Forum Post Roundup + Other Stuff!

Okay, typical forum post rehash. Lets start with talking about why Street Fighter 3: Third Strike is a bad game and why fireballs are good for games.

Fireball lockdown in ST only occurs in a specific situation. A blocked, slow, followed by a fast fireball at the right range. Anything else has holes and these holes can be expertly disguised. Other thing to remember in ST — everything hurts a lot, BESIDES fireballs. Personally I find the strategy and tactics of dealing with fireballs one of the most rewarding aspects of the game. Slowly inching forward or using various gimmicks (Balrogs headbutt, Fei’s short chicken wing, a DP) to advance,followed by a good prediction at close enough range to nail them with a jump in combo that robs them of most of their life.

I tended to play the extreme ends of the spectrum — Shotos, Dee Jay and Guile or, alternatively, fireball vulnerable characters like Honda and Fei. It’s satisfying as hell to manuever through their attempted zoning before stuffing their fireball with a well spaced cr.fierce or Rekka combo. In non-HDR SF2, O.Sagat can be pretty dumb but generally, besides for a few matchups, fireballs are pretty fair, just knowledge intensive to properly apply and counter. Even then though, I could regularly win the Honda/Ryu matchup against pretty much anyone who didn’t totally main Ryu. The game really does reward subtly and knowledge.

As for defensive game — games with great defense are naturally kind of bad/boring. When the less sound move is to attack, the game starts rewarding nothing which can lead to not much of a game. If your game is going to have strong defensive systems, they need to not lead to strong offensive gains (like parry) and should instead allow you a chance to reset the situation (any type of pushblock). If you have a not of defensive systems (Guilty Gear), you need an even GREATER offensive force. Thats partially why Guilty Gear is so insane. The defensive options aren’t there to make defense strong, they’re their to keep you from just flat out being ran over. It’s a delicate balance.

Of course how defensive or offensive you like your game is up to personal preference, but I would venture an assumption that a defensive oriented game that was good (maybe CVS2? even with the RC bug, the game is viable) would still have significantly strong offense. Just not as crazy as Guilty Gear or Super Turbo. This is part of the reason why Yun owns bitches in 3s — Ginei-jin actually allows him to be offensive without much risk but with great potential rewards, while the rest of the cast mostly lacks that ability.

Parries do a lot more complicated damage than that. For one they severly weaken situational advantage. In ST, if I knock someone into the corner as Ryu, they are now in a very interesting disadvantage. They have to escape my fireball trap and once they do that, I will likely still be at a slight advantage. On top of that, various situations in other games have very different counters for different characters that lead to more dynamic game. The character interaction leads to unique risk/reward matrixes across the different matchups.

In 3S you are always one guess away from having initiative and that guess isn’t always a risky one. In SF2, if I think someone is going to sweep me I can go SHORYUKEN, and get some damage and a knockdown by clipping his foot. If I misstime, he can punish, and he if he does nothing he can really punish me. Since the Shoryuken when applies can beat almost anything (hell, you can shoryuken through fireballs if you time it right), it comes connected to a lot of recovery. Parries not so much. If I hit down expecting you to sweep and misstime, I get swept, sure… but if you do nothing? I lost nothing for making a potentially high reward guess.

Mind games are reduced to a simple “I thought he was going to do something and he didn’t and I was surprised!” which is pretty shallow. Whats even worse about parries is you can even tact them on to moves. Tap forward before attacking and pick up some random parries here and there — pros do it! It works!

As for fireballs, they’re bad even regardless of parries. Metallic Sphere and and EX whateverthehell Oro has are the two most useful protectiles. Remy ALMOST has a functional fireball game, but suffers from being a charge character with fireballs that aren’t appropriately strong for a charge character. Most other fireballs are simply used as a midrange poke. Fireballs and dealing with them are like, the hallmark of the SF series. Real combat at a distance is a thing few 2d fighters get right. The dynamic between a ‘zoner’ and a ‘rush down’ character is a classic kind of fight.

Instead of 3s when two characters are at max range they whiff medium punches to build meter. Booooo. Range advantages are also homogenized due to parries. Optimal range for most characters is within throw range, since thats the only time you have a sure fire parry counter and can exhibit some real pressure. There are a handful of exceptions (Chun’s stupid low forward), but the health of the range game is way worse then pretty much any game in the SF series.

