Don't read me.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by battlezoby, Jan 27, 2022.

  1. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

    Before others get too silly with the "evil" thing, I'd figured I'd write a tad bit more about what I meant about "motivation."
    I started to seriously wonder about what Jon's "motivation" was, because I wanted to help him improve the game,
    but I've worked with enough people who start their own companies, that I know I they different motivation.
    They created their own jobs, they're spending their own time, their own money, and they want different things.
    Unfortinately, I have so much on mind mind, and relatively so little time to explain it now, I'm jumbling thoughts
    together... but it's there's a lot of good stuff here.

    I had some serious idea I wanted to pitch seriously. One that I thought might get a lot more paying customers
    but broadening the appeal of the game. So... what did Jon care about more? Making Money? Or actually
    scaring away people who aren't really cool so that the community is as good as it was. Couldn't really
    pitch the ideas well without knowing (or guessing.) I really wanted to help them game, even back then,
    although my main concern was preventing atrophy, since I wasn't the slightest bit worried about anyone
    doing anything to make the game worse.

    But.. here.. Summary:

    First off, I started wonder about "motivations" when Jon was in charge. See second paragraph below for that.

    But with Cardhunter, the primary motivations considered were: A) Personally Passionate about the game,
    B) Actually wants to analyze and seriously consider what will make the most money in the long run,
    C) Just doing their job, and D) "Other". And I decide on "C", just doing their job. Sir Civil and below is, IMO,
    Trying to help the game, taking input from randoms on Dis-INKSI, adding new stuff, good or otherwise, but
    none the less stuff they want to be good. I know that to most (probably all) people reading this, "doing their job"
    might seem pretty obvious... but read at least the next few paragraphs to see what I'm talking about regarding
    "motivation" and why. BTW.... I was worried Knight really do a lot of damage very quickly. They
    haven't. If they were making a new game, "doing thier job competently" would be great. But
    messing with a Masterpiece, without really considering (or at least being willing to post here,
    or contact me personally, about any serious game plan,
    well.. I'll explain more below.)

    While Jon was still in charge, I when I starting think about Cardhunter and the Company's Motivation.
    So it's not a train of through that started with the sale.

    Still in the Blu Manchu era, I had noticed how bad the AI Video was and I thought it was scaring away a lot of potential customers.
    Then I thought of another very interesting idea, which I thought might widen CH's appeal, and get a lot more player and money.

    But then I asked myself, "but the AI Video and/or other idea do a better job of reaching the 'lowest common denominator' of
    players who might consider CH under the best of conditions, is that what Jon really wants?"

    Thing is, I loved the Cardhunter community so much, not only in terms how many great people there were to meet in "World",
    but also in terms of how high a percentage of players seems way smarter than an better advertising campaign might bring in.

    I wanted to pitch the idea(s) to Jon, but figured I should first ask him, "What's your motivation? Are you adverse to maybe
    broadening CH's appeal so far that we get a far less amicable/intellectual stimulation in the community? Our or you more
    concerned with making money?"

    I never got around to asking Jon that question, not sure why, but perhaps in part, I didn't want to hear "no" to either question.

    BTW... I have a real life disability that makes it hard to not be overly verbose when I really care about something.
    I really care about cardhunter, so, yea... the following isn't a nearly a concise as I'd like it to be. Sorry.(*)

    So, when it comes to Knights I really didn't know what's up. They didn't seem to be serious about making money given
    that they reported asked Jon to shut off the Pay Pal Pizza, and worse yet, take it down from Kongregate even though they're still
    up and running, but not as well as before, in small part, because they no longer have their #1 most popular card game. (It was
    called "Cardhunter".

    A lot of people have been transfered away from here to Dis-still-not-saying-it, which I can understand. An easy mistake to
    make, "Yup, there's more people there." Thing is, you get more people there because it's easy to swap from one game to
    another, because they all effectively promote one another. So yea, it helps pull mild attention from other games, but it's
    a two way street... most people there watching 20 or 30 or more different games so they pop in quickly, but that doesn't
    mean that they won't pop out as quickly. I'm not sure if I can scroll all the way back of Dis-I.N.G.S.I, but certainly easier
    to catch up on every important post here.

    As far as making new cards, I'd not very humble in thinking I'd have some pretty good insight about them if they are
    coming, but nobody has asked me anything about my opinions of specific cards anywhere that I've noticed.

