Indie Devs Unhappy With Xbox Live Dashboard Update

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Indie Devs Unhappy With Xbox Live Dashboard Update

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A number of indie game developers are unhappy about the new Xbox Live dashboard, saying it makes indie releases unnecessarily difficult to access.

Guess how many button presses it takes to get from the home screen to the Indie Game Top Downloads on the new Xbox Live dashboard. Go on, guess. Four? Five? Nine? Try 17, according to a post on a Microsoft developer forum, which also pointed out that it only takes eight button presses to get to the Arcade and Games on Demand sections.

That's not the only complaint. The Indie Games section is now "one big fat list" that pages instead of scrolls and apparently there are very few filtering options and no way to break them down by genre. As you might imagine, this isn't going over very well with some indie devs.

"This is just a giant F-U to all of us. There is simply no other way to put it," wrote Pouncing Kitten Games. "Put 2000+ games in a single list and give less than a half dozen filtering options, not including genre? Good call. Whoever made that decision should be fired immediately."

Naturally, comparisons are also being made to to last year's dashboard update, which also left indie devs feeling angry and abused. "We have seen exactly what happens when indie games were made more difficult to find/get to in the last dashboard update," wrote Neil Jones, the creator of Monster Talk. "Everyone knows the top downloads list is where the good money was made, if you landed high enough you could have sales for a few weeks if not months. If people cant get to this list easily then things don't look good."

But some posters are counseling patience until post-update sales numbers can be collected for comparison and Microsoft's Nick Gravelyn said he's keeping an eye on the thread and "gathering up feedback," presumably to help determine whether the system is as much of a mess as some people are saying and, if so, how to correct it.

Any XBL Indie fans here who've done much with the update? Do you see much of a functional difference or greater difficulty in access games, or is it more a matter of people complaining not because it's necessarily worse, but just because it's different?

via: Develop

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The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Nothing was wrong with the previous Dashboard, why they felt to change it rather than add to it is way beyond me. And yes the indie games tab is a complete mess.

Oh come on Indie developers, they all that extra room for add space.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Dam it!

I still have the old dashboard, U MAD MICROSOFT?

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Nothing was wrong with the previous Dashboard, why they felt to change it rather than add to it is way beyond me. And yes the indie games tab is a complete mess.

This is what it sounded like it would be.

LOL it takes 8 presses to get to the XBLA menu. It's a game console it should take 3 at the most. All the other media shit should take more, Microsoft just wanted to turn their console into an advertising machine.

Didn't they have a similar issue during the last dashboard update?

I don't have 360, but I can agree that this is a giant slap to the face. Browsing through menus is one of the things that I personally hate to do. It's tedious, boring and off-putting. I can understand how indie devs are pissed because something like this threatens their very existence. If people have to spend few minutes browsing for a game they can't remember they'll eventually give up. Leaves a bitter taste, especially when you see how much space was reserved for ads.

Not only that, they also do not even honor their contracts with indie devs.
Like with Super Meat Boy.

So with this update, has the 360 come closer to being the Wii?

You know with the Wii there is a classic controller but the system isn't designed around it. Isn't that the case now with the 360?

I haven't connected to XBOX Live since before the update was released. Is it possible to not install the new dashboard and keep using Live?

DVS BSTrD:
Oh come on Indie developers, they all that extra room for add space.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Dam it!

Hold on, let me call the boys... Yes. We can do that.

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Just wait until the next update where it will take 53 user inputs to find the Indie games, and it will be entirely Kinect controlled. And when you find them they will be organized on a roulette wheel where you will randomly land on an indie game. Then once the system has picked the game the description will only show every other word and no obvious option to buy. To buy the game you will have to do a handstand for 10 seconds while doing bicycle kicks in the air. That will take you to the confirmation page. To confirm you will have to spin counterclockwise 14 times. Any more or any less will cancel the process and take you back to the home page.

orangeapples:
Just wait until the next update where it will take 53 user inputs to find the Indie games, and it will be entirely Kinect controlled. And when you find them they will be organized on a roulette wheel where you will randomly land on an indie game. Then once the system has picked the game the description will only show every other word and no obvious option to buy. To buy the game you will have to do a handstand for 10 seconds while doing bicycle kicks in the air. That will take you to the confirmation page. To confirm you will have to spin counterclockwise 14 times. Any more or any less will cancel the process and take you back to the home page.

Your avatar goes very well with the process you just explained.

They really should have kept the sort by genre feature. Other than that, indie devs love to bitch, that is all.

From the games section in the marketplace it's one link away. So you have to move the stick 3 times to the right and click on 'Game Type' to see the Indie section. That is, if you missed the GIANT Indie Games Ad Button in the middle of the damn screen. But then again, aren't we supposed to be pissed at Micro$oft for ads?

sigh

EDIT: Or you could always just say "Bing, Indie Games" if you own a Kinect...

