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Posted by killacam

@evanbower said:

@Superanos said:

What are Fez's sales numbers? If the game was a big success, they could afford the $40k easily.

If they have 40k, they can afford 40k. Insightful.

haha. you're flying!

Posted by beepmachine

@admanb: I think I read somewhere that their policy is to give one "freebie" patch, and anything after that is up to 40k. Some devs (or at least this guy https://twitter.com/hippiemanx/status/226022885133807616) have gotten more than one free patch, but I think it takes the ability to bargain with Microsoft, and anyone who's seen "Indie Game: The Movie" knows Phil Fish probably isn't the most amenable guy.

Posted by Amafi

@EXTomar said:

What are you talking about? Fees like this seem to inhibit publishing patches which not enhance quality of anything which is all I'm saying. If you are talking pure market economics, fees like this have no value add where especially in this case you can see we now have a situation where we have a known issue but there won't be a patch due to monetary and effort consideration.

Bugs happen because systems are complex not because a developer is lazy where is foolish or worse to suggest developers can write flawless systems on a platform with billions of interfaces and interactions. Neither Bethesda or Fish goes through the arduous process of releasing a game with Microsoft because they are lazy. Bugs happen where having a platform that makes it difficult to push even minor fixes out is not a "value add" no matter how Microsoft spins it.

Sorry, I just reread what I wrote and I was very unclear. I agree that the policy probably makes games worse, not better. The thing about lazy devs not just writing perfect code off the bat was me being facetious, more of a jab at the people earlier in the thread talking about how the policy wouldn't have been a problem if the code wasn't buggy, as if not finding a late game bug in a game as insane as Fez that affects 1% of players was some kind of indictment of the QA process or the willingness of the devs to write working code.

It should be obvious to anyone who's ever written a project beyond hello world that until you have actual users hammering the code you simply can't get rid of all the bugs, even if you have awesome test coverage and fantastic QA people, you just can't replicate thousands of people doing dumb shit you never thought of to the game/whatever the product is.

Posted by mrpandaman

@Nethlem said:

@dennisthemennis said:

@Hooray2: Yeah, it was absolutely crazy of them to try and get their game on the most visible and well known market for indie games at the time. Sheer madness.

Oh really? I didn't realize they released a PC version first, wait... they didn't.

They have nobody to blame but themselfs, nobody forced them to release on XBL or sign in for exclusive distribution. They made all these decissions. And if we don't assume they are totaly retarded, they have been well aware of the consequences would be for signing up with MS.

I also love the irony about all this.. this popular "indie" get's fucked over by the giant evil corporation, why? Because he signed a deal with them. Guess somebody seriously missunderstood what "being indie" actually means. It does not mean that you sign up with the big sharks to get an exclusive deal and a fat bag of money, but that's what happened here. But what goes around comes around...

No love lost for MS here as they are ripping off developers and customers alike, but that's how they business runs and they have been always doing it this way. They also won't change their ways as long as Xbros keep throwing money at them for basic multiplayer functionality.

But also no love lost on Phil Fish/Polytron, it's not like MS tricked them into this deal by lying or anything. MS offered them money and publishing at certain terms, they accepted these terms with full knowledge of the consequences (yes this include title update costs) so they have to deal with this situation now instead of pointing fingers.

He said "at the time" and XBLA was the most visible market for indie games at that time he signed the deal. He signed it in 2009, I think or I may be wrong and it was 2010. Summer of Arcade were big those few years as games like Trials, Shadow Complex, and 'Splosion Man in 2009 and Limbo and Monday Night Combat in 2010. Steam was big during those years too, but XBLA was appearing a lot bigger then and it seemed like the place indie game makers should go.

Edited by admanb

This is the worst deflection ever. "It's not our fault because they decided not to do it."

@PandaBear said:

I'm curious as to who said any updates are free? Tim Schafer said they cost money regardless of if it's the first or 100th link

As I recall, the first Fez patch was free because Fish was able to make a deal with Microsoft, but when the first patch launched with one big issue it caused this problem.

Edited by Nethlem

@dennisthemennis said:

@Hooray2: Yeah, it was absolutely crazy of them to try and get their game on the most visible and well known market for indie games at the time. Sheer madness.

Oh really? I didn't realize they released a PC version first, wait... they didn't.

