Author Topic: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]  (Read 4768 times)

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 11:11:20 AM »
I agree with you. Companies like Arcen still exist, and they continue to produce innovation even while doing so is a struggle.

In some ways, the gaming world was the best when it was still a niche hobby like model aircraft building or stamp collecting that few people even cared about. Back then it hadn't been corporatized yet, so literally the only games being made were the ones people loved to make.

I remember playing the original Doom at LAN parties. Those were the days.

But yeah, in spite of that there are still people resisting what has become a heavily monetized mainstream culture of its own, along with all the negative elements that usually brings.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2016, 11:40:14 AM »
I'm personally happier now with the state of the industry than I've ever been.  There's a lot of things I don't like, sure -- but coming along with that, the parts that I do like are in a golden age in my opinion.  There are SO many games that are good and that are getting produced only because of the way the industry is.  You have all this middleware that exists that enables the creation of games in a way that otherwise couldn't happen.  Etc.

I'm nostalgic for the old days as well, but it's easy to forget just how many crap shareware disks there were floating around that were absolute drivel.  It's not like that's new.  But now there's a lot more to choose from, and that has a lot of pros along with all the cons.  Plus just look what small teams can do now that was unimaginable before.
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2016, 01:23:43 PM »
I think because it's easier now to publish games on your own (there are so many crowdfunding sites to help you and so many online shops to present your product), the varity of games rises again.
In the times where publishers dominated the market and you had to fit your game their specific conditions, it was a sure thing that innovation dried out. It didn't stop, but it became less and less.
Now the indie game market booms because it was never easier tto publish your game on your own.
This is a double edged sword of course, because of the quantity you could make a really cool concept but no one notices it (Starward Rogue) because there are too many other games out there.
Most games on my steam library are actually indie games, I own only a small quantity of games from big publishers. And it's really cool to see what people try to do and what comes out, I'm amazed when suddenly a new game concept shows up behind a corner and I think "Holy shit, this is so brilliant, why has no one thought of this before?".
It's just amazing.
However, some indie games just cannot compete with some of the biggest games from big publishers. Final Fantasy X for example came out recently on Steam. Final Fantasy X, finally on PC. This was planned like 15 years ago when the game came out and now it is finally here. It's really cool to see an old classic back on the game, but it's one of these "main stream"/"infinite sequels" examples.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2016, 01:26:01 PM »
It just feels like demos is a courtecy so one doesn't have to buy things sight unseen.

This was a poke at religion, but it applies to games as well.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2016, 01:36:39 PM »
I'm surprised you feel that way, but nostalgia being what it is, it is most likely the case that I'm just being overly sentimental.

Still, I'm sticking to my guns that once a culture becomes mainstream enough, it kind of corrupts everything around it. Even unintentionally, everyone gets sucked into it simply by the nature of being human, and being an inevitable part of a greater whole.

I think one of the most telling examples of this is music and the music industry. The 70s/80s and even the 90s were a golden age for many forms of rock/alternative rock, and whenever people born within the past 40 years talk about good rock, that's what they're usually referring to. But look at music today, it's become the pop and hip-hop culture. The mainstream music is just terrible. Absolutely terrible. Not like, "Oh I'm just getting to be an old fogey (at 29) and lamenting the good ol' days" terrible. Like objectively bad music that makes the top 100 charts anymore.

Unfortunately this has made all the other forms of music suffer as a result. Because music is generally just a representation of the culture of the time. Metallica is my favorite example. Back in the 80s they were making KILLER stuff. Even in the 90s their music was pretty good. At the turn of the century, with the rising popularity of rap and hip hop, and their attempt to emulate it, they have become terrible. Like getting booed off the stage by their fans terrible.

Anyway, the point is, I don't believe that games are made in a vacuum. For every good and innovative game there are 9 money grabs or rehashes of what's already been done. Even the developers attempting to be innovate (like Metallica) get dragged down with the mediocrity. It's one of the reasons I feel that AI War was so amazing and why its success will never be replicated. It was made in a time that games were still emerging as a mainstream hobby. It was a passion project from a different time, appealing to a much different group of people. I remember you saying that you were attempting to create a game you could play with your dad.

But the times have changed, and we've all been affected by the changes. We can't go back to the way things were before, for better or worse.

It just feels like demos is a courtecy so one doesn't have to buy things sight unseen.

