Author Topic: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged  (Read 9412 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:56:08 AM »
To say the least. I feel like this whole gamergate drama is sprawling everywhere, and suddenly there are odd things people notice...

So in case you don't know what I am talking about,
IGF is an indy games award
devs have to pay money to enter, there are prices
The way judges are picked has been a long standing issue with the IGF (1 guy picks them) and IGF is run by UBM which also owns GAMASUTRA (in case you wondered how independent that news site is) you know who else is run by UBM? The game developer conference... funny huh?

So where is the drama? Well....

First I want to show you something funny. This is the IGF Sponsor site right now -> http://www.igf.com/05sponsors.html
It's empty!

This was the IGF sponsor site before the video aired that I am going to link soon -> http://i.4cdn.org/v/1409725172557.png

Notice something funny? ;)

So here it is, the video

Indie-fensible! - The Maya "Legobutts" Kramer Story!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgW5NRUfs44

Please watch it whole. Do not stop before it ends, the true laugh comes at the end ;)

If you have not been following the Gamergate drama at all, ignore all the things related to that, the true gems are once the video focuses on IGF and Silverstring media. A PR firm that is DIRECTLY related to the news sites that posted that barrage of "anti gamer" news posts. And directly related to the FINALISTS CHOSEN AT IGF (Yes, including 1 Silverstring employee who's game he worked on magically won).

So... I would say this enriches your day nicely, does it not?

I am posting it here because you can bet actual money that no Silverstring related news site is gonna carry this news. This is.. actually I am honestly finished ;) This is so horrid that I am contemplating never again to buy a indy game. It is not "random" who gets picked and shines and who gets few sales. It is not random who gets spotlight on big news outlets and who doesn't. This is a tight clique that pushes their own (and related) games.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 09:02:14 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline x4000

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 09:10:02 AM »
Um... indie developer here. ;)

I haven't seen the video, but I get the gist of it from your comments.  I really can't say one way or another about IGF, and goodness knows I have had my own frustrations with contests like that in the past.

All that said, the whole thing turning you off of indies in general I think would be a mistake.  There is a certain clique of highly-covered indies, it's true.  However, Arcen has been covered by a lot of major news sites without remotely being part of that clique.

I wouldn't say that the coverage we got was "random" either.  It's just a matter of our working really hard to get the games that we make in front of people who might take an interest in them.  When we get it to the wrong person, we either don't get covered or we get reamed dismissively.  When we get it to the right person at a given outlet, we get at least fair coverage, for good or ill.  The right person varies from game to game, as tastes vary.

Do some people have an easier time of it because they know the right people from other contexts?  I'm sure that probably happens.  That's nothing new to human endeavors.  Do I like it?  No.  Does it affect my buying habits?  Not at all.  Indie or AAA, I buy things that look interesting to me.  Rarely are those the IGF winners anyhow, although sometimes they are.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 09:15:24 AM »
Do not worry ;) When I said that I did not mean Arcengames.. I know you guys, and I love you guys ;) And when I find a game that I like (by myself) I will still buy it.. but when I hear of a Indy game from someone I now have to always doubt the motivations behind it. I think this absolutely totally unfair to honest Indy devs who just want to make good games and continue doing so. :/

Ps.: For my point you really have to watch the video though. Firstly it has source links for ALL claims that I can't possibly repeat, and secondly it draws the connections much better than I ever could..

This entire thing makes me very sad.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 09:17:40 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline x4000

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 09:18:30 AM »
Cheers. :)

And yes, I agree that blind recommendations don't carry much weight with me either... though they never really have, honestly.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 10:37:51 AM »
Cheers. :)

And yes, I agree that blind recommendations don't carry much weight with me either... though they never really have, honestly.

Well if anything this just shows that there are very few trust-able sources of information in this corrupt environment called "gaming news". I still think Total Biscuit carries the biggest weight when it comes to opinion. In this entire drama he's shown himself to the beacon of journalistic integrity that so many "journalists" at these Silverstring PR managed news sites will never have.

It's actually pretty hilarious (if it weren't so sad) that an angry ex boyfriend was needed to bring this corruption to light.
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 11:00:18 AM »
I don't see how this involves the whole "indie scene" as some people seem to imply. The vast majority of "indie game developers" do not even participate in IGF nor have anything to do with any of the people involved in this.

Heck, I don't think even 1/10th of my "indie" game collection have much if anything to do with the group of people being discussed.

