Digital Store 2K18

December 13th, 2018 by harold

So,

Very high profile people in the game industry talked how bad the Windows Store was for humans, elves and princesses so that they could build, promote and enjoy the success of… Their own , exclusive stores.

Gotcha.

The paradox of digital game stores is this: competition is good. Having all your games in one single place is awesome.

Pick one.

The truth is people want to play the best games and if it means launching another thing, they will. Many developers talk about stores support and features but I don’t think they’re that big in players habits. Transforming your audience into a light QA/playtest is not really great anyway, even though it brings engagement thus, future sales.

But if someone is using say, 5 different launchers, wouldn’t it be better to have all this tied to the operating system’s store? Giving you the benefits of sync accounts and all that convenient shit?

Let’s see what the players decide. Keep selling through your website, developer. Get that 100%, you deserve it.

A Sunday

December 11th, 2018 by harold

First I wake up early to talk to my friend in France for a good hour. It’d been years.

Then I get ready to go to Beverly Hills.

WP_20181209_007

I went back! It’s just. I can’t.

Then back home to get ready to go to South Central to drop off furniture. Maybe a little detour in Inglewood to jam? Not this time.

Back home, Spurs win. Potato salad. Design books. Dreams. Hope.

Browser history

December 7th, 2018 by harold

I started with Netscape because in 98, fuck Microsoft.

Then Netscape Navigator was unstable. So, some IE, which was just a bit less unstable. The web itself wasn’t really stable at that time.

Then AvantBrowser. It’s 2000-ish. TABS. POP-UP BLOCKER. TYPE IN THE ADDRESS BAR TO SEARCH. That was the shit. The biggest browser innovation jump ever.

Then a bit of Opera. Cute. Then all geeks and nerds couldn’t STFU about Firefox. So I tried it. It was alright, except that there were barely any extensions that I was using quite heavily at that time. Then I super-customized my Firefox and it was pretty cool.

Then it auto-updated to Firefox 2, destroying all my settings and preferences. Uncool. Uninstall. I don’t play.

So I switched to Maxthon. Holy shit that was dope. I know, it ran on IE engine but I’ve never cared about Acid3 tests and all that useless shit. Does the browser work with the websites I use? If yes, it’s enough for me and a vast majority of users.

Around the same time, I started to use RSS heavily, unloading my browser’s needs. Maxthon was perfect with the flat theme I applied to it. I used it for years. Stable as hell.

Then it updated to Maxthon 2 and it was unstable as fuck. Extensions were def a problem so I stopped using them all together.

Time for Chrome! I was mad in love with it. I still remember it was September 2008. Reading the comic about javascript on my netbook, grabbing my dick. “Google is really listening and smart!” I said to myself, fapping. The trade-off of giving them my browsing history and behavior wasn’t so bad because I was RSSing a lot.

But it grew on me. While everyone was selling the browser to their grandma, I couldn’t let Google spy on me like that. So I started to use the Chromium forks. One was called ChromePlus and it was pretty dope.

Then it updated to ChromePlus 2 and it was terrible.

By that time it’s 2012 and I’m sick of all that browser bullshit. Win8 comes out. I start using IE11 without excitement and pretty much never looked back. I still use IE11 most of the time. I don’t care. The funniest thing is that sometimes –once a year- a website doesn’t work and I suppose that it’s because of IE. It’s not. It just does the same thing in Vivaldi or Chrome or whatever. I read this year that Safari still had issues displaying favicons and I wanted to let y’all know that this shit has been solved on most Windows browsers circa 2002-2003.

The amount of energy spent on those stupid ass browser battles is staggering. It’s hard to take software developers seriously sometimes. Web developers failed at making HTML5 a true, clean standard. Google took over and made everything not chrome-compliant, “bad”. You guys completely failed the public by letting one company do the thing that you didn’t want the other company to do. And now you’re crying about monoculture and shit. But here’s a truth: there’s pretty much no need for browser innovation anymore! They’re all fast. They’re all stable. They’re all able to handle forms, payment systems. That’s what we mostly do with browsers and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel again. I don’t need my browser to access some VR rig, run some sophisticated synth or stream 8K videos. Jesus. Code for other stuff that might help people, think native and offline. Leave the browser alone. We’re good. Browsers have achieved the Fridge status: they just work, everyone uses one, they all behave the same and no one cares about brands and “mind share” and all that high school shit. Working IT in a public space demonstrated that to me.

