Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble Volume 3 Issue 7

At this point, the comics went from just having comics to having various articles interspersed throughout, becoming a full-fledged gaming magazine. The Bundles have mostly comics but have other things, such as funny fake ads for Hard Eight products. Also, the stories have become denser. This requires a change in the format of these reviews. I will give the summary, then give my thoughts on each individual story.

Issue 7 – The Dice Man Cometh

Five Green Towels – the Knights grab everything from a dungeon that isn’t nailed down and split up the goods, and Brian takes advantage of the situation. Again we see how Brian treats life like a zero-sum game. He wrote down everything they collected in the dungeon in large letters, but the stuff he wanted for himself was in very small letters so no one would notice. It’s humorous, but it’s kinda sad that he would do this to his only friends.

A Call for Heroes – the Knights head for the city of Krandaneer, where they save the city from a joyous event. Here we run into humor that may be problematic for some. Obviously humor is subjective, and I found the jokes here funny, but some may find that the Knights using a female NPC like a pack mule and making her wear a chainmail bra and leather thong so no one would know she was a princess would probably not find that funny. 

The Lord of Steam – Nitro Fergueson makes his first appearance, replacing B.A. as guest gamemaster with his own home-brewed adventure. Here we see how big he is, and how lucky Bob wasn’t totally destroyed by this guy. And we also see how he runs his adventures, which is completely off the rails. We will see more of this when his RPG group, the Black Hands make their appearance in the comic.

The Boy Could Play – the Knights reminisce about Johnny Kizinski. This was a big reason why I never described this early member of the Knights. This comic does a pretty good job of doing that for me.

Brian’s Challenge – Brian challenges Rotgut the dragon to a wine-tasting contest, Brian slips the dragon a polymorph-to-insect potion, and the dragon gets stomped on (literally). This was really funny. If I thought for one second this would work on any roleplay session, I would have used this tactic long ago.

Armload of Trouble – a trap lowers the fighting power of Bob and Dave by half, but moves Sara and Brian up several tax brackets. I love the fact that a simple trap can lay low even the greatest of player characters if they’re not careful. And this is all played straight. There’s no cheating on B.A.’s part. Just lack of control on Bob and Dave’s part. This is a game session done right.

Coward of the County - an NPC torch-bearer calls out the Knights’ cowardice, and the town of Fern Forks pays the price. I like the humor in this comic, but there’s no getting around the fact that B.A. basically goaded Bob, Dave and Brian into wiping out the entire town and its inhabitants. But let’s not forget that their reaction to the situation was excessive, to the point that Sara thinks solo adventures are looking pretty good.

Best Line:  I am the Walrus!! I am the Dice-man!! Koo-Koo-Ka-Choo!! – Nitro Fergueson

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Road Less Traveled Moment

I read an editorial in Knights of the Dinner Table about how a person rolled up bad stats for a character in a D&D game and was about to reroll, when he had what he called a "road less traveled" moment. Instead of rerolling, he kept the character and wrote in his biography "He is a coward". In his words, his character was mortal and damn well knew it. When a fight happened, he would drop his sword and run away, and would only come back when the fight was over and the spoils would be divided. Despite this, the other players liked this character. 

I had a similar moment in Skyrim. I installed a mod that changed the standard beginning of the game (you're a prisoner about to be executed) into just dropping you into a random spot in the world and beginning the game from there. Well, after choosing my character, I was dropped into a dungeon with no way out. I was trapped, and had to go through the dungeon to get out. Along the way I saw the body of a woman. I started my character's backstory there. I was the last survivor of an expedition through the dungeon. After fighting some undead, I found about 10 to 15 bottles of wine. Right there, I had my road less traveled moment. My character was traumatized from his experience and became an alcoholic. He will pick up every wine bottle and, after going through each main and side quest, go home, read through the books he collects, and drink himself into a stupor every night. 

I told this to my girlfriend, and she asked me a good question: After learning how important he is as the Dragonborn, will my character shake off the alcoholism right away, or do I, as a player, personally hope my character will shake off his alcoholism as part of his character development? 

