Candescence’s Techdirt Profile


About Candescence

Candescence’s Comments comment rss

  • Jan 5th, 2022 @ 7:33pm

    (untitled comment)

    This means that the Chinese government is coming off less like a socialist nation and more akin to something like the Taliban, where strict control over culture is seen as some kind of spiritual requirement.

    To be fair, this isn't remotely new for the CCP. Also, the CCP hasn't really been 'socialist' for years for the most part (to the point where they've increasingly been under fire from actual hardcore communists), they're increasingly more like Nazis, especially considering they're literally a step away from doing Holocaust 2: Muslim Edition.

  • Nov 26th, 2021 @ 2:33am

    I mean... Eh? So?

    I mean, kinda sucks for Sony diehards, but let's be frank, the Elder Scrolls series only saw, what, two games on Playstation systems? (Those being Oblivion and Skyrim.) This isn't a repeat of the Final Fantasy shift from Nintendo to Sony systems or anything like that.

    Besides, Sony players always got the worst versions of every game. Skyrim's Playstation 3 version was notoriously terrible (partly because of the PS3's notoriously difficult to develop for hardware) and the PS4 version of Skyrim had the second worst mod support (the Switch doesn't have modding, but I suppose that's a tad more understandable because storage space and whatnot) because Sony is suddenly the most ass-backwards console maker now in many respects, including cross-play and backwards compatibility.

    Again, I get it, it sucks for Sony purists who don't play on PC, but at least Microsoft is still putting out their games on PC day and date of release, whereas Sony is trickling out older games. Unless Bethesda really steps up their game post-acquisition, PC will always be the best platform to play their games on, if partly because the modders are around to fix the numerous inevitable issues that occur.

  • Nov 17th, 2021 @ 9:51pm

    You should've mentioned how poorly the remasters have reviewed.

    It's not just the shitshow with the PC version, every version is seeing <60 metacritic scores. The entire project was farmed out to a mobile developer without the care or dedication of Rockstar themselves, and it shows. The games are buggy as hell, character models are terrible, there's missing music tracks (because somehow Take-Two and Rockstar can't get the licenses for certain music tracks despite having basically all the money) and the rain effects are dreadful.

    And despite all the shit T2 has done to screw over the modding community, they're still fixing some of the aforementioned problems.

  • Nov 6th, 2021 @ 3:16am

    In this case, fortunately, both publishers are pro-modding.

    To my knowledge, Taleworlds and Paradox have been happy to allow modding to flourish for their games, because, well, it extends the lifespan of said games. Taleworlds have even published polished up versions of mods as standalone expansions for Mount & Blade previously. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they come together to release some kind of official integration between the two games, because it sounds like something that could make both publishers quite a bit of money. It's like the modern equivalent of the Sonic & Knuckles lock-on system. I would be genuinely shocked if this got shut down by either party.

    Now, if it were certain other publishers, I'd be more worried, but these are games with healthy modding communities.

  • Apr 29th, 2021 @ 9:03pm

    (untitled comment)

    "In other words, Epic positioned its exclusivity program as merely a method to get the other storefronts to take less money away from game developers, which softened the blow with the public and surely made it a great many fans in the gaming industry."

    I hope that's sarcasm, Tim, because that didn't really happen. The Epic store is still largely despised by the PC gaming community, and not just because of exclusives. Steam is not only significantly more accessible for developers and publishers of all shapes and sizes (the availability of content on the EGS is miniscule compared to what Steam offers, even if a lot of games on Steam are crap, but it still has exponentially more games that are at least okay), it also provides a significantly better interface and a truckload of features for both the consumer and developers that the 30% revenue take pays for maintaining, and Valve keeps adding new features that enhance the experience for consumers and improve visibility for developers. The EGS doesn't even have basic features that should be taken for granted on any basic digital storefront - I'm pretty sure it still doesn't have a shopping cart feature. The EGS is an absolutely terrible client and storefront, Epic has really been trying to muscle its way into being competitive by splashing the absolute truckloads of money it made from Fortnite.

    Also, speaking of those exclusives, Steam can potentially wait out Epic. A recent court filing reveals that Epic has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars from the EGS, and doesn't expect to be sustainably profitable before 2023 at the earliest, maybe 2027 at the latest. Paying for exclusives and free games has been a huge gamble that won't pay off for years, if ever, and documents uncovered by the court battle imply that the EGS has been underperforming for Epic and the games on the store have not been meeting minimum sales guarantees. Sure, an upfront loss to start a new venture is a viable strategy, but it clearly isn't working here if games aren't selling.

