Jimquisition: Salt Of The Earth - A Steam Fail Story

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Salt Of The Earth - A Steam Fail Story

The humiliating story of Earth: Year 2066 is a good example of just how badly Steam can be abused.

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I'll take note that when I can release my first game to first let Jim tell me how shit it is BEFORE I put it on Steam. Second, to skip that whole Early Access crap. Third, not to put it on the market until it is fully functional. Finally, sell it at $5 because I know most people (myself included) wait until a game is $5 or less on Steam.

To me, the only games which should be sold on Early Access, are those which can be sold for the labelled price, and without modification be considered a proper purchase. Minecraft, Kerbal and a few others are good examples of that. Those who fail at it miserably are: 2066, Planetary Annihilators, Wasteland 2, and some others.

If you want 20$ or 30$ from me now, you need to give me something WORTH 20$ or 30$ now, not something worth nothing with the promise of something worth the money I pay in the future.

Now, to annex the Sudetenland.

At least EA had the decency to be pathetically funny when it said SimCity was an MMO; this developer just seems sad to me. Thanks for bringing this to the Jimquistion audience and thank God for Jim.

I fear this will be the downfall of steam, happening before they can make the progress they set out to make with SteamOS and the SteamMachines

Holy shit. That's just sad. Steam really needs to get it's act together or it's not going survive. If stuff like this continues Steam is going to earn itself the reputation of the place where all the shit is and people are going to look elsewhere. ...at least I hope so.

A perfect example of why Steam should absolutely not give that moderation power to the publisher/developers. At the very least there should have to be a big, fat banner that appears at the top of the page informing people of how many posts have been deleted from the page, which might give an at-a-glance clue to how harshly a publisher is wielding the censorship bat.

I'm truly baffled by how steam went downhill so quickly in their standards after actually earning their place on top by offering a worthwhile service and using the fact they're privately traded so as to avoid the uninformed demands of stockholder that drag down other companies.

Hopefully 'early access' scams like this will poison the well sooner than later and put an end to the money that can be milked by this system. And my heart goes out to the Quality-Assurance personnel who have surely been knocked even lower on the totem pole (if that's at all possible) by the publishers that I'm sure exists out there who think early access will be an acceptable replacement.

Hmmm...I wonder what would happen if someone dared to, I don't know...threaten Muxwell with litigation for violating people's rights to their opinions? Seriously...I say hit these idiots with the potential for the worst case scenario and they may stop this bullcrap.

What do you think, Jim?

New backdrop looks absolutely gorgeous now!
When you stand right in the middle, it looks like you have wings, very nice.

So TL;DR of this episode: "Hey, look theres a really shitty early accsess game made by a scamming fucktard. Let's make steam more closed platform, because I was right". Seriously Jim, I said something in your last steam quality control episode that bears repeating:

Deadagent:
Welcome to PC Gaming. The only quality control here, is the word of mouth and reviews. Trust em as you would trust the weather report. This is how it has always been, It's the fundamental tradeoff of an open platform. Either learn to live with it or go back to consoles, I really dont care wich.

Also, a scammer saying that everyone who's critizising them is troll, where have I seen this behaviour before? It was with a certain feminist who got a handsome sum of money to do youtube videos that she could have clearly done even without the money.

Brothers, Sisters and other(s)! Heed my call!

Let us put aside our differences and launch a holy crusade against this sharleton. We must combine our forces, the lowly console peasants and the noble, super attractive and interesting PC master race. Together, we may curb this trend and the name "Troll Tavern" will not be renembered with scorn, but as the signalling of a great uprising.

Stan strong, like any nokia made in the nineties.
Stand togeter, like girls going to the bathroom.
Stand united, unlike those who aren't.

Thanks for bringing this to light, Jim. Because of you, I've learned to be a bit more discerning with my Steam purchases. Shit like this, coming from a cockmonger of a developer like Aaron Bishop, is inexcusable and needs to be properly reviewed or vaunted by Steam, or else it will drag the whole service down. Hope this guy gets arrested and is tried like the con artist he is.

Thank God for Jim. :)

Is this crap really happening? TRULY?

*Pinches cheeks*

Well that freaking hurt, so nope, I am not dreaming. What a sad state steam is turning into. I don't deal with steam personally since I do not do my gaming on my crud laptop but a good friend of mine loves it and I hate to think this sort of TRASH (I'm sorry, I cannot think of a word that fits this game better than TRASH) and it's developer manchild have the gall to charge 20-flipping-dollars for it.

