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About jbadams

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  1. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    A relevant post from Raph Koster: "some current game economics".
  2. November 2017 GameDev Challenge: Pong!

    The challenges are intended to be approachable for beginner to intermediate developers who may struggle to make such a game in the timeframe.
  3. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    I think the sticking point is that "a lot of people" is not "most people". Hodgman made a statement about "most people" and you claimed that the statistics showed it was a lie. The fact that a lot of people like them was never the question for anyone else, we all know that. Don't confuse "a lot of people" with "most people". 10-15% is not "most". Absolutely, a game's visuals, character design, etc. are hugely important. We're talking specifically about cosmetic microtransactions though, so the other visuals aren't relevant. The game's visuals can be matter to a player without them caring about optional purchasable cosmetics. It's hard to have a discussion microtransactions whilst also muddying the water with points about other visuals.
  4. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    See, that's the thing, it doesn't "definitely show" any such thing. Let's just say for the sale of argument however that LoL has made an amazing improvement in conversion to be more consistent with the rest of the industry at 10-15%. That's still the overwhelming majority of players not paying. Putting LoL aside though, as mentioned above, we know that 10-15% conversion is generally considered a good rate industry wide. We know that 20% would be considered to be exceptional - the most successful games usually have poorer conversation rate than this. These are not big percentages. Very few people would consider these small numbers of the total player base to represent "a good chunk". Going back to how we got on to statistics in the first place, it seems pretty fair to say that these numbers say "most people don't"; that's the statement you were claiming these statistics show is a lie. We know it's extremely profitable. That doesn't mean "most people" care. //EDIT: This is all getting rather circular though, I'm probably going to bow out unless there's anything new to respond to.
  5. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    1 million players who purchase and therefore care about microtransactions does seem like a lot, doesn't it? It's not though, relative to the entire player base. It's less than 4% of the total player base. More than 96% of the players do not purchase. Again, the statistics do not show what you seem to think they show. Don't be mislead by the big numbers.
  6. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    You're misinterpreting again. Everyone knows very well that whales are the minority of paying players, but that they usually account for the majority of revenue; that's what defines them as whales. You're pointing that out as if it counters some point he made, but it simply does not. His main point was that the majority of players do not care about cosmetic purchases, and the statistics support that: League of Legends has an estimated conversion rate of less than 4%. Noone is saying it isn't extremely profitable, but it's a tiny fraction of the player base that's making it that way. This compares poorly to other successful games which typically have conversion rates closer to 10-15% - still a relatively small portion of total players. The statistics simply don't show what you seem to be arguing that they show, and are in fact in line with what everyone else has been telling you. You yourself introduced yourself to this topic by saying you believed you would have a minority viewpoint as the very first thing you said; it's therefore somewhat perplexing that you're now going to such lengths to disagree with the suggestion that your views are uncommon.
  7. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    Reading over some of the posts again, I think some of the confusion is coming from a terminology problem. When people in or associated with the industry talk about mechanics or mechanical impact they generally understand the term to have a particular meaning. This is good, because it allows us to have conversations without having to define terms. However, it also means that if someone has a different understanding there will be confusion. We all know that cosmetics effect the experience. Purchasing players get enjoyment from them; it allows them to express individuality, or to stand out, or to show that they're supporting the game. It makes them happy. This is why they purchase. What cosmetics don't do is make the player deal additional damage, or reduce miss-chance, or increase their speed. This is what is generally understood to be a mechanical impact. Let's look at a quick hypothetical. In AwesomeShooter, Ahab Whaleson purchases some cosmetics because he wants to stand out; he gets a cool overcoat and sea-captain's hat. Standing out makes Ahab happier, so he enjoys his gaming experience more. Moby Dickson also plays AwesomeShooter but doesn't like microtransactions; maybe she can't afford them, or maybe she can but just doesn't think they're worthwhile. Moby isn't disadvantaged by Ahab's purchase because there is no mechanical impact. Now a competing game called AmazingShooter gets popular. Ahab Whaleson purchases an awesome harpoon instead of the standard weapon. It looks awesome, and it deals +10 damage, so Ahab is happy. This time, Moby is unhappy because Ahab's purchase gives a mechanical advantage. Suddenly the game seems unfair. Moby complains about "pay to win", enjoys the game less, and may even stop playing. This is the difference between cosmetics and mechanical purchases that everyone else has been talking about. Now, to be fair, in the real world, even well implemented cosmetics may have a negative impact on the experience for some non-purchasing players. Some might feel jealous if they can't afford the items, or may feel it's unfair if they can't earn them through gameplay. Experience has shown us these are a minority - otherwise retention would be damaged and it would no longer be profitable. Some might feel it ruins the feel or experience of the game. Of those, some will just enjoy the game less, while a smaller subset might stop playing or will start vocally objecting. Again, experience has shown us that this is a small enough number of players that it's worthwhile to implement cosmetics. We can't make everyone happy. Does that clarify what people mean by the difference between cosmetic and mechanical purchases? Quick disclaimer: for simplicity, I'm talking about well designed and implemented cosmetics. We're all aware that sometimes a dark- coloured skin in a dark environment might in fact impart a slight mechanical advantage for example, but as that's an implementation issue rather than an inherent issue with cosmetics it's probably not worth getting bogged down on it.
  8. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    I'm not sure who you think you're responding to, but putting it a little bluntly, you seem to be having a different conversation than everyone else in the topic. Noone is saying the things that you keep disagreeing with; you're misinterpreting somehow. Everyone knows how profitable cosmetics are. Everyone knows that a subset of players enjoy them, and that for those players they have a positive impact on the gaming experience. In particular, you mentioned that "you guys believe cosmetic transactions are not any better than mechanical microtransactions", but if you read back through the topic carefully you'll find that's actually the opposite of what has been said a few times: cosmetics are frequently the example of microtransactions done right, specifically because they strike a good balance of being very profitable with minimised negative reaction from non-purchasing players, who frequently don't object to them because they lack mechanical impact.
  9. Debate: Proper Time For Microtransactions?

