Sunday, August 18, 2013

Game Developer Request for Ethical F2P

Game developer rant on!

Been playing a bunch of Plants vs Zombies 2 and really enjoying it.  It’s a free-to-play game and bunch of reviews have positively reviewed it especially in the area of how the in-app purchases aren't needed for skilled gamers.  While that is all good I wondered if my nephews, ages 6 and 4, have played it and while they loved the first one I sort of hope they don’t play the sequel for the sanity of my sister and brother-in-law.

PvZ2 has IAP ads and notifications everywhere. Buy this plant, unlock this gate, get plant food, get coins, buy stars.  These are everywhere and nowhere in the game does it tell you that these things can naturally be unlocked (with skill and / or grind).  The problem I have is how these are marketed in a game that has children as a target audience.  F2P games have done this in the past but it didn't dawn to me how ethically broken it is (never played Smurfs village but I could imagine its IAP ads being just as bad).  Kids don’t have the credit card but when playing the game they’ll come across these obstacles.  Gaming is all about overcoming obstacles, so I don’t really blame kids at all asking their parents to help them overcome this obstacle.  ‘To win, ask Daddy to press buttons!’ is all they will understand and I can easily see parent’s succumbing to these requests since it’s only a couple dollars here or there to the benefit of their sanity (Are we there yet?)

So to fellow game developers, practicing or aspiring, I issue this request.  Similar to how some shooters have a low-violence / no-blood mode; every game, especially those aimed at kids, should have a ‘no micro transaction notification’ option where players will never be asked to spend money or see any buy options in the menu.

Note: I am terrified for parents with the release of Disney Infinity since I kind of want them myself, especially if they do Marvel / Starwars crossovers. It print’s money!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

New Bed!

Today we got a new bed.  We had been planning on doing this for the past few weeks now since our old mattress was thoroughly worn out.  Who knew it was so much work lying on bed, after bed, after bed, deciding which one felt better. From all the shopping around, I have come up with one question though, are all mattress sales people elderly folks?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OMG, I haven't posted in like 2 years!

This is an announcement that I need to make a post about our trip to Hawaii.  I figure if I write down that I'm going to write about it, then maybe I'll actually do it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank you dad, for paying for my AMA membership

Today was a day much like any other and I would have nothing to write about here, except for an unfortunate event that occurred.

Our evening began much like any other; Mike informed me over IM that he was now leaving and would soon be there to pick me up.  At about the time he would normally arrive, he called me to tell me his car battery was dead so I should take the bus.  Then about 5 minutes later he asked if I had caught the bus yet because he got a boost from someone.  I had not, so I waited for him to arrive.

Once he got there I got in and we began our journey home.  When we came to this semi-busy intersection we stopped at the red light... and the car stopped.  And it wouldn't start again.  Being right near by a Les Schwab he asked to see if they could give us a boost and they were kind enough to do so.

So we were on our way again, only we weren't because the light was red so we traveled about 10 meters and the car just stopped again.  We called AAA and spent the next hour -- trying to wave cars to go by us since the hazard lights wouldn't work even -- waiting for the tow truck to come.

The car was towed to the Toyota dealership for after hours drop-off repair (everyone seems to suspect it's the alternator) and our friend Clayton was kind enough to give us a ride home.  Hopefully the car will be working again after tomorrow,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Handful of strawberries

Mmmm, strawberries I grew myself.  Completely delicious and so full of strawberriness.  Too bad that the last of them are now gone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Computer

I built a computer for Mike.  As you can see, I'm not very good at making the cables inside all neat and tidy.  Check out that massive heat sink, it was bigger than I expected.

Friday, March 05, 2010

New template time!

Thought I'd mix things up a bit with it really being spring here.  So I decided I would prettify the blog with some cherry blossoms that you can see blooming around Redmond.