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Edited by Wastrel

Poor Paul.

Edited by ccm0628

Love these videos

Posted by thefriend

Paul defending that god awful micro-transaction business model. He has fallen... :(

Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger

Rami's little aside about F2P and how it affects game design during the dungeon keeper segment around 27:55 is really really good. I've seen him talk and he's always good at articulating trends he sees in the industry. I hope he's booked for more talks.

Posted by Lanechanger

This Rami Ismail guy is allllright

Posted by Shaanyboi

Paul, I get that vitriolic violent reactions to your game (especially if they haven't played it) are unacceptable. That shit is awful, absolutely.

But what about the actual criticisms from people that did play the game, have expectations due to the fact that you use pre-existing IP that they may hold very close to their heart, and are left baffled by poor exploitative design? Like... you guys are aware you actually made a terrible game, right?

Posted by ToniMcKernt

I had no idea Rami was that cool and smart. I'd love to hear/see him on scoops and the wolf @patrick @Alex

Edited by InternetDetective

This group was fascinating. Rami owns. Should have talked to them during some of the other segments as well.

Posted by rmanthorp

Rami is a total hero. Really glad they had him on.

Moderator
Posted by f0ulre3k

I feel like Path of Exile has done F2P well...

Posted by eulogize_my_baked_goods

I love hearing/reading stories about Valve, and the increasing realisation I'm getting that Portal effectively is a fictional documentary about that company! I fully expect it to revealed at some point that moon dust will be a key constituent part of the Steam box.

Posted by BisonHero

@thefriend said:

Paul defending that god awful micro-transaction business model. He has fallen... :(

Paul, I get that vitriolic violent reactions to your game (especially if they haven't played it) are unacceptable. That shit is awful, absolutely.

But what about the actual criticisms from people that did play the game, have expectations due to the fact that you use pre-existing IP that they may hold very close to their heart, and are left baffled by poor exploitative design? Like... you guys are aware you actually made a terrible game, right?

Yeah, like obviously some of the hatemail messages they got were uncalled for, but setting aside that plenty of devs get those, everything else Paul said was crazy talk where he was trying to use 50s TV analogies to convince you that mobile gaming isn't mostly toxic garbage, and absolutely no one in the room was buying his analogies for a second. That was kind of a bummer.

Edited by SomeJerk

Even if your breath stinks of EA ass you cannot fucking defend Dung Keeper. The EU is taking a look at F2P thanks to Dung Keeper, they want games that cannot be finished without investments to not be able to call themselves F2P, and Dung Keeper is it. It is not F2P. It is F2FUIT.

Of course people shit on it with how godawfully gross it is. Not to mention the PvZ F2P fuckery.

And I suggested going out of business and losing a job in a review of it, not dying or getting a disease. That's where I draw the line >>

a thing that is deserved and better for mankind.

Still, wise words from Vlambeer. Mobile F2P is a tricky bastard but Dung Keeper doesn't change because of that fact.

Posted by Amafi

@wastrel said:

Poor Paul.

Why? He's in charge of turning out absolute dogshit games. Fuck him. He seems like a nice enough dude, but if he had any integrity or interest in making good games he wouldn't making skinner boxes for scamming money from kids and people who don't understand video games.

Edited by AMyggen

@somejerk: Totally agree. I don't remember where I read it, but someone said that the problem with F2P is that the business model becomes part of the game on a whole other level than when you can just one and done buy the game up front. I think that explains a huge part of my problem with F2P, and why it's so incredibly difficult to do it "right". When you begin to slow progress etc. to get people to pay more money, the game has already begun failing as a game in my book. Doesn't matter how many "whales" you manage to hook, that shit is still destroying my enjoyment of your game.

edit: Having watched the last part of this segment, Rami makes the same point. His example of how to make Ridiculous Fishing F2P is so on point. I hope someone puts just that part of the video on YT because it's such a great way to explain why the model often impacts game design.

Posted by RE_Player1

Rami made excellent points on why video gaming as a medium is so special and why the games Paul is making, like Dungeon Keeper, are not only bad but actually detrimental to the player. All the talk about violence in games and how it is corrupting children will be null and void in a couple years if games like Dungeon Keeper and those deceptive "free to play" mobile games stick around. They are actively manipulating the psychological processes of children and people in general and are toxic to this industry.

I used to enjoy Paul's schtick from time to time but if he's going to be involved in mobile garbage from now on I'd rather not hear him defend his garbage games and manipulative design philosophy.

