diz's forum posts

#1 Edited by diz (972 posts) -

I love John Scofield and think Dennis Chambers is the best drummer I've ever seen (and heard) play live. Here's him with Scofield playing Protocol, but they recorded a few albums together (for example Blue Matter and Loud Jazz). Another unbelievable fusion drummer is Omar Hakim, who has so many claims to fame, aside from being the original drummer of "Protocol" on Scofield's "Still Warm" album. Also, there's Al Foster, from Miles Davis' fusion period (You're Under Arrest, Decoy).

It's funny how so many of those great instrumentalists go on to huge, yet anonymous pop success. For example, Omar Hakim played on "Dire Straights'" "Brothers in Arms" album, when their original drummer couldn't cut it. Most recently; he's in with Daft Punk. Also, one bass player from the Miles Davis band (he played on the brilliant "Decoy" and "You're Under Arrest" albums) - Darryl Jones - went on to play with Sting and then on to replace Bill Wyman in the Rolling Stones.

#2 Posted by diz (972 posts) -


#3 Posted by diz (972 posts) -

I was going to write a really contentious response here, but I decided against it.

#4 Posted by diz (972 posts) -

@quarters said:

@bisonhero said:

@koolaid said:

And as for too much "cream puff" coverage, I mean, what does that even mean? Devs and players aren't at war with each other. Why can't it be friendly? What is there to be upset about? It's just games! I swear, sometimes it feels like some outlets want to make it look like every game developer is some kind of predator that's out to get 'em or something. And some gamers just eat it up.

Yeah, this is where I'm at with this stuff. Like, look, games press. I get it: you're passionate about games. And your job matters to you. And you don't like it when a consumer is promised something, and what they pay for and receive is a different thing than what they were promised. But at the end of the day, you're enthusiast press. You're not investigative journalists covering the motivations behind policy decisions and military action. Hell, maybe if you were automotive press you could legitimately get mad when some Toyota car has a safety-related recall because there was a chance that some of their cars were endangering the lives of their occupants.

But you write about video games. A bad video game or a broken promise doesn't kill anyone. No one's life is on the line. It's not even like Molyneux is the kind of guy who so thoroughly mismanaged a studio that he cost a bunch of people their jobs. He's a dreamer who overpromises, that's it. Nothing he has done is so vile that he deserved the line of disrespectful questioning that John Walker directed towards him.

I feel the same. It's especially crazy because with other mediums, like movies, music, books, TV, whatever...the press and the community doesn't have this absolutely vitriol like the game community does. I mean, don't get me wrong, people complain, but they just say they don't like a movie, or they just don't watch it. That's it. There's not this crazy witch hunt, "WE HAVE TO FIND JUSTICE, THESE PEOPLE HAVE WRONGED HUMANITY" mentality that is so grossly unhealthy. I hate it. Each month that passes, while I still really enjoy video games, I increasingly despise being associated with gamers and the press. It's embarrassing. From stuff like GamerGate to stuff like this, it's just insulting. I wish people would get a freaking reality check, and chill out. It's just video games. This isn't the front line of human morality.

This does happen in other mediums, like music, books, movies and TV often, from both journalists and from individuals and groups. I live in the UK, so it is not uncommon to see people get a grilling and have to account for their actions. I'm also not sure there is a unified and holistic "community" of gamers, but many individuals - all with their different perspectives. The issue here is in recognising that other people who you disagree with do also have a right to their opinion. We have critics who specialise in being harsh and investigative journalists who make a point of confrontation. Aristotle said “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

I don't also see anything of a witch hunt here - only a series of interviews that Peter Molyneux agreed to do. I guess his intention was to react to the few negative articles that had been written about him, his product and his treatment of others. The RPS interview took over one and a quarter hours, covered many topics, seemed candid and I found out some new information from the transcript, so in those terms it was a success.

I think it is histrionic to talk about "wronging humanity". I'm not sure anyone has raised that, except for those in defense of Molyneux - accusing others of participating in some imagined witch-hunt. Whatever happened to rational discourse and the right of others to raise genuine concerns and founded criticism? A sense of perspective is needed here - you are certainly right about that.

I'd much prefer my gaming press to be separate and independent from the industry they cover. I think the need for objectivity is ever-greater, as game makers get extra means of extracting money from consumers directly through promises rather than products, via early access, kickstarter, paid-for streams, etc.

