Triple A Fails

A thousand games. Yep, I’m a gamer. And this is just my steam library. I have more on twitch, switch, and individual PC games. I had even more until I moved but I gave hundreds of console games, and several consoles, to my kids because I couldn’t afford to move them all.

I am showing you this to say I have spent thousands of dollars on these games, even more if you consider I’ve been purchasing games for more than twenty years and how many I have sold, thrown away, deleted, etc over the years. But now…I’m not that interested in spending money on developers that don’t care about their user base.

Last year was a shit show. Triple A game after Triple A game being put out with game breaking bugs (Anthem, Fallout 76, Left Alive), game devs giving in to angry internet trolls that don’t even play games, game devs firing massive amounts of their people after record profits (EA and Activition,) and just the unbelievable exploitation of loot crates, microtransactions and pay-to-win garbage. $2 for a dot? COME ON!

I’ve had it with Triple A titles. They are supposed to be BETTER because they have the people and the backing to provide better games.

The games I loved last year? Moonlighter. Donut County. Celeste. Gris. Raft. Subnautica (and Subnautica even has a squeal out this year.)

And many older games like Stardew Valley are still adding new content to their games. For FREE.

So many games, and they all have one thing in common: indie studios made them!

And when the players complain about bugs what do they triple A studios do? They get Steam and Epic games to hide reviews. They ban players who highlight the problem with the game. They ban their top player. They ignore feedback, double down on microtransactions because they aren’t making enough, and in general make it worse. Even No Man’s Sky, a game overhyped, released too soon, with many of the features missing, has slowly kept adding those features, fixing their game for free and making it better every year. Instead Fallout, Anthem and other Triple A titles are doubling down.

Oh, and then they transfer IP’s we love to mobile and say “Do you guys not have phones?” They are so out of touch with their community. They aren’t selling to this market anymore, they are trying to break into the Chinese market which is heavily mobile based with microtransactions, and leaving us behind.

I’m not buying Triple A titles anymore until they are out, and vetted by the first players. I will support great games in the indie market and encourage those companies to grow. I will be making videos about them because I love them, and adding them to my recommendeds because I will not support an industry that does not love the games they make. If all you are in this for is money (which Activition and EA clearly are) then you don’t love what you are producing. If you don’t love it then why would I love it?

I’m done. I don’t trust games journalists anymore because I know they are just writing what the big companies tell them to write, and then lowering scores of indie titles so the big companies sell more. That’s why game companies black list so many smaller game reviewers, and even Kotaku, because they don’t want honest reviews. I’m tired of it. I want indie titles to win! Because they are amazing! They are creative, innovative, and actually WORK.

So go buy GOOD games and leave the trash where it belongs.

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There are great dangers in the forest…

Jupiter and Cas are out adventuring again, this time in the pass going toward Uldwin, a bustling coastal city. But a trip through a mountain pass is never easy in an RPG. Steel Heart is out today!

If you would prefer to read in KU both Steel Soul and Steel Heart will be available in KU within a couple of days.

You can also get Costume Shop for free today. Costume Shop was the story I released for Halloween, and it has a very R.L. Stein feel to it.

I am already hard at work on book three of my litRPG series, because gaming never ends.

Pax Prime

I guess the are calling it Pax West now, instead of Prime. I had a ticket for yesterday, and managed to get a few hours to go to some of the booths. But this was mostly Gregg’s chance to go connect with all the other creators. He wore his armor, stood on a dragon, and road a t-rex for Arc. It was pretty amazing. Wish I could have enjoyed it with him. Maybe next year.

I did see a number of games I can’t wait to play.

West of Loathing has to be my favorite so far. they took Kingdom of Loathing, made it single player and gave it a graphics interface. Same stick figure style, same rediculouse skills and crafting system. Even more awesome!

Eco just looked beautiful! I didn’t get a chance to play, but from what I was watching on screen it was a complete little planet that you were able to manipulate and watch the eco system change.It was developed to help students learn about ecosystems, and has a $500 price tag for 100 keys per year for five years for a school. I’d like to know if/how this works in a class.

An absolutly beautiful co-op game called The Rabbit and the Owl. The lighting and art for this are just amazing.

A fun little builder game called Project Highrise.

I got some beautiful art from Super Sky Sisters and Wandersong. And an amazing poster from Basement, a game in which you’re building a drug lab in your moms basement. Ya, that’s a thing.

