Pixels 7 – Let cooler heads prevail

On this episode we discuss:

  • Valve at GDC
  • Scoring in gaming
  • New gaming category on the Apple AppStore
  • Nintendo and Free to Play games
  • Godus, Peter Molyneux, and interviews

And more.


The show’s theme is by Daniel Beja, find his amazing royalty free music at MusicinCloud.com!

You can also download the MP3, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS.


  1. Love the podcast. I’m an IT Gamer Dad.
    Some comments on this and a couple previous shows.
    Scores: Gamers like scores. Keep the scores, and reviews. Both have value. Bad games get bad reviews and scores. People want to spend time/money on good games. Scores help narrow down the games we should read the reviews on then narrow down to a purchase. Scoring across multiple aspects of a game (graphics, gameplay, single player, multiplayer, stability, etc) is valuable.
    Free to Play: I play a few games on my android, and I spend a bit of time looking for a game I can play when I have the need to kill some time that is engaging and not just some timer mechanic to get you to hurry it up. Annoying trend totally. I played a bunch of the Kairosoft games (Pay once), however their formula for gameplay got old after 4 games of similar gameplay in a new setting. On the PC to me I look for games I enjoy, free to play is fine as along as its not pay to win. I don’t mind paying some money to save time grinding something as time is a more valuable resource to me these days. Warframe is a good example of this. I believe it has an excellant transaction model. There is a way to move aquire real money currency without paying real money, there is also value in buying some of it. I’ve got WAY to many hours playing that game and I spent money to bypass grinds to do the things I enjoy more than grinding for a specific thing to do those.
    BTW I have heard you mention Destiny several times, I have watched others play and to me, Warframe fits that need on the PC to me. If you enjoy shooting/smashing things in the head in mass quantities with up to 3 other people, its a great game. I think it is a little hard at the beginning for many players, however it makes the rewards better. Worth checking out if you haven’t.
    Love the show, keep it up, gets better every episode.

    • patrick says:

      > Scores
      Scores are never going to go away. It’s not like everyone is suddenly going to stop using them… But it comes down to what Oli was saying: how do you convey the fact that a game was objectively low quality in some aspect, potentially gamebreaking to an extent, but that you still enjoyed it? Scores don’t capture that. And that’s only one of the issues. So I would renew my claim that we also need some media to do away with scores and focus on sentiment, to at least have it as an option for those who want it. Those who want scores can get them as well; everyone’s happy.

      > Free to play
      There is definitely a difference between free to play and pay to win. The latter being the root of all evil, obviously. 🙂

      > Warframe
      Is that a PVE game? I didn’t realize, I thought it was PVP only. I’ll have to check it out.

      And thanks for the very kind words! 🙂

      • > Scores
        I’d agree, both numbered and well written reviews have their place. Having your job based on those reviews/scores is a horrid business practice. From a previous career we used to demo games to our clients and give feedback to the publishers. Good games got good feedback. Games that were not so good, got bad feedback. The response from the publishers for bad games seamed to indicate that they actually wanted you to just say the game was awesome, rather than actually give them honest feedback.
        I think it has some pvp, I haven’t done it. The Coop PVE is my thing. Love to see how far a team can go.

  2. Being a fan of The Instance, I thought I would check out French Spin & Pixels. I am glad I did – your podcasts are great fun!
    I feel compelled to comment on Peter Molyneux:
    In addition to be an avid gamer (although casual by your definition), I am also an instructor and mentor at Stanford University, and just last week gave a class on venture funding, which of course included Crowdfunding (by the way, the class was for a group of very bright and delightful visiting French entrepreneurs and business school students).
    It looks to me that Molyneux just didn’t understand Kickstarter, or crowdfunding in general. Perhaps he thought of the people on Kickstarter as investors, which is not really correct. There are “equity” forms of crowdfunding, but Kickstarter is not one of them – Kickstarter is a “reward” or “donation” based platform. The backers on Kickstarter are expecting something in return, whereas a true “investor” would understand that there is a lot of risk and there’s a good chance of losing their investment.
    In doing my crowdfunding research, I found that the majority of reward and donation crowdfunding campaigns raise less than $10,000 (90%), so the $750K US that Molyneux raised was indeed a rare event. Many of the Kickstarters that raise that much money have someone famous involved (Zack Braff, Neil Young, Matthew Inman, etc).
    So, GODUS was one of those rare, celebrity Kickstarters. No surprise, lots of eager gamers chipped in. Picking through the remains of the anguished rotting corpse GODUS left on the Kickstarter site, it looks like a pretty clear case of over-promising, under-delivering, and failing to communicate in a timely fashion and with honesty to the backers. Pretty much everything the Kickstarter FAQ tells you not to do. Well, anyway this is my opinion on the cause of death.
    Again, great podcast! You have gained a long term fan!

    • patrick says:

      Thanks for enjoying the shows, we’re getting there I think. 🙂
      And completely agree with your assessment of Molyneux’s Kickstarter strategy: he didn’t quite get it. I wouldn’t say that backers should necessarily get something in return though: most of them expect it, but the idea behind Kickstarter is really to help projects get launched. Although when you promise rewards (as most now do) it gets murky. It’s one thing to say “you’ll get a post card”, and quite another to say “you’ll have this thing in the game”. It feels like maybe they should say “… if it ever gets made” a bit more clearly.

      • Yes, very murky. And we’re in the early days for crowdfunding, so all these issues like this are not worked out. The etiquette of crowdfunding has yet to be codified.

        However… I talked to both Kickstarter and Indiegogo teams, and they both say it’s “ok” to screw