Saying IGF and its "associated" people, organizations, and sites make up the "indie scene" is like saying 4chan is the whole "internet community". They're not, they're just a group happen to be really loud so they're easier to notice. That doesn't mean they speak for everyone nor even a small fraction of everyone.

Offline x4000

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 11:07:43 AM »
So, I watched the video at this point.  I can't speak to any of that, as I have no knowledge of it.  But I can confirm that the experience of having people not really play our games or not play them until the last second was something that we experienced at one time; I did write about it, I believe.  And yeah, it's been known for quite some time that the IGF is circle-jerky at best.

Conflicts of interest don't always mean there is wrongdoing, and are sometimes unavoidable.  And in terms of the people notable enough and motivated enough to start the various competitions and groupings, it makes sense that there would be overlap.  The judging for IGF has been a sore spot for a lot of us for a long time, but I have always attributed it more to poor organization rather than malice, and after watching the video I honestly still do.  IndieCade is better organized in a lot of respects, and has seemed less biased towards certain limited types of games, too.

I don't know, the video doesn't give me a "the sky is falling" feeling.  There is indeed a cool kids club of indies, and this is not news.  IGF is terrible at really judging various things, and that's not news either.  But what this video does overlook is that tons of smaller games get noticed and sell plenty fine without any of that.  Loads of smaller indie games do just fine on KickStarter, Steam, and various media outlets without needing anything to do with the IGF or any of that crowd.

The media companies noted as having links to that PR firm cover plenty of things other than just what is implied in the video, and they overall seem to do so with as little bias as anyone can reasonably have.  That doesn't mean I always agree with them, but that's true of anything subjective.  And I have never felt like there was anything shady going on.

If you ask me, the problem is about people who review games but don't really put the time into them.  Aka, they'll take a complex game and play it for 15 minutes and then decry it if they don't like it.  Or if it's not something they've heard of, they'll put less time in than something they've heard something about before.  That last one is understandable, for sure, and is probably the main problem that comes from the IGF or whatever.  Still, in a flooded sea of indie games, they have to pick what to write about somehow.  The biggest problem is when they half-write-about something, in my opinion.

There's always room for improvement in any industry, and this one is still maturing for sure, but I don't think it's some massive conspiracy controlled by a few people with unpopular opinions.  That's my two cents, anyway.
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Offline Misery

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 11:27:16 AM »
This all seems like alot of unnecessary drama to me, really.   And kind of exaggerated.

I buy alot of games, so frequently, and the majority of them are indie titles.  In addition, just as with Arcen here, I do testing for some and directly interact with them in the way I do here.

And really, the majority of them, well... they dont bother with this sort of thing.  They have a game they want to make, they want to be able to get it out there and see it do well, and they want it to sell enough so that they can keep doing what they love.   And that's it, nothing more.


As usual I think people put way too much importance on things like this.  Particularly when you consider the sheer size of the industry as a whole, and the huge number of different people that are doing their best to make the games that they want.  Something like the IGF focuses only on a very small percentage of that.

Seems to me to be just another example of the internet taking a story and inflating it beyond what it actually is.  In reality,  I dont think it matters much at all.

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 01:43:51 PM »
Here is the amount I care about award shows:

0 AIs worth

The "revelation" that the IGF is a giant circle-jerk is nothing new to award shows. Just look at the Golden Globes or any other major award shows. If those aren't jerk fests, I'll eat all of my socks. But they tend to be and hence I don't care about them. If a game has a bunch of awards on the Steam page, wooooohoooo. That doesn't increase its chances of being played by me. This, to me, is a lot of silly drama and we're better off ignoring the IGF, robbing them of their power.

Do not let what a small group of individuals damage what you think about the Indie scene in general. Lots of indie devs have nothing to do with the IGF and you shouldn't use the actions of a few to paint what the rest might be doing, because they aren't.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 01:46:50 PM by KingIsaacLinksr »
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Offline wwwhhattt

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 05:40:45 PM »
First I want to show you something funny. This is the IGF Sponsor site right now -> http://www.igf.com/05sponsors.html
It's empty!

This was the IGF sponsor site before the video aired that I am going to link soon -> http://i.4cdn.org/v/1409725172557.png
They're... identical? Presumably something was changed then put back.

The only thing that seems to be worth taking seriously here is the amount of abuse people are getting. It just seems to be a handful of loud people who're angry because they aren't the centre of the gaming world anymore, and all the corruption stuff as just a reason to vent.

