EA thinks that next gen budgets will be "only"10% higher than this gen. That means that gmaes need to sell at least 10% more units than current games are doing, and eren that will only guarantee the losses of tens of millions we're seeing now. To be profitable they'll need to sell far far more. On consoles that, because they are new, will have a limited user base anyway. Either that or raise the price to make up the shortfall. In the middle of the longest recession in a century.
The industry is fucked
The only way to make money from games is what Disney have done, license the IP to other companies and get them to pay for it.
I think that's why we're seeing such a rise of indie developers. People credit Kickstarter but I think Kickstarter's popularity and success is a result of the move to indie development rather than a cause of it (or maybe a little of both.)
There will always be talented people who want to make games and they will find a way to do it. Look at the old days that Commander Keen, Wolf3D, DOOM and many other shareware games came from. A bunch of independent BBSes where the shareware games where passed around and talked about purely through word of mouth. Rampant piracy, far worse than today, and yet those games made money for their creators.
You may be right, the EAs, the Activisions and other bloated monstrosities may be fucked. And to them I say good riddance. I love, love, love Bioshock Infinite, but if the $100 million dollar budget games are a dinosaur on its way out, I won't mourn it too much.
These markets were literally flooded with massive volume in games. You went to the store and could literally not decide what you wanted to play, because there were 30+ games you had never seen, you wanted to play them all, and another 30+ for a console you didn't own. And then a few months later, there were 20+ new ones.
All of these games were relatively simple, creative, outside the box, not hyped nor mentioned in any advertising anywhere. And almost all of them kicked ass. Because they were still analog cartridge-ey and/or required a CD to play, you didn't want to own hundreds of games (even though you could because most were priced very reasonably), so it was amazing when things like Sega Channel came out. That was one of the truly awesome things I remember as a kid, even though it was short lived.
I miss those days. Now it's AAA title that took 3+ years to make that looks good but has almost nothing to it. Back then, a $5 game that took a company 1 programmer, 1 artist, 1 sound engineer, and about 2 weeks to make had significantly more playability to it. What happened to the industry?
And what happened to the $5 games? Since 2007 the industry has seen a huge, massive surge in (successful) indie game development, primarily on PC but also distributed digitally on PSN and 360. It's definitely there, alive, strong and very visible. (Sure, they might take more than 2 weeks to make, but not many games can be made in two weeks to contend well on quality).
I remember playing crappy games back then, too, but so much more of it felt like today's indie scene. It's like some big business machine marched in and bought all the "pro" talent to produce the same few games over and over again on different engines, while everyone who gives a shit about actually building fun, innovative games just started their own few-person ventures.
In the 80's, even when Nintendo was practically the only publisher on the block, development studios contracted to publish games with them, they weren't owned by them. Up until the mid 2000's studios weren't owned by the publishers like they are now. Look at how Blizzard / Bioware / Epic / id etc all got bought and brought under big publisher umbrellas.
There weren't a lot of games. There were just under 1000 NES games for both the US AND Japanese market (combined), and the total clocks in at about 200MB in size. The 30+ games you saw were probably the entire library of unique games for the platform.
The games we had yesteryear sucked. Really, really sucked. Most of them were bare derivatives of each other. For every Super Mario Bros. 3 there were 5 clones of Arkanoid. The controls were bad, the artwork was bad, the framerates were bad. We just didn't know they sucked because we didn't have better games yet. Look at some of the best games on the market back then, games like Megaman or Star Fox, and they are are only popular as nostalgia pieces today. I don't consider Golgo 13 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES; PilotWings or DOOM on the SNES; Driver or Grand Theft Auto 3 on the PlayStation; to be anything close to playable games today, but I remember playing all of them for hours and liking it, because that was really all we knew.
And the games were not cheap. The NES retailed at $300 in the US when it debuted in 1985. That'd be almost $650 today. Super Mario Bros. 3 (the pinnacle of the series, IMO) debuted in 1990 at a price point of $60--over $105 in today's dollars. Chrono Trigger on the SNES debuted at $80 in 1995--over $120 today. I remember paying $70 for Yoshi's Cookie in 1992 (because I was 10 and that was all the Christmas money I had and I really, really wanted. My mother and I played it together for hours. It was great). That'd be $115 today for a puzzle game I could rewrite in a weekend now. I don't know what you're talking about with "$5 games".
