You Probably Shouldn’t Buy Space Engineer

Really COCKED that one up

Fans of the site will know that I mine Steam trading cards for money to buy more Steam games with, this normally leaves me with some cash on hand to, at the very least, weaken my already poor resolve to purchase additional games on the client.  Today I noticed an interesting title by the name of Space Engineers, something like Mine Craft in space and with graphics.  It seemed interesting, in-expensive, and like something that I might pick up and play around with—possibly on the stream at some point while Stark said something about all of my spaceships all looking overly phallic.

I may have ended up buying the game, I might have ended up forgetting about the game, but what happened next made me interested enough to write about the game.

While browsing reddit I happened about a thread titled, “My opinion of the developers of Space Engineer”.  I am not dumb, I know for a fact that no one acts cagey in a title if their “opinion” isn’t going to attempt to be neutral while secretly trying to convince everyone to hate on it—I just wanted to know more about the game as it was in pre-release and besides two videos I knew nothing about the game.  To say that the thread was poorly formed and confusing was an understatement; it took reading the comments for a while to figure out exactly what was going on. Basically I walked away knowing that I probably shouldn’t buy this game. Most of the leg work was done by poster earlycat, so credit goes to him for that, all I am trying to do is present this in an understandable and digestible manner.

posthere

and gone

To begin with the developer, Keen Software House, has a bad reputation for charging people to get into betas and then suddenly deciding that they are feature complete—bugs and all.  There previous game, Miner Wars 2081 was released on Steam as an early access beta, pushed to full release days later, and all work was halted almost directly after.  It was poorly received, critically so. Also it was a DRM nightmare. Also it didn’t work on many machines, at all.  Right before the team stopped work, stating that they were stopping work to start another title instead (probably because they had grown bored and their ADD kicked in), they had promised a list of updates and fixes that never appeared.  Keep in mind that this paragraph is about things that happened on their previous game, and isn’t even about the current one.

Huh. They... Just want my money?

Say you have a game breaking bug, or just a normal kind.  The first thing most people do is head to the forums to discuss this with other humans to see if it is a known issue with some kind of work around (like don’t make your penis rocket so big).  Keen Software would prefer that you didn’t do that, or discuss anything besides how awesome the game is at all if you would.  In less time than it takes for the pizza guy to get to my house threads are being deleted with people posting questions asking about bugs, not just standard trolling and people asking if they should buy the game threads (those, by far outnumber them and are also all being deleted), but legit threads with people with issues in the game.  The bug forum itself does seem to be populated, but with old questions from people that are waiting to hear back from moderators that are too busy making sure the main forums are a positive place.  Sure, maybe you reported a bug in the wrong area, that happens, you thread is moved or deleted.  I will give you the benefit of the doubt on that one, have to keep this together or it will be a mad house. Oh, wait, you mean they delete anything from the main forum that isn’t praise:

Legit

It is true that most of the thread deletion complaints have been more about people simply asking if the team, you know, intends to complete this game unlike their last one.  Those threads last less time that it did for you to get this far in the story.  Threads about if you should buy the game are seemingly deleted in bulk, which is odd because most of your day one traffic is people asking if the game is worth it.  One person even went so far as to try and start a conversation with the devs about what is going on, for which (this was earlycat) he was banned and then given a 25% off coupon for the game… I don’t know if the last one is a joke that steam plays or some college intern having a sense of humor.  The point is the forums are like some kind of train wreck that just watched the VMAs after finding out that the Patriots cheated during that one season all those years ago.

Win... Win?

I have talked before, on the pod, on the Stream, in some articles, to myself, about how weird the idea of pre-purchasing a game can be when a designer can just call it quits at any moment while leaving whatever steaming pile they delivered with the player and calling it done.  My experiences with it to this point have been pretty positive, with the games taking the fall for either being weird, or just not what I thought they were going to be and not with the concept themselves.  I think it is kind of interesting that the gaming world finally has a way that a small company can come out and proclaim itself basically a super villain and manage to destroy all of the good will that millions of people went out of their way to create.

