clyde

Fake Games

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19 minutes ago, Badfinger said:

I have an answer for that one, because it's the one I mentioned obliquely yesterday that has "the most reviews".

 

It's been in Early Access for 2 years now as a free download, but it was changed to either paid early access or "released" last week, which is why it shows up both with 300k downloads and was released this month for $4.

 

Parsing reviews and other stuff it seems like people downloaded this for 3 reasons - catastrophe tourist after this person's first game, internet detective to figure out just how much of a scam/stolen the game is, and idling to get steam trading cards.

 

e: I checked out the update history. It went from Beta 1.0 in July 2016 to Alpha 0.1.2 in August 2016.  So that's fun.

 

 

Nope I'm wrong this cost money for a year until it went to free "early access"!

 

https://steamdb.info/app/344040/

 

Holy shit that's maddening.

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2 minutes ago, clyde said:

 

 

 

And keep in mind this the game was stolen from an Unreal Engine tutorial, repackaged, slightly modified and then sold for actual money.

 

I don't know if full democratizing curation to the userbase is a great idea (I think Clyde's example of Depression Quest is a great example of a game that could be punished because of certain extremist groups), but there is obviously a lot of malicious garbage out there on steam as well which needs to be addressed. 

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On 4/11/2017 at 0:42 AM, davidsgallant said:

The fact that Valve refers to any games internally as "fake games" is pretty chilling. Valve already has very limited categorizations for games (notice how they foisted improving categories onto their users, just as they plan to do with the Explorers program). Asset Flips are not "fake games". They may not be well-produced games, they may be cynical cash-ins designed to get cheap trading card producers into people's Steam libraries, they may be a solo developer's first project, a game made by students, etc. They're still games; the quality of their production never renders them "fake" in any regard. Not to Valve, though, who have a very limited idea of what a game should be.

 

I don't understand how Valve has a very limited idea for a game, considering there is a wide range of different games available on their platform. 

I used to have a simple keyboard when I was little. It had some presets that would play simple melodies. That never made me a real musician. 

 

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Remember, this is the Valve who believes a game should be longer than at least two hours (lest your customers finish it in less time and get a refund on it). This is the Valve who intends to charge developers at least $100 (at most $5000!!!) for each release, a fee that won't be recoupable by inexpensive or outright free products. This is the Valve that has no backend method of allowing devs to categorize a release as "experimental" or "narrative", other than to put it in the genre "indie" (yeah, "indie" is a genre on Steam).

 

The 2 hour thing is an extremely cynical view, of both what you declare Valve to believe and of customers using Steam.If most customers are satisfied with the product, they won't refund it - but if you can convince me otherwise I am open to it. The second sentence I don't understand, are you mad at Valve for charging developers for using their platform? Most Video game players can't even agree on proper categories but "Alternative" worked fine for music, which is what Indie basically is.I don't see a problem with that, honestly.  

 

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The list of games clyde provided as examples that might be declared "fake games" by Steam Explorers - some of their devs are already afraid that might happen

 

I don't see this as a big problem either, as even under the current Steam Curators system there are plenty of voices where you would find out about these smaller games, even if there is a huge backlash against them/their developers online. I don't see why this would change with Steam Explorers. 

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The only feedback Valve has sought on this new program are from two white cis males in positions of privilege. Both have experience with being the targets of online hate, but their privilege still protects them from what more marginalized devs already experience being on Steam.

 

 I would be interested in hearing more about the experience of marginalized devs on Steam. The two white cis males in positions of privilege are, no matter how you look at it, the biggest influence on game sales (outside of the Steam Front page) and with huge followings on their Steam curator pages. I think it would be negligent for Valve to not at least hear their thoughts on possible future changes to make the system better, and also what problemmachine said

 

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So, yeah. "Fake games" is bullshit. Valve continues to make Steam a hostile place for smaller developers. Buy your games from itch.io instead.

