this price was set by the publisher

Don’t buy Battlefront 2

Over the weekend, there was a bit of a controversy involving the upcoming release Star Wars Battlefront 2. 

EA, the game’s publisher, set character unlocks using the game’s in-game currency exorbitantly high. The price was set at 40,000, which some outlets suggested could take up to 40 hours of playtime. I assume this is worst-case scenario stuff, so I’m going to be generous to EA and say it was probably something like 20 hours of playtime per hero. This was seen as an attempt to not so subtly prod the player into purchasing in-game currency in order to expedite the process.

Monday, EA backpedaled and decided to heavily discount the unlocks. They declared in a tweet that they were listening to fans! And some took this as some sort of victory. This is no victory. This is what EA wanted to happen. Here’s my theory.

Before the big character unlock kerfuffle, there was a bit of a fuss over in-game lootboxes and micro transactions. People were frustrated that apparently the game has pay-to-win features. You can pay real money to have a real advantage over folks in multiplayer. In a $60 AAA release, this is absurd. In a free-to-play mobile game this is expected. This sort of thing is also EA’s main way of making money post release, so having people outright furious about them out of the gate seems bad for business.

So in order to distract from the outrage over this, I think EA set character unlock fees absurdly high in order to manufacture a separate outrage. Yes, they take a short term hit - including having a reddit comment become the most downvoted in the website’s history - but they also stand to earn some long term good will. 

For starters, if you cruise the tweet where EA says that they are slashing the cost of these standalone characters, you will see person after person defend the company whenever somebody says they still aren’t purchasing the game. “EA listened! Why are you still mad! I just wanna play a fun Star Wars game!” By backing down from their crazy demands, they seem like they care about customers. So now some people are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt regarding lootboxes. You see the casual “if you don’t like it, don’t play it!” or “you don’t have to buy them!” which are certainly not helpful. 

You also have what inevitably comes when a large group of people swarm on one target: death threats. No matter what side of the political spectrum someone is on or what the target is, if enough people get mad about an issue there will always be a couple of angry folks who take things too far. So, when the most downvoted comment in reddit history bring the Internet’s focus onto EA’s monetary scheme, a few crazy people will come with it.

Straight up, death threats are awful, should be taken seriously and are made by some of society’s worst people. Do not make threats at developers. Do not send hateful messages laden with personal insults at developers. Having said that, a company can use these inevitable occurrences to gain sympathy. Waypoint had an article right away on the death threats sent to game developers over this issue. Then the article’s writer, Patrick Klepek, immediately referenced the threats again when EA announced prices were reduced. You would then see people in the comments for the article saying that this sends a message to those sending threats that they work.

The .0001% of humanity that would send these kind of threats aren’t learning anything. If EA doubled down, they’d still make threats. They just do it because it’s in their nature. But because threats were made and EA made sure people knew about them - which is their right because I sure would let people know if a threat was made on my life - there will be people out there who are like “Well shit, if this game doesn’t take off those assholes win! I better buy a lootbox!” It can get in some folks minds that all EA detractors are vile people who hate developers. 

A tactic similar to this was used when Mass Effect 3 was receiving hatred over the ending DLC. EA was under fire, so a lot of the shit getting flung at them from a crazy group of people was being brought to the light. It takes the heat off of the company and instead places it elsewhere

It’s all part of advertising. Paint the cynics in a negative light, make it seem like you care about customers or some virtue, and rake in money. EA wants you to remember the shitbags. They want you to remember that they listened to “the most downvoted comment in reddit history”. They want you to forget about the lootbox thing. 

Don’t forget. Don’t buy the game if you disagree with this current AAA trend of monetization. They can always find another way. Don’t feel compelled to line some CEO’s wallet. Sadly the game is going to make like 80 billion dollars because it’s STAR WARS, but you don’t have to contribute to that sum. 

UPDATE: https://twitter.com/EAStarWars/status/931332890717143040
They turned off micro-transactions. I personally think this is because of Belgium looking into Battlefront 2 and lootboxes as a form of gambling. BIG BRAND Star Wars + gambling = controversy the Disney overlords probably don’t want.

About DLC for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns

This is John again with an update about the Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns DLC.

The short version is, we haven’t decided whether or not to localize it yet, and if we do, we’ll have to charge for it. Read on for more details.

If it isn’t obvious already, we love Story of Seasons fans and pay attention to your feedback. In addition to our Facebook and Twitter pages, I check other outlets to see what players are talking about. So I wanted to give you an honest update about the DLC situation and see what you have to say about it.

The long version is as follows:

To my knowledge, Trio of Towns is the first game in the long-running series to include post-launch DLC.

The DLC, released for free in four patches over six months in Japan, includes the following:

  1. A new bachelor and bachelorette: Stephanie the contest MC and Woofio. Yes, Woofio the contest judge in the dog suit. This includes new resident and romance events for these characters
  2. A few new events such as your father coming to visit and getting together with friends of the same gender for a meal
  3. The ability to have a child with the game’s secret marriage candidate
  4. A new “performer” story (Which are similar to the TV channels in the previous Story of Seasons)
  5. A new pet, Cheburashka, a Russian cartoon character that has a presence in Japan
  6. New costumes, including ones based on Lest and Frey from Rune Factory 4
  7. New reaction dialogue for different outfits and pets from bachelors and bachelorettes

One of the DLC patches unlocks Stephanie as a Westown resident and marriage candidate. Not to mention she finally has a name.

The total size of the DLC is over 200,000 Japanese characters, making it as large as some games we’ve released. The first Corpse Party, for example, has about 210,000 characters.

