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T O P I C
Open Source Tax Returns, and Other Animals
May 2nd 2000, 20:47 CEST by TomC

The recent acquisition of Gathering of Developers by Take Two Interactive (for more information, see Andy's earlier thread about it) has set my mind a-pulsing with strange new ideas and new civilisations; in particular, Mike Wilson's public statements on the subject. So, read on, if you will, or go and feed the sparrows. Go on, they're hungry. Can't you hear them a-twitter with anticipation at the hope of morsels of your cast-off, gluttonously abandoned junk-food?



With that out of the way, I shall proceed with the necessaries. Mike Wilson's rapidly-posted .plan update, as you may already be aware, takes a somewhat unconventional approach to normal corporate interrelations, admitting in no uncertain terms that Take Two's reputaion from the past "isn't a good one".

Now, cast your mind back (this one's not for the kiddies among us) to the demise of Crack dot Com. For those of you in the grips of amnesia, this was the company that made the frankly outstanding shareware platformer-cum-shooter, Abuse. They were working on a game called Golgotha when they keeled over from lack of funds. Now, shortly before said overkeeling, on the fourth of September '98, Dave Taylor (a coder, one of the owners, and now working with silicon ‹berkinder Transmeta) made this .plan update, revealing fairly precisely their financial state. Previously, he had made this update, which revealed far more graphically their fiscal straits, making entirely clear that they were foundering.

Taylor may have begun his update with "Conventional biz wisdom says you shouldn't announce this sorta thing..." - but that doesn't change the fact that it's not normally the sort of information that is for public consumption. So why did he announce it? Well, he blames it on "an annoying decency streak" - which is fair enough. If he felt it necessary to inform the community at large of his company's financial troubles, then so be it. But why is this industry not part of "conventional biz wisdom"?

Personally, I would opine that it's the last tatters of community. There's no denying that, in the BBS days, there was a true community centring around the shareware scene, with its own culture and mores - but these days, there are very few islands of such people left in the teeming sea of trolls and the clueless. The gaming indusry is big business these days, and his been destined for bigness since John Carmack bought his first Ferrari; but now, the remnants of that community, while not necessarily demanding such information, think it nice to have it - just as those of them in position to give out such information think it nice to give it out.

To question further: why, then, do we still get Carmack telling us that "[Apples'] low level operating systems SUCKS SO BAD it is hard to believe"? Again, it's hardly a wise business practice. I think the problem (if that's what it is) here is that, while the community is as good as dead, the culture remains - effectively, 'geek' culture, which is, in my opinion, based on one-upmanship, and proving one's greater 'leetness to all other geeks. This was what caused the infamous Steed-centric .plan-wars, and is, in my view, simply what happens when geeks get egos.

Such are my thoughts. Think on my thoughts, oh ye mighty, and reply.

...

Hey, I told you to go and feed the sparrows!

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Home » Topic: Open Source Tax Returns, and Other Animals

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#1 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-02 21:13:27
rhiggi@home.com
Im first, Yah!
V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 21:17:44
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
huh?

 : )

It's rather insteresting actually, an informal approach to business politics.  Rather refreshing.

From the public side, that's all good.  I enjoy knowing the true status of a company, and knowing their ups and downs.  Many businesses these days spend so much time on keeping face their own employees don't have clue #1 as to what's going on.

I think this business generation is really going to sweep things after the remnants of the baby-boomer generation dies out.  I see a lot more informality, and "getting real" with people, not keeping up images we know to be untrue.

I'd love to see a commerical of coke saying "F U Pepsi, and that little girl can bite me."

   :)
#3 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 21:25:58
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
That's the trick though...deciding whether the honesty is legitimate or whether it's another gimmick.

This is happening all over.  People, in general, have gotten used to all the "old tricks" and now PR is trying out the "honesty spin".  After all, people are suckers for the truth...especially if truth is exactly what they want to here.

Look at wrestling.  In recent years, all kayfabe has been completely broken...instead of playing to the marks, they're now playing to the smart...to the point where the smarts once again become marks.  (For those who didn't understand that...you're a mark.)  :)

In simpler terms, when your audience has seen it all before, and knows all the tricks of the trade...you've got to step up to their level in order to fool them again.

