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United States

Wed 24th December, 2008

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aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

@unrandomsam Price a game too high and it sells less. Breaking into two games means making each separate enough to stand alone. I don't see why having a third option is such a problem. I like the idea of buying a game and only paying more if the extra content is something I want. You can do DLC wrong, for sure, but DLC can be a great boon to many games as well. Balance is key and obviously pleasing people who have a natural aversion to anything new or different is part of the problem to solve.



aaronsullivan commented on Popup Dungeon and Hover: Revolt of Gamers Both...:

@andrea987 Well I did say it wasn't a gold mine a couple posts back so when I saw the article I thought it was pretty funny. He's essentially speaking from his good experience on the 3DS eShop though, right?

"[The Wii U is] still selling enough though, and no doubt will be selling more, to warrant those gems, both from Nintendo and other devs, indies or not."

Here I hope you are right, but if you asked Iwata san I don't think he'd say Nintendo is selling enough Wii U's. He was hoping for SO much more at end of 2013 and it was far from the goal.

I'm personally completely satisfied with the Wii U and the games and very excited about what's coming. Market realities are harsh, though.



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

Right. So now are talking about the amount of work that goes into the game and the value you get out of it.

This is going to be the real issue whether the content happened to be on the disc but locked away or locked away on a server. I would argue that I'd rather have it on the disc so I don't have to wait for a big download.

The false assumption I see many making is that if it's already on the disc then it isn't extra or it is somehow bad to distribute it this way.

What they are really trying to argue is that the game without the dlc (on disc or not) is not a "full" game and you are being charged to make it into one.

The problem here is that it is all about perception. There is no rule about what makes a game a "full" game. Considering how small the percentage of people who even finish a game is I don't even know how to come to any sort of consensus on this issue.

And perception is such a huge problem in all market categories right now. TV is ad supported or lumped into subscriptions with other benefits, web sites aren't just ad supported but many simply share demographic information for cash, video games are free with all sorts of silly things to buy, even physical stuff is subsidized, leased, loaned, mortgaged. It's hard to know the true value of anything.

People see games as a dime a dozen and us gamers know there is so much more to it. If you've ever developed a game you realize how incredibly labor intensive most games are. But how do you educate everyone that is just shoveling in the free stuff and stumbling across Facebook games?

Iwata and the gang have their work cut out for them. That's for sure.



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

@DragonbornRito I don't want to be argumentative with you but why are you bringing up XB1 and PS4? It's possible people just value different things in their gaming systems and that's why they don't prefer the Wii U. Not sure if it has anything to do with "internet culture" although there's plenty to blame on that. :D



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

@DragonbornRito "Bad: Paid DLC (usually that brings gameplay changes, such as map packs or gun packs in CoD games) that has been fully developed and could be released at the same time as the core game OR was made during the development of the core game but was specifically made to be DLC so the developer could charge more money."

I don't get it. Why is it bad for a company to want to make more money from the extra work they put into a game? So they hire more staff and just don't pay them? How does this work?

I have other reasons for disliking the DLC in some of those types of games (and mostly don't buy it), but why does it matter when they made it? They should wait? I don't get it, though you certainly aren't alone in thinking this way.



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

@RoomB31 I love how Nintendo takes risks, but the last couple (Wii U, for instance) haven't payed off as well as the Wii. In the era of the Wii, Nintendo made Wii Music. Just wow, right? Now, it is struggling to make sure it can keep up some profit while the 3DS does moderately well and the Wii U sits on shelves. It's a hard place from which to take a bunch of risks.



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

Right, and there are certainly ways to do DLC wrong and anger people, but I think the best way is to let those who love the games get more out of them if it's worth it to them and let those who don't care as much pay nice bargain prices so they don't feel ripped off. This is a consumer oriented approach that can work.



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

Also, about this "day one dlc" and "dlc already on the disk" malarky. What difference does it make? It costs money to pay people to work on a game. If the DLC plan wasn't there to make more money, it wouldn't magically mean that all that content would have been completed with no people to work on it.

There are so many factors that change prices. Hypothetically, Nintendo could have surveyed and found that a disappointingly small number of people were going to buy Golf at $40 and a price of $30 could increase the number of buyers. Having already put in for a too large budget they could turn much of the assets into a seperate DLC for those who really love the game and find it worth it. Why does it matter exactly when the content was finished?



aaronsullivan commented on Talking Point: Nintendo Must Take Careful Step...:

DLC is not evil or good. It is an alternate method of selling things. Looking to the App Store as a rapidly changing market that is full of experiments with methods of selling the idea of "whales" has emerged. These are important to game distribution as they have tons of disposable cash that they don't mind spending on your game. If your game can get these beasts to pay crazy amounts of money, you can sustain your business.

