Antstream - cool or not? And some nice flame wars.

Started by Gryzor, 09:39, 11 January 22

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Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Gryzor on 17:30, 15 January 22Thanks-don't have the time to write as much, but I'd put my name under your post!



No worries T, the fact that I'm the one being the voice of reason here terrifies me more than it does anyone else, trust me!  :laugh:
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Gryzor

Oh is it not "the opinion of CPCwiki"? Don't we have one of these?

Vyper68

Like Shaun the way I read it was most people were not happy with it being on Antstream, I have no experience of that platform so I don't have a view either way, there was one criticism about the sprites but that was another programmers opinion, and at the end of the day it's an opinion. It's a shame it got to this point. I would say that writing a game does not automatically mean it's entitled to a positive response.
If you think this is bad look at the Prince of Persia thread on Atari Age that was/is toxic.
Paul Woakes - Genius & Programmer

Thank you for Mercenary Paul

Gryzor

Oh, may I also say that nobody "represents" CPCwiki?

Xyphoe

 :(

Well, this is most disappointing and a shame.

And it's not 'about the game' either.

I'm guessing that like me, YellowBelly was waiting for the penny to drop and a 'sorry' to appear from Gryzor and maybe others when it was realised Antstream is infact a free service, and when that wasn't forthcoming - I guess that's prompted YellowBelly to write what he has there. Because this all started because it was wrongly assumed Antstream is a paid service to access, and someone will be making money off this game. They won't. And also that it'll only appear there - it won't.

I'm sure this could all be smoothed over and forgotten though, as long as we're grown up and not dig our heels into the ground.

It really isn't a good look though. There's a lot of people now, not on this forum, but in the Amstrad community that seen this topic (view count rocketed up past 1000 views last couple of days) and are similarly not impressed. It's not like the game has been slagged off, or anything dramatic like that - however it's not really about that, and really isn't a good impression of the CPC Wiki Forum which is the heart of the Amstrad community.

And I'll explain from my viewpoint at least, but I think some context is needed here too.

Firstly just to reiterate -

The game is being released on Antstream first, then a 'community edition' version of the game with more content is being released as a standard tape/disk file for use in emulators, real hardware or whatever device/software of your choosing.

This is all entirely free.

No paywall like on itch.io you can do to download the game, it'll be free.

Antstream is a retro gaming streaming service, and it is FREE to anyone to sign up and start using and playing on right away.

The 'Antstream version' of the game is tailored towards it's global high score tables, and global tournaments and special challenges that can be set up. The 'Community version' will have more content, modes, ability to redefine keys and code so it will load from tape/disk. Two slightly different versions of the game, that will be available for everyone.

So hopefully we are clear on that now yup?

Regarding Antstream, whether you like it or not, it's becoming a fairly big deal and is substantially growing in size and player base. It's perhaps a bigger deal than you realise now. Initially I admit I too wasn't keen on it, and wasn't really interested when it first launched with a paid subscription needed to join in - I walked away from it. When it changed and became free to everyone - I dipped my toe in and also had a rocky start with it with various controller issues and laggy servers. But the regular tournaments and online leaderboards drew me back in. Over time things have substantially improved - bugs and issues are getting regularly fixed and improved, and lag issues I previously suffered are have nearly all but gone away. Even when streaming.

However my biggest gripe all this time was 'Why is there no Amstrad on here? Speccy and C64 get a look in, why not the CPC?'. The same gripe Gryzor stated he also had.

I started a mini campaign probably over 2 years ago now to get them to put Amstrad on there. And during all this there's been a lot of people behind the scenes hard at work trying to convince and help them with the technical side of things, to make that happen. In the end it was YellowBelly with his Bug's Quest game and a lot of arm twisting and schmoozing from people in the scene like RetroUnlim that made that happen - finally we got an Amstrad game on there October 2021.

The next one will be Xyphoe's Nightmare, and Antstream have really gone all in for this and it's looking like there'll be global tournaments and other things that'll put it on the front page there in front of many thousands of eyes. THIS IS REALLY COOL STUFF. (I would actually encourage other coders now to approach them with the same, for the exposure if they're not intending to sell the game on physical format.) And so YellowBelly has worked many long hours over many months to make that happen, with it being the VERY FIRST game out of ANY platform to be tailored and written for Antstream and what it can do with high score logging and high score tables, challenges and tournaments (and in addition of course an Amstrad 'community' version as mentioned above for anyone and everyone that doesn't use Antstream...). The top guys there and their PR team are really behind it.

This is actually quite big news.