In the case of Crack Dot Com, I believe he was sincere.  I also believe that Mike Wilson is sincere.  There are others who I feel are obviously lying...and some who are being sincere but, sadly, won't be able to live up their own expectations.

-Valeyard
#4 by "David Long"
2000-05-02 21:37:45
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
I have no idea what this topic is really about.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 21:43:14
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
aye

and the truth seers see it and the blind think they see as well

as far as wrestling goes, I can't tell anymore, except that you're watching a bunch of sweaty men in underwear jump on each other *cough*freudiannightmare*cough*

When the "truth spin" is used, intelligent people know.  Unfortunately, I'd say less than 10% of the world (or at least, here in the U.S.) is able to differentiate truth from lies in marketing, so it don't make a difference, and you're still getting plenty o' sales, whether seen through or not.

Any exposure is good exposure (except for, perhaps, Bea Arthur being exposed.. ack)
#6 by "Whisp"
2000-05-02 21:43:42
whisp@vt.edu
I think it's like those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, but in this case you just choose you own topic.

Or we could make up nasty rumors about Take Two and Mike Wilson's mom.  I mean, she was obviously sleeping with <i>somebody</i>.

-Whisp
#7 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-02 21:45:46
palutkek@asme.org
In regard to Dave Taylor's .plan updates, I suspect that they were also a last-ditch effort to get somebody to front some more cash . . .  I assume he persued additional funding through all the channels he could think of, but as a last resort took his plea to the public.

Why can John Carmack get away with saying <b>"[Apples'] low level operating systems SUCKS SO BAD it is hard to believe"</b>?  Several reasons . . .
1. id isn't publically traded, and he's an owner, so he's not in much danger of losing his job.
2. His statement sounds pretty objective, so you could argue that he's just expressing his opinion, not slandering (or is it libeling) apple's product.  If anybody can afford to defend a lawsuit, it's Carmack.
3. He's made a lot of statements that have contributed to Apple gaining credability as a gaming platform.  Apple would be biting the hand that feeds them if they pissed off Carmack.
#8 by "El Asso Wipo!"
2000-05-02 21:46:05
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
I have no idea of what you're trying to say.  All I know is that the American public, can't speak for any other country since I avoid them at all costs, but here in the dipshit US of A, People WANT to be lied to.  They can't handle the truth and blindly accept lies and distortions of the truth.  It's the easiest way for them to deal with life, if they have to think, they are confronted with a choice and that bothers a majority of US citizens.
#9 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-02 21:47:21
palutkek@asme.org
<i>. His statement sounds pretty objective</i>

That should be subjective, shouldn't it? Dammit, that's what I get for trying to think and type at the same time.
#10 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 21:53:24
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
Valeyard is right on. We live in a cynical world, so you need to watch for gimmicks. The John McCain primary campaign, for example, got a lot of ink mainly because McCain decided to get chummy with the press, and to become this straight shooter. I really don't know if he was being sincere or not.

I've interviewed, talked to, hung out with, Mike Wilson on a number of occasions. Before I'd really met him, I used to wonder if he was full of shit. But if he really is, he's awfully good at maintaining a consistent front; in other words, I've never seen him break character. And that .plan file was totally in character, so I'm inclined to say he's being upfront. (But I also think he should ignore all of the tiny naysayers... he has a tendency to react to things he could probably just ignore.)

As for the big question of "why," this industry is very young and very immature, in both a literal and figurate sense. A lot of people choose to make matters public that would be better off handled privately, but I think this will start to trickle into all industries thanks to the Internet. Public pissing matches will take place on message boards throughout the world, all of which are bad form for all participants.

Also, industry is, despite its enormous size, rather small. Huh? Well, it makes a lot of money, but there's a tiny group of people that obsess over every move and real .plan files and get into the whole scene. And all of those .plan postings are directed to those people, and I think it's an ego thing. They have an audience so they take advantage of it. People in the press do this, but usually grow out of a desire to make themselves the center of every story. (Some seem to get worse over time, but they're just being delusional.)

