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The Extra Credits thread!! EC is amazing!

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Awesome video. I wasn't even aware of any attempts to date to make an MMORTS, and never really saw something like a Starcraft style MMORTS being a viable option for one for pretty much all of the reasons you went into.

Now that I know some people are trying to make them though I'll probably keep more of an eye out. I'd be interested in actually playing one of those someday I think if anyone can get it right.

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Man, I'm late to the party (party probably isn't the best word). Dan, really sorry to hear that crap. People/companies can really lose sight of doing "the right thing" often times when it comes to money, and it makes me sad. You and the EC team are great folks and you deserve better. Keep doing what you're doing, and I'm 100% positive things will turn out great for you guys. EC is really something special, and you guys deserve all the credit.

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That's some seriously shaddy-shit going-on here, sadly...

Let's hope these legal issue(s) can be resolved without further digital-bloodshed.

I'm rooting for you guys to be able to continue doing your thing, and to keep pushing this clever, fun and informative show to new heights.

Cheers to the Extra-Credits team. :)

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I love you guys. Stay strong. I spread the word about you all as much as I can. Can't wait to get a t-shirt, but even if that whole thing doesn't work out, I know you'll put the money to good use.

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Yeah, we're definitely going to make sure everyone get's the rewards they donated for. If we find ourselves unable to offer a particular reward (Publisher's club, t-shirts internationally, etc), we'll think of something as good or better.

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Here's the thing though. If they had said "We're gonna made a publishing company with the extra cash" right up front, that would be one thing. But they didn't. And even if some of the people are happy with it, it's still not the right course of action to take.

Everyone who donated up until they said what they were going to do with the extra money did so for Allison, her rehab after surgery, and hiring guest artists. That's it. The moment the EC folks said they were going to start publishing indie games with the extracredits.pngmoney, they began using the money for something other than what it was intended for. You simply don't do that, and I'd be willing to wager it stands a very good chance of being a strong point that can be used against the EC crew if this actually winds up in court. After all, if EC can make a publishing company, why couldn't the escapist ask, "Can I get some of it too?" (assuming The Escapist did indeed bring that idea up).

Keep in mind, I'm not taking either side in this. Seems to me both of them have made mistakes over the course of this donation drive's lifespan. And until we get facts that both sides agree on, it's hard to see who's in the right or wrong regarding where things stand right now. That said, I do think EC made a sizable mistake in continuing to take money, and not coming up with a plan from the get go on how to handle any extra money (and thus, be able to tell the donators of that plan).

This is basically what I wanted to say originally. It just doesn't look too good for the Extra Credits crew, it's really hard to sympathize with what they did. Love the show, but I think they made the wrong choice.

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This is basically what I wanted to say originally. It just doesn't look too good for the Extra Credits crew, it's really hard to sympathize with what they did. Love the show, but I think they made the wrong choice.

My response is more or less the same as before:

As for the donation thing, I can try to help clear that up a little. Like some of you have said, we never, ever expected the response we got to the Rockethub thing. We didn't think we'd even hit our goal. It was a pretty desperate move for us and we hadn't planned for that (incredibly inspiring) scenario.

Once we'd shot passed the goal and the donations were still piling in from people just showing their support, we spent two weeks trying to figure out what to do. We had originally estimated low for the cost of Allison's surgery, so a good bit of the excess would go to her procedure, follow-up therapy and such. Some would help to pay the guest artists. But we knew we had a lot left over anyway, and we weren't sure what to do with it.

People were clearly giving it to show support, so just giving it back and saying "no thanks" didn't feel right, but we felt uncomfortable just keeping it for ourselves too. We briefly considered passing it on to Child's Play. But then we considered what the donation drive was about: helping a talented person to be able to continue doing the thing they loved. And we thought "maybe that's how we can pay it forward." The publishing fund thing is what we came up with: a way to give some indie developer a chance to keep doing what they love, and hopefully do the medium some good while we were at it.

I totally understand the complaint that we hadn't announced that sort of thing earlier. If we had foreseen this amazing donation outcome, we would have. Again, it was a pretty desperate measure at the time. "Hindsight" and all that.

