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Penny Arcade Game Sees Record Breaking Numbers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the hooray-for-payday dept.

124

Kotaku is reporting that the new Penny Arcade game is showing record breaking numbers, earning $330,000 in the first three days, surpassing previous record holder Worms HD. Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik was very pleased with the result saying: "Given that our price point was double the other games on that list I'm pretty f***ing happy. We fully expected some people to complain about the $20 price tag but we honestly felt like our game was worth it. Pricing something like this is tricky. Obviously you have to look at the length of time it will take someone to complete the game but you also need to factor in the quality of the experience."

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124 comments

a little clarification (5, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575467)

The way the Kotaku article is worded - and it comes through on the summary is a bit confusing. Basically if the VGChartz esitmate is right they broke a record for earnings. They came in third for number of downloads- and that is what Gabe is talking about when he says "Given that our price point was double..." He means that he is happy they had the third most downloads since their game cost so much more than the others that came before it. He does not say anything about how much they made or make any comparisons regarding income to the other games. In a screencast they did for the game, he even jokes that due to the large initial cost of creating the game, they aren't making any money yet. You can see that video if you scroll to the bottom of this post. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:a little clarification-even more (5, Informative)

g051051 (71145) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575665)

This is only for XBox Live Arcade, not a total sales record against all the platforms the game is available on.

Re:a little clarification (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576143)

In a screencast they did for the game, he even jokes that due to the large initial cost of creating the game, they aren't making any money yet.

Actually what they said is rather funnier than that - he said that at first they were doing it for the money, but then it turned out there really wasn't any money, so now they are just doing it.

He did say they are hoping to actually see some profit around episode three, hopefully good sales of the first one moves up that timeframe for them. It's obvious they, and the game studio, put a lot of work into the title.

Port it to WiiWare (2, Insightful)

Gr33nNight (679837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575473)

I'll purchase it in a heartbeat.

Re:Port it to WiiWare (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575513)

It also runs on Linux and Mac. I played the Xbox Live trial version, and I'll be buying it this weekend after I've paid the bills. The fruit fuckers alone justify the price.

Re:Port it to WiiWare (3, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578523)

Before you buy the Xbox Live version, realize that the Windows/Linux/Mac licenses are portable between each other, but are incompatible with the Xbox Live license.

So if you buy it for Xbox Live, you won't be able to play it anywhere else. If you buy it anywhere else, you'll be able to play it anywhere but a console.

Might still be worth it to get it on Live, just saying...

Re:Port it to WiiWare (2, Informative)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578729)

Thanks, but I'll get the XBL version. After all, my Xbox is jacked into a 40" LCD screen that does 1080p and a decent Philips home theater kit. My MacBook only does 1280x800, by comparison. :)

Re:Port it to WiiWare (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23579473)

But the XBox Live version has achivements. Achivements!

Re:Port it to WiiWare (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23580183)

Now I'm scared.

There's going to be some "Fucked 100 Fruit Fuckers", isn't there?

And probably a Testikill [penny-arcade.com] , just so they can.

Re:Port it to WiiWare (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23581243)

I don't think that would be possible, the game is over 200 MB, much larger than Nintendo's 43 MB limit.

Which is pretty sad because otherwise this game would have no problem running on the Wii.

You can still hope they'll release the whole game once all episodes are completed though. That's what they're doing for Sam & Max Season 1.

Missing mouse pointer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575523)

The game is cool. I think it's cool, anyway. My mouse pointer disappears when I try getting back into the game from the Options menu, for some reason. And I'm not the only one.

Sigh. Maybe I'll actually play more than 10 minutes of it when the first patch is released.

Re:Missing mouse pointer (2, Informative)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575629)

There's a patch, or at least a new build, out already. Check out the greenhouse site again.

Best $20 spent for a game (4, Funny)

bigdady92 (635263) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575575)

I laughed, I rolled my eyes, I kicked mime and clown ass up and down the street. Could've blown it on booze and strippers but this was by far a better way of spending 5hrs of my life.

Re:Best $20 spent for a game (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575751)

$20 doesn't buy much booze, and we won't even talk about what kind of stripper you can get for $20.

Re:Best $20 spent for a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576235)

Eh, $20 buys a enough booze for a good time if you're buying decent stuff, or a crapload of the cheap stuff. But then, I generally drink infrequently enough that buying a pint of spirits every few weeks is more than enough for me.

