I’ve been massively uncomfortable with the way certain press outlets (most?) have been covering the Polytron announcement that the TU1 patch for Fez will not be patched again.
I’m uncomfortable when the reporting becomes a review of a person first and foremost and I’m also uncomfortable with a no quarter attitude towards what developers should do.
I’m uncomfortable when the debate is hinged around indie vs corporate, choose your victor. The issue at hand, that of the ability for developers to patch games without having to worry about whether you can afford cash-wise to patch said game is a problem that effects all scales. That it hits indies and their limited funds harder is certainly a consideration and one that seems to get lost in the wordguff that’s surrounding this issue.
I’m uncomfortable when the debate ignores that the TU1 patch fixes the majority of issues with the game, leaving (as far as I’m aware) a corrupted save issue. Something that can be remedied by
clearing the cache and restarting the game. An uncomfortable thing to have to do but hardly the shit-o-geddon customer hating attitude that it’s being painted as.
I’m uncomfortable when people feel comfortable pulling the getting into bed with the devil argument, you signed a contract for fame and fortune and now, this is the price you must pay. I’m uncomfortable because it leaves no room for nuance, it leaves no room for context. It becomes a moral argument with nothing that hinges around whether something is fair, whether something is unfair, whether something is even viable. I would not like to be the person to cast such a judgement because I would not like to be the person if something went titsupus contractualus for me, to have the same argument thrown in my face.
I’m uncomfortable when people feel comfortable totting up numbers in their head and saying that “this much money must exist because this” because the world doesn’t work in such simple terms. Especially when what was supposed to be a 1 year game project has spiralled into spanning multiple years, during which the entire landscape of gaming has changed.
I’m uncomfortable when people say “you should have just released on Steam in the first place” when contracts were signed at a time when Steam was still 12 months away from showing its indie selling claws to one and all, when its notorious difficulty to get greenlit was at its peak. When other services were seen as behind the XBLA curve. I’m uncomfortable with hindsight being used as a stick to berate people with.
I’m uncomfortable with any debate that can argue around patches being seen as bad things to have, things that customers or services need to be protected from. Patches are to improve games. Patches are to make games better. Arguing against patches is to argue against the right to have better games. This is a ridiculous thing, beyond absurd. I’m uncomfortable when an imaginary line is drawn between services where patches are ok and where patches are not. Why is a patch to an iThing seen as desirable but XBLA not, beyond the whims of Microsoft?
I’m uncomfortable when any and all nuance is lost. I’m uncomfortable when random soundbites are used to justify removing the context from a debate.
I’m uncomfortable with the “but it’s Fish” train of thought because next time, it might not be Fish. It might be me. It might be you. It might be your friend or a developer you love not a developer you love to hate.
Right now, I’m just uncomfortable with the whole charade that’s sprung from a statement which points out the ridiculousness of a system that can penalise people for wanting to make better games. And I’m uncomfortable with how comfortably we let this shit slide over us.