I am choosing option 2. I hope he will shake it off eventually, but I will roleplay him as honestly and realistically as I can, and if he can't shake it off eventually, he probably never will. 

We'll see. If anyone is interested as to how this plays out, ask me in the comments below.

Friday, January 22, 2016

SuperDefense

At io9, there's an article about Zac Snyder defends his ending in the movie Man of Steel. Here's the link:

http://io9.gizmodo.com/zack-snyder-will-defend-man-of-steels-miserable-ending-1754485965

I use this article, and the following video, as a foundation for the points I will make later, so read the above, and watch this:



I get where Zack Snyder is coming from, and the article makes some good points as to why he's doing so, but I'm going to agree with a LOT of people that the ending to Man of Steel didn't work, because Superman caused a lot of damage, and because he killed Zod. Now, let's look at the 2 usual defenses people bring up about why the Man of Steel ending was good:

1) The Avengers had a bunch of people, while Superman was just one guy. You can't expect him to save people AND defeat Zod!
2) Superman was just starting out. He didn't know his powers, and the limits to those powers completely.

Actually, yes I CAN expect Superman to do both things at once! As Moviebob said in the above video, the only point to Superman, even a Superman just starting out his superhero career, is that he can do ANYTHING. He has superspeed, superstrength, and invulnerability. In every piece of media we've ever seen (print, TV, even previous movies) not only can he do both at the same time, he's willing to do both at the same time, because protecting humanity is his mission statement. In Man of Steel, he COULD do both. There's nothing in the movie that says he couldn't do both. He just DIDN'T, not even sequentially. He didn't bother to save civilians, and THEN defeat Zod, or the other way around. On that note, why din't he care about civilians? He focused on punching Zod a lot. The only time he did care was when Zod was about to laser-eye a family to death. That's when Superman does the whole neck-snapping thing. Oh, NOW you care about civilians, Superman? That's when a lot of people were confused, I'm sure. Superman didn't care until then, so WHY does he care now?


Anyway, that's my take on the whole thing. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments.


Best Comment Ever (This Week)

At Birth.Movies.Death.com, there was an article about a Die Hard prequel movie by Scott Wampler. He posits that this may not be the best idea in the world, to put it mildly. The best comment ever (this week) came from Jams:

"If this movie isn't called 'Old Habits Die Hard', I don't even know"

Funny, but dammit internet, what have I told you about giving Hollywood ideas? There's a good chance they'll use this!

Here's the link:

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/01/21/heres-the-first-not-very-encouraging-details-regarding-the-plot-of-that-die

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

All Eyes On: Moviebob

The purpose of the All Eyes On section is to expose my readers to other blogs that might be interesting. Today it's Bob "Moviebob" Chipman's turn. He is ostensibly a movie critic (and a good one) but he is also a nerd with a wide range of interests (Nintendo, comics, etc). But he comes off a few times as extremely liberal (even though, by his own admission, his political affiliation is "Whatever benefits me the most"). That rubs some people the wrong way. But he makes no apologies, and I can respect that. In any event, he is very interesting to me, and I enjoy his columns and videos. 

Here is the link to his blog:
http://moviebob.blogspot.com/

And look up his videos on youtube. He has A LOT, so there's plenty of content to go through. Here's a sample:


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Knights of the Dinner Table Volume 2 Issue 6

Issue 6: Plays Well with Others

Luck of the Macaw – the Knights play HackBeard, the RPG about piracy on the high seas. B.A. Felton’s failure to railroad his players into his prepared adventure leads him to trick the Knights. Bob’s macaw Half-Pint gets lots of words in edge-wise.

Can We Talk? – the Knights kill the only person who knows where the end of the quest lies, but Sara beats the odds (or so she thinks).

Wherever You Go, There You Are – The Knights’ greatest enemy is Dave’s mapping skills.

Silver Things Upon His Chest – Brian’s medals provide the Knights with a way to boost their gaming status (and egos).