    Also, I have to note, again, the lower revenue split won't help the vast majority of developers/publishers, considering the EGS has a miniscule amount of games compared to the likes of Steam or even A better revenue split isn't going to help if you can't publish your game where the lower split is. People may complain about Steam's open doors policy, but nobody wants to go back to the days when Valve was ridiculously picky about what games ended up on its storefront.

    Don't get me wrong, a lower revenue split would be nice for developers, but Epic is the wrong party to champion that cause, and they're the wrong type of competitor to try and tackle Steam. They've been trying to brute-force their way into the market with a ridiculously inferior storefront and client using high-profile exclusives, something that's been tried before (especially with EA, and look how that turned out, they came running back to Steam after a while). In my opinion, Epic is really only providing a low revenue split as a selling point they can use because they can absorb the resulting loss in revenue from game sales. And considering the data indicates it's not driving people to buy games nearly as much as they want, Steam has little incentive to change course.

  • Mar 26th, 2021 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re:

    I should note that Kissing Therapy is actually made by a western indie studio, so the whole cultural/translation issue isn't part of it. I probably should've clarified, but it's anime-esque in broad strokes but still kinda recognizably western in many ways.

    But yeah, I can kinda understand in that context, though the source you provided is a bit questionable IMO (the author comes off as being a bit too much of a creep for my liking, judging by his other content and how he characterizes Valve's behavior on this issue).

  • Mar 26th, 2021 @ 2:39am

    (untitled comment)

    Not a surprise, there seems to be certain subject matters that Valve really doesn't want to touch - "school settings" seem to be another such thing, even if the setting is university/college, because apparently Valve really does not want to take chances on potential "child porn" material. The visual novel Kissing Therapy was also permanently banned, despite being set in college and the characters actually looking at least college-age even with a fairly anime-esque style, but in the notice sent to the developer, the Steam team stated that they believed the game depicted sexual content involving a possible depiction of a minor and that even "gray areas" were considered off-limits.

    Apparently Valve considers drawn or computer generated child porn imagery to be legally problematic, which I'm not quite sure is true but I might be wrong. Still, it seems like certain games are going to be collateral damage of Valve's attempts to avoid legal liability.

  • Mar 12th, 2021 @ 6:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    The fact that this is happening is another red flag that the 'loot box' business model is bullshit and should be dropped like a hot potato, but it's too damn lucrative for so many companies, meaning we'll need to see substantial regulation in the US, EU and Japan to kill it permanently. It's an incredibly predatory business model that is basically gambling.

    I mean, for pete's sake, NBA 2K is literally representing this stuff with digital slot machines and pachinko, it's not even subtle.

  • Feb 14th, 2021 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: It was a good thing, but not perfectly handled.

    I'm not even talking about Japanese-made games, the main example I'm thinking of is from a western indie dev involving mature-looking characters in a college setting. Though in this case, the fact that it's a "school-like" setting at all is what apparently spooked Valve, even though it's, you know, college.

  • Feb 13th, 2021 @ 12:10am

    It was a good thing, but not perfectly handled.

    I've seen cases of Valve removing certain adult games permanently without appeal due to "underage content" even when context clearly states there are no underage characters (and I mean stuff like characters being in college), which happens because the visual style isn't realistic and makes how old characters look extremely subjective.

    I do think Valve allowing adults-only content on Steam was a good move, there are plenty of adult games with actual gameplay and artistic value beyond just being interactive porn. And let's be frank, anti-porn groups will never be happy until porn ceases to exist period, and in this case, there's really not a lot Valve can do about what they're complaining about.

    Sure, we don't need adult content to be everywhere (far from it), but having such content available on more mainstream platforms is a good thing. The fact that Twitter permits adult content is surprising, but it feels like Facebook is kind of an outlier nowadays considering there are a surprising number of social networks now allowing such content. Tumblr tried to kill adult content in a massive overreaction to worse problems, and it basically killed the site.

  • Jan 27th, 2021 @ 11:00pm

    Oh, would you look at that, the stock market really is bullshit.

    The fact that this is able to happen at all should be a huge red flag about how bullshit the very existence of the stock markets are in the first place.

    But in the meantime, I'm just gonna point and laugh at the hedge funds losing billions because they got fucked over by a bunch of people on Reddit.

  • Jan 25th, 2021 @ 5:52pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think a more aggressive FCC boss is more likely - Biden's cabinet picks have largely been pretty good on the whole, and he is being very aggressive about getting his policies implemented as soon as possible.

  • Feb 8th, 2019 @ 5:46am

    Unfortunately, Epic's idea of "competition" is hot garbage.

