Archive for April, 2016

Tenatative Release Date for The Daynish Campaign

Posted in Updates with tags , , on April 16, 2016 by chemiclord

Time to start saving up pennies again!  Barring any unexpected delays, Book 4 of the Megatokyo Endgames series, The Daynish Campaign, will be released in paperback, Kindle, and Nook on May 20, 2016.

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The Daynish Campaign First Draft

Posted in Updates with tags , on April 14, 2016 by chemiclord
Whew… okay… took a lot longer than I would have liked, but the first draft of Book 4 in the Megatokyo: Endgames series, The Daynish Campaign, is complete.
 
Once my editors get back to me, I’ll be able to pin down a release date.
 
However, thanks to steadily increasing production costs on Amazon’s end, the print versions of the novel will have to reflect those increased costs, and the price point for future books will be $11.99 for the foreseeable future.
 
I know… no one likes price increases. I’m really sorry!

An Open Letter to SquareEnix…

Posted in Grumblings with tags , on April 8, 2016 by chemiclord

So apparently the new Final Fantasy 7 remake is going to be “massive”, with each episode being “as large as FF13.”

My response to that is… “So what? All that inherently tells me is that each episode of the game will be 10 hours of cutscenes and 4 hours of walking down a narrow hallway.”

SquareEnix, you had a sure money maker. You just needed to NOT mess with it. Instead, you go out of your way to tell your prospective customers that you are indeed messing with it in significant ways.

It’s a pretty huge risk you’re taking, and I appreciate that on its own. Part of me is glad that you’re not just resting on your laurels, and instead are trying to update the game’s relevance (because I’ll be honest, there’s a lot about the original that is… pretty terrible in retrospect).

But at the same time, your track record recently is awfully spotty, to put it mildly. You can’t afford to FF14 this. Don’t be surprised if your fans don’t exactly pony up to pre-order this (like myself).

I am going to wait and see, because I’m not at all confident your company has any idea what you’re doing.

On Intellectual Property…

Posted in Grumblings with tags , , on April 7, 2016 by chemiclord

So, we’ve got a new hubbub going on in the gaming world, this time dealing with Blizzard/Activision and their legal action to shut down a private server that was running version 1.12 of the World of Warcraft MMO.

No small amount of gamers have rushed to the defense of private server, Nostalrius, with a number of arguments, be it Blizzard no longer supporting that “legacy” content to the Nostalrius developers not using Blizzard code to host the client.

And what these people don’t seem to understand is that none of those arguments matter in the slightest.

For the same reason you can’t take whole passages of a book and try to publish them as your own, or try to screen movies in a theater without negotiating the rights to do so… you technically can’t host a game (even if you don’t actually have the game present or use the original game’s code to communicate between players) without the expressed permission of the entity that controls the copyright to that intellectual property.

Because with any media, you don’t actually buy the content.  You buy the right to access it by the terms the controller of the IP allows.  You’re buying the physical book the words are written on, not the words themselves.  You’re buying the disc that the game or movie is programmed on, not the game data itself.

(This is why digital games are such a weird area to navigate, as customers are realizing they don’t technically own anything on their Steam list, and could lose it at any time regardless of how much money they spent.)

It’s not about the code or the game data.  It’s about the World of Warcraft IP itself, and using that IP outside of the terms that Blizzard set in their license agreement.

I’m not interested in defending Blizzard’s motives.  They’ve done plenty of pretty vindictive stuff to their own customers that I would never claim they’re doing anything for good of anything more than their own pocketbook or the perception that it would help their bottom line.

I’m not going to claim that the people who ran Nostalrius are thieves or terrible people.  They were just dudes that wanted to play a version of a game that Blizzard had no interest in supporting any longer.

But until someone successfully challenges the legality of EULA in regards to intellectual property, that’s the means that Blizzard (or any copyright holder) can and will use to “protect” that property, and they can enact that right whenever they wish and change their mind at any time.

The ability to protect that IP is important to creators, especially ones that use that protection to secure the ability to sustain a livelihood to create more content for others to enjoy.  And that’s why I have to support their efforts, even if I don’t think they’re using it in a constructive way.

Because a world where they (and by extension I) don’t have that power will be a very rough era for people who create.

On the Collapse of Common Sense…

Posted in Grumblings on April 1, 2016 by chemiclord

More sportyball topic today.  I’m sorry, but bear with me.  It’s really only tangentially related.

Long story shorter, there is a basketball player named Nick Young, who is (presumably still present tense as of this writing) engaged to Iggy Azalea.  He decided to (allegedly) cheat on his fiancee because hey, NBA player and all, and then brag about it to his teammate D’Angelo Russell, who in turn was recording the whole thing and it somehow magically went public.

Now, Young is all pissed off (demonstrating the value of a USC education in the process), and the entire narrative that I have read so far centers on how Russell betrayed his teammates’ trust, and how it’s going to cripple his ability to be anyone’s teammate in the future.

It’s not that this sentiment is wrong inherently.  I can promise you Russell didn’t record and leak that video confession to be a valiant defender of the social contract of engaged people.  He did it to be a dick, and on that score… well… mission accomplish buddy!  I hope “getting over” on Young was worth being a pariah in your chosen profession for the rest of your career.

But I want to talk about Young, and more specifically the “boys will be boys” mentality that allows our talking heads to completely gloss over or outright ignore Young’s stupidity in their rush to eviscerate Russell.

Those that do address Young’s idiocy effectively couch it in the idea that “he shouldn’t have been engaged as a young athlete” and not “he shouldn’t have been cheating on his fiancee.”  The idea is that athletes are surrounded by women throwing themselves at them at every opportunity, and the temptation is simply too great to ignore.

Sure, there is a sizable amount of women who are perfectly fine with one night stands and the desire to be bedded by someone “famous.”  I’m not going to demean them.  You girls do you (or whatever star studded man or woman decides you’re a good one-night stand).

But this idea that there’s just so many of those girls out there that no man could possibly resist the temptation basically reduces men into hormonal balls of instinct, and that lets people like Nick Young off the hook.

Once you “put a ring on it”, to borrow the vernacular, the “game” changes.  Nick Young wasn’t helpless.  He knew exactly what he was doing, and decided that his fiancee didn’t matter in the pursuit of short term pleasure.

He then had the unmitigated gall to brag about his sexual conquests to his teammates, which would be a fairly stupid thing to do even if he trusted them implicitly.  It again demonstrates a man who knows exactly what he is doing, knowing exactly who he is hurting, and simply doesn’t care.

Nick Young isn’t a victim.  This isn’t “boys will be boys.”  This is a shitty human being doing shitty things, and getting those secrets exposed by an equally shitty teammate.

It is more than possible to hate the player and hate the game.  And it’s due time our society starts doing so.