The Safety Lecture – B.A.’s lecture about player absenteeism leads to a story about Bob and his fight with Victor “Nitro” Fergueson.

The Great Intervention – Brian’s girlfriend, Alexis Marie, sounds too good to be true.

Carvin’ Marvin – Here we see the initial members of the Knights. B.A. is GM (after replacing Brian), Bob, Brian and Johnny Kizinski are players, and Dave just recently joined. His wish for a “big-ass sword” leads to the group questing for an intelligent sword with a bad attitude.


When reading The Great Intervention I actually felt for Brian. Here he is, a nerd with almost no social skills and no life outside the Knights (we see more of this later on) and so lonely he made up a girlfriend just to ease his loneliness. It goes too far when he tries to include the Knights into this reality he built for himself. I’ve come close to doing this myself when I was young and had no friends, so I understand. Otherwise, most of the other stories are members of the Knights again undermining the group’s collective efforts in their adventures. But the Safety Lecture story is an oddity. Here Bob’s high-strung nature and love of his dice combine to form a violent personality. Sure the violence is the funny bit and these are comic book characters, but like I said, I do begin to care about these characters. So I must think harder about the kind of people the Knights are. And Bob is like 2 or 3 steps away from that William Foster character in the movie Falling Down. At least that’s what it seems like to me (and to be fair, the more about his life we learn, the more his actions become understandable). 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why Writing?

How many writers wrote the story for Mass Effect 1? Including the lead writer, 5.

How many writers wrote the story for Mass Effect 2? Including the lead writers, 10.

How many writers wrote the story for Mass Effect 3? Including the lead writer, 9.


Much has been written about the Mass Effect series'  stories. I will not reiterate them here. What I will focus on is the fact that there are stories in these games at all. When EA acquired Bioware, the intention was to make money off their intellectual properties and their reputation. This is understandable (from their point of view) but it has resulted in the loss of some of Bioware's reputation. Only the future knows if Mass Effect: Andromeda can save Bioware's reputation. Part of this reputation was built on the strength of their writing. Jade Empire, Mass Effect 1, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age. All great stories. All these games speak to their mastery of storytelling. Still, when failures like the ending to Mass Effect 3 is brought up, defenders say that the story doesn't matter. Those people don't think that argument through, however. If the story doesn't matter to gamers, then writers don't matter to EA, and the writers at Bioware would have been fired a long time ago. EA could hire a bunch of hacks to bang out a generic storyline for these games for one-third the salaries of the Bioware writers. But they didn't. Ea apparantly believes there's still value in good storytelling, at least from Bioware, and if a greedy corporation knows this, then surely gamers should know this too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Knights of the Dinner Table Volume 2 Issue 5

Issue 5: Master of the Game

Spaced Out – the Knights play SpaceHack, the sci-fi RPG. B.A.’s lack of scientific knowledge crashes against Brian’s rules-lawyering.

Conquer and Deny – the Knights play the board game Risque (a Risk riff) with nuclear weapons, shaky alliances and Sara’s tactical genius coming to the fore.

Beating the Odds – B.A. tells the story of Tar Markvar, an average PC with average stats, which sails over the Knights’ power-gaming heads.

Can’t Buy Me Luck – Bob’s bad luck at dice-rolling prompts the Knights to do a dice-purging.

Agent of Evil!! – The power of the Hand of Vectra tempts the Knights into a hand chopping contest, and only Sara can save them.



For my money, this issue is one of the funniest ever. B.A.’s fear of losing control over his SpaceHack game comes to the point that he completely ignores basic science. Sara proves that when given the chance, she’s smarter than the other Knights. As for Agent of Evil, after the comic there is a story about the Head of Vecna. Long story short, the DM tricked half the party into chopping off their heads so they can gain the power of the Head of Vecna (which turned out to be fake). I ran a similar campaign, and tricked one PC into doing just that. It was hilarious. Boy, did the group hate me, though they laughed it off soon afterward. Also, no one loves dice more than me, so I have a bad-luck cleansing ritual of my own, involving burning sage under the light of a full moon. A lot of my love of playing RPGs with friends is reflected here in this issue.