Browsers are everything and nothing at the same time. They’re incredibly complex pieces of software that are doing far too many things, like tracking every single thing we do (mouse cursor and all) or accessing your microphone. I just love me some vanilla HTML that renders instantly with today’s available bandwidth and any 2010 and above browser. Straight. To. The. Point. I’m never over a dozen tabs. The whole 70+ tabs nerdcore absurdity was my daily life back in 2005. It’s pretty clear that it’s not healthy for either brain or computer system.

I guess that sells multi-core CPUs though. Sigh.

I am Spurt

December 7th, 2018 by harold

My team sport is not doing well at all. The West is staked and ruthless so that makes sense.

Seeing Kawhi being Kawhi in the East stings so much omg I had no idea that would cut that deep. It’s the first time I see a player evolve, get outstanding, and leave the team I’m rooting for, over some stupid stuff. It’s not a good feeling. I wanted to see that big 3 of Dejounte/Kawhi/Lamarcus go HAM. A 2-way juggernaut. FUCK.

I’ve always enjoyed Toronto’s team but right now they have a fucking squad. Siakam is super impressive, Leonard is l o c k e d t all the time and everyone is balling. I’m mad and happy for them.

OKC has a squad too. You never know how they will perform in the playoffs but I think PG knows he won’t have many other opportunities. He seems very focused right now. Denver is scary as well.

For the rest, it’s too early to tell. Nothing makes sense. Some teams blow out others without even having their best players on the court. Some win over, on paper, much better teams. Games are pretty random right now and that’s cool.

The 3-point paradigm though. It’s weird to see three tall ass dudes on the perimeter, waiting. It’s not fun to watch basketball if it’s only that all the time. It’s really killing the game, in a way.

Why game producers, why

December 6th, 2018 by harold

There’s this game called Just Cause. It’s about blowing stuff up, driving vehicles and flying around. It’s the most perfect action game ever, in the way that the gameplay and the game engine really allow you to trip: it’s like a GTA game with the craziest gadgets. It’s great fun.

They just released the 4th iteration of that game and apparently, it’s a disaster. For some reasons, producers decided to add all that weird unlocking/challenges/grind fest for “engagement” and streaming I guess? It started with the previous game and they just went further into this, despite not really making people happy at all.

What’s so infuriating is that the core game is fantastic but you can’t appreciate it the way you want because they put some rigid obstacles in front of it, like terrible key mapping, awful menus and other super arbitrary designs. It’s just incomprehensible. How do you mess up UI that much in 2018, on the 4th version of your game? How?

Imagine an awesome TV show where they decided to flip the picture 90° to the left so that you have to watch in an awkward position. That’s how those production decisions feel like.

It reminds me of EA and Burn Out, another quite timeless game from 2001. The only thing people complained about was the annoying DJ talking all the time and the unskippable intro with Guns n Roses. They remastered the game this year. You would think that they would listen and simply take out two elements that are bothering players and that are absolutely not core to the experience, right? They left that shit in. They could at least give you a choice, a simple on/off toggle. No. There’s a mod to do it though.

What’s up with being actively deaf to reasonable requests from players who want to spend money and spread the word about your game? I don’t get it. Developers ask for feedback, listen and just do the opposite. It’s bizarre. We really have to do better because we’re looking like clowns with that stuff.

Suber service

December 6th, 2018 by harold

By steamrolling local taxi operations in cities all over the world and cultivating cheerleaders in the business press and among Silicon Valley libertarians, Uber has managed to create an image of inevitability and invincibility.

Journalism is about trolling 24/7 now. Uber is bad etc but first and foremost, people use that stuff all the time. All the fucking time. That’s how Uber became huge in the first place. It was such a small thing barely 5 years ago. We all made them insanely big because that ride-sharing shit is ultra-convenient. Starting an article about Uber by immediately spitting in their faces by implying that this is all because of lobbying, crazy SF libertarians and such, is not journalism. It’s trash. Boo Uber doesn’t make money. Netflix isn’t either. Tesla just barely started to? But those are for a certain slice of the population. Uber is used by everyone, from the prostitute at the corner of a dark boulevard to teenagers going back home to Bel Air’s heiresses going out.

