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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:10 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I don't know whether this is inappropriately splitting hairs as to the meaning of "friend", or whether it makes me inappropriately biased, but my most recent Skype conversation with Robert Pelloni was on Saturday.

Again, I'm not arbitrating things with words here; the precise meaning of friend is not important to me, nor was I trying to imply "this would be okay if it happened to a friend of yours"; I was just trying to explain the perceived situation that led to me using the word "disingenuous", because you asked about it. Obviously I can't know what you're thinking or who you have relationships with, so I'm sorry if it implied too much presumption, and I probably shouldn't have said it at all. The short version is just that I don't understand why you think this issue is important enough to raise so many times.

I don't want to argue the validity of point b here; that's not what I was aiming for. I was just using it as an example, because it's something I have been personally irritated by, so used it to comment on the "axe to grind" problem.


Every one of these points on your list is a complex issue with a lot of stuff in it worth talking about. You can't just boil it down to whether it's true or false.

If you start a thread specifically to talk about one of them, that's great. A good place for discussion. (You seem to be trying to do 12 at once right here, though. Probably not the most effective method?)

If you bring it up as a digression in a thread about something else, still fine once or twice. You can have the same discussion, it's just in a slightly out of the way place.

If you start bringing the same argument up in thread after thread, this is what is annoying. This is the "axe to grind". If someone has a response they think is important, what are they supposed to do? Be a bigger jerk than you and respond everywhere you brought it up? Resign and just let you have your say everywhere? You're not creating healthy discussion anymore, you're just having a campaign for your idea. You're spam.


The annoying part isn't whether or not I agree with you, or whether or not your point is "the truth" or up to date. The annoying part is the repetition and lack of relevance, and these two things magnify each other. If something is very relevant, sure, why not say it again. If you want to make an extremely irrelevant point once, maybe this is not a bad thing.

Again, a lot of your less relevant interjections are actually valuable. I'm not trying to get you stop doing it entirely, because it's often been useful or interesting. Sometimes I do find it very frustrating, though. If this is an all or nothing proposition, I'd want you to keep doing it. I'd rather be annoyed sometimes than never get all the good stuff you do say.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:29 am 
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tepples wrote:
I would like to start a project to add the character Little Red Riding Hood to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. How do I go about getting started? In what format do the meshes, textures, animations, and voices need to be stored, and how do I cause the game to load them?

I am... unsure if you are mentioning this to make a point about modding, or because you think I might know offhand. I don't know offhand. If it is to make a point about modding, I'll say I can find many more resources on Smash 4 character files formats on the closed Wii U platform, than I can about editing a Skullgirls character on the relatively open PC platform.

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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:08 am 
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tepples wrote:
Many rural users still can't get wired broadband.

[rant]

I am sick to death of people assuming everyone has high-speed, high-bandwidth, 100%-uptime internet access. I'm charged per gigabyte on a connection with an average download speed of around 90 KB/s and up to fifteen seconds of round-trip lag, with dropouts that can last days. This is not likely to change in the near future, unless I move at least 50 km from my current place of residence. The idea of buying a game or device that requires a round-the-clock internet connection, never mind regular automatic "updates", isn't even a joke. It's an insult.

[/rant]

So yes, I think this one is a perfectly valid point, and I would thank you for bringing it up whenever it is even tangentially related.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:25 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
Every one of these points on your list is a complex issue with a lot of stuff in it worth talking about. You can't just boil it down to whether it's true or false.

If you start a thread specifically to talk about one of them, that's great. A good place for discussion.

The difference between here and there is that the place where I had been discussing them in the past allows only the site's editors to approve new topics. (Thus technically it's more of a "threaded comment section" than a typical forum.) Others must follow suit or risk having their comments voted down for being off-topic. So I had been alluding to one of these as a brief digression every few weeks when an editor posts a vaguely related topic and another user posts a more closely related comment, in the hope that I'll find someone reading it who can help me resolve the issue. But with respect to here, I'll see what topics I can introduce in General Stuff over time.

Quote:
(You seem to be trying to do 12 at once right here, though. Probably not the most effective method?)

