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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesJonathan Blow and The Witness
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Author Topic: Jonathan Blow and The Witness  (Read 12079 times)
joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2016, 08:55:15 AM »


If you can't generate $100 you don't have any business trying to sell your game - either your game cannot generate revenue on its own, or you don't have the resources to market it to make it viable.


What if it generates enough to home and feed your family, but not enough for you to plough spare cash into the business. Everyone is talking like $100 is pocket change. I am very pleased that some of you don't feel like $100 is a lot of money as it means you've led a comfortable life. I can assure you though that for many people $100 is a lot of money.

I've definitely thought $100 was a lot of money for most of my life, but I also understand that it pales in comparison to the value of the work I've done on games. Even at minimum wage in the us -- an utterly abysmally low rate for the kind of work that goes into game development -- most of the smallest released games are several thousand dollars of labor. If you can generate thousands of dollars of labor, what situation would leave you unable to generate a small fraction of that in cash?

I know nothing about your individual case, and you might be part of the vanishingly small group of devleopers who actually suffer from this (I trust you know that better than me), but generally if you're already releasing games that pay for your family, that's almost always the kind of situation where you can secure a business partner or a loan and make a lot more money (for yourself and your family) with a little investment.

This is more an issue of education about business/marketing than it is an issue of poverty, and taking a stance that indie devs need to be better educated about how to take care of their releases is something I'm all for.
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2016, 09:04:01 AM »

i was just countering the "market will sort everything out and the best will rise to the top" mentality that i saw in the original quote. also yes i think itd be great if the market was less cutthroat because more good games by people who happen to be bad at marketing would see the light of day, which is a net positive effect for both devs and players imo. tho ofc i realize this is a pipe dream.

btw i have no personal stake in this, im more or less retired from gamedev
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joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2016, 09:10:02 AM »

this is steam we're talking about though, not even 'the market'. Steam is a laissez faire hellscape even by tech industry standards.
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2016, 09:11:19 AM »

true :/
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b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2016, 09:11:43 AM »

i kept repeating STEAM STEAM STEAM. Silbreisen you're blind
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2016, 09:14:21 AM »

no i did realize you were talking about steam, i was just generalizing too much.  Tongue
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Dragonmaw
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« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2016, 09:29:31 AM »

Actually Phil was very rude to a lot of people on social media. Almost anyone who complained or provoked him got berated with insults on his part, and that made his reputation as a person go down very quickly. Basically what happens when a child of the internet goes famous.

I think, don't quote me on this...

Phil Fish is actually very cool and personable, especially in-person. I really enjoyed spending time with him when he was in Seattle.

Vet bills are pretty ridiculous. One time my cat fractured a bone in its foot and the vet wanted close to $1000 to fix it, which we didn't have. We tried working out a payment plan or anything we could do but they pretty much shrugged off everything and their final response was "If you can't afford to pay your pet's vet bills you shouldn't have a pet." It's kind of like saying "If suddenly your income takes a bad turn get rid of your children, you're too poor to deserve them anyways."

The statement you are referring to kind of reminds me of a lot of that. He's not saying "If you don't have the money don't give up, keep working at it until you do." He's saying nothing motivational, helpful, or positive at all. All he's saying is "Unless your resources and capabilities are up to my standards don't even bother." Sounds like classism to me. It's just another variation on the old "you're to poor to even deserve a chance" sentiment that entitled people like to throw around at "lesser" folk they sorely underestimate.

Quoting this because this is the sentiment I am expressing.

Jon Blow doesn't use his position of influence to uplift and encourage developers; he uses it to fluff his own ego, sneer at those he deems lesser, and play the part of the needlessly elitist dickhead.

I don't normally avoid interacting with art because of the artist. But Jon Blow misuses his status as a prominent member of the indie community to punch down, and as a member of that community, it's real shitty to see him do that.

I'm a big fan of Blow, follow him on Twitter, and will buy the Witness for $40 despite that being the most I've spent on a game in years.

Still, his hobby seems to be telling people how much they're shitty developers:

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Blow/status/608760382358880256

https://twitter.com/jonathan_blow/status/621874948311650304

https://twitter.com/jonathan_blow/status/452631995219476480

And this small sampling of his awful Twitter is pretty much why I don't like him. He has no interest in promoting good standards through encouragement, support, and positive reinforcement, like many other prominent indie devs (notably Rami, who is the best). He is here to yell at you for not knowing calculus (despite it not being necessary unless you're doing pretty advanced tricks or making your own engine) or not following his coding standards or whatever.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 09:36:06 AM by Dragonmaw » Logged
Dragonmaw
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« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2016, 09:37:00 AM »

Support positivity y'all.
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joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2016, 09:37:54 AM »

support positivity by tearing down everyone you deem too negative
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Dragonmaw
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« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2016, 09:42:05 AM »

see you get it catman
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joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2016, 09:47:56 AM »

For real though, I'm not sayin you gotta like JB or buy his games, but he's one of those figures that it's Fun To Make Fun Of, so people end up ragging on his passion for programming and his design choices in a pretty nasty way that they wouldn't a less successful developer.

