Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nintendo Virtual Console Features needed

Nintendo has seem to upgraded the virtual console experience from the Wii to the WiiU. This being both good and bad. The WiiU current library of VC titles is embaressing to say lightly. With very few non-nintendo games and mostly games that you could have gotten on the Wii's Virtual console. The major improvements are features, and functionality in which nintendo should not only expand in games but features and functionality. I believe if they keep their virtual console emulation software on par or better than the best emulation software out there then there will be no reason for people to use said emulators.

Want to play friends around the world in multiplayer games for n64 & lower pre-existing well then you will need emulation software because nintendo doesn't have it. They don't even have the option for turbo buttons. Granted they did add customization of controls to the virtual console along with a single restore point for each user for each game. hint hint  it would be nice if it did have more.

When you own a massive collection of the Wii's VC you would want your games to transfer over, you do get a extremely low discount on a WiiU version but it is not the same. It would be nice to have all the WiiU virtual console features with all your Wii VC titles.I wouldn't mind the fee so much if it was a one time ordeal for every last Wii VC title I owned, or they just simply kept adding more features one or the other really. Port all Wii VC titles to WiiU (including) or add a lot more features. I really want both but I really doubt Nintendo is listening.

Microsofts Atari Land Fill not-Unearthed.

The problem is where the story is, the story is ET caused the final nail in the coffin for the console North American video game crash of 1983, atari needed all of their copies of the game quickly destroyed because they were not selling. So they supposively destroyed a unknown number of cartages and dumped them in a land fill. The recent "Uneathering" of the Atari Land Fill presented to you by microsoft is one of time wasted. They really only showed 8 possible copies of ET and one of centipede a game that sold well. Think about it a landfill from the 80's could easily hold this many copies from a single retail store dumping their games.
This "unearthing" documentry is hosted by microsoft a company that has repeatively lied just this year. You really need to look at the silverlining here they wanted this story exclusively. They wanted full control over it and wanted to make money big time from it. If it wasn't real they wouldn't make a damn thing off of it and they would have wasted time and plenty of money just doing this.

Still not convinced, well lets look at Microsofts agenda alone in just the last year. Windows 8.1 released, it added in spyware and features that you could turn off for onedrive but it was still DOING regaurdless of your concent. These features include syncing your settings, your history, passwords for networks, homegroups,  a list of every application you have, your file explorer settings, backgrounds, app data, and much much more. If you turn off this in the installation process it is all still on, you have to look through your settings to turn it off and it is still going on. IF you block all microsoft servers with a application like peerblock then you will be greated with a guest account with no permissions and a blank desktop when you login & out, they check for a connection then they check if you can connect to microsofts servers if they find a connection to something like with a basic ping command and not microsoft servers you are entirely locked down. This means they are still doing it even though you turned it off. All of these features being enabled by default regaurdless of what you pick in the installation process is a invasion of privacy and spyware.

Why would you trust a companys word when all they do is lie to their users and spy on everything they do. Yes you can say I am biased against Microsoft and anything they do because they do everything that they do for their own benefits with very little consideration for everyone else involved. They give people a reason to not trust them more than they do to trust them, they are like Edie from ed edd and eddie. Always looking for a way to make more money for more jaw breakers even if it doesn't work by lieing, cheating, and stealing. Not caring about anyone else but themselves  and abusing everyone else for those jaw breakers, jaw breakers being other companies. Which then get them more money.

My major problem with this story is they only showed possibly 8 different cartages shown why waste time and effort just to dump 8 cartages and never disclose this information?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Non-CopyPaste: Ouya Drops Demo Requirements

With many news copypaste sites talking about this, and just stating how much of a fail ouya is instead of looking at the silverling, sites like gameindustry and Gamasutra giving no opinions on the matter and dozens of others just like them doing much of the same, most with very little to actually say other than what was said by Ouya team. I think I will go a different route then just quotes and go over why it was a problem for developers and consumers.


Even with the option of a demo mode there was a lot of problems with the demo mode, for instance how it checks if you own the game was depended on your internet connection. If you had no internet connection, you could not play the full version of any of your games unless developers built something around ouya's DRM. This was a huge problem for gamers, and developers, but news sites wont cover something like this because they don't do research. Half of them reposting the stories I am sure don't even own a ouya.