They have nobody to blame but themselfs, nobody forced them to release on XBL or sign in for exclusive distribution. They made all these decissions. And if we don't assume they are totaly retarded, they have been well aware of the consequences would be for signing up with MS.

I also love the irony about all this.. this popular "indie" get's fucked over by the giant evil corporation, why? Because he signed a deal with them. Guess somebody seriously missunderstood what "being indie" actually means. It does not mean that you sign up with the big sharks to get an exclusive deal and a fat bag of money, but that's what happened here. But what goes around comes around...

No love lost for MS here as they are ripping off developers and customers alike, but that's how they business runs and they have been always doing it this way. They also won't change their ways as long as Xbros keep throwing money at them for basic multiplayer functionality.

But also no love lost on Phil Fish/Polytron, it's not like MS tricked them into this deal by lying or anything. MS offered them money and publishing at certain terms, they accepted these terms with full knowledge of the consequences (yes this include title update costs) so they have to deal with this situation now instead of pointing fingers.

Posted by corpulateguitar@gmail.com

The only thing ill say to chime in on this story is that maybe just maybe your game should be properly built before you release it, i could be wrong though either way i love Microsoft and Fez both so to me i win anyway.

Edited by EXTomar

What are you talking about? Fees like this seem to inhibit publishing patches which not enhance quality of anything which is all I'm saying. If you are talking pure market economics, fees like this have no value add where especially in this case you can see we now have a situation where we have a known issue but there won't be a patch due to monetary and effort consideration.

Bugs happen because systems are complex not because a developer is lazy where is foolish or worse to suggest developers can write flawless systems on a platform with billions of interfaces and interactions. Neither Bethesda or Fish goes through the arduous process of releasing a game with Microsoft because they are lazy. Bugs happen where having a platform that makes it difficult to push even minor fixes out is not a "value add" no matter how Microsoft spins it.

Posted by Amafi

@EXTomar said:

But an unintended consequence of a $40,000 fee is that the developer leaves fringe and obscure flaws unpatched because it is too expensive to fix. If you released a game that is perfect except for this one flaw that effects a tiny portion of the customer base then it might not be worth $40,000 or the time and effort to fix it by itself because the work, software, and hardware are not worth that much money.

Decades of of general software development seem to show that fees like this do not enforce or insure quality. Suggesting that Microsoft puts this fee in place to make sure that devs that come to their platform release high quality software doesn't seem to be true where any number of high profile, very expensive games with a lot of resources behind them still require patches upon patches upon patches. I'm pretty sure neither they or Fish are being lazy when they go through the effort to push out patches on this platform.

Obviously. If I had some non-gamebreaking bugs (texture shit, audio queue not working, some ugly animation, whatever) I'm not going to pay that kind of money to fix it, and for anyone to expect me to would be almost as ludicrous as people expecting devs to just buckle down and not write bugs into their game. I can understand MS wanting to take a fee to cover costs on their end, it's not like they have their customers already paying a subscription to keep the service running, but to try and spin it as some awesome incentive that makes the devs making games for the service put out a better product is fucking retarded.

Posted by WickedCobra03

Polytron: Ya farked up, now fix it.

Microsoft: Stop being money grubbing jerks and stop charging 10grand for a patch... a couple people working cert doesn't cost 10grand, otherwise everyone would want to be game testers.

Edited by EXTomar

But an unintended consequence of a $40,000 fee is that the developer leaves fringe and obscure flaws unpatched because it is too expensive to fix. If you released a game that is perfect except for this one flaw that effects a tiny portion of the customer base then it might not be worth $40,000 or the time and effort to fix it by itself because the work, software, and hardware are not worth that much money.

Decades of of general software development seem to show that fees like this do not enforce or insure quality. Suggesting that Microsoft puts this fee in place to make sure that devs that come to their platform release high quality software doesn't seem to be true where any number of high profile, very expensive games with a lot of resources behind them still require patches upon patches upon patches. I'm pretty sure neither they or Fish are being lazy when they go through the effort to push out patches on this platform.

Posted by Amafi

The best thing about the internet is how easy it is to pick out the people who have never touched any programming tools ever. Just release a perfectly bug free product the first time out and this insanely priced patching policy won't affect you. Funny stuff.

