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Sometimes, alphafunding and crowdfunding just seems to be badly overrated these days. Why, you would ask. Personally, thinking of these major reasons:

1. Crowdfunding basically works like debt; you ask gamers to fund your game first, but you receive money in advance rather than invest your own funds in making a product and then getting paid for (profitting from) it after it is all finalised and released.


2. Alpha-funding is paying for partially finished games. Pros? You get at least some part of the game you paid for, so it cannot really turn full vaporware on you. Cons? Developers can take it in direction you do not want it taken, vide Godus that became a mobile game without any warning or consideration for PC gamers, or suddenly jump from the alpha version to the "final" version without any actual polishing done, for instance Reign of Kings or Life is Feudal.


3. Crowdfunding is also sometimes used to rip gamers off and milk them as much as possible. Never occurred? It did actually: the infamous work of digital interactive gaming art, Planetary Annihilation, is the "finest" example of this behaviour. The first editions of Planetary Annihilation were so overpriced that the ripped-off backers are still fuming about it.


4. Alpha-fund limbo; yes, games developed for so many years it becomes increasingly doubtful whether they will be fully released at all - or just wanna beat Duke Nukem in terms of secret or imaginary development time. Godus comes to mind again, in this regard, as the completion meter of Godus does not go forward anymore. On a side note, there is also Overgrowth, which is still actively developed, yet its development time is around 8 years which probably can make your head spin when it comes to think about it. As you can see, sometimes alpha-fund developers can take their sweet time completing their game, just because they are too insecure or too greedy to hire a few additional staff members to make it come along substantially faster.


It just feels like more and more developers hide behind the indie buzzword just to deliver shitty games and stop caring about bugs or final quality, never feeling responsible for their "indie" works or being aware that their games are actually products that are supposed to possess some decent quality, or use crowd/early access campaigns in an ultra scammy manner ending up with some good yet really badly marketed game.

Focusing on more than just negativity of alphafunding/crowdfunding, there still seem to be some great gems out there that are shining brightly, such as Space Engineers, Medieval Engineers, and Kenshi. Speaking of non-indies, e.g. Pillars of Eternity crowdfunding campaign also delivered what it promised and received great community reviews. So the point of crowdfunding/alphafunding games is not entirely lost... not yet at least.

Seems like the C&C series is dead indeed. Mostly because of the three C&C titles that have been totally botched up during the last painful spasm of the franchise.

1) Tiberium: suffered huge delays; the development team took the money but never delivered anything except a demo; its management team had to be at fault, some rumours were circulating talking about e.g. how artists were playing web games instead of working on new assets.

2) C&C4: well, everyone knows its story. C&C4 is hardly a C&C title - it is merely an RTT game set in the tiberium universe, with exceedingly awful DRM (thank you EA for punishing your legitimate customers /sarcasm); perhaps failed due to community management and bad polls conveyed = extremely bad communication between developers and the community.

3) Yes, excruciatingly disappointing Free To Play C&C which most likely would turn out to be yet another Pay To Win (or DLC bonanza) game anyway. This one could be (and was supposed to be) a proper retail-style Generals 2 with one nice polished x-pack, not FTP(P2W/DLC) pseudo-marketing trickster's crap.

So sadly, the old era of C&C came to a horrifying end. Whether there is hope for the series or not... it remains to be seen.

Well, there are still some hopes and rumours around Gospelherald.com (newer) Gamerant.com (old) Uk.ign.com (older) that it may be only dormant and the franchise can be revived sooner or later, but knowing EA (and how the EA team deals with titles that cannot be sufficiently milked and developers easily left disgraced), would not keep high hopes for that. Not soon at any rate...

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PS By the way, not sure if WarCraft 4 or Age of Empires IV ever sees the light of day. One of the Microsoft's studios was rumoured to work on an RTS title (which turned out to be Halo Wars 2) so not expecting AoE IV anytime soon either. WarCraft 4... may be likely, but Blizzard was worryingly quiet about this one.

As people were casually asking, well, game dev* goes at a snail's speed (at a mad speed compared to the previous year thou), everything else is snafu or so-so as usual. Constantly getting sidetracked too.

Nothing left to say here. :-)

Didn't someone already said that actions speak louder than words?

And PS the previous blog post is just a load of judgmental crap so you have nothing to lose if you ignore it.

This blog post was inspired by What is the most beautiful game you've ever played? thread.