$20 stripper - if you're talking about a lap dance, then $20 ain't exactly an uncommon rate for your average place. If you're talking about actually sacking her, then yeah, I don't wanna see what you're gonna get for $20.

Re:Best $20 spent for a game (1)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23582137)

You can get a mickey for less than $20 and have about $7 left over. Which is enough for ... geometry wars?

Re:Best $20 spent for a game (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576485)

How is your mother doing?

It's not Portal... (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577919)

Yes, it was pretty damned good, but I still assert that Portal is the best $20 ever spent on a game.

Re:It's not Portal... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23579021)

Not even close. Portal was a brilliant game, but it was about half as long as this one. $20 was an extreme rip-off for how short of a game Portal is. $20 for the Penny Arcade game is pushing it, but is at least still within the realm of reasonable.

Re:It's not Portal... (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23580161)

Portal was replayable. And I have, at least some ten times, maybe more.

This really isn't.

Oh, and Portal was a better game. Quality over quantity.

I'm not suprised. (4, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575631)

The game was amazingly done, and it has many qualities that would bring me to expect it to do well. Mainly:

-It is for more platforms that most mainstream games (Mac/Windows/Linux/Xbox360).
-The animated cutscenes were brilliantly done, especially how they used an animated version of the character you created at the start.
-The script was hilarious.
-The popularity of penny-arcade lent to easy advertising.
-It was only $20

Figures are 360 only!! (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576097)

The game was amazingly done, and it has many qualities that would bring me to expect it to do well. Mainly:

-It is for more platforms that most mainstream games (Mac/Windows/Linux/Xbox360)...


I agree with the game being amazingly well done, and a lot of fun to play. But the reported figures are from one platform only (the 360) so they don't even really go so far as to show the benefits of the multi-platform release...

One thing it does go to show is that the value of the game lies in the artistry and storytelling, and since (in my opinion) the Penny Arcade guys are great at both it was a natural the game would be good - not to mention that as gamers they would know if the control scheme sucked and make them fix it.

Re:Figures are 360 only!! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578103)

I agree with the game being amazingly well done, and a lot of fun to play. But the reported figures are from one platform only (the 360) so they don't even really go so far as to show the benefits of the multi-platform release...
I don't matter, but for the record, they got at least one more sale from the Linux port -- I doubt I'd have bought it if it was only Windows/360, and I'd definitely have skipped it if it was 360 only.

Re:I'm not suprised. (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576211)

-The script was hilarious.

And that is why this game rocks. Without the writing it's just a fairly well-thought-out stereotypical RPG game, one that I would bore of within a half-hour of play. The writing is something else though, just enough intrigue to keep you going, and many bust-out-loud laughing moments.

Re:I'm not suprised. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23579977)

I haven't played this game, but another funny, spoof-the-stereotypical RPG game is the "re-imagining" of The Bard's Tale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bard's_Tale_(2004) [wikipedia.org]

While the gameplay is somewhat stereotypical, it is also very funny.

Re:I'm not suprised. (1, Troll)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577559)

-The script was hilarious.

No.

It was sub-par writing. "Shit....as in Poop?" Seriously now. The plot was typical PA, but without the writing, it almost felt dull since we have seen most of the scenarios in PA comics already. The cutscenes kept up the tempo, and the way your customized character got included in the cutscenes (exactly as the character was designed) was a technically interesting exercise. The dialog never really picks up until the last "zone" with the intro the NPC gives, completely outshining the cutscene for a change. This continues on for the majority of last the zone.

I hope for better in the following episodes.

Re:I'm not suprised. (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23580531)

You wanna know what's really funny? People arguing about humor as if it is objectively determinable.

Re:I'm not suprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23581543)

Then I can expect the gushing to stop, since no one's opinion can be true.

Re:I'm not suprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23581907)

Writing is within the realm of objective critique. Humor is not.

Where? (2, Informative)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575647)

Important data left out of summary... This record is for XBox Live Arcade downloads. Has nothing to do with actual total sales.

Bought it... (1)

captainjasons (1297575) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575661)

Love it, but buyer beware, if you don't have a High-def to hook up to (for the Xbox 360 version), the dialog is nigh unreadable. I don't have a high-definition TV, and I found myself squinting constantly to make out the dialog.

Re:Bought it... (2, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575711)

So download it for Windows/Mac/Linux and play it on your computer.