Posted by Amafi

@amyggen: Jaffe talked about that after he started for himself. Might have been on here even? One of the E3 shows or something. Talked about how every mobile F2P game has you playing the business model. Energy and things. Was a good talk.

Posted by mrfluke

Rami is easily becoming one of my favorites in the Indie Game scene, well balanced, well nuanced opinions this guy has.and doesnt badmouth AAA games, and is very well aware of why AAA is very risk-averse.

Posted by Flip175

The mental gymnastics on display through Paul's rambling was really something.

Edited by BaconGames

In a lot of ways Paul was reiterating what has been said about Dungeon Keeper on the site, that effectively their only true sin has been playing the same field as Clash of Clans and if the reaction was for anything, it's the name associated.

I think it's easy to conflate Paul's role in the company and the issues with the game's design which again is so inextricably tied to their effectively taking the Clash of Clans route that I don't blame the team for not having the perspective that many of its detractors did. Apparently the game is doing well financially and simultaneously is driving an increasingly critical reaction to that model of Free to Play, the latter of which I think will actually do much more to bring the industry forward than a game quietly printing cash on mobile.

I thought Rami did a great job articulating the point but I saw nothing to indicate Paul taking much disagreement with him. It's a shame people are choosing to be petty in the comments, albeit not unexpected and to some small degree not undeserved, but I couldn't see much that was of contention here. Lastly I'll say that I loved Paul's commitment to sitting cross-legged over the years. God what a guy.

If anything, I just wish there was more time for Mike Mika to talk some more. I've been loving his presence this week.

Posted by AMyggen

@amafi: I do think I remember him talking a bit about that on one of the E3 panels, come to think about it. And yeah, I think it's a great point.

@flip175: Yeah. I like Barnett, but it's obvious that he has a hard time defending a game like Dungeon Keeper, so he has to go to some really strange examples (adapting a book to film or something? Come on, man). I don't personally think any game designer would love to make such a F2P game, it's just not what you got into the industry to make. It's pure business.

Edited by ArbitraryWater

Paul attempting to justify Dungeon Keeper might have been one of the sadder parts of this stream. It's not as bad as clash of clans! It's like saying you can't adapt a book! It's like television in the 50s! Sorry, no.

Posted by teaoverlord

Mike Mika kinda looks like that guy from Breaking Bad.

Edited by indieslaw

I don't blame Paul for anything he said during the stream. I'm sure the wounds were still fresh. But I was looking for some pushback (gentle pushback; I love Paul) on some of the more outlandish Paul-statements from our guys, Patrick or Jeff. And they really didn't bring it.

This segment was a rare example of the pitfalls of having the kind of cozy relationship GB sometimes has with developers. It's the other side of all the great access we've had over the years. The very strong impression I get watching this video is that they (Jeff and Patrick) were holding back what they actually wanted to say. No one can say that for sure besides Jeff and Patrick.

At the very least, there were pretty questionable statements from Paul that were just left unchallenged, and that itself felt unusual. And, unfortunately, because its Paul, you have to question whether that would be the case with a dev they weren't as friendly with.

That said, they weren't discussing Watergate. Its not the end of the world, its just interesting to note.

Posted by zenaku

That's Paul's job guys. It's his livelihood and it feeds his family/dependents and supports his life. Whatever his personal views may be he's not going to slander his company and his team's products in front of a camera. He's a person too.

Edited by arcn

Not gonna lie, I was shaking my head during that whole bit with Paul, especially during that rant about adapting games into other platforms. Come on, I get that the game took them 5 months to make, but lets be real, Dungeon Keeper is not the next Superbrothers: Sword Sworcery, at best it's just another entry in EA's catalog of "best value" games made to scam people with too much money on their hands.

Hearing Paul's argument about creative expression in relation to a game like Dungeon Keeper really just makes me imagine that I'm hearing the guy who makes those 5 dollar Gears Of War skins, complain about how "the internet just doesn't get his art."

Edited by Sammo21

This is why I can't take Paul seriously. Most of the guys who come on the show at least acknowledge when they have to be shills for something, but Paul always try to act like its some sincere opinion of his...and I can't believe it really is. MAYBE it is, but after all of his developer videos and talks for Warhammer Online up until now I find him not very genuine at all. Different strokes for different folks, right? Everyone has an opinion and all that, but I don't know one person who isn't some detached corporate accountant who thinks that these things are good AND good for the industry. Then to fight for it and defend it so passionately? Come on, Paul...