@i8246i said:

3: Polytron was given another chance to fix their broken product, was given time to find and fix all the errors....instead they decided to not value the extra time and free development of this patch and released yet another broken product. I understand that microsoft's price for patches seems steep, but this is because they don't want idiots releasing half-finished bug fests on their popular xbla service, and screwing Microsoft and the customer over with the costs related to storing and releasing patches. Microsoft wants their customers to feel safe and secure that they aren't going to have their game saves deleted, or their consoles lock up due to shitty software. Phil should just keep his whiny mouth shut and be thankful that Microsoft gave his team all that they got. There are plenty of "indie" developers out there that would kill for the opportunity to sell their ideas to a large market. Also, it costs good money to host and distribute patches to millions of people...why shouldn't the party responsible for the necessity of these patches pay part of that cost?

I like the thinking here. They CHOSE not to find a bug that affects less than 1% of people and only those who have completed or are very near to completing the game. Not a very hard to find bug that slipped through the net, Phil Fish and Polytron CHOSE TO RELEASE A BUGGY PATCH that deleted peoples' saves, and $40k patching fees does not cause buggy products to remain unfixed on the service, at all, it's just a nice incentive for those lazy good-for-nothing programmers to just make the games bug-free in the first place.

Posted by PandaBear

@Hailinel said:

@PandaBear said:

So I guess Skyrim probably just broke even when you consider all the patches it's had and how much they cost... Obviously I'm joking, but geezus, the cost of releasing a broken game is massive. Take a game like Alpha Protocol... it badly needed patching, but the cost must have made it prohibitive. This attitude is probably why console gamers didn't get that new ending patched in Portal or new free updates for Team Fortress... how shit.

I wonder if Sony charge?

Once again, the first patch on XBL is free. Even if the game is broken as shit, if all of those bugs can be addressed on a single patch, the developer doesn't have to pay a dime.

I'm curious as to who said any updates are free? Tim Schafer said they cost money regardless of if it's the first or 100th link

Posted by beepmachine

@Hooray2: Yeah, it was absolutely crazy of them to try and get their game on the most visible and well known market for indie games at the time. Sheer madness.

Posted by Hooray2
@dennisthemennis: Then a 2 or 3 person team shouldn't have chosen to release their game on a platform designed for wide exposure, wide audiences, and wide sales figures.  The reality is, Polytron saw dollar signs and didn't think it through, and now they've stuck 100% of their customers with a broken game (not 1% as they claim). 
 
It's akin to someone opening a ramshackle amusement park without the funds to pay for maintenance and upkeep, and being surprised when half of the rides break.
Posted by EXTomar

I don't think there is evidence that high fees and other hurdles improves the quality of software. The only thing high fees seem to do is keep the patching activity low.

I would rather see fees assessed more as risks like "number of things changed". Patches that fix spelling errors are cheap while patches that fix alter audio effects is more and ones that rewrite entire components is more expensive than that.

Posted by beepmachine

@i8246i: You're right, I forgot about the first patch waiver. That doesn't change the fact that the patch price is high and insanely demanding for a small 2-3 person team. This is why indie devs are flocking to either steam of self sufficient release (if they have enough exposure). EA and Activision can throw 40k at a patch without losing sleep but indies can't.

Posted by dropabombonit

The statement from Microsoft is like a politician not giving a straight answer to a question, some of their policies are strange

Posted by i8246i
@dennisthemennis

That statement from Microsoft is nonsense. "They decided not to patch the game, they could have but they didn't want to." Yeah, right. And just because Fish knew going in what the cost would be to update the game, it doesn't make the price fair, especially not for a really small company. What was he supposed to do? You just have to release it and hope everything works. And if you can't afford the 80k bill of two patches then I guess you're F'd in the A.

1: Microsoft waived the cost of the first patch....so your cost estimate is bull.

2: Polytron has had all the time of development, in-house troubleshooting, Microsoft certification, and play testing to get it right the first time. They, instead, chose to put out a broken product.

3: Polytron was given another chance to fix their broken product, was given time to find and fix all the errors....instead they decided to not value the extra time and free development of this patch and released yet another broken product.

I understand that microsoft's price for patches seems steep, but this is because they don't want idiots releasing half-finished bug fests on their popular xbla service, and screwing Microsoft and the customer over with the costs related to storing and releasing patches. Microsoft wants their customers to feel safe and secure that they aren't going to have their game saves deleted, or their consoles lock up due to shitty software.