Anyways I’m not sure what you meant by your fireball comment (… that Pros like strong fireballs because scrubs can’t deal with them? If so thats false, but I don’t know if thats what you meant), but the whole issue is much deeper and complicated than whatever you were implying.

Again though, this only begins to grow apparent as you get better. Don’t let me stop anyone from enjoying some 3S. There are great fighting game players that still enjoy the game despite it’s inherent flaws. For me, personally, it removes my favorite parts of the game. When I played it I only did so because Makoto was so god damned fun.

Now some stuff about Piracy.

Thief is a poor word for it. Piracy seems to be the right word, because it’s divorced from physical theft. The Twix argument is also bad. People directly lose money from direct theft. Piracy on the other hand has the same net effect as loaning games(though piracy is obviously illegal, but the theoretical loss is the same). Nothing physical is lost. Physical loss comes with the loss of manufacturing and distributional prices. When I pirate something, nothing is lost but potential consumer surplus.

Now this doesn’t make Piracy right. It makes it a less damaging crime per capita. Now this isn’t an excuse for piracy either, it’s just the facts of the matter. Anyways, I’m going to post something I wrote up on another forum.

“Quote:
Heh, it really is that simple. Many current software business models are just not sustainable. I really have no pity for companies losing money to piracy. We have companies releasing free products and are making major bank on it. Lets all just think about farmville for a moment and then all vomit in our mouths. And it’s not just the immoral, possibly criminal developers like Zynga. Tons of companies are making bank on free to play. Thats Korea’s entire MMO market. Play for free, pay for stuff!

Valve has also shown how to make money off the ‘traditional’ payment model. Featurized DRM that feels logical instead of arbitrary. Matchmaking and friend services. Access to sales that grabs consumer surplus. Companies like Ubisoft see steam and try and imitate it but only copy what benefits them. Thats not how you make reoccurring customers. You gotta be good to the consumer — not because you’re a nice guy, but because it makes money. Google supplies tons of free applications and service — not because they are the sweetest, cutest guys in the world, but because they designed a business model from the start that would profit from being good to the consumer.

Granted you still don’t need to be good to the consumer. Console secondary sales are being fucked with by all those free DLC offers. It’s not nice, but at least it’s smart. I just can’t feel bad for people who use a dated distribution model and then complains that they aren’t making ALL OF THE MONEY. You’re doing it wrong, get over it.”

Now I do post this dismissively of priacy. Not to absolve my self (my stance doesn’t), but in the sense that THIS IS LIFE.

If you are a company trying to make money in video games, you need to THINK about this. You need to think about how to MAXIMIZE PROFITS. Griping about piracy doesn’t do that. That potential money is mostly gone! Sure, you might pick up a few people who buy after they try, but thats it — that money was never yours. The consumer, for whatever reason (piracy, secondary sales, superior product elsewhere, whatever) has chosen not to give you their money. This isn’t a fairy tale land where just doing something entitles you to money — you have the forces of society and technology against you. You need smart business.

I say this also an an indy developer who plans to sell some games in the future. That shit is going to get pirated to hell, I’m sure. Thats life. But I’m more interested in the money people are willing to pay me for a product. Though personally (and I know this can’t apply to Nich who is part of a company), I’d rather someone pirate something I did then not play it at all. Now, my stance doesn’t change the matters of the law, but it does make the facts of business easier to folllow.

Now I don’t condone piracy, but I think people approach this issue all wrong. If your business model doesn’t support people playing fair, then you either need to accept that or find a new business model. Would you make a business model based on telling people secrets and promising them not to tell? When people tell all the secrets to everyone you could blame the consumers, but as a business man you need to realize your model sucks.

Some companies are just so clueless about this. As I said above, companies like Valve get this. Other companies like CryTek are cluuueless. Crytek recently stated that game Demos are a luxury for gamers that will soon disappear. What they’re really saying is ‘steal our game’. It’s hilariously detached from reality. This is amusing to me as someone who does work in Advertising, since, well…. DEMOS ARE ADS. YOU ARE ADVERTISING. YOU ARE DOING THIS NOT AS A SERVICE, BUT TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS. YOU WANT TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO BUY YOUR GAME.

No demo? People will torrent it and try it out anyways and then they’ll be all the less interested in possibly paying for it. Sometimes you need to accept reality.