    But on motive again, Knights killed Kongregate, they killed the web interface, so, ya-know, bye-bye customers,
    adapt or we don't want you. The Loot Fairy track became, although technically a 3rd-party project, got moved
    to locations that noone paid by Knights is putting on a tracker, and I heard, well, this wild rumor that a couple
    of fans had to create a new tracker to accomidate the new locactions. (BTW... the internals are
    written from scratch, zero similarity to the old one server-side... or so I've been told.)

    After killing Kongregate, the Web-interface, requiring whoever to fix the tracker or letting it omit adventures,
    there was also killing the Double Dip Daily Deal... yea.. originally a bug, but it evolved into both a "scrared
    elephant", and from purchases my muself and people I know, it accounted for over 20% - 45% of the revenue.
    (Meaning money we spend on Cardhunter.) Buying two copies is twice as much gold/pizza as one. Except that
    a) Sometimes you want a matched set, so we get 0 instead of 2, and b) the first one is much more likely to bought
    with good-only, and the 2nd one with more likely with pizza. Oh... also, it meant leaving the open, so we remember
    it exists, but unfortinately that doesn't really effect Knights since so few people do that.

    At any rate, going off topic of "motivation", but my point is, especially if you consider that making a bunch of new
    cards is more important that taking a few minutes to take down that scare-people-away AI video, and all the other
    stuff, making more money really doesn't seem to be the motivation so far.

    I don't mean to imply anyone at Sir Civil's level or below him isn't trying to help the game, but without the sort
    of perspective that a head-of-the-company with a project they personally started, you tend to get more of a
    "just doing my job" mentality, then, well... let me say this... if doing nothing was more profitable
    than doing something, a CEO will do nothing, but the guys working for them will
    want to do something, because they want to "show they're worth", get paid, and
    maybe improve their resume.
    I'm not faulting Sir Civil or anyone below him for that, but it's not

    Jon, and I'd be happier if they were making something new without effecting something that was made by
    Jon with Richard's help, and, regardless of how made it, I really think the subtlety of what make
    a classic like Chess so good can easily get overlooked. ESPEICALLY if you're
    not concentrating on the Advertising end... improving the Steam page and
    doing more to promote PvP. As I mentioned at least once before, I have a friend's who probaby
    dumped, dunno - $500 - $2000 into Hearthstone. He my closest friend gaming-wise. I tried to get him to
    try Cardhunter, but he got bored at the PvE level but I told him about Cardhunter, and then, since he didn't like
    the PvE, he refuses to try PvP.

    Also, not crazy that wew cards being developed... but nobody asking for feedback and any of those changes
    anywhere that I've noticed...

    Not only are you not getting everyone here checking Dis-INGSI, I don't think you can track all the important
    discussion on Dis-INGSI (but I don't know, since I don't know it that well.)

    But bottom line, motivation doesn't seem to be making money, keep customers, and it's certainly not the sort
    of passion and personal interest that you get when you start you own company and risk you time and money
    on something that you consider new, innovative, and unproven.

    But again, I kind of disgress, POINT IS, that making money or a love of the game doesn't seem to
    be the motivation for what's being done. It's employees doing their jobs. That's not evil,
    that's normally a good a thing.

    Seriously, taking an educated guess, I Knights turned out their own game sort of like
    Cardhunter, I''d probably play it, and would pay to buy it or some micro's or whatever.

    AND THEN... I'd eventually get boarded of it, that way I've gotten bored of literally every online
    game I didn't start in the past 19 months, and come back to cardhunter. And if they made another,
    I 'm guessing they'd make another good one, and I'd play, and I'd come back here again. But mess
    with this too much, there won't be something I'm not bored of to come back with.

    On an happy-note, I want to mention a theory. It's not an accusation, and I admit it's a long-shot,
    but it is possible. MAYBE Knights secretly got paid by Steam to buy Cardhunter to take it off
    of Kongregate as an anti-competitive measure. And Steam doesn't like independant website like It might sound crazy, but with 70% market share on PC-games, and litterally
    MANY MANY Billions of dollars a year in profits, Steam could afford to do that, and might have.
    Maybe not. Maybe probably not. Maybe they did. And once it's been bought, the guy-up-high might
    as well let Sir Civil or whoever do their best with it, hoping that it does well, but not really caring too
    much. (For those of you that don't understand "anticompetitive practices," the minimum you need to know
    is that it is a to way harm the industry and pretty much everyone who cares about it, but it's done because
    the people who do it eventually make super-obscene amounts of money doing so.)

    Oh.. sorry... I should explain... Sir Civil said he "wanted to be an evil mastermind," so I called the
    Evil-Steam theory a "happy note" with him in mind because if we wants to assume he's doing that,
    he's getting his "evil" fix.