    Steam's popularity isn't just because of the games, but also because of the myriad features Valve has added to the storefront and client over the years to the point where there are numerous useful features you won't find on other clients. A small list, shall we?

    • One of the most feature-rich and open gaming storefronts. It has issues, but there are many more other storefronts on PC, console and mobile that are significantly worse.
    • A truckload of community features, including community forums for games, guides, sharing screenshots and videos, etc. (Did I mention it's a feature so useful that people playing games like Subnautica via the Epic client have to go to the Steam forums for support for their games?)
    • The Steam Workshop, which can act as an in-client mod library and as a means of allowing players to create in-game items that they can make money from.
    • Steam Big Picture, an alternative interface mainly for TV gaming.
    • Steam Input, first created for the Steam Controller, but now supports the Xbox 360/Xbox One controller, PS4 controller, Nintendo Switch Pro controller, and any generic xinput or directinput controller, allowing a jaw-dropping amount of control customizability, with a sheer number of features and versatility that makes it possible for control schemes that you simply can't achieve on any other platform.
    • And most recently, Valve investing in and developing a WINE-like compatibility layer for Linux that enables even the newest Windows-only games to run with minimal performance loss, which is an enormous feat for smashing Microsoft's effective monopoly over PC gaming, along with contributing to multi-platform technologies like Vulkan.

    By contrast, Epic's storefront is basically just a bare-bones client with just a crappy storefront, a friends list and a chat client, like almost every other "competing" store outside of Good Old Games, which made its own niche by focusing on making old games available and playable digitally on modern hardware and operating systems.

    Is Epic meaningfully competing in ways other than moneyhatting exclusives and the occasional free game? No - there's almost no interesting features to actually provide value and differentiation compared to Valve's client, for both the customer and developers. A bigger cut for developers isn't going to matter if people who would've bought a game on Steam won't buy it on Epic's storefront, and there is a big contingent of PC gamers who are only interested in what Steam has to offer.

    Epic are gambling on the possibility of leveraging the Fortnite playerbase - a playerbase that, for the most part, only cares about Fortnite and absolutely nothing else. It's also arguable that the 'curated' storefront is also a bad idea, as it significantly limits the number of indie games that can be published on the store, and there are a LOT of good indie games out there. Steam got rid of curation because they realized that they would rather let people decide what they want to buy rather than make assumptions about their customers, and focus on trying to make it easier for people to find stuff they might enjoy.

    In many ways, it can be argued that Epic are actually harming the PC space rather than enriching it by trying to take games away from Steam instead of competing in terms of actual value and features.

  • May 9th, 2018 @ 7:36am

    They say they will, but they probably won't.

    Nintendo's strategy for mobile so far has basically been smaller, simpler titles that don't really compare to their console offerings, and arguably act as advertisements for their console stuff. I don't see that changing, and rightfully so.

    Here's the thing - gaming on mobile devices is currently a garbage fire. There are good mobile games, sure, but they're a tiny percentage of a deluge of terrible games and games trying to milk as much money out of players as possible. Mobile gamers are downright hostile to the idea of any kind of up-front payment, they've been so conditioned to expect things for free that even extremely cheap expansions result in negative reviews and extreme hostility towards developers, as the developers of Monument Valley learned the hard way. And for your average indie developer, good luck with getting any kind of exposure or revenue when the market is inundated with crap.

    As well, touch-screen controls are dreadful for emulating traditional controls, nor do they provide the flexibility to match the amount of functionality traditional controllers provide. The vast majority of gaming genres are almost unplayable on mobile devices aside from the select few that work fine for touch controls, such as puzzle games, turn-based strategy and visual novels. And the vast majority of mobile gamers have no interest in getting a gamepad add-on for their mobile devices, and will turn up their noses at games that require one. The idea of playing anything that requires more complex controls than an NES game with a touch screen is utter madness - playing most SNES titles without the shoulder buttons is one thing, but the N64 or Gamecube? Absurd.

    There's a reason why the Nintendo Switch is exploding in sales, aside from its exclusive content - it can do everything a regular console and a mobile device can do gaming-wise without compromise, being able to play games on a big screen or on the go.

    As a aspiring game developer, I don't see the point in developing for the mobile market. It's too risky, too inflexible to enable the sort of games I want to create, and its audience is toxic and demands everything for free (only to get sucked into free-to-play microtranscation scams).

    To me, despite the ridiculous amount of money going into it, mobile devices are still a novelty when it comes to gaming, not a serious platform for it. You may disagree, but that's how I feel. And that's not going to change without making some fundamental changes to both hardware and the ecosystem which likely won't happen in a long time.