Phil should just keep his whiny mouth shut and be thankful that Microsoft gave his team all that they got. There are plenty of "indie" developers out there that would kill for the opportunity to sell their ideas to a large market.

Also, it costs good money to host and distribute patches to millions of people...why shouldn't the party responsible for the necessity of these patches pay part of that cost?

Posted by Corvak

I don't blame Microsoft for the buggy patch - entirely Fish / Polytron's fault. But I do blame MS for levying excessive fees that prevent smaller publishers from economically maintaining their products. In the supposed interest of reducing the number of patches users must download, MS instead promotes leaving buggy code on their service.

I also cut Polytron some slack, as the bug affects 1% of the user base - a number small enough that it's entirely feasible that it got through testing completely unnoticed.

XBLA thrives because it is the only option on the 360 for downloading games - MS holds all the cards and can exert a huge amount of control over its platform.

Between MS and their business practices, and the fact that MS points just cost more in Canada, (1200 points is closer to $20 than $15, and we cannot buy only 1200 points, and have to get 1600) I'm more likely to buy digital games on Steam or PSN. Microsoft knows this, which is why they aggressively pursue exclusive agreements.

Posted by Hailinel
@Nardak

I think that I implied in my earlier post that Microsoft is taking a cut of the profits:

"Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy."

But dont you think that implying that the profits are insignificant after Microsofts cut isnt also an incorrect statement?

I don't know how much they've made. But using the "that's million bucks" argument is absurd.
Posted by Nardak

I think that I implied in my earlier post that Microsoft is taking a cut of the profits:

"Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy."

But dont you think that implying that the profits are insignificant after Microsofts cut isnt also an incorrect statement?

Posted by Hailinel

@Nardak said:

According to Polytrons website Fez has sold 100k copies. The game costs 800 Microsoft Points which is about 11 euros.

So far Polytron has earned over 1 million. Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy.

But I guess it is more important for Polytron to take one´s money than care about your customers who bought your product.

It's incorrect to suggest that Fez has earned Polytron $1 million when Microsoft's cut of the profits is not insignificant.

Edited by Nardak

Microsoft isnt the developer of the game. They arent resposible for a bug that corrupts your save file.

Polytron and Phil Fish on the other hand are. As others have also said that they signed the deal. They knew what they were agreeing to.

They should have published the game on steam if they were worried about the price of releasing a patch. But then again Phil Fish did state "that PC´s are for spreadsheets". Now it seems that they guy has changed his tune and is planning to release Fez on steam.

Posted by EXTomar

*shrug* It seems that it is also important for Microsoft to take their money than care about the customer who bought product. Neither party are on the high ground here.

Edited by Nardak

According to Polytrons website Fez has sold 100k copies. The game costs 800 Microsoft Points which is about 11 euros.

So far Polytron has earned over 1 million. Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy.

But I guess it is more important for Polytron to take one´s money than care about your customers who bought your product.

Posted by KevinK

I must be the only person who likes Phil Fish. He says dumb things sometimes, but I kind of like his swagger and plus in my mind, everything he said about Japanese game development was justified with Fez (bugs notwithstanding).

Posted by Eyz

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Phil Fish just comes off as an asshole. It wasn't a problem for all the other arcade titles.

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

Phil Fish just comes off as an asshole. It wasn't a problem for all the other arcade titles.

Posted by Declarius

@Brodehouse said:

@Dagmar said:

@Eckshale said:

@Brodehouse said:

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Steam bears no responsibility as to whether your hardware can run a game or not, the game has always worked on all my machines even when unpatched i only grab the patch for the enhancements it brings.

But Microsoft does bear that responsibility. That's the entire point.

HAH! Since when is it Valve's problem if someone buys a game they don't meet the system requirements for. With your example the free patches don't matter because the developer no longer exists. The only reason you can play it AT ALL is because of a fan patch. Why would Valve host a fan patch?

"100% Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP-compatible mouse, keyboard, and drivers"

The information is there, if you didn't read it, it's your problem.

THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT! Microsoft has a cert process (that costs money) because any game released on XBLA must work with any 360. Steam does not have that commitment/requirement. Hence, XBLA charges for cert and Steam doesn't have it. THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT. You can buy something on Steam that doesn't work, but Microsoft cannot allow that on their console. If you don't think the 'requirement' is relevant, then by definition, the cost of patching isn't a relevant consideration either (and especially not to consumers). You absolutely cannot have it both ways.