The last round of DLC was released in Japan in mid-December, which means that the Japanese text was completed after we’d entered the QA and submission phase of localizing the main game. With DLC of this size, including it in the game would have been impossible under our schedule. It would have forced us to release months after we’d originally planned.

The Performer is a traveling showman who will read one chapter from a story per day. The illustrations are by “guest” artists.

So, will the DLC ever be released in North America? The truth is that we’re still discussing it. Given the size of the DLC, it would cost upwards of six figures to localize it (over half of which is programming and QA costs). For the amount of money and manpower we would need, we could almost release a full other title. The price of the base game in Japan is more than in North America, and they sell about twice as many games as we do here, factors which made it easier for them to release the DLC for free. We are really grateful to fans for their continuing support of the series under its new name, but releasing DLC of this size for free is beyond our means.

This places us squarely between a rock and a hard place. We either don’t localize the DLC at all, or we release it as paid DLC. Neither of these is ideal, but we have to be realistic as a smaller publisher.

The price point we’re looking at, after comparison with other paid DLC with similar content, is $3.99 each for three patches. (Patch 1 and 2 from the Japanese version, which contain less content than 3 and 4, would be combined.) Making for an even more bitter pill is that by charging for the DLC, we would be unable to include Cheburashka (and even offering him for free wouldn’t have guaranteed the license extended out to North America indefinitely). The above details aren’t set in stone, but it is the most likely plan if we do localize the DLC.

In my last blog, I wrote that it kills us to release a game without all the content of the original version. Dealing with this situation has been even harder than removing Hamtaro from the game, as I know that some of you are looking forward to wooing Stephanie or Woofio, or having a child with the secret marriage candidate. We want to work on the DLC. (Though, I don’t know if the person tasked with editing over 500 lines of Woofio dog puns will feel the same.)

Even though there’s no best-case scenario here, we’ve chosen to lay all of this out and see what you all have to say about it. We take your comments seriously, so let us know what you think.

One DLC patch adds Woofio as a marriage candidate. All joking aside, he actually has an interesting backstory.

  • Me: Microtransactions are bad and set a really bad precedent, especially for fully priced games where the costs don't go back into improving the game. Some day, a really shitty publisher is going to make the game impossible to beat without the proper microtransactions.
  • Idiots: Oh stop complaining about them, they're just pointless cosmetics and fun! It'll never get as bad as you say.
  • Idiots: *pay over 100 dollars to try to get the holiday themed skin for their favorite Overwatch hero*
  • Activision: holy shit we're making SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY FROM THIS
  • WB Games: hmmmmmmmmm
  • Shadow Of War: *apparently can't complete the game without extreme amounts of grind or purchasing lootboxes of good enough uruks you gotta get in a lottery*
  • Idiots: WHAT THE FUCK HOW DID IT GET THIS BAD?????
  • Me: golly I have no idea
POKEMON SWITCH - FIRST DETAILS RELEASED! (LEGIT)

Get ready for a Pokémon Switch game!


“Look upon the stars”

There is going to be an official Pokemon event named “Look upon the stars” on May 20th at Pokemon centers, and the event is going to release a line of merchandise that’s centered around the theme of stars and constellations.



According to a Chinese Leak, that was confirmed to be true with Primarina, Incineroar, and Decidueye in the Datamines. There was more to come from the Pokémon Co.

We have yet to receive, THREE NEW STARTER POKEMON!

Long ago, @megapokemonxy discovered and published and deleted a Leak that basically said:

“There will be new version exclusive starter Pokémon in the next Pokémon Game, that will resemble the Zodiac signs.”


LEAK: Game will be set in on the new gen console/handheld.

CONFIRMED: Stars will be set in the new gen console The Switch.


LEAK: The will be 2 sets of starters, based on the version you pick. Western Zodiac starters: Bull, Chimera, Ram. Eastern Zodiac Starters: Horse, Rabbit, and Dragon


“based on the version you pick.”


Two Versions of Pokémon Stars?!

Which is what @megapokemonxy published:

Pokémon Co. may keep the price tag of the POKEMON franchise of $39.99 once POKEMON STARS releases on the Nintendo Switch. Instead of the Nintendo Switch Game Price of $60.00 by making two versions of the game.



Follow @megapokemonxy for more Pokémon STARS Details

how to support indie authors

since self-publishing my first book, I discovered there are so many things I never knew about helping other self-published poets.

so, I’ve made a post combining everything I’ve learned and I would love for you to add your insight to this post as well.

  • buy the book. don’t ask for free copies. self-published writers are self-funded. fortunately, the process is fairly cheap, but that doesn’t mean we have the funds to buy a bunch of our own books and give them away. if you can’t afford it at the current price, wait for a possible sale or free book promotion. (additionally, I don’t have a problem with book bloggers asking for a copy in exchange for a review–just don’t get mad when we may not be able to provide a free copy.)
  • spread the word. if you bought it and loved it, spread the word. if you want it but can’t afford it at the moment, spread the word. most self-pubbed authors don’t have funds for traditional advertising methods. we rely on word-of-mouth advertising. follow their social media accounts and be sure to retweet, reblog, share, etc. when they post about their book. recommend the book to your friends and family. post pictures of the book on your social media too!
  • leave a review! this is a big one. you should do this with traditionally published authors as well. on Amazon, the more reviews you have, the more visibility your book will get. even if it’s as simple as “five stars, highly recommend,” it will go a long way.
  • cross-post your reviews! so many book reviewers leave a review on Goodreads and not on the retail site they purchased the book from. be sure to leave them on both!
  • while reviews are mainly meant to inform potential readers about the book, authors read them too. reviews are intended to be helpful. that being said, if you hated the book, that’s okay. honesty is great. but it will help both the potential reader AND the author if you share why, rather than just “book sucked, don’t buy.”
  • shipping delays and misprints are not our fault–please do not blame us. leaving a one star review because the book came a day late will lower an author’s ratings, and it’s for something completely out of their control. if you had a shipping error or misprint, please contact the support team of the retail site so they can help you.
  • don’t complain about the prices. in general, authors make very little off of each book. while self-published authors do have the freedom to set their own price, after manufacturing, printing, and shipping costs are taken out, we receive very little.  