You're praise of Sega Channel just further underscores that you were probably too young to understand money back in this time. It was $15/mo in 1994 when the only subscription services anyone had were telephone and TV cable (and you were "rich" if you had cable). I remember my father freaking out over a $20 telephone bill one month in the 90s: I regularly pay almost $100/mo for my cellphone today. The downloads constantly failed and you could only play the games for an hour before they reset.
you didn't want to own hundreds of games
even though you could because most were priced very reasonably
Wolfram Alpha says that's ~$90 today.
Development got harder (more art assets to make, harder code to write, more of everything) markets got bigger (100 million Wiis vs 50 million NES's) and demographics shifted (from 8 - 16 year olds to 16 - 30 year olds).
In real terms, games are cheaper here too.
(Another reason for lower prices would also be lower unit costs -- a ROM cartridge surely cost more to manufacture than an optical disc. And the gaming audience is now much larger than it used to be.)
To me, the preview video for the game looks like Star Wars meets Half Life.
Counter Strike for me counts as a childhood game, though. I was early teens when it came out and I played it on the order of thousands of hours. It was developed by a relatively small player, Sierra, who also had some other awesome games I enjoyed prior to that, and the game was initially awesome.
I enjoyed everything up to and including 1.3, and even dabbled in competitive play. I've played every version of CS since and nothing is even comparable to versions 1.3 and below. I guess all good things must come to an end, and while I really hoped to see the efforts behind cs promod take off, nobody really advertised it (it was a re-packaged v1.3 when 1.6 and later source were basically killing the competitive scene).
Thinking about it brings back those nostalgic days of WON with the fullscreen console. I had a 3 digit wonid, I remember when that was such a big deal, lol. Going over to a friend's house, setting up PCs, getting loads of caffeine and raiding the liquor cabinet, then doing cal scrims all night long.
The prices weren't necessarily based on quality either, I paid $64.99 for Ghostbuster (NES) and that game was awful.
Kickstarter projects are bringing back mid-range development, with smaller studios like Double Fine and Obsidian raising millions. Some Kickstarter projects, like FTL, have already been released to award-winning success. The Kickstarter for the Planescape: Torment sequel being developed by inXile has raised almost 3.5 million with 51 hours to go.
There's a lot of innovation happening. Just play any of the IGF finalists if you want a taste.
almost all of them kicked ass
The only downside is that they are producing for a platform with such a horrendously inaccurate/crappy input system. I get enthusiastic about downloading a game on my n7 only to find that it's extremely frustrating to play, or that the game has been dumbed down in some way to compensate, massive sadface. This isn't true of all of them, especially games that are designed around the touch interface, but after a while I still get bothered by it.
I'm really liking the resurgence of indie PC games, though. In the past few years I've played games produced by < 3 independent people that easily rivaled the games people tout as the "best of all time." Specifically, I'm curious why these huge companies want to produce 1 game over X years for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and still fail to be profitable when they sell millions of copies.
plants vs zombies,
middle manager of justice,
minecraft pocket edition,
ticket to ride,
Its still there! You just have to ignore the hype and look beneath the curtains.
EDIT: and, of course, http://repo.openpandora.org/
Then I saw your comment.
The most fun I've had with a video game in a long time was Braid. A novel concept of the old side-scroller. I'd throw my wallet at the screen for a new Braid with even a few new time-altering features. It was relaxing and fun.
That isn't quite the "1 programmer, 1 artist, 1 sound engineer," you mentioned, but glancing at Wikipedia, it was close to that.
Honestly with Steam/XBLA/PSN we're seeing some of the best titles we've seen in years, even if the $60 retail industry is hurting.
And also get those CoD fanboys to stop speaking for the rest of us gamers.
EDIT: downvotes suggest I should wrap this in a sarcasm tag.
I don't really mean it to be offensive. We know a lot more about development today, and have a lot better tools, and I know what kinds of amazing creativity some of these designers have, so it personally bothers me to see the lion's share of investment in the gaming industry go into reproducing the same games over and over.
Those of you who are in the industry: what do you think about starting your own shops, or building kick-ass games in your free time? If you work at one of these large companies and are pursuing things like this, I'd love to see your work.
Personally, I would put Super Meatboy or Mark of the Ninja up against any of these so-called AAA blockbuster games any time.
AAA also refers sometimes to overall production values, which tends to mean amount of features and coverage of areas of experience: story, cinematics, voiceover, variety, realism, etc. Without a AAA budget you can't afford all of that and must focus on doing one or two things right and ignore the rest. This plethora of features can sometimes be mistaken for 'quality'.