Gameplay vs graphics vs plot/story

Which of these is the most important part of a video game? Gameplay? Graphics? Plot, story?

Actually it's an evasive, inaccurate question: importance means nothing here since it's just a highly opiniated personal feeling, it's rather what you focus on in the short run, at a first glance, and what you focus on in the long run, after playing a specific game tens/hundreds of times - especially if you had many "returns", "breaks" and "disengagements".

So what do you focus on before buying, when playing a game? In the short, long run?

Focusing here on:
1) game graphics, or rather the feel of graphics, the style of graphics
2) story
3) and in the long run, many years after the last play... game plot/story again

Well, actually focusing on the game genre first - mainly plaing RTS/RPGs and action "RPGs"/"adventures" (GTA, Saints Row) so that's the real first ninja-thing on the list here.

1. Game graphics vs graphics style?
The question itself begs the question, does it?

Why divide it into game graphics and graphics style all of a sudden? Answers are simple, they begin with "Minecraft" and the "integral part of the game or the gameplay". As a developer noticed here in this thread, there is a huge difference between intentional "bad" graphics and unintentional bad graphics.

Intentional "bad" graphics:
- pixel art
- 2D (or pseudo-2D, some games such as old C&C games mainly use 2D sprites, 3D voxels and the 3D projection, so they are 2D-looking 3D games, 2.5D games)
- text-based

"bad" graphics" which are not "bad" at all, they can only look bad to some people - at least to as few as possible, hopefully. The classic example is Minecraft. The other example is all other pixel art games - where pixelart is not only spotlighted as the main exterior feature but also mastered to perfection.

Unintentional "bad" graphics caused by
- developer's intentional or unintentional omittance, such as a low res texture in place of a high res one
- hardware limits (especially true for many "ancient" 3D games)
- and many other factors, such as time/financial constraints of a developer, etc.

So yes, definitely the graphics style here. It's whether developers succeed at perfecting their style, no matter the style.

Yes yes unfortunately looking at the graphics first when buying a game. The superficial graphics, the fakes. The shallow, banal, repeatable, empty side of the game.

Wouldn't play pixelly-3D Warcraft III, eye-candy Age of Empires III, unhandlable GTA III or tradition-breaking (GUI in the "wrong" place, crawling 3D-only graphics) C&C Generals for their graphics or their graphics style. Gameplay (features, balance, learning curve, non-story missions/challenges, general playability etc) maybe, but definitely not graphics.

Baldur's Gate, needed only a highres/widescreen mod + GUI correction:

High Hedge Friendly Arm Inn

^- no need for any retexture mods at all, after so many years. Originally released back in 1998, that makes Baldur's Gate about 15 years old.

2. and 3. Story?
Yes, the story, the plot, the characters-relationships-and-shit-is-happening-and-someone-has-to-do-something.

That's what... tries, keeps, forces? to return to the game, even after many years. (Yes Baldur's Gates, Icewind Dales, Fallouts looking right at you!)

If a game doesn't have any story - that's bad, since then only gameplay counts, instead of a story. Game balance and gameplay flaws (game breakers, both major and minor tangible nonfeatures) destroy the experience pretty hard. Can't play something that has nothing redeemable (ie a storyline to walk "on" or through and finish) about it to buy it out of its fake-centered misery.

IMHO, neither graphics nor gameplay gives a degree of depth to a game. Not even an ounce. But they are things that make video games immensely interactive, make them different from e.g. books or films. Yes there exist game books - but they are - as the name suggests - game books. Only the plot, the story element is something shared between videogames, books and films.

And as the concept suggests, the story is what acting, voice acting, dialogues convey and it's much less about action, which in moderate quantities serve to intensify experience instead of covering or diminishing the story. To be sincere, it's not always true - some bloodthirsty combat-ridden classics such as Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale have lots and lots of enemies and opponents to overcome or simply send away packing from the world (to another miserable life in another video game world most likely) still manage to keep players returning to the game because of the usually world-crashing ultrachallenging story. Maybe because gamers ignore all the blood, combat and only remember the story itself? (Which probably gets sucked in by the long term memory.)
Can never know.

Ah, the last thing. The hard-hitting-in-the-face fragment of stories.

It's the revelation of the centrepiece of the story - the person, the thing that started havoc, caused the first riots, began state-gripping and realm-ripping intrigues, and other things turning-the-world-upside-down. It seems pretty awful if it is clearly revealed in the prologue, or the first or the second chapter.