Last topic here, I got this link…

http://kotaku.com/5516263/should-she-be-chainsawable

The question here is whether the new female character in GoW3 should be killable by the trademark chainsaw gun. This chick looks pretty tough too and also has a chain saw guns.

OF COURSE SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE CUT IN HALF. SHES A DAMNED SOLDIER. THERE ISN’T A QUESTION HERE. ANYTHING LESS IS DAMAGING TO FEMALE EQUALITY.

If she was a civilian or something, sure, there might be a QUESTION but she is a badass soldier chick. There isn’t a question. She isn’t even showing off tits everywhere. Even though I don’t care about Gears, I find this refreshing. I find it offensive to think this woman needs any ‘protection’.

God, if I got a chance I’d chew Stephen Totilo’s head off for making such a retarded post. This is like… the singular dumbest thing I’ve ever read about a strong female protagonist.

6 thoughts on “Forum Post Roundup + Other Stuff!

  1. Well… It is Kotaku. I’m not too interested in SF, never have been much of a fighter gamer. Your comments in the piracy thread were good, I thought we were having a good discussion in general before the Mods shut us down. Such is life!

  2. Hello Mr. Logic. :)

    Yeah the piracy discussion was a shame, but I can’t blame SilentSnake for locking it. With actual developers on the boards and the chance for people to incriminate themselves, it was sort of a dangerous little situation. That said, I agree, there was some good discussion going on. I thought it was interesting to have Nich and Tomm around to share their opinions and to argue with. Nich in particular, since his seemed to imply that Atlus should be making a lot more money. Regardless of their work (I like me some Atlus), the sad fact is that they only have so many people willing to give them money for the games they want to publish. Deserve has nothing to do with it, for better or for worse. I really did want to push the ‘loaning is a loss of revenue’ argument too. I have a friend who’s lent her copy of P4 to like…. everyone. Legal or illegal, these things are nebulous ‘losses of revenue’ that you just have to deal with.

    A business model has to be focused on people who are willing to give you money. Sadly a lot of developers and publishers aren’t big on the business end of things. On the other hand though, I can totally understand their frustrations. Sales effect their lively-hood, but I still think its a bad idea to blame a boogy-man instead of accepting the the cold truth of business. Ah well, hopefully both of them will continue doing well.

    Anyways, thanks for commenting. I’m never quite sure if anyone reads any of this.

  3. If you haven’t read it you might be interested in Jeff Vogel (the guy who did the Avernums, Exiles, and GeneForges)thoughts on piracy and for that matter DRM) over at his blog Bottom Feeder, just search for the tag piracy. He talks about how a developer could create a perfect DRM system but in so doing would only turn their consumers into enemies. The most salient point he makes is that DRM only has to work for awhile, for those first few weeks when the game is the latest and greatest for the company to “protect” most of its revenue, which is an interesting thought.

    Like most things the bogey-man is just easier to deal with than locating actual money-loss or devising a new business model, especially one that allows for the developer to make the games they want to make, instead of merely creating a multiplayer FPS. P4 is a good example the game is so long that once its beaten most people who wanted to play it have bought it, instead of waiting for someone to finish it. Those willing to wait however long it takes someone to beat a 90+ hour game were never willing to buy the game.

    end ramblings

  4. Hi Kayin,

    Although I have very little knowledge of TS and most advanced fighting game mechanics (I’m working on it), I can very much sympathize with the need for a mostly offensive game setup. The concept is not limited to just fighting games; most any game will suffer if it lacks workarounds for a defensive tactic (camping and turtle tactics come to mind in this case).

    I really think the only logical and viable approach to piracy is the way you described. While I think DRM is unfortunately necessary for PC games in this day and age, the amount of DRM needed is much lower than most publishers seem to put into their products.

    To me, Steam has the best of both worlds right now. It delivers quality titles with little hassle but can still defend against most casual piracy through its DRM. I hope more developers get a clue and emulate this approach to keeping their games from being pirated.

  5. I still very much enjoy your comments on fighting games, and very much agree with them. Your specific verbiage: “For me, personally, it removes my favorite parts of the game.” is basically how I felt about SFxT with the weak throws and forward rolls/long stages. I would complain about things here and there, but it just seems, from the ground up, the game wasn’t made for me.

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