Re:Bought it... (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576239)

I may be wrong, but the 360 version is the only one that doesn't allow you to download it for any other platform and play at will.

Re:Bought it... (4, Informative)

zegota (1105649) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575753)

There is an option to zoom-in in the options menu. It's a bit annoying, since it cuts off part of the side of the screen, but it makes the text readable.

Re:Bought it... (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23582015)

Cool, thanks. That was driving me crazy.

I loved the game. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575791)

Especially the goatse on the carpet in the bedroom.

Ron Gilbert... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575809)

...understands what makes a good game.

An excellent example (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575821)

It's great that an indie game can be developed in a relatively short time with relatively small costs and released to a wide for a meaningful profit. Penny Arcade shouldn't just be proud of making a good and financially successful title; they also proved the viability of the business model.

Will their example inspire less visible developers to explore distribution? I hope so.

Re:An excellent example (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576269)

Well, it was announced almost two years ago, so I guess it's a matter of opinion if that's a short time or not. But I agree with everything else.

And obviously since this is episodic the next episode is not two years away (I hope).

Re:An excellent example (1)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577059)

They not only created the game, but also are trying to get into distributing other works as well. It's called Greenhouse [playgreenhouse.com] .

Re:An excellent example (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578131)

I like it, so far. BitTorrent might be better, but other than that, it's the anti-Steam of online distribution.

And it supports Linux!

How many games on your hard drive... (5, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23582139)

... are purchase copies of low-budget games developed in relatively short time frames which were released by someone without a pre-existing audience of millions of rabid fans?

Its not like Penny Arcade descended down from heaven yesterday and declared "And let it be possible to sell video games, for money, over the Internet! So it is written, so shall it be done!" Its been done. The overwhelming majority of folks who do it fail to make any significant amount of money relative to the fair-market value of the time invested.

http://www.gameproducer.net/category/sales-statistics/ [gameproducer.net]

Those statistics aren't representative -- everyone likes hearing about the success stories (hint: most of the ones with numbers in the title). Vastly more numerous are results like these folks:

http://www.gameproducer.net/2006/09/20/sales-statistics-pharaohs-curse-gold-2000-yearly-sales/ [gameproducer.net]

Several man months of labor. $2,000 worth of sales.

Games are just a tough, tough market to make money in. Your core customers don't want to spend money and fly the Jolly Roger by default. Your product will be obsolete in 3 to 6 months, even for "casual" gaming. You have enormous expenditures for assets to remain competitive. Your customers have rather little loyalty and it is difficult to turn them into ongoing revenue streams.

Compare this to selling software on the shareware model: your core customers have problems and are willign to pay to solve them. Your core customers don't have LimeWire installed. Your product will last for years. Your expenditures on assets may cost less than a date (I started my software business with $60... working on hitting $20k this year, on about 2 hours a week). Your customers provide a built-in base of people to sell upgrades and new related products to, and they are often fanatically loyal to you.

Xbox Version Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575841)

These are the XBOX LIVE ARCADE statistics.

RTFA

It was a gold mine waiting to happen (5, Funny)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575857)

Seriously, it's a game where you can beat evil mimes to death with a rake. Who wouldn't pay $20 for that?

activation (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23575865)

I thought about checking it out and playing it (indy game? steampunk? great!)... until I discovered it had online activation. Then I passed on it.

Re:activation (4, Insightful)

IthnkImParanoid (410494) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576215)

Yeah, that online activation is terrible, far worse than:
  • Creating an account at the game's website
  • With an email address!
  • And a real name!
  • And a credit card number!
  • And a billing address!
to get the game in the first place.

Re:activation (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576821)

Or click the option marked "Skip creating an Account and Just Buy The Game" (my wording, but it's there in the first phase of buying the game online.

If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (0, Flamebait)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575903)

Just a heads up; if you're thinking about buying the PC version, it has an online activation based copy protection system, with a three activation limit, same as BioShock.

Seems a bit hypocritical coming from the PA guys, but just be aware it's there before you decide to spend your cash on it. I, for one, will sadly have to miss this one.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1, Troll)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#23575981)

Penny.Arcade.Adventures.on.the.Rain.-.Slick.Precipice.of.Darkness.Episode.1.v1.0-TE

Doesn't work too well, does it :)

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (4, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576017)

Actually from everything I've heard the key you get for activation works for any installation you do, I.E. if you want you can get the Windows version, get the activation key and then install the Mac and Linux versions using the same key. As such, I suspect your information as incorrect.

