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Showing posts from September, 2011

In which I am humbled by the bundle

I have previously been very dismissive of "pay what you like" offers . My limited understanding of economic theory convinced me that there was no rational justification for customers to pay more than the bare minimum. I couldn't accept that this was a viable business model and I was sure that these offers were no more than a passing fad. Well, maybe I was wrong. The humble indie bundles continue to thrive generating substantial revenue for indie developers and a chunk of money for worthy charities to boot. I got an opportunity to experience a bundle first hand last night when I bought the latest humble offering the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle . I was most impressed with how slick the process is. A single web page quickly lets you know what is on offer and lets you place an order. Choosing the price you pay is trivial and you can even choose how your money is allocated using sliders. This sounds like it could be complicated but it is absolutely not. This is the slicke

In which nothing much is said for no reason other than it is Monday morning.

I have noticed that bloggers reluctance to write posts over the weekend tends to spill over to Monday morning. Therefore this is probably as good a time as any for me to break my blog silence of over two weeks. I haven't got much say but hopefully I can get away with it given the lack of blogosphere competition this morning. Busy life at the moment has sapped much of my time and enthusiasm for gaming. I did spend quite a few hours finishing the main Torchlight campaign as an alchemist. Torchlight is a superb example of its type but games of that type normally quickly drive me to utter boredom with their progress quest like repetition. It is a measure of just how busy I have been in the real world that I stuck with it long enough to finish the campaign. I have been making very slow progress through Deus Ex Human revolution. I feel it is a game that deserves full attention in order to get the most out of it. The game world is full of detail and the variety of augmentation offers

What happens if people stop buying $60 games

I am cheating a bit here because the bulk of this post is a copy of a comment I left on Andrew Anderson's blog Systematic Babble . Andrew's post reflects a growing trend in gaming which suggests that the days of the $60+ game could be numbered. Like Andrew I am generally not willing to spend $60 on a game and nowadays there is so much gaming entertainment to be had for so much less that that price point has become almost silly. However I must admit to a certain hypocrisy here. Even though  am miserly in my spending I still really enjoy AAA games with Hollywood level budgets.  I would hate to see a future in which the demise of the $60 game meant that only free to play and Iphone games survived.  Anyway here are my thoughts as expressed in that comment: I agree that the $60 price point is rapidly becoming unsustainable but I don’t think my gaming hunger can ever be fully sated by $1 Iphone games.I still want to play AAA games with cinematic production values. As an adu

New Survey: The Average Age of Gamers is 106!

Thank you to a recent tweet from Syp for reminding me of one of the most ridiculous things on the internet that seems to hit gamers more often than others. I am talking about the ludicrous age verification checks that ask you to tick the year you were born in order to "prove" you are old enough to view content. The whole concept is ludicrous because it is trivially easy for a minor to lie about their age in  order to see the prohibited content. In fact given that these almost universally employ roll down lists it is far easier just to scroll wildly towards 1900 than it is to pick out your exact date of birth. I suspect that most people do just that which is why I imagine a survey of the average age of gamers picked up from such tools would indicate that we are all well into our dotage. Of course randomly scrolling down the dates has its own hazards too. On a couple of occasions I have inadvertently hit  the wrong date and was told: "Sorry you are too young to view t

MW2 single player versus MW1

Having played and enjoyed the single player campaign of Modern Warfare 2 over the weekend I am finally ready to share my thoughts of how it compares to it's predecessor only twenty two months too late! I realise that these games are most famous for multiplayer but single player is still important both because many players never get beyond a brief flirtation with multi and because the single player game will live on long after Activision turn off the online servers. Storyline: I was very surprised to find that MW2 has a strong storyline that is both ambitious and audacious. It is certainly more coherent than the thread which ties together MW1's series of missions. Pacing: The action has cranked up a bit from MW1 to MW2 and the game moves along at a faster pace. Indeed the pacing of the game is pretty much flawless. This is a game that is hard to put down. There are no boring filler patches and there are no unfair difficulty traps. The checkpoint timings are so good as t

MW2 Boycott Finally Ends

Surely the most ignominious moment for PC Gaming in recent years was when so many members of the loudly protesting Steam Modern Warfare 2 boycott group were exposed to be actually playing the game. Well I guess I can lay claim to some small bit of personal pride that I did not cave in and maintained my own personal boycott of the game. Of course this was somewhat easier for me because my boycott wasn't based on a sense of entitlement as to what Activision should or shouldn't put into their games. For me the big issue has always been the price of the game. The €60 initial purchase price was more than the game was worth to me.There was just too much other gaming entertainment available to me for less money to make that a worthwhile purchase. Given that the game racked up more than a billion dollars in sales it it perhaps no surprise that MW2 maintained it high price point far longer than most other games. The price did fall but only slowly and while I kept an eye out for it i

Buying Game Codes on the Grey Market

My exasperation at regional pricing differences for Deus Ex Human Revolution led me to stumble across a wide range of "grey market" resellers who Sell activation codes for Steam games at substantial discount over US /European prices. Intrigued I spent some time researching these before concluding that it would be better to stay away from them but just in case it could be useful to others I will summarise my opinions on the subject here: 1. There are a wide number of websites selling cheap Steam codes. Some of these sites seem to be very dodgy, some of them seem to be run as legitmate businesses. 2. The business model is to buy games cheaply in bulk in a low cost market (Eastern Europe or perhaps Asia) and then resell the code to customers in higher priced markets (America / Australia / Western Europe) at a profit. 3. In many cases the code is taken from a boxed retail copy and the supplier may offer a scan of the box. I am not sure what extra protection this provides.