I know there are a lot more ways to help authors so if you want to add to this list, please feel free!

(and I wouldn’t be a true author if I didn’t promote myself on this post, so if you would like to check out my best-selling poetry book, you can do so here.)

-shelby leigh

skylosofficial  asked:

I remember hearing from a couple of people that the prices for games have never increased and adjusted for inflation, and therefore they are technically cheaper today than 30 years ago. Is this true? And if it is, does that ever concern the publishers or developers? Do they earn less money from games now than in the past? I'm thinking if prices never adjust for inflation, wouldn't that mean games might eventually not be viable to earn money from? Sorry if my question is all over the place.

You are correct. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, using the Consumer Price Index, it would require spending approximately $192.72 today in order to buy the same amount of goods that $100 would have bought in January of 1990. Spending [$60 on a game in 1990 would be the equivalent buying power of $115.63 today].

Does this concern publishers? Absolutely. We earn much less per game sale today than we did in the past, and we spend much more to develop and market games today than we did back then. The big factor that you’re missing is the number of games sold. In 1990, selling 500,000 copies was considered a big hit. Chart-topping blockbusters sold a million copies. Today, we see the best-selling games getting numbers of 5-10 million regularly, and even failures can still move millions of copies. Two of the titles I worked on weren’t considered successes, but still sold over two million copies each. Diablo 2, considered to be one of the best games of all time, also sold around two million copies in its first year. The main reason that game prices haven’t needed to keep pace with inflation is that there are so many more money-spending gamers today than there were back then. As long as the number of game buyers continues to increase with the times, we can keep the price steady. We don’t get as much per game, but we sell a lot more games.

This brings its own set of problems along with it. The number of gamers continues to grow, but it’s grown in new fields - mobile and social gaming. Unfortunately, these gamers haven’t really transitioned into more hardcore gaming experiences. The number of console and PC game-buyers isn’t really increasing anymore, but the cost still is. Now that technology has improved to the point where we can see individual nose hairs, fingernails, and sweat droplets, it means we need artists to model those fingernails, animators to animate those nose hairs, and engineers to code the simulation of the sweat droplets running down the character’s face. Because the sales growth isn’t increasing like it used to, publishers are exploring other means of earning additional money past the initial sale. This is the driving force behind features like freemium games, microtransactions, paid DLC, loot boxes, subscriptions, season passes, etc. They are all ways to try to earn more money, because a strictly sales-based business model just isn’t cutting it anymore.

In addition to this, because the price of games hasn’t risen, there are other side effects, like setting expectations for the game-buying public. The $60 spent on a launch PS3 title in November of 2006 would be the equivalent purchasing power of $69.40 in November of 2013 (when the PS4 launched), but people today still complain that they aren’t getting enough value for their money, despite their money being worth relatively less than it was and games providing more technically advanced features and higher fidelity content than before. All of the newer and more powerful hardware means that we can write code and create assets that takes advantage of that hardware. But we still need the people, time, and money to build all of that stuff, and that total aggregated effort is greater than previous generations. Before anybody tells me that gameplay trumps graphical fidelity, let me remind my readers that Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is currently getting slagged by gamers in large part because, despite its great gameplay, it isn’t pretty enough. As much as we might like to believe that great gameplay would always be enough, it really isn’t.

I want to be clear here - I’m not blaming gamers for wanting more for their money. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with telling us what you want, or expressing displeasure at various business practices. I’m just trying to explain how it contributed to the situation we’re in. It’s not necessarily a negative or a positive thing, it’s just the reality of the situation. Publishers need to understand their customers if they are going to serve them and remain profitable, and this is our general understanding of them after looking at the data.

Ultimately, it’s a question of reaching equilibrium. Publishers are on an eternal quest to balance budgets and profits for growth. That means pursuing new business models like loot boxes and paid DLC, new technology to make developing games more cost-efficient, and basic things like being more judicious about game budgets and deciding which projects get the green light. The game-buying public is constantly evolving and publishers are constantly experimenting with the formulas in order to get ahead of the curve.


Got a burning question you want answered?

Special editions - a rant

Something that really bothers me, that’s honestly probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to books and publishing: special editions with exclusive content. 

I know they’re meant as “let’s cash in as much money from the fans”, but I feel they’re incredibly disrespectful to the majority of the fan base. Most people don’t have access to these special editions. Most of them can hardly afford to buy the book in the first place, let alone cough up more money for special editions, which don’t only look different (think Lady Midnight special edition, or the countless Harry Potter ones), but also contain exclusive content - like novellas, art or other shenanigans (think Sarah J Maas books). Not only that, but there are books which have several special editions, each with different content. 

All fans should have access to the same content. It’s incredibly disheartening to realise that you won’t be able to buy a book in your favourite series that has something unique, because it’s only available in certain regions, or if you do have friends who can get you the book, you’d have to pay a fortune in shipping fees. Frankly, I think it’s unfair. Firstly to the people who can’t afford/don’t have access to the special edition, and secondly to the fans who can afford it, and want to get it, but are forced to pay full price for several editions that contain virtually the same content, with 1% being something new. You shouldn’t have to measure your love for a book or series by the amount of cash you’re willing/able to spend on it.

