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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Valve Refuses to Refund Game From Dead Developer

UPDATE: It seems the devs are working again.  Cool I guess.

Nether was an online game that was in early access on Steam.  It was similar to Day Z except more of a post apocalyptic survival world with monstrous creatures instead of just zombies.  Many people got suckered into buying this title.  For me a co-worker said, "Hey Chad, buy Nether and we'll play together at lunch."  Sure! I said.  By the time lunch came I had bought it and he changed his mind.  ....bastard.  :(  Then months later it started becoming clear that the developer went "poof" and disappeared before the game was ever completed.  Then Steam pulled the game from their site and the devs have started shutting down the servers.  You can still install it and play but the horribly buggy and unfinished game will never get any better.  The game is not going to happen.  It's dead.

If you are interested in attempting to punish yourself with this title they still have a web site and it looks like you can go there still buy it.  On September 25th 2015 their Facebook page posted this.

Dear players,
As of September 26th, the back-end system for Nether, MBER, will no longer be available to support the game. This unfortunately means that the servers will shut down on that day, and play will no longer be possible. We hope to find a solution to this and other issues with the game ASAP. Please stay tuned for updates when available, and thank you for playing Nether.

Nether on Twitter

Logically I asked for a refund since the game was never finished.  It never got out of early access and therefore was never "released."  Steam however says no because it was more than two weeks since my purchase.  Well I purchased this in June 2014 before the developer disappeared so we all had the hope the game would become something.  I would wager that they gave no refunds to anyone that purchased this title.  

Seems if a game is pulled from Steam, especially if the devs disappear then everyone who purchased it should get the option for a refund.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thing Are Now "Developing"

Finally my PC is complete!  Got rid of the old CRT monitor in exchange for two 24" ASUS PA248 LCD monitors.  Theses were in my size and price range.  Also recommended by my projects art lead to have create color quality.  So not I have a PC setup even better than the one at work.

Now with a full and familiar work space I can tinker around with some game engines at home.

The old CRT setup...so sad

The new HOTNESS!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Brainstorming Blues

I admit I am a ravenously pragmatic person which can often get interpreted wrong by those with the “anything goes” ideas.

But sometimes in AAA game development there can be a lot of "wheel spinning", or "time burning", or "busy work", or whatever you want to call it.  Basically it boils down to meaningless tasks that have no chance of making it to release.  Worst of all you know this as you’re working on them.  I REALLY try to avoid this type of work.  So being my pragmatic self I question everything.  Why are we doing it?  What is the big picture?  Can the engine even do this without major changes?  Is the project willing and able to make these changes?  Do we even have the time?  On some projects I swear you can see the piles money being burned daily on these type of tasks, but when the right people are behind them they slip through the cracks and head into development anyway.

I find most standard brainstorming meetings to end with these kind of results.  People like to dump any random thought out of their heads, then another person writes down and all ideas are considered.  Now I’m all for brainstorming but let’s keep it in the realm of reality.  Reality meaning is it within the project’s theme?  Is it within game world’s reality?  Is it within the game engine’s capabilities?  Logically you think, “Well the crazy ideas will get filtered out immediately.”  Yes, you’d think that but not always.  Sometimes they sneak through.

I mean it’s great that you think pink bunnies with machine guns would make an awesome end boss but realistically, deep down inside yourself you have got to know we aren’t going to do that.  So why even bring it up?  And don’t then ask me to write up a design doc explaining how your pink bunnies could be implemented.  And don’t ask me to create a Power Point slide show on pink bunnies throughout the years and their rise to machine gun use.  And please, please don’t then ask me to prototype a level with your pink bunnies bouncing around using AI that was meant to be for assault snipers.  And then when it’s all been cut from the game after weeks of research, documentation, prototyping, and presentation don’t you fucking dare come to me and say, “Well we knew that would get cut.”