#5 Posted by diz (972 posts) -

@librorumprohibitorum: Peter Molyneux said in the RPS interview "I didn’t need the money, because if the Kickstarter didn’t work I could have gone to a publisher." Also, the mobile version of the Godus game has made millions (according to Molyneux).

If there is an expectation for a backer not to get what was sold to them, then there must surely be an allowance for those backers to complain about not getting what was sold to them. I think this is especially true on appreciating how the Godus project has developed. I think the high profile and previous output from Molyneux, apparent incongruity a big name in games development using an independent means of financing their next game, along with his "life-changing" commitment to the winner of the cube game, and subsequent release on Steam early access led to an increased expectation that something would actually be delivered.

#6 Posted by diz (972 posts) -

The last great piece of games journalism I read was this piece for Eurogamer by Robert Florence as part of his "Lost Humanity" series.

The (then) editor had to comment over why paragraphs had to subsequently be removed in the following days and Florence forced to quit after the utter shit-storm his brave article caused. (the un-edited article is reproduced here.)

#7 Posted by diz (972 posts) -

@lawgamer: I agree and think a huge issue with Kickstarter (vs. the old publisher model) is that all the cash comes up-front. In the traditional system; the publisher is responsible for funding the project and project managing the timelines for release. This puts pressure on developers to deliver on-time, or cut quality. The Kickstarter model removes development pressure in giving all monies to the developer up-front and the only pressure comes from backers who are not actually guaranteed what they backed. I think these type of projects weaken or remove the critical project and financial management aspects and this can cause havoc in such "big thinking" creative teams.

In the same way, if I get builders to work on my house, the practical and accepted method is to make part payments on completion of agreed stages of the project. If a builder had all the money up-front, they would likely never finish the job.

We, the undersigned hereby pledge: It's not on rails !!!

As to whether people are right to be upset with Molyneux; I think they do have the right. Although I was debating getting Godus when it was on Steam Christmas sale (at 75% off) and thought I'd wait and see, based on my impressions of him and 22 Cans at that time.

I can understand the frustration with him for not providing straight answers. For example, the RPS article touched on multiplayer and how the publisher forced them to change server platform, when Molyneux said the PC version of the game didn't have a publisher.

Some people think the RPS article was harsh, but I think the interview was channeling the negative criticisms from his backers, who will have little to no real say in what the company does and who answers for their decisions. I also think the statement in the latest 22 cans video update that the Godus team was shrinking, he was moving off it and adding a development lead that is inexperienced and a potential "blame magnet" only serve to inflame things, as does the recent revelations about abandoning their "God of Gods" winner. Although it does seem from the RPS interview that their team-shrinking video statements may not be true after all.

Is the lying malicious and pre-meditated? I think there already have been examples of this: One that sticks in my mind is for "Fable - The Journey", where he got all in his press briefing to sign a statement saying the game was not on rails. The view that Molyneux is only guilty of expressing his big ideas and good intentions does not wash with me, since he has been a highly respected, longstanding and successful innovator and surely knows the weight that his statements and profile carry.

#8 Posted by diz (972 posts) -

Eurogamer just posted an interesting article about Brian - the "God of Gods", who's "life changing", Godus-related "prize" for getting the central cube in Curiosity has been anything but: The God Who Peter Molyneux Forgot

#9 Edited by diz (972 posts) -

@datarez: The chart is from here and it is not official. The author goes into some detail in the comments there. Ferrari have some deal with Bernie - they are a "special case" since competing in all Formula 1 seasons since the 1950's. My guess is that Mercedes were given a slice since they used to be in F1 and the cash was a sweetener to get them back in.

I also think the tyres should be fatter and there should be less aero on the cars. Changing the tyre walls would make the sport yet more expensive in re-developing suspensions - thereby deterring smaller teams. Whereas controlling power vs grip through the (fat) tyres tends towards the skill of the drivers.

#10 Edited by diz (972 posts) -

It seems sort of crazy on the one hand to talk about cutting costs in F1, while on the other hand talk about developing new engine specifications. 1000 Hp is easy enough to get from turning the boost pressure up on turbo engines, or using larger turbos, but the rest of the drivetrain needs to accommodate the power. In the 1970's and 1980's turbo, F1 engines could be tuned for qualifying, so teams boosted their engines to over 1400 hp to qualify, then down to 750 hp to race.

I don't know if anyone has posted the payments chart here before, but it is worth a look: