Jimquisition: Air Control - A Steam Abuse Story

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Thanatos2k:
I don't see how. The game IS simulating surgery, it's just doing it intentionally poorly for the purpose of comedy. The description is factually correct.

So where is the false advertizing in Air Control, then? The game IS an airplane simulator with a "realistic mode," it's just a terrible simulator.

Honestly I'm not too fond of the idea of a steam quality control.

Sure you can point to things like Earth 2020 or Airplane but I'm much more worried about GOOD games that have gone through thanks to steams laissez faire policy that wouldn't have made it otherwise, and had steam users had their way, wouldn't have let them in either since it doesn't appeal to their specific tastes.

To give an example, I'm quite fond of some VN games made by winterwolf, who struggled since over a year ago to get their games into steam. Once they were finally in, you had a fair few steam users raging at VN type games and dismissing them as shovelware and moaning about steam letting crappy devs in. Had a rigid steam quality control existed, I'm not confident winterwolves would have made it onto steam.

I genuinely think that this game was made for pure ironic purposes, nobody, and I mean nobody can make a game this bad and not do it ironically.

RvLeshrac:
Watch_Dogs doesn't launch for many people. Some were banned from UPlay for "too many attempts" to activate because keys would not work. To this day, multiplayer will not work for many PC and XBOne users. It was intentionally broken, by the developer, on AMD PC hardware.

"4.5/5" -Jim Sterling

Did you miss the PS4 (Reviewed) part of that review? I'm sure the score would be much lower if he had played the PC version. Maybe even if he reviewed the Xbox One version (I'm not sure whether the whole multiplayer being broken thing is true).

BigTuk:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.851575.21052918

Veal is tortured baby cow! xD They call it that for the same reason they call it rump roast.
No one would eat it if they called it cow ass. ;p

As for the comments, I think it's a larger danger for them to have the Dev decide what gets to stay, than it is that some may decide to give lots of negative comments.

True, lots of negative comments can be misleading, but you can see red flags if they all come from the same person, or if they're all very vague.
There could be a compromise where they could flag comments so they are still there, but people can be told that they are suspicious.

The problem is not that the game is crap. The problem is that the company may easily censor information that would be otherwise valuable to the consumer.

However, one has to ask whether or not that's a problem. Companies don't allow you to sit in their store and shout that their products suck in other places so is it ok for them to prevent that in this storefront too while information is available elsewhere? I mean, dirty? Yeah, but not necessarily wrong.

My gripe isn't so much that Steam allows shit games, but that the system for punishing companies for advertising misleading games isn't strong enough. If it was, we wouldn't see Air Control doing what it did; If it was still released there would be absolutely no way that people buying this game would do so because anything was misleading. More than anything, I think steam needs a better punishment system for devs. The issues with rust, while being a good game in my opinion, would have never happened. (issues like reporting false information about their game)

As for quality control, i just wish we had a way to have a better user based system of curation. Basing the home pages on games bought by friends and communities and such. Websites that take the time to completely remake the home page and showcase steam games that they personally like. Things like this would help much more than anything else, I think.

My gripe isn't so much that Steam allows shit games, but that the system for punishing companies for advertising misleading games isn't strong enough. If it was, we wouldn't see Air Control doing what it did; If it was still released there would be absolutely no way that people buying this game would do so because anything was misleading. More than anything, I think steam needs a better punishment system for devs. The issues with rust, while being a good game in my opinion, would have never happened. (issues like reporting false information about their game)

As for quality control, i just wish we had a way to have a better user based system of curation. Basing the home pages on games bought by friends and communities and such. Websites that take the time to completely remake the home page and showcase steam games that they personally like. Things like this would help much more than anything else, I think.

Jim I understand that you honestly want Steam to be a better place. Please go onto different topics other than Steam failing to stop bad games. You can say the same thing of Apple, Google, and Amazon's app stores as well. They're so inundated with shit it's not even funny. I find that those app stores are far worse and predatory than the devs who sell on Steam.

momijirabbit:
I genuinely think that this game was made for pure ironic purposes, nobody, and I mean nobody can make a game this bad and not do it ironically.

That's within the real of possibility, but why would they do all the other things too?