I think they pulled it off because of the strong reputation of the original Natural Selection (which was a Half Life mod). Still pretty amazing, especially considering they developed the 3D engine from scratch.
IIRC they had a build out and no one cared too much - until one of their fans started putting out gameplay videos on youtube, every single day.
The firm recruited him to be their head of marketing after that.
I suspect rock paper shotgun had done the story.
The other aspect I'm curious over is if these AAA titles don't meet their sales quota is an attempt by publishers to get out paying royalties and bonuses to developers. It's a common tactic in Hollywood and there's evidence of it in the gaming industry already.
Then toss is all the people needed to support the developers, artists, and their managing teams.
Ever read the credits at the end of a movie, count the people. Some video games have the same or bury it in a manual if your so lucky.
But the people that work at a publisher that funds an external development project should not be included in any way in the credits of the game. That's stupid and deceiving, I consider it an insult to the people who actually worked on the game. Much like those never-ending credits at the end of a movie that lowers the value of having your name in the credits in the first place.
If a publisher is rolling all those costs into the reported development costs of a game then they are inflating that number for some reason and I'm willing to bet it benefits no one but the publisher. As I stated elsewhere, it heavily feels of the Hollywood tactic of claiming a project never makes money to avoid having to make payments based on profit required by contract. A developer never gets royalties if the game never makes money.
Remember, Return of the Jedi is yet to turn a profit.
There is a mad rush to free to play right now in order to capture that audience. Although the market is much bigger, I fully expect the attempt to squeeze as much money possible out of the players will results in more and more painfully annoying games (most free to play already fit in that category.)
I personally don't buy games at launch anymore. I just wait for it to go on sale on Steam.
Did they make enough money to offset what would be fair salaries for their creators throughout the time they were being made? If not, then the comparison isn't very valid since the creators would have been working for free.
If there were no kickstarter, there would still be an increasing amount of indie devs. Of course their life would be much harder, and we would not be seeing the new Torment game.
Blizzard is the exception to the rule in that they typically deliver very high quality games, actually making enough money to fund that level of quality has not been consistent, while making strategic moves toward more money has consistently ended up burning them (WoW paid pets and mounts showed up about the time the player base started to get bored and diffuse to other things, the D3 RMAH has been an utter disaster since it launched)
At this point all they do is make remakes of 20 year old games.
edit: that being said if they come out with FFVI for Android I'll probably buy it X_X
This is because Square Enix is using Eidos to prop up its Japanese arm, which has been floundering wildly. They then shift all the hopes onto the Eidos studios to keep the shareholders happy. Tomb Raider did gangbusters by all metrics apart from what Square Enix needed it to do to keep investors happy.
My guess is it'll go the same way as Sega and LucasArts if things go very south; release the third-party development studios from their contracts, shut down internal development, and move to licensing and hope you survive.
I cannot find brad wardell's blog from his galactic civlizations 2 dev time (from Stardock), he had a really good quote which perfectly applies; I don't remember it word for word but what he was saying is: it is stupid to make a really expensive game and then hoping to get your money back on it just because another game did, you have to find your market and make a game targeting it. If you sell 3.5 million units and you consider that a loss, then you fucked up, it's not a market problem.
There is a reason why indie games are exploding, and it's not a lack of liquidity, editors are pouring money into franchises trying to get the next call of duty, and it's not working the same way every action/sci-fi movie cannot have a James Cameron budget and get its money back.
I think it's worth noting that Disney Interactive has posted a loss every single year of it's 18 years in existence.
For every big AAA developer going bust there are probably 100 indie devs who fail to gain traction and just slide into obscurity.
You say that like 'winner-take-all' isn't fucked.
It's just that you hear more about the losers when they are multi-billion dollar publicly trader companies.
Notice how many of these relatively cheap indy games are setup to recreate this gaming experience.
This back catalog (including recent additions) has got to be taking a chunk out of the sales numbers.
But the industry is not just those games. Right now there are tools to make a fantastic game with a rather limited number of people and reasonable budget. I am not only referring to very small indie games, but I think there is a market for middle-of-the-road games in terms of budget. Right now everything feels like either Tomb Raider or Fez. The tools are there to ease the development and create a healthy group of companies generating great games that are not state-of-the-art, but are fun.
There is also the issue that game companies has been traditionally quite chaotic, with crazy plans, insane management and giving any excuse to just crash. I think the industry is learning what are the problematic points, what makes sense in term of a project. Video games industry is still relatively new, and it has been quite shaky. Hopefully they'll get better at all that...