DOOMSDAY!!!

Zack Snyder hinted at a larger mythology for Doomsday in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie (a title which, for my money, is no longer the silliest thing about this film). 

The director said that we have Doomsday, who didn't just crawl out of the ground, he has his own mythology, and that has to be explored. He hastened to add that now that Doomsday is introduced, audiences need to think about a bigger world, and that just because he's introduced in this movie, doesn't mean we know everything about what the movie will be about.

Okay, I have some thoughts about this. But honesty demands that I tell you where I'm coming from with this, so, upfront, let me say the following things:

1) I know a lot about comics and comic book characters, both DC and Marvel, and what I don't know I can look up on the internet and get a mostly correct answer, since comic book continuity is one of the most meticulous ever made by fans, even when compared to other intellectual property like Star Wars or Star Trek.

2) I know something about writing in general, though obviously not everything. But I know enough to see where a story hangs together despite plot holes or other mistakes, and I can see the failure points where the story collapses and sends me flying out into the real world. And yes, this knowledge extends beyond just skimming the TV Tropes page. 

3) I know what works for me, not for everybody. These are opinions, not fact (though I can use fact to base my opinions on). So agree with me, or don't. In fact, I rather you didn't agree with me. If our opposing ideas couldn't be hashed out in the court of public opinion, how can either of us know our ideas have merit?

Now that's settled, here's my take on all this.

Doomsday's inclusion in the movie is a HUGE deal. He's only done ONE thing that made him famous, and now Zack Snyder is telling us that just because he's here, we DON'T know everything about the movie? That means that Doomsday WON'T kill Superman by the end of the movie? That's somehow MORE stupid than killing Superman by the end of the movie. 

What I was given to understand was that Luthor clones Doomsday from Zod's body, Doomsday kills Superman, the rest of the heroes kill Doomsday, and honors Superman's memory by forming the Justice League. Okay, it's a stupid way to go, in my opinion, but if that's the way they're gonna go, I have to respect that. 

But now, from Zack Snyder's statements, he's trying to walk back that perception, and hint at a larger mythology for Doomsday, and that we don't know what the movie will be about. This means that you're bringing in Doomsday, and NOT HAVE HIM DO THE ONE THING HE'S FAMOUS FOR?

The only way for this to work is the following scenario: Luthor clones Doomsday from Zod's body, Doomsday gets his butt kicked by Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, and just before he's destroyed, Doomsday's teleported by some mysterious being who will use him for a future movie appearance to wreak havok (I have some ideas, okay ONE idea, who the mysterious being will be, but lets not cloud the issue). In any case, this blunts Doomsday's menace to the point where he shouldn't have shown up at all. The reason to use Doomsday at all is to show that there are menaces and dangerous beings that one hero can't handle alone. This gives the reason for the Justice League to exist. If the main heroes could kick Doomsday's butt easily enough so that he needs rescuing, then where's the danger? Where's the menace? What is the point? This scenario is more stupid than killing Superman outright, story-wise.

That's my take on all this. Feel free to disagree in the comments.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Non-Tranformative

So Michael Bay is directing Transformers 5. It would be soooooo easy to bash him on this, but really, I think the man is a genius. He's made 4 Transformers films that have almost nothing to do with the source material, and on top of that, have questionable morals and an absurd preponderance of explosions. 

But somehow, people go see them. They make money. Enough to justify continuing to make them, but only if Michael Bay keeps directing them. This is a smart move. 

Something he does keeps people watching this crap, and I've talked to plenty of fans of the movies. Not one of them could tell me why they like his Transformers movies. 

Props to Michael Bay. The man is a true supervillain. No one can stop him. Not critics, not bad reviews, not even common sense. 