If it's suppose to be a "joke game", why would they try to shut down the criticism, or say that the reviews just didn't have powerful enough PCs?

:/ Meh. Even if this is suppose to be a joke/prank on Steam, I'd say they turned it into a scam by charging for it.

At least the Goat Simulator people were willing to say, "Don't buy our game for $10, ;p it's not worth it. Wait for it to be cheaper, or buy something else."

Deadagent:

Unless you're an attractive looking woman of course,
then you can scam people as much as you fucking please and get praised for it.

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to raise the specter of Anita Sarkesian, stopping all legitimate conversation in it's tracks to in order to needlessly whine about something that isn't relevant to the conversation, no matter how much they ~Insist~ it is.

Imp Emissary:

BigTuk:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.851575.21052918

Veal is tortured baby cow! xD They call it that for the same reason they call it rump roast.
No one would eat it if they called it cow ass. ;p

As for the comments, I think it's a larger danger for them to have the Dev decide what gets to stay, than it is that some may decide to give lots of negative comments.

True, lots of negative comments can be misleading, but you can see red flags if they all come from the same person, or if they're all very vague.
There could be a compromise where they could flag comments so they are still there, but people can be told that they are suspicious.

Oh there is.. simply post it on the general steam community boards... which the game devs don't control. Or a site. Again. How devs use this power says a lot about them and really quashing all criticism hurts the devs in many ways so any dev that does this is essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Which is a god given right.

As for veal and rump roast. I've lived on a farm. i've seen how my steak goes from grazing to sizzling, I've cut the throats of goats and wrung the necks of chickens. I know exactly how my meat gets on my plate. That has not stopped me from enjoying good honey mesquite charcoal grilled steaks or my turkey sammich. Because brutha if that puts you off you should probably stop eating plants They don't call it a 'head' of cabbage or lettuce for nuthin and at the very least the cow is quite dead when it goes into the meat grinder and on the hotplate... the carrot you fed into the juicer was still alive.

Looking at the Air Control ingame footage, I think I really get what's so shitty about it. How horrible.
However, I am proud to announce that I have sufficiently solved its main problem. It is now a fully marketable and approvable game.

Abnaxis:

Thanatos2k:
I don't see how. The game IS simulating surgery, it's just doing it intentionally poorly for the purpose of comedy. The description is factually correct.

So where is the false advertizing in Air Control, then? The game IS an airplane simulator with a "realistic mode," it's just a terrible simulator.

Again, names are one thing. Marketing descriptions are another. This is the description for Surgeon Simulator on Steam:

"Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a darkly humorous over-the-top operation sim game where players become Nigel Burke, a would-be surgeon taking life into his own shaky hands, performing life-saving surgical maneuvers on passive patients."

See the difference?

Lightknight:
The problem is not that the game is crap. The problem is that the company may easily censor information that would be otherwise valuable to the consumer.

However, one has to ask whether or not that's a problem. Companies don't allow you to sit in their store and shout that their products suck in other places so is it ok for them to prevent that in this storefront too while information is available elsewhere? I mean, dirty? Yeah, but not necessarily wrong.

Yes it is, because it's not their store - it's Valve's store.

It would be like Best Buy stifling your ability to express opinions about whether or not Panasonic makes good TVs while you're in the store. It would be Newegg allowing Intel to moderate the reviews of a product it sells. That's ridiculous, and wrong.

BigTuk:

As for veal and rump roast. I've lived on a farm. i've seen how my steak goes from grazing to sizzling, I've cut the throats of goats and wrung the necks of chickens. I know exactly how my meat gets on my plate. That has not stopped me from enjoying good honey mesquite charcoal grilled steaks or my turkey sammich. Because brutha if that puts you off you should probably stop eating plants They don't call it a 'head' of cabbage or lettuce for nuthin and at the very least the cow is quite dead when it goes into the meat grinder and on the hotplate... the carrot you fed into the juicer was still alive.

I'm not saying no one would ever order it, but it would hardly sell as well. xD
And it better be tasty, otherwise what sick weirdo would do that?! ;)

Also, funny that you should mention that about veggies. They recently found out that plants do "think".
And when damaged, they emit a high pitched screech that we just can't hear.