Not completely true, Disney has their own dev team and they licensed Temple Run to make their own versions. Still though, it's not a risky bet as it's licensing something successful already.
Edit: also not in the AAA part of the industry
By the time games hit the humble bundles they have often already been available for $1 on Steam.
If I was an indie game dev I would use the bundles to get my old game into as many hands as possible to build a customer base for the next game.
Would you say that marketing is a biggest issue? How about art generation?
Give me a game at $10-$15 and I'd definitely buy it. Otherwise, well there are other ways to get them.
Not to mention that they went on and destroyed entire genres, like the much loved adventure games. Now we have a bunch of blockbuster FPS games that have started to look the same.
As an ex hardcore gamer I miss the thrill of the 90s when games were original and funny. Now it's all point and shoot some villain. After a while it becomes boring.
One where length-of-play matters to a minority of gamers. I'll give you a hint, though: it's not a parallel one.
> Give me a game at $10-$15 and I'd definitely buy it. Otherwise, well there are other ways to get them.
"Give me a game for under a buck an hour, or fuck you, I'll just take it."
Fortunately, you are something of an outlier.
My hope is that Disney actually has a more holistic view on the LucasArts properties, because it's used to managing many diverse properties in a way LucasFilm was not. Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle etc etc might actually get released out to those who want them. This might be the best thing that has happened to LucasArts and its fans, but of course the job losses are disheartening.
I agree with others that the games business is once again facing a crisis of its own creation. In part because "games" are a product with a very difficult to pin down place.
Prior to computers, "Games" were either "Board games" where you bought the box and tokens and a ruleset, or "Card games" where you used an existing platform and implemented your own game by applying specific rules. The former is fairly easy to monetize, the latter not so much. Computer games are kind of like board games without the physical cost of making the tokens. But sometimes they are like card games where the platform is shared and a bunch of people can play at the same time.
The crisis seems to have evolved around dependence on getting $50 - $60 per copy sold. Which got disrupted by both the 'pay per month' market and the mobile/facebook market.
I wonder when folks evaluate the various Kickstarter efforts if they can come up with a new business model for more modestly priced games.
In other words: by closing the studio we can just collect checks from licensing our IPs which gets turned into bonuses for our executives while we don't have to pay any developers, artists, designers or other filthy wage slaves.
I'm not saying it's a great thing, and I agree that it's likely motivated at least in part by a reduction in cost to justify some lovely top-level bonuses, but the work isn't disappearing. It's just being sent elsewhere.
I guarantee you that their pay will be much lower from that contract, and their new independent studio will probably not get a favorable (if any) portion of the back end on sales. That means that not only will they get paid less to make the game, but even if it is successful, the result of their hard work will not result in much improvement to their situation and indeed they will then have to land a contract to make the next game.
My point is this a move that favors only the executives and fucks over the folks who do the real work. And in reality rather than hypotheticals, they are all out of work today and must find new jobs, a shitty position for anyone to be in and my heart is with all of them.
Is this what 'patio11 means by video game developers being willing to deal with low pay?
At least for now, no developers need to deal with their pay being cut. Go work someplace else instead.
Unless you think you have to work on video games.
I mean, I interviewed at the LucasArts campus in SF maybe a year ago and the people there definitely didn't act like they were constantly at risk of losing their jobs. It was a big, established studio with a long history, and the team seemed to have a lot of people in just such a situation. 'Go work someplace else instead' is not a simple proposition for these people.
If the company who were the first party to the contract no longer exists then the contract is void surely. (Yes "or successor in title" probably covers that one).
There's a lot of "Oh no! Not LucasArts! I loved Monkey Island / Grim Fandango / Zombies Ate My Neighbors / Indiana Jones Desktop Adventures!" talk going around, but that's misguided and a testament to the power of a brand. Unless I've missed my mark, LucasArts has developed in-house a total of two games in the last eight years. (Force Unleashed and Force Unleashed II. I thought they were mediocre.)
This isn't Disney laying off developers so they can just make money off licensing and publishing; this is Disney consolidating a (historically troubled) licensing-and-publishing business into their existing (and very good) licensing-and-publishing infrastructure.
Everyone who made your favorite LucasArts game hasn't worked there in a long time.
Oh %$#@!, it's not April 1st anymore...
This can't be happening. :(
I was hoping the title was sensational and that they're just moving the staff to a Disney corp building. But the article is confirming the worse case. How can this be?! I'm not a starwars fan, but I'm pretty sure that whole thing is still making money on t-shirts & mugs & stuff.... right?!
