Starting a YouTube Channel

Press pause for a second Travelers!


You might be wondering why I didn’t post yesterday and to spare you from future wonder about why there will be a decrease in posts over the next two weeks is because its Finals Time!!!  Also during this time I am working on getting our YouTube channel up and running!  The channel is going to feature some vlogs, gameplay, and review videos, but I have a question for you:


What kind of content would you like to see?


DEV-Talk 2.6 – DLC

Welcome back Travelers, to continue reading this post please pay $4.99!


Just kidding, this post is actually completely free!!  But, don’t you hate it when your favorite game releases new content that you need in order to keep playing the game normally, and the developer charges you for it?? cough EA cough cough….  The best example of this is seen in Battlefield DLC, that without purchasing DLC, your gameplay experience becomes severely restricted as game modes and server playlists all require DLC to play.

This unfortunately has further evolved into developers creating DLC roadmaps before even developing the game.  Where the plan their game around DLC, often taking the base game, cutting it down, selling 60% with the other 40% available as DLC.  This is not acceptable.  I recognize that this is probably the best business practice in terms of making money, which is the goal of any business.  But, you also want to provide your customers with a product that they want to buy, otherwise you will lose all your sales.  And this is the problem gamers face with the industry, that we would rather overpay or purchase unnecessary DLC for games because we want the game, rather than forgo purchasing it in order to send a message to the developer.

Luckily, with the big EA Battlefront debacle last year, developers are finally starting to take notice and listen more to players complaints and suggestions.  And with the gaming industry growing exponentially every year and there is more competition in the market, developers are now have to earn our dollars, rather than take them from us cause their is no other alternative for us to play.

After that nice tangent, lets look at probably the best example of DLC, Witcher 3.  What an amazing game, with so much content, depth, time and effort put into the game.  After 100 hours of slogging through the main game, CD Projekt Red gifted us with 2 massive expansions adding dozens of more hours of content.

We have seen the good and the bad all over the gaming industry, but as consumers, you need to remember this important piece of information.

Developers are running a business.  A business’ goal is to make money.  If you aren’t making money you can’t afford to stay in business.

So next time as a consumer, when you get upset at EA for gouging your wallet with their micro-transactions and DLC costs, take a brief second amid your divine hatred, and remember they are a business with obligations to their shareholders.  Then you may resume hating them, because despite having those obligations, good business have similar obligations to their consumers to deliver quality and satisfactory products/experiences.


Who are some developers you think really care about their players?  What are some that couldn’t care less?

Check next week for a new DLC for DEV-Talk 3.0!!  Don’t forget your towels travelers!!

DEV-Talk 2.3 – Loot Boxes

Welcome Back Travelers!!


Seems we were caught in a bit of a wormhole there and this post didn’t get sent out yesterday.  This week we are on Part 2 of our three part discussion and today we are focusing on Loot Boxes!

Lately there has been a lot of bad publicity surrounding the concept of loot boxes, and several countries have considered them to be gambling.  While I believe this is an over-exaggeration, they are kind of right.  For those who don’t understand loot boxes function like slot machines, there are X number of prizes with varying degrees of chance you will receive these rewards.  Now, I have no problem with this concept, until you introduce real money to the equation.  To understand the different types of loot boxes, we will look at 3 prime examples, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO).



We will begin here since Overwatch seems to be garnering the most attention despite there being worse culprits when it comes to loot boxes.  In Overwatch loot boxes contain only cosmetic items, nothing that affects gameplay in anyway which is very important.  If it affected gameplay, it would create the pay to win mechanic we see in too many apps and games.  Next, while you can purchase loot boxes for real money, you do have the ability to earn a significant number just by playing the game.  You get boxes from events/special gamemodes, 3 a week from arcade wins, and a box everytime you level up.  So by just playing a couple hours a week and getting 9 arcade wins, I can usually average about 8-10 boxes a week, and the rarity of loot is distributed pretty well so you get a nice spread of items.  So with all this, I really don’t understand why people and countries are vilifying Overwatch for gambling, as I see no incentive to purchase loot boxes.


League of Legends

League loot boxes are similar in nature to Overwatch, they contain cosmetic items, but they also contain playable characters which is were League differs.  In League you unlock only the characters you wish to play, and you can use in game currency to do this, however its slow, which drives people to spend real money to make those purchases.  Now they cut back on the incentive to spend real money with the edition of loot boxes which are earned through skillful gameplay, good sportsmanship, and a couple other methods, but these loot boxes now contain champions and other purchasable cosmetic items that used to require money.  So they have been a nice new feature to the game, of course you can still buy them with real money, but I don’t find it necessary unless I have some extra RP.  The main difference from Overwatch though is keys, no boxes unless you have a key…  Keys are significantly harder to get than loot boxes, increasing the likelihood players will purchase them.  So League gets a mixed review, some good and some bad.



