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About Gian-Reto

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  1. How do you balance gaming and game dev?

    I was more responding to the "playing games does not" statement of yours. And making a statement as becoming a PRO PLAYER, not a PRO GAME DEV to make money with playing games. As in e-sports. But agreed, it was a "half troll statment" given the chances of making games with such a career... thus the sentence about the chances of that ever paying the bills.
  2. How do you balance gaming and game dev?

    I guess the trouble for a gamer is that he/she sees these companies often from the other end... and many of the big publishers have not really madea good impression on their customers in the last few years. Thus its really easy to misinterpret a maybe small scandal that happened in an isolated studio that worked for EA as "EA being rotten to the core"... after all we all crave for an explanation on WHY the big publishers sometimes seem to be so scummy to their customers. When probably its just the big wigs not caring an inch about gaming as a whole and seeing customers just as bags of money to be plundered, and it has nothing to do with the studios themselves. Or its even simpler mismanagment caused by overambition. We'll, to be honest I should know better, and my resentment for EA as a customer most probably got me there. Well, or you start thinking about a career as pro gamer. Yeah, I know, some people think its not a job, yadda yadda yadda... At the same time some people win millions in tournaments. Of course, as with sports, you have a very small chance to be at the top and win big... and a big chance to linger at the bottom of the food chain and get nothing. Not really a career unless you are really good. Still, something to keep in mind. making games =/= playing games. Both can be a career if you are really into it an spend your time improving your skills... both probably are only half as glamorous as you think they are once you start treating it as a job. I couldn't be a pro gamer. Enough games feel like a job already, I tend to drop them like hot potatos or just ignore the grindy parts. Side quests, open worlds and RPG elements have led to more and more games asking you to do menial side busy work most of the time just so you are well equipped and leveled for the main event. Maybe cool for people trying to get "their moneys worth" in time out of a 60$ game, but to me it feels like work often more than actually playing. That is how I imaging pro gaming will feel oftentimes.
  3. How do you balance gaming and game dev?

    In this case, I take the "everything" part back. I still think EA is the embodiment of MOST things hat are wrong with the AAA industry (we could add Warner Bros to the list, and Ubisoft, but here I KNOW that Warner Bros is just the big boss driving awesome devs to overreach and underdeliver and Ubisoft... well... just delivers a lot of rushed products, don't really know about the working conditions). But granted, on the stakeholder side I was only working with the big controversy EA was tied to some years back... good to know that not every studio EA runs is affected by the shady business practices that this controversy was exposing. I think the AAA industry has to work on both ends to achieve more longterm sustainability, both deliver better products with less shady monetization to customers and improve working conditions in the studios that are currently affected by bad management and overaggressive deadlines. And maybe, just maybe, don't make stupid mistakes like it did with Andromeda... I would bet some insiders saw the disasters coming from a miles away and upper management would still push for a release. Now a big franchise might have been run into the ground. Longterm this was a bad move. All IMO, of course.