Though I'm currently playing through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on my way to and from work, on my phone, via SCUMM. I'll always be grateful for that.
Agreed, but it's worth keeping in mind that "recent years" in this case means over a decade. LucasArts pumped out hordes of sub-par games, quickly shoe-horning various game paradigms into the star wars universe.
As much as I feel nostalgic towards the hey-day of old, the article is spot on in pointing out that all their recent greats (KOTOR, etc.) were developed externally. If I were in Disney's shoes, I might have made much the same call, alas. Either that or take a gamble on a radical re-vitalization campaign, which is dicey in today's game market.
The Rogue Squadron games achieved high popularity, but they felt more like spiritual successors to the Rebel Assault games, rather than X-Wing.
I want my sprawling space battles with Correllian Corvettes and Frigates and all the different TIE variations, Y-Wings, B-Wings, A-Wings.
Aw man, I'm going to reinstall X-Wing when I get home. Just need to find a cheap joystick that works with DOSBox now.
Right now I think DOSBox is the best way to play the older games. I would fork over a good amount of money for an easy to use platform for playing older PC games and a marketplace that sold them.
Good Old Games www.gog.com has a nice selection, but it doesn't completely scratch the itch.
"Sorry, sweetie, I have to work late again..."
I still have controllers in my basement, just hoping to get pulled out.
(I've no idea how long I haven't had a serial port. Which makes it worse.)
Contrast this to, say, Raven Software doing Jedi Knight 2 and Elite Force right on the heels of one another. (Of course, Totally Games did do Star Trek: Bridge Commander, but that was seven years after they split from Lucasfilm Games.)
As hard as it is, don't attach those great memories to the COMPANY, but rather the people who had the vision to make them.
If you need to remove your attachment, play the Kinect version of Star Wars.
And for one person there: Karma. It takes a long time but it does come back to bite you. Now you know the price of those 6am flights you booked.
Er... no. That's superstition.
It's simply not real.
He can state with authority that karma does not exist just as he can state with authority that unicorns do not exist: Very easily. There is no evidence of such an effect, and no evidence for anything that could transmit or cause the effect. It is as imaginary as anything could be said to be.
> It is as imaginary as anything could be said to be.
I think you have not really grasped the meaning of that. Do you find leprechauns to be equally plausible as karma? Do you find sandwiches to be as equally plausible as leprechauns? Do you really? Really? You actually live your life with equal expectations of sandwiches and leprechauns?
If that is really the case, then you are clearly insane. Actually insane. Any rational human has at least the slightest ability to reason in a Bayesian manner.
"Simulationism is completely irrelevant.
Reality is defined as what our senses permit us to perceive, any other definition is not productive. Honestly rejecting it is insanity If we are in a simulation then sandwiches are real if the simulation presents sandwiches to our senses. The simulation, if we live in one, does present sandwiches to us, but it presents absolutely no evidence for karma.
Why do you believe in karma more than leprechauns? Or karma instead of anti-karma? The supposed simulation presents equally little evidence for either."
First - I wonder why you get to define reality as the sum of our sensory experiences? Seems to me our senses fail us often. A simple example - I wonder have you ever done mushrooms? Your senses can give you lots of interesting data at times. So I'd challenge the notion that our senses are the sole possible basis for describing what is "real"
But note the weaknesses of my claim - I allow for the possibility of karma, where you do not. I was challenging your certainty about its nonexistence. Nothing more.
And on that front, the simulation argument is totally relevant, because it attacks the certainty of any of your claims about what is real. Ask Mario or Luigi what's real and their answers won't line up with what you and I think is real. And if we are, in fact, in a simulation, there isn't much that separates us from either of them.
Do I believe leprechauns are as common here on Earth as sandwiches? No. Might there exist a Planet Leprechaun somewhere in the cosmos? Sure. Again, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Do I believe karma could be real? Sure. Do I know it to be real? No. But neither can you know that it's not. There is, if you're honest and rigorous, very little that we can be truly certain of. And this is a good thing - because it keeps our minds open to possibilities. (Which might be worth trying?)
Care to answer that?
Although I technically permit the possibility of either, in the sense that I recognize the limitations of knowledge, I nevertheless reject both in practice. Do you? Are they on equal footing?
A rational adult rejects childish fairytale creatures, and a rational adult similarly rejects karma.
If they are are equal footing, then all you are doing is obnoxiously injecting epistemology into a casual conversation. Do you do this every time somebody mentions that something doesn't exist, or just when you catch the whiff of religion?