If I can get some of them resolved, they become no longer axes to grind. On the same page where I keep those twelve, I keep a list roughly as long of similar issues that have been made obsolete. For example:
  • No direct Android counterpart to iPod touch? A prepaid phone with no service has been practical since fourth quarter 2011.
  • 2-factor auth on Google costs per use? Use a TOTP app, or use a U2F key and Google Chrome.
  • Chromebook isn't useful for developing in languages other than JavaScript? Use the "NaCl Development Environment" app from Chrome Web Store.
  • Can't get licensed to port a game to a stationary console? First sell it on itch.io to users of laptops or Steam Link thin clients. Then port it to UWP (formerly Metro), as an Xbox One developer mode unlock is available for $19 to individuals or $99 to businesses, or at no charge to existing Dev Center members.
  • iOS requires a recurring fee to run software you compiled on a device you own? This ended as of Xcode 7. The only recurring fees now are to publish to the App Store and to replace a Mac too old to run current Xcode with a newer one.
  • Broadband hard to get in Seattle due to Director's Rules? CenturyLink deployed fiber during 2015.
  • Risk of having your system compromised by a backdoored compiler? Try David A. Wheeler's method of diverse double compilation, which allows testing a set of independently compilers to ensure that either there is no backdoor or all three have the same backdoor.
  • TLS hosting and certificates are too expensive? Old advice was to use WebFaction and StartSSL; new advice is DreamHost and Let's Encrypt.

But each of these answers took several tries on the grounds "I'll ask a different set of users and see if they can help". And once I got each, I stopped mentioning it, except as a reply to someone else who has the same problem so I can share the solution I got.

Kasumi wrote:
[How should I go about adding a character to a console fighting game?]
I am... unsure if you are mentioning this to make a point about modding, or because you think I might know offhand. I don't know offhand.

A bit of both.

I guess it's an artifact of the fact that the forum I'm referring to isn't as closely knit as NESdev. So I run into a mix of regulars, who read every topic in a category, and occasional visitors, who read comments only sometimes. I'm trying to pose the digression to a different crowd each time in case occasional visitors "might know offhand". But regulars see it as an "axe". I have found it difficult to find the appropriate balance between reaching new people who might be able to point me toward a solution and not annoying regulars.

Rahsennor wrote:
I am sick to death of people assuming everyone has high-speed, high-bandwidth, 100%-uptime internet access. I'm charged per gigabyte on a connection with an average download speed of around 90 KB/s and up to fifteen seconds of round-trip lag, with dropouts that can last days. This is not likely to change in the near future, unless I move at least 50 km from my current place of residence.

In my experience, members of the other forum would probably suggest that you arrange your affairs to "move at least 50 km from my current place of residence" if your job or hobby requires quality Internet access. At that point, I might have to drop the topic for risk of having to dox my family or of being insulted with freeter stereotypes. So to avoid insults that I feel would drag down the discussion even further, and to avoid publishing too much personally identifying information, I try to anonymize the question to "Moving isn't practical for people in scenarios X, Y, and Z", but then that leads to the "hypothetical" accusation.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:43 am 
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I had no idea who Robert Pelloni was before this thread, so I had to look him up. From what I've read, I definitely wouldn't allow his rejection to prevent me from trying to do something that I wanted. I believe Nintendo made the right call with not wishing to enter into a professional relationship with this person, and his actions in (premature) response to denial for an SDK I believe make this pretty obvious.

"I am the next Messiah, the true successor to Jesus Christ, the greatest and most historically significant human that will ever live, and the most powerful wizard of all time."
-Robert Pelloni


On the flipside of the "big bully Nintendo" perspective, I believe there's also the perspective that a person should have authority over their own creations. If I create a device to play games, and a dangerous person requests to have access to the tools I've created, I feel I absolutely have the right to say no. A lot of people in the "free software" community tend to seem as if they feel entitled to enjoy the hard work of others without compensation.

I don't think it's right to say, press legal charges against someone for taking an object that they paid for and using their own ingenuity to reverse-engineer it. Like most things in life, it is not black and white. But would I consider Nintendo's rejection of Mr. Pelloni as an example of unscrupulous behavior? Absolutely not. If I wanted to point at something along those lines, I might go to their monopolistic practices against Sega during the lifespan of the Master System. But that, of course, is not relevant to the topic at hand.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:13 am 
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koitsu wrote:
[2]: I worked for nearly 8 years with a guy with Asperger's syndrome (mild form of autism; still classified as an ASD) who behaved very similarly. I have more stories than I can count, but an epic one involved a 2 month battle regarding timestamps and ISO-8601 compliance (specifically exclusive use of the verbose syntax, ex. YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.sTZD in every single application/tool/logfile/etc. throughout our entire platform -- even those which didn't need second or sub-second granularity, nor timezones). He lost that battle, but select tools did use YYYYMMDDThhmm syntax, which was good enough for most of us.