  4. How do you balance gaming and game dev?

    Let me be more precise... you HAVE to be passionate about what you do if you want to do a GREAT, not just a good or good enough job. Which is USUALLY what people like the OP are talking about when they talk about getting into making games. They do not want to be able to pay the bills... they want to create art. Now, I am a professional in a different technical field myself, and I am about as passionate about the product of the company I am working for as most people working in the bigger studios probably are about the games they work for... which is... not so much. But it pays the bills, the colleagues are nice, and generally I like the work I am doing there. Yes, that is a reality for most professionals in todays world. Most of them will only be small cogwheels in a much larger machine, and most probably will only care about their direct surroundings. If you are lucky, they have at least some pride in their own work and try to do the best job they can. Put enough corporate BS on their shoulders (managers are very good at that in ALL lines of work), or pick simply the wrong person, and they might aim even lower than that and just see how little they have to put in to not be fired. Then there are the figureheads who are paid to be passionate and are often horrible fakers and PR disasters... lets not forget Hello games and their own PR disaster caused by a single figurehead not being able to keep his mouth shut. In a big AAA setting, as long as you still have SOMEONE passionate enough about the project and not the money, and in a high enough position to fight back corporate bullshit from management and the publisher, and entice the normale employes not really pulling their weight to do better (while hopefully also reminding the ones pulling too much to dial back a nothc to not burn out on it), this can still result in a great game. After all, most of the people involved are professionals that are expected to churn out good work even if they are running on autopilot, and sometimes the resulting product can be taken from mediocre to great with the hard work of a few who want to go above and beyond the usual. In an Indie setting sadly you get the same distribution of passionate, run of the mill, and lazy persons. You just don't get the same bell curve distribution among the company because they might be not enough people in the company to actually form a bell curve. You might get more passion on average, but also much less professionalism. Lastly, while the AAA industry might pay good salaries even compared to other technical fields, the Indie dev careers on average don't. Picking to be an Indie game dev is a choice people should make out of passion, which I get is what most of the pros moving from the AAA industry to an Indie career do. True, for some it might be a necessity because they not longer are able to find a job, or they have a great idea they want to realize outside of the shackles of the AAA industry. But given demand for programmers outside of the gaming industry is still high, and artists might also find employment doing something else, there still HAS to be some passion for making games to stay in the industry as an Indie. So I am not denying that your response to my initial statement has some truth ESPECIALLY in respect to people in the AAA industry... but Indie devs without passion for games... well... lets just say among them are some of the most disgusting devs that are infesting the Steam and App Stores of this world. If you had ANY passion for games you wouldn't waste anyones time trying to game the Steam stores trading card system, or upload a Unity template project without any alterations to the stores again and again. You can bet that if a GOOD game comes out from any dev, there was SOMEONE SOMEWHERE in the company that had passion for what they created. Passion alone does not guarantee a good game. The absence of passion will guarantee a mediocre game at best. Oh, and almost missed the "...won't be passionate about it at the end" part. Yes, totally agree. I have seen with my own eyes what mistreatment of employees, corporate BS and mismanagment can do to a corporate culture. A company can go from healthy to undead within a few years when people are put under pressure and managers start to make their usual d*ck moves treating money as more important as people. The company usually will not recover from it. The worst part is, it might actually survive and even thrive... but inside, people will cooperate less and be more selfish. The productivity suffers while managers still try to squeeze out more work from their employees in order to save money they may or may not need to save. I predict such a company will either go under long term, or will take 10 times as long to recover, as it needs to cycle out the old burnt out staff, and build up a new culture with the new staff while avoiding the old staffers souring the mood of the new ones. And as you cannot fire a full company without closing down shop -> almost impossible to achieve. You WILL have to win back the favour of the old staffers, which is a hard feat when many of these have an axe to grind with the old management, and new management might not even know what exactly has happened that disgruntled the old staff so much, while not really caring enough to get to the bottom of it. Having seen what the crisis and our "management overhead" and their mostly stupid ideas has done to the company I work in, I can only imagine how much worse people in SOME of the more infamous AAA studios *cough*everythingEA*cough* have it.