And if you're thinking about the Xbox version... (0, Redundant)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576111)

... you'd better live in one of those 11% of households that have an HDTV, or you'd better get used to squinting, because it's nearly unplayable on a standard TV. The text is unreadably small, and the whole game is letterboxed so everything is 25% smaller than it should be.

Really, is there any excuse for letterboxing a video game? It's not like there are boom mikes just off-screen that need to be covered up. The game doesn't have to be "modified from its original version" -- everything is generated on the fly anyway.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576185)

Really, is there any excuse for letterboxing a video game?

Yes, it's called visual style.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576367)

How exactly does the visual style benefit from using less of the available screen?

Remember, this isn't a movie where there's One True Aspect Ratio and something must be lost to fit it on another screen. This stuff is rendered in real time.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23577573)

Remember, this isn't a movie where there's One True Aspect Ratio

Stop digging now, before you come off looking any dumber.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577723)

Nah, he's right. Forcing a game into letterbox mode is like a website that fixes text columns at 480 pixels in width. It might look fine if you're running the exact setup the designer wants you to run, but really it's just a deliberately added limitation. I'd consider it a usability flaw.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578753)

How exactly does the visual style benefit from using less of the available screen?

I'm about to tell you...

Remember, this isn't a movie where there's One True Aspect Ratio

No, it's not a movie. But chances are you may have seen a movie. And having seen a movie, in that aspect ratio, helps provide previous visual context and helps the format feel more comfortable.

Beyond that, framing is totally up to the artist - in photography, some things look better totally square, others look better wide. It all depends on the content. And because the game is heavily built around art by artists, it simply would not look or feel the same if you simply arbitrarily hacked the thing to fill your ancient screen.

And that brings me to me last point, is that basically Penny Arcade would say you are a wanker for using such an ancient display device with modern consoles. Get with the program, it's not like small 720p sets cost that much at this point. It's not like the Penny Arcade game is the first or last game that is going to give you issues with your weak display.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (2, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23579391)

I'm about to tell you...

Remember, this isn't a movie where there's One True Aspect Ratio

No, it's not a movie. But chances are you may have seen a movie. And having seen a movie, in that aspect ratio, helps provide previous visual context and helps the format feel more comfortable.
You're right, I have seen a movie. What an astute deduction, good sir.

But I've also seen TV. Lots more TV than movies, in fact. And I've seen games, every one of which (that I've seen) manages to fill the entire screen. So on the context and comfort scale, 4:3 wins out.

Beyond that, framing is totally up to the artist - in photography, some things look better totally square, others look better wide. It all depends on the content. And because the game is heavily built around art by artists, it simply would not look or feel the same if you simply arbitrarily hacked the thing to fill your ancient screen.
Gee, maybe they should've thought about that when they were coming up with the design. But it's funny - this sort of thing doesn't seem to stop everyone else from designing games that work equally well on 4:3 and 16:9 screens.

And that brings me to me last point, is that basically Penny Arcade would say you are a wanker for using such an ancient display device with modern consoles. Get with the program, it's not like small 720p sets cost that much at this point.
Why would I buy a new TV that's smaller than the one I already have? That's a step down, not up; I'm not about to shrink everything else I watch just to make the Penny Arcade game more readable.

On the other hand, if I want to get a TV of equal or greater size than the one I have now, then yes, they do cost that much. I'm not spending $800 on a TV when I have a perfectly good one that cost less than half that much.

Furthermore, it's not like I'm the only guy out there who has better things to spend his money on than new TVs. One third of Xbox 360 owners are using a standard TV. That means one third of the potential buyers of this game are left in the cold, simply because the developers were too lazy to do what every other studio does and make the game playable on a 4:3 screen.

It's not like the Penny Arcade game is the first or last game that is going to give you issues with your weak display.
You're right, it's not the first. It's the second. Carcassonne is also fairly unplayable on a standard TV, but (1) at least it's not letterboxed, and (2) it costs half as much as the P-A game. Every other game I've played manages to fill the entire screen and uses reasonably sized fonts.

As for whether it's the last... hopefully by the time a majority of games are only playable on HD, the sets will have become affordable.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23580975)

So on the context and comfort scale, 4:3 wins out.