There isn’t much good to say about CSGO’s loot boxes besides the fact that they are only cosmetic items.  CSGO loot boxes, keys, and skins/stickers actually have real money value and can be bought and sold for a variety of prices in the Steam marketplace.  this has also sparked the creation of CSGO Gambling Websites, yes actual gambling for skins which you can in turn sell for money.  There have even been lawsuits brought against CSGO Gambling Sites, one in particular was run by a prominent YouTuber who promoted one website on his channel and showed videos of him winning big, however never disclosed that he was the owner of the site.  That’s a big no in the eyes of the Federal Government.  Bottom line, stay away from CSGO loot boxes, cause they are actually gambling.


Well we covered a lot in this post, ranging from acceptable to completely unacceptable on the verge of being banned and/or sued for gambling.  I would like to here some of your guys thoughts on loot boxes and check back next week for DEV-Talk 2.6 – DLC!!

See you on the dark side of the moon travelers!!

DEV-Talk 2.0 – Micro-Transactions

Welcome back Travelers!!

Welcome to the first of a 3 part series on Micro-Transactions, Loot-Boxes, and DLC!!


Today we are talking about micro-transactions, the scum of gaming today.  To understand the concept, we must go back to their beginning.  When smart-phones really took off with the launch of the iPhone back in 2007, there was suddenly a new mark of games and applications we refer to as “Apps”.  Many of these apps were free, but how do you make money on something that is free?  Add extras…  the most common example of this that many games using, is in-game currency, you can pay money for more credits, or boosts and other bonuses.

The problem with this kind of micro-transaction is that it alters gameplay, it gives paid players an unfair advantage over non-paid players.  This purposeful imbalance / game design makes players want to spend money or quit.  The other issue with this is that children don’t understand the concept of money let alone micro-transactions, so without some sort of block or restriction, these companies are making millions off of children buying these items with their parents credit cards.

Some of the better, acceptable types of micro-transactions are those that don’t affect gameplay.  The best example of this is League of Legends.  With their in-game currency, you can only purchase cosmetic items, nothing that remotely affects or changes gameplay.  This allows games to be decided on players and their skill rather than whose wallet is bigger.


This is a brief post on Micro-Transactions, something many of us could talk about till we are blue in the face.  Fly by soon for DEV-Talk 2.3 – Loot-Boxes!!

Catch you on the other side Travelers!!

DEV-Talk 1.5 – What can kill your game?

Greetings Travelers!


Welcome back to the second part of our DEV-Talk series on what can make or break your game.  Like last times topic, it is hard to definitively say what can break your game, but it is much clearer.  Usually what really breaks a game are developer decisions that conflict with players desires or goals for the game.  The two best examples of this are DayZ Standalone and No Man’s Sky.  Many of us are familiar with these games and the infamy in which they continue their development.

We will begin by examining DayZ Standalone.  What began as an extremely successful mod for Arma 2, turned south quickly when the developer abandoned the game after receiving millions of dollars in backing through early access (a topic for another DEV-Talks).  While DayZ Standalone had the same concept as the mod, the developer made many critical errors.  We could spend way to much time going over all the issues but, I will highlight the big ones in my opinion.

  • Reinventing the wheel in terms of graphics, environment, ballistics, and physics.
  • Lack of content
  • Hackers, bugs, glitches, FPS, and overall optimization.
  • Extremely slow developer progress

These to me where the main issues, and then the cherry on top was the developer abandoning the game after years of no progress to begin his true vision.  Thankfully, he hasn’t received much funding as many are afraid to go near him with a ten foot because of all the bad blood between gamers and him.


Next we break down the spectacular failure that is No Man’s Sky.  What began as a very promising game, garner much attention following the slow progress of Star Citizen and gamers desires to explore space, burst into flames along with gamers pre-order money.  Now No Man’s Sky faced a different issue and that was a lack of transparency.  They developed the game behind a curtain and revealed little about the game.  Much to gamers surprise and disappointment, then ended up with a whole lot of nothing.  Over the last year and a half they have attempted to update their game making it into what they promised, but updates have been slow and focus on content not needed or content that doesn’t make a difference.


Biggest takeaways when developing your game:

  1. Transparency – Can’t stress this one enough, talk with your players, don’t hide from them, especially if your game is in early access or you participated in crowd funding.
  2. Keep Your Promises – If you don’t, your players certainly will and your sales will reflect it.  Like the timeless saying, don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep.
  3. Prioritize – While everything is important in your game, don’t prioritize unnecessary things, like DayZ redoing weather over and over while hackers ruin the game and zombies teleport and are a joke.  Or No Man’s Sky adding cars to travel planets while no addressing the core issues, like the game is still empty.

I could list more but these are probably my biggest issues when it comes to bad games.  Above all else, listen to your players if you want them to play your game, but don’t let them corrupt it.


Stay frosty travelers and check back soon for DEV-Talk 2.0 – Micro-Transactions.