  5. How do you balance gaming and game dev?

    My opinion: You don't NEED to be a gamer to be a good game developer. You HAVE to be passionate about the games you make, need SOME interest in the topic (sports if you are making sports games, and certainly game theory / programming / art depending on your actual profession within the team). Now, of course it doesn't HURT to be a passionate gamer to be good at making games. Totally opposite of that... if you have played a lot of games, you know some of the tricks of other game developers inside out, at least from the customers end. Now, seeing things through the players lens is only half the truth. Without reading up about how something was done from the developers perspective, about the decisions made and why they wer made, without playing the game as a designer, thus to take notes, analyze and not to have fun first and foremost, most time playing games is just "wasted time", at least from the perspective of widening your horizon as a game dev. How I balance gaming and game development personally: most of my free time not used for doing sports or spending time with my GF I spend on game development. I have 1 or 2 evenings per week I spend playing single player games, sometimes I spend my lunch break playing retro games for 30 minutes. At the weekend I often meet my pals online for some hours of online gaming. I try to keep my hours playing games to that. I am playing Horizon Zero Dawn since about 2 months now and am only about half way through the game (though, yeah, I am completionisting the sh*t out of the game, and of course had to power up my bows with some hours of farming), and I have half a dozen retro games still waiting to be finished. That is the price I pay. I will never be able to play all the cool new games that come out. The last of us is on my list since it came out. MY PS3 had disk troubles when I bought it in the PSN back in the day, was never able to install it. Now I am planning to get the souped up version for my PS4, but probably will not get to that until the sequel hits. I have 3 games for my PS4, that most probably will take me all of 2017 to finish. Really, if you want ANY time for other hobbies, like game development if done as a hobby, you need to be strict with your gaming. Restrict the hours, get picky about the games you play, try to get the most out of your gaming time (which means -> if a game isn't fun, chuck it on the pile, swallow up your pride of not having finished it, sell it, whatever, but don't waste your time on a game you don't want to play). That way you can have the best of both world, have some fun with the GOOD games that come out (and lets be honest here... the REALLY good games in the genres that interest you coming out each can probably be counted on one, maybe two hands), while still having time for other things.
  6. Especially as there are actual "Gaming Laptops" for Windows, while no machine deserving such a (somewhat dubious) moniker is available from apple. Caveat here is, as said before, that these gaming laptops might have a beefy GPU besides a beefy CPU, but are not really that "portable" thanks to size, weight and power consumption, and that GPU only working at about half power off the power grid. And of course if modern 3D games are not what your gaming revolves around, "gaming laptops" might be overkill anyway. You don't need more than an iGPU to play 2D games.
  7. Probably because a) Macs are not really among the main gaming platforms and actually a rather small market compared to windows PCs, b) the hardware is rather expensive for the performance on offer, so as long as looks and build quality are not the main concerns, but best price/performance ratio, Macs are not strong contenders, and c) Mac hardware almost never has access to the latest and greatest hardware on offer because of Apples tight controls on their hardware and their certification process... which might not be a big deal to you if you are only looking for a good laptop given laptops never will be powerhouses really benefiting from beefy GPUs and stuff like that, and Apple getting up to date hardware every other year otherwise. If you don't NEED to develop on Mac because you develop for iPhones (which I believe can be done on Windows machines, but with a little bit more complications), or are just 100% tied to the Apple ecosystem or totally in love with their OS, there is no real reason to pick a Mac over a Windows machine. You can get the same build quality from windows machines if you pick carefully. At that point the prices are not THAT different to Apple machines anymore. But really, the Surface machines from Microsoft can compete with Apple hardware any day of the week (sadly also on high prices). Now, with windows you get choice. A ton of choice. Like Microsoft or hate them, they still have a pretty open ecosystem. You an pick from a myriad of budget, workstation or high quality hardware options. You can build your own machine from scratch. Everyone can build software for their OS without Microsoft being involved. That choice can also be a bad thing. I heard many a user complain about it and praising Macs and Apple in general for their simplicity. Which holds true (as long as you don't deviate from the prescribed path... heaven forbid you ask Apple for support on a 2008 Mac Mini in 2017. They had to patch me through about 4 different support units until somebody could say which MacOS version that machine could still be updated to... and that whole process was only necessary because Apple is not prepared for iCloud customers having switched to Android and Windows... its like they rather not have me as a customer if I don't own the full stack of products they offer). But again, unless you are not looking for that simplicity, but rather have choice and the option to open your PC and replace a damaged part without worrying that you might lose any chance of ever getting support from your PC manufacturer ever again, Windows PCs might be a better choice. With Linux being on the other end of the simplicity vs. openness scale. Long story short: Apples Macbooks certainly are good machines, if you are not looking for getting the best price/performance ratio, don't mind MacOS or actually mind switching to Windows or another Linux distro (with MacOs just being a very elaborate windowing system over their own distro), or just need the street creds or the looks that come with an Apple machine. I wouldn't even REALLY put build quality down on that list, not as long as Apple still insist on using aluminium instead of a stronger metal to cast their laptop casings from. That metal just collects scratches way too easy. But most of the Macs vs. PC debate comes down to religion, not real facts. Because when we get down to it, both OS are equally capable in about all use cases in the hands of an expierienced user, most important software suites are available for both OSes, and you can find similar quality hardware among the huge crowd of different windows machines on offer.