Add to this box sets of a series being released like a year after the series ended, but hey, it’s a box set so it’s pretty; paperbacks released months after the hardback, which conveniently contain novellas or previously unreleased content, complete cover redesigns years after the series concluded. I can go on, but I’m already bitter enough, so I’ll stop.

2

CALLA CTHULHU goes on sale next week, Wed, Aug 6th at comic shops, a week later for Amazon, et al. Collects the entire Stela app comic in a full color, 256 full-color pg book. Script by Sarah Dyer and Evan Dorkin, pencils and designs by co-creator Erin Humiston, inks by Mario Gonzalez, colors by Bill Mudron and lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot. $12.99 cover price, published by the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics.

Calla is a seemingly ordinary human teenager who finds herself in the middle of a cosmic struggle between Lovecraftian elder gods, cultists, and enemies. There’s also plenty of monsters, various undead beings and mysterious assassins. And a jar of failed Shoggoth. 

It’s a coming-of-age weird action/adventure series set in modern times, beneath the shadow of ancient horror.  Or something like that. Mostly it’s fun. You might like it, and if you pick it up, we hope you do. 

3

Art Commissions Open!
traditional Watercolor paintings and sketch pages!

especially exotic pets are very welcome for this but I can do pretty much every animal but humans.

Prices:
Sketch Pages - 15–20€
Full body no background - 30–60€
Full illustration with a background like shown - 80–110€

highly depending on complexity and paper size (either A5 or A4)
shipping of originals not included but possible (worldwide)

for more infos keep reading!

Keep reading

The Steam Dichotomy

The dysfunctional thinking between what developers have and what they think they want

Valve announced that Steam Greenlight was no more, and then Steam Direct became news everywhere. Not much has been said yet, other than Steam Direct will be about as much as Steam Greenlight was – and this has sparked debate among indie developers. Some show support with the initiative, whereas others are disappointed in the low fee and the consequences they assume from it.

Thinking less competition will provide for better opportunities for sales is absurd. You can try standing on a street downtown selling candy by yourself, but the fact that you would be the only kid diung anything doesn’t mean that anyone would buy from you. Ideally, having a market involves the concept of multiple variables efficiently coexisting, without it the concept of a market doesn’t exist. Without company diversity operating in the same supply and demand, indie developers would be nothing but quirky kids doing creative things that belong nowhere in the economic spectrum. Having a healthy market indicates more to work with, there are more games but also gamers too; having more people to perceive as potential users is a positive thing.

Without the data a market provides, companies like Steam would not exist. There would not be enough of a user base to build up a distribution platform that would operate as an important hub in the industry – you would be stuck working on your own Wordpress website, with your GoDaddy / Shopify store.  I sure remember those days, way before even social media existed. To assume a company should do less to serve third-party expectations is flawed, a company works for itself, even if it is a hub that provides a service to many other smaller companies and indie studios.



 The thing indie developers understand as a problem is the denial to accept the bar gets raised every single time there is a surplus of content. More games dictate gamers will have choices, providing new bars for what is value and price, including options for costs and quality. When more is asked of you, you shouldn’t complain about giving less – learn more instead; there is so much to work with, having fewer people playing games won’t dictate your success, but having more venues to reach out to more.

There is not much to discuss on Steam Direct so far, we need information on how content will be curated now, and what this new platform will offer for indie development. For now, all we can do is revise the concepts of cost and price, and quality and value – all sound similar, yet they are not. Not long ago, I wrote about the difference of cost and price, this time I want to introduce quality and contrast it with the concept of value, all relevant to the future of your games.

Value is something that becomes defined by the user, if it is something that serves a purpose for any specific use, or that it becomes something that resonates in sentiment. Quality relies entirely on the company, and sometimes it might even set the bar for cost and performance. Also, while important, users might buy not because it has quality but they will not buy it in the absence of quality, reason why quality and value need of each other.

Maybe your game presents the most refreshing imaginative creation yet on its genre, but if the game crashes on start, it matters very little how meaningful it is if it’s unplayable. Maybe your game runs perfect, but it is yet again another pointless shooter clone without even a story to it – development should not impair marketing, just as marketing can’t exist without development. Yet, it is often known that developers can market a game for five years and more, or simply just launch without marketing at all – neither scenario is healthy without understanding how variables like quality and value will set the bar for cost and ultimately, price.

Steam is one of many distribution options for digital content, and it is one of the fundamental ones. It widens your options as a publishing platform, but it doesn’t provide success by default. Everything you combine with the concept of cost, quality, value and price will.

Game development production is fundamental: the time you take working on something, the time it takes to promote said something, the money you inject into it. There are so many variables that need time and money, and if you do not have the money then it should take ten times the work and attention. But thinking because you can’t afford it, that it might not be needed, is what makes indie developers fight to be in a new releases listing rather than organize a genuine marketing plan instead. Invest your efforts wisely, don’t be afraid of competition – grow with it.

“Loads of moneeyyyy! Money, money, money ♪ ♫ ♪ ”

2

‘’Which African writers have influenced you besides Chinua Achebe?’’

I pondered this question for a while before I thought of making a list of  writers who equally influenced my hunger for African history… my history. After scouring my memory and the internet, I have made my list of favourite East African Literary figures/Writers. Most of these novels, plays and Poetry are reminiscent of my high school literature curriculum. Others are just out of curiosity for fellow East African literary voices that I want to hear. I have compiled a list of authors from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi hoping that you share the same hunger to read as I do. This list does not even attempt to exhaust the East African writers that you may know of but hey, it is a start.