There is no winning. It's a different choice, and one they did not make. Sorry you can't understand that, but some of us do.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23581173)

There is no winning.
Then why did you bring up the context and comfort nonsense in the first place?

It's a different choice, and one they did not make.
Actually, it's a choice they didn't have to make either way. Like I said, every other game manages to fill the screen whether you play it in 4:3 or 16:9. The developers of the Penny Arcade game would've done the same thing if they cared about providing a quality product.

Sorry you can't understand that, but some of us do.
That's funny, because you really don't seem to understand the issue here.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (2, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576313)

11% of households may own an HDTV but I would bet many pennies that the overlap between HDTV owners and Xbox 360 owners is much higher. Honestly, I know about 10 people who own 360s in real life and they all have HDTVs.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (2, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576411)

Well, I looked up the stats, and I must say I'm shocked to find that two-thirds [engadgethd.com] of Xbox 360s are connected to an HDTV. Still, that means they're pissing off 33% of their potential customers.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577881)

I don't have an HDTV, and probably won't get one in the near future. That's one of the reasons I got a Wii instead of a 360 (and the PS3 was a no-go from the start, of course). I wanted games that would definitely be playable at standard def. So there's probably some mutual reinforcement going on there, causing people to fall into the HDTV+360 cluster or the SDTV+Wii cluster. There's also the PS3+Monster Cable cluster, no doubt.

Re:And if you're thinking about the Xbox version.. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578821)

This has been a problem with a few other games, notably Dead Rising which was a few years ago. I think Capcom patched it but it just seems odd that it's still happening. I agree that you shouldn't piss off any of your potential customers.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576177)

The folks at HotHead have stated, repeatedly, on their forums that the activation is a one-time-only when you first install the game. Yes, it reactivates for each machine you install it on, but you can install it on any number of machines that you want (not sure where you got the 3 limit from), using the same license. As others have stated, the same license key even applies across all platforms (Xbox excluded.)

After the initial activation, you never again need a check or even an internet connection to play. That's the kind of copy protection I am comfortable with, and that's why it didn't stop me from purchasing it.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576203)

I buy it, I downloaded it, I never have to communicate in any way with the vendor again. Accepting activation is just a "first step" in accepting massive DRM as a whole.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576383)

Nice slippery-slope fallacy there.

It also has to do with the level of trust in the vendor, and showing appreciation for what they've done.

I am glad they decided to make a Linux port. I am glad they aren't charging me the $40-$60 that most other game developers would be charging for a much crappier game. I am glad to support that vendor and Penny Arcade in their future endeavors.

And if showing that support means I have to deal with the least restrictive copy protection (short of none) that I have ever seen, then it's a price I am willing to pay.

If this were Sony, or EA, or Microsoft, or any other vendor that I don't trust as far I could spit, I wouldn't put up with it. But they haven't earned my respect the way PA or HotHead have done.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578577)

You're right about the price. I payed a lot more for God of War on my PSP and got a lot less play time (and comedy)...

Why post AC? (0, Troll)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576305)

... After the initial activation, you never again need a check or even an internet connection to play. That's the kind of copy protection I am comfortable with, and that's why it didn't stop me from purchasing it.

It's amazing how people's morals crumble when a certain level of convenience is reached.

Re:Why post AC? (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576941)

So copy protection is immoral? No one is forcing you to buy it.

Both sides of the DRM debate are really irrational about the whole issue; it's not a "moral" issue on either side. The seller wants to be fairly compensated for their product, the buyer wants to have full access to the thing that they buy, and they don't want to lose access at some later date because of issues with the DRM.

If these issues can be worked out, then there is no problem. So saying that people are losing their morals as the hassle goes away is pretty ridiculous.

Re:Why post AC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23577127)

Morals have nothing to do with it. Maybe you mean their will? In which case, this is limited only to those people who care about DRM in the first place.. Which is an extremely vocal, and annoying minority.

Re:Why post AC? (1)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577493)

This is hardly a DRM issue anyway. There is one download per platform, which until unlocked functions as the demo. It's basically old shareware style, but it just happens to phone home ONE TIME per install. When was the last time you bought a game that had this *little* copy protection?