  8. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    I am pretty sure this has been asked before, but I am curious, and the textwalls in this thread do not make it easy to read everything. What do you want to achieve here? With this thread, and your continued thread history on Do you want recognition? Are you looking for a team (yet you seem to have dismissed people who wanted to team up with you)? Are you looking for money (when this forum by large is populated by hobbyists, small Indies and AAA Industry grunts, not the investors you would be looking for)? Are you looking for a job (why not start with the "careers" menu on I think if you are looking for recognition, you got an answer on what you need to do to achieve it over and over again. Heck, reading that you actually presented a prototype and people tested it out in this forum makes me believe you are not even on the wrong track here. The only thing missing now is looking at the feedback and trying to improve on the design. After all, that is what you yourself claim made you good as a game designer. By playing rapid prototypes and iterating on your designs. Why not do the same when other people play your games? If you are looking for a team... well. Maybe you got to start improving your own attidute before people start flocking in to help on your projects first. Nobody really likes being talked down to. You seem to be feeling the same. Would I want to work for a guy constantly rattling on about how much superior he is to me? How much you and what you did until now sucks? Hell no! Even if it was true (and I am making a HUGE leap of faith here), and you were the masterchieft of designers because you came from a superior race of godlike designers that went extinct with the advent of the video games, maybe stop your tirades about how crap modern games are, how inferior modern designers and work methodology is and start talking about WHY people should care (and should want to work with you). Oh, and if you are looking for assembling a 100 man strong crew to build the next Eve Online... either make sure to recruits from 1000's of places like, or look elsewhere. Maybe have the funds ready to support such a goal. If you are looking for investors.... definitely look elsewhere. Have you tried Kickstarter? If your group was so influental, and there where so many bigwigs contributing, why not ask the JPL Engineers and Military guys to contribute money to your cause? If you had NASA Engineers interested enough to contribute their free time to it 25 or 40 years ago, maybe they are ready to contribute some of the wealth they must have amassed in their professional life to your cause now if you sell it to them right? Again, maybe work on your pitch. Huge, hard to read Textwalls do not sell products on Kickstarter. If selling a product is beneath your pedigree, I am sorry, but you will fail in life. Everyone got to sell at least themselves, nobody gets to be a star without first making a good pitch. If you are looking for a job, did apply to jobs and get turned down again and again... maybe, just maybe, that attidute you show again and again lowered your chances considerably. Did you talk down to your potential future boss like you do talk down to readers of this forum? Was your first sentence in the interview "I have been a game designer for 40 years, and your industry has no idea what real game design is."? Maybe you want to prove first that you are that superior before laying your superiority complex on the table... even if you can prove that you are as superior as you claim to be, you might get shot down because there is no way in hell any other person will fit into the office space next to your inflated ego. Being good at what you do does not warrant you being a colossal **** to everyone around you. That might go down well for youtubers and movie stars that do not have to work in a team. For people that have to rely on teamwork to get anything done, good luck with that.
  9. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    How about 5 that clearly illustrate your point? Maybe with Illustrations instead of just text, even? I understand that you are frustrated that people just can't seem to grasp the genius of your idea, but if nobody gets it, maybe the problem doesn't lie with the other people. In the end, the world has not been waiting on your awesome ideas, unless you show them how awesome they are. Seems at least here in the forum, you haven't achieved that. I think many have told you this before, but here I go again: while ageism might be rampant in this industry, this certainly is not a problem with ageism. I don't know what you expierienced in this industry outside of what I have seen here on, but if you have been trying to get people interested in your product and your skills the same way you did on this page, your age is the least of your problem. Hell, I cannot even say if your actual skill or product is... they might be as ingenius as you make them out to be. And that is the big problem right there... bad communication. You might have flashy elevator pitches... but they sound extremly out there and hard to believe. You lack any kind of proof that can be presented to management or anyone without the time to read a full PhD work. And it seems even the "full work" you intended to use to sell your product is not going enough into the nitty gritty detail on WHY your work should live up to the elevator pitch that even the few people bothering to read all the text come out puzzled by it at the end, not interested. You are overselling yourself and underdelivering, all the while being way to afraid of plagiarism when you should be rather afraid that your claims sound hyperbolic without proof, proof that would mean you have to let goof some of the secrets you claim to hold. Just because the fortune teller tells you he knows exactly what your future holds, you will not believe him without any proof, right?
