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Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

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Blackhawk
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Blackhawk » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:13 pm

I think part of it is a reaction to the hyperbole that people often employ against clients. There are some real issues out there, like security. But the ones that are always brought up are usually not justified. "Another piece of software slowing down my system" is by far the most common - if you can't turn off autostart, you have bigger problems. And 'another account to keep track of' in a world where most of us have hundreds it is a meaninglessly small addition. There absolutely are valid concerns, but those are rarely brought up in favor of the "OMG!" silliness.

My own view of the client is that someone giving Steam some solid competition, both in the retail marketplace and in drawing developers, is one of the best things that could happen to gaming. I like Valve. I don't trust them with a near-monopoly. Installing their client is worth it just for that alone. And for that to work, a clientless system (GoG) can't do it. Too many people won't put their stuff out without some form of DRM.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by NickAragua » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:20 pm

Right, I don't really care about the client, it's just annoying that they went back on the original written intent of the figstarter campaign, which was to release the game on steam / gog. Ideally, the giant pile of money that Gollop got to have this be a timed exclusive will be going towards increased polish and making the game fun.

It'd be hilarious, if, after all this hoopla, the game turned out to suck ass anyway.

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Blackhawk » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:29 pm

Yeah, that was absolutely shitty. If you raise money on the basis of creating a game on Steam/GoG, then suddenly change the product for some cash, you're not only a crappy developer, you're walking into lawsuit territory. Hell, it is almost a bait-and-switch.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:31 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:13 pm
I think part of it is a reaction to the hyperbole that people often employ against clients. There are some real issues out there, like security. But the ones that are always brought up are usually not justified. "Another piece of software slowing down my system" is by far the most common - if you can't turn off autostart, you have bigger problems. And 'another account to keep track of' in a world where most of us have hundreds it is a meaninglessly small addition. There absolutely are valid concerns, but those are rarely brought up in favor of the "OMG!" silliness.
Installing shit is almost as bad as running shit. Otherwise admins would just install everything with never a care in the world.

I disagree that adding another account to hundreds is not a problem. Every. single. account. Is a problem. Every one comes with security risks, maintenance, overhead and annoyance factors. All I'm hearing from you Blackhawk is that you agree with some issues that some people have raised but not others. Ken doesn't agree with any of the issues. That you think some are valid but others are not is just a 3rd opinion between the two extremes. Your opinion in this case is no more valid than Ken's, or LM's, or mine.

I'm not going to go on a rant about how software and Windows get along, even when not running, but bloatware from corporations that exists almost completely for the benefit of "not you" is not high on my list of trustworthy and well written software.

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Buatha » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:49 am

Before GoG, I used Gamer's Gate since I was anti-Steam back in the day...I've gone 180 since then.

So, at that time, I had those three...then I wanted to play GalCivII...and that was through Impluse or whatever...then Origin showed up and wanted BF IV on their service.

And, now with my Streaming...we have CBS & Disney getting into it. I've stopped with Netflix, Hulu, and Prime (just because it's auto).

If they end up on Steam in a year, I can wait as my backlog is the size of a small island in the Caribbean...but I'm with GreenGoo. I don't like have another account with payment information floating around unless I can't help it. I default to one-time purchases on these "satellite" services to keep my credit card info out of their data (if they are truly not storing it...I'd never know until a breach). I'm in Network Security, so maybe our IT bent makes us more sensitive to these things.

I actually forgot I had a GG account until this conversation :)
"Some people say never...I just say no"

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Suitably Ironic Moniker » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:34 pm

Well, I pay for most everything with either a credit or debit card; much of the physical cash in my wallet has been with me through a few years now. As such, I don't really see the danger in my using another on-line store, as I already have Gog, Steam, UPlay, Microsoft Store and Origin. If Epic can establish itself and improve both its library and client, then I believe that it will be good for the consumer. Steam has had it too easy for too long.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by coopasonic » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:32 pm

Suitably Ironic Moniker wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:34 pm
Steam has had it too easy for too long.
Steam absolutely needs the competition. I still want to stick with Steam where feasible. I use Uplay, Origins and Blizzard too, so I guess I make exceptions for first parties. I am not interested in splitting my games onto another third party.
-Coop

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:00 pm

Steam needs competition for sure. Most of my last few purchases have been with GOG or Humble Bundle or Green Man Gaming (and yes I complained/commented on yet another online store when I started accounts with those 3 as well) because Steam is just not competitive on price. At least not sale prices.