EDIT 2: It's also the same amount of clicks to get On Demand Games and XBOX Originals, so STFU indie devs.

McMullen:
I haven't connected to XBOX Live since before the update was released. Is it possible to not install the new dashboard and keep using Live?

I'm fairly sure you can't connect at all without the update. I truly despise this update so please let me know if you find anyway to go back.

17? Let's test that.

1. LB to social
2. LB to video.
3. LB to games.
4. Down to Game Marketplace.
5. A to open Game Marketplace.
6. LB to games.
7-9. Right 3 times to game type.
10-11. Right 2 times to indie games (which is a freaking HUGE panel, BTW. it's not one of those tiny ones).
12. A to open Indie games.

12, not 17. And that's not bad considering it's not really hidden all that much. It was in the exact place I expected to find it.

Yes, the filtering options could be much, MUCH better, but stop whining (and exaggerating) about how many button presses it takes to get there.

Have indie devs ever been happy?

At first I honestly thought they just got rid of the indie section cause I couldn't find it anywhere. I second those that truly despise this update. It's a bloated ugly mess of ads and promotions and marketing.

2 Thumbs down microsoft.

It's harder to get to the indie games. This is what we're choosing to be upset about? Not the class action waiver you now have to agree to to even connect to xbox live? The one in section 18 at the bottom of the contract? The one that takes over two minutes (timed) of holding down on the controller to get to? I know that clause is becoming a common thing but it seems to me that that's even more reason to complain about it.

mjc0961:
Yes, the filtering options could be much, MUCH better, but stop whining (and exaggerating) about how many button presses it takes to get there.

I seem to recall seeing you making excuses for Microsoft in a couple of other threads recently. Funny that.

Anyways, I find the whole new Dashboard (just updated) to be quite unsatisfying. It feels cluttered and disorganized (from a user standpoint). I am still disappointed they've not allowed us to disable channels like we could with the "Welcome" tab in the previous dashboard. I do not use Music, Apps, Bing, Video.. I wouldn't use Social, either, if they'd left the Profiles where they were on the Home Screen.

For that matter, while I was browsing the news here I'd left the Xbox on idle, and had my curser on the big stupid ad in the Home tab so it wouldn't keep moving.. after a while (a good 10+ minutes after my controller turned off) I heard a weird sound and suddenly my curser'd been kicked to another box so that the ads could start scrolling again. THAT pissed me off.

Lemme ramble a bit and talk about the Wii. The Wii has a variety of channels you can customize for News, Weather, Internet, etc... guess what? You can move these around so that anything you do not like can be deleted and re-added later, likewise you can also move unused (but not unwanted) channels to the far right of the full channel allotment. This means you don't have to see them.

Xbox 360 has a lot of "tabs" and other content which, personally, I find wholly redundant to my needs as a gamer. I do not interact with other people save my cousin, and that's almost exclusively via his own Xbox when we game together at his house. I do not watch videos or listen to music via my Xbox, cause my PC can do all of that for me and it's just a turn of my chair/a few mouse clicks away. Neither do I use Kinect, nor will I ever; to quote VGCats' one comic, "No, I've already got a Wii."

So, on the whole, not only is the new dashboard bloated and unhelpful, it's also fairly obsolete. The previous Dashboard, while still stubbornly forcing me to view the "My Xbox" page I didn't ask for, at least had things laid out in a much more intuitive way. So yes, I agree with the Indie Devs, the sorting options are quite poor, and "related" is just as pointless as ever. I checked out some random Indie game once I actually found the damn section, and it had Saw and Kinectimals as related games, despite the game I'd been looking being in neither genre, nor having similar content.

Doesn't Microsoft have incredibly strict rules for indie devs that wish to put their titles on XBL? I thought I remembered seeing a few articles about how Microsoft was actually scaring off developers with how much of their souls they had to give up to be on the XBL platform. Then Microsoft screws them anyways by burying their sales pages? That doesn't make sense to me at all.

That said, the new dashboard is better than the last one, but still absolutely terrible. Ugly, small, too much BS everywhere.

So Sony's works fine, but has giant security holes

Microsoft's is designed to hate anything that isn't made of money

and the Wii's barely works.

Not sure which one wins... but it's like winning Miss Akron.

I would think Microsoft should at least try to be as indie friendly as Steam is.

Steam store process for indie games:
1) Right click the Steam tray icon
2) Click "Store"
3) Hover mouse over "Genre"
4) Click "Indie"

With Steam, the games are also brought up in other genre searches and they're often advertised right next to AAA games.

Considering this difference, it's not surprising that Microsoft has lost a few indie developers that used to develop for the XBOX such as Jonathan Blow (Braid) with his upcoming game: The Witness, and Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy) with his recently released game: The Binding of Isaac.

robert01:
Microsoft just wanted to turn their console into an advertising machine.