Did that include using the proper minus sign? (ISO 8601 insists on using U+2212 MINUS SIGN where available instead of U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS - what could possibly go wrong?)


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:29 pm 
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As I said earlier, I plan to bring up the individual issues in new topics. But right now I'm interested in fundamental issues that cross-cut these questions. Their answers may require profound changes to my personality.

One issue is to what extent I should prepare before doing something where I foresee the sort of risk factors that some companies are required to disclose with respect to forward-looking statements in 10-K or 10-Q statements. I have trouble finding the appropriate balance between the Scouts' motto "Be Prepared" and the Nike slogan "Just Do It".

  • "Don't worry about qualifications for joining a platform's developer program. Just prototype your game on PC first, apply once it's nearly complete, and worry about rejection as it arises."
  • "Don't worry about accidentally composing something too similar to existing music. Just make your score first and worry about settling infringement lawsuits as they arise."

What these have in common is recommending that one operate without a safety net. But when that has failed for others, resulting in years of wasted effort or total loss of personal wealth, I seem to remember the crowd's response being to the effect: "I feel no sympathy for you. You should have done your homework and made a backup plan before you even started the project."

Or is a response like that unlikely?


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:24 pm 
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tepples wrote:
"Don't worry about qualifications for joining a platform's developer program. Just prototype your game on PC first, apply once it's nearly complete, and worry about rejection as it arises."


Basically, I feel that it's dangerous to build expectations upon the actions of others. I think you should work toward any opportunities, but only expect what you know will happen.

Let's step back for a second and remove the console out of the equation. Let's say that you can just make a game and then immediately distribute it to your customers. Do you have a guarantee that anyone will ever buy your game? Even if it's great? No, you don't. So what do you do? You focus on making a game that deserves to be played, and you focus on putting effective marketing in key places to reach the people who would be interested. You try to get the game into the hands of publications and reviewers who will showcase your game to a wider audience. You do what you can, but nothing is known.

Now, if you set up your life so that if the game fails, your life fails, and you have no way to pay for rent or food, then you've put yourself into a very dangerous position, and one which could have been foreseen.

If someone came home from work every day and spent most all of their free time for a couple years building a game, that would be a huge investment. If it didn't get popular, that would be sad, and I would have a lot of sympathy for that person. If somebody quit their job and took out a loan to cover the cost of living to make the game full-time in one year, knowing that a failure of the game would put them on the streets, it would be harder to have sympathy if it failed.

With the first scenario, my emotional response is that it's really sad nobody's playing this great game someone worked hard on, and I want to get the word out. My emotional response to the second scenario, however, is that this person made some really poor decisions to cause their own catastrophic failure, and hearing about it ultimately feels like a guilt trip that would be blaming me (the consumer) and any other companies who didn't help (console manufacturers) for the misfortune.

All of this is addressing the inherent danger of expectations, without even addressing the idea that there is a gatekeeper who is able to provide instant profits and success from a game release. I think it's pretty obvious that idea is a fallacy, so ultimately, even considering whether or not you can get console support is kind of irrelevant to the cross-cutting hurdles affecting most people hoping to become successful in independent game design.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:31 pm 
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darryl.revok wrote:
Let's say that you can just make a game and then immediately distribute it to your customers. Do you have a guarantee that anyone will ever buy your game?

If I crowdfunded it, I have at least those orders.

Quote:
If someone came home from work every day and spent most all of their free time for a couple years building a game, that would be a huge investment. If it didn't get popular, that would be sad, and I would have a lot of sympathy for that person. If somebody quit their job and took out a loan to cover the cost of living to make the game full-time in one year, knowing that a failure of the game would put them on the streets, it would be harder to have sympathy if it failed.

I hope this helps others understand why homebrew developers tend to stick to games that are manageably small in scope, because games that are small in scope can be completed in free time as opposed to needing to be one's day job.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:44 pm 
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tepples wrote:
If I crowdfunded it, I have at least those orders.


In a lot of cases, I'd say that you still need to make most of the game before you can crowdfund it. However, you have something that's worked for a lot of developers in the past, and that's a showcase of work to demonstrate your ability to follow through with the project. Naturally, I think a crowdfunding campaign would be more successful the more complete the game is, but you do at least have credibility behind you.