Was extremely enjoying Dragon Age Origins as far as gameplay goes - the thing is - it has all the shitty banalities (especially the "Horde" ouch!), and the plot is revealed right in the prologue and the first chapter. Defeat the evil dragon-demon blah blah and save the kingdom blah blah, slash through evilish hardish hordish mess of monsters blah blah, and all that tropefied... stuff. So in the end, enjoyed Dragon Age II more which was less centered on extreme banalities and the "standard" fantasy side. The Dragon Age II story also seemed to be much less banal than DaO's.

To compare, Baldur's Gate I:
1) what's going on is revealed in the Chapter 6 (unless you know D&D/Forgotten Realms history very well, you basically have no idea of what is going on)
2) the main boss/opponent is encountered at the end of prologue
3) the centre piece is a conspiracy, but not that banal world domination or world destruction plot - but the (spoilers) apotheosis of the godspawn Sarevok - which tried neither to dominate or destroy the world, but to murder his siblings through assassinations or regional wars, to subvert some realms/regions either unknowingly or knowingly to fund his campaign against other children of dead god of murder Bhaal, and ultimately, to become the Lord of Murder himself

So Baldur's Gate feeds players with small bits of the story, of what-is-happening, gradually. Something that suspends mystery and lets it float like a fog over everything you are through.

Something plot-related that seems to be incredible improbable to be featured in the "newer" games. The element of mystery.

Can't believe that developers such as those of Dragon Age Origins (BioWare, but mainly the idea-guy of that... thing) could feed gamers with that fast foodish banalised thousand-times-repeated shit that should have nothing to do with the fantasy genre.
Yes extremely enjoyed DaO - gameplaywise, yet thoroughly loathed the banal plot and the setting. Couldn't return to it even twice (played only once through), while already finished Dragon Age II like 3 times - because of less banal story/setting mumbojumbo.

Another instance of the truth that mainstream sells stereotyped crap because such crap sells.

Uh, this blog post mutated and became longer than planned. Let's finish.

So. Looking at fakes first (graphics, graphics style, game genre), then in the middle and in the end at the game depth (story, plot). Mainly a single player here, that's why. Multi players would probably focus more on the gameplay rather than the story. To note, "player-initiated", custom role playing e.g. in MMOs would be a completely new subject to cover, and maybe something plot/story related as well. Would that count as story/plot or as gameplay? You decide.

Two questions for you.
What do you focus on in the short, long run? Was there any games that you made an exception for, that you played for entirely different reasons than normally?

Licence: This whole text is licensed under Creative Commons Zero (public domain): Creativecommons.org can be diffused, copied, distributed, edited, published anywhere without any credit given.

Outline

So, what's your idea of a perfect government or a perfect sociopolitical system?

IMHO, a council-based government:
1) abolishment of all godheads/idols/single-concentrated forms of governments - a gov't of Councils rather than presidents/PMs/ministers/whatever, a group-based government, the top power to one specific group without a presidential spokesman or anything similar
2) purely resource-based
3) communication of needs through the Internet or similar technology

Everything for free, and work would be also for free. Any products of work would go to the community. Additional resources & rewards for quality work. (Right now this world is all profit-based: as cheaply as possible as quality as possible.) As high quality as possible and as safe as possible, with less consideration of amounts of resources used to achieve that. More prevention & responsibility-based system. Doing what's needed with high safety measures (instead of doing what's needed but as cheaply as possible resulting in drawbacks, flaws due to economical and time constraints).

Notes

1)
1. councils instead of presidents
2. minister groups instead of ministers
and so on.

Generally groups & boards deciding about everything. No central person at all or even any form of a leader of a committee/council.

2) & 3)
1. The council government distributes the natural wealth and resources. (In the current world "natural wealth" and products are distributed by companies/corporations/banks/etc and people among themselves while the gov't only regulates everything.)
2. This distribution of wealth to those who actually need it would be possible thanks to the Internet or any similar technology. (Communication of needs was heavily limited in tribal barter/resource-based governments.)
3. Only people actually interested in governing, gardening/agriculture, would do their jobs. That includes specialists, passionate hobbyists, etc.
4. In a society & culture where everything is free, there would be still many people interested in doing arts, gardening, hobbies, etc. So still everyone would do their kinds of "jobs". The only difference is that it all would be for free.
5. There would be no jobs such as digging rows at all unless there would be extremely advanced technology to make it lightning fast with very little effort. So less manual labour, everything would be more dependent on right technology to achieve better results with drastically less hard work.