 

But Steam and Valve had a big hand in the "indie revolution" that happened a few years back. I don't see your point of view in how evil Valve is to smaller developers. Itch.io is a great place for a specific kind of games, much of the ones you seem afraid will disappear from Steam (which they won't anyway), but as Twig said, if they ever get as big as Steam, they will be dealing with the same issues. 

 

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Do you know why Steam actually sucks? It's because capitalism doesn't allow for the success and well-being of artists who don't manage to achieve the necessary amount (of varying degrees, depending on scale of project) attention from the masses.

 

Naw, that's not why Steam sucks. Artists have ever only been able to "make a killing" if they appeal to the masses, or find that one rich person/family that loves their stuff to become their patron. Steam sucks because it is a huge marketplace managed by a (what must be) relatively small group of people, who in customer facing areas don't know what they are doing and don't think things through. Also because of what problem machine said

 

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I think the main issue is that right now Steam is both a distribution service and a marketing platform.

 

Personally, I am very happy Steam continues to work on curation, even if it is more of the silicon valley "we dont want to scale so put it to the people" thing. It is hard to find stuff on Steam because of its size. And this shovel ware and unfinished games and old ass games that don't work on modern computers but are still sold - that are on the platform diminish the value of it. Around the corner from me there is a little market that sells all sorts of stuff, including a small selection of fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, there are a lot of flies and a strange smell around their fruit because they don't take care of it. I shop there still, but I never buy produce from there, even if it sometimes looks good, because I know that they don't care. I walk the extra fifteen minutes to the bigger store, where the produce always looks good. 

 

I feel it is the same for Steam (and many other things). If you don't care about the products you sell in your store, why should I care about what you are trying to sell? 

 

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This issue has reminded me of my fear of buying electronics peripherals on amazon. It is almost impossible to tell if you are buying a real OEM cell phone charger or if you are buying a knock off. I now only buy explicitly 3rd party products because manufacturers are far less likely to impersonate Belkin than they are with Apple and Samsung.

Similarly on steam when I see a game with less that great graphics I have no way of knowing if its a thrown together scam or a great game by someone who doesn't have the skill or resources to make it pretty.

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I can only speak for myself, but the presence of so much general garbage on Steam definitely makes me less inclined to buy smaller, less polished games despite the improved refund system. I think improved faith in the legitimacy of games would probably improve sales for legitimate indie devs.

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Saw this, reminded me of this thread:

 

p7BtjWj.jpg

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To be fair, can pixel art really be considered art?!

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9 minutes ago, Twig said:

To be fair, can pixel art really be considered art?!

Are games art?

 

Can love bloom on the battlefield?

 

Does water really roll off a duck's back?

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8 hours ago, Ben X said:

Saw this, reminded me of this thread:

 

p7BtjWj.jpg

 

They're the reason handing over the ability to declare the authenticity of a game to the userbase is not a great idea - Crawl is killer!

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That's one person. 

 

And I know there are a lot of them, but there are also a lot of people on the opposite side, who might say "the only art is pixel art"

 

It goes both ways and you can hand power to both, which is how it has worked under steam curation system (follow the curators that like the stuff you like!) and I can't imagine them changing that intentionally. 

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On 14/04/2017 at 8:56 AM, sucks2Bme said:

And I know there are a lot of them, but there are also a lot of people on the opposite side, who might say "the only art is pixel art"

 

Maybe you're exaggerating, but I struggle to believe anybody actually believes "the only art is pixel art". I even tried searching for such opinions and found nothing.

 

In any case, I see those sorts of threads on Steam all the time. It really gives me the sense that Steam can be quite a hostile place to release a game. Cart Life, which won the IGF Grand Prize, was removed from Steam in 2014 partly due to ongoing complaints there about bugs that the developer was unable to fix. Despite this, its Steam community is still active with users regularly posting to insult the game or its creator. Another IGF winner, Rooftop Cop, is accused in its top reviews of being a joke, a sham, "a waste of money", "a terrible game" and "truly is the lowest a developer can go". Stephen's Sausage Roll, the #4 Best PC Game of 2016 on Metacritic, received mass criticism on Steam for launching at too high a price point with too little storefront text. So voluminous were these complaints about pricing that the developer created a subforum for them, and was subsequently attacked for "censorship" over this.