    * - Footnote: FYI... but I do have a few good hours where my concentration is better, and I could eventually
    write clearer and more convincingly if I was paid as a consultant, but not holding out for that. I love this,
    so I'd hypothetically [as in, I know it's not going to happen] take a token payment in offered, instead of $60/hr
    or $1500 for two days like I've gotten in the past.) But nobody seems very interested in free advice, so yea,
    guessing it's not gonna happen. Unfrotinately, I'm really bogged down with work (technically personal
    stuff that really have work at to get right, so it's harder to spend my best time editing this down, when
    I need to edit-down court filings instead.)
  2. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    Not as good as the EULA, but it just might work...
    Pawndawan likes this.
  3. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

  4. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    Just clicked to unhighlight it from the forum. Don't worry, good sir/madam, I did not read your opening post(s). $:^ ]

    (Sorry, though, I read Veza's reply and your reply to him. I hope that doesn't really count. I didn't want to, but they were so short, and it just kind of happened. Eep! $:^ P )
    fatcat__25, Sir Veza and Flaxative like this.
  5. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

    Honestly, feel free to read it. I wrote it to be read. But ideally by Civil.

    I move it just because I didn't want to "water down" the other
    thread, and some people, including Flax, and whoever complained
    about it being a "wall of text", appearently don't like walls of text.
    ParodyKnaveBob and Sir Veza like this.
  6. Sir Civil

    Sir Civil Administrator Staff Member

    I read everything. We as Knights read everything. Always. No matter if it's positive or negative feedback. We are taking all of this 100% seriously and we know we are not perfect. We do not ban players for saying negative things or making up all kinds of weird stuff. We never will. We know, more than anyone else, that some things could be done better, but we want the best for the players and the game. Every day we are getting a lot of reality face checks. We want to make fun things, "play" with the game, and share the fun with everyone. Believe me, if our main goal was to milk money, well, we certainly wouldn't take over Card Hunter.

    At the end of the day we still need to moderate these forums and keep them as usable as possible for the majority of our users. Typical netiquette includes not making several redundant posts in a row; users who fail to respect this may find their posts removed or face temporary bans. So if you could stop posting the same message in several different threads would be great :D
  7. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

    Ok... first off, sorry for the confusion. I didn't double post.
    As I wrote with a small typo just above your post:

    "I move[d] it just because I didn't want to "water down" the other
    thread, and some people, including Flax, and whoever complained
    about it being a "wall of text", apearently don't like walls of text."

    So, moved, not double.

    (And if it was accidently double-posted, would it really be all that
    bad when I given that I posted it into a subject that I, personally,
    started and called "Don't Read Me"?) At least two players here
    were amused by the move, which was the idea.

    I dom't know why you mentioned "Milking Money." I guess
    I've never implied Knights is trying to milk the players, because,
    as of the moment, I see no sign of that whatsoever. I made a joke
    about a bad/funny design, and a mentioned how a MONOPOLY
    like Steam or Microsoft might try to milk it's customers, but I've
    never implied that about Knights. (I sure hope you're not
    really secretly working for Steam beyond being a vendor to them.)

    I did make several comments about how I think this game MIGHT
    BE ABLE TO make a lot of money and SHOULD IF IT COULD...

    BUT I WASN'T REFERING TO "Per Customer!"

    I was talking about charging roughly what Blue Manchu
    has been charging PER CUSTOMER all along, but trying
    to get more customers and more customer retention! :)

    But do you think it's better to try something and fail,
    as opposed to trying to see if you could get some good
    advice first, and get off to a better start in the first place?

    Someone else made jokes about you being evil, btw.
    What I say talking about was that it took me a long time
    to figure out that you, personally, are probably thinking
    about game design while not thinking about a couple
    of simple things like the "business plan", in addition
    to the just want seems a like a good honest attempt
    at a good game design. BTW... I'm sorry about being
    a best. Keep in mind, that if your boss had simply bought
    you a crappier game, I'd have much reason to worry about
    what did with it. I really think I can sometimes spot
    important things that other people don't see. And I
    think Cardhunter's 'undervaluation" is one of them.

    If you read my hypothetical question about getting
    Richard back, could you do me a favor and let me
    know your thoughts on it?

    But more importantly, I really think that taking down
    the AI Video from the Steam Store page is one of two
    very good idea idea I've had in the years I've been playing.

    Any chance you could give me some idea why you haven't
    said a word about maybe taking it down, or adding in the
    one "introduction line" as I had suggested?

