MMann's forum posts

#1 Edited by MMann (64 posts) -

@logan3 said:

Those development costs that the developers broke down are completely dirty & deceptive. They're relying on the fact that most people won't look further into the numbers once they've broken them down, thinking "Oh, they've provided the numbers." But no, they haven't. You can stop just after analyzing the first number: "$48,000: Staff Salaries - 8 people for 10 weeks." As for the other numbers, they've' exaggerated and rounded them up by a huge margin. 150,000 'is' ludicrous.

Thank-you for the interesting news story Patrick.

So what are the numbers then?

If you're going to call them liars provide a bit more of a line item breakdown, explain why 1,200$ a month per staff member (on average) is where we need to stop analyzing. Is 14,000$ a year somehow a ridiculously high salary in the USA now? The poverty line for a single income house is considered to be 11,270$ so 14,000$ doesn't seem like a massive yearly income.

Where have the numbers been inflated and where is the proof?

The onus is on you as the accuser to back up your statement, not on the company to defend themselves because forums user logan3 said he totally knows they made the numbers up.

#2 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

@fminus said:

@boylie said:

And the award for "Person who skipped over the contents of the article in order to comment on the headline" goes to --

@shinryu said:

Wow 150k for 1 character thats ridiculous

It's still high. I would be happy to make $107 a day if my calculations for that salary are correct. I make $58.81, I'm a senior graphics designer & concept artist (in the EU which is 45.6EUR or ~1000EUR per month without bonuses, and around 1500EUR with them) working for a private company with an 8 hour "shift" starting at 7am and ending at 16pm, which is roughly half as those guys get. For pretty much similar kind of work, based on the game look and design.

And 58.81$ a day isn't even minimum wage where I live.

Minimum wage is a little over 80 dollars a day, before taxes, and on that you still wouldn't be able to afford a reasonable standard of living. I live in a small town and the cheapest housing - a run down one bedroom above a downtown store - is 540$ monthly. Without utilities. Add a halfway decent mobile, not an iphone or anything like that, a used car, and food? 900-1100 dollars a month easily just to survive .

I'm not even pulling figures from a big city around here, which would be higher, this is a rural town outside the suburban sprawl.

Where I'm from these guys are making about 3 dollars more an hour than the kid tossing fries at McDonalds, or the greeter at the doors of the Walmart, which is still just barely enough to live on after taxes (which at those incomes would be 15% federal and 5% provincial on taxable income - the lowest bracket).

It's truly amazing how much the value of money changes depending on the cost of living in your area. You can't compare wages in one area to wages in another without also looking into exactly how far that money will get you.

If you only had 15$ worth of expenses you'd wonder why anyone would ever need 58.81$ a day, if you had 1900$ worth of expenses you'd wonder how anyone could live on 107$. It's all relative.

#3 Edited by MMann (64 posts) -

This is a really great article! That block quote from Dave Lang was solid gold in how it broke down costs specific to the genre from a perspective other than the Skullgirls team themselves. This does lead to a followup question though... why do so many things in games need to be outsourced? It makes a certain amount of sense in something like Assassin's Creed where Ubisoft is trying to create one of the biggest games of the year every single year, but why can't the Skullgirls developers draw and animate their own art? How big does a studio need to be before they can support their own dedicated artists?

Pretty big.

Art isn't cheap and artists, unless they can also program, aren't - for lack of a better word - extremely useful in every step of the game development process. Artists are absolutely critical to making a game but there will come a point in the dev process when all the art assets are in and final, but the code and QA is far from over; and unless the studio is big enough to always have a second or third game in the works that means they'll have a paid employee with no work to do. That isn't sustainable.

Outsourcing art isn't cheap, but it's more economical than having a staff artist on at all times.

#4 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

Why is the word microtransaction so toxic when we already have:

  • Pre-order only content that makes you buy blindly based only on their marketing and hype
  • Paid DLC weapon and armour packs (functional, not just skins or appearance items)
  • Paid DLC cheats
  • Mid range special editions (Digital Deluxe) with only digital bonus content

Just to name a few things. Those are already in full price, retail, games - for years they have slowly been finding new and exciting ways to get more money for perks of diminishing quality while finding ways to make them seem prestigious or the least, palatable. DLC was the logical step after full price expansions, and micro-transactions are just the logical next step in the incrementally exploitative progression of DLC. They want to make as much money as possible, per game, while keeping costs (and therefor effort) as low as possible.

Sleeping Dogs had DLC to add envelopes of money at each garage, and to give you insanely high face/triad/cop xp out the gate.

