Thursday, October 25, 2012

Get your touch controls out of my wallet!

I know that I was pretty high on Extraction actually working as a touch based top down shooter phone game. The mechanics are definitely sound. My concern was with the built in micro-transaction for weapon upgrade points which was as not subtle as possible. The first time I clicked on an upgrade that I could not afford there was a pop up: you don't have enough points, would you like to buy some? I resisted, assuming that I would earn enough just by playing the game to have success and that being able to spend real money was just a shortcut.

Last night on one of two flights I found out that I was wrong. Difficulty ramped up so quickly that the only way to succeed would have been to break out the credit card and buy better guns. What was even more devious was how long this took to happen. It wasn't a level or two. No, I was allowed to get into the game, become proficient with it, and only then did the money making scheme kick in. I can't blame them, charging 99 cents for a game on a platform as small as Windows Phone is not going to make a lot of money, but that doesn't mean that I am going to cave in to their monetary needs. I have gotten 99 cents worth of fun out of it and I am not going to spend any more.


My trip to Texas was nothing more than two flights there, sleep in the hotel, one long meeting, then back on to two flights to get home in time to go to sleep. The office that I visited was remarkable casual; shorts and shirts were the norm with only the truly important people donned in slacks and shirts with collars. There was also a break area, complete with a few couches, a decent sized television and an Xbox 360. Cool, I thought, but then someone mentioned that it was only used over the summer by employee's kids when child care was an issue.

What an incredible waste. In my mind I am picturing playing Street Fighter money matches over lunch but in reality that poor system saw nothing more than Dance Central and Star Wars Kinect. It looked at me, simultaneously ignored and abused, and begged for rescue. I felt its pain but there was nothing I could do. They were not hiring, and even if they were I am not moving to Texas.


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