1. Song of Ocol ; a poem that expresses Ocol’s, (an African man) disgust for African ways and the destructive force of his self-hatred - Okot P’Bitek (Uganda)

2. Song of Lawino: a poem dealing with the tribulations of a rural African wife whose husband has taken up urban life and wishes everything to be westernised - Okot P’Bitek (Uganda)

3.The Burdens: a play that reflects the socio-political atmosphere in Uganda post independence -  Ruganda John (Uganda)

4. The River Between (1965): tells a story about the struggle of a young leader ‘Waiyaki’ to unite the two villages of Kameno and Makuyu through sacrifice and pain - Ngugi Wa Thiongo’o (Kenya)

5. Admiring Silence: A man escapes from his native Zanzibar to England. His furtive departure makes it unlikely that he will ever return, but he and his family agree a bright future lies ahead. He meets an English woman and they build a life together  - Abdulrazak Gurnah (Tanzania)

6. Two in One; a barren lady kidnaps three babies but the scam falls through a few decades after because one of the children is recognized later in life - Mwangi Gicheru (Kenya)

7. The promised Land: A young farmer and his wife who have migrated to Tanzania from Kenya become embroiled in issues of personal jealousy and materialism, and a melodramatic tale of tribal hatreds ensues.  - Grace Ogot (Kenya)

8. The Floods - Ruganda John (Uganda)

9. Paradise: Is a tragic love story about an African boy coming of age and a tale of the corruption of traditional African patterns by European colonialism  - Abdulrazak Gurnah (Tanzania)

10. I will Marry When I want (1977) : A peasant farmer and his wife are tricked into mortgaging their home and plot of land to finance a ‘’proper Christian Wedding.’’ This was a very powerful play of that time which according to some historians, attributed to Ngugi’s detention without trial. - Ngugi Wa Thiongo’o (Kenya)

11. The Ethnic Trap/Le Piege ethnique (1999): A study of ethnic polemics  - Benjamin Sehene (Rwanda)

12. Across The Bridge (1979): When Kihuthu’s daughter Caroline falls in love with Chuma and becomes pregnant with his child, she disgraces her family, who feel especially humiliated by Chuma’s lowly status as a mere houseboy. -    Mwangi Gicheru (Kenya)

13. Weep Not Child; Portrays the Mau Mau uprising and bewildering dispossession of ancestral land from the Natives.This book was the first novel to be published by an East African in 1964. He wrote this book when he was still a student at Makerere University -Ngugi Wa Thiongo’o

14. La Fue Sous La Soutane/Fire Under the Cassock (2005): a historical novel focusing on the true story of a Hutu Catholic Priest, Father Stanislas, who offered protection to Tutsi refugees in his church before sexually exploiting the women and participating in massacres . - Benjamin Sehene (Rwanda)

15. The Strange Bride (1983) an interpretation of a Luo myth - **Grace Ogot (Kenya)

16. White Teeth/Lak Tar - Tells the struggles of a poor young man, Okeca Ladwong who is forced to leave his village to find bride price that will enable him to get married. - Okot P’ Bitek (Uganda)

17. Silent Empowerment Of The Compatriots: is a powerful historical novel which forces us to re- think the whole notion of independence and the construction of a new society. - Gabriel Ruhumbika (Tanzania)

18. The Graduate: a novel set in post independent Kenya tackling the theme of corruption. How can the new government reorganize the system to benefit its own citizens?  - Grace Ogot (Kenya)

** Grace Ogot was the first female East African to be published.

19: Princess de Rugo - an autobiography of Esther Kamatari who fled to exile in Paris after the assassination of her father.- Esther Kamatari (Burundi)

DNTW conference 16/9/2017 QA:

(i tried to write as much as i can down but i probably missed a few minor details here and there, also warning for bad english :V


Answered by Lee Kyung Nam/Development PD

Q1. Future of DN? 龍之谷未來的走向

A: 2 main things they’re working on right now, a) it’s getting harder for new players that just started playing, so they’re trying to implement new contents that help new players understand and get into the game; b) they’re trying to reduce the gap between cash players and non-spending players/basically reduce elements of P2W. Also mentioned a new nest and awakening for lancea and machina

Q2. Please host costume design contests? 

A: Yes, through game publishers.

Q3. Reduce or lower the cost of getting equipments(屠殺者裝備, not too sure what this is), for now it’s 3-5 points per run and 10000 points needed to get the gear.

A: Basically: No, the gears are not the main thing they want you to get from the store… Will add more items to the store and maybe increase the points you get per run

Q4. Please improve guild system for medium-small guilds.

A: They mostly release competitive content for guilds, it might not be good for smaller guilds but they think this is the right(?) direction. Could try implementing minor adjustments? 

Q5. Option to replay old cutscenes?

A: For now, not really. Maybe next year. (time constraints) Will try to bring more and better cutscenes and videos.

Q6. Make 95L server storageable pls

A: No, this will make the player too OP and ignore other contents of the game. But will consider making them tradable (seal stamp)

Q7. When will PVP balancing come?

A: Truthfully speaking there isn’t a lot of PVP balancing done in 2017 and they know that. They’re sorry. They hope to do proper PVP balancing based on the data they’ve gathered from several servers in the second half of 2018 (Oct?) 

Q8. Raid Nests are too hard for non-FD players pls nerf

A: The difficulty of Raid Nests are designed according to the capabilities of endgame players. Instead of nerfing the nests they will try to improve player growth instead.

Q9. Implement quick play mode/more maps for minigame PVPs 

A: Instead of introducing new content in PVP, they’re hoping to improve the current meta instead, maybe in the next year. Promise. (打勾勾喔)

Q10. Bring back Nest Achievements and old Raid Nests

A: They’re planning to change Guild Nest. They feel like it’s not good to just bring back the old nests and simply change the values, so they’re adding new mechanics to the old nests. There will be a new Raid Nest coming, and currently there’s no plans to re-release old Raid Nests.


