people using it regularly and only 40 paid for it, the first thing that stands out to me is that the app isn't that popular. Yes, this guy is getting hosed by 90% of his user base, but conversely, its not that 90% of iPhone/iPad/Itouch users are engaging in piracy. THAT to me is the difference.

It seems to me that the vast majority of i hardware users are NOT engaging in piracy. According to a quick google search, the percentage of iPhones that are jailbroken is less than 10%. So at most we are talking about 9% of i hardware users engaging in piracy.

The problem seems to be that most apps just aren't that interesting to the 90+% of users NOT engaging in piracy.

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June 13th, 2011, 17:34
My $0.02 on pricing is that $5.00 is exactly right at this time for a game of this type. Indie games which are published on more platforms than just PC (especially the iPlatforms), and published through self-marketing mega-hosts like Steam, reach a much larger audience, an audience which will happily ignore genre and doubts and grab cheap digital content. Half of Steam's success is based on people buying five dollar games they just couldn't pass up, games that never even get played!

On Dungeons of Dredmor, I too would grab it up for $5.00, if there were a mod that would get rid of all the jokes and replace the 'funny' graphics and descriptions with something less fanciful. Gross out humor never does it for me.

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June 13th, 2011, 19:39
The thing is though, unless they actually get on steam or similar platform (and I haven't heard they do?), then the low price point uses a lot of value, because it simply doesn't become very visible.
Last edited by GhanBuriGhan; June 13th, 2011 at 20:15.
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June 13th, 2011, 19:54
I was kinda wondering about the huge fricking eyebrows. Is that supposed to be humorous? It just looks moronic. I can't stand jokes about bodily functions, but then again, I'm over 15. I'm mildly curious as to whether there are 5000 items on every screen too. I'd at least try it though.

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June 13th, 2011, 20:12
LOL, that will be explained relatively soon when we post the interview with the Lead Artist from Gas Lamps. I meant to make sure I asked him about it because it was a rather funny story he told me about those two caterpillars on his head.

Seriously, I've heard complaints that make absolutely no difference in the actual gameplay. The first with the "Grody" humor is easily ignored. In the top-left portion of the screen you will see tiny sentences describing a diggles death, new rooms, basically the environment. This is easily ignored. It's cute for awhile, but I was memorized by the gameplay itself.

The caterpillars do grow on you (pun unintended). Like I said before if you have even a remote interest in dungeon crawlers or roguelikes then you might just be in the treat of a lifetime or if they think it's too hard then try the easy setting.

That right there is what I'm worried about. This game wasn't meant to easy and a lot of these new gamers need everything spoon fed to them in bit size chunks. No, this is a game where you will learn by dying. Don't take too long on your first character because he won't be around long Just choose some cool sounding skills and have at it.

There is an explanation as to why they went with two harry caterpillars named Bob and Georgy instead of some usual eyebrows. BTW, I named the Bob and Georgy, they didn't. They've been on my guys face since the beginning so they need names just in case my character wants to talk to them. Here is the reasoning behind the eyebrows.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; June 13th, 2011 at 20:23.
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June 13th, 2011, 23:06
Thanks for posting. I think we are looking at it in different ways though. The data you posted definitely show a piracy rate of around 90% on those apps, but the last link makes the point that it's not that big of a deal (overall, obviously not necessarily to specific developers).

When we are talking about an app, like the first one that only has around 500 people using it regularly and only 40 paid for it, the first thing that stands out to me is that the app isn't that popular. Yes, this guy is getting hosed by 90% of his user base, but conversely, its not that 90% of iPhone/iPad/Itouch users are engaging in piracy. THAT to me is the difference.

It seems to me that the vast majority of i hardware users are NOT engaging in piracy. According to a quick google search, the percentage of iPhones that are jailbroken is less than 10%. So at most we are talking about 9% of i hardware users engaging in piracy.
No problem. Yeah, I completely agree with you on that point.

The thing though, what's happening here is the iPhone is providing the same benefit that gaming consoles do, the iPhone is essentially a console in this situation. With exactly the same effect, they can more tightly control the platform and users who don't have the technical savvy or don't want to risk damaging their 'console' won't try to circumvent the protection, ie 'chip' their 'console'.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the other 90% wouldn't pirate tons of games if their iPhone had no protection built in. Ie, if their iPhone were like the PC gaming platform and didn't have that additional hardware barrier to circumvent.

My general stance on piracy involves 2 concepts.

One, every gamer I've ever known has also been a pirate, either currently or in the past. I include myself in that count, I'm not claiming the moral high ground. It's easy, free and hugely tempting. I'm not saying it's completely negative, I've been introduced to brands via pirating them as a teen that I've subsequently bought, though I'm not sure the same thing can't be achieved by offering large demos.

And I'm not saying that anything close to the total number of pirated games are actual lost sales. But I've seen too many people with large amounts of disposable income pirate games they were VERY much anticipating to buy the whole 'only poor Russian kids or those who aren't really sure they like a game pirate them'.These are people who love games and wouldn't just stop playing if they couldn't pirate.

It's possible that this loss is countered by the added PR of word of mouth but I think that ratio gets worse as piracy becomes more normalized. The more people do it, the less people feel guilty about doing it, the fewer feel compelled by their conscience to pay up etc etc.

Two, people aren't evil but they do generally take the path of least resistance. There is almost always more resistance to paying for something than getting it for free. Just the act of going through checkout is a mental barrier.

These two factors mean I am unable to conclude that pirates are just people who wouldn't pay for the game anyway. Will low pricing reduce piracy or result in more impulse sales? I dunno, I hope so. And I hope the Gaslamp guys release some stats for comparison. That kind of postmortem is fascinating, if the dev is willing.

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June 13th, 2011, 23:29
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
[snip]
And yet, somewhat ironically, you participate in the process. As I recall, you refuse to buy any form of a digital game whatsoever, which means you embrace retail.

As a retailer myself, a game is most certainly a ware. We track KPIs like $/m, $/hour, average sale, margin and conversion rates among other things. You could just as easily replace a game box with many other wares - the actual product is largely irrelevant to the process.

Since retailers have two significant considerations: rent is usually one of the top two expenses and space is fixed by the store size, maximising the return per square metre of floor space is key to the best performance. This means rationalising titles - like, why keep obscure PC titles that take up the same space as more profitable lines? Or, why not charge publishers for better shelf positions?

In turn, this creates an entry barrier for smaller titles and publishers and helps encourage publishers to pursue blockbusters.

All of this is ameliorated to some degree by digital sales. But you still think of a game as a ware, even if you don't admit it. If you really only valued the experience rather than a ware, you'd happily buy the game in any form but you like a piece of merchandise in your hands.

Funnily, because that's somewhat irrational, it's very human. Just like trade and capitalism.

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June 13th, 2011, 23:35
The problem is that I don't believe there's a way to escape this system.

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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June 14th, 2011, 00:47
So after that big soap-box rant about human nature, you can't pull yourself away from holding a ware in your hands? OK.

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