YellowBelly particularly, and myself outside of this game, is all about getting the Amstrad some more love, attention and respect. We WANTED Amstrad on there. And now we're getting it...

But the first thing you see on the forum about it is 'Antstream sucks' and 'monetisation'.

Meh.

Honestly I really really hope none of the Antstream guys see this thread, because if I were them I'd might be inclined to go 'fuck it, not bothering' when from their end there's actually a ton of work to get the game integrated and working in their system. (Btw ex Ocean / Special FX coder Jim Bagley of Midnight Resistance, Hudson Hawk, Cabal, etc fame is doing the coding work there...)

Maybe now you might understand why YellowBelly is also a bit 'fuck it' with this forum after his first visit here.

And I hope it doesn't put off other people doing new projects either, if their format of choice is going to come under fire - especially now we have Dandanator only releases, etc! "Urgh this sucks I don't want to buy and use Dandanator!"

Gryzor

TL;DR.

But: sorry about what mate? Antstream IS a paid-for service, just offers an alternative way through ads I cannot watch. I did say that I didn't know that but it's STILL a closed platform I can't be bothered with. Hence my disappointment. Where precisely did I object to someone making money off a game? Please read again and get your facts straight. I'll gladly pay for the game (as if I needed to say it one more time).

Going to read the rest of your post tomorrow.

reidrac

Quote from: Xyphoe on 21:46, 15 January 22
And I hope it doesn't put off other people doing new projects either, if their format of choice is going to come under fire - especially now we have Dandanator only releases, etc! "Urgh this sucks I don't want to buy and use Dandanator!"

This forum has plenty of examples to put off anybody from making CPC games, and I wouldn't say this thread is one of them. Yet we make new games, isn't it?

I see it as misunderstanding, and it is clear now. Please to make it bigger than it is.
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail, Magica, The Dawn of Kernel, Kitsune`s Curse and Brick Rick for the CPC.

If you like my games and want to show some appreciation, you can always buy me a coffee.

Xyphoe

Quote from: Gryzor on 21:54, 15 January 22
Antstream IS a paid-for service
It really isn't.
If you download a sodoku app on your phone at no charge and are able to play as many sodoku games as you please - but between games there's an advert that's skippable after a few seconds....
Is that a paid for app?

Gryzor

Erm, I got 230 gems and each play costs 30 gems, so not sure... And as I said twice now, I CAN'T WATCH THE ADS.

Shaun M. Neary

#34
Seriously? We're comparing a cartridge that you can *own* and re-write games you like to a "pay or suffer ads" service? Jesus wept!

There is a world of difference between buying add ons for your own hardware and paying or sitting through ads for an emulator! And for what? The privilege of an online high score table?

I'm out of this topic guys. I didn't bother with drama on other platforms, not gonna bother with it here.

Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Xyphoe

No, we're really not Shaun.
We're saying a game author has the right to choose what medium they put their game on. And if other forms and medium are chosen, I hope they too don't get shit on.


Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Xyphoe on 00:03, 16 January 22
No, we're really not Shaun.
We're saying a game author has the right to choose what medium they put their game on. And if other forms and medium are chosen, I hope they too don't get shit on.


And I respect that.
It's just unfortunate that said author can't handle the respective feedback from those who aren't fans of said platform. Instead they take it as a personal attack.


As I said initially. I've no problem with YB. But that was a hell of an overreaction!
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Xyphoe

Quote from: Shaun M. Neary on 00:19, 16 January 22
But that was a hell of an overreaction!

I hear ya.

I took the time to write a lengthy post out above explaining the background behind this game and Antstream's involvement for anyone that cares to read it - if anyone does it will explain exactly why YB is pissed. ie - we're telling them what a wonderful brilliant community the Amstrad one is and we'll all get behind and support it blah blah - but if they saw this thread then well.......... it doesn't look good does it?

Anyway, I'm out.

Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Xyphoe on 00:46, 16 January 22
I hear ya.

I took the time to write a lengthy post out above explaining the background behind this game and Antstream's involvement for anyone that cares to read it - if anyone does it will explain exactly why YB is pissed. ie - we're telling them what a wonderful brilliant community the Amstrad one is and we'll all get behind and support it blah blah - but if they saw this thread then well.......... it doesn't look good does it?

Anyway, I'm out.


