To Apple, Love Taylor

Taylor Swift:

I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.

I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

UPDATE: Apple’s Eddy Cue:

Apple will always make sure that artist are paid #iTunes #AppleMusic

#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period

We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple

Well, all right then.

The end of Tale of Tales

Michaël Samyn and Auriea Harvey:

  • We studied successful games and applied our findings to the design of Sunset. And while the inclusion of certain conventions seems to have helped some people enjoy the game, it didn’t affect the size of our audience much.
  • We spent a lot of money on a PR company who got us plenty of press, took some work and worries off our shoulders, and found us other marketing opportunities. But it didn’t help sales one bit.
  • We even took out an advertisement on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, where we figured the people most interested in Sunset would be gathered. They must all use AdBlock because that had no effect whatsoever.
  • We worked hard on presenting a gentler Tale of Tales to the public. Which basically meant that Michaël was forbidden to talk in public and Auriea often just smiled at the camera, parroting words whispered in her ears by communication coaches. Didn’t make a difference.

So now we are free. We don’t have to take advice from anybody anymore. We were wrong. Everybody whom we consulted with on Sunset was wrong.

We are happy and proud that we have tried to make a “game for gamers.” We really did our best with Sunset, our very best. And we failed. So that’s one thing we never need to do again. Creativity still burns wildly in our hearts but we don’t think we will be making videogames after this. And if we do, definitely not commercial ones.

UPDATE: That title was premature. Auriea Harvey on Twitter:

everything will be okay. and #im #still #here and @taleoftales isn’t going away, if anything, it’s expanding.

David Carlton on the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter

A thoughtful and clearheaded take—one of the only ones I’ve seen, to be honest.

My immediate reaction to this Kickstarter was confusion—why even bother with crowdfunding for such an infamously expensive game? After thinking about it more, there are two obvious reasons: first, it will be much cheaper to make a new Shenmue with today’s game development tools and middleware; second, the campaign promises to be massively overfunded so the non-Kickstarter budget needs could be relatively modest.

Yu Suzuki launches Kickstarter for Shenmue 3

Holy shit. Speechless again.

I’m curious about the funding situation here. They’re asking for $2 million, which is a hell of a lot for a Kickstarter but not nearly enough to make a Shenmue-sized game. (The estimates I’ve heard for the original Shenmue’s budget are in the $70-$100 million range.) Presumably Sony is heavily involved—the game was announced at their press conference, and they have console exclusivity—but if they’re throwing in tens of millions already, why even bother with the Kickstarter?

How to Be a Baby in Club Penguin

This WikiHow article is a glimpse into a world I didn’t know existed: people who roleplay as abandoned babies in the kid-focused MMO Club Penguin in order to be “adopted” by other players.

Some highlights:

Go to the pet shop and find a spot where you are visible. If needed, move around a bit. Be cute, but don’t overdo it. Babies, toddlers and siblings who look very desperate are often left for being overly cute or looking down right creepy.

Once you’re adopted and go to your new house, say “Crawls” and walk around the house so it looks like your “exploring.” Then say “Wowie!”

If your Mommy or Daddy interacts with you, interact with them! If they say “Picks Up,” act like your really getting picked up. And at the petshop, when your “Mumu” Picks you up and twirls you, seriously, you should say “weeeee!!!”

Be cute most of all when there’s a mommy. Say “Wooks At Pwetty Miss Amazing With Wittle Chocolate Brown Cocoa Tropical Hawaiian Eyes” or “Cant Support Mushy Bai Bee Helpless Self Needs Rich Mumu To Help”. Say the word “helpless” a lot of times.