You can be mad at how much money Uber raised or argue how they will replace drivers with level-5 cars (which is when they’ll be able to make profit) but the service itself? Leave it alone. We needed it.

Also maybe y’all could stop investing in businesses solely based on growth, wins-it-all promises? Maybe.

Make ‘em dance

December 5th, 2018 by harold

Epic has consistently sought to exploit African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements," writes Carolynn Beck, the attorney for 2 Milly. "Epic has copied the dances and movements of numerous African-American performers, including, for example, the dance from the 2004 Snoop Dogg music video, ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ (named the ‘Tidy’ emote), Alfonso Ribeiro’s performance of his famous ‘Carlton’ dance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air television show (named the ‘Fresh’ emote), the dance performed by Will Smith on the same television show (named the ‘Rambunctious’ emote), the dance in Marlon Webb’s popular ‘Band of the Bold’ video (named the ‘Best Mates’ emote), Donald Faison’s signature dance seen on the NBC television show Scrubs (named the ‘Dance Moves’ emote), and, most pertinent here, Terrence Ferguson’s Milly Rock dance.

Link.

Context reminder: the game industry has a workforce that is less than 2% black. It’s been like this since forever. There are virtually no changes. African-Americans create tons of pop culture, most of it being very popular, like dance moves.

That shit is iconic (I remember seeing Donald’s routine the first time on Scrubs, so perfect and hilarious) and Epic is making loads of money off of that. Their attorneys probably made sure that they could profit from that content without getting sued. They’re getting sued. It might not go far but it seems pretty obvious that this whole situation isn’t right. In May, Fortnite brought in $318M. One. Month. Redistribute (some) wealth where it’s due, goddamn.

Note: Epic has stopped bragging about how much money they gross with Fortnite months ago. *winks*

Story Time

December 5th, 2018 by harold

There was this older man at my day job. I was helping him set up his tablet. I noticed that every time I would open a browser and focus on the address bar, the four letters “milf” would show up.

At some point, I told him: “you know, you can set up your browser in what is called Incognito Mode, that allows you to search for things privately”. His eyes opened large, looking at mine straight into my soul like I had understood him at the deepest level.

I showed him how to do it. He never came back.

I can’t even imagine the amount of filth his tablet’s RAM has processed. I saw him a couple times in the streets since. He looked visibly tired. He’s travelled a lot on the intertubes. I could tell.

I’m sorry.

Looking back on Glass

December 5th, 2018 by harold

I was reading this article on the death of Looking Glass. There’s this excerpt:

Looking Glass died because a series of problems compounded each other into a financially lethal situation. No single factor is to blame. No single person or entity killed Looking Glass. No one problem was enough, on its own, to kill the company. Nonetheless, the problems were deadly when combined.

It’s never just one factor for anything, pretty much ever.

And so when I see what’s going on around loot boxes, this is what we need to keep in mind: it’s not just companies that are to blame. Young players are to blame too because they indulge in skins. Parents are to blame to allow their kids to buy them. Older brothers and sisters close their eyes or make fun of their siblings, making them even more compelled to buy virtual items. Companies close their eyes too because loot boxes are absurdly lucrative.

Where do we go from here though?

Ouais

November 29th, 2018 by harold

Me: hey my old man, listen.

Him: hey, you know I’m gone.

Me: yeah I know, we’re all hurting still. But yo, I got to tell you about what’s going on in France.

Him: you ain’t even there, stupid.

Me: right but the PSG tho.

Him: what about it.

Me: well, it’s owned by Qatar now. It’s one of the wealthiest sport club in the world. They only have 3 French players in the default rotation. They have 4 Brazilians. They paid one of them 222 million euros for him to play for the PSG.

Him: godddaaaaamn. Are they winning?

Me: sort of. They won everything in France.

Him: Champions league title?

Me: noooo lol

Him: so they fucking suck. Bums. What the fuck. How much??? What the fuck.

Me: *giggles*