It's really too bad that Nintendo is not in a better situation because I think the DLC moves they've been making are pretty good. The key is to satisfy the core gamers while letting the "whales" support the business. The problem is that if Nintendo were in a less risky position it could begin to lower the entry cost further. Games could come in at $10-$20 less knowing that some would pay enough for DLC to easily make up for it. (For instance, in the App Store the games that make the most money are free.)

Nintendo wants to take advantage without diminishing games to obsessive click fests with no decisions or rewards for skilled play which I admire. It's not so easy when your customer base is diminishing.



aaronsullivan commented on Popup Dungeon and Hover: Revolt of Gamers Both...:

@Unca_Lz They aren't asking for $60,000 to produce a port, they are asking $20,000 (actually ~$18,000 after kickstarter/paypal take 10%) and buying a dev kit does not make a port for you. If two people work on it for 6 months how much should they make, do you think? Target delivery is actually a year away, so...



aaronsullivan commented on Review: NES Remix 2 (Wii U eShop):

Don't think I can resist. :) It's funny though, I'm going to miss learning the mechanics of games I've played very little or not at all. That's the secret fun of these games, I think. I just look at this new set of awesome games and imagine I'll be getting many rainbow-3-stars on my first try as well.



aaronsullivan commented on Popup Dungeon and Hover: Revolt of Gamers Both...:

I think it just comes down to lack of perspective and a general feeling of entitlement. It's such an encouraging trend to see the Wii U popping up on Kickstarter stretch goals at all.

All of us who invested in the Wii U certainly wish it was a gold mine for developers deep enough to mine for a decade, but it simply isn't.

All the Wii U has going for it right now is the tremendous pedigree of Nintendo and, for those who give it a chance, a great new way to play. Easily the best option for one-couch-multiplayer. When most indie developers get excited about it, it's for those reasons, not the $$$.

(Maybe Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. will help settle whether the majority of gamers even care about one-couch-multiplayer anymore.)



aaronsullivan commented on Popup Dungeon and Hover: Revolt of Gamers Both...:

@Daisaku36 "They're charging us more..." No they aren't.

Why is it so offensive to people that some indie kick starters want to give Wii U a chance? Also, it's $20,000 higher than the goal below it, not $60k like some are suggesting.

How are gamers dedicated enough to follow game sites and comment regularly so incredibly out of touch with the costs of making games? Why should a developer release a game on a platform that no one will "pony up" money for?

The mysteries of life that Kickstarter unearths. Maybe all this reactionary weirdness is just a beneficial part of the learning process as people begin to see the industry from a different perspective than the gamer who just wants everything cheap but perfect and on their platform.



aaronsullivan commented on Popup Dungeon and Hover: Revolt of Gamers Both...:

@element187 and @Daisaku36
Did read an entirely different quote from the developer or are you just willfully ignorant of what was said? Just because you don't understand doesn't mean someone is out to get you. The developer has no obligation to you or Wii U owners to start with and it's not like they are going to charge some extra amount to anyone who wants the game.

Making money as an indie developer is extremely hard and even developers of huge million-plus-seller games seem to go out of business all the time. The Wii U platform is not a great match for them for an easy port, as clearly explained and ignored by you.



aaronsullivan commented on NPD Results Bring Solid 3DS Numbers as Wii U S...:

@3MonthBeef If you like the Wii library there are already plenty of awesome games for the Wii U that might not look amazing but are best-of-class games in a similar vein. Otherwise, get an 360 or PS3.

Wii U is a great value with bundles now. The Wii no longer has Gamecube support and online going away (Mario Kart), it really is a poor choice since the Wii U can do all of it (and looks slightly nicer through HDMI as well).

That being said: I get why people buy it. It's in that impulse-buy zone where people don't even bother comparing values to other options they just throw it in the cart. Also, the games can be found for cheap now.

Though lowering prices to get people to buy the console was out of the question last year, hopes are now dashed and I think it's time for Nintendo to go nuclear. Sell the Wii U for $199 or even $150 at a huge loss and get everyone to just buy in, even if for just one or two games (Smash Bros. and/or Mario Kart). There just needs to be a platform to build on and a place for Nintendo in the market, and despite how awesome I think the Wii U is, most people just don't care. Pure marketing isn't going to cut it, it's time to make it "the other console" gamers will buy alongside the PS4/XB1 for family games and some of their nostalgic favorites. Won't happen at the current price levels even with Mario Kart and Smash Bros, which look fantastic but are simply too late.



aaronsullivan commented on Veronica Mars Star Kristen Bell Reveals Her Fo...:

Well, this is the beauty of Nintendo consoles for me. SO many great ways to play with your family as the kids get a little older.