@SeriouslyNow said:

If you had a machine of the recommended specs for Vampire : Bloodlines your comparison would be relevant. Your machine would be the equivalent of an Xbox 360 in that it would be the same fixed platform it was in 2003. You don't, so it isn't. You have a machine well beyond those specs with hardware which is markedly different than what was available and recommended for the game in 2003. You are most certainly cherry picking an impossible to replicate scenario on XBox Live because PCs have changed a whole lot since 2003 and the 360 hasn't effectlvely changed much at all since its release (different motherboards and hard drive sizes sure, but effectively it's still the same system as it was when it launched).

Then there's the whole other aspect where you're trying illustrate a downside when it's really an upside. Troika went out of business and without fan patches like the one you easily procured to 'modernise' the game there would be no simple way to even purchase it were it not for Steam or even patch it if we were left to only one port of call for access as in XBOX Live.

No, actually my entire point is that people are cherrypicking on Steam's behalf; 'patches are free' while ignoring why Microsoft has a cert process that costs money. Which is to say, so a customer doesn't buy something that won't run off the dashboard. Steam doesn't do cert, they don't charge for patches, but they also have things on their store that won't work. You can make this about Vampire if you like, but I also have problems with Hitman. The problem there is "Can't find Steam". Where there is no patch solution and you have to switch from offline back to on and then it loads like normal. But that's the point, if they were released on XBLA, Microsoft would do cert to make sure they work on anyone's 360 regardless of hardware revision. Steam doesn't, and so the patches are free.

I didn't bring up an unfair comparison or cherrypick an advantage, Phil Fish and Brad Muir did. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that bricks a bunch of 360s, now Microsoft has to replace a bunch of borked consoles. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that makes your processor burn into the center of the Earth, Steam doesn't give a shit. Not their problem. But it is Microsoft's problem.

So? I think everyone understands why Microsoft has cert and Valve doesn't, though from your previous posts you seemed to think Valve was somehow at fault for your game not working. People love the PC because it's an open platform, so this thing being painted in a negative light is actually a huge positive to plenty of people. I also think cert is a problem, charging to deploy patches, while I understand why it's there, is not consumer friendly. It doesn't make developers get it "right" the first time, it just makes consumers wait weeks and the developers drop cash to fix things. It may have to be that way on consoles, but it doesn't on PC. In the end, a developer being able to patch a game whenever needed, without worrying about cost benefit, is good for the consumer.

Steam is just a place to buy games. Automatic updates is a feature, they do not run a closed system like Microsoft does.

Posted by KevinK

@Hailinel said:

@k4el said:

@Mechanized said:

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

MS... Shrewd? You're talking about the company that used the slogan "The new busy" and chose purple as the box color for kinect games then wondered why hardcore gamers didn't adopt it.

Not to mention their own internal tendencies to develop six concepts at once, all meant for the same purpose, that are all in competition with one another.

Yeah, "shrewd" is a silly way to describe Microsoft. Their stock price has been flat the past 12 years, and all of their new businesses have been complete failures - the cost of which is subsidized by their extremely successful businesses (Xbox 360, Windows, Office).

Posted by Hailinel

@PandaBear said:

So I guess Skyrim probably just broke even when you consider all the patches it's had and how much they cost... Obviously I'm joking, but geezus, the cost of releasing a broken game is massive. Take a game like Alpha Protocol... it badly needed patching, but the cost must have made it prohibitive. This attitude is probably why console gamers didn't get that new ending patched in Portal or new free updates for Team Fortress... how shit.

I wonder if Sony charge?

Once again, the first patch on XBL is free. Even if the game is broken as shit, if all of those bugs can be addressed on a single patch, the developer doesn't have to pay a dime.

Posted by PandaBear

So I guess Skyrim probably just broke even when you consider all the patches it's had and how much they cost... Obviously I'm joking, but geezus, the cost of releasing a broken game is massive. Take a game like Alpha Protocol... it badly needed patching, but the cost must have made it prohibitive. This attitude is probably why console gamers didn't get that new ending patched in Portal or new free updates for Team Fortress... how shit.

I wonder if Sony charge?

Posted by project343

@Verlin said:

Sounds like Phil Fish might have burned some bridges in the game development community. I don't think his comments were in any way productive. Maybe he doesn't care, though, as an indie developer.