Further points

1. No classes or political parties, only councils
2. Preferably no nations as countries at all, just nations as local/national councils
3. Entire society of geniuses (children from 4 years old up to 8 years old taught ethics and advanced science to have easier & better grasp on studies & science later on)
4. Peaceful technology open/open-source

Licence

This whole text is licensed under Creative Commons Zero (public domain): Creativecommons.org

Tezcatlipoca

feillyne Blog 3 comments

A continuation of the previous blog post titled a secret of Toltec shamans.

The entirety of post below is only a hypothesis/belief.

Belief about reality and deity belief of Tezcatlipoca
Toltec knowledge spoke about a different version of Tezcatlipoca. Commonly, Tezcatlipoca is an Aztec god. The belief that Tezcatlipoca is just a god seems to be just a very personalised and deified version of the whole story.

So was everything about the subject said? No, not all at all, it seems. So what's the real belief behind Tezcatlipoca?

Tezcatlipoca = person is mirrored by other people surrounding him = outer worlds reflect the inner world
Tezcatlipoca is a concept that we all are mirrors and reflections of each other. Your friends, relatives and everybody else you meet is said to be a mirror of yourself. Everybody of your associates and friends is supposed to have some of your features and characteristics, sometimes greatly magnified or standing out, and also, you have something nobody seems to have (and that is a mirror exclusively for your friends) but on the most part you are like other people around you.

The closer people seem to be, the more they seem to mirror each other.

So it works like:
like attract like, similar people attract similar people, and everybody you know is a mirror of yourself (a partial one, i.e. every person you're around mirrors something in you)
atheists attract atheistic people, altruist people attract altruistic people (not necessarily attract "pure" atheists or "pure" altruists just people who have some atheism or altruism in them or in their attitude)

Tezcatlipoca: however partial and partially it seems, people seem to be mirrors of each other and mirror each other, each other's features, characteristics, attitudes and goals and many other things.

For example an ignorant, quick-to-angry RPG gamer would naturally attract other RPG gamers, ignorant people, angry people. They would constantly stumble on each other. The surrounding world of his friends/associates as a whole would mirror his own attitude to life.

Summing up
All of above is just a belief that reality is so, that we are mirrors of each other. Whether it's true or false, it's only for you to decide.

A secret of Toltec shamans
It seems Toltec shamans either discovered or were given a long time ago a peculiar secret about "luminous beings", a secret about humans, animals and other beings of light (those composed of atoms/energy). So what's the secret?

It's simple: Everyone has a twin, a double that is dreamed by a person (called the dreamed). Moreover, this very double can dream about his own twin (himself) in his dream. (A dream within a dream.)

What does that mean? Well, it may mean that we (our bodies) are light that may reflect itself just like regular light.

So yes, this secret appears very simple... yet it's the awareness of the twin that counts, and the practice to make oneself aware of him, which is the other part (99%) of the whole secret.

The art of stalking
The one who received and mastered art of dreaming (being aware of the dreamed twin, and interacting through it) and art of stalking (watching one's routines, thoughts, feelings, addictions in order to trap them to either have control over them or to get rid of them) was called a Toltec. Anthropology seems to be very little aware of that meaning of the word "Toltec".

What is the art of stalking? It is an art of watching one's mental, personal surroundings: one's own feelings, thoughts, and also addictions.
Once a useless or negative routine, a thought, a feeling, or an addiction is trapped by one's own personal undivided attention, the problem can be easily dealt with and dropped.

If you examined closely your own addictions or notorious unpleasant thoughts (those recurring ones), you see that they have most power when they go without any notice by you. Once you set your utmost focus on them, they are trapped.

For example, person who drinks too much seems to be powerless as long as his attention avoids being focused on the problem. And yes, the same person could make thousands of excuses and create thousands of distractions to avoid facing the problem, even telling himself that he really *knows* about the problem! Knowing about it is nothing; it's the attention on it that counts! Also, person must be willing to do anything, first. Without the said person's decision and own free will the attention seems to remain useless and headless, like a ship without a captain. Dropping anything whether it seems "positive" or "negative" requires one's choice.

Toltecs would also stalk their own daily routines simply to get rid of them, and live a more mysterious, exciting life. :-)

Yeah, slacking off publishing various stuff on Desura now.