With an added addendum: the reason we didn't close the Rockethub drive after we hit the mark is because we couldn't. Rockethub's policy is to keep the drive going until the target date is hit, at which point donations close and the money is paid out. It wasn't our choice to make. Again, in hindsight, 60 day was far, far longer than we needed, but we never anticipated generosity on this scale.

And we did ask fans what they thought of the publishing fund idea. We posted the idea on our twitter and facebook feeds and got lots of positive feedback. We've still got an episode lined up in a few weeks to explain the plan in more detail to everyone, but we definitely haven't been keeping the publishing fund a secret.

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I know I'll still be watching shows on The Escapist well after this is all over.

After hearing that the Escapist hasn't really paid you guys, let alone probably has to give lots more money to Zero Punctuation (I know that it probably generates lots of hits :roll:), I don't see myself giving them anymore page views.

Sorry to hear that you guys are going through legal bs.

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Is there any way to refund the money? I'm no economist, but I think you should offer to give back the money to anyone who wants it back who doesn't support the publishing label idea. That's what I think would be idealistically correct, however I don't know how or if that would work logistically. I would nitpick and say that there was probably some way to end the Rockethub drive, but there's no way you could've predicted the outcome of all this so I don't blame you for not going out of your way to do it. I'd also say that posting the idea on facebook and twitter isn't enough publicity and that you should've added it at the end of one of your episodes, but I say that all in hindsight. I find it hard to blame you guys, but I also find it difficult to side with you, so I guess now that I've made my point of view clear I don't really have much more to say.

Best of luck with your future ventures, as long as the show doesn't get cancelled whatever else happens is none of my concern :P

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Yeah, if anyone approaches us saying they don't support the fund idea, I'm totally cool with the idea of returning their money. I don't know the logistics either at this point, having not received everything from Rockethub yet, but I totally agree with you.

Neither party is really the "villain" or "hero" in this whole mess, so I think not choosing a side works. :)

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Yeah, if anyone approaches us saying they don't support the fund idea, I'm totally cool with the idea of returning their money. I don't know the logistics either at this point, having not received everything from Rockethub yet, but I totally agree with you.

Neither party is really the "villain" or "hero" in this whole mess, so I think not choosing a side works. :)

I'm not really trying to choose a side in this honestly. But I've been watching your guys' videos since you first started on them. The fact that Escapist hadn't paid you guys irks me. Considering how you gave them a grace period, and then get an exuberant amount of donations during your time of need, and then suddenly be told you have to pay up some of that, I don't like it. Then when legal action is mentioned, "Oh hey! Here's that money we owe you!"

I really enjoy Movie Bob, but as far as Zero Punc. goes, I see enough Snark on the net. Until I hear more over the whole situation, I'm not giving any page views to Escapist.

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"Not choosing a side" works for me.

These things are never one-sided, and as much as this community supports you guys, I'm not going to go say "to hell with Escapist" or "down with EC*". Well I would say "to hell with Escapist" for other reasons, but they are unrelated.

I watched the "Art is not opposite of Fun" episode just now, and I was wondering when you would touch up on the subject.

I am not against studying games, in order to make better games. Seeing what works, and dropping what doesn't, etc.

You say in the ep that the people who are against "art" games don't want change in the industry, which I think is a little inaccurate, at least from my end.

I may be no Alex Kierkegaard (one of the prime "fagot"s of the blogging world, in my eye... that's what you get for reading Nietzsche and trying to be him!), but this crop of "art games" from the "indie scene" or what-have-you often try to shove a crappy story or idea they think is "deep" into a game scenario and couch it around a boring platformer or something (see: Knytt, Braid, and many many others).

Take Knights in the Nightmare. First they worked out the gameplay mechanics, created something unique and fun (something I had NEVER played before), and THEN put a story on top of it. It was entertaining (but ultimately fluff- but at least the character designs were cool), and didn't detract from the experience.

I don't think Derek Yu, Nygren, or Mr. Blow are "pioneers" of the industry, but I think the gaming press has painted them that way, and certainly their ever-loyal legion of fans trumpet it down the mountainside. I'm not even saying that they are that bad of game-developers -they did well enough with the resources they had- but I think the volume of praise is somewhat undue.