But I'm going to disagree with Houston. While I do believe a company should keep their employees informed at all times, I don't think the public has any right to inside information, since it's not any of their business. Where do we stop with the invasions of our lives? Does no one want to work in privacy anymore? Do you want people reporting every fight you get into with your boss, every pissing match you get in with a co-worker? Jeez, this happens all the time; beyond fulfilling some sort of fetishistic voyeurism, how does the public benefit from this information?

Personally, I'd rather companies stopped promoting themselves and just worked on their games, which would then serve as their grand statements to the public. Judge my game, not my company.

And I don't want to see pissing matches; well, OK, I personally (and many others) would find them amusing as all hell, but c'mon people, let's not drop all elements of common courtesy. I believe in being honest, but also I guess I believe in manners. How quaint...
#11 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-02 21:56:54
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>In regard to Dave Taylor's .plan updates, I suspect that they were also a last-ditch effort to get somebody to front some more cash . . . </quote>
And I might also assume that Carmack had presented his case to Apple on a number of occasions before going public. If he didn't find their responses to be particularly reasonable, perhaps some public pressure would help.

Basically, the moral of the story is that taking the message to the public should probably be the last step, not the first.
#12 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-02 22:03:34
I don't understand this topic either.  :)
 
 
and whatever ddt's plan was, it didn't work...   I doubt he'd do it again, since it obviously didn't work in that case.
 

on a more conventional note... what happened to the game they were working on (golgotha was it?)  I thought the "community" was going to finish that game and release it to all...
 
 
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "El Asso Wipo!"
2000-05-02 22:14:25
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
I'm taking the Golgotha code and turning into a game right now called "Janet Reno's Tank Commandos"

You get to race tanks vs. others to secluded "cult" buildings in Texas and torth them, the first one to kill 50+ children, WINS!
#14 by "El Asso Wipo!"
2000-05-02 22:14:57
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
That was TORCH THEM.. Doh!
#15 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-02 22:15:14
<b>#13</b> "El Asso Wipo!" wrote...
<QUOTE>I'm taking the Golgotha code and turning into a game right now called "Janet Reno's Tank Commandos"

You get to race tanks vs. others to secluded "cult" buildings in Texas and torth them, the first one to kill 50+ children, WINS! </QUOTE>
 
Do you *ever* have a point?   <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#16 by ""
2000-05-02 22:19:05
<b>#15</b> "Bad_CRC" wrote...
<QUOTE>Do you *ever* have a point?</QUOTE>

Define Point.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "Flamethrower"
2000-05-02 22:29:56
flamey@alreadythere.freeserve.co.uk http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
Unless I'm very strongly mistaken, this topic is a post to Andy's thread "Gone Ego".
#18 by "Andy"
2000-05-02 23:26:42
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#17</b>, Flamethrower:
<QUOTE>
Unless I'm very strongly mistaken, this topic is a post to Andy's thread "Gone Ego".
</QUOTE>
Huh? :)

BTW, glad to see you posting here again. I seem to remember you lost interest in the last few months of the last PC. Now if only Gestalt and WM would come back too...
#19 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-02 23:30:27
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
I got to meet Gestalt (very briefly) at the CPL event...shame we didn't have more time.  He and I and crash should have gone out for a pint...but we were all busy.

:(

-Valeyard
#20 by "Houston"
2000-05-02 23:36:28
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
<quote>But I'm going to disagree with Houston. While I do believe a company should keep their employees informed at all times, I don't think the public has any right to inside information, since it's not any of their business. </quote>

I didn't say the public has a right, I merely stated that I enjoy knowing what a company's going through.  

It's very, very interesting seeing what's behind commercials and hype, which is why when we get the teeniest bit of info about a company admitting they pulled a boffo that people pounce all over it.