All that hardcore hours and hours of game playing died a quick death when we had our first child, though, yes. I wouldn't trade it though. Games offer rewards for pseudo-accomplisments, but raising a family can bring the reward of true accomplishment. It would be a sad thing to favor the one that gives you so little at the expense of the other.



aaronsullivan commented on Ninterview: Joe Heaton on The Joy of Game Boy ...:

@unrandomsam A tablet with a high dpi and a good pdf viewer is a great start towards manual reading. Just as clear, navigation by search, and you can carry ALL of your manuals and instructions and books everywhere.

I was thinking that Nintendo and other game companies should have much more advanced interactive manuals with short videos, animations, audio to make a fun and visceral sorta thing to go with the game but is fun to peruse even when you're away from it.



aaronsullivan commented on Ninterview: Joe Heaton on The Joy of Game Boy ...:

@Kirk @AkinaChan
I think we are all in general agreement.

It's funny but all this conversation about the tangible is making me think of deeper board and card games that are loads of fun. Carcassonne, Dominion, Agricola, Battlestar Galactica, Lord of the Rings (LCG), Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy.

Not sure how well it relates but my brain went to those games and although there are digital versions of them, none have quite captured the huddle-around-a-table-together-with-friends aspect. Plus, the tangible part is even more integral.



aaronsullivan commented on Ninterview: Joe Heaton on The Joy of Game Boy ...:

Well, the game storage medium is certainly going to transition fast. I don't personally find it that sad. Besides nostalgia, It's just clutter. There are far better ways to peruse instruction manuals than rifling through paper now. At least Nintendo is FINALLY including the original instruction manuals in their virtual console games (at least Metroid Fusion does).

Personally I'm tired of shifting old boxes around, I'd rather Nintendo improve the digital collection situation so I can stop buying physical.

Now, what Nintendo needs to do with its digital strategy is play up the collectors aspect and attach a nice display shelf to your account, so you can look at it all at once and recreate old box art and make new dynamic stuff for digital downloads. Maybe even let you loan out a game for a short time to a friend. New games should have digital interactive instruction manuals on the GamePad, too.

One can dream.



aaronsullivan commented on Ninterview: Joe Heaton on The Joy of Game Boy ...:

I think it will take a long time for that dystopian scenario.
Nintendo, for instance will definitely make at least one more go at unique hardware 4 years or so from now. Set top boxes like the Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire are JUST getting started in the war and they'll be trying to differentiate. VR helmets are JUST getting started as well. I'm guessing motion controls are going to have a "next-generation" before they die or take over.

In ten years or so we can start worrying. Maybe then there will be graphics and gaming hardware and software development kits that are so standard that it will be all in the software where any innovation can happen.

But then you have to think: how likely is it that someone will, right about then, come up with a breakthrough that requires rethinking and they won't want to just share with everybody. Pretty likely.



aaronsullivan commented on Ninterview: Joe Heaton on The Joy of Game Boy ...:

@Kirk How does that work? Digital console? Played on what? You're brain? It's not coming as soon as you may think unless I'm not understanding what you mean.

Maybe you mean individual consoles with exclusive content? Everyone will just use whatever device they have laying around to play their game? That could happen, but there will always be something unique that others don't have and will play certain kinds of games better.



aaronsullivan commented on This Metroid Game Boy Advance Design is a Treat:

@Platypus101 Actually I did think the screen was garbage when I bought it back in the day. :/

As for having a point of reference: The lynx had a far more useful screen (10 years earlier) and I had played that and as much as I wanted to love my GBA holding it under a lamp in a weird position just to barely see the games I was playing and actually not being able to finish Circle of the Moon because I couldn't see the finale and then actually buying and soldering in front lights that were integrated and helped but then made you realize how washed out it all was. Can't say I liked it back then either.

I was exaggerating a little bit but the GBA was almost unusable to me and a disappointment despite some really awesome games. I even bought the GameBoy Advance player (was I the only one?) so I could play them.

Obviously the GBA had the battery life and the library (the Lynx was a complete failure) but the screen was bad. It just was.



aaronsullivan commented on Preview: Mario Kart 8:

@LavaTwilight Disappointed in no full screen for each player mode as well. I just feel like it would have been worth it even with reduced visuals and/or frame rate. Sonic Racing did it and the performance was a little worse, but it was SO much nicer to play that way.

That being said, I think I'd pay $150 for this game or more. Very excited. My wife and I have been huge fans since the original SNES Mario Kart. It's ALWAYS a blast.



aaronsullivan commented on Rusty's Real Deal Baseball Has Some Interestin...:

I do find the Japanese version of the dog a bit off-putting. The nose hairs are more prominent and you can look up his nostrils, the comb-over is uglier, imo. On the other hand, he is more expressive while the western one looks kinda dead in the eyes. I'm not familiar with any stereotypes involving old unkempt Japanese hagglers, but I'm betting that was a consideration.