Re:Why post AC? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578317)

When I bought Darwinia, from Introversion. I think it actually had less -- the download was fully unlocked and playable. But this is more usable -- I could only download a limited number of copies (even if none of these copies would ever phone home). Here, I can just grab it via straight HTTP, as many times as I need to.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577795)

I thought that with Escape Velocity Nova. Then I replaced my laptop, moved my applications to the new one, went to visit my mother (who has no Internet connection) and tried to play it. Ooops, apparently it noticed that it was on a new computer and refused to work until I'd connected again. If they want my money, then they should consider treating my like a customer, not a criminal.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578345)

Ok, that's a bit hyperbole. Even customers have to do things like enter credit card numbers, and I usually want to be online to patch it anyway.

I can safely say that I will never buy a brand-new machine -- or reformat -- without an active Internet connection.

Consider, also, that this is a downloaded game. So for your example to work, you'd have to replace your laptop, copy the downloaded installer from your old one to the new one, and try to play it, without having a net connection available.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578853)

If you're going to reply to this post, please read it first!
Good advice. What, exactly, does your post have to do with mine?

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578445)

I installed it on both Windows and Linux sharing the data files (I dual boot). I tried to share the user files (save games) too but it didn't work since the "hardware fingerprint" it keeps to make sure you don't copy the activated state to another computer doesn't match up when you switch OSs. So I ended up activating the game about 4 times in one day, and had no problems.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23580001)

(not sure where you got the 3 limit from)
Their EULA says you're allowed to install it on 3 machines.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576193)

Why is this FUD moderated as informative? He couldn't be more wrong if he tried.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (2, Funny)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576257)

Well, it does seem informative if you didn't know better. Sometimes credulous people get mod points.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (5, Informative)

Leonard Fedorov (1139357) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576429)

It does do a one time activation thing, but given its download only thats hardly going to be inconvenience. Also, I do not believe there is any download number restrictions - one key will cover multiple installs on multiple platforms.

Quote from a dev:
We don't anticipate having to limit the number of redownloads but remember that each new machine or major hardware change may trigger a new key to be issued against your license. Our plan is to allow multiple installs and to be generous in that regard to cover murdered systems, planned upgrades, people wanting to play it on their PC and their Mac or even Linux box etc. Even if the limit is reached--a limit that we have not determined yet--we will be flexible in resetting or increasing the limit for paying customers. If you are registered, we will keep your license keys stored for you in your profile and you will be able to see the number of times that license has been used for various systems so there will be no surprises.

Original thread:
http://forum.playgreenhouse.com/jforum/posts/list/302.page [playgreenhouse.com]

Not quite as bad as our old friend SecuROM methinks.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23576541)

And these servers will be online and accessible in 5 years from now? 10? 25? People play games of these ages all the time.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

Leonard Fedorov (1139357) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576589)

Easily solved: patches released should such an eventuality occur.

Or, failing that, cracks.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578359)

And given that it only phones home once, I suspect these patches/cracks will be much easier than with some other systems -- like Steam.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23577845)

It's _really_ cool of them to do a linux version but DRM and product activation are simply insulting. How long do they think their DRM and activation will withstand random slashdot ACs armed with hex editors?

Think I'll wait for the inevitable binary patch before purchasing and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578399)

Think I'll wait for the inevitable binary patch before purchasing and I'm sure I'm not alone.
Binary patch to what?

I can understand waiting for a patch to let you run off an ISO, or without a CD at all. I can understand waiting for a patch to remove the rootkit crap, so you're not risking your machine. I can understand waiting for a patch to enable offline mode.

But face it: You're already online, and on their website, to download the game. It's a trivial step to type an activation key, and you're still going to be online for that. After which, your game is activated, for all time, with no more phoning home, period.

If that's too much copy protection for you, you are not a gamer. When was the last time we had a game with this little copy protection?

Re:If you're thinking about the PC version: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23578547)

Earlier this year with Sins of a Solar Empire.

yeah i bought it (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576285)

to support their anti-drm practices.

Re:yeah i bought it (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23581555)

What anti-DRM practices? The PC version uses a online activation system almost exactly like Mass Effect's (after EA scaled it back a bit), which they were panning just a few weeks earlier. When their little anti-Steam service goes broke (it wouldn't be the first, see: Triton [wikipedia.org] ) there goes the game.

Perhaps I Didn't Get the Memo... (0, Flamebait)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576751)

I played the PC demo and found this title to be pretty horrid. The gameplay was about as bland and uninteresting as one could possibly get, whilst the ever-so-acclaimed writing seemed rushed and generally unamusing. I like to read Penny Arcade occasionally, it's usually good stuff, but this game is a stinker from what I saw.