This was a poke at religion, but it applies to games as well.
That one has been posted in this forum before, but that's a great video - applying to so many situations. I love DarkMatter, his sense of humor is one of a kind.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2016, 02:00:18 PM »
I see a lot of what Chris mentions. There are innovative and genuinely fun games. They're just drowned in the absolute FLOOD of clones and other crap that litter the markets. I've found that I actually play my old DOS classics more than modern games these days. I'm just having more fun with them.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 02:42:40 PM »
Yeah, I've been super conservative with buying games lately.  I also haven't been playing many, which contributes to the problem, of course.  But yeah, if I had time to sink into something, I'd probably hit up Dwarf Fortress again.

For multiplayer, I really want a cooperative (maaaybe team based) shooter of some sort, one without any "level" or "loot" mechanics.  The whole idea of play duration making you Just Better than other people is dumb.

(By the way "pop" is not a genre, or shouldn't be. It's literally short for "popular" which means that "pop music" would be whatever genre is currently popular).

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2016, 03:15:25 PM »
Yeah, I've been super conservative with buying games lately.  I also haven't been playing many, which contributes to the problem, of course.  But yeah, if I had time to sink into something, I'd probably hit up Dwarf Fortress again.

For multiplayer, I really want a cooperative (maaaybe team based) shooter of some sort, one without any "level" or "loot" mechanics.  The whole idea of play duration making you Just Better than other people is dumb.

(By the way "pop" is not a genre, or shouldn't be. It's literally short for "popular" which means that "pop music" would be whatever genre is currently popular).
1 personally I prefer to be conservative my self as well mainly because I prefer to buy a game when I want to play it there and then that and well my interests tend to be a bit tad random but I have played just about all of the games in my library even  if not for much time

2 that's not terribly persifick cant help you there I'm afraid but yes it is dumb although I'm fine with it being purely cosmetics of course

3 really? that is quite odd considering how many people treat it like a genera.
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2016, 03:24:51 PM »
Yeah, I've been super conservative with buying games lately.  I also haven't been playing many, which contributes to the problem, of course.  But yeah, if I had time to sink into something, I'd probably hit up Dwarf Fortress again.

For multiplayer, I really want a cooperative (maaaybe team based) shooter of some sort, one without any "level" or "loot" mechanics.  The whole idea of play duration making you Just Better than other people is dumb.

(By the way "pop" is not a genre, or shouldn't be. It's literally short for "popular" which means that "pop music" would be whatever genre is currently popular).
I suppose this is true, though I don't think anybody was calling mainstream rock "pop" in the 80s. That's much more of a recent term as far as I can tell, and has really only been used to describe a specific kind of music as long as it's been around. Hence why I've lumped it in with hip hop and rap.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2016, 03:37:58 PM »
I suppose this is true, though I don't think anybody was calling mainstream rock "pop" in the 80s. That's much more of a recent term as far as I can tell, and has really only been used to describe a specific kind of music as long as it's been around. Hence why I've lumped it in with hip hop and rap.

Ironically...

Quote from: wikipedia
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the Western world during the 1950s and 1960s, deriving from rock and roll.

:P

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2016, 04:20:53 PM »
Oh, so pop is actually a genre, not just a term to describe whatever is popular at the time.

Well anyway, that's what I was trying to say. When it went from 80s and 90s rock to "pop", that was the death of it.

"Pop" may have been around since the '50s but I don't think anybody considered the mainstream rock as pop until the last decade or two.

In the 80s pop artists were considered like Michael Jackson and Madonna according to that article, and even they were a lot easier to listen to than modern pop music.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 04:27:17 PM by Wingflier »
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2016, 08:30:46 PM »
Modern pop music:
 ::)

The topics mainly appear to be about sex, the "ho's and g's", and humble bragging about being rich and famous.

I'll pass.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2016, 01:39:43 AM »
Modern pop music:
 ::)

The topics mainly appear to be about sex, the "ho's and g's", and humble bragging about being rich and famous.

I'll pass.

Isn't this...basically all mainstream music today?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2016, 09:01:57 AM »
I guess that music is a super good example of what I'm talking about.  I feel like it's something of a golden age for a variety of types of music, too.  I'll get to that in a second. 

Did Metallica go downhill?  Sure, absolutely.  But that arguably was because they were running out of ideas and trying something new -- why NOT try what was popular at the time?  Arguably their downfall was simply running out of ideas.