Aside from onlookers, the only relationship hurt here is obviously his with Microsoft. And judging by his tone with the whole matter, I don't think we'll ever see a Fish game released on a Microsoft console.

Posted by eccentrix

@Peanut said:

Make your dumb fucking game work the first time out. How do devs think this shit worked before you could instantly patch a game?

I agree, games were better when they were static. Back then, if a game didn't work, it was stuck that way for everybody, so you knew you were all in the same boat.

Posted by Hailinel

@k4el said:

@Mechanized said:

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

MS... Shrewd? You're talking about the company that used the slogan "The new busy" and chose purple as the box color for kinect games then wondered why hardcore gamers didn't adopt it.

Not to mention their own internal tendencies to develop six concepts at once, all meant for the same purpose, that are all in competition with one another.

Posted by k4el

@Mechanized said:

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

MS... Shrewd? You're talking about the company that used the slogan "The new busy" and chose purple as the box color for kinect games then wondered why hardcore gamers didn't adopt it.

Posted by vacancy

Microsoft need to think long and hard about what kind of world we are living in in whenever a new console comes out.

I do though understand that they can't treat people/publishers differently in these cases due to "if he gets a candy, I want a candy"-mentality.

Posted by DarkS2K

I'm not sure who is at fault here. I'm going to side with Microsoft on this one only because Fish has been a total douche multiple times in the past.

Edited by JasonR86

@SeriouslyNow said:

@JasonR86 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@ Spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

It's weird that I agree that paying a company to allow you to patch your game but I think Fish saying this about Microsoft is incredibly moronic. I said this earlier but Fish is pretty much biting the hand that feeds. He's not thinking about the big picture. His arguments can be as valid as the sky is blue but that doesn't change the fact that his company's future would be much better off if he didn't call out a big company like Microsoft. It's just bad business.

I think in terms of Fish's behavior, the argument should really be about whether he should have said anything at all, if he knew about these costs before putting the game on XBLA, and whether it is reasonable to not patch the game. The fact of the matter is that the cost for patching the game on XBLA is the cost. It's as simple as that. With those in mind, Fish really shouldn't have said anything publicly, he probably knew the cost of patching the game before putting it on XBLA so he has no room to complain, and I do think it is reasonable to not patch the game because it sounds like the glitches hit a fairly small number of people. The other argument is whether or not that patch-cost is necessary. My guess is no.

Huh? Why do you think his company depends on MS at all? MS didn't feed him, they saw an opportunity in signing Fez and making it exclusive and payed for that opportunity. Indie games like Fez and Super Meat Boy only increased the 360's profile. You're painting MS as some all powerful mafia that people should be afraid to call out. That sounds crazy to me. This culture of 'fear the big business' is something so alien to me as an Australian. We constantly rail against businesses who they do wrong.

It's an odd issue because you're right in most ways. MS shouldn't have this dumb patch cost. It certainly shouldn't be tens of thousands of dollars. But, Polytron works with MS and at the moment the deal is the deal and it won't change. However, this arrangement and the behaviors of both companies will determine future arrangements. If Fish or Polytron continue to call out MS then MS will be less likely to make another deal with Polytron. At least a good deal. They may not think the game is worth the shit that comes with it. You're right, Polytron doesn't need MS to stay in business. They have Steam, Sony, Nintendo, etc. But as a small business why would you want to intentionally hurt the relationship between yourself and a bigger business that can effect your profit margins for the better? It's easier for a company like Valve to call out MS because they have more clout. Polytron doesn't.

Like I said, it's almost irrelevant if Fish is right. Polytron needs to stay a profitable business first. It's a shitty realization because we would all like to say that a small company could hold a big company responsible for their shitty business practices. But that's rarely how things work.

Online
Posted by Mechanized

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

Edited by EXTomar

@vacancy said:

I beleave Microsofts costs are due to they feeling that the xbox is a video game console and as such it should ship completed games. Patches I think are to them a failure from the publisher and the high cost of a patch is a kind of find. We might not live in a world any more where games are completed before release like they were on early consoles and perhaps Microsoft should change this. But as a gamer AND a developer I really would want games to be done and working prior to release.