Certainly I can't. So if you enjoy the prospect of a new Transformers movie, then enjoy. I'm kinda envious, and wish I could look forward to this with the same joy you are. 
Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundle of Trouble Volume 2

This set collects issues 4 through 6. It is here that Jolly R. Blackburn and the KoDT Development Team began to branch out and do different narratives for not only their main characters, but the supporting cast (some of whom are still only mentioned and not shown, and others who are shown, but so far have no direct impact on the Knights’ world yet). We are introduced to “Weird Pete” Ashton and his store, the Games Pit. We are shown the company that makes Hackmaster and all the other roleplaying products that the Knights use, Hard 8 Enterprises; and the hard-working “geniuses” that work there. They are:

Gary Jackson – the president of Hard 8 (and yes, he is meant to be named after Gary Gygax & Steve Jackson)

Edmund Finley – the Director of Research & Development

Jo Jo Zeke – he writes most of the flavor text for Hackmaster and crunches the rules to see if they work

Pete Skipowski – worked with Gary since the beginning, but his projects have been overshadowed

“Waco” Bob Forsey – runs the playtesting department

Issue 4: Have Dice Will Travel
The Streets of Muskeegie – the Knights play frontier outlaws in the Cattlepunk RPG. Their eternal enemy, Red “Gurdy” Pickens is introduced. Bob and Dave end up in jail, Sara gets rich, and Brian uses a satchel full of nitroglycerin to kill Red Pickens (and the town of Muskeegie).

The Old Guard Strikes Back – Weird Pete replaces B.A. as gamemaster, and the Knights must save Garweeze World (the default setting for Hackmaster) from godly destruction by making friends with foes they have killed in other campaigns. Will the heroes prove their mettle, or fail utterly?

The Gawd Complex – Bob’s 1st level character inherits a powerful artifact from a dead relative. B.A. takes issue with this game imbalance and takes steps to deal with the problem.

The Gary Jackson Files – the comic shifts to Hard Eight Enterprises, where Gary Jackson threatens layoffs if their next product doesn’t sell. Will refrigerator boxes be in the employees’ future, or can they knock Abe, Babes and Rollerblades out of the park?

Temptation of the Ring – Bob can’t help but steal Brian’s ring. Brian exacts a horrible vengeance.

Uh..Where was I? – Irrelevant chatter slows down the game.

A Hole Lot of Trouble – a portable hole filled with swag is obtained by the Knights.

Detour Down Memory Lane – the Knights remember an epic battle with finger-pointing and chest-thumping instead of camaraderie and nostalgia.

This issue goes broader and deeper into the Knights’ world. B.A. shows himself to be a gamemaster who treats his players like the enemy, and the Knights (with sometime exception of Sara) push back, though most of their efforts are hampered by inter-party antics. This sets up the dynamic where a lot of the humor in this series is born from (though in the future this dynamic goes away). A lot of the humor also stems from Bob’s high-strung nature, Dave’s insecurity about his importance in the group, Sara’s attempt to lead the Knights down the path of Lawful Good, Brian’s total disregard for other people’s feelings, and B.A.’s tendency toward railroading the players, instead of allowing them freedom to do their own thing from time to time. As a personal aside, I’ve been the guy in my gaming group who derails the game with irrelevant chatter. I’ve worked hard to tone it down, but I have Dave’s insecurity of my importance within the gaming group. So I must grab attention when I can. I’ve matured enough to not be as bad as I was before.

Best Line: I’m having trouble hearing you down here Pete. By the way, what’s your preference? Maytag, Kenmore, or Frigidaire? – Gary Jackson

Game Idea (from The Old Guard Strikes Back) – Some gods want to destroy the world and start over, but other gods feel that the world deserves a second chance. They choose the PCs to be the saviors of the world. In order to save the world, each PC must make friends with five of the enemies they’ve slain in previous campaigns, to show there is goodness in the world.  The PCs cannot initiate combat (or the world is destroyed) but they can defend themselves. This could be an opportunity for great roleplaying, and a reminder that sometimes player characters can’t kill indiscriminately. 

Tripping (Over) the Rift

So, people are frothing at the mouth over the $599 price tag over the Oculus Rift, but, oddly enough, the company has reported better than expected preorder numbers for the Oculus Rift.

While I wish the Oculus Rift well, and hope this makes virtual reality take off, let me say something to everyone fainting over the price of the Oculus Rift: wait.