Questions/suggestions from players, answers from GF/publisher

(most of the answers to these are “we don’t have the authority to change a lot of things, please write your suggestions in the form so we can let ED know” the ones with A: are answered)

-RoB problem (Imperator buying off all the RoB, hope to set limits)

-TH gold price limit rebalance (item values are higher than the current limit of the selling price)

-More slots in the disassembler/make crafting one-click instead of having to wait (A: the devs are focusing more on making new contents and less functionality issues, but write that down and see what they can do)

-Sell epic synthesis costumes in the Cash Shop for people who want them for the looks and not stats

-Please implement more ways to obtain Spera

-Improve Hero’s Battlefield, since it’s kinda pointless now other than Darkness Cube and skill frags that don’t have much worth. Maybe implement points system and add a store for item exchange.

-Shooting Star bugs (Splash missing at point blank and Chemical Missile SAb problem)

-What’s the Dragon Jade reward for the next season Lagendia exploration (+14 Lv93 or Lv95)

-Disconnecting in NM results in losing all/a lot of your points you earned in the run, maybe let you return to the game or store your points

-Increase spectator count in PvP rooms

-What’s your solution to players mass quitting/population dropping? Also please release a lighter Kali skin color? (A: Events that attract new players, and Kali’s skin color is related to her character design but will try asking)

-Improvements to the Apprentice system?

-Allow easier Jade element change

-Bring back difficulty settings(Abyss) for lower dungeons for newer players who like a challenge (instead of challenge being an endgame thing)

-Change/add event timing (Friday night/weekends to maybe weekdays too) (A: we’re trying to conform to the majority of the players, who are usually not free on weekdays)

-Ladder queue time too long when rating high. Sometimes over half an hour. (A: devs have plans to fix this in Oct)


Additional info:

-Title improvements will come in the first half of 2018 

-No plans for wedding system :^(((((((((

-Improvements in daily mission achievements, since for now it feels very grindy and no surprises (with the addition of Gold Nest tickets)

-Plans to improve Rare/Epic Talisman crafting (too hard to get the right stat)

-Received question about male character. Currently there’s a character in development that has gender and voice option, coming in 2018

-New Raid Nest in development

COMMISSION INFO

Hi, I’d love to make some art for you!

Base prices are shown below. I will show you works-in-progress of the illustration so that you know what you’re getting and if any changes need to be made (up to a total of three revisions). After the third, a charge of $5 will be added to each revision afterwards.

Commissions can be SFW/NSFW; however, NSFW (whether violent or sexual) will be done as a private commissions that will not and cannot be published on any site.

If you would like a simple background to be included in your commission or more than one character, that can be done. There is no set price for either of these due to the amount of variables that go into each. I will be more than willing to discuss these with you and find a comfortable price that works for both of us!

• Sketch ($15) Colored (+ $5)
Sketches include profiles, busts, or full body. Colors are flats with a flat background. Can include multiple characters. No backgrounds.

• Inked ($25)
Inked. No color. Can include multiple characters. Can include simple background.

• Inked + Colored ($35+)Inked. Color is cell shaded with gradients. Can include multiple characters. Can include simple background.
Viz Media Sets ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ Digital Manga Sale
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Viz Media Sets ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ Digital Manga Sale

Viz Media has set its next series sale on the digital manga front today with Yu Yu Hakusho getting the nod. The publisher has all nineteen volumes of the series available on ComiXology priced at $4.99 per volume. The sale is good through July 24th, 2017. The series comes from Yoshihiro Togashi…

Check out the full article by Chris Beveridge on The Fandom Post!

Fic/Original authors Promotion?

So for those who write both fanfic, and have published original works…

Who might be interested in a holiday group promotion?

This isn’t a zine or even anything you would have to write anything new for. Pretty much the idea is set one of you ORIGINAL works to a promotional price of free or 99 cents for several days, maybe a week. But we do it as a group, with shared graphics and links to everybody’s pieces. We’ve all got something on promotion at the same time and readers get the full list from each of us without searching around. Since we’ve each got different audiences everybody benefits from the group promotion, including readers who might find new voices they like. 

I’ve been in these before and they tend to do ok. Some authors use instafreebie to build their mailing lists, others just set their promotion on amazon. So whatever works that way too I’m open to. 

I think I’d like to start with the YoI fic authors, but we can expand to other fandoms if needed. For sake of my sanity though (it being november after all and me knee deep in being behind in nano again) I’d like to cap at 20 or so. 

Time is a bit short as the holidays are coming. I’m thinking this needs to be a mid-december thing. And if successful we can decide if this needs to become a thing. 

anonymous asked:

Was it hard to do a book? Like the pricing? Did everything come out of your pocket?

Nah, it wasn’t hard at all. 

I self-published it using CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing service) and the main production cost was ordering a proof copy to see that everything was printed right. Other than that, they charged me nothing. 

You should be aware that they do have a minimum amount you can set as the price (which means you get no payments at all) and a percentage they take out of your sales ( 40% of list price for Amazon.com and Amazon Europe, and 60% of expanded distribution - libraries, bookstores).

And that’s basically it. Ordering the proof copy (which you get for its basic production cost somewhere around $2 + shipping). Nothing else. You can even skip that with a digital proof, but I strongly recommend you order yourself a copy, especially if you’re live somewhere where they won’t charge you $20 for shipping. 

If you want to, of course, other costs are optional - CreateSpace gives you the possibility of getting an editor, someone designing your cover, etc. You can also figure out a marketing plan for your book, but those are completely your own. 