Source: Reddit (r/gaming)

Awesome New Fighting Game Site: Betting Included

If you are wondering, Saske wins because HE IS CHEAP

So for a really long time there has been an open source fighting game engine out there called “mugen”, which I am told means “infinite” in Japanese, where people can create their own character and basically make the fantasy fighting game of their dreams play out in a 2D sprite based game.  I am not really one to judge, but whatever.  The reason I bring this up now, as this game has been out for years at this point, is that someone decided to start a twitch channel running the game with every single character they could find–then allow people to place fake money on who will win.  It sounds like watching a crazy MS Paint version of what someone thinks Trunks+Vegeta at level 4 super sayen will look like, but it is even better to watch that character get destroyed by Barney’s power of love.

The site is free to sign up for, although it has a paid option if you want to basically either donate or raise the min. amount of fake money you can have at any point.  The chat room is your standard insanity and worthlessness fest, even though it is hard to turn off because they do randomly through out good advice about characters–even if it is hidden in thousands of posts of garbage.

You can find the site here.

Russia Angry Historically Accurate Game not Nicer

I am sure this exact thing happened, Russia

Long time readers of the site will know that I am a huge fan of the Company of Heroes series, in the past I have gone so far as to claim that it is a better real time strategy game than StarCraft.  I say this so that you know when to take what I am about to say in the right context.  A, rather large, Russian gaming distributor has stopped all sales of Company of Heroes 2 because the game doesn’t paint the behavior of everyone in Russia as “wonderful” from the second World War.  While the game is nowhere near close enough to accurate to portray everything that happened as fact, as that would be a less interesting game, it is at the very least “inspired by” enough to make most Law and Order episodes look dumb for using “ripped from the headlines”.

I have not played the newest addition of the series, mainly because every time I have been paid since it came out there was something twice as important that seemingly needed to be bought that week, but the other games would only ever talk about real things that happened in kind of boring cut-scenes that used maps and giant arrows to show troop movement.  I never felt that any of the levels that were played in the game went over the line to disrespecting the memory of what happened—but I was also pretty sure that all those missions were simply things that could have happened.  Interestingly enough when I read about this story there was instantly people in the comments point out how painfully nationalistic Russia has been as of late.

Source: EvilAvatar

Nintendo Doesn’t Want You Making Money from Their Art

My guess it looks something like this

Reviews and gamplay videos are kind of a weird area when it comes to copyright law.  On the one hand the game is technically the company’s intellectual property, on the other you could argue that the gameplay of the game is something of a performance piece.  Nintendo doesn’t see things in such greys and seems to prefer more black and white ways as they are actively taking all of the money from anyone who has YouTube postings of any of their games.  Remember, these aren’t people copy and pasting other’s material, these people are playing games while providing commentary while they play.  Worst of all is that Nintendo isn’t even requesting the videos be taken down, only that they receive all of the ad revenue from it.

The knee jerk reaction to this action is easy enough to saying something like, “Nintendo must be hurting for money if they are stealing it from their fans,” but this sounds worse than that.  If the last decade has proven anything it is that the Nippon company doesn’t understand the internet or how it is used, with this being the latest example.  In their minds this is probably just an attempt to defend their IP without discouraging their fans from spreading the good word about it, something I would not describe as thoroughly thought through.  The problem with Nintendo is that it tries to maintain its image in an obsessive control freak way, something that hasn’t seemed to work in their favor in the past.  I don’t know if taking money out of content creators’ pockets is the correct way to do that.

Source: The Escapist

White House has No Issue Taxing Video Games

Not for President KICK ASS!

Biden has a habit of just kind of being a “say whatever is on his mind” sort of guy.  Recently, during a religious political rally he was asked if there would be some way to restrict the distribution of violent media and video games, something like taxing them.  Biden’s response was basically along the lines of, “Sure! No legal reason not to!” Considering that figuring out a way to curb the video game industry has long been a pet project of Biden’s, along with his repeated calls to have some kind of creditable research done on the matter, it doesn’t really seem like it is that odd that he would totally agree with that.

It bothers me that Biden sat down with the heads of many game studios and told them that he would not, nor does he care to, restrict video games in any manner; something seemingly forgotten after the recent school shooting (that had nothing to do with video games). I know that video games are the punching bag for all of the woes of the world at the moment, I know that we are quickly taking the place that comic books had for a rather long period.  It is just annoying when politicians use your pastime to try and gather people behind them.  Also, I am pretty sure this falls under the “government making laws to inhibit free speech”.

Source: Escapist