  • Feb 21st, 2018 @ 3:14am

    To be fair, it does seem like the devs might fix this problem.

    The creative director for the game actually responded to a tweet by Hietanen about the ban, complimented him on his work and said he'll look into the issue.

    This might actually encourage the developers to implement a proper photo mode, since the concept is so popular in other games as of late.

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 8:22am

    The TPP won't be ratified in Australia, period.

    Glyn, I think you're neglecting to mention the political conditions here in Australia that would make it extremely difficult if not impossible for the TPP to be ratified. The government barely returned to power with literally just enough seats to claim majority government.

    But that's not the roadblock - it's the Senate. Despite the recent election being a double dissolution intended to rid the government of the crossbench senators (minor parties and independents). Labor and the Greens collectively have enough votes to be a serious blockade without crossbench support for any bill, and the government likely needs roughly 9 crossbench senators, with the two big blocs being the Nick Xenophon Team (decent bloke, somewhat protectionist and really hates gambling) and One Nation (aka Pauline Hanson's racist party, basically our Donald Trump on the racist side of things, the rich business side was Clive Palmer and he didn't last long), and while the crossbench generally hate each other and will be like herding cats (and the Liberals have absolutely no skill in senate negotiation as they have a "born to rule" mindset), they are generally protectionist and will happily take a sledgehammer to trade agreements, the TPP in particular will be the main target in their sights. And neither Labor nor the Greens will support it.

    In other words, even if the US and Japan ratify it, they've lost a vital part of the trade agreement by default, despite the US giving in to demands to limit pharma patent protection and bar Big Tobacco from using the ISDS provisions. I imagine some Republican senators really want to strangle Malcom Turnbull for potentially ruining everything.
  • Mar 20th, 2015 @ 2:43am

    Well, just don't expect 'proper' Nintendo games on smartphones. Or ports. Or old games.

    Sure, it's interesting that they're doing this, but Nintendo have openly stated with this announcement that a) all their smartphone games will be content produced exclusively for smartphones and designed around smartphones, and b) they will not port games made for handhelds/consoles to smartphones. Which will likely include virtual console games.

    So don't expect anything that you'd expect Nintendo to usually make, and expect these games to actively advertise Nintendo's hardware and the 'real' games on them. Which is a fairly sensible move, in my opinion. Nintendo should certainly not be trying to port over old games that were never designed for the limited interface of smartphones. Their smartphone efforts will likely be a 'third pillar' as a supplement to handhelds and consoles.

    And no, they're not developing content for PCs, that's just their new account system (to replace Nintendo Network accounts and Club Nintendo and basically merge them), which can be accessed via PC.
  • Feb 8th, 2015 @ 3:44am

    Actually, Nintendo are pretty much right this time around.

    Let's be frank, smartphones are pretty terrible gaming devices for anything that isn't designed around the use of a touch screen, and Nintendo knows that.

    Putting old Nintendo games on smartphones would be a terrible idea, because the lack of tactile buttons would make them virtually unplayable. Maybe the NES and Gameboy would be doable, but anything more would be pretty much out of the question. There are emulators of various consoles, but I'd be surprised if anyone actually used them for anything other than turn-based RPGs, because that's honestly really the only thing they're good for.

    Really, the lack of proper controls is pretty much the only thing preventing smartphones from becoming a legitimate gaming device. There are special controller add-ons, but those are a niche at best. And the app stores are terrible, not to mention the utterly unhealthy digital market on those things, it's either F2P, or 2-dollar apps at best.

    Nintendo's focus is entirely on its own hardware, and only its own hardware. Microsoft and Sony do the same thing, except they actually make smartphones while Nintendo doesn't. And Nintendo don't need to anything on smartphones, they'd rather release nothing at all rather than a compromised user experience that smartphone ports of their old games would bring.
  • Jul 25th, 2014 @ 12:06pm

    (untitled comment)

    Well, it's a good thing the senate is practically rigged against the government. The opposition only needs Labor, the Greens and three more senators to shoot down anything that comes up to vote. If Palmer United or another three senators give the government the finger, the bill won't pass.

    Palmer United is basically a wild card, though, so who knows what Palmer himself will do. He's a populist, but he's also virtually impossible to predict. Though it's likely that more reliable senators like Xenophon will vote against the bill.
  • Mar 20th, 2014 @ 12:54am

    It's because Tony Abbot is a buffoon.

    That's the long and short of it, really. Labor was opposed to ISDS provision in trade agreements, but the recently-elected Coalition, who have embraced the "the free market can do no wrong" ideology, doesn't care.

    The new government's policies have been nothing but disaster since they came into power.

More comments from Candescence >>

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it