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Comment What new eBay fee structure? (Score 1) 258

They raped their golden goose with the new fee structures a while back and hasn't been the same since.

For the past six years, I've worked for small businesses that sell R/C cars and model trains on eBay. The 15% commission (12% eBay final value fee, 3% PayPal fee) hasn't really changed much over the past six years and isn't much different from Amazon other than that eBay's insertion fees are much lower at certain volume levels. So how are you defining "new"?

Comment Re:Accommodating gamepads on PC (Score 1) 272

I'm of two minds about this. If you want to emulate a typical gamepad/controller, wouldn't you want the movement to be on the left hand, and action buttons on the right hand? (i.e WASD for movement)

Arrows, Z, and X are consistent with other completely keyboard-driven PC games, especially console emulators like FCEUX and VisualBoyAdvance. I see the demand for console-style PC games as overlapping with the user base for these emulators. Personally I see WASD as more for use along with a mouse, but a user who prefers WASD can set that in the game's menu in a manner that is "as painless as possible". From the main menu, choose "Controls", then "Player 1", then "Change", then press the keys in the order shown on the screen.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but looking at wiki it sounds like XInput and DirectInput are closed source MS stuff.

SDL for Windows calls DirectInput. Under other operating systems, it'd use whatever API the port of SDL calls.

I think these ideas are something that individual game makers would decide on their own. It's up to them if they want to make their game to also play well on the living room TV.

True. But I meant these in the context of a developer who already seeks to target a TV. I was looking for good reasons why even these ideas wouldn't be enough.

Comment Accommodating gamepads on PC (Score 1) 272

I understand your focus. But usability of indie games in gamepad genres is one detail I want to solve, and now that the majority of tl;dr readers have moved on, we can work through this. I've already begun to describe workarounds for the Tower of Babel that is HID joysticks and how to connect a PC to a TV. Can you think of viable measures beyond these?
  • When no controller is plugged in, autoconfigure the keyboard the same way that emulators of classic game consoles come configured: arrow keys to move and Z and X for actions.
  • Autoconfigure XInput for Xbox 360 controllers and DirectInput for the most popular HID joysticks. This will require a database.
  • Make manual configuration of other makes and models of controller as painless as possible.
  • Make essential user interface text big enough to read even in a screenshot scaled down to 432x240. For example, at 720p, fonts should be at least 24px tall. This ensures that people using a scan converter and SDTV or people sitting far from an HDTV can still play.
  • Make the PC version available for paid download. In the product description, link to one or more guides on how to setup a gaming PC in the living room, such as the one Valve made for Steam's Big Picture mode.
  • In the product description, show a notice like this: "Other Platforms: We are seeking a publisher to bring $TITLE to game consoles. If your company is interested in publishing a port of this game, contact us."

Comment Re:Video games that Nintendo rejected (Score 1) 272

You mean that the developer couldn't afford the certification costs to bring it to consoles.

You mean that the console maker chose to set the certification costs at a prohibitive level. Besides, Nintendo rejected The Binding of Isaac due to its subject matter. No certification costs short of 51% of Nintendo's market cap could force a change in Nintendo's review guidelines.

Comment Re:Mobile OSes should make IAP budgeting easier (Score 1) 272

MORE people don't budget properly

Which is why I recommended that the OS publisher reword the IAP confirmation like so:

You have spent $51 in this app and $29 in other apps in the past 30 days. Do you want to spend $1 now?
[ Cancel | Pay $1.00 ]

I'd be interested to see what excuse this sort of alert might leave for not budgeting.

Comment Problems with open source video games (Score 0) 272

Was stealth an intended mechanic of the game, or is something more akin to speedrunning a game that was never balanced for that kind of play?

The guards in the first castle of A Link to the Past have particular patrol patterns, and a guard don't enter alert until Link enters the guard's line of sight. If stealth weren't intended, alert would have been based on distance instead of line of sight. I've programmed a few games myself, and there are fewer lines of code involved in checking distance than in checking line of sight.

I remember in Xenon II being amazed at the idea of a shoot 'em up that allowed the ship to go in to reverse.

Which Fantasy Zone did a couple years earlier.

These days, aside from some L4D and Civilisation, it's most open source stuff for me. Games like TOME aren't terribly original

Open source video games have three problems. First, they're pretty much limited to PC and possibly Android, as console makers are allergic to copyleft. This discourages games in genres more suited to a D-pad and buttons. Second, unless the business model is to sell copies of proprietary mission packs for a free engine, there's not much of a way to pay the artists. The typical model of selling support doesn't work as well as it does for, say, RHEL because games that aren't MMO need less support than libraries or line-of-business software. Some Slashdot users would in fact prefer a world without video games to a world with proprietary software of any sort (1, 2, 3). Third, open source developers tend not to know exactly where "not terribly original" ends and "call the lawyers" begins. Given Alexey Pajitnov's claim that open source destroys the market, I wouldn't be surprised if the Free Software Foundation found itself on the business end of a lawsuit from over M-x tetris in Emacs the way The Tetris Company successfully sued Xio over Mino . Apparently the copyright rules differ between video games (Tetris v. Xio) and everything else (Lotus v. Borland; Oracle v. Google).

Comment Paying "dues" to gain access to a category (Score 1) 272

When you develop a game to a certain platform you must understand the philosophy behind the platform.

I agree. But what do you suggest that an indie developer do if, say, it has a concept (or even a working PC prototype) of a console-oriented game but no console license? Must it develop several unrelated PC or mobile titles first?

Comment Mobile game control (Score 1) 272

How, precisely, would a twitch game like Super Mario Bros. or Mega Man be controlled on mobile, without the player having to buy a separate $40 controller to clamp to the phone? Mobile games tend to be in point-and-click-friendly genres: block puzzles (Bejeweled), shooting galleries (Fruit Ninja), graphical adventures, and possibly accelerometer-based driving.

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