    As I keep saying, I like this game. Some percentage of
    what I say it to amuse myself. But most of the stuff
    about game design, and pretty close to 100% of the
    stuff I say about you, is an attempt to help the game.

    And even though noone's paying me to edit-down my
    posts, I think what I wrote about Yugioh vs. MtG was
    a pretty well disclosed thought. It's something I've
    managed to spell out that well for the first time ever,
    it is NOT something that I read about or was repeating
    from anywhere else.

    Oh... on the subject of 'milking the customer", know how
    much to charge for something isn't normally my forte,
    although if it falls into my area of expertese and I put A

    I really really hope this goes without saying, but from
    the game's point of view, even a strictly altruistic one,
    (assuming the owners aren't willing to put a huge loss
    into it) what's best isn't being real "fair" and it's not
    "milking the customer." It's about get the BEST
    pricing strategy, which will either make the most money
    overall, if that's the motivation, or the one that will make
    the most money which could be reinvested into the game
    if you want to get to the best end-point possible.

    I'd have very little free time to have serious conversations.
    But I told you I'd try to talk to you in more professional
    and private capacity if you wanted me to. Not sure how
    much "good" time I can spare in the near future, but
    if isn't there a chance that talking ABOUT THIS GAME
    with a person who has put a whole-lot of thought into
    helping it, possibly be better use of you time than not
    telling him that your concerned about the
    (understandable mispreception) that he's double post.
    (Oh... just to avoid potential confusion, the "him" I'm
    was refering to just now is me.)

    Maybe check this out to learn a bit more about me.

    Btw... I think I said it before, but I'm not into being
    "right or wrong." In this instance, I care about the
    game, so IF I'm right, I'd like to see my good ideas
    implimented. IF I'm wrong, it would be great for
    someone to prove that (and, from my point of view,
    I'd get a real high at see the proof, because it would
    be a good learning experience for me.)

    REMINDER: There's only a few hour a month when
    I get smarter and write more concisely. This
    isn't one of them.

    In the meantime, is there anything useful could you
    tell me about the Richard-question or the AI-Video
    question? Thanks! (Useful to use both!)
    Sir Veza and fatcat__25 like this.
  8. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    As to the AI video, the AI modules were commissioned (by Penny Arcade, I think) to promote their AI podcasts.
    I've no idea who actually owns the video.
  9. Sir Civil

    Sir Civil Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not really sure if Richard Garfield played any significant role in making of Card Hunter, since he was a design consultant, not an actual designer afaik.

    Yup. The AI is a cross-promo between Penny Arcade and Card Hunter. I don't think taking this video down from the Steam Store would make any difference at all.
  10. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

    Ok... let's see if I can turn off the "wall of text mode" by turning the SARCASM mode on for slightly terser writing...(*)

    And so the search for intelligent life continues...

    Ok... Sarcasm off again...

    1) My best guess for Richard's most likely contribution is the token/level system based on both quality and rarity.
    Do you have the slightest idea at just how much this may have helped the game without contributing a single card?
    Or the idea of combining cards in gear rather than straight independent cards? Well, ya, I'm guessing you don't.
    But to try to use terms you might understand, it's magic, not "MtG" Magic, but technology beyond your comprehension.
    As I write on my own website,, sometimes, the solution to [a] problem may suddenly become "completely obvious",
    but only after you see someone else do it!" The token/quality system is a powerful, flexible, and elegant that it pretty much
    allowed people to make reasonable items for A-Arsonal with far less game-design experience and understand than would have
    likely been needed otherwise. I'm guess it did that for all every other piece of gear in the game. There are so many other
    things that were really quite insightful and innovative, that, IMO, Cardhunter might never of progressed beyond the complexity
    bio-hazard's type of level-up your weapons while you level-up the bad-guys straight forward and uninteresting progression.

    There are so many things that I think Richard likely contributed that are so easily downplayed, but were so instrumental
    in making Cardhunter what it had become.

    Unfortinately, the more complicated aspects of the game design do not lend themselves well to short sentences, even if I didn't have a real-life disability which makes it difficult for me to write as concisely as most.​

    * - Honestly, wish I wasn't knee-deep in court-case(s) and could write this is a friendly and well-orginized
    way... but I can't do that right now... Sincerest apologies.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2022
  11. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

    Secondly, in responce to:

    "I don't think taking [the AI video] down from the Steam Store would make
    any differenceat all." - Sir Civil
    Ok... I'm should try to start a new thread to do this justice later on. Hope I don't get banned for repeating myself or moving this post if I do that.