That's right. Wait. That's all you have to do. Historically, whenever a new technology rolls out, it will always be expensive. For example:

Initial price of a VCR  in 1977 - $1,280
Initial price of a blu-ray player in 2006 - $1,000
Initial price of  flat-screen TV in 1997 - $15,000

and so on.

The people who preordered the Oculus Rift? They are paying a premium for early adoption and access to this technology. You, however, can trade time for potential cash savings. In fact, given that you can get any of the aforementioned devices for only hundreds of dollars (and less), you're guaranteed savings. Also, if you wait, not only will the Rift be cheaper, but it will work better when all the bugs are ironed out. 

As for the early adopters who feel that they're being cheated because they paid a larger price while everyone else got a cheaper, better product, here's an idea: stop being an early adopter. 

For the record, I haven't bought anything electronic (including games) when it first came out. 2 years is my self-imposed wait period (with the exception of the Witcher 3, because, well, see my post on Apples and Oranges for the answer).

Monday, January 11, 2016

Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundle of Trouble Volume 1

This comic is awesome to me. It follows the antics of a gaming group calling themselves the Knights of the Dinner Table. They play Hackmaster (a riff on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition). Our cast of characters at this point include B.A. Felton (the gamemaster), Bob Herzog (a high-strung power player), Dave Bozwell (a more relaxed power player), Brian VanHoose (rules lawyer), and Sara Felton (cousin to B.A. and a roleplayer; that is, she's the one that would rather converse with NPC's rather than kill them, as the rest of the group tend to do). 

What I intend to do is to review the entire series, It has been in print (and now PDF) for 25 years, and in the process the writers have turned these characters from gaming tropes into fully realized characters. This comic started in Shadis (a gaming magazine) and was created by Jolly R. Blackburn. The art is really basic, just talking heads in front of a static background. But as the series goes on, other writers help out, and more artwork is placed in the background. More characters are created over time, and a whole world is fleshed out. 

For now, we will start with issues 1 - 3, which was collected and printed in Bundle of Trouble Volume 1. In the first issue we are introduced to the characters and their personalities, which are stock gaming tropes, but the jokes are really funny. In one story the players (Dave, Bob & Brian) are fighting a gazebo, thinking it's a creature. In another story the Knights are playing Farmer: the RPG, where the players are medieval farmers trying (and failing) to grow crops. It's here where we first see Brian's tendency to grief the other players to get ahead. 

In issue 2, we meet Sara and find out she would rather roleplay than fight. Dave, seeing her success at parlaying, tries the same thing on a dragon, parlaying this way: give us half your hoard and I won't kill you. The result is predictably hilarious. In another story Dave gets easily sidetracked into thinking a cow is magical (mostly thanks to B.A. getting frustrated with Dave's actions). The group also plays Spell-Jacked (a Magic the Gathering riff) and get sucked into a vortex of addiction.

In issue 3, B.A. goes to a GM conference, leaving the group to play with Victor "Nitro" Furgeson, who takes them through an adventure based on the movie Deliverence. In another story, B.A. uses a home-brewed critical hit/miss table that results in the whole party being killed from Dave's character trying to hit a monster and missing. The group reacts negatively, to say the least. A couple of more stories revolve around Brian hilariously rules-lawyering his way out of tough situations.

The jokes used in this first Bundle of Trouble are predictable, but done differently enough to remain fresh and funny. Do they all land successfully? Definitely not, but enough personality is injected into the characters that you begin to feel for B.A. as the players roll right over him, or for the group as B.A. tries unsuccessfully to try new systems of roleplaying and it blows up in Brian, Dave, Sara & Bob's faces simply because of gamemaster incompetence. 

Best Line(s): 

Bob: Five bucks, Brian. Don't kill B.A. or anything, just make his legs bend the wrong way.
Dave: I'll throw in an extra ten dollars if you make B.A. sound like Carol Channing.