I thought I covered your Y/N on unicorns with my answer about Planet Leprechaun. But, sure, Planet Unicorn is equally plausible.
Incidentally, the millions of Buddhists in the world would be amused to know that none of them are "rational".
As an aside, I'd argue that there's more evidence for karma than there is for unicorns or leprechauns. At its core, karma is the idea of cause and effect. Actions have consequences. This is entirely consistent with much of what we think we know about the world.
> I thought I covered your Y/N on unicorns with my answer about Planet Leprechaun. But, sure, Planet Unicorn is equally plausible.
> Incidentally, the millions of Buddhists in the world would be amused to know that none of them are "rational".
I submit that where this a discussion about Saint Patrick's Day, and somebody described the origin of Leprechauns and in the process offhandedly referred to them as a fiction, you would not object. You would not even think of objecting. Objecting would never cross your mind.
You are only objecting here because you become uncomfortable when religion enters the picture. Millions of adults believe in karma and call it religion so you are willing to be obnoxious about epistemology, but in conversations where religion is not hinted at, you would not even consider objecting.
So the new tarantula they discovered yesterday didn't exist until it had been measured?
Regarding the rest of your claim - I certainly do not become uncomfortable when religion enters the picture - I was a philosophy major, have experimented with the practice of a variety of religions, etc.
I seek truth, for myself and others. A prematurely closed mind strikes me as an obstacle to this endeavor. So I spoke up. Perhaps that was a mistake?
Regardless, I think we understand each other - you believe you know that karma is no more plausibly real than unicorns or leprechauns. I believe that this claim is unfounded. You think that this makes me insane/irrational. Have I got it right?
"Can be measured", not "has been". But if someone had claimed to know of the existence of a tarantula with the specific characteristics that species has, and it had not yet been observed (not even by the person claiming to know about it), that person would be crazy. That they were right would be a coincidence.
What leads you to believe that karma is more plausible than unicorns and leprechauns?
Regarding your supposed coincidence - how does predicting karma differ from predicting the Higgs? Until recently, the Higgs previously had never been directly measured, and now it seems that it has been. It's a coincidence that they found what they were looking for? That stretches credulity. I wonder why the prediction of karma would be any different than any of the predictions made by Western science.
As for why I believe karma is more plausible than unicorns, well, to answer that question I do think it is important to be clear what we mean by karma, in order to get at what I find plausible. There are many different specific definitions for karma with more nuance than we likely want to dig into here, but the core idea, as I said above, is the idea of cause and effect. Perhaps the biggest difference between the karmic notion of cause and effect and our Western ideas of cause and effect is the idea that our intentions matter in determining the consequences of our actions. Why does this seem plausible to me? Well, it has been my experience that intentions do matter, and can often result in real world effects. How specifically does this happen? I'm not sure. But magnetism worked before we understood why. As did gravity. So it's plausible to me that karma (insofar as it is understood as the intentions of our actions having real consequences) could operate before we understand (or can measure) why. Is this certain? As I've said, no. But it certainly seems plausible that intent matters.
On the other hand, if by karma you mean the idea that our actions and intentions will result in a specific kind of rebirth, well, that's perhaps less plausible to me than the more generalized notion. But I'm certainly not willing to declare it Not The Case.
With which model have you predicted the existence of karma? What rigorous experiments have supported the assumptions and prior predictions of this model? Is there a "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the 'Eastern Sciences'" I can look to?
> Well, it has been my experience
Human experience, without very careful treatment, is as near to worthless as you can get. You should know that. Seriously dude, this is elementary.
> But magnetism worked before we understood why. As did gravity.
The effects of gravity and magnetism can be observed. They were conclusively observed well before they were explained. Karma however has never been explained NOR observed. The effects of karma exist only in the fevered imaginations of lunatics and the delusionally religious. If it objectively exists in reality then it, like magnetism or gravity, could be independently measured in an empirical fashion, even if explanation escapes us.
> "you believe you know that karma is no more plausibly real than unicorns or leprechauns. I believe that this claim is unfounded. You think that this makes me insane/irrational. Have I got it right?"
Yeah, it seems like you have that about right. I feel like I am talking to losethos here or something. What evidence have you for justifying your assessment of the plausibility of karma? Your "feels" do not count; if you want karma to be taken seriously alongside proper science, then do the fucking legwork. Otherwise just admit that it is your own wishful thinking and delusion.
> "but the core idea, as I said above, is the idea of cause and effect."