Didn't say the public has a right to know everything, it's just damned nifty when we are allowed to.
#21 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-03 00:14:00
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Didn't say the public has a right to know everything, it's just damned nifty when we are allowed to</quote>
I didn't mean to imply you were advocating that, but while I realize there's an appeal to insider info, I also worry that too many people DO view it as a right, that by spending their $35 on Daikatana, they have a right to know all of the details of its development.
#22 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-03 01:08:32
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#21</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>I didn't mean to imply you were advocating that, but while I realize there's an appeal to insider info, I also worry that too many people DO view it as a right, that by spending their $35 on Daikatana, they have a right to know all of the details of its development.</QUOTE>

It's curious this. I always tracked info about q3a pre-release and I wondered why. Was it so that I could monitor technology etc ? Maybe ... but I didn't understand 100% of the .plan updates and never made an effort to rectify this so prolly not.

Was it so that I could see what went into making it ? Naaah ... I really don't care :P

Was it so that I could sneak preview game ? Naah ... I will buy it anyway just because it is iD


The only satisfactory answer I could find was that I liked the <u>illusion</u> of interactivity. It gives you a fuzzy feeling thinking that the game is a collaborative effort between players and writers. I guess it is apealing in a way to how opensource works. It feels as if you put in enough effort you can change the way things turn out. Of course it is only an illusion but it is a nice one :P.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-05-03 01:35:15
appliedavoidanc@triton.net
<b>#16</b> "" wrote...
<QUOTE>Define Point.</QUOTE>
The one on top of his head, perhaps??
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Houston"
2000-05-03 02:02:33
breynolds@us.infogrames.com http://www.www.www.www
RahvinTaka wrote:
<quote>I liked the illusion of interactivity. It gives you a fuzzy feeling thinking that the game is a collaborative effort between players and writers. </quote>

Preach on brutha.

The community is fun, and reading these .plan updates and getting the latest news makes fans feel a part of the game development process... and, somehow, they feel they've BEYOND the right to bitch when it doesn't come out exactly as they wanted it to ; )
#25 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-03 02:08:06
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>The only satisfactory answer I could find was that I liked the illusion of interactivity. It gives you a fuzzy feeling thinking that the game is a collaborative effort between players and writers. I guess it is apealing in a way to how opensource works. It feels as if you put in enough effort you can change the way things turn out. Of course it is only an illusion but it is a nice one </quote>
A smart company does this. It's easy to do, unites you with the community, and most importantly, it allows you to control your press. You no longer have to rely on a critical media (not that the game media has a critical bone in its collective body); instead, you have the official fansite, or your own website.

You see it elsewhere. Athletes are getting sick of those pesky questions about drug use and their bad behavior, so they only say things on their own websites. Even actor Kelsey Grammar (of Frasier) has done this.

Fans get to feel like they're closer, but more importantly, the company/person gets to control everything and create their own persona... it's wonderful! Feh.
#26 by "Apache"
2000-05-03 03:18:27
apache@warzone.com http://www.voodooextreme.com
Andy: Yes, I enjoyed TOCA 2 (full rev) very much.
#27 by "Apache"
2000-05-03 03:18:42
apache@warzone.com http://www.voodooextreme.com
dammit, wrong thread lol
#28 by "Desiato"
2000-05-03 03:59:46
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com
Yeah....okay.

So...besides "Hell" (only noteable because of the awful acting of Stephanie Seymour, another wonderful Take2 title..) what does this whole story have to do with anything?

Openess in business?

I'm still waiting for the reason why we would care as gamers about this topic.

Must be a slow day in the newsroom.

Hey "Open Source" we're being slashdotmutated!!

Hmm...Spew2 may have to make a comeback.


Desiato..
#29 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-05-03 05:03:52
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
Desiato,

You're always welcome back at Hulka.com if you want to do the Real Audio thingie again.
#30 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-03 06:00:21
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
Hell really sucked. I used to clean my apartment everytime someone started talking. The dialog was eternal, and not particularly interesting.