So, for a start, the most notorious & important issue for C&C fans: Generals mods. What about them? When will they be published?

Desura installs standard mods (those that install to a separate folder and are run through a command) quite fine. Only there seems to be a few problems with installing and testing complex ones, such as mods for Generals Zero Hour or Age of Empires III.

So publication of them may be a bit delayed (a couple of weeks or so).

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Controversial non-gaming related blog posts (you read them at your own risk!):
lie/truth blogpost
addendum
to end it (a final note)

PS Pleiadians.net ;-P

To end it

feillyne Blog 2 comments

Previous blog posts:
lie/truth blogpost
addendum

As previously, you can disbelieve or believe whatever written here - still, checking at least some of it (at least who or what are Pleiadians) would be much more appreciated. To be sincere about that, believing or disbelieving without question anything they tell you, whoever tells you, seems to be quite foolhardy.

You may consider it complete dreck, yet do you think that pro's, e.g. scientists, are right all the time? So what about former fringe theories, for example, the contintental drift? What about them? Maybe you can tell us. Same was with Mendeleev - at first he was laughed at when he was juxtaposing the periodic table. How has it ended? Who had the last laugh? Still, all of it doesn't make Mendeleev a saint or a person right about everything. Nobody is truly a saint or a culprit yet there are many who would lionise* some groups and completely damn others to hell. We are who we are, yet the collective 'what' of what we've done seems to consist of both wrongs and rights interpreted variously by different groups and thinking systems - more so if we take alternative costs into consideration.

* BTW, to nail it, lions are filthy slackers sitting on their arses while it's lionesses that do their dirty work (including hunting) - and more. So to 'lionise' would be a very accurate expression here.

Cutting the bullshit short
Let's browse through other examples of the so-called "extraterrestrial" (extra-egoist, extra-yourself, extra-your-OWN-not-other's-Earth-or-planet-isn't-it-you-egocentric-mankind?) influences on the human writings & culture.

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.


Just a fragment of the first chapter of book of Ezekiel. (Ezekiel, 1:22-24)

So, did you figure out what is actually described here by now?

If not, then you can read the first whole chapter of Ezekiel's book to obtain more insight. And BTW, you'll probably have to take "LORD" out of it, it's a pagan coating over it. Bhaal, Baal, means "lord" and the Bible uses extensively the already corrupted (by Roman Catholic scholars) Latin/English translation that contains "LORD" (Baal's) name instead of the Hebrew and other more appropriate terms. You can check dictionary to find out the meaning of "Baal" for yourself.

Noted should be also the difference between the "LORD" as the highest title that replaced aforementioned many different, original and more proper Hebrew terms, and the "lord" or "Lord" as a mere name or a polite/gentle attribute that changes nothing - i.e. "our Lord Christ" (e.g. in Romans 16:18) used for Emmanuel.

Other examples, featured in the previous blog posts as well:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days — and also afterward — when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:4
Sons of God = heavenly sons = Ouranos = cosmic men
Daughters of men = earthly daughters = Gaia = earthly women

The Greek mythology must have conceptualised it so much that suddenly it became "creation" of the whole world.

So who messed up? Who made up religions?

Humans made religions, customs, rituals, feasts, and "holidays" (or unholy-days as you like).

And isn't it humans alone who wore and still wear priestly robes as their "religious" (non actually existent, only political/mental) source of power? They say the so-called God is omnipresent yet they say "He" is in Heaven! So not in the ground? Not underground? Not in the Earth, not below it? And... what Heaven? The sky? The universe? Not other cosmoses and universes, not space, not other dimensions, only this 3-dimensional "Heaven" (Clouds, isn't it?) that all followers of routine feasts, rituals and celebrations are to be granted?

What churchgoers for... um, heaven's sake? Humans are walking, living churches, cities, blades, torches.
Yeah, you could say that without lamps, electricity or whatever it'll be dark here. So who figured out how to produce & use lamps, who electrified the world with electricity? Lamps did it themselves? Electricity did it itself? Or mayhap it was astrological gods that are in the Rotunda?

And who murders humans? Who steals property depriving somebody of living means or other means? Who does many other similar things clearly violating other's free will? Fucking reptilians? Or maybe fucking HUMANS, humans all the way?...

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One line for entertainment industry on the personal profile: there are some Frozenbyte Humble Bundle packages to hand out, nothing in return expected. ;-)

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