Posts Tagged ‘finance’

While money is on the discussion floor hereabouts, I wanted to share this gem from Karl Denninger.

Avoidance Will Not Work

His site might be a bit on the gloomy side, but there are some very real problems with the economy at large.  It’s wise to pay attention to these larger issues.

And maybe get some food storage.


More data to chew on… A Warning to the Political Parties

It all boils down to math and sustainability.  It’s not even ideological or demagoguish at this point, just the cold inevitability of math.


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Shamus hits the pricing issue with a side dish addressing the shelf life of games.

The Price of Fun

It’s a good article, and well worth reading.  Shamus is also hosting comments over on his site:

Twenty Sided

I’ll just sign off here by noting that I’ve purchased two games on Steam in the last 10 days, both on sale.  That’s more money than they would have got from me otherwise, even for good games like World of Goo and AudioSurf.  There’s a recession on, and people are paying attention to these things.

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Just a simple concept today:

Perpetual growth in a finite world is mathematically impossible.

Pretty easy, right? Limited resources cannot possibly meet the demand of an exponential growth curve.

The repercussions of that simple common sense notion are profound: (more…)

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Apparently, Tabula Rasa is shutting down.  Is it strange that I think the name is strangely prescient?  It’s Latin for “blank slate“, and is typically used to suggest a newborn’s lack of mental content.  It even makes some sense in a game genre that is built around player-created and nurtured avatars.

And yet, I can’t shake two thoughts:

One, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”… the game will fade back into the nothingness from whence it came.  That’s the philosopher in me speaking, and he can often be safely ignored.  Philosophy is not reality, after all.

Two, expecting players to bring their own fun to fill the “blank slate” (and charge them for the privilege of doing so) isn’t necessarily the best business plan.  I’ve not played the game, and I know, it’s not like Second Life (which demands a lot of its “patrons”), but still, as a general rule, you can’t charge people for the privilege of being creative.  You can give them toys (tools), and charge them one time fees for those, but charging continued access to toys will, more often than not, mean that truly creative people will go find other toys.

…and that’s about as far as I’m going to take the analogy.  It’s a general game design philosophy; players want to have fun, and it’s the designer’s job to provide it.  User generated content may be all the rage in some game design circles, but you can’t charge people for making their own games.  You can charge for the middleware or take a percentage of the proceeds, but the subscription model doesn’t fit.  Also, thanks to Sturgeon’s Law, be prepared for a world based on user-generated content to be… well… full of static.

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Pretty Squiggly Lines

What a delightful little graph:

RGB Rollercoaster

Don’t forget, this one is EPIC.

[Edited to add a revised graph found here, now with 100% more Great Depression information.]

Oh, and if you want the audio, this guy’s worth listening to:

Nouriel Roubini

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These holiday seasons always give me reason to stop and think a bit about life.  For the last few years, that has meant that I’m ever more serious about shuffling things around.  The “Christmas” stuff I see in stores and hear on the radio from November 1st onward really make me wish for the shuffle.

So what is it?  I simply propose that we swap Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving.  With Valentine’s Day in November, those who are rather bitter towards it have something to look forward to in Christmas.  (Rather than what… Memorial Day?  Independence Day?  Labor Day?)  With Thanksgiving after Christmas, it doesn’t get lost between the “hell and heaven” holidays of Halloween and Christmas like a red headed stepchild, and most importantly, people can recover from Christmas and then actually give proper Thanks for the junk, er, stuff, er… gifts they received.

The naked greed that Christmas has come to represent (thanks, capitalism!) could be properly followed and tempered with a bit of gratefulness, rather than a period of hibernation and then a bit of lust.

Then again, that might mean that the Halloween candy that goes on sale on Nov. 1 may well be shuffled out of the store quicker, to make room for the little heart candies.  I’m undecided on that, since I love the heart candies… but I love cheap candy on sale as well.  Decisions, decisions…

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It’s a good thing I don’t even like the games these guys put out:

Take Two wants to suck your blood

The current market trends are making the retro gamer in me happy that I didn’t sell all of my old games. I can still play those ones, whether or not the company approves, and without surcharges.

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Edit: Update!  My “final” word on Atlantica Online is here:

Atlantica Online: Review and Summary


I’ve written about Atlantica Online a fair bit recently.  I’ve played Puzzle Pirates for the last two and a half years, and written about it in various places.  Both are a breed of MMO that eschews the subscription business model, and I’ve enjoyed them thoroughly.  They are good examples of two alternates to subscriptions, and I think both will be successful… but I do think that Puzzle Pirates has a clear edge.

I’ve written before about the natural balance of demand and supply as it applies to MMOs.  Item Shops and Dual Currency systems (IS and DC henceforth) provide ways for real world cash to balance the time investment of other players, and for the company to monetize demand and support their game without subscription fees. (more…)

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Edit: Update! My “final” word on Atlantica Online is here:

Atlantica Online: Review and Summary


So, I’ve written what, four articles about Atlantica Online?  I happen to really like the game.  There’s more that I want to write, I just have to make time for it.

Yet… I goofed.  The first two articles I wrote were while the game was in open beta.  Now, I’m not sure, but I think that I may have breached an agreement not to talk about the game during that period.  Oops. (more…)

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SWTOR cost?

I’ve written about SWTOR before, illustrating my trepidation regarding the unholy marriage of Bioware’s storytelling and the relatively mindless MMO genre. Perhaps it’s just delusional, but I think I found a happy place to hope for in regards to the whole project.

Bioware loves story. I love story. MMOs as a genre aren’t amenable to strong stories, since they are ostensibly meant for players to tell their own stories, and they benefit from a static world that people can call home. Bioware has stated that their work on the SWTOR MMO will be the rough equivalent of several single player Bioware RPGs, with each class having a storyline.

What if they sold the game that way?


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