So yeah. :D Can't eat pretty much anything without causing some pain.

What the heck is this... I don't even...

Come one, this is so obviously a scammy troll attempt at making cash. "Killjoy" games makes an airplane simulator that does nothing to simulate anything, but is complete with copypastad and untextured zombies and whatever else?

With the author practically stating it's "the bestest airplane simular evvah lololol" in his description.

How does this kind of thing even get on there?

I agree 100% with Jim Sterling that Steam needs some improvement in quality control. With the rapidly increasing number of games available on this platform, Valve may reach its limit of resources to provide QA for each and every game. I don't know if it is of any use, maybe some steam features can assist in the choice whether or not to purchase a game on steam
(though negative customer reviews might indicate some issues with game quality).
Still in Beta, Steam tags could be used by the community to point out questionable products?

I though i give it a try and added the following tag:
"Cave Ludum - Beware of the game..."
(Similar to "Cave canem" - Beware of the dog - in ancient rome... You can enter my residence, but my dog might bite you a little)
or as Andago put it in his post(#37):
"In terms of it just being rubbish gameplay, isn't it caveat emptor?"
The customer can consider this tag as a subtle hint - but still leaves him the choice to give the developer his money. Any comments if this is a reasonable idea? - Or could this backfire and be abused?

Imp Emissary:

Deadagent:
snip

xD Hard to argue with that.

But seriously though, the video is more about people asking to limit steam releases as a means of quality control.

No, it's talking about the very thing Jim is talking about here, the video even specifies that the people calling for this company controlloer quration are themselfs reviewes whos job is to inform consumers.

Jim isn't asking for that. He just wants them to kick out the trouble makers. Like the Earth 2066 game. Which they did do.
He's saying that they should be able to do so quicker though and let the customers have more ability to bring how bad a game is to light in the comments.

Such is not as unreasonable.

No, he want's quality control before the fact, not after the fact, wich again, is against Valves idea of steam as a platform.
I'm sorry but I think they should be allowed to experiment with this idea and yes fail. And if you think that this game is causing massive harm to consumers, then consider this. How well know was this game before this video?
I never heard of it, I dont know anyone who owns it or had heard about it before now. Same with Earth: 2066.
And Yeah Im one guy, but these games are so ridiculouly bad that the word of mouth spreads very VERY quickly.

Deadagent:

Jim:
It dosen't matter if you're "Triple A", If you're "Indie", If you're big, small, if you're a team of 600 or if you're a solo man job. If you put shit on the internet and you wanna charge for it, you're offically making a product and you will be critizised as such.

Unless you're an attractive looking woman of course,
then you can scam people as much as you fucking please and get praised for it.

Care to share what you're talking about?

Edit: Never mind. Keep it to yourself, please.

Indeed you know what im talking about so why don't you just leave it there huh? There's a reason I didn't fully say that name.

Deadagent:

Imp Emissary:

Deadagent:
snip

xD Hard to argue with that.

But seriously though, the video is more about people asking to limit steam releases as a means of quality control.

No, it's talking about the very thing Jim is talking about here, the video even specifies that the people calling for this company controlloer quration are themselfs reviewes whos job is to inform consumers.

Jim isn't asking for that. He just wants them to kick out the trouble makers. Like the Earth 2066 game. Which they did do.
He's saying that they should be able to do so quicker though and let the customers have more ability to bring how bad a game is to light in the comments.

Such is not as unreasonable.

No, he want's quality control before the fact, not after the fact, wich again, is against Valves idea of steam as a platform.
I'm sorry but I think they should be allowed to experiment with this idea and yes fail. And if you think that this game is causing massive harm to consumers, then consider this. How well know was this game before this video?
I never heard of it, I dont know anyone who owns it or had heard about it before now. Same with Earth: 2066.
And Yeah Im one guy, but these games are so ridiculouly bad that the word of mouth spreads very VERY quickly.

Deadagent:

Unless you're an attractive looking woman of course,
then you can scam people as much as you fucking please and get praised for it.

Care to share what you're talking about?

Edit: Never mind. Keep it to yourself, please.

Indeed you know what im talking about so why don't you just leave it there huh? There's a reason I didn't fully say that name.