Like, okay, the dude has strong, grandpa-like opinions about windows, but it comes through a devotion to craftsmanship and genuineness in his work that most indies could learn from (you cynical pieces of shit.)

Regardless of his multitude of silly opinions and unpleasant behaviors, the way he obsesses over self expression and craftmanship isn't something we should be tearing down, especially not someone from outside of the fold of other artsier devs.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Dragonmaw
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« Reply #71 on: January 21, 2016, 09:57:40 AM »

It's not the obsession with craftsmanship and small details that is being criticized, it's the fact that this obsession is being used as an excuse to be a classist elitist asshole.

Take somebody like Ulillillia. He's far more obsessed with craftsmanship and self-expression than Jon Blow ever could be; his videos make that pretty apparent. But he expresses that obsession in a very positive, uplifting, and often educational way. He's happy to be alive and doing the things he loves and wants to spread that joy.

Do I think indie code could adhere to better standards, or that marketing is an important skill for indie devs to learn? Absolutely! But there are ways to express these standards in a way that isn't discouraging and insulting to people trying to learn and grow as developers, and they certainly shouldn't be used to posture.
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joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #72 on: January 21, 2016, 09:58:57 AM »

Do I think indie code could adhere to better standards, or that marketing is an important skill for indie devs to learn? Absolutely! But there are ways to express these standards in a way that isn't discouraging and insulting to people trying to learn and grow as developers, and they certainly shouldn't be used to posture.

Right, but there are also ways to police that without making fun of jb's work or creative choices  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Dragonmaw
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« Reply #73 on: January 21, 2016, 10:08:22 AM »

Do I think indie code could adhere to better standards, or that marketing is an important skill for indie devs to learn? Absolutely! But there are ways to express these standards in a way that isn't discouraging and insulting to people trying to learn and grow as developers, and they certainly shouldn't be used to posture.

Right, but there are also ways to police that without making fun of jb's work or creative choices  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I haven't done that in this thread. If you're talking about my personal Twitter, I'd remind you that it's 90% jokes and shitposts, so take some of the hyperbole with humor.
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joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #74 on: January 21, 2016, 10:13:54 AM »

I'm not directing that exclusively at you, more of just the community in general (although I do think things you've expressed on twitter and in person fall under my criticism)
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Dragonmaw
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« Reply #75 on: January 21, 2016, 10:18:39 AM »

Ah, gotcha.

Also, hi Joseph, am I gonna see you in person again, and if so are you gonna strangle me
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joseph ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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« Reply #76 on: January 21, 2016, 10:23:14 AM »

Ah, gotcha.

Also, hi Joseph, am I gonna see you in person again, and if so are you gonna strangle me

maybe, come to gdc!
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Torchkas
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« Reply #77 on: January 21, 2016, 10:37:53 AM »

I follow Jon Blow pretty closely and I can see why people might dislike him as a person. That being said, I don't dislike him at all. A lot of the things he says are true, even if they might hurt your feelings.

He's also expressed before that the amount of weight his tweets get is pretty ludicrous. He would much rather be seen as a normal person just putting out some thought rather than him standing from some point of authority (which always gets projected onto him, he never really boasts about his skills). Though you could just shrug that off as "elitism" as well.
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Derek
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« Reply #78 on: January 21, 2016, 11:56:56 AM »

Jon has done a lot for me personally - he recommended Spelunky to Microsoft and even offered to let us use the Braid engine, which I still think is pretty crazy generous of him to do (we didn't end up using it other than as a reference, but still). Mind you, he never publicized this himself, so I'm pretty sure he has done this kind of thing for others.

I've also seen that when Jon likes a game, regardless of who made it, he stands up for it quite fiercely on Twitter, like Starseed Pilgrim and Snakebird, for example.

Jon is Jon - he has always had strong opinions about game design and programming, long before he released Braid. You could say that now he's a bigshot he should be more mindful of his tone, but I'd hate having to go through a filter to understand what he's trying to say.

There are plenty of "yay hooray everyone make games!"-type people out there, and actually, I believe Jon is one of them. But his is more of a tough love, I suppose.
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Dragonmaw
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« Reply #79 on: January 21, 2016, 11:59:45 AM »

We are all, in our own ways, flawed human beings.
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