    

All Eyes On: Twenty-sided

This blog is run by Shamus Young. In here he (and his small circle of friends) do Let's Plays, game analysis, podcasts, comics, even a book or two. It contains an amazing amount of interesting content. If you're into video games, this is the blog for you. For instance, Shamus is currently halfway through a Mass Effect series Retrospective. It details all the good, all the bad, and why (in his opinion) it all goes wrong by the end. You may not agree with his opinions, and that's fine. But you can't say he isn't thorough. 

Here's the link:
http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/

Apples to Oranges

My intent was to post a comparison between how much The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt cost to make and market, and how much profit it made, and how much EA's Star Wars: Battlefront cost to make and market, and how much profit this game made.

The problem I immediately ran into was the economic conditions in Poland vs. the conditions here in America. Polish game developers make only a third of the monthly salary an American game developer makes. Same with production costs, office space and all manner of tools and talent in Poland when compared with America, and in fact the gap may be larger than that.

So the comparison would have been like comparing, well, apples to oranges.

Now, I like the Witcher 3. I've plaved Witcher 1 & 2, so CDProjektRed built consumer trust in me, so I bought the latest Witcher game without a moment's hesitation, and judging from what little I played, and the reviews that came in, it was a wise purchase. 

Star Wars: Battlefront, on the other hand, was made by EA. What has been their track record for video games? Mass Effect 3 (which I actually enjoyed until the last 30 minutes of the game). SimCity Online (which was such a buggy mess that a lot of people couldn't even play it until 2 months later). Battlefield Hardline (a completely barebones version of Battlefield 4; so lacking in content it probably should have qualified as DLC). 

So, no consumer trust there. No reason for me to buy any games from them immediately (or, indeed, at all). 

There's your comparison. Which development company built consumer trust better? 

I welcome all comments (especially those that prove me wrong). I promise I will read as many as I can.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lack of Motivation

For the past 6 years I've been losing motivation to play video games. It used to be one of my greatest passions, but that passion has lessened. I tried to figure out why: maybe games have become boring, maybe I've become more mature, perhaps I've decided some things are more important. None of those reasons seem to fit though. I really don't want to lose that passion, but it's become more apparent this is a continuing trend. Has anyone else felt this? If so, have you solved the problem? Please let me know in the comments.

Monday, January 4, 2016

All Eyes On: Bonnie Bon Bento

A feature I want to do on my blog is to draw attention to other people's blogs because they're either important, informative, or simply different enough to warrant attention. This one is certainly different, and it's called Bonnie Bon Bento. Here, the blogger posts lunches made to fit into japanese bento boxes. These include recipes, how to plan lunches, and pictures of the results. My mouth is watering just looking at them. Anyway here is the link:

http://www.bonniebonbento.com/


I hope you enjoy it.

An Open Letter to the Games Industry

It is the year 2016, and I believe it's time to start this blog. I have been struggling with what to say, but a family member told me to simply start blogging. His reasoning was that if I have a voice, it should be heard, and if it is similar to other's thoughts, it will be heard. So here goes.

Dear Triple A Games Industry, stop doing the following:

1. Micro-transactions in full-price games. This belongs in mobile games.

2. Spending too much money on graphics. They are as good as they're ever going to get, barring holodeck technology. 

3. Season Passes. I will not spend money on wishes and dreams, only on real, finished products.

4. DLC that has obviously been cut from the main game to be sold to us later.

5. Releasing games that are in a shoddy, buggy unplayable state (looking at you, Assassin's Creed: Unity & Arkham Knight).

6. Blaming customers for your bad business decisions. Take responsibility for your mistakes.

7. Lying to your customers. If a game trailer uses in-game graphics, show us the actual in-game graphics, not trailers that have been doctored to look better than it actually is.

8. Chasing trends. Set the trends, don't imitate what seems to be the most popular thing.

9. Treating your customers like the enemy. We are not your enemy. Some of us love what you do. Half the battle is won already in that case. Simply treat us like a paying customer and the battle for     our loyalty will be completely won.

10. Thinking you are entitled to our loyalty or money. Work to earn our loyalty/money.