whatthegeek's forum posts
Apparently I'm the only one of my friends who has a 3DS, and bought Bravely Default, which is a shame because there are a lot of neat hooks for friends built into the game. So, I figured I'd start a thread here for anyone who wanted to swap friend codes in the interest of using features like Abililink.
So here's mine - feel free to add me. 0447-6544-8194
@pyrodactyl: That's the story as I heard it at the time. I wasn't on a GTA IV review so I can't speak from personal experience. Is it possible I heard wrong? Sure. That being said, it's well within Rockstar's rights to decide which outlets can and can't post reviews of their games ahead of the release date based on any factors they see fit.
Before posting this I Googled around a bit to see if I could find anything on this. The only things I turned up were that IGN had the first review to go live, and it was, in fact, a perfect score. I'm not saying that validates what I remember hearing, but it does sort of lend some credibility to it. Still possible I'm wrong here; hell, it's totally possible I'm thinking of another game entirely. That was five years ago and I barely remember what I had for breakfast.
It's also possible that the terms of the embargo were misrepresented when explained to me - again, I'm going on word of mouth here. Either way, if I find something that either proves or disproves it, I'll post it here.
@brackynews: First let me apologize for my Twitter account. I've been hella busy lately and I kinda started ignoring my Twitter account for a little while there, so it's been almost entirely Raptr tweets for like two months, and for you (or anyone else that has had the misfortune of seeing that) I'm sorry, and I promise to turn off raptr. In fact, I'm gonna stop typing this for a minute and go do that now - thanks for pointing it out.
Ok, I'm back, and Raptr no longer posts to my Twitter account. Now, on to the actual meat and potatoes of what you said.
You're not interested in reading sensationalized crap, and I'm not interested in writing it. That being said, I have written some of it despite my disinclination toward writing garbage. that's directly due to the unfortunate nature of the video game press ecosystem. Here's a small peak behind the curtain on how smaller outlets play into the ecosystem.
1. A person with a dream starts a website about video games.
2. That person promptly realizes that there are already 15,000,000 other gaming sites out there, and no one is going to pay for their content, nor are any advertisers going to pput down good money to be on their site.
3. That person has two choices; give up, or take steps to set their outlet apart from the crowd.
4. That person begins soliciting ideas from their writers, both staff and freelance in an effort to boost traffic.
5. Those writers come back with an assortment of ideas, some good ideas for opinion pieces, some inflammatory articles designed to incite division among readers.
6. The site owner, being open-minded, approves all of the ideas brought to them that meet the bare minimum requirements to still be considered "journalism".
7. The site owner then submits all of those articles to N4G. Guess which ones get the most heat? Guess which writers get to keep writing for that outlet?
8. Now the traffic is coming in, and the site owner can present numbers to PR folks and advertisers. This gets them the quantifiable benefit PR folks are looking for that I mentioned before (people will see articles about your game on our site), and advertisers are similarly contented with the new traffic. They begin paying, which is great because that business loan is almost dried up by this point.
9. Oh no! The traffic from N4G is drying up and the internet has a short memory so visitors aren't coming back! What do we do now? You guessed it; another round of inflammatory articles!
If you look close enough you'll see echoes of this cycle reflected in large outlets too. When GTA IV came out, Rockstar embargoed all reviews that didn't give the game a perfect score until the game's launch day, but approved perfect scores to go up early. A lot of outlets gave that game a perfect score. Why? Review leads to traffic, traffic leads to money, money is rad. I don't mean to imply that every perfect score the game got was undeserved, nor do I mean to imply that the authors of said reviews wouldn't stand by the number, but I do imagine a lot of 9's became 10's during the editing process.
I've seen this play out at a lot of outlets. Some I worked for, some I didn't, but the bottom line is that if a good opinion piece shows up on an unpopular site no one will ever know it's there. So site owners and editors alike cave to what sells - garbage articles.
The whole situation is indicative of the messy nature of the relationship between publishers/ devs, the press, and gamers. The give and take between press and PR has reached a weird place that really promotes the above-mentioned ecosystem. That's why I don't do a lot of video-game-centric work these days. I can write stuff I'm proud of, and post it to my personal blog where it'll get seen by next to no one or I can write garbage that gets traffic for some outlet or another. I'd make a little money, but I'd be writing garbage.
That's exactly why I watch and read everything on Giant Bomb; they managed to break out of the cycle and do their own thing, and it's amazing!