You make a good point...Like 2066 I would have never even heard of this game had Jim never mentioned it... Jim has done more to help the publisher than anything else.. perhaps that was the intent of the publisher.

Gerardo Vazquez:

Deadagent:

snip

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to raise the specter of Anita Sarkesian, stopping all legitimate conversation in it's tracks to in order to needlessly whine about something that isn't relevant to the conversation, no matter how much they ~Insist~ it is.

It mostly isn't, but I do want to point out hypocrisy when I see it. Also I didn't mention any name to keep the conversation from derailing completely. So far it has worked out nicely I think.

I'm wondering to myself if this call for 'Quality COntrol' has less to to with the problem of having genuine free choice in a market place and more to do with the fact that the critics see the sudden upswing in games as well a threat to their relevance. They may see the influx of games meaning that their ability to review and pick the games that will generate the greatest buzz/hits/views is eroding simply because there are more games for people to think about and it's less likely the critic will manage to pick the game that the viewers are thinking about.

I've never been one to rely on critics for actual recommendations. I mostly just watch them for the funny and maybe a little insight but in the end I always bas my decisions on what other players say, what I've seen of the promotional material and *how* the promo material is presented. What do the devs show?... what do they hide? Does this game look like something you'd have fun with after 40 hrs of doing what the material shows?

This is just funny in my opinion. Anyone who buys this crap deserves to be ripped off.

I also like how it claims to have "high quality models" and yet the entire game takes up 1500 megabytes of space...

THAT was/is being sold for real money? That looks like refried shit of a crusty roll. What the hell Steam? This is why Steam needs quality control and not quality control in hindsight.

I bought this earlier today based on Jim's videos and was not disappointed this game was a blast. The price is a little high so you should definitely wait for a sale as long as steam does not pull it.

Of course Steam lets you add tags to a game if enough people add tags they show up for everyone.
Here are some I have posted:

Shameful
shady
Worse Than Beta
Requires Content Control

Its a shame "Ripoff" and "Incomplete" are banned terms

Is the problem here that Steam has given indies the same control over their reviews and products that larger companies have? That's what it sounds like: banning negative threads, posting lies unchallenged, putting up paid reviews or reviews by friends.

I mean, it's annoying, sure. But it's fair at the least, and 'quality control' is a nebulous term. How do you implement that? A program? A galley of internet reviewer slave-interns? Or maybe just let the Jim Sterlings of the world have at it, presuming that the cost of doing any remotely good QC would at best raise the barrier to entry (money-wise), as they'd presumably have to pass the cost along to the dev because even interns aint totally free, and leave yet more aspiring but poor indies out in the cold.

In order to get this game to run its best, you need to add the expansion pack to your N64 console.

Deadagent:

Gerardo Vazquez:

Deadagent:

snip

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to raise the specter of Anita Sarkesian, stopping all legitimate conversation in it's tracks to in order to needlessly whine about something that isn't relevant to the conversation, no matter how much they ~Insist~ it is.

It mostly isn't, but I do want to point out hypocrisy when I see it. Also I didn't mention any name to keep the conversation from derailing completely. So far it has worked out nicely I think.

~Sigh~ "Hypocrisy" isn't exactly the right word to describe this situation. The whole "Anita Sarkeesian is a scammer." story going around is based on some pretty circumstantial evidence, and general intuition without much solid evidence as opposed to the "Earth 2066" debacle, which is obvious lies and scamming no matter how you look at it. So yeah I'm not going to get my nickers in a twist, and cry "hypocrisy" if Jim doesn't feel like addressing the Anita Scam controversy with the same fervor as the Earth 2066 controversy. If a woman were to release a broken game on Steam for money, and moderate her forums so that only positive word of mouth was going around, and Jim acted like nothing was wrong I'd be on your side, but Muxwell does not equal Anita in this situation.

Deadagent:

Gerardo Vazquez:

Deadagent:

snip

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to raise the specter of Anita Sarkesian, stopping all legitimate conversation in it's tracks to in order to needlessly whine about something that isn't relevant to the conversation, no matter how much they ~Insist~ it is.