(Mighty No. 9 probably hurt this approach, however)

My advice to anyone would be to scale your investment to what you can reasonably expect, and to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Companies in every industry fail all of the time for failure to analyze risks. Maybe nobody will play your first game. Think of it kind of like, when there's a band you really love, and you find out their first popular album was actually their second or third.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:43 pm 
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This is the most pointless thread I've ever seen on any forum LOL


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:49 pm 
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tepples wrote:
"Don't worry about accidentally composing something too similar to existing music. Just make your score first and worry about settling infringement lawsuits as they arise."

They won't arise. You're taking hypothetical possibilities and one-in-a-million cases and shoving them in everyone's face like they're the most important thing you need to know about making music. Literally nobody I know that makes music professionally thinks about this shit; it's trivial and unimportant. As long as you're not deliberately copying something, you're safe. The stuff you're constantly bringing up is bizarre edge cases.

tepples wrote:
"Don't worry about qualifications for joining a platform's developer program. Just prototype your game on PC first, apply once it's nearly complete, and worry about rejection as it arises."

Yes, don't.

I can't remember anyone ever asking for advice about how to join a developer program here (though it may have happened once or twice), I just remember you bringing it up a hundred times like it's some serious issue that everyone needs to be aware of for some reason. Getting developer access just isn't the hard part of game development. Making a viable product is. If you want to know how to get access to this stuff, I'll tell you now:

It's pretty straightforward. You just need to show that you can make something worth selling, and that you have reasonable business plan for it, and be ready to make the requisite financial investment. If you don't have $10k, or whatever it is you need to buy a devkit and pay for certification, etc. then you're simply not ready to proceed with a commercial project. Work a job and save money, or convince investors, or do whatever you need to to raise those funds. If your project isn't worth a $10k investment, it's not a commercial project, and you shouldn't expect to sell it on a commercial platform.

How many times have you complained loudly here that it might cost ~$1000 to buy a mac for mac development? If you can't justify spending $1000 to develop for a platform, you're not making a commercial project. You're simply not going to make a living off of something you don't expect to recoup $1000 for. If you're not ready to take that risk, find a different job, save your money, and make yourself ready.

You're not entitled to access to commercial platforms. Complaining to a bunch of homebrew developers about it over and over again isn't going to change that. (...and staging a hunger strike in your bedroom certainly isn't going to help.)

If you just won't take a financial risk, don't make commercial games. Find a low-risk venture like self-publishing services like itch.io that make their money off of inexpensive distribution models, and publish your low-rent games there.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:13 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
It's pretty straightforward. You just need to show that you can make something worth selling, and that you have reasonable business plan for it, and be ready to make the requisite financial investment. If you don't have $10k, or whatever it is you need to buy a devkit and pay for certification, etc. then you're simply not ready to proceed with a commercial project. Work a job and save money, or convince investors, or do whatever you need to to raise those funds. If your project isn't worth a $10k investment, it's not a commercial project, and you shouldn't expect to sell it on a commercial platform.

How many times have you complained loudly here that it might cost ~$1000 to buy a mac for mac development? If you can't justify spending $1000 to develop for a platform, you're not making a commercial project. You're simply not going to make a living off of something you don't expect to recoup $1000 for. If you're not ready to take that risk, find a different job, save your money, and make yourself ready.

To take it further, even a million dollars most likely won't get you far enough, and that's for a single game, even though in practice you'll need like ten to even have the hope to barely break even, let alone make a profit. Unless you're OK with not paying anybody, in which case you aren't making a living, right?

$1m per month probably will get you far enough, but not $1m in total =P


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:45 am 
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Sorry about that rant, my point was that the problem isn't this:

"What are the qualifications for becoming a Wii U developer?"

It's:

"How do I make a game that can earn tens of thousands of dollars?"


The former is more or less trivial if you can do the latter, and you really don't need access to the hardware to start working on your game. This whole thing about "what if someone spends a lot of money and time working on their game and daddy Nintendo says no" is completely ass-backwards. Commercial projects require significant risk.

If you want to develop for Wii U or whatever platform, you can do it, but it requires sacrifice and investment. ...or you can become an employee of a company where somebody else has taken the risk for you.


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 Post subject: Re: My axes to grind
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:12 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
The former is more or less trivial if you can do the latter, and you really don't need access to the hardware to start working on your game


This is especially true considering that the most substantial challenge is coming up with a good game idea. Unlike on these older embedded platforms, the programming the game isn't where the most work goes. Prototypes are great for trying things and then throwing them out. Implementing a good game on another platform isn't the biggest hurdle, by far, even if there's zero code reuse. A design doc is a huge help (and requirement for any reasonably sized team).


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