The box art with the kid playing baseball. I don't understand why would even be considered for a change.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Shows Off April's Game Boy Advance Wi...:

I know some people are bothered by it but I don't mind giant square pixels, even on my HD screen. Now, when something is 3D and the resolution is low it bothers me more because I'm so used to that type of thing easily scaling up with new hardware, but Pixel art is still an abstract representation of something whether the pixels are giant or small, and if it's done well tiny, it will look good large. To me, at least. :P



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Shows Off April's Game Boy Advance Wi...:

For those who haven't played the mobile Metroid games: Metroid Fusion is a fun Metroid variant made for mobile gaming in small sections (which makes it a little less Metroidy in my book) but is still pretty great and I'll buy it as soon as it shows up, but Metroid Zero Mission is much closer to Super Metroid in gameplay and a genuine replacement for those who can't quite get into the unforgiving NES original (as it covers the same event).



aaronsullivan commented on Poll: Have Your Say On The GamePad's Role With...:

It's nice for when the TV is being used for something else that doesn't require full attention or I'm just not interested in. I don't mind big chunky retro graphics even on big screens, I know some do. I also prefer nice sharp square corners on my pixels and no the fuzzy recompressed stuff that usually shows up on the GamePad but that's not a big deal.



aaronsullivan commented on Industry Veteran Peter Molyneux Warns The Indi...:

My hope is that video games are entering an area where niche tastes can be served with games that developers can make money on. In other words, kind of like the music industry.

It's in the throws of change right now and it will go up and down for awhile before that might happen.



aaronsullivan commented on Feature: Bandai Namco Characters We'd Love to ...:

Pac-man is the only one, really. He is the first video game character to break into mainstream recognition (Space Invaders and Pong don't have characters). I just don't see how he'd fit and fight, but maybe something clever could be constructed for him. I've also never liked the less-abstract designs over the years so I wouldn't know how to handle it. I'd welcome him though.

I voted for dig dug though. lol.



aaronsullivan commented on Crytek Confirms a "CRYENGINE as-a-service" Sub...:

@AyeHaley I can't speak for cry-engine but I develop using Unity and it has recently ramped up official top-notch learning resources (tutorials, projects, etc.) that I really wish I had when I started more than 6 years ago. They are in a good place as a company and have a long-standing community of indie developers.

Unity also has more platform flexibility: Mac, mobile, etc.

I'd download the free version of each and take a weekend to go through the demo projects and official tutorials for each and see which you like the feel of.

In the past, Unreal and Crytek were really geared towards FPS games where Unity makes no such assumptions, but I don't think that comes into play as much anymore, especially with Unreal. Once again, I don't have real experience with those. :D

Hope that helps.



aaronsullivan commented on Nintendo Considering 3DS Build of Unity Engine:

Just to add to what you've said:
Unity itself is written in C++. So the performance critical graphics rendering and other internal engine stuff doesn't suffer from garbage collection.
The scripting that the developer does is in C# (or their particular flavor of Javascript). Either way, as you say, it's compiled not interpreted, but if a developer isn't careful with, for instance, when they instantiate things, it can cause performance issues.

The thing about Unity is that it is very approachable and there is a free version that is very capable so people will make some weak stuff and release it. Which is actually a great way to start, but also means the Unity name is prominently displayed on some junky stuff.

All that said, it would be nothing but great for Nintendo to support Unity on 3DS.

As someone else posted, just look at the showcase:



aaronsullivan commented on Super Metroid is 20 Years Old Today:

Metroid Other M was almost great. Perhaps a little too radical on the controller methods (would it have been so bad to use a nunchuk?) and that one-two combo of internal-extra-emotional-dialogue for Samus and the clunky implementation of activating your suit-powers pushed it over.

In the end the game design was pretty solid and there were some pretty awesome moments and a good environment. Also it had a return to the style of Super Metroid as far as graphics go. Oh well.

We need some good new Metroid games.



aaronsullivan commented on Video: Extended Mighty No. 9 Footage and Detai...:

Great stuff. It is a long wait, but being a backer helps as there is more info.

For anyone saying he doesn't do the work... he is the designer of the game, What does he have to do to earn that title? Write thousands of lines of code, draw all the art, create all the character and background models, animate them, animate the effects, set up the lighting, create all the textures himself? I'd like to see this before 2036, thank you.

It's clearer when you read all the backer messages, but he has made decisions on everything, right down to designs of character's specific features, the feel of the controls, everything. Those people are nervously showing him how it is coming along and anything that doesn't feel right or work to his satisfaction is going to get a lot of work. (For instance, I think the dash wasn't fun enough according to him after this video...)

I understood you right up until you said "It's dumb to feel the way I do, I admit it. But it bugs me, so I won't buy the game."

You either don't believe it's actually dumb and are posing or you are actively choosing to punish yourself because you think you are dumb. Which is it?