Thank God for you Jim. You're making the gaming world a much safer place by exposing scum like muxwell.

How can a person be in the modern age of the internet and not have heard of the Day One: Garry's Incident thing, the Guise of the Wolf scandal and all the other crap that happens? Alternatively, how can you know about those things and still think review censorship will work? It's an astonishing level of stupidity.

Love the new background by the way.

Renegade-pizza:
Stan strong

image

I have to say the brief clips of the game shown here don't do justice to how terrible it is. I'd recommend the full video on Jim's Youtube channel for full context, because it's fuckin' awful.

I'm starting to think Valve are totally distracted right now. Between their efforts to make SteamOS and Steam Machines a thing, pouring their game development and event efforts into Dota 2 and The International (which I love and they should keep doing) and the work they're clearing doing on Source 2 and VR, they've totally neglected the storefront which makes them the vast majority of their money. They've gotten to a point where they can say 'it's like the App store but for PC games' and are content to leave it at that until their pet projects are completed.

I hope they have a wake up call soon. They're easily one of my favourite companies in the entire industry, but the direction they've taken just this last year is leading to a sad state of affairs.

Deadagent:
Also, a scammer saying that everyone who's critizising them is troll, where have I seen this behaviour before? It was with a certain feminist who got a handsome sum of money to do youtube videos that she could have clearly done even without the money.

a) This isn't relevent. b) She recieved thousands of death threats and promises of rape and torture before she even started her series. I think she was pretty fucking justified in taking a 'fuck off with your comments' approach.

That thing's IndieGoGo Page is solid gold.
"Huge open world"
"Strong nonlinear story"
Also: Terrible grammar, stock photo as producer portrait, failed to reach 500$ goal.
Or to quote Mr Muxwell Urban: "I like video games and make it too "

The footage shown in this video doesn't do justice to the game. I recommend watching Jim's squirt play of it. This sound design can not be described.

I'm with you Jim. However, what can Steam do that won't return us to the way it was before?

What needs to be done to filter out games like Earth: Year 2066 and permit games like Starbound.

Is the answer just better quality control?

Huh. Was expecting (dis)honourable mentions of WarZ, Day One: Garrys Incident and Guise of the Wolf.

Still i guess its alright to know of another case. Just more ammo to chuck at Valve when trying to get them to fix this shit.

His avatar is a rageface, probably ripped right off of r/funny or knowyourmeme.

That should tell you how serious he is.

It always amuses me the lengths idiots like Muxwell go to, but then he's the sort of moron who honestly believes any publicity is good publicity.

I can't see Valve being able to do much against this sort of thing without removing Early Access entirely. You can't properly quality check something that isn't complete and Early Access very much revels in that fact.

Valve really needs to place some condition under which a game is Early Access. The whole point is playtesting en mass, but this is only valid if the developer is actually taking strides to address the problems that are being found and take on suggestions to expand or add to existing features.
It's also not something that is suitable to all types of games because it's not just a bugtesting platform. It's there for gamers to suggest a direction for the game, to expand the original idea beyond the capabilities of a single team.

A game like Earth: Year 2066 neither deserves, nor is suited to this kind of crowd sourced feedback and most of the games currently listed as Early Access have no capacity to take advantage of what should be a very powerful tool. They've taken a pure concept and turned it into the most craven exploitation of instant gratification.

No you're not buying a game to help improve its development and ultimately make a more enriched experience than could have been possible by other means, you're paying to get a game before it's finished because you don't want to wait for the game to be finished. That's all.

good thing i stay away from early access games and seeing this just supports my view on it. steam should actually respond to this behavior of devs and even take action. changing maybe their agreement to devs what they can and can not do.

steam generally is slowly pissing me off that origin looks better. valve wants my damn ID to confirm that i live in hong kong because the prices are still shown in USD (which are in australia as well) and my paypal is not accepted anymore and even the money i have on my steam account is not accepted due the currency.
origin on the other hand automatically switched to HKD and have no issues what so ever with paypal.

Thanks Jim! Was trying to figure out what was going on with that game and developer on steam and it sounds like a real fiasco.

Steve2911:

a) This isn't relevent.