It mostly isn't, but I do want to point out hypocrisy when I see it. Also I didn't mention any name to keep the conversation from derailing completely. So far it has worked out nicely I think.

~Sigh~ "Hypocrisy" isn't exactly the right word to describe this situation. The whole "Anita Sarkeesian is a scammer." story going around is based on some pretty circumstantial evidence, and general intuition without much solid evidence as opposed to the "Earth 2066" debacle, which is obvious lies and scamming no matter how you look at it. So yeah I'm not going to get my nickers in a twist, and cry "hypocrisy" if Jim doesn't feel like addressing the Anita Scam controversy with the same fervor as the Earth 2066 controversy. If a woman were to release a broken game on Steam for money, and moderate her forums so that only positive word of mouth was going around, and Jim acted like nothing was wrong I'd be on your side, but Muxwell does not equal Anita in this situation.

Steam really needs to break up its marketplace into 2 storefronts 1 for established AAA and indie devs,and then a storefront with the random junk. trying to filter all the junk is getting absurd. Just allow games to break out of the 2nd one once they hit say 1000 sales.

PC gaming is sometimes annoying enough as is the #1 store doesn't need to make it more obnoxious.

Abnaxis:
So, for all the people who want Steam to filter content, can you give one consistently enforceable policy, with little to no inherent subjectivity, the would prevent Air Control from being on the store, but still allow Surgeon Simulator 2013?

Why does it have to lack subjectivity?

I support filtering Steam's content, but I believe it should be done subjectively. I'm not sure why you think objectivity is required. Humans aren't objective beings, we aren't algorithms. Games are a creative field, and should be judged subjectively, not objectively.

BigTuk:

I'll withhold copyright infringement allegations until said copyright holders actually file suit to such effect. I suggest you do the same. Seriously. How do you know they did not optain express permission to use the assets they did. I've heard no legal filings, I've seen no cease and desist orders.. So really if the people who legally own the copyright aren't throwing lawyers at them ... well then it may be safe to say the guy has found some nifty fair-use loophole.

No, that's not "safe to say" at all. In fact, it's a rather silly thing to say.

Firstly, lawyers are expensive, and this developer probably has no money. There is likely nothing to be gained, and a lot to be lost, by filing suit against this developer. Secondly, this title is obscure - the owners of the copyright are likely not even aware of the infringement.

The lack of a lawsuit is not evidence of lack of infringement. Thousands of copyright enragements happen every day without a lawsuit ever being filed. Hell, I'm a photographer, and I've had my images used without permission. But the costs of prosecuting those infringements is prohibitive, and the infringers live in other countries. It would cost a large amount of money to start litigation, and most likely have zero reward.

Using your same logic - if a person is found murdered, yet nobody has been charged with the murder, does that mean the murder never happened because there is no lawsuit over it?

Frankster:

Sure you can point to things like Earth 2020 or Airplane but I'm much more worried about GOOD games that have gone through thanks to steams laissez faire policy that wouldn't have made it otherwise, and had steam users had their way, wouldn't have let them in either since it doesn't appeal to their specific tastes.

To give an example, I'm quite fond of some VN games made by winterwolf, who struggled since over a year ago to get their games into steam. Once they were finally in, you had a fair few steam users raging at VN type games and dismissing them as shovelware and moaning about steam letting crappy devs in. Had a rigid steam quality control existed, I'm not confident winterwolves would have made it onto steam.

So what?

There are plenty of other ways to sell or release games. Steam is not the only vendor on the market. People who want to release games can always sell them direct from their own website. Not being sold on Steam is not the same as censorship.

Aardvaarkman:

Abnaxis:
So, for all the people who want Steam to filter content, can you give one consistently enforceable policy, with little to no inherent subjectivity, the would prevent Air Control from being on the store, but still allow Surgeon Simulator 2013?

Why does it have to lack subjectivity?

I support filtering Steam's content, but I believe it should be done subjectively. I'm not sure why you think objectivity is required. Humans aren't objective beings, we aren't algorithms. Games are a creative field, and should be judged subjectively, not objectively.

So whos version of good do you want them to use judge games to not allow on steam?

Darknacht:
So whos version of good do you want them to use judge games to not allow on steam?

Whoever they hire to do Quality Control.

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