In terms of a golden age of music, I know that Audioslave got a lot of flack from various sources, but Chris Cornell is really someone I love the music of.  He's had some more recent stuff that is more hip-hoppy, and I've even liked that.  His various versions of "Wide Awake" are a direct address to GW Bush about 9/11 and Katrina; he doesn't sing about money and ho's.

Anyway, but that's just radio stuff.  The really good stuff you find online.  I've really gotten into The Queen Killing Kings (The Warden in particular, also Reinventing Language), The Hush Sound (man it's a deep roster of awesome stuff there, when it comes to their music; Medicine Man is really good, as are many others).  The versions on youtube really smoosh the sound and it doesn't sound nearly so good.

Then you get folks like Lindsay Sterling doing cool stuff.  And then a bunch of indie folks doing covers of game music, like Epic Game Music on youtube, or Chromelodeon (hit or miss, but they've done a few superb tracks), and a bunch of others I  can't think to mention offhand.

Okay, but what about the mainstream?  How about orchestral.  Movie music has never been more varied and interesting.  Hans Zimmer just keeps killing it, in my opinion.  Alexandre Desplat is a bit too much undertone for me, really, but he's done some amazing pieces such as The King's Speech (whole thing) and the song I'm blanking on from Deathly Hallows Pt 1 where Hermione makes her parents forget she existed.  Powerful stuff.

John Ottman has done some fun stuff off and on, and John Powell has shown a shocking range of talents in my opinion.  It's a far cry from James Horner, who -- while excellent -- kept doing the same thing over and over again in the 90s.  Danny Elfman has done some pretty decent stuff recently, and my absolute favorite standout of the last decade is Ilan Eshkeri.  He clearly poured everything he had into the Stardust soundtrack, and it's phenomenal; I'm not sure why he hasn't gotten more work of note since that.

In other words, I think it depends on what you like, and what you're willing to look for.  I've forgotten dozens artists that I think are absolutely tops in at least one album or song that are recent.  But you won't hear a single one of them on the radio.  If you just go by what's on the radio, then sure I can see why you'd think we're in a huge slump. ;)
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Does the new Steam refund system hurt indie developers? [TB video]
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2016, 09:49:53 AM »
Oh I actually agree with you about that. The Electronica age (Lindsey Sterling is an example) is now. House, trance, dubstep, drum and bass, etc. I know not everybody is in to that sort of music, but the sheer success and quality of it has spilled over into all the other genres. For example, even the modern orchestral scores for movies, which I agree are absolutely amazing, have a great deal of that electronic vibe to them anymore. The best example I can think of is the Hans Zimmer score for Batman: The Dark Knight. That was an absolutely beautiful mix of electronic rhythm with orchestral symphony. Actually, the soundtrack for the original Hunger Games movie by James Newton Howard was incredible if you've never heard it before. Video game music falls into this category as well, as often being electronic, symphonic, or a mix of them both (Pablo Vega).

However, I would also hesitate to call this genre mainstream, because you rarely hear them on the radio. You may have like dedicated electronica or orchestral music stations on SiriusXM, and you can certainly create those channels on Pandora if you so wish. However, it's an alternative form of music. It hasn't hit the mainstream yet in terms of popularity. I've mentioned this before, but much of what makes the modern electronica community so grand is all the bootlegging and remixes. Since the vast majority of it is either made underground or by independent musicians, there is almost no restrictions on the way these songs can be revamped, remixed, or combined into a totally new song whatsoever. That is an opportunity that would be unthinkable in the mainstream music industry, unless you specifically ask the artist permission, potentially purchase the rights to do such a thing, and probably even pay some royalties if it's successful. Nobody wants to do that. Often times the people creating these remixes and bootlegs are just kids using a fairly cheap music editing program. They can't pay for that. This is another example of how, when an industry becomes monetized, it ruins the quality of the stuff.

The orchestral genre is extremely resistant to becoming mainstream simply because of the cost and knowledge required to even produce that kind of music. Most people aren't going to have the money to hire an entire symphony of musicians to create their music, nor have the knowledge required to direct them, even if they did have the cash.

So I wouldn't call orchestral music "mainstream". It's used in movies, but it's been used in movies all the way back to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hell, it was probably even used before then. That's just a specific example in my mind where the movie was intentionally made by the music. The style of using classical music to complement a form of art goes all the way back to the ballets and operas of times past.

You've actually inspired me to watch Stardust again just to hear the soundtrack.
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