  10. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    Well then, start making games. There is nothing stopping you besides yourself. Sure, you will have to learn to code and create art, or find people willing to work with you, but as a programmer who spent years learning to create art, and having seen you spend years trying to sell your expierience to others trying to ... achieve some vague goal of "breaking into the industry"... really, in all honesty, in the time you spent writing all those pages of text seemingly just teasing people (haven't read everything honestly), you would have picked up enough programming and art skills to start working on your game, or whatever you want to achieve, and most probably already churned out a prototype. You want people to believe in your hyperbole? Ever heard the term "show, don't tell"? Applies here too. Create a prototype. Let me see your simulation skills in action. You can hide the technical details, or only use as much of your model as you can afford to get "decompiled" and re-engineered by others... but you have to put out an example that shows people how valuable whatever you are speaking about is. And no, you don't need millions of $ or a large team for that. If you have the time to write 500 pages of Textwalls, you can create a rather substantial prototype that should be enough to show your concepts/models worth. Hell, in the years you spent here on occasionally ranting about this, you might have already created a rather substantial Indie game, even as a one man show.
  11. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    Yes, that is how I see it. As much as about ANYONE probably be more competent as a president, as long as he does not make a stupid mistake, he will get re-elected. The people that were against hillary and for "making america great again" will vote for im again, maybe even if the opponents are better options this time. The thing with Trump is how random a lot of things are he does. Maybe he is way more clever than most people think and a very good actor... if not, it seems like one action by a foreign power or somebody stateside might provoke an extreme reaction. Like how MOST PROBABLY it was only Obama getting back at Trump after his baseless tinfoil hattery about Obamas place of birth that made him try to get elected in the first place... With him, anything can happen. Good and bad (mostly bad for anyone left of the far right in the political spectrum, still, if you dislike ACA, Trump is your man in this topic). It is why he is so dangerous even to some rightwing people and republicans. He might serve their best interest now, but you never know what he decides to do tomorrow. As such, betting on who will be elected in 4 years is pretty much a lottery. Everything from an empeachment to him going for full 8 years as POTUS is a possibility.
  12. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    Well, our political processes take a looooong time. Getting a big change like the ACA through in a 4 year period? Forget it. The discussions in our equivalent to the senat would take 10 years alone. Then there will be a public vote (only about 5 million voters, still). And then there might be another vote as somebody might want a referendum, which basically is another vote on the same topic. Big changes can take 15-20 years to get through. After that though, the thing most probably is waterproof, and the left and the right found a compromise most can live with. There have been some extreme outliers here lately. There is an expedite process for "initiatives", topics pushed to a vote directly by the population. Collect enough signatures, and the government has to run a public vote for it. That can mean pretty stupid things get voted on, like disbanding the army some years back (classical left extremist trolling around here). Most of these fail to get enough signatures, or subsequently fail in the vote. But lately especially the right has been very successfull getting some quite extreme initiatives through. One to ban the building of new minarets for mosques here in switzerland... which, besides being very offensive for the left, and a pretty uncomfortable thing for swiss muslims, was quite a joke given there is exactly one official mosque in switzerland, and that already has a minaret. All the other muslims use private rooms for their prayers, and there wasn't really any plan to build new mosques, sooooo... pretty much a troll vote. And they got a comfortable lead. Then there was the initiative to limit the amount of foreign people in switzerland. Apart from being again offensive for the left, and this time a big problem for the swiss economy, this initiative actually WAS addressing a real problem in switzerland. AFAIK no country in europe has more foreigners per citizen. And no country in europe is so densly populated (well, apart from the city states like Monaco maybe). This time the troll aspect was something different: for one the initiative was worded so ambigious that the government had to scratch their heads for YEARS to just interpret what the right actually wanted to achieve with this. And no matter what the interpretation was, the right politicians would call it the wrong interpretation. Then there was the fact the initiative asked for this to be anchored in the constitution... yeah, we now have an ambigious paragraph in the constitution which goes against the EU and international law. You can see how the right had a good laugh about that. So yeah, we have our trolls and left-right infights here in switzerland, and everything takes 10x as long. But at least when people get elected, we have smaller chance on a troll vote because if people want to vote for extreme initiatives... they can do so without infecting the politics with even more extreme politicians. And people USUALLY are way more relaxed and rational about the results - when things are expected to take years, and the left and the right have to work together to realize it anyway, you tend to flip the table much less often when another troll vote got through.