No one here at Giant Bomb, except for those thong wearing monsters from Australia, want Paul to talk hot mess about his games, studios, bosses, and more...but you can still talk honestly without being videogame's Jay Carney and lying your ass. I know its his job but it still infuriates me. Like another person said, this is like someone defending their bacon gun skin for $x because its "art". You can admit its not great while still being respectful and earnest...then to go to such insane lengths to defend it even blows meh mind.

Paul is bringing up fringe vitriolic comments which is pointless. Like lumping Fox, CNN, or MSNBC into "journalism". Lumping those things in with legitimate criticism is a typical tactic even politicians use on the campaign trails to smear their detractors. Remember when if you didn't like the Iraq War you didn't support the troops? Same thing here, even if the comparison is a bit larger. The reason so many people downloaded the game was because it was "free" AND it got front place coverage on the store for a long time...that's going to guarantee your app gets downloaded a shit ton.

Posted by Amafi

@bacongames: Him talking about "yeah, it's a bloody awful thing but someone's got to do it, at least until the EU steps in and stops us" was perhaps the most disgusting part. Like a banker bemoaning the lack of government oversight and regulation while stuffing his pockets. There's nothing stopping anyone from trying to be ethical and making good games now. If it can't be done at a place like EA, then get the fuck out and do it someplace else. Don't act like Rami's making excellent points, but you HAVE to exploit people in the worst ways for now because it's not illegal to do so yet and you know, shareholders.

Posted by Zainyboy

Vlambeer games just sold a copy of Luftwaasssseeerrrr.

Edited by LinktheSquash

Paul seems like a nice guy, but I just don't get that monetization model. Nobody cares that EA put out Dungeon Keeper on mobile, what pisses them off is that you have to wait 24 hours to continue playing the game. That is such a shitty way to monetize anything.

Can you imagine going to a gym where you could do three reps on a weight machine, and then you had to come back in 24 hours or pay $1.99 a rep in order to continue? What utter nonsense.

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

Paul seems like a nice guy, but I just don't get that monetization model. Nobody cares that EA put out Dungeon Keeper on mobile, what pisses them off is that you have to wait 24 hours to continue playing the game. That is such a shitty way to monetize anything.

Can you imagine going to a gym where you could do three reps on a weight machine, and then you had to come back in 24 hours or pay $1.99 a rep in order to continue? What utter nonsense.

Agreed ... without all the time restaints the game would be fucking great. It's pretty, it works well with touch etc. But the fact that you have to wait 24 hours to dig up certain tiles is just dumb.

Online
Edited by GaddockTeeg

I fundamentally disagree with Paul's assertion that people who don't like Dungeonkeep mobile believe old IPs are sacred cows that can not be touched. I highly encourage developers trying new things with classic franchises, but if you're going to take something beloved and make something new people are going to compare it to the original. Sometimes nostalgia makes this comparison unfair, but that doesn't mean you can never make it work. One of my favorite games of all time is Resident Evil 4, a game that completely reimagines the franchise and it receives almost universal praise. If you take something old and make it better people will recognize that. If Dungeonkeeper Mobile was a good game people would have probably still ragged on it being the, "ugly mobile stepchild of Dungeonkeeper" but the reaction would not have been nearly as poor as what actually happened.

Edited by civid

@zainyboy: aaaaand another copy sold. Man that dude seems smart

Posted by Garviell

You could have made dungeon keeper for ios without making it shit

Edited by bhhawks78

I feel bad for Paul, must suck to have to create such trash, I hope he at least gets paid well because if not his job seems worse than fucking fast food.

Super Awkward how Patrick/Jeff have to watch him set himself on fire like that.

Posted by ThatOneDudeNick

Does Paul realize why people don't like Dungeon Keeper mobile? It's not because it's Dungeon Keeper, it's because of the shitty F2P model. Being not as shitty as Clash of Clans doesn't make it not bad. Compare yourself to the games that do it good, not the ones that do it bad.

I stay away from the whole "EA sucks!" bandwagon, but EA seems completely out of touch. These are the same people that made you pay for action bars when SWTOR went F2P. I don't dislike F2P games, and I support a few of them monetarily. But EA does it wrong time after time. I can't support that garbage or anyone that tries to defend it.

Posted by pocketroid

I figured I'd comment on the last one.
I really liked these videos. I'm going to have to attend GDC some year. Great, important discussions must just happen all the time. It's exciting.

Posted by Sorax

I read the comments before watching the session. I feel like I've learned this lesson many times but, as usual, they are very misleading.