    But let's start with Sarcasm:
    a) Nobody hates the reputation that F2P has gotten in recent years. People trust F2P models in general, especially since are most these days are much more user-friendly and less "gotcha" "try to soak you" than Cardhunter is.

    b) Nobody is suspicious of any game with Microtransactions (or perhaps even too much DLC) these days. Nobody worries about "Gotcha games" that just want more and more cash for nothing. They trust every F2P to give a good value for their money.

    c) Since people aren't weary of F2P and microtransactions, the best thing you can
    say to them is

    "Do you crave wealth, but so little that you are willing to give us 70 - 80% of it?"

    I'm serious. That's quote from the AI video going to scare NOBODY. It's a GREAT TAG LINE! Brilliant! Smashing!
    Good show! Why don't we move the AI video from Slot #2 to Slot #1 !?!??!
    d) "Do you own your own Sword? Because we don't want to pay for that!"

    Bravo! Bravo! There is no better way to imply "Yes, this is a free game that will
    give you everything you need to really enjoy it for free." Perfectly well written!
    BTW... none of "a)" through "d)" is anything Cardhunter should worry about in any way!

    The design team is here to add new cards and features. Even if we don't attract
    new players, and scare others off... no biggie. We typically have about 100 players in
    world. That's good enough for any new design budget whatsoever.
    e) Because in that video is totally and completely clear it's an in-world joke about an expansion (the part where it makes no mention of that whatsoever is the big give-away... Steam kids are renown experts at reading between the lines) and not talking about the game itself, nobody is going to confuse it for an ad for Cardhunter addressing the potential Steam Customers who are considering becoming 1st time installers!

    [Ok... Sarcasm off... It's the 2nd video on the store page and will often be confused for a video directly addressing people thinking of install cardhunter. And the Steam Store page is now, thanks to Knights, the ONLY place to get Cardhunter. Yes, some people may get the joke, BUT A LOT MORE WON'T! Sarcasm on again...]

    f) "Are you experienced but not inexpendable"... Most prospective players think of themselves first and foremost as "inexpendable." It is a dead-on the perfect marketing line to increase the number of people who try the game so they can come and keep it alive!
    You're totally right about that!

    Sarcasm off...

    Ok... fixing this isn't going to make a huge difference overnight. But how darn hard would it be to either remove the video, or, better yet, just add the tag-line I proposed at the start to explain the entire thing.
    The line is listed somewhere in the Steam Forum - I wrote it not that long after talk of the trade off.

    Seriously... how darn hard would the tag line be to add, and would the possible downside of adding it be (unless you want to game to scare off many of the new possible installers.)​
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2022
    fatcat__25 likes this.
  12. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    battlezoby, your website says you're on the autistic spectrum. I've learned that folks on the spectrum can have a hard time perceiving others being facetious; therefore, let me state why I believe your concern is being heard but not acted upon: The AI video ad uses social cues that are so blatantly over the top, (incongruent combinations of exaggerated body language and verbal language,) that I expect even non-native English speakers readily detect the high level of irony being used for humor's sake, even if they miss various words' and phrases' meanings. The ad seems designed to not cause confusion (for the large majority).

    I hope this helps,
    doublequartz and Gast86 like this.
  13. battlezoby

    battlezoby Ogre

    Ah... I am/was. Actually, I got messed up on some pretty bad medication after the good stuff made
    me really smart.

    Pretty much recovered to the point where I'm slow, write verbosely rather than concisely (really),
    and only get a few good hours of concentration per month. But the severe Autism is pretty much
    in remission now. No worse than the average nerd. When the damage was at it's extreme, some
    Doctors were surprised I had a girlfriend, assuming I was too autistic for that.

    But now, well, I've kinda lost interest in much sex in my old age, but I've had like, we'll I suck at
    counting... maybe 50 to 90 girlfriends, including the awesome Florida vacation when I was with
    4 of them in 2 weeks before coming home to the 5th.

    I'm don't want to mention ethnic groups, but an English magazine listed the only two ethnic types
    of Americans they (semi-jokingly) said would be able to get a subtle joke, and I fall into both
    class simultaniously. I college, I took a "20th century humor class", and my graduate-student
    teachers totally freaked at my standup and insisted I had to try stand up.... I was the best they'd
    ever seen, but I know I was "creating", in that 30% of the jokes were taking from the running jokes
    in our class, and then bringing each one of them a step further.

    By offline standards, I'm a nerd and will miss the people-person cues. But online,
    there are few non-verbal queues in social interactions, although people I consider
    to be stupid to can be a complete mystery to me if I try to reason with them. I end
    up thinking "if they're that stupid, how do they remember to breath?"

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