Offline zespri

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2014, 08:28:28 PM »
Never heard of IGF before. And reading this thread I'm not sure why I should care  :)

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2014, 10:33:43 PM »
Never heard of IGF before. And reading this thread I'm not sure why I should care  :)

Assuming you didn't follow the drama so far, the only reason you should care is because it proves that certain news outlets and certain award show and conferances (the GDC) are in bed with each other (literally), so deeply and utterly that "fair game coverage" is nearly non-existent. If you make a game that disagrees with the agenda of these people, you will NEVER be mentioned on these sites. Even if you make top seller on steam.

If you think this blowing stuff out of proportion you must have missed the news the past 2 weeks ;)

Just 1 for you
http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201409032102-0024126

Yes, Al Jazeera is covering this.  :o

Ps.: Aside that it's simply entertaining, no? ;) That the Indy Game awars are all crap is nothing new, and I knew that of course, but you have to realize, winning a show award for best indy game is a HUGE boost in popularity. And this means people who got cheated lose money. The market isn't an infinite sponge. First attention is everything when you release, and when you don't get that you make less money.

The only thing that seems to be worth taking seriously here is the amount of abuse people are getting

Gamers are just answering in kind.
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« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 10:51:05 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 12:38:50 AM »
Never heard of IGF before. And reading this thread I'm not sure why I should care  :)

Assuming you didn't follow the drama so far, the only reason you should care is because it proves that certain news outlets and certain award show and conferances (the GDC) are in bed with each other (literally), so deeply and utterly that "fair game coverage" is nearly non-existent.

Then why does this reflect badly on the Indie scene in general? It's not like all of Indieland can control the actions of a few. Surprise! The indie scene isn't one big community, but lots of little ones. Arcen is one. Minecraft is one. And so on and so forth. I could go on and on about this but the indie scene in general is tons of little communities. People make this mistake constantly when it comes to sites like YouTube, assuming everyone on there is under the same umbrella when really its just tons of tiny communities.

Quote
That the Indy Game awars are all crap is nothing new, and I knew that of course, but you have to realize, winning a show award for best indy game is a HUGE boost in popularity. And this means people who got cheated lose money. The market isn't an infinite sponge. First attention is everything when you release, and when you don't get that you make less money.

So....what's your solution to this mess? I mean, the solution I come up with is just straight up ignoring the IGF and everything they do...which is what I've been doing for years anyway.

Quote
that "fair game coverage" is nearly non-existen

Had to come back to this but fair game coverage doesn't exist. From the smallest bloggers to the biggest reddit channels around, game coverage hasn't been fair for a very long time. And not due to corruption or behind-the-door dealings, but the simple fact that there are TOO MANY GAMES. There is no one person that can cover all the games on sites like GOG.com or Desura, much less Steam. Sure, Steam has let the front door open and we've had a swamp of games coming in lately, but there are many times more games that aren't on Steam and get 0 coverage. Then, there are games on Steam that still don't get any coverage. It's a giant mess right now and reviewers are scrambling to find ways of dealing with the deluge...but it may be a very long time, if ever, to find a solution to this situation.

I realize you were probably referring to the corruption making it so certain people got lots of coverage....Yeah, I'm heavily disappointed this is happening. Its a new industry and I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Doesn't justify it happening though....
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 12:40:49 AM by KingIsaacLinksr »
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 01:48:29 AM »
Been hearing a lot about this lately. Same with the Zoey Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian hysteria.
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Offline doctorfrog

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Re: So.. Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2014, 02:12:34 AM »
Been hearing a lot about this lately. Same with the Zoey Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian hysteria.
Y'know, I read some about this, and it seems like it might be slightly more than weird males getting upset about uppity females, but it just doesn't seem like it's worth the time and effort to really deeply understand the complex underlying causes. It seems like it will sort itself out without my worrying about it.

It's a bit like this with how cozy some of the 'indie' and general video games industry is with itself, and other facets like "games journalism." I might be kind of irked by some of it, but just can't get that worked up.

I get most of my game recommendations through forums, online communities, word of mouth, and friends. I guess if I thought those were co-oped or corrupted in some way, I might be kind of upset, but "Independent Games Festival 2014 was rigged?" I just can't care that much about awards shows, there's not enough energy in me to do so.

Maybe it's because I watch, read, and listen to actual news, and the world's just kinda more messed up now than usual? Video games form a decent chunk of my attention, but they're fairly low on the importance scale.