Bullshit. The core idea is a self-leveling system of cause and effects governed by some universal system of ethics. I deny no pedestrian cause and effect reality, only apparently supernatural systems governed by some system of ethics.
> "have experimented with the practice of a variety of religions"
For reasons that should be obvious to all, this does not inspire the confidence that you seem to think it should. Furthermore, you have entirely misinterpreted what I have said. I am not accusing you of being uncomfortable around religion, but rather being uncomfortable around criticism of religion in its entirety. You are "white knight"ing religion. You ascribe it importance without justification.
-- Here you say human experience is as worthless as it gets. Earlier you said that our sensory experience is the foundation of all reality. Which is it?
-- The question I was asked was why do I consider karma plausible. My feelings do in fact count on that score.
Beyond that, I get the sense that you're just trolling me at this point, so I'm done now. Like I said, I think we understand each other. Good luck.
At its core, a unicorn is a mammal. A warm-blooded animal which nurses its young. This is entirely consistent with much of what we think we know about the world.
Why stop at Budhists? Billions of religious people would probably be amused to know that none of them are rational.
It's still a fact: religious people are not rational: they have faith, which is by definition, a belief that is not supported by reason nor evidence.
Do some reading. Start with this: http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html It's a probability-based argument for the notion that we are in fact inside an ancestor simulation. Would love to hear your thoughts on how you know it to be incorrect. Then go read some Descartes and tell me a cool story about how he's insane.
Trust me, I understand that your sandwich feels real to you. But that doesn't make it so. Any more than your opinion that karma doesn't exist makes that the case.
Reality is defined as what our senses permit us to perceive, any other definition is not productive. Honestly rejecting it is insanity; if rejecting ones own senses is not insanity, then what is? If we are in a simulation then sandwiches are real in all meaningful ways if the simulation presents sandwiches to our senses. The simulation, if we live in one, does present sandwiches to us, but it presents absolutely no evidence for karma.
Why do you believe in karma more than leprechauns? Or karma instead of anti-karma? Or narwhale fighter pilots? The supposed simulation presents equally little evidence for any of these. Yes, a rational mind allows for the possibility of karma, but no more so than the possibility of leprechauns, anti-karma, and unicorns. That is to say, in practice, a rational mind rejects all of the notions if "the simulation" has not presented reasons not to do so.
So, in the sense that you "allow for the possibility of the reality" of karma, do you similarly "allow for the possibility of the reality" of unicorns? Yes? No?
if this is some sort of fundamental truth, it means that reality is subject to the rate at which our technology evolves. the overwhelming majority of the sonic spectrum skips right past our perception, unless we use technology. so how might one conclude that there were sounds beyond our perceptions, say 1000 years ago? he or she might look at the EFFECTS of sound on animals, and infer that something beyond our senses was at work.
"if rejecting ones own senses is not insanity, then what is?"
so your advice to a pilot in a cockpit is to go with one's senses at all costs? one's senses are never trumped by reason? lol.
we have plenty of evidence for cause and effect, most of which you've already stated you buy into. we can't perceive (AKA measure) gravity, but we can measure the EFFECTS of gravity. according to your tidy little definition, gravity isn't real. i'm sure you're shocked every morning when you step out of bed and don't float away.
why is karma any more relevant to talk about it than unicorns and leprechauns? from psychology to medical science, we have lots of evidence that belief and intention can directly affect reality.
an understanding that all actions have effects in the world and that we can attract things in our lives which we choose to focus on, empowers people to be active, positive and fearless agents in the world rather than passive, negative and victimized ones.
and to conclude:
"Henceforth, my dear philosophers, let us be on guard against the dangerous old conceptual fiction that posited a "pure, will-less, painless, timeless knowing subject"; let us guard against the snares of such contradictory concepts as "pure reason," absolute spirituality," "knowledge in itself": these always demand that we should think of an eye that is completely unthinkable, an eye turned in no particular direction, in which the active and interpreting forces, through which alone seeing becomes seeing something, are supposed to be lacking; these always demand of the eye an absurdity and a nonsense. There is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective "knowing"; and the more affects we allow to speak about one thing, the more eyes, different eyes, we can use to observe one thing, the more complete will our "concept" of this thing, our "objectivity," be. But to eliminate the will altogether, to suspend each and every affect, supposing we were capable of this -- what would that mean but to castrate the intellect?"
On the other hand, they haven't made a great game in a very long time. Even The Force Unleashed was just okay, but not stellar.