Developers conflict of interest

Many developers who are putting things out on the ouya want to be able to profit, many of them are either just starting out, moving away from mobile because of issues with mobile gaming, or just simply trying something new to them. With them in the past having to put out these free demo's they would have to work around ouya's framework, they would have to go the extra miles just to get it working. For many developers this was a internal conflict and only pushed some away.

Framework support issues

With additional game engines and additional environment to work in and make ouya games there was a repeative problem of dealing with purchases, and getting them to just even work. With "support" from engines like construct 2 with cocoonjs being problemadic left and right and lack of instore support this became a real problem for developers like myself. I had delayed a game I had improved massively for several months to get problems fixed most of which still arn't. I still have major performance issues do to cocoonjs & construct 2's shotty support. With there being no requirement for free demo's it is literally one less thing to worry about with using engines and different frameworks.

In conclusion the removal of this requirement is one of the best things they could have done, just leave it up to the developers instead of trying something they may not like. For gamers the always online DRM was a living nightmare far worse than the wifi/bluetooth issues. For me it was the smartest thing ouya has done in a long time.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why I don't make anything for apple

Macs Yes and no

With macs I do end up having a build of some of my games in the end product but they usually are not published anywhere except the ones I put out on my websites. In case you havn't noticed the only website I remottely have had in the last year or so is this blog. I use to have a website hosted be serverfree, they were terrible. That is something to go over another day. In the end I haven't been able to find a host that will allow me to code my own website which to me is very important.

The problem with it is I don't own a Mac, I don't know the first place to publish, and the first place probably would not be my interest anyways because it probably would be apple's stores with a insane publishing fee.

I probably could not make the content I would like to get anywhere near any other publishing source either. Most of the time I don't even bother though.

Iphones and why I didn't and probably wont develop for them.

In order to develop for Iphones you need a Mac, a Iphone, and a $99 liceneses.
The cheapest Mac is the mac mini at $599 and for the hardware it is a very big rip off. The cheapest Iphone is iphone4s contract which the cost of the phone just gets added into the monthly cost which you end up spending more on in total. non-Contracted & unlocked its $450 else you will be spending $99 on iphone5s contracted and locked down, in which they charge you more still and oh god if you want that thing non-contracted and unlocked you are talking $549.00 - $649.00. In other words the cost of these devices just to develop is well outside of my means and I would be very lucky to make the money back on just the yearly cost.

Their insane agreements

Apples and microsofts user liceneses agreements on top of their developer agreements along with their software and development software user agreements tend to be some of the most cryptic agreements you can agree to.

They expect no one to read them but everyone to agree to them so they can do what ever they want to them. If half the people took the time to read either I think they would be disterbed and down right feel violated and ripped off.

A lot of people violate the agreements on a daily bases, which can result in law suits with extreme predigest results in favor of the corporation. They fully understand most people don't read before they agree. They design these agreements for the people who even do to just give up. They are designed to make everyone just avoid reading them by refferencing other parts of the document and sometimes other documents you may or may not have access to until you agree to them.

 Often with the flag that they can change the agreement any time they feel like and put anything they feel like into it without needing future permission you agree to those terms automatically.  Often updating the terms in their favor and sueing dozens of unknowning violators. Such as the ablity to re-sale your own devices.

The apple agreements I find down right disterbing and so limited that just trying to do anything I would feel unsafe from doing as it might be deemed trying to do something against the user term, then add 3 more agreements on there and you got the development agreements and that would just be for the mac. Throw another 4 or 5 up there and there is the Iphone along with a contracted phone.

Prices gathered from on 5/4/2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Smart phones are they really the future of gaming?

With the mass market already convinced already bought into the indealisms that smartphone gaming is the future. I am here to tell you that the mass market really isn't interested unless it is free. I am going to be speaking from my own experiences of making mobile games and express why it is a niche market.

Lets start from the beginning, I started out trying to learn the android SDK in order to make simplistic games. I took a course on it at my local community college while trying to finish up a few left over requirements for my degree in computer science. The course was rather easy covering vanilla android sdk, covering XML & the java needed in order to make a game. It was a really simplistic course while getting a lot out of it. After the course was done I was already signed up with publishing apps for google play, chrome, and working on signing up for amazon.