Of course Ryan Brant, president of Take 2, ended up marrying Ms. Seymour... (whose brother, by the way, is former Take 2 PR guy/GT PR guy Lance Seymour).
#31 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-05-03 06:25:03
brandon@epicgames.com http://unreal.epicgames.com
Actually, for Carmack, it is a good business tool.
#32 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-05-03 06:25:26
brandon@epicgames.com http://unreal.epicgames.com
Totally Unrelated:

Get Allegiance.  It rux.
#33 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-03 10:11:56
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#32</b> "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart" wrote...
<QUOTE>Get Allegiance. It rux.</QUOTE>

Amen, Brandon. This game has really been sucking a bit of time as well, so if I see you on the same server, I'll be sure to team up with ya and we can shoot some of the other bastards down.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#34 by "Russ"
2000-05-03 14:41:31
rthcowboy@mindspring.com
<b>#4</b> "David Long" wrote...
<QUOTE>I have no idea what this topic is really about.</QUOTE>

You ain't the only one. I'm noticing that several of the latest topics aren't giving us much of a starting point. Maybe we can just invent our own topics and run with it.
Here's one:
Wildtangent and Genesis 3d. Is this stuff going anywhere? Do we want it to succeed? Discuss...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-03 14:50:54
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#34</b> "Russ" wrote...
<QUOTE>Wildtangent and Genesis 3d. Is this stuff going anywhere? Do we want it to succeed? Discuss...</QUOTE>

good topic .... I'm sure most could gab on for ages on it :P<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-05-03 15:43:05
tc10NOSPAMPLEASE@st-andrewsNOSPAMPLEASE.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom
OK, since most people seem to have somewhat missed the point of this topic - it's merely a discussion starting point, as a topic <i>should</i> be, IMO.
It seemed like an interesting point to discuss, so I posted a brief few notes about it, expecting people to <i>discuss</i> it. I don't think a topic on this site should be asking questions and effectively holding your hands through the <i>discussion</i>. Maybe I'm wrong - is that what every 'crapper wants?
#37 by "Whisp"
2000-05-03 16:08:42
whisp@vt.edu
Please Papa Tom, hold my hand.  It's dark, and the woods are scary at night!  I don't know what to do! They never taught me to think for myself in school, so you'll have to do it for me.  Please, papa?

-Whisp
#38 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-03 16:25:42
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
I really liked RahvinTaka's explanation regarding the "illusion of interactivity".

I do, however, think there's much more to it than that.  The interactivity, with regard to game developers, is more than an illusion.  Most of these people aren't just "playing" at being accessible, the really are.  Many of them will reply to e-mail, silly and serious, some will take suggestions and a few really just like the community.

You don't have to look very hard to see it.  PlanetCrap is FAMOUS for having developers show up...to defend, to argue and just to carry on an intelligent(hopefully) conversation.

They also realize that the online gaming community is a vital resource, it's not only their audience, it's a group of free beta testers, a quick source for feedback and it's a group of potential employees.

While there may be an illusion about HOW interactive the relationship is....it's definitely interactive.

Hell, even JeffK gets interviews. :)

-Valeyard
#39 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-05-03 17:56:14
tc10NOSPAMPLEASE@st-andrewsNOSPAMPLEASE.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom
<B>Whisp:</B>
<quote>They never taught me to think for myself in school, so you'll have to do it for me.</quote>
Hardly surprising, since schools seem to have decided that doing that isn't on these days...
#40 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-03 18:13:24
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#38</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>
I do, however, think there's much more to it than that. The interactivity, with regard to game developers, is more than an illusion. Most of these people aren't just "playing" at being accessible, the really are. Many of them will reply to e-mail, silly and serious, some will take suggestions and a few really just like the community.
</QUOTE>

As a sidenote there is a MMORPG (gawd i hate that acronym) being developed in a semi open fashion. It seems fans are discussing various strategies for maikng game fun and rules and some/most of them will be considered/implemented.

URL is http://hj.stratics.com/<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "Russ"
2000-05-04 04:30:01
rthcowboy@mindspring.com
<b>#36</b> "Tom Cleghorn" wrote...
<QUOTE>I don't think a topic on this site should be asking questions and effectively holding your hands through the discussion. </QUOTE>

I don't either, but I also don't want to read through several rambling and semicoherent paragraphs to figure out if the topic is even something I care about. Just get to the point already.

Your "Next Big Thing in PC gaming" topic was more the style I would like to see. Clear and to the point. See the difference?

Russ
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "kizzuh"
2000-06-27 19:43:36
none http://none
frist prost!
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