Just pointing out hypocrisy

b) She recieved thousands of death threats and promises of rape and torture before she even started her series. I think she was pretty fucking justified in taking a 'fuck off with your comments' approach.

She also recieved them before the kickstarter. And saying that shes scamming is not a death or rape threat, it's an accusation, leveled at her many many times. And she could have easily avoided this by being open about how she spends the money (like every good kickstarter should do I might add) and citing sources, but she hasn't.

This is exactly what I mean, all decent of her no matter what is seen as death threats and rape threats when that's a lie.
Even if alot of it was that, there was legimate critisim there, and failing to acknowledge that is dishonest and quite despicable.

I'm not sure what I think about this.

On the one hand, this game is ridiculous. It is unfinished, buggy, and stupid, and obviously not worth $20.

On the other hand, part of the point of Early Access is for developers with a good idea but short on cash to get an influx of resources--the flip side of that system, being that some developers will put up crap only to be rejected by the community. Crap like this showing up on Early Access shouldn't only be expected, it's necessary for the thing to work as intended.

On the third hand, the community does not have the proper tools to filter the way they should be able to. We can't return a product that's shiity. We can't use the forums for criticism.

On the fourth hand (what? I'm a spider!) it's a real project providing those tools. You can't have a forum with zero moderators, so who will moderate developers forums if not the developers? Returns cause a lot of headache, because how can you tell when a game is used up (i.e. finished) and thus not a valid return any more?

These problems with Early Access seem solvable, but not trivial. To me, the whole thing sorely needs a calibration, but then it will be golden.

I really wish there are detailed sales statistics available for Steam. I really want to see how the shitstorm resulting from cases such as this affects sales.

Deadagent:

Steve2911:

a) This isn't relevent.

Just pointing out hypocrisy

b) She recieved thousands of death threats and promises of rape and torture before she even started her series. I think she was pretty fucking justified in taking a 'fuck off with your comments' approach.

She also recieved them before the kickstarter. And saying that shes scamming is not a death or rape threat, it's an accusation, leveled at her many many times. And she could have easily avoided this by being open about how she spends the money (like every good kickstarter should do I might add) and citing sources, but she hasn't.

This is exactly what I mean, all decent of her no matter what is seen as death threats and rape threats when that's a lie.
Even if alot of it was that, there was legimate critisim there, and failing to acknowledge that is dishonest and quite despicable.

My point is that, whether what she did was a scam or not (I don't personally believe it comes close to the definition of 'scam', especially when she only asked for $6000, but agree that she could have done a lot more with the format), I don't have a problem cutting her some slack when she's had that much abuse thrown at her, because no one deserves that. If this Muxwell guy had to put with the same sort of thing every single day of his life, I'd cut him slack too.

But he hasn't.

Thing is "early access" was something called "playable demo" you got to try out the game in advance without paying. I could say that the Ground Zeroes game could be considered early access version of Phantom Pain, but atleast there was a lot of love and attention put into gameplay and graphics. Regardless whether you think its worth the price tag, its a AAA quality made product.

I think early access has become a scam to dump shovel ware - and will digital downloading, your screwed as its not like you can return it for a refund. My advice is for developers with actual quality products made with passion, to charge cheap for early access or just release a one level demo. Because then we can trust them with our money.

Steam really has to address stuff like this. I know it's been said to death at this stage, but, ultimately, steam is responsible for what appears on its market.

I've very little trust for Early Access games, which is a real shame, the idea is great, but until we can get basic stuff like, you know, refunds, I'm sticking to buying games when they come out.

Deadagent:

Also, a scammer saying that everyone who's critizising them is troll, where have I seen this behaviour before? It was with a certain feminist who got a handsome sum of money to do youtube videos that she could have clearly done even without the money.

Honestly, it's pretty impressive how many people she got with that spin. Like, credit where it's due, it's a good play.

PG:
Valve really needs to place some condition under which a game is Early Access. The whole point is playtesting en mass, but this is only valid if the developer is actually taking strides to address the problems that are being found and take on suggestions to expand or add to existing features.
It's also not something that is suitable to all types of games because it's not just a bugtesting platform. It's there for gamers to suggest a direction for the game, to expand the original idea beyond the capabilities of a single team.

A game like Earth: Year 2066 neither deserves, nor is suited to this kind of crowd sourced feedback and most of the games currently listed as Early Access have no capacity to take advantage of what should be a very powerful tool. They've taken a pure concept and turned it into the most craven exploitation of instant gratification.