This sounds much more like what they're trying to achieve, yes.

robert01:
it takes 8 presses to get to the XBLA menu. It's a game console it should take 3 at the most. All the other media shit should take more,

Could not agree more.

I'd love to See a reply by someone from mircosoft saying " xbox indie games" followed by a big troll face if the kinect can do it.

Scars Unseen:

DVS BSTrD:
Oh come on Indie developers, they all that extra room for add space.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Dam it!

Hold on, let me call the boys... Yes. We can do that.

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You, sir, have won three googalplex years worth of the internets.

Enjoy.

OT: This is preposterous. (Is that good enough discussion value?)

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Nothing was wrong with the previous Dashboard, why they felt to change it rather than add to it is way beyond me. And yes the indie games tab is a complete mess.

DVS BSTrD:
Oh come on Indie developers, they all that extra room for add space.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
The update feels more like a way to force us to see adds, and shovel the kinect down our throat.

Dam it!

They're "ADS", as-in short for "ADvertisement". "Add" is when you combine one thing with another. So unless there's a ton of math on the new dashboard, then those are "ads". That's one "D".

Rationalization:
Have indie devs ever been happy?

Yes. With Steam.

Edit: And I think just PC in general? Ironic that the area where the big-name developers dread to traverse without the "protection" of DRM is where the small-name developers are making the most cash, and without the use of DRM. Kinda tells ya something. Maybe multiple somethings.

Edit 2: Okay okay okay, I know, technically Steam is DRM. Though it's worth noting that I have to specifically remind myself of this fact on a frequent basis because I always forget about the DRM aspects of Steam.

Microsoft is going ape shit over the new Windows Phone 7 design. The Xbox360 got the update. Next on the list: Windows 8 for the (tablet) PC. Then every Microsoft product (PC, Tablet, Console, Mobile) uses the same interface.

WhiteTigerShiro:

Rationalization:
Have indie devs ever been happy?

Yes. With Steam.

Edit: And I think just PC in general? Ironic that the area where the big-name developers dread to traverse without the "protection" of DRM is where the small-name developers are making the most cash, and without the use of DRM. Kinda tells ya something. Maybe multiple somethings.

Edit 2: Okay okay okay, I know, technically Steam is DRM. Though it's worth noting that I have to specifically remind myself of this fact on a frequent basis because I always forget about the DRM aspects of Steam.

Edit 3: Steam is more a platform than it is a DRM. There are games on Steam that have their on DRM on top of the Steam one.

This new update is killing me, didn't think it'd be this bad, especially since it seemed to include youtube in it (which is something I think the xbox has been missing for a while now)

I turned on my xbox to update and I can't even find the goddamn youtube app or whatever it is. I don't know if it's not included in the UK's package or something all I know is I ain't got it and I'm not happy about it.

This update coupled with the fact that I left all my decent xbox games at my flat when I came home for christmas means that I won't be playing my xbox for a while

In all fairness the new update makes practically everything unnecessarily difficult to access. I wouldn't hate on microsoft for it though, it seems to be more of a product of incompetence than outright malice or greed. They were so concerned with unifying the UI for Windows 8 and the 360 that they kind of forgot to make the UI a decent way to navigate the console's features. The way in which Kinect is integrated into the experience is much better compared to the last version, to their credit.

As much as I think some of these indie devs are whining a bit too much (especially given the usual quality of their "games"), I do agree the new dashbo...oops, sorry....Home UI is God awful. It's unsightly, unintuitive, and somewhat useless. Though, no more or less that the last one. The only difference now is this new UI has few options up front (more tucked away in far flung corners) and has FAR more ad space. Not to mention the whole thing was clearly not made for controllers.

What bugs me most, though, is seeing Microsoft spending so much time and money on developing this completely useless, unnecessary UI update but STILL failing to fix the prevailing systemic issues that have plagued Live since it's inception.

Party system bugs and crashes, anyone? >:|

NameIsRobertPaulson:
So Sony's works fine, but has giant security holes

Microsoft's is designed to hate anything that isn't made of money

and the Wii's barely works.

Not sure which one wins... but it's like winning Miss Akron.

Pretty sure this (these) win in that regard:

'Course, that's personal preference on my part. But still...

WhiteTigerShiro:
They're "ADS", as-in short for "ADvertisement". "Add" is when you combine one thing with another. So unless there's a ton of math on the new dashboard, then those are "ads". That's one "D".

Good for you.

4RM3D:
Edit 3: Steam is more a platform than it is a DRM. There are games on Steam that have their on DRM on top of the Steam one.

Exactly. I mean yeah, Steam has DRM features, but I'm too busy watching a game conveniently update on its own to really care about that.

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