Saturday, July 30, 2016
Let me say right from the start that I have nothing to do with the development or marketing of We happy Few. I have no contact with any entities associated with making or publishing this game. But this is really getting out of hand.
This week Microsoft’s new early access program started(May God have Mercy on their souls). In that we got a few games that are in EARLY ACCESS(this means they are not done). One of these is We Happy Few which is still in early ALPHA. Which means in this case that over 50% of the game is not finished or in the build that was sent out for people to play on XBOX LIVE and Steam.
Most game journalists, I would imagine, would be familiar with this concept as they do get preview builds of games and are shown such builds at trade shows(behind closed doors, no less). But this week we had a glut of journalists decide that We Happy Few was not only not worth their time but was misleading it’s audience. Really? Because they aren’t showing a part of the game that they admit isn’t even included in the preview build? Because their are problems with a game that probably won’t be launched for another year? Really? I would say that the only “problem” I have with the way that We Happy Few was handled was the fact that they want to charge for access to the early access part of the game. You get to play a preview portion on XBOX but you must pay for any access on Steam. But this is normal for Steam and apparently this is what Microsoft is trying to do on XBOX ONE. So I can’t really criticize.
Most of the press haven’t played more than a few minutes of this game, not read anything more about it than the initial press release and written it off as some kind of failure. This certainly doesn’t bode well for anyone else making a high profile Early Access title. If I were a developer I would NEVER let my game be seen this early by press or public just because neither one seems to be able to handle it.
What I think is most ridiculous is only one person in the press, Jim Sterling(who is VERY ACQUINTED with Early Access games) was able to actually explain everything that was going on and that he was glad that they had so much time to fix the game before it actually came out. I will post his video below. He is a contributor to the game both monetarily and he does some voice acting for it. Which I’m sure will keep his opinion from being taken seriously by most people. Which it should! He is certainly better informed and has a much better video than any other outlet.
It never ceases to amaze me what levels of laziness and unprofessionalism that can be reached by the current crop of video game coverage outlets. These people literally have hundreds of thousands of people standing in line for their jobs and they treat said jobs as if they were doing an independent study class for high school. Show up, do the least required of you and get out as early as possible. Thanks… I really appreciate all your hard work…
Oh yeah, Thank God for Jim Sterling….
Friday, July 29, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The video above is what Maximilian Dood, who is a huge fighting game personality and pretty damn good at fighting games says about learning fighting games. He is definitely speaking from a place of love for the genre and believe me I’ve been following him for years. He LOVES fighting games. But his answer to the question is the exact reason why most gamers will never really get into fighting games and casual gamers might try to get into a certain game; but they will quickly lose interest when they start consistently losing.
Most people think that this is just like Dark Souls or even something like Project Cars. But it isn’t, sadly… Because in a fighting game everyone is getting better, not just you. Also, there is no story to follow and there isn’t clear path to getting better in fighting games.
In a fighting game, you are probably beginning at a disadvantage because there is a portion of the community that are getting the game early or even better are actually consulting on the game. This is similar for every competitive genre except that those people make videos that if you don’t watch; you are at a disadvantage over all those people who did. There are people who spend hours pounding on betas or demos to get better. Most in the FGC(Fight Game Community) that would say the first week of a new fighting game is really the time to get in. If you haven’t gotten in then, you are at such a disadvantage that you will probably be overwhelmed when you do actually go online.
On the other hand, the Overwatch closed alpha and beta were on for over a year before I was able to play the game. I am still having fun and I’m mildly competitive today; I have played the Overwatch virtually every day since it came out. But that is more or less the same for any competitive online game with a descent sized community. But it was pretty easy game to pick up after watching very few videos online, even after week one.
One could do the same thing with a fighting game however, and not be in that position(I did with Mortal Kombat X, Street Fighter V, and Injustice). Why is this? Lots of reasons, but that isn’t exactly the thrust of this article. This is more an article about expectations…
After the ESPN showing of EVO 2016. People are already saying, “Oh we have arrived. Fighting games are going to blow up now!”
Sorry folks, no they aren’t… Watching the best players in the world duke it out in beautiful full color, will not translate into millions of new fans. This genre is so impenetrable, especially Street Fighter V; that all that it will take is someone to actually try the game for themselves and they will never want to play the game again. Street Fighter V has one of the weakest single player modes in history and the survival mode is SO poorly designed that even seasoned members of the FGC have a running distaste for it.
I would say that, again if you want to get into a fighting game, you would be better off getting in when the new installment launches, but you will never be in the same position you will be in when starting a new shooter or MOBA. Why?
To begin with, most fighting games pull elements from past installments and people who have played those past installments are going to be naturally better than those who have not. And believe it or not, there really aren’t as many new people coming into a typical fighting game as the typical FPS. For instance, I’m not exactly great at Call of Duty but for the first 3 months and for the first 40-60 XP levels I am pretty damn competitive and that is because we are talking about tens of MILLIONS of people. This is because the game itself is simpler than the typical fighting game. Point at the bad guys and shoot them by pulling the trigger on your game pad. And that’s the essence…
I would never say that Call of Duty, Halo, DOTA 2, League of Legends, etc… Are not difficult at high levels. But what I am saying is that on a casual, learning level, people can more easily pick them up and understand them. Even if we set aside execution concerns, most of the popular esports games are much easier to get into than the typical fighting game.
I love fighting games, but I will never be as competitive in them as games like Heroes of the Storm or Overwatch. This is because I don’t have unlimited time and patience. I also, don’t have someone to play with in offline games to get much better. This is another reason why fighting games are so hard for the average casual person to get into. Because you have to have someone just a little better than you to play with on a regular basis. Because unlike most of the super popular games out there. Fighting games require not only practice of things like execution but match ups and learning patterns of other people’s play in order to understand your opponents. You will also probably need a really good monitor with low refresh rate and most people will probably need a fight stick which will probably cost you around $200(the fightstick, the monitor will be another $150 or so).
Even after watching hundreds of hours of video of the best players in the world; this will probably not help you very much when it comes to fighting people on your level. Because, they won’t be playing that way. They will be playing a crazy random strategy that you won’t be able to figure out either.
So you crazy FGC people, I love you. But let’s get real here. It’s going to take a lot more than ESPN to help us fix all our problems. Perhaps, Capcom could help with that. Maybe…
I would love to hear what you think about this. Please send me some feedback on twitter @timothypecoraro or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016
I sometimes wonder if Microsoft puts games on Games with Gold based on their sales. Because I don’t think Spelunky or Beyond Good and Evil HD have sold AT ALL in probably at least two years. The XBOX ONE games, well, if you like Dynasty Warriors… Or wrestling and you don’t have either one of those games, GREAT! Otherwise, they are probably worth what we are paying for them; Nothing…
But good on MIcrosoft for not spamming us with more indie games from three years ago on XBOX ONE and calling them the main games for the month. Now we just have to get through the bargain bin and we will be golden…