No you're not buying a game to help improve its development and ultimately make a more enriched experience than could have been possible by other means, you're paying to get a game before it's finished because you don't want to wait for the game to be finished. That's all.

That's the thing though--the whole point of crowd-sourcing is that the crowd is supposed to make that decision, not Valve. Valve just needs to give gamers the proper tools to do our thing.

If the customers don't want anything other than instant gratification, with no interest in providing constructive criticism...then that's just how it is. Pre-order sales have existed for a long time, and customers get even less for them, so clearly it's a thing people want.

Abnaxis:
I'm not sure what I think about this.

On the one hand, this game is ridiculous. It is unfinished, buggy, and stupid, and obviously not worth $20.

On the other hand, part of the point of Early Access is for developers with a good idea but short on cash to get an influx of resources--the flip side of that system, being that some developers will put up crap only to be rejected by the community. Crap like this showing up on Early Access shouldn't only be expected, it's necessary for the thing to work as intended.

On the third hand, the community does not have the proper tools to filter the way they should be able to. We can't return a product that's shiity. We can't use the forums for criticism.

On the fourth hand (what? I'm a spider!) it's a real project providing those tools. You can't have a forum with zero moderators, so who will moderate developers forums if not the developers? Returns cause a lot of headache, because how can you tell when a game is used up (i.e. finished) and thus not a valid return any more?

These problems with Early Access seem solvable, but not trivial. To me, the whole thing sorely needs a calibration, but then it will be golden.

Some really good questions. I don't want to see Greenlight and Early Access go away. I want to see them fixed. Like Jim said, they are good in theory. However, there's almost no regulation. That opens it up for abuse and misuse.

I take issue with one thing you said. We shouldn't be allowed to return a game that is simply shitty. If that were the case I'd get my money back on CoD in a second. Being able to get our money back on broken or misleading games is a must to save Steam imo.

Using the community to provide checks and balances could work. But without returns that requires someone to get burned. Someone has to pay money before they can find out the game is shit.

Whatever. If not for Steam, that guy could still do the exact same thing on his own website. PC gaming is an open platform.

It makes much more sense for Steam to grab for all of it, than to be a small walled garden somewhere inside of it. More like an universal marketplace for the whole platform, than a brand that's pre-filtered products you "trust".

If they would try to appeal to quality control and a reliable lineup, they would accidentally filter out at least SOME potential gems, and that would give an opportunity to other webstores to gain a foothold by gathering those. It makes more sense to let in ALL the developers, good ones and shitty ones, and let others build inner recommedation lists and branded lineups inside the platform they own.

Steve2911:

My point is that, whether what she did was a scam or not (I don't personally believe it comes close to the definition of 'scam', especially when she only asked for $6000, but agree that she could have done a lot more with the format), I don't have a problem cutting her some slack when she's had that much abuse thrown at her, because no one deserves that. If this Muxwell guy had to put with the same sort of thing every single day of his life, I'd cut him slack too.

But he hasn't.

Wait wait waitwaitwaitwait. Are you telling me that it's ok to scam people if theres a group of people calling you with bad names and giving you death threats?

Also the amount has nothing to do with whether or not something is a scam. Just saying.

Good god. Ignoring everything else about this piece of crap (the game, not the video, of course), the very thought of even trying to play that on the Rift is making me queasy.

Deadagent:

Steve2911:

My point is that, whether what she did was a scam or not (I don't personally believe it comes close to the definition of 'scam', especially when she only asked for $6000, but agree that she could have done a lot more with the format), I don't have a problem cutting her some slack when she's had that much abuse thrown at her, because no one deserves that. If this Muxwell guy had to put with the same sort of thing every single day of his life, I'd cut him slack too.

But he hasn't.

Wait wait waitwaitwaitwait. Are you telling me that it's ok to scam people if theres a group of people calling you with bad names and giving you death threats?

Also the amount has nothing to do with whether or not something is a scam. Just saying.

Read my post again. Her actions themselves weren't necessarily justified (again, it's subjective), but her response to the accusations absolutely was.

And of course the amount matters. $6000 is a tiny amount of money to make any sort of production with.

Anyway, it was stupid of me to be baited by the shit flinging towards the topic of Anita Sarkeesian. It doesn't have to come up in every fucking thread anymore.

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