Don't forget you're in a unique position. You've worked as a journalist covering video games for a good long time now, and through a combination of great talent and good fortune you've been able to work at some of the best outlets the industry has to offer, and with that experience has come the opportunity to develop relationships with various members of the video game industry. And, before I go any further, I'm a fan of your work, and I like what you do.
I've written professionally about games (among other things) for about five years now. I've never had the opportunity to work for a great outlet like the 1UP of days gone by, or Giant Bomb; I've been with B-tier sites, and most of those gigs have been freelance.
As a freelancer working for B-tier outlets I see the relationship between the press and publishers / developers a little differently than you do. He was a little harsh, but I tend to agree with Beer. As a B-tier freelancer, if I approached any developer, whether it be an indie dev like Blow or Fish, or an industry legend like Carmack the only reason I would get a quote would be if the dev in question thought it would benefit them to be included in whatever I was writing. And rightfully so; they have far more important things to do than to talk to everyone who asks them for a quote.
Coming at it from that perspective, I see two guys who are happy to talk about the indie dev scene when they have something to say, or when doing so will put their game in front of a large audience, but when approached, and asked to opine about a rumor, neither wanted anything to do with it, and both got upset for being asked.
It's fine that they didn't want to be quoted, again, both busy guys with stuff on their plates, but there's no reason to lash out at the press over it. The press is full of people like me who are trying to make a living, and in this day and age, that involves pushing as hard as you can to be the first out the gate with a new story, a unique quote, or a credible rumor. Beer's right; they want it both ways. They want the press to be there when they want to talk, but they don't want to be approached when they don't have something to say, and that's not how the press/dev relationship works.
Don't misunderstand me here, devs are totally free to shoot down a request for quote; just don't lash out at the press for making those requests.
It's also worth noting that from the perspective of a B-tier freelancer the dev / press relationship is very much a symbiotic one. I see PR folks blacklisting sites for giving legitimate, but low review scores. I see editors that won't allow a scoreless review system because PR doesn't care about you if you're not contributing to their success in a quantifiable way. If you're not a super-star outlet it's hard to get PR to answer your emails, let alone give you direct access to talk to devs. It's not much better on the indie scene either. Teams without a PR department will talk to you if they have time, but event hat can be a real hit or miss proposition.
The reality of the situation is that if your outlet doesn't have some quantifiable benefit to offer a developer / publisher your access to them is limited. If you do have something to offer, then you get something back in the form of review copies, interviews, and eventually a good working relationship.
I can't speak to what it's like to be in your shoes, but I imagine the types of relationships you have with developers and publishers combined with the types of outlets you've worked with has left you with a very different perspective on things than the vast majority of members of the gaming press. That's not a criticism or complaint, in fact, far from it. The relationship you (and Giant Bomb as a whole) have with the dev community makes your content all the better. I just wanted to take a minute and offer some insight into a different point of view.
@carryboy: I'm playing on PC - Doesn't seem to look SIGNIFICANTLY better, but the faster framerate is always nice. If you have friends playing on a console you won't be missing out on anything significant by playing there instead of the PC, though personally, I'd say the PC would be my preferred platform based on the slight graphical improvements and mouse and keyboard controls.
Defiance has some strengths and some weaknesses from both the third person shooter genre, and the MMO genre. The enemy AI is built for an MMO - they're a little dumb, and in some cases they won't agro on you even when you're standing right near them. This detracts a little from the shooting, but if you're alone or only in the company of a handful of other players the sheer number of enemies can make up for the poor AI in terms of challenge.
There's no proper cover system which is a shame because there's a lot of cover to hide behind; it'd be nice to be able to snap to it.
Flaws aside, the game is still a lot of fun. The shooting feels good, and the experience of wrecking a giant Hellbug in the company of hundreds of other players is super enjoyable. There's a steady stream of loot to collect, but if you find yourself using the same weapon for a long time it'll level up. You can also add attachments to your weapons for more customization opportunities.
There's a lot to like here. There are a few flaws, but most of them are super easy to look past.
As for the Syfy connection, the main characters from the show do show up in the game, and there will be some ties from the game in the show, but from what I gather from all of the various press releases and other info I've seen on it, each will stand on its own. Personally, I'm skeptical about the show but I expect I'll be playing the game for a good long time.
Captain abandoning the sinking ship!
Much more likely the investors demanded from him to go. It's part of those deals.
Agreed - I imagine he was forced out what with him steering the company into bankruptcy and all.