The serious business of making games

Confirmed Netflix’s early play will be mobile focused.

I assume they’ll basically be ads for their own streaming content like Stranger Things gacha, Fear Street gacha, or Tiger King gacha.

At what point do we hit peak gacha?

Supposedly they want it to be closer to Apple Arcade: premium style games included with your existing sub. No f2p stuff.

Epic has purchased Sketchfab

Not sure where this belongs… but the stuff between Alexis Kennedy and his former studio Failbetter Games (Fallen London, Sunless Sea) seems a bit messy…

For some older context:

I fell asleep two paragraphs in and abandoned. Anyone who posts to the public something this long leaves me only with the impression he doth protest too much.

I mean, dude made Fallen London. You gotta expect he loves the sound of his own keyboard to some extent.

Yeah, I’m certain everyone would’ve walked away completely satisfied if he’d instead only wrote “Honest, guv, I didn’t do nuffink!”.

When allegations are about a specific person, it is different than when they are about an entire corporate structure (cf. Activision/Blizzard discussion). It seems a lot more reasonable to assume where there is smoke, there is fire, when the allegations come from a wide variety of people and concern a large organization and many alleged perpetrators. When it comes down to individuals accusing other individuals, I don’t feel comfortable making judgments based on Twitter wars, one way or the other.

As far as I recall, the original allegations came from people outside FailBetter (or not at the time associated with them), so its not just a WF vs FB thing (as that blog post kind of makes it out to be). I don’t see any reason to discount the statement of those women that his behavior left them feeling uncomfortable and that they viewed it as predatory. That he behaved inappropriately (i.e., had relationships with people he managed) seems also beyond question and hasn’t been denied, AFAIK. Whether he deserves to be “cancelled” (God, I hate that term) on account of that I think is an individual judgement. We all have our red lines. Nobody deserves to be the target of social media hate mobs, though.

The WF vs FB spat, on the other hand, seems like a right mess and I don’t really think either side comes out of that covered in glory. But I sympathize with his expressed desire to get the issue resolved and for FB to be ignoring his missives in the way he alleges doesn’t seem very professional.

Oh, I’m not discounting anything; I think allegations like these should be taken seriously. I also believe that the ease with which social media allows us to generate a firestorm of criticism of people sometimes distorts situations rather severely. All I’m saying is that I don’t have anywhere near the quantity or quality of information to sit in judgment, Star Chamber-like, on things like this. These sorts of allegations are always disturbing and if true point to serious issues.

This is one of those things where I have a really easy time believing both that this Alexis dude is kind of a skeeze who definitely hooked up with employees, and that the people on the other side (seemingly mostly the ex and the co-founder?) seem to be acting like vindictive shits who won’t move on.

On the third hand, boy is this a whole lot of drama that I thankfully do not have the time for. So uh good luck with all that, you all kinda seem to deserve each other.

Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed Expansion Spends 8 Years In Dev Hell (kotaku.com)

At one point, it was set in the Caribbean. Later, it moved to the Indian Ocean. One version was inspired by Sid Meier’s Pirates! and played out in a fantastical world called Hyperborea through branching multiplayer campaigns that lasted weeks. Another revolved around an elaborate floating base called Libertalia—a “cathedral on water,” as one developer described it—inspired by the mythical pirate colony of the same name.

By 2017, the studio tried to reign in its ambitions to focus on ship combat, and Skull & Bones was once again reborn, this time as a session-based shooter modeled after Rainbow Six Siege but with boats.

by 2019, survival games like Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved became Skull & Bones ’ new guiding stars. In addition to the sailing, fighting, and looting, there would be resource management elements like crafting and trading.

Fundamental questions like, “Do you play as a pirate or do you play as a boat?” were constantly closed and reopened.

Aw man, I really like their games.

Sad. One positive note for me was that it sounded like Annapurna was really effective in their prompts to the studio to make changes (i.e. relegate the co-founder), and regardless of whether this person should be kept on as a writer, is providing a pretty valuable service mediating.

Just to clarify for anyone not bothering to click and read all the details, Steve Gaynor, the co-founder of Fullbright, has not been accused of sexual harassment, improper touching, or anything outwardly aggressive or sexual. The reports from current and past employees accuse him of making Fullbright a toxic place to work, especially if you were a woman, by being a controlling jerk, ridiculing people, and downplaying women’s contributions.

The anti-women stuff super sucks considering the kinds of games Fullbright made and the culture they supposedly had. Him being a general ass to everybody is sadly pretty common at any small business that isn’t big enough to actually have much of a hierarchy.