Paul communicated the current economics of large corporations and mobile games. His 50s metaphor was to demonstrate the relative immaturity of the space. And to call out the resistance of seeming competitors who are actually parallel enterprises. Which is to say, we're currently doing a bad job of monetizing and this not a zero sum industry.

Also, I didn't see the discussion as contentious or awkward. Paul was understandably upset by the extreme responses to Dungeon Keeper. And that came through. But then Rami laid out the problem, as many of us see it, and Paul basically conceded.

I think the biggest take away is an explicit confirmation that a game like Dungeon Keeper is intentionally not designed for the people that are complaining about it. Large companies know the numbers and growth potential of pulling in people who don't play traditional games. Clash of Clans makes ~$700K a day. It's no wonder their shareholders are pushing them to chase it.

EA's real mistake, as Jeff said during this discussion and many times before, is attaching an IP to a product that isn't designed for the people who care about that IP.

Edited by Brendan

I feel like Frog Fractions guy could had so much that was unsaid inside him about Dungeon Keeper lol.

Edit: Too bad for Paul, it's like he's gone over to the dark side and is now estranged from this website.

Edited by goldenphallus
Edited by hollitz

I adore Paul Barnett, but his argument at the beginning of the Dungeon Keeper spiel was pretty shitty. Totally understand about the personal vitriol, but there's no reason to think that just because the people on the staff like the people writing the reviews that the reviewer somehow owes the creator something.

Posted by Jasoncourt

I'm gonna say you guys didn't have to do this. I hope it wasn't too much work, not sure it was worth it (to me). I am sure others have a different opinion.

Edited by Haze

Paul got off easy here. One of the very few situations I wish the GB office wasn't so polite. His entire argument was "We should gouge the new mobile audience because we can gouge the new mobile audience". This angers me and I would have like to have seen an actual debate on the subject, though Ridiculous Fishing guy gave it a good and noble hash.

And yep, the EU is going to regulate the heck out of this stuff.

Posted by Humanity

I don't think Paul said anything particularly terrible but whenever he comes on, and this isn't just this year, he does seem to be a guy that is somewhat out of touch with todays gaming realities.

Edited by heatDrive88

@humanity said:

I don't think Paul said anything particularly terrible but whenever he comes on, and this isn't just this year, he does seem to be a guy that is somewhat out of touch with todays gaming realities.

To be honest, I would have completely agreed with you, if you said this previous to hearing him talk about Dungeon Keeper here at GDC.

But after hearing him discuss it, I think he makes a lot of really good points about where games are going on mobile or with very different monetization models - mostly in that we need to understand that this new Dungeon Keeper game (and all other games like it) were not designed for us and our game playing habits/sensibilities. They were completely designed for a much more different market with completely different sensibilities and game playing habits. "Casuals" is a really bad term to use to describe them (just as "core gamer" is bad to describe people like us), but we just aren't that target demographic, nor should we assume that we are.

Whether or not the fact that they attached the Dungeon Keeper franchise name to is was a good or bad thing is definitely up for debate, as is whether or not Dungeon Keeper is a good or bad game for the audience it is trying to target. Unfortunately I can't speak to the latter because I'm not that audience, and neither is 98% of the people here on Giant Bomb, most likely.

The one point that really stood out to me that Paul made was talking about how TV was being monetized in it's earliest days of entertainment, especially when contrasted to movies at that generation of time. Paul is right when it comes to making games like this for that specific audience - they're still figuring it out, and people forget just how new this business model is. It sounds outlandish to us right now of course, but after some time and working out the kinks and details, it can be something really exciting and new - even if this wasn't originally built with us in mind.

I'm aware I'm totally on the opposite side of the majority of people here about their feelings on this, and that's fine. But everyone should remember, not everything made in this world, is made for you. You don't have to like it, but that doesn't mean someone else out there has to agree with you.

Posted by beatnik11

Wow, just wow. Paul Barnett has not internalized a single point about why people were so outraged by the new DK and his justifications dont seem to be well thought out or just completely dismissive. People were not upset that it was DK on a mobile device, they were mad because DK was so full of micro transactions that it appeared as if it was a game built around MTs and not MTs built around a game. Also using the horrible people on the internet as a reason to just disregard dissent was really condescending and disingenuous.

Edited by deerokus

Paul Barnett sold out :( It's ok for scam-like 'games' like DK to exploit their customers because the customers don't know any better? Disgusting.

If anything, the people making these games have a responsibility to make them fun and non-exploitative, otherwise in the mid-to-long term you are turning off the people who play them from video games altogether. Once they get sick of being manipulated and scammed like that (and they will) they will assume all games are like that, and never give them another look.

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