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Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 2) 115

by DerekLyons (#47558715) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

IIRC Williams went on to sink as much of TSR's money as possible into buying up the rights for the Buck Rogers RPG ... which flopped and sunk without a trace, crippling TSR's finances.

TSR's finances were in perpetual disarray from about '83 forward... when the D&D bubble popped.* TSR had built itself around the assumption that growth would occur at the same rate as it had during the bubble, and was screwed when it didn't. It never fully recovered. Even though Williams' mismanagement didn't help, by the mid 80's significant percentage of gamers had moved onto computer gaming and their purchases of hardcopy games dropped precipitously. They stumbled on long enough to be around when WOTC came into bucketloads of cash, but they were anything but a healthy company.

Not to mention the Buck Rodgers RPG is far from only "flopped and sunk without a trace", whether from TSR or elsewhere in the industry. (Even games that were huge successes (by the standards of the day) are by-and-large completely forgotten today.) At the height of the bubble ('82-'83) it seemed a new RPG was coming out every week, and the premises of the games were increasingly specialized and/or outlandish. By 1983, the market for tulip bulbs was beyond saturated**. By 1984 it was busted. By 1993, when the Buck Rodgers RPG was released, it would have taken a miracle for any RPG to be a breakout hit.

*The largest problems that hardcopy gaming (board, pen-and-paper, etc...) companies face are the replayability factor and the scaling factor. For the first, you can buy a set of rulebooks and literally play for years without further purchase. For the second, one guy can purchase a set and then ten or more others can play using that set for years. Once a significant proportion of your userbase has a set of your products, you're screwed. There's a reason why every gaming company of the era got into supplements and expansions and ancillary products and media as fast and deep as possible - it's the only way to survive. WOTC didn't create the idea of endless supplements and expansions (as many seem to think), they merely perfected the implementation by convincing players they were vital to continued gameplay rather than being optional.

** I remember a meeting of our gaming group in 1983 where we were deciding which GM/game would be added to our rotation to replace one that was moving away... we literally had twenty or thirty different RPG's in hardcopy physically sitting on the table. When I attended Dracon I (or was it Hexacon I, can't remember as there were so many start-up gaming cons back in the day) in 1984 I took something like ten different games from my personal collection to the con. (Met Tracy Hickman there, out stumping the then newly released Dragonlance.)

Comment: Back then... (Score 1) 70

From TFS: "[Man in a High Castle is] one of his most successful works"

Back in 1962 (when it was published) maybe... but by the time of my generation of SF readers (coming of age in the late 70's, early 80's) it was largely passed over in favor of Electric Sheep. With WWII much further in the past than when it was published, and the Red Menace having been replaced by MAD... it's foriegn dictatorship wasn't as relevant as the overcrowded overpolluted post apoplyptic dystopia of Sheep was to a generation that was influenced by the social chaos of the late 60's and had lived through the shocks of the early 70's. Stories involving the Nazi's (High Castle, Rocket Ship Galileo, even the (then) more recent Iron Dream) were seen largely as quaint anachronisms not classics. Which, in a large way, is also why Cyberpunk emerges in the same era...

Comment: Your lack of a clue is not my problem. (Score 1) 150

by DerekLyons (#47557851) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

No, I'm not the sole authority of facts relating to economics. I'm just not impressed by "actual numbers" when they're irrelevant to the discussion at hand and accompanied by smoke and mirrors.

And if you actually had a clue rather than parroting BS in the fashion of a cargo cultist, you'd note I never debated the validity of your facts - only their relevance. When confronted with this, you fall back on the typical defense of the terminally clueless... you raise the white flag and declare victory by indulging in personal attacks.

Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 1) 115

by DerekLyons (#47557693) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

The arrangement made sense right up until TSR actually started making real money. When you and your friends bust your asses to build a business, and have no substantial income or assets to fight over, running it as a labor-of-love makes perfect sense. But once they started bulk-hiring new staff and pulled off 5000% growth over five years - Why the hell didn't they hire a competent CFO???

Well, because this was the early 80's not the early 00's and they hadn't lived through the dot bomb as we all have. (Seriously, the dot bomb radically changed the public's perception of how a business should be run if/when it Suddenly Gets Big. We simply didn't think that way back then.) That, and their desire to keep control in house and in the hands of gamers meant they never brought in any real (read competent) outside money... which might have imposed the constraint of hiring adult supervision as a condition of receiving the money.

Comment: Re:sigh. bailing wire? (Score 1) 480

by drinkypoo (#47557139) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

The funny thing from my view is we never called it "baling wire", or "baling (anything else)". When we opened a bale of hay, we cut the binders twine that held it together.

I buy spools of what we call tie wire from the hardware store, it appears to be steel wire P in O (pickled in oil) which is stored in oiled paper. A lot of people might call that baling wire, but I'm not baling anything.

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1) 137

by drinkypoo (#47557007) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

Would you care to respond to that, or would you prefer to latch on to a typo somewhere in this post?

Well, you're right, I was in full dick mode. I'm even sorry about it, albeit admittedly only slightly. I apologize for how, but not what I said. Yeah well, that's the best you're getting out of me this morning.

Nobody expects the piracy sites to be legit. But a lot of people think that there are so many of them that their activity can go unnoticed. Those people are about to get an awakening, if they even take the banners seriously.

Comment: Re:Get used to this... (Score 1) 217

1. The Fuck Comcast vote should have been enough to pass this in the first place.
2. It doesn't matter how much our corporate citizens spend trying to educate the electorate if, in the end, they vote their own conscience.
3. Those postcards are a hoot. It's like the worst parody of grandma-scaring (tm) GOP, ever. What sort of idiots would fall for that? Idiots that deserve to be raped by Comcast & SBC for eternity (or 99 years).
4. Why can't the government just include suitable performance metrics and penalties for failing to meet them when handing out the franchise? Including a regular review cycle? Oh, that's right stupidity and greed, par for the course.

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1, Insightful) 137

by drinkypoo (#47556511) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

No one confuses Rapidshare for BMG's official site. People go there specifically to download pirated content, full stop. Seeing police ads might scare a few people with the paranoia of thinking "the man" has caught them, but the other 99% of visitors will just thank the police for subsidizing their favorite warez sites.

I know that this is slashdot, and that you therefore feel justified in being an ignorant idiot and spouting off without RTFAing, and you're in quite a bit of company: lots of other idiots are saying the same stupid shit you're saying. But the article makes it clear that "Neither the police or Project Sunblock are paying the website in question to display the police message". They're just suppressing the banner display, and displaying a police message instead.

Truly pathetic, Boys in Blue (Hmm, do Bobbies wear blue?)

Pathetic is deciding you know how the system works without R'ing TFA, and as a result, being a F'n I.


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