 

This was a fun aside that hopefully highlights how some games can receive critical acclaim and still not really gel with Steam's primary userbase. Hopefully I can engage with the broader discussion of this thread in the future.

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2 hours ago, sergiocornaga said:

Cart Life, which won the IGF Grand Prize, was removed from Steam in 2014 partly due to ongoing complaints there about bugs that the developer was unable to fix. Despite this, its Steam community is still active with users regularly posting to insult the game or its creator.

 

To be totally correct, Cart Life was and is actively updated by the developer, just not on Steam. Richard Hofmeier felt that it was too much work to keep the Steam version of his game updated, especially compared to the pay-to-download version on his personal website, and also had reservations about Steam as a venue, so he eventually abandoned the Steam version of his game and said as much. Customers complained, Valve investigated, and the game was taken off of Steam with Hofmeier's blessing, I believe.

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20 hours ago, Gormongous said:

To be totally correct, Cart Life was and is actively updated by the developer, just not on Steam. Richard Hofmeier felt that it was too much work to keep the Steam version of his game updated, especially compared to the pay-to-download version on his personal website, and also had reservations about Steam as a venue, so he eventually abandoned the Steam version of his game and said as much. Customers complained, Valve investigated, and the game was taken off of Steam with Hofmeier's blessing, I believe.

 

My statement might have been an oversimplification, but I'd still contest your correction. Hofmeier's website has been offline for over a year, so Cart Life doesn't seem to really have an official web presence any more. The closest thing is probably its page on IndieGameStand. The last version of the game I know of (and the one hosted there) is 1.6, which I believe was originally released in early 2014, around the same time it was removed from Steam. My understanding was that he decided to go open-source partly so that fans of the game could fix the bugs he no longer wanted to.

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3 hours ago, sergiocornaga said:

My statement might have been an oversimplification, but I'd still contest your correction. Hofmeier's website has been offline for over a year, so Cart Life doesn't seem to really have an official web presence any more. The closest thing is probably its page on IndieGameStand. The last version of the game I know of (and the one hosted there) is 1.6, which I believe was originally released in early 2014, around the same time it was removed from Steam. My understanding was that he decided to go open-source partly so that fans of the game could fix the bugs he no longer wanted to.

 

That's fair, I didn't follow what happened to Cart Life or Hofmeier after it was removed from Steam. Still, I don't think that Cart Life is as much an example of the gaming community's antipathy towards indie games as it is an example of the gaming community's antipathy towards "unfinished" or "abandoned" games. Off the top of my head, Spacebase DF-9 and the original Left 4 Dead got plenty of hate for being those things, and only the former is even technically "indie."

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On 4/16/2017 at 1:55 PM, sergiocornaga said:

This was a fun aside that hopefully highlights how some games can receive critical acclaim and still not really gel with Steam's primary userbase. 

 

Steam is so ubiquitous that I find it hard to characterize Steam's primary userbase as hostile to indie games. Hating on things is easier than loving(?) on them, and it most likely is a vocal minority compared to the whole userbase. Also, using IGF award winners as examples for why Steam is hostile I think is slightly misleading.

 

The IGF Awards are slanted towards more experimental and "riskier" games - obviously - and thus don't necessarily have mainstream appeal. Since Steam's userbase is so large, there are going to be a lot of people who "don't get it" and voice their opinion. This holds true for music, movies, and literature as well - but the difference I see is that we are still in a majority shift in thinking what a game can be, whereas when someone says "indie movie" a person already has a kind of idea of what it will be in their head. Critically acclaimed but largely hated isn't also limited to indie games, or games in general, and anyone who releases anything should expect some negative criticism or hate, warranted or not, cause like... humans. 