    I'm an adult, with a wife and kids. I value my time more than my money. In that context, microtransactions that allow me to skip some of the tedious parts of a game can be really welcome. However, I think that players who would rather not pay should not be disadvantaged compared to me; I prefer games where they can achieve all the same stuff by putting in the time - I shouldn't get any advantages they outright can't have by paying. As for cosmetic stuff? As long as it's not ruining the feel of the game, who cares - it's completely optional, people can buy it if they want and it doesn't really effect everyone else.
  10. Kickstarter Critique

    Remember, a humorous game does not have to mean humorous development.
  11. Kickstarter Critique

    Firstly, grammar. We'd all like to think it doesn't matter that much as long as everyone knows what you mean - and your writing is pretty clear - but there are numerous mistakes, and that reflects poorly on you. Run the whole text through Grammarly if you're not confident, and make sure you get multiple proof readers before going public. If you can't put in the effort to fix basic errors, a lot of people won't trust you with money to make a game. I think it was probably a mistake to attempt crowdfunding without already having a demo. In the early days of crowdfunding people would fund anything that caught their interest, but after numerous projects failing to deliver people are now a lot more cautious; they want to see more impressive projects rather than just concepts, and they want to see teams that can deliver. Next up, I think maybe you had a little too much fun with the team member bios. It's great to appeal to your audience, but they also want to be confident that your team can deliver and that the final project will be what they want. I'd put the real-life profile up front and put more work into putting your best feet forward (link to your successful projects, cut the less impressive and put the best stuff up front. Looking at your own profile for example: You're the director and lead programmer for the project, but the first thing that you say about yourself is that you're a student. You then me mention other programming, and then get to video games. Put the most important thing up front: you're a successful video game developer with two released projects. If you got your degree put it in there, but otherwise don't mention being a student at all. Keep the wrestler bios if you think they're fun and if you've had positive feedback, but I'd make them a secondary thing after the real description, and I'd keep them brief. You're asking for people to trust you with their money, so having a team member who won't give any details about themselves is also risky. Your "risks and challenges" section is a place to remove people's doubts and win them over - see "inoculation" in this article. This is not the place for humour unless you're sure you've already removed all doubt. Making games is hard, and a lot of them don't get completed: I would address that, and show your track record again. I'd lose the bit about "dying of laughter" as a challenge. Hope some of that helps!
  12. Tell me your success story.

    Remember that both incomes and living expenses vary greatly. Although I earn more now, a few years ago before I had kids my yearly income wasn't much more than that and allowed me to live comfortably (albeit not extravagantly). In the linked post, he mentions that he only work (or worked) part-time on the games, and for many people earning more than $1500/month for a side project would be quite an achievement. Depending on expenses it may even be close to enough to become a primary income if it were sustainable.
  13. It happened during the major update to the current forum software version. We did briefly announce it at the time, but that would've been easy to miss if you weren't active during those couple of weeks. For anyone else effected, you can update your display name in your profile settings.
  14. name change?

    I don't believe that can be changed unfortunately.