  13. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    Which is more or less par for the course for radicals on both sides, especially in the US. tinfoil hatters, left and right. Now, should the POTUS maybe distance himself a LITTLE bit from such tinfoil hattery, and maybe react differently when he gets attacked (which EVERY president gets, so while Trump isn't wrong that some of the left media also doesn't really brake for him, the same was true with Fox news and Obama)? Yes. But then, that is the unique selling point that brought him into office IMO. As long as he stirs up the establishment, talks like a drunken sailor, and doesn't make the most dumbest of mistakes (like starting WW3), even some of the more moderate Trump voters will be pleased short term. They didn't vote FOR Trump. They voted AGAINST hillary. They voted against political correctness, and progress. They got what they asked for. I am not so sure they will be just as happy with his longterm achievements. But that might still take a year or two until this kind of "voters remorse" kicks in.
  14. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    Out of curiosity: what do you want Trump to do with North Korea? Surely you don't want to go to war with the lunatic. Not as long as China is still backing them to some extent. That would be the catalyst for WW3, given how near a ton of (super-)powers not that fond of the US are to north korea. Sure, there is the chance that russia keeps out of it just to troll china. There is no way china will let the US act so freely next to their borders. So what exactly do you want? more economic pressure on them (if there is even room for more given trade with NK is pretty much non existent)? More pressure on China to keep them in check (which I guess would be a good idea, but then the chinese have to grow tired of NK games themselves, which I think they slowly will)? Up-arming the "Friendly powers" in the region (which brings up bad memories of other times the US did that.... Japan and South Korea are not Iraq, but their governments as of late are not tree huggers either)? Or are you saying "I don't care what you do, just make them disappear"? Consequences be damned?
  15. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    Well, I have heard very different opinions on the whole debate apparently from Indie game devs, last in the thread on gamasutra discussing the impact of the repeal on Indie game devs. I mean, "Indie game devs" commenting on the internet could be anyone... just as people writing anything on gamasutra. Point is, I think we pretty much know by now that there are people in favour of it and people against it. And it at least looks to me like some of the people against it are not just rich peopl trying to dodge taxes, or poor people too stupid to see that they are better of with ACA. I as a swiss citizen am appaled that apparently it is impossible for the US politicians to come to a compromise: make sure EVERYONE can get health care without paying through their nose if they want it, without forcing it on anyone and making sure taxes do not have to be increased much (how about making sure those pharma companies don't get away with their price hiking?)... At least to me it looks like there must be a compromise somewhere in the middle as the opposing sides seem to complain about different aspects (people not able to get or afford health care vs. being forced to get healthcare & raised taxes)... but then I come from a country where politics usually means months and years spent in discussion to come to a boring old compromise, not exciting battles between good and evil. I think US citizens stuck in the middle should stop taking sides when it comes to polarizing topics like this, and start looking at it from both sides. Usually, if enough people or for or against something, there is some truth to their claims. There might be shills with only self interests on both sides, but not everyone leaning to the right is a nazi and not everyone leaning to the left a communist. Maybe, just maybe, people not getting drawn into heated conflicts over such topics and instead asking for facts and an actual debate could cool down the matter enough to find the actual middle ground?