 

Balancing niche on a global market where algorithms usually suck at telling you what you will like is probably not going to be great at getting your game in the hands of people who would actually want to play it. 

 

This is something that better curation could help address. Hopefully anyway. 

 

Also, "pixel art is the only art" can be found in people who say things like "I don't play games because of the graphics" although this weird superiority thing might have subsided with all the retro-looking games that have been flooding Steam. 

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Cart Life being abandoned by its developer is hardly a good example of "'fake games' gone wrong".

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To address something that seemed to go largely unchallenged in this thread, I want to note that a private company making its own decisions about its own service is not a regulated market. It can change any of those decisions at any time. You might approve of it and think it's necessary, but it's kind of the opposite of a regulated market. Valve isn't publicly accountable in any way. It's just a pure capitalistic enterprise. Their motivations and intentions are their own, and the outcome of them are not regulated in any way, at least not with respect to the specific types of choices being discussed in this thread. You can feel however you like about the right of any company to operate that way, obviously. 

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Yeah, that is true. Regulation does imply government. When I brought up regulation earlier, it was just meant to be about a general approach, and not intended to mean capital-R Regulation.

 

also burn capitalism to the ground tho

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7 minutes ago, Chris said:

To address something that seemed to go largely unchallenged in this thread, I want to note that a private company making its own decisions about its own service is not a regulated market. It can change any of those decisions at any time. You might approve of it and think it's necessary, but it's kind of the opposite of a regulated market. Valve isn't publicly accountable in any way. It's just a pure capitalistic enterprise. Their motivations and intentions are their own, and the outcome of them are not regulated in any way, at least not with respect to the specific types of choices being discussed in this thread. You can feel however you like about the right of any company to operate that way, obviously. 

That does get a bit tricky when Valve has an effective monopoly on online game distribution. Losing access to Steam means a game will be seen by far fewer people and result in much lower sales.

Perhaps we should nationalize Steam :P

Relatedly does GOG have anything like greenlight or a similar program to give indie games access to their platform?

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11 minutes ago, Chris said:

To address something that seemed to go largely unchallenged in this thread, I want to note that a private company making its own decisions about its own service is not a regulated market. It can change any of those decisions at any time. You might approve of it and think it's necessary, but it's kind of the opposite of a regulated market. Valve isn't publicly accountable in any way. It's just a pure capitalistic enterprise. Their motivations and intentions are their own, and the outcome of them are not regulated in any way, at least not with respect to the specific types of choices being discussed in this thread. You can feel however you like about the right of any company to operate that way, obviously. 

 

I'd be somewhat curious how that would shake out re: antitrust practices. I think there are too many avenues to get games (eg consoles) that you can't consider Steam a monopoly even if they effectively are for their chosen platform, but you're right. It's definitely worth remembering from time to time that Valve has a number of policies I'd consider to be consumer friendly because they found out it made them the most money to operate that way, and not the other way around.

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13 minutes ago, Cordeos said:

That does get a bit tricky when Valve has an effective monopoly on online game distribution. Losing access to Steam means a game will be seen by far fewer people and result in much lower sales.

Perhaps we should nationalize Steam :P

Relatedly does GOG have anything like greenlight or a similar program to give indie games access to their platform?

I think GOG probably has real people doing the vetting. They definitely don't have anything like greenlight. At least not publically?

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2 hours ago, Twig said:

I think GOG probably has real people doing the vetting. They definitely don't have anything like greenlight. At least not publically?

 

They have a request thread, in which a few of their employees are fairly active, but they don't have any exposed process for getting new games on the service or acquiring licenses to distribute old games, I don't think.

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Oh yeah that's probably a remnant/extension of back in the day when they first started, they had a voting process for what classic games people wanted - wasn't a guarantee, but was probably used by them to prioritize deals and such.

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