At least Terry Cavanagh (sp), despite games like VVVVVV not being perfect, have a cool gameplay idea on which to build from. To me, that's a start. Same with Braid in a way, but that was bogged down with utter doldrums level-design and easy puzzles.

You're right- studying the medium won't make it worse, but most people have no clue what the heck that means. They have a deluded notion that pushing the medium is by using aspects of other mediums (story, music, blah) to make-up for the lackluster game they're in.

The medium's strengths should be used to push the medium forward. Not outside strengths. A game's strength is in interactivity and control.

I think the more control you are in of the game-world around you, the better the game ultimately is. This is hard to explain, as I am not saying every game should be a sandbox where you can do anything, but the entire experience should be crafted in such a way that the game world is tuned to every tool at your disposal. Like a good shmup, or platformer- if the mechanics are good, and that the only cause of death is the player's fault, than that game, by being good, is pushing the medium forward.

*Extra Credits, not me

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Same with Braid in a way, but that was bogged down with utter doldrums level-design and easy puzzles.

Easy? Haha, no way, that game was mad complicated. At least, if you did all the stuff properly, which I didn't b/c it was just too time-consuming to me. If you didn't solve the game properly, I suppose I can see how one would call it easy, though I still don't entirely agree with that.

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If the last puzzle of World 4 and the majority of World 5 and 6's puzzles were simple, then you're smarter than the rest of us. I thought the difficulty curve in Braid was very good...

...unless we're talking about all of the optional stars, in which case I can't imagine any of my friends figuring them out with no guide. That stuff is ridiculous.

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Just so y'all know, Sephfire will be coming on OverClocked After Dark this Sunday at 8pm. Yes, we are letting him take our live-show cherry. You won't want to miss this!

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New episode is up!

Oh good, I was afraid that I might get some actual sleep done tonight.

Edit: Sooo... no more episodes in EscapistMagazine? Heavens forbid if I'm jumping to any conclusions, but that's the expression that I have at the moment.

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In response to one of the previous episodes on the feeling of more artistic inclinations being regarded as a threat to fun, I wonder if James has read Ian Bogost's Unit Operations: An Approach to Video Game Criticism.

While it was a short read, and ultimately one I do not hold in very high regard, there was one chapter within called "An Alternative to Fun," whereby Bogost did a criticism of Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design (a book I liked far better). He pointed out that despite Koster having written the book on fun, the actual games he was releasing (acting as the creative director for) were not following his own precepts. I forget the exact details, but I believe it was on a Star Wars Galaxies game, whereby a good portion of the gameplay was essentially replicating that of a grindtastic second job. Bogost ultimately supported Koster's practices, as he was able to analyze the gameplay function as a social commentary on the low wage average and high rent living conditions within San Francisco (location of the design studio) at the time of the game's development.

You'd understand me when I say, by that point, I had no other response than to simply return the book to the library as quickly as I could.

Nonetheless, I'm astounded to hear about what occurred with the Escapist. I wrote for them myself, outside of my handle around here, back in the 200-250 issues. I thought it was a pretty well experience, but since then I've noticed a change. The Escapist back then is not quite the same one as I read today. They're too focused on videos and diversions, and far less on lettered thought. Perhaps it was the dropping of the editorial calendar, or perhaps it was the lack of weekly issues, but it has slowly become, what's the word for it, pablumatic? Mainstream? I don't quite know how to describe it, but I've felt it creeping up, month after month. Perhaps all those years of success have finally got to them? I'm having a harder and harder time wanting to read them.

I'm hoping to start up an online magazine myself someday soon (these ideas are a side effect of having too much webspace and bandwidth than one person can use). It likely will not be a for-profit venture, as I don't wish to play monetary games with content and friendships I hold too dearly. I can only hope what happened to the Escapist will not happen to me.

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I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the "Vote With Your Wallets" campaign against the Silent Hill HD Collection. [Reference]

Given recent events, I think I know what your response will be, but I see a conflict in overlaping issues from the Video Games and Storytelling and Innovation episodes. Also, there are unexplored issues of altering original works and control of intellectual property ownership involving re-releases.

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Hmmm... seems part two of "Game Addiction" is private.

The first half is stuck in processing hell for some reason. I'll set them both to public when they finish! :(

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