Tea Talk: Representation

I really cannot fathom what does having representation in a game’s cast have to do with anything. The reason why I raised this up is because I have seen many people asking for more representation in games. Whether it be representation for females, LGBT, minorities, or any demographic that isn’t a straight white guy, their reason is always: “Those people should be represented in video games.” If the game’s lore implies that the cast should feature characters that aren’t straight white guys, then sure, they should be there. If not, then there is no reason for that to be the case.… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: “Lootboxes are OK because they’re only cosmetic!”

The recent Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco that was being reported and discussed both within and without the gaming community increases people’s scrutiny towards lootboxes. And during this time, a particular group of players started coming out and claiming they have a game which implements lootboxes the right way. The Overwatch community have been vocal about how well OW’s lootboxes are implemented as compared to SWBF2. The common sentiment among those cheering for OW’s lootboxes is that OW does it right since it’s cosmetics only, so you can’t gain a gameplay advantage from the loot. Some among them also think that the microtransactions… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: “Only pirate AAA games, and never pirate indies.”

“Only pirate AAA games, and never pirate indies.” This is the one rule to pirating that I got from my friends when I first started gaming. Throughout my time as a gamer, this is the one golden rule that almost everyone I met follows. In fact, the one time I met a person who doesn’t follow that rule and pirates indie games, everyone around him responded negatively almost immediately, myself included. Pirating indie games is just repulsive to me. After all, indie games are made by small studios and sometimes individual developers. They normally poured a fair bit of their… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: The mortality of emulation

No, I didn’t misspell “morality”. Some people are probably wondering why this is a topic. After all, since emulation is just running a bunch of code, wouldn’t that just be an issue of storing the code somewhere? As long as one copy of the code survives in this world, it’ll be good right? Games are immortal since as long as there’s one copy left, the game lives. However, having one copy surviving is an issue. If there is really only one copy left, if anything happens to that hard drive that stores the game, that game is dead. Gone. Nothing… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: Valve’s flat company structure

Valve’s flat company structure is rather well-known among gamers, devs and business people alike. It sounds like a game dev paradise: a salary model based on effort, no man being another man’s boss, ideas allowed to grow and flourish, and you get to pick what you want to work on. It sounds almost like Andrew Ryan’s vision of Rapture. And just like Rapture, things do go wrong. Valve’s customer support is legendarily bad. That isn’t surprising if you think about it. Who in the world will volunteer to do a thankless job answering the mob? For finance-related issues, potential lawsuits… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: Team Fortress 2 in general

Team Fortress 2 is ten years old. Most people would’ve known this. But I feel that this point bears repeating. To be very honest, it isn’t exactly that easy to tell sometimes, since the stylized art ages pretty OK. But because it’s ten years old, it has understandably lost some of its luster. Every time a new game comes out, it’ll chip away at least a sliver of TF2’s playerbase. The game is fighting a battle of attrition against the rest of the gaming industry for 10 years. Aside from that, as more and more new names enter the arena,… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: Giving money to Paladins

I have not spent a single cent on Paladins. And that is strange, because I really don’t see why not. I really enjoy the game, I’m rather invested in it, and I like Hi-Rez. Somewhat. I did talk about how I feel that Hi-Rez’s business model feels exploitative. Granted, they did made grinding easier since then, but the grind still feels so painfully long. The new champion always seem just that little bit out of reach. And the whole time I was at the champion screen, the Founder’s Pack ad is at the side, silently taunting me for not giving… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: Developer hijinks

In general, despite me really hating their business model at times and feeling really iffy about their new VIP system in Paladins, I like Hi-Rez. The devs actually put a lot of effort and love into developing the game. Paladins have been growing rather well, its community vibrant, its playerbase number is rather respectable (though we won’t know the actual player count since you can launch Paladins directly through Hi-Rez’s launcher instead of going through Steam), and its eSports scene is growing. This is in no small part due to Hi-Rez’s continuous efforts to develop and promote the game. But that… [Continue Reading]

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Tea Talk: The TF2 Community and charity

I frequent Reddit a lot. More specifically, I frequent /r/tf2 a lot. It’s like a more civilized SCUD with more fun things happening. Recently though, there was a thread that caught my attention. A teacher was asking for help. He or she has a student that falls on the autism spectrum, and the teacher found out that he likes TF2. Recently, the student has been getting into trouble and getting frustrated. One of the reason is that the student was getting bored of the entertainment available. Thus, the teacher turned to the community and requested for TF2-related images. The only… [Continue Reading]

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