Let me know if you have any more questions! My DMs are always open! 

2

Dear Readers and Friends,

finally, encouraged by all of your support and nice words, I’m excited to share some concrete informations to my first soon to be published book. I want to thank each and everyone of you for being so patient and sharing your excitement - you are what makes writing worth.

Title: Sunblind

Release Date: Early August 2016

Price: 8€ online download via payhip | there’s also the option of printed copies, they would cost 18€ as I will order them myself if anyone’s interested and send them via post - it’s a longer process and more time consuming as it may take up to three weeks until you have your copy. Shipping costs are already included in the price. If anyone is already interested in printed copies just send an ask or an email to meisel.ramona@gmail.com

Synopsis: 

“Do you want to set the world on fire tonight?”

Sunblind is an anthology about the love of two boys on the verge of finding themselves. An old legend with a modern twist told through the eyes of both, sometimes alternating, and a collection of voicemails, texts, post-its and notes. 

The book features over 70 pieces and is divided into three parts which piece together the life of Icarus and Apollo, and their story which struggles for love, dependency, fear and more.

HTML5 for Publishers - Sanders Kleinfeld | Programming |573193519

HTML5 for Publishers
Sanders Kleinfeld
Genre: Programming
Price: Get
Publish Date: October 6, 2011

HTML5 is revolutionizing the Web, and now it’s coming to your ebook reader! With the release of the EPUB 3 specification, HTML5 support will officially be a part of the EPUB standard, and publishers will be able to take full advantage of HTML5’s rich feature set to add rich media and interactivity to their ebook content. HTML5 for Publishers gives an overview of some of the most exciting features HTML5 provides to ebook content creators–audio/video, geolocation, and the Canvas–and shows how to put them in action. Learn how to: Intersperse audio/video with textual content Create a graphing calculator to display algebraic equations on the Canvas Use geolocation to customize a work of fiction with details from the reader’s locale Use Canvas to add interactivity to a children’s picture book

why pirating otome games hurts

You’re probably sitting there thinking oh my gawd, there she goes again, we already know that pirating otome games is bad and we shouldn’t do it (at least, I hope you know that it’s bad to pirate them).

After receiving two asks and yet another comment on my wordpress blog asking for videos of otome game playthroughs, I wondered why people can’t seem to understand the message I’ve been trying so hard to get across. It isn’t just me either; plenty of people have written against the piracy of otome games. But people continue to ask for pirated access to them. Quite honestly, it’s frustrating.

I’ve realized that there’s focus on the “it’s bad” part and there’s not enough explanation on the “why”. So here I am, writing this post when I could be out there romancing butlers and princes and hot salarymen and CEOs instead.

I’ll be focusing on two companies in this post: Voltage Inc. and Otomate/Idea Factory. Why? Because I categorize otome games into three categories: mobile, handheld/console, and PC. The overseas PC market for otome games is mostly overtaken by indie developers and none of them have a clear dominance in the market. Voltage is a leader (not the only one) in the mobile market and Otomate is the only company with measurable success in the console/handhelds market.


1. Companies have to make profit.

Let’s start with the basics. Who develops these games? Companies. If you want to use the correct term, it’d be corporations. Voltage and Otomate/IF are both incorporated entities, which means they were founded with the goal of business purposes. What do businesses do? (psst, the answer is make money)


2. Localizing/Translating a visual novel costs a lot of money.

Developing a game costs a lot of money. I won’t say a number since it varies depending on the game, but there are a lot of people who go into the production of a game developed by a big company (director, scenario writers, scripterwriters, line-art artists, CG colorists, background artists, CG supervisor, sound director, composers, seiyuu/voice actors, animators, programmers, debuggers, production manager, etc). Keep in mind this is only the developing team. I haven’t included the PR team, marketing, customer service, HR, and many others.

Also keep in mind that certain directors, scenario writers, artists, and seiyuu can come with a huge price tag if they’re successful and in demand. Consumers will buy games if the story is written by a writer they like, the art is done by an artist they like, or a character is voiced by a seiyuu they like. This allows these people to charge a “premium” price for their services because they can affect how well a game sells by a considerable amount.

A game won’t get translated unless it’s made enough revenue to break even and earn profit in Japan. Which means that they’ve made enough money to pay all the people above and make extra money off it (aka profit). I keep mentioning profit and you’re probably wondering why it’s so important; I’ll explain its importance later.

Translating a game has different costs. They have to hire a director, translators, scriptwriters, programmers, debuggers, production manager, etc. Because the game has already been developed, less people are needed, but even then it’s not a small number.

I read a post somewhere posted by someone who used to translate for Voltage that it cost them around $10,000 just to translate the prologue and main stories alone (it might have been a season, I’m not sure. If someone could find that post for me it’d be much appreciated). This is number very likely the money paid to the translators only. It probably costs Otomate/IF a lot more to translate theirs since their games are longer and usually include side stories. Let’s say Otomate pays ~$20,000 for their translators.


3. Selling a game is a lot more than just its development and translation.

Money is spent on legal costs for copyright. Offices aren’t free; they have to be rented (and they cost a lot). There’s the PR team, marketing team, customer service team, HR team, and a lot of other teams that are included in the development of a game and the everyday operations of a company.

A lot of money is spent on marketing. I can’t give a number since this also depends on the game (it’ll go past $1 million for some games), but its a large cost and very likely costs even more than the localization itself. A game will do well or do poorly based on how its marketed. This is especially true for otome games because…


4. Otome games target an extremely niche market.

What does this mean? It means that there’s a small, specific group of people that these products can be sold to. It’s easy to misunderstand and think that there’s a lot of people who like otome games since they’ve been getting a larger presence here on tumblr. 