Saints Row the Third had DLC to unlock content from the choices that you didn't pick on your playthrough, and to unlock the cheats.

What is the difference between paying 79.99$ for a 59.99$ game and getting 10 pieces of bonus content in that special edition, and having the option to go to an in-game marketplace and buy each of those pieces for 1.99$ each? What about 20 pieces for 0.99$ each?

It's already happened and it's not just EA that's doing it. They're just calling it what it is instead of DLC and warning you, in advance, that what you've been seeing in AAA games for the past year or two will continue to happen. The outrage shouldn't become suddenly more palpable just because of the name they apply to it, and it shouldn't be pointed entirely at EA when the practice is one that is widespread. EA is just using a blind bag reward scheme on a level that most don't. Is it the randomness that somehow makes them worse than all the other publishers?

No matter what though, all that you, or me, or we - depending on your views of it and if you care - can do is not buy the games, or buy the games and not pay for the DLC/microtransactions. If the practice would stop being profitable the practice would stop. Being super mad about it won't change things, being hyperbolic won't change things. Being smart consumers can and will, if done on a large enough scale, change things.

#5 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

@Wrighteous86: That does make sense, I suppose.

#6 Edited by MMann (64 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@MMann: Or he's trying to stay out of the personal bullshit sniping and talking about the one thing he can relate to, the actual reporting.

Then why bother answering at all?

If he wants to stay out of the personal bullshit sniping he should have stayed out of it. I'm not trying to say that Patrick is the new Hitler; or even the new MechaHitler (not even the RoboMussolini). I'm just saying that it looks kinda shitty and - on a personal level - fuck him for wading into it with a handwavey not-even-half-answer. If he really wanted to reply, but stay out, he probably should have said "I'm gonna stay out of this one" and walked away from it.

Edit: I didn't catch the added text before replying so I probably come off a little more combative in this reply than I should have been!

#7 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

@Turambar: Then why answer the question at all?

He didn't have to pick the question about Kuchera, or reply to it by taking a snipe at Kain instead of addressing anything he was asked. If he didn't want to give his opinion on it he didn't have to answer that question.

I take issue with the fact that he avoided the question entirely, despite choosing to reply to it, to put down a guy who already said he was in the wrong (and who had already gone back and fixed his mistake). That he took a question about Kuchera acting like a twat on twitter and turned it into a way to try and deflect the discussion back onto what Kain had done wrong.

It makes it look like Patrick is supporting Kucheras dumb crusade to destroy another journalists career.

#8 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

@Overbite said:

It's a shame that Patrick seems to be in the same group siding with Kuchera. From the tumblr

Q.Has Ben Kuchera just completely lost his mind? Eric Kain makes one mistake, and Kuchera actively wants to ruin his career?

A. Kuchera aside, it’s really weird that Eric would put that legal question at the end of an article. You don’t do that. You’re the reporter.

Completely ignore what Kuchera has been doing to go after Kain. Professional.

What the hell? What does Kuchera have over these guys that makes them completely overlook the fact that he is publicly acting like a child?

Kind of disappointed by Patrick's reply.

I like Patrick, but yeah - fuck Kuchera and fuck Patrick for dodging the question to take a shot at Kain.

The enthusiast press only make themselves out to look like children when they fall over themselves to defend their own, no matter if the other guy has already removed his link and admitted he made a mistake. To try and deflect criticism away from a guy who is, admittedly, trying to hurt the other persons career over a fairly trivial mistake is a pretty messed up thing to do.

Come on Patrick. You don't do that. You're a reporter.

#9 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

@bko said:

@jimmyfenix said:

I really like these articles alot! , in my opinion the artcles such as 1reasonwhy and the dead island statue dont really fit with the core giantbomb audience , i know you feel strongly about these things patrick but in my opinion it just doesnt fit

No one cares. Start your own website if you want to be protected from stories that require a little maturity.

That's kind of a silly thing to say, and it's pretty hostile.

Those sorts of articles are pretty new, in the grand scheme of GiantBombs history at least, and not everyone is going to like them - especially since P.Klep can be a bit sloppy or hamhanded with them at times.

I like those articles, I'm glad they're here, and I really get tired of the people who troll through the comments to complain about them without adding anything of worth - but just screaming GET OUT at everyone who (in this case rationally and seemingly politely, even) disagrees will just make people think less of you, and maybe even of the causes/articles you support.

#10 Posted by MMann (64 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

How many male booth babes - booth dudes? - stand around convention floors in tightly-packed briefs? How many Catherine anime pillowcases or Dead Island zombie-titties feature dudes?

Not enough.