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Comment Unfortunately, article misses the point completely (Score 4, Insightful) 134

This article only makes sense if you assume that "social game" or F2P game developers actually care about those metrics because they are trying to find "fun."

They aren't. They care about those metrics because they are trying to maximize revenue for the current title. After experimentation, they then take the combination of factors that had the maximum revenue for the previous title and then repackage it into a rebranded version of the same game with that combination as the starting point. It's more like casino design than game design.

By and large F2P games are not really about creating a "fun" experience. They are about creating an addictive experience loop which yields them income through impulse micro-transaction purchases. While "fun" is a factor (the game has to be interesting, after all) it certainly is not the primary goal of this part of the industry. Although some games buck this trend, the top-grossing ones are certainly not games which would typically be considered wholly "fun" compared to standard console/PC game titles.

None of these acronyms have found their way into mainstream console or PC title development. They are all monetization terms which are primarily applicable to "games" which have the sole purpose of monetization. This should not be surprising.


Chinese Intellectual Property Acquisition Tactics Exposed 398

hackingbear writes "In an interview published in, Chinese rail engineers gave a detailed account of the history, motivation, and technologies behind the Chinese high-speed rail system. More interestingly, they blatantly revealed the strategies and tactics used in acquiring high-speed rail tech from foreign companies (Google translation of Chinese original). At the beginning, China developed its own high-speed rail system known as the Chinese Star, which achieved a test speed of 320km/h; but the system was not considered reliable or stable enough for operation. So China decided to import the technologies. The leaders instructed, 'The goal of the project is to boost our economy, not theirs.' A key strategy employed is divide-and-conquer: by dividing up the technologies of the system and importing multiple different technologies across different companies, it ensures no single country or company has total control. 'What we do is to exchange market for technologies. The negotiation was led by the Ministry of Railway [against industry alliances of the exporting countries]. This uniform executive power gave China huge advantage in negotiations,' said Wu Junrong, 'If we don't give in, they have no choice. They all want a piece of our huge high speed rail project.' For example, [Chinese locomotive train] CRH2 is based on Japanese tech, CRH3 on German tech, and CRH5 on French tech, all retrofit for Chinese rail standards. Another strategy is buy-to-build. The first three trains were imported as a whole; the second three were assembled with imported parts; subsequent trains contain more and more Chinese made parts."

Comment Re:It gets even worse... even different passwords (Score 1) 278

This is actually really, really common.

I ran a database repository for a beta test of an MMO video game some years in the past as a side project. This site ended up being used by the development team for various reasons during the beta period, and members of the QM and GM teams were also instructed as to how to log in to check certain bits of data.

I had put in login logging to detect if people/IPs who shouldn't be there were trying to get to the data, but this had the odd side-effect of gathering a huge number of attempts of the GM/QA teams trying to use their in-game login as was the norm with their internal forums. This gave me about 12+ logins over the beta period of valid GM accounts with GM abilities even on the live servers. Luckily for them, I was not out to mess around and reported it to the QA manager at the time--but if I had wanted to be malicious, I could have done a huge amount of damage. (With some of the accounts being flagged as high enough access to more or less destroy/create anything on the live realms.)

People are generally just not careful with their credentials and often think that if it's ******* on the screen, nobody on the other end (e.g. a webmaster or database guy) can never possibly see what they entered.

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