You'd think that guy who spend their time making fun of bad games would manage to not make one themselves.

Re:Perhaps I Didn't Get the Memo... (2, Funny)

mqatrombone (306870) | more than 5 years ago | (#23576983)

You're just trying to get on the advertising banner now.

Although, it definitely plays better on the 360 than on the PC. The interface is pretty much designed around a controller, and not a keyboard and mouse.

Re:Perhaps I Didn't Get the Memo... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577857)

I played through on a Mac laptop with trackpad, and found it perfectly playable...

I've liked other RPG's in the past (like Disgea) but what I liked about the Penny Arcade one is that it can be picked up and worked through a lot quicker, with very little grinding (every now and then I had to smash a few crates to replenish my bandage supply).

Basically it was just a really enjoyable light RPG/adventure game with a good story.

Re:Perhaps I Didn't Get the Memo... (3, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578415)

I think the main thing most people ran into was movement, right?

Here's a tip: Click and hold the button down. At least one reviewer never figured this out. I admit it took me awhile.

Re:Perhaps I Didn't Get the Memo... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578385)

I just finished the demo, and it's not bad. The writing is okay. The animation is quite nice. A couple of years ago, I finally got hold of a copy of Grim Fandango and this game is nowhere near the same league. The visuals are of similar quality (slightly depressing, since Grim Fandango ran on a 133MHz Pentium while this game spikes the load on my 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo), the writing and voice acting in Grim Fandango were far better and the interaction felt more immediate (in this game you seem to be able to interact with some objects at a distance and some only by walking to them, which is slightly jarring).

I read and enjoy Penny Arcade, but the demo hasn't convinced me to buy the game, particularly with the activation requirement - I've bought another game with the same requirement before and found it to be more of an inconvenience than I'd expect.

Yep! (1)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577389)

I bought it. It's plenty of fun. Reminds me a bit of the old Ultima click-n-fight fun, but with much better story and graphics.

I'm glad that they're letting me transfer the key between my desktop and my laptop and my work computer. I'll gladly drop a few gold shekels for that.

still not buyin it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23577515)

"Obviously you have to look at the length of time it will take someone to complete the game but you also need to factor in the quality of the experience."

5 hours of gameplay != $20

People bitched that Gears of War was 15-20 hours at $60. Not to mention Mass Effect around the same amount of time. So the PA game is the same 'quality' as GoW and Mass Effect? riiighhhhttt.

Let's not forget this runs off of the Torque gaming engine with the whopping price of $750 to use the engine commercially...

I'd rather use my $20 to buy something a little more worth my time I'm afraid...

Re:still not buyin it (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578489)

5 hours of gameplay != $20
Heard of Portal?

People bitched that Gears of War was 15-20 hours at $60. Not to mention Mass Effect around the same amount of time. So the PA game is the same 'quality' as GoW and Mass Effect?
Having played some Gears of War, I had a lot more fun with this. GoW was without meaningful plot and had kind of OK gameplay -- but really, it was all about the graphics. I'd rather watch a tech demo.

Let's not forget this runs off of the Torque gaming engine with the whopping price of $750 to use the engine commercially...
And what does that have to do with anything? At all?

Do yourself a favor -- download the demo. It's at least a third of the game, anyway. Then tell me it's not worth $20.

Re:still not buyin it (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23579671)

Time spent playing per dollar is NOT the best way to measure a game's entertainment value.
If it were, then RPGs with scrooge-like experience awards forcing hours mindless of grinding would be the way to go.

Nice game (3, Interesting)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 5 years ago | (#23577583)

I really liked the battle system. It's kind of a cross between Paper Mario's timing based mechanics and Final Fantasy's active time battle system.

It shows some symptoms of fetch quest syndrome, but the combat, art style, and shear volume of amusing things to see kept it from dragging.

Overall it's a very enjoyable game and I'm looking forward to the next episode.

For those interested in getting this for Xbox... (3, Interesting)

Rurik (113882) | more than 5 years ago | (#23578871)

I just purchased it today... with a Xbox Live Points card from Target. Until Saturday, Target is selling $20 Point cards for $15. So, in essence, you can purchase Precipice for only $15 - 25% off!
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