I found out while taking the course that there was a simpler way of doing things with this fancy engine called construct 2. I also found out that microsoft was hosting a event in which I could earn up to 2k if I made 10 apps/games for their phones, and windows 8. Not having a windows 8 phone I took the ladder of the rought with windows 8. I was planning on porting re-releasing the finsihed games to android after words.
After I spent a entire month pumping out game after game for the event. I realized the lack of quality in some of the titles. So I figured I would just port over what ever did best to android.

On windows 8 they have you develop for both desktops, and their tablets. Only one of my apps did any good really, the rest barely made 20 downloads if they were lucky. So I ported over the games I liked instead. This probably due to the fact that the audience I was trying to target wasn't there with these games. I made atari style simplistic games, beating highscores and that is all to them. Sure I added windows 8 sharing features in some of them but it really didn't matter too much. I made the games for the event, and I made games I wanted to play on paper.

After porting to android using cocoonjs I realized they added amazon support, so I tried it and it worked. I tried selling each game at $0.99 cents each... and that is where it went all wrong for me.

The Amazon Abuse

As soon as I began selling on amazon appstore things went wrong. Amazon then closed my payments accounts after those two sales were made on grounds that they could not verify my information with their payments account, even though I used the same information for my Developer account regarding tax information. They closed my account, gave me no response why and told me that they were not going to help me, I tried to contact amazon's support, all the way up the ladder to the CEO himself all of them gave me the same answer. Basically stealing those sales from me. They wouldn't even let me pull my games down from their service so they kept charging people without wanting to pay me, making all of that money and me making nothing off of it because amazon wanted to steal sales from someone they saw as small.

After that I had to make them free because amazon was going to screw me over and the consumers because amazon was working to steal the money between me and them, all of it not a cut we agreed on, all of it. I had to change descriptions of my apps  to inform people what amazon was doing which apparently was the only thing they allowed me to do after closing down my payments account, they locked all of my accounts down in their services from doing basically anything. After enough someone saw it at amazon they pulled down all my apps and sent me a nasty email for informing the people of their abusive measures tors developers.

This was the first sign to me that the mobile gaming industry really isn't good.

Fad Audience

The problem is the largest target audience for mobile gamers only really play the top 10 games on most lists. It is rare to find someone in that audience playing something obscure unless it is very very similar or a free alternative to those popular titles. Like survival craft. This audience really doesn't play the game very long either, usually only for a few weeks at most. Most of the time the people in this audience want something very very simplistic like cut the rope, or angry birds. They hardly ever go out side of the most popular games and really they treat the games like they are fads by themselves but will come back to it when ever their other hipster friends are talking about it. They really are hard to make games for so don't even bother trying.

These people are not buying games, they are downloading them from pirating websites, or playing free alternatives usually. There really is only a small amount of them playing the orignal titles, if you make clones then you might be in some luck as long as it is free with ads. Ads are the only way people are making money on this platform really. It is why companies like EA only have a few games out most of them doing terrible. This is equal to the flash games you saw last decade basically. The only games you see people buying is the very popular titles sold at $0.99 to $2.99 but that $2.99 better be like angry birds or else you will never see the end of the complaints.

This is the audience I tried to target with most of my games, only one of them actually has anything above 100 downloads on google play and that was after I made them for free.

The Paid reviewers

Since day 1 of me publishing those apps on google play & amazon I have recieved email after email of reviewers claiming to get me a larger audience. Claiming if I pay them X amount of money I will get X amount of downloads and a "Good review" other wise they will give me a "bad review". In other words blackmail, and this isn't something that is just a small bunch of people. This is a accepted practice by many, in order to get your apps remotely noticed in the systems you have to either 1. have paid advertising for them, 2. be lucky, or 3. have a product that makes everyone talk about which usually involves 1 or 2. SEO also matters in the title but not as much as the number of downloads.

If you want to make a game don't target the fads, target the audiences that stay, look for the people who are willing to pay and look at their needs to get them to pay instead of trying to target the mass market or average joe. Don't blantly copy old ideas they don't work usually and a lot of these phone gaming companies are sue crazy like the makers of candy crush. Which I might get a legal notice about name dropping something they attempted to trade mark every word of every game so they can sue everyone who uses the word candy, or crush on their own even.

So in other words to sum it all up, making mobile games only the richest, and most marketed games really can survive it along with that it is not a good idea to make a game for a audience with the attention span of a fly.

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