Voltage has it easier since they’re in the mobile market. Smartphones have become ubiquitous in today’s society; because of that, they already have more room to work with in terms of target audience. While the subset they target is women in their 30s (at least, in Japan), technically, anyone with a smartphone could become a possible consumer. However, not everyone is interested in reading a romance in first person from a woman’s point of view.

Otomate released Amnesia on Steam and both Amensia and Hakuoki on mobile. It’s most likely because they’re trying to find a larger target audience they can sell to. Vita sales haven’t been doing well overseas, limiting the people who have a reason to buy their products (Otomate’s games are mostly developed for the Vita). However, it’s a pretty good bet that they’re not going to release games for Steam anymore due to the piracy fiasco that ensued less than a week after Amnesia’s Steam release.


5. The otome game market is extremely competitive

A small target audience with lots of competitors indicates market competitiveness, which in turn indicates low profitability. Why? Because you have to either differentiate your product or fight with low prices.

Otomate doesn’t have any competitors in the consoles/handheld market (so far) but they have to compete with the growing number of otome games being released for mobile. If someone just got into otome games and didn’t own a Vita, there’s no reason for them to buy a Vita when they can easily play otome games on their phone. However, its indisputable that Otomate is the leading company for consoles/handhelds; I think they’re trying to use this to their advantage. They’re choosing which games to localize extremely carefully to grow their fanbase and secure more sales in the future. The mobile phone releases of Hakuoki and Amnesia were most likely done to increase sales, but also to give consumers a taste of their products. If they liked them, they can invest in a Vita and play Code:Realize, Norn9, and future releases. In a way, they’re differentiating their products as more “serious” games by their choice of platform (by “serious” I mean better developed, whether its the game itself, the characters, or the plot).

Voltage has a plethora of competitors. NTT Solmare, D3 Publisher, Cybird, Genius, Koyonplete, Arithmetic, indie developers, and more that I may not know of. However, they can’t raise their prices because they’re very well aware that people already think their prices are too high. They set the standard at $3.99 USD and keep it there. Their main strategy seems to be focused on quality, art style, and brand name. Game quality is factored into development and not localization so I won’t be discussing it here.


6. The math part

Time for everyone’s favorite subject!

Let’s add up the total cost it took for Voltage to localize a game. Let’s say the project lasted 4 weeks. They hired 2 translators, 2 scriptwriters, 2 programmers, a director, and a production manager. Translators worked in weeks 1 and 2, scriptwriters worked in weeks 2 and 3, and programmers worked in weeks 3 and 4. The director and production manager worked all 4 weeks.

With the exception of the translators (who are paid by word) and the director, I’ll be using average salaries for the other positions. For the director, I’ll be using the average entry-level salary since the overall average is skewed too much due to high profilers.

translation: $10,000
2 scriptwriters working ~2 weeks: $5,000
2 programmers working ~2 weeks: $6,000
director working ~4 weeks: $4,000
production manager working ~4 weeks: $5,000

Total cost of localization team: ~$30,000

If we were to go off sales of main stories only (which are ~$4)

$30,000 / $4 = 7,500 main stories

Voltage has to sell 7,500 main stories to break even on localizing a game.

Now let’s add up the costs for Otomate localizing a game. 

Because the games are longer in content, let’s say the localization project for around 8 weeks. They hired 3 translators, 3 scriptwriters, 3 programmers, a director and a production manager. Translators worked weeks 1 to 3, scriptwriters worked weeks 3 to 6, and programmers worked weeks 5 and 8 . The director and production manager worked all 8 weeks.

translation: $20,000
3 scriptwriters working for ~4 weeks: $15,000
3 programmers working for ~4 weeks: $18,000
director working ~8 weeks: $8,500
production manager working ~8 weeks: $10,000

Total cost of localization team: ~$71,500

A copy of Norn9 sold for ~$40 on Amazon or GameStop. Distributors usually get around 50% of the selling price, which means that for every copy of Norn9 that got sold, Otomate made $20. 

$71,500 / $20 = 3,575 copies

Otomate has to sell 3,575 copies of Norn9 to break even on localizing it.

Keep in mind that this isn’t taking into consideration the marketing and advertising for either situations.


7. So what about that oh-so-important profit?

Both Voltage and Otomate have to push money into localizing these games before they can sell them. Guess where that money comes from?

Some of it comes from investors, but a lot of it comes from profit from previous projects. The profit Otomate makes from Amnesia, Code:Realize, and Norn9 are most likely going to go towards whatever games they choose to localize next year. The profit Voltage gets from Butler Until Midnight is most likely going to go towards their future releases for the game and their next game localization. Profit is important because it allows a company to continue functioning and expand.

Companies also use revenue as a means to judge whether a product has sold well or not. They’ll have a set goal they want to reach and if the goal is met or exceeded, the product is considered a success. High profit indicates high interest; low profit or not breaking even means it’s not worth investing in.


Are these numbers accurate? Who knows. I’m basing this off my personal experience in coding and projects; I haven’t worked on as large-scale projects, but if the localization was the only thing the team was working on, it seems reasonable to me. You also have to take into consideration that all the people in the positions I mentioned could have been freelanced or have regular positions in these companies. They’re most likely working on other projects while working on this one and the company might offer different rates for those. (this is my disclaimer: these numbers are purely from research and some personal experience).

To the people who say pirating doesn’t hurt anyone: it does. Here are the facts and numbers. They may not be perfect, but if you want to show me numbers that say pirating isn’t going to hurt the otome game market, go ahead. Do your own research and work it out.

I hope this helped you gain a better understanding as to why pirating hurts.

tl;dr : Don’t be an asshat and ruin things for fans who want more localizations