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by LordMortis » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:07 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:13 pm
I think part of it is a reaction to the hyperbole that people often employ against clients. There are some real issues out there, like security. But the ones that are always brought up are usually not justified. "Another piece of software slowing down my system" is by far the most common - if you can't turn off autostart, you have bigger problems. And 'another account to keep track of' in a world where most of us have hundreds it is a meaninglessly small addition. There absolutely are valid concerns, but those are rarely brought up in favor of the "OMG!" silliness.

My own view of the client is that someone giving Steam some solid competition, both in the retail marketplace and in drawing developers, is one of the best things that could happen to gaming. I like Valve. I don't trust them with a near-monopoly. Installing their client is worth it just for that alone. And for that to work, a clientless system (GoG) can't do it. Too many people won't put their stuff out without some form of DRM.
You can feel free to believe concerns are invalid, whatever that means and hyperbole (which it is not). I will continue to consider to maintain my "silliness".

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Suitably Ironic Moniker » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:52 pm

The problem with services like GreenManGaming, Humble Bundle Itch.io and others on that level is that unless they get the resources to advertise themselves more to the general gaming public, they're too small to make a serious dent in Steam's profits, not to mention that a lot of times, one gets a Steam key upon purchasing a game through those services, thus cementing Steam as the goto conduit for PC gaming.
When I was a boy, I laid in my twin-sized bed and wondered where my brother was. - Mitch Hedberg

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Suitably Ironic Moniker wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:52 pm
The problem with services like GreenManGaming, Humble Bundle Itch.io and others on that level is that unless they get the resources to advertise themselves more to the general gaming public, they're too small to make a serious dent in Steam's profits, not to mention that a lot of times, one gets a Steam key upon purchasing a game through those services, thus cementing Steam as the goto conduit for PC gaming.
I'm not sure what steam's kickback for a 3rd party selling a game with an included steam key. That would be useful information. I've been operating under the assumption that it is a loss leader for Steam to maintain it's place of prominence in the digital distribution market. I guess that's naive. They probably get paid. After all, they are providing bandwidth and storage for every key, and that's not free.

If it's a loss leader, I'm pretty happy with the situation. I get what I want and give my money to someone else but still enjoy the convenience of steam. If they are getting kickbacks, I'm less happy about it as they are still getting a piece.

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:18 pm

What I know is that with all of the platforms that have popped up, none have had anywhere close to the impact that Epic had in it's first 48 hours. Their improved developer cut actually had an impact.

And yes, I do maintain that being concerned that non-active programs are slowing down a system, or that you have to have another password are silly overreactions.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Grifman » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:47 pm

The problem I have with Epic is that they are not competing with Steam in the way that matters to consumers. Epic is not competing with Steam by building a better platform. Compared with Steam, Epic is nothing - no forums, no achievements, no mod workshop, no chat system, etc. The only thing they are using to compete with Steam is by locking up exclusives and in some instances, price. Exclusives just suck - I hate exclusives locked to consoles and I hate exclusives locked to PC gaming platforms. Now it Epic had come out with a new platform, providing what Steam does and adding functionality to that, great, I'd give them a go. But I will try not to buy anything on Epic because of their locking up of games via exclusives. They are great for developers but horrible for consumers.
Last edited by Grifman on Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by hitbyambulance » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:14 am

isn't Steam an 'exclusive platform', though? we have computers that are free to go anywhere on the internet, but a lot of people are buying and maintaining their entire (or nearly entire) digitally-downloaded game library through an omnipresent software DRM layer from ONE company (Valve).

if anyone told these people 15 years ago that this was going to be the case now, very few of them would be ok with that situation (see threads on this board from the mid 2000s re: Steam). what changed? convenience? acclimation and familiarity? acceptance of inevitable fate? 'oh well, it is what it is, i guess'?