I know I missed out on a lot of stuff, but what little I did catch was pretty awesome.

Geeky Goodness

There are a lot of things filled with geeky goodness going on right now. Like Adam Savage doing a recreation of the space suit from the Martian. And check out this awesome photo of the crescent moon, Venus and a two tailed comet all in the same shot.

So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite geeky things from this week.

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley lately. It’s a farm sim with a mystery hiding under the layers. While the game has a simple pixel graphic look and feel to it, there are a lot of things to find and places to explore. (But if you play it read this article first. It will save you some headaches.)

And on the subject of games, No Man’s Sky is coming out in June! I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while. It is a (sort of multiplayer) universe simulator. You can fly around in your space ship, or land and discover new planets, and resources. Then you can run like hell from the centennials trying to make sure you don’t destroy planets. I will definitely be getting this game. It is one of the few $60 games I will get.

Then, on a sad note, the final episode of Mythbusters is going up, but they are going out with a bang. Their also sending Buster off with a show stopping bang as well. (I just hope this means the newer seasons will be available on Netflix eventually.)

Deadpool was AWESOME, by the way. I’m also looking forward to Batman vs Superman and Captain America Civil War. But there are A LOT of superhero movies coming out this year. TMNT, Suicide Squad, and a new Independence Day movie… Ya, it’s a good year for movies.

 

Nerdiest convo at work ever.

A customer came in looking to pack his games and game consoles because he’s flying cross country. I suggested shipping as its safer and you can get insurance. He said it was cheaper to take it with him, but he’s worried about his consoles.

Me: see, that’s why all my games are on Steam. If my PC gets hurt I just re-download it to a new pc.

Him: ya, but I gotta have a controller.

Me: but you can use a controller, and there’s the Steam sales.

Him: ya, that’s the only thing that pisses me off. All the games I pay $60 you all get for 2.

Me, with two thumps up: yep, pc gaming all the way!

Him, laughing and smiling: ah, man, don’t give me any of that pc master race shit.

Truth be told I have a bunch of consoles too, and hundreds of games spread between them. But I love my pc. We had a great, if short, chat and I wished him good luck on getting his games across the country.

Mostly this was the geekyest convo I’ve had outside of a convention. I love games, and I wish I could talk about them all the time.

Games

I love games, which I’m sure anyone watching this blog is well aware of. I play tons of video games, (mostly minecraft) board games, and now d&d. I’ll even be streaming to twitch more later this month.

But the best part about games… There are two things I REALLY love about games. One, the people and communities. I love sharing game ideas and talking about our favorite moments  I love chatting while playing a board game. I love watching videos on how to beat levels, or watching someone play a game I’ve never done.

The second thing is the inspiration. There are some amazing and stange games our there. From the heart wrenching opening of “The Last of Us”, the beautiful simplisity of “Jorney”, and the ever expanding world of “Skyrim”  to the Plains of Hyrul and puzzles of Mario.

Each game has its own style and flare. Each one has its own way of touching your heart or funny bone. And it immerses you in ways that TV and movies can not.

I think the only thing more immersive than a game is a book.

With games I have swum with sharks, traveled to new world’s, fought zombies, built magical artifacts, fought dragons, and pilfered ancient temples.

Games are amazing. They keep the mind active. The imagination strong.

Play more games.

Minecraft

I play a lot of minecraft. Too much, maybe. But I think of it as a way to exercise my brain.

Some people call it Legos on the computer, and they aren’t wrong. You do build. It is also resource gathering, time management, and circuit building. Then there are the mods. With miss you can add magic, technology, monsters, animals and more. Sky’s the limit!

Last night I was trying to figure out a tricky problem. I have ars magica and I’m trying to build my magical abilities. Eventually I want to fly. But I didn’t take the easy route like others do and create a fire spell. No, I took the slightly more complicated path and decided to make a leap spell. It has more parts. And it wasn’t easy to find a tutorial about it so I had to figure it out on my own.

But these puzzles, piecing things together, reading manuals, and just perservearing even in the middle of daunting tasks, even in a video game, are useful skills.

Maybe people think Minecraft is a waste of time. It’s a game, and I could be writing instead. I tend to think it’s an excuse to use my mind, and stretch the boundaries of my imagination.