MicroProse was stagnant for a long time and then finally went under - the resulting sale gave us, finally after so many years, a great X-Com game (with another on the way).
The death of a game studio can have a (pretty thick) silver lining. When THQ went down it auctioned off its franchises - and forced a changing of the guard for some franchises that have been stagnant.
I purchased TFU 2 at full retail ($60), and regret it. It is hands down the worst title I own.
Still not sure what happened there.
'Management' shut down everything that was not a SW game some time ago.
Gone were all the other game lines.
The Lucasarts of 15 years ago will be sorely missed.
(Except configuring your SB card with setup.exe)
In all seriousness ... I am very saddened by this news. I few up playing Monkey Island, Indy Jones, etc. I was thinking of buying all the Monkey Island games again on my iPad but didn't have the time.
After that, I think that some marketing could convince the vast majority to pay a lot more than 99 cents (I did, for Plants vs Zombies).
I'd pay somewhere around U$ 5 per game myself :)
You're comparing the adventure games to the massively expensive FPS or RPG or other stuff with awesome graphics and all that :) .
And, to be honest, I never paid U$ 50 for any game upfront (PC, console, boardgame, anything), and I believe 99.9% of the gaming population in my country (Uruguay) hasn't either :) . That's the realm of US and European teens that can afford them (well, their parents can).
I did buy secondhand console games and other stuff :) , and I've paid far more for my M:TG collection, but on 4 to 10 dollar installments :) .
Right now the #3 paid app is the $7 Minecraft, the second game on the list.
A lot of the games on the top charts right now are free or $0.99 games with in-app purchases that bring the price higher, or games that were formerly in the $7-20 range but are lower because they've been out for awhile.
There's an entire new generation that could buy them, plus point-and-click adventure games sound like a great use case for tablets.
I really don't have the time for PC games, but I sometimes have long (4+ hour) bus trips, and an Android adventure game would be amazing.
I'd also like an old X-com remake for android, and some other tower defense games besides Plants vs Zombies (or PvZ 2 :) ). PvZ was the first Android game I've bought.
That game needed so many sequels. It was fantastic.
On the other hand, hey, Disney owns Monkey Island. I'd love them to do something with it.
Please keep in mind that the development studio that closed down is not the same thing that made the classics we all cherish. What we know as LucasArts died a long time ago.
I'm more saddened at the thought of developers losing their jobs and I'm hopeful that many of them had opportunities to get out ahead of time.
Any folks at LucasArts that need help finding a job (and happen to be reading this) just shoot me an email - I'm happy to help and my email is in my profile.
Edit: non-technical too, just figured I can try to help anyone that is impacted by this!
As for anticipated dark plot type games, well, its Disney. They aren't going to do that, are they? They do family fluffy stuff.
Oh, old men: stop trying to take a kids franchise and expecting it to be grown up and adult. We get the same BS here in the UK about Dr Who. Same problem, old fans forgetting that is a kids show. Starwars is for kids, and us adults who refuse to grow up. But make no mistake, this is a kids franchise first.
That said, I do think Dr Who lets adults in better than the last 3 SW films did.
For example, we could have a standardized 3D environment format, where some companies specialize in creating those. Other companies could specialize in creating characters, others physics engines, story development, or direction.
An added benefit of this is a potential for game worlds to connect to each other (this has always been a dream of mine).
I know the industry is already specialized into development studios and publishers. I wonder if further specialization could spread out the risk, and increase the competitiveness of each party, even more.
DF was, at the time, an alternative to single-player Quake and Unreal, etc. and the overall feeling and theme (in my view) was spot on. Plus, it had a /story/ which many 1st-person shooters sorely lacked. Wolfenstein was really the only other one that really kicked ass, and it was ancient at that time. DF wasn't just a shooting simulator. It was ... immersive (which sounds so cliche, but it truly was).
It will be just like the movie business, usually you pay a little to rent decent movies run of the mill movies and watch them at home, and every once in a while you will pay theater prices to see Avatar or Harry Potter or whatever is hyper big budget and popular.
Gaming is still a young industry that needs time to find itself.
But nah...whose asking me...
Here is the SF Gate article on it. I thought I would share it because it has some pictures of the campus. I have driven and walked by it and will be sad to see it go.
If anything, what they did was the rational decision.
I'm willing to bet that they did not expect to make more than X by selling the game.
(Though I think they may have had an empty booth at previous PyCons...)
I spent a lot of time in Lucasarts games as a kid. Fond memories. Thanks, Lucasart.