This isn't exactly reasonable either. Bugs happen on any system from the NES 6502 based system to stuff we have now where the major difference today is that a crippling bug in a NES *might* be addressed in a second revision of the game release years later, which doesn't help those who have the old cart, or they push patches out.

As a gamer and software developer you should realize how complex modern systems are where everyone strives to create flawless software but often still miss something due the number of interactions and interfaces between all components. Bugs like these two don't arise because the game is incomplete but because it is complex.

Posted by G0rd0nFr33m4n

I didn't buy Fez.

Seeing how much of a bitchy elitist dude Phil Fish is makes me glad I didn't to this very day :)

Edited by Sooty

Phil Fish is such a little bitch, first PCs are for spreadsheets and now he sings the praises of Steam. Pay to fix your game if you're inept at doing it right the first time.

plus the game would've sold way more on Steam if he cut his console fanboyism out in the first place.

Posted by vacancy

I beleave Microsofts costs are due to they feeling that the xbox is a video game console and as such it should ship completed games. Patches I think are to them a failure from the publisher and the high cost of a patch is a kind of find. We might not live in a world any more where games are completed before release like they were on early consoles and perhaps Microsoft should change this. But as a gamer AND a developer I really would want games to be done and working prior to release.

Posted by Dan_CiTi

@BlazeHedgehog said:

@Dan_CiTi said:

@BlazeHedgehog: I have heard it was 1 free patch, after that it is like 40k; and I am pretty sure Bungie's sweet talk was "hey we are making Halo 3".

Pretty sure Marathon came out long after Halo 3.

Yeah the XBLA version came out a bit later, but they were still making Halo games and such. I heard from Mike Z, the director of Skullgirls that they had one free patch (the upcoming one) then they had to pay for anymore following that.

Posted by SpartyOn

@SeriouslyNow said:

@spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

The reason he shouldn't complain now, is because he knew what he was getting into. He saw, and agreed to, Microsoft's prices and decided to make a game on their platform anyways. The complaining usually comes BEFORE the agreeing.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@JasonR86 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@ Spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

It's weird that I agree that paying a company to allow you to patch your game but I think Fish saying this about Microsoft is incredibly moronic. I said this earlier but Fish is pretty much biting the hand that feeds. He's not thinking about the big picture. His arguments can be as valid as the sky is blue but that doesn't change the fact that his company's future would be much better off if he didn't call out a big company like Microsoft. It's just bad business.

I think in terms of Fish's behavior, the argument should really be about whether he should have said anything at all, if he knew about these costs before putting the game on XBLA, and whether it is reasonable to not patch the game. The fact of the matter is that the cost for patching the game on XBLA is the cost. It's as simple as that. With those in mind, Fish really shouldn't have said anything publicly, he probably knew the cost of patching the game before putting it on XBLA so he has no room to complain, and I do think it is reasonable to not patch the game because it sounds like the glitches hit a fairly small number of people. The other argument is whether or not that patch-cost is necessary. My guess is no.

Huh? Why do you think his company depends on MS at all? MS didn't feed him, they saw an opportunity in signing Fez and making it exclusive and payed for that opportunity. Indie games like Fez and Super Meat Boy only increased the 360's profile. You're painting MS as some all powerful mafia that people should be afraid to call out. That sounds crazy to me. This culture of 'fear the big business' is something so alien to me as an Australian. We constantly rail against businesses who they do wrong.

Posted by JasonR86

@SeriouslyNow said:

@ Spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

It's weird that I agree that paying a company to allow you to patch your game but I think Fish saying this about Microsoft is incredibly moronic. I said this earlier but Fish is pretty much biting the hand that feeds. He's not thinking about the big picture. His arguments can be as valid as the sky is blue but that doesn't change the fact that his company's future would be much better off if he didn't call out a big company like Microsoft. It's just bad business.

I think in terms of Fish's behavior, the argument should really be about whether he should have said anything at all, if he knew about these costs before putting the game on XBLA, and whether it is reasonable to not patch the game. The fact of the matter is that the cost for patching the game on XBLA is the cost. It's as simple as that. With those in mind, Fish really shouldn't have said anything publicly, he probably knew the cost of patching the game before putting it on XBLA so he has no room to complain, and I do think it is reasonable to not patch the game because it sounds like the glitches hit a fairly small number of people. The other argument is whether or not that patch-cost is necessary. My guess is no.

Online
Posted by SeriouslyNow

@spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.