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Victoria Raverna » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:23 am

Steam isn't exclusive. Most games are available to purchase from other online stores.

Some games are available on uplay, Origin, Windows 10 store, gog.com etc. Also some are available as steam key from greenmangaming, humblebundle and other online stores.

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Buatha » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:04 pm

hitbyambulance wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:14 am
isn't Steam an 'exclusive platform', though? we have computers that are free to go anywhere on the internet, but a lot of people are buying and maintaining their entire (or nearly entire) digitally-downloaded game library through an omnipresent software DRM layer from ONE company (Valve).

if anyone told these people 15 years ago that this was going to be the case now, very few of them would be ok with that situation (see threads on this board from the mid 2000s re: Steam). what changed? convenience? acclimation and familiarity? acceptance of inevitable fate? 'oh well, it is what it is, i guess'?
For me, I think it was a combination of convenience with keeping the games patched and the move away from games having tangible goodies like maps, printed manuals and such. I got tired of storing DVD cases with a disc and nothing more. Strangely enough, I was the same with books thinking "I will miss going to the store and looking at covers!". Now, I love my Kindle and the ability to simply get a book wherever I am without storing it. I ran out of space in my book case and, frankly, I needed the space in my office. I culled my collection down to a box.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:20 pm

Steam was exclusive for quite a while before other, competitive platforms arrived. On that, though, Battle.net, Origin, Uplay, Bethesda, and any other company launcher is exclusive.

Anyway, to clarify a point of my position, I don't want or need to like Epic. I don't care if I like Epic. What I want is to see Steam given enough stiff competition that they improve their customer experience, improve their prices, improve the way they treat developers. If it's Epic that can do that, the Yay Epic, even if I never buy a single game from them.
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Grifman » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:31 pm

hitbyambulance wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:14 am
isn't Steam an 'exclusive platform', though? we have computers that are free to go anywhere on the internet, but a lot of people are buying and maintaining their entire (or nearly entire) digitally-downloaded game library through an omnipresent software DRM layer from ONE company (Valve).
That's their choice. I think GoG and Gamersgate still exist right? :) And the EA Origin and Uplay. And I can buy Steam keys elsewhere, such as GMG, which i often do. So, no, Steam is not an exclusive platform by any means. What games has Steam paid money to in order to have an exclusive - can you name one?
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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by GreenGoo » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:26 pm

Just because I like shopping at my local grocery store because it's close, convenient, has great deals and offers me free coffee doesn't make it an exclusive. I can get groceries elsewhere. And since the deals haven't been so great lately, I have been buying my groceries elsewhere.

Epic needs 2 things. Customers and publishers. They have given a much better percentage to the publishers as compared to steam. You can expect that to change once they get established. They have given decent prices to customers. Unlike publishers, they need to overcome customer inertia. We all use steam, our libraries there are large, and we know how it works. Very few people like change. So by gathering as many exclusives as possible, they are forcing customers (those who care about the exclusives) to overcome their own inertia. They know that even if it pisses the customer off, once they have moved some of their business to Epic, they will adjust and everything will normalize.

My point being exclusives are a business decision to force the customer at gun point to try their store. No one likes having a gun to their head, but the alternative is that you open a store and no one shows up. It's short term negative customer relations with short term AND long term benefit. It's pretty obviously a smart move.

Steam doesn't do exclusives because they don't have to. They would gain nothing but negative PR when most customers were already going to use Steam. Epic doesn't have that luxury.

Epic can/will/might build in all the features we've come to expect from steam, but that's not the primary mover in an online store. Sales first, customer service(s) after, if sales happen. Building a gargantuan feature set out of whole cloth like Steam has before you know if you are ever going to have any customers is not a great approach, and (almost) no one can afford it anyway.

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Re: Phoenix Point [by original XCom designer]

Post by Victoria Raverna » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:12 pm

I have Epic store client installed but I'm not going to spend my money buying games from epic store if they keep doing timed exclusive.

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