There was a time, not so long ago, when every PC developer wanted to be on Steam. Getting your game on Steam — if you could manage to somehow contact Valve and impress the company with your wares — was a golden ticket to sales and success. Those days are over, according to the 20 developers I spoke with for this story. While selling a game on Steam has never been easier, only a “chosen few” are reportedly lucky enough to have Valve’s mysterious algorithm favor them with some promotional screen real estate, or popular enough to get a Valve representative to help them with a support ticket. The rest often feel like they’re on their own. For many Steam developers, this two-tiered and algorithmically curated culture of “one Steam for the popular, and one Steam for the rest” is leading to dissatisfaction, resentment and confusion. How this story began I started receiving emails from developers who wanted to air their concerns about Steam … [Read more...] about Steam developers speak: Maximum profits for Valve, minimum responsibilities
Day trading for a living statistics
Buried deep in Harold Goldberg’s wide-ranging feature for Vulture about the making of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a reminder of why one of Rockstar’s founders, Dan Houser, rarely gives interviews: his stunning admission that “we were working 100-hour weeks” at multiple points in 2018. In a report peppered with numerical superlatives (1,200 actors; 300,000 animations; 500,000 lines of dialogue; 2,000 pages of script; a budget in the millions), it’s that hundred-hour statistic that shocks the senses the hardest, and it raises a troubling question: If this is what’s required to make vast open-world games, then are those games worth it? Sixty-hour workweeks are the mainstay of gaming’s crunch culture, which is destructive enough, but the idea of a hundred-hour week causes one’s eyes to water. Spread out over that week, that equates to seven 14-hour days, with no weekend break. There are only 168 hours in a week, after all. It’s not at … [Read more...] about What will be left of the people who make our games?
Destiny 2 update 1.2.3 is live and brings with it Prestige Raid Lairs, Bounties, Exotic armor changes, Crucible updates, 6v6 Quick Play, and much more. Destiny 2 players will find changes to Crucible Ranks and the Crucible Playlist today, the return of Bounties, support for clan chat on PC, additional Exotic armor tuning and much more. As we previously told you, players have the Solstice of Heroes event to look forward to on July 31. Moments of Triumph started earlier this month as a lead up, and MoT Bounties will be made available in-game for the Solstice of Heroes event. The Solstice of Heroes event will also be be the only way to acquire level 400 power armor, before the Forsaken expansion hits in September. Bungie will provide more details on the event closer to launch. Without further ado, here’s the patch notes for Destiny 2 update 1.2.3. Destiny 2 update 1.2.3 Solstice of Heroes Moments of Triumph Moments of Triumph bounties will become available in-game for the … [Read more...] about Destiny 2 update 1.2.3 live: Prestige Raid Lairs, 6v6 playlist, Armor changes, more
Patch 8.0, more commonly known as the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch, will finally hit World of Warcraft live servers on July 17. Pre-expansion patches are always some of the most exciting in the game; not only do they drastically change up the classes, they give players a chance to quest their way up to the events of the expansion. The Battle for Azeroth pre-patch brings more changes than usual. With the removal of the Legion Artifact traits, many of the classes have been drastically overhauled. Each class has been more or less overhauled will play identically to how they will on day one of Battle for Azeroth, which launches on Aug. 14. The only thing players won’t have to play around with yet is the Heart of Azeroth necklace and the Azerite gear traits that come with it. There is quite a bit more to this patch than just class changes and quests. There are new customization options for characters, the game’s second stat squish ever (some big numbers are becoming small), … [Read more...] about World of Warcraft’s pre-Battle for Azeroth patch: 7 things to know
(Graphs and sales data follow the wall of text to give them context.) Releasing Cogmind felt great--two years of hard work finally reaching a state where I could share it in its entirety. Honestly I would have preferred to release much earlier, but the really early 0.10 roguelike release approach is too risky with a commercial game, especially so with a game like Cogmind where it might otherwise be difficult to instantly convey to anyone only semi-interested in this type of game that it’s a truly unique addition to the roguelike genre and games in general. Surely the long-time fans who played the original prototype understand the significance of what Cogmind aims to achieve, but part of the goal is to attract a broader audience while staying true to the game’s traditional roguelike roots. I wanted it to explode onto the scene with a strong trailer and good gameplay from the get go. More importantly, releasing too early would have also significantly slowed progress, because … [Read more...] about Releasing a Commercial ASCII Roguelike, a Post-Mortem