Peoples opinions are their own. You can't change them to suit your own causes I'm afraid.
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

lmimmfn

#39
Quote from: Xyphoe on 00:03, 16 January 22
No, we're really not Shaun.
We're saying a game author has the right to choose what medium they put their game on. And if other forms and medium are chosen, I hope they too don't get shit on.
Said author can do as they please, but from platform forums i hang out in, ive never witnessed a non native platform taking priority over native, im not trying to be rude or anything i just honestly dont understand the logic behind it.


Kinda difficult to gather community support for a game that doesn't even run on the platform of the community, yes it will eventually but its no different to showcasing a CPC game, then saying its only available on steam and later will be released for the CPC.


Its only a game, im not that into the controversy surrounding it/antstream, i just think this is really strange.
6128 for the win!!!

SkulleateR

Quote from: Xyphoe on 22:02, 15 January 22
It really isn't.
If you download a sodoku app on your phone at no charge and are able to play as many sodoku games as you please - but between games there's an advert that's skippable after a few seconds....
Is that a paid for app?
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


The only thing FREE on Anstream is the signup, everything else is payed service ... anyway, the discussion is pointless since this isn't even a CPC game, it's an Anstream game for now ... if it will arrive someday on the real hardware, it will be a CPC game but for now, nothing of interest (and this is NOT a negative statement about the game itself) !

ldaneels

#41
Well, this whole discussion is a bit disingenuous, so let's get some facts straight:

- Antstream can technically be used for free

- there is a paid subscription if you want to go that route

- I swear I saw some paywalls when I first launched Antstream on EGS to check its status (in Cadaver, to save your progress). I don't see it now, but I also had been promoted to supporter (I think, I don't remember the specifics) because I had been there since the begining, so someone with a brand new account should verify this.

- unless you have a subscription, games cost gems to play

- entering tournaments & unlocking achievements cost gems (by unlocking achievements, I mean just that, you still need to complete the achievements - thankfully)

- you can get gems by watching ads...

- or you can get them by purchasing gem packs (if that seems familiar, you'd be right)

Just like all these scummy games on mobile phones, they are only "free to play" in the strictest of sense. In reality they always eventually cost money. Just because you dress your service in shiny clothes doesn't mean the core is not rotten. Also, having followed the evolution of Antstream over the years, the model keeps changing and if you think you will always be able to "play for free", you can forget that right now. How long until you can only watch so many ads a day before it's not possible again? I didn't try because I can't be bothered with checking it out, but I wouldn't be suprised if that was already the case.

I have used Antstream since its inception because I have been very curious about it. I also check periodically on it to see if it got any better (hint, it never gets better) but here are some considerations for anyone interested:

- the performance is extremely poor. Try some shmups (Fever SOS, Pink Sweets...) and you'll find seriously degraded visuals. Performance is alright (although I had some hiccups at times, so your mileage may vary on that), but I'm not so sure about input lag (I'm not best placed to judge that, but the games seem slightly off).

- if I was trying to play modern AAA games, I could understand the technical challenge, but trying to play classic arcade, Amiga, ZX, C64... games, it seems odd that it can't even stream them properly. Heck, it would be a thousand times better to download the game temporarily to launch it locally (encrypt them if you're worried about piracy). It's not like they don't have the license for the games (although I assume they only have license to stream them).

- for reference, I can play Stadia, Xcloud, GeForceNow just fine with very good performance and reasonable input lag.

- the interface is an absolute mess and is borderline useless. Navigating Antstream is one of the most painful experience out there, so unless you know precisely what you want to play, good luck browsing... I accepted it in 2018 because the service was new, but 3 years later it is just as bad as it ever was

- Admitting that you had the fortitude to bookmark all games you are interested in, browsing them is an absolute chore, so back to my previous point.

In short, Antstream is pretty bad on almost every front and there are much better alternatives out there. The only real plus they bring are the achievements and tournaments (don't forget to pay your gems, though - you didn't think it would be that easy). If you are very interested in these and don't know any better, I guess why not, but that's pretty light. I really wanted to love the service & would even have subscribed if the performance & interface were halfway decent but they're not. At this point, all Antstream seems to care about is how to monetize their project without even getting the basics right.

PS: fun fact, reinstalling Antstream on EGS to see how it changed erased all my favorites and games history. Yay!

PPS: this is not a dig against Xyphoes Nighmare, which I'm looking forward to, this is a dig against Antstream and the half truths being spread about the service on this thread.

Xyphoe

If you're referring to me being "disingenuous" I actually take quite offence to that.

That's also a very one sided view of your Antstream experience that isn't necessarily the same for everyone else.
Also saying it hasn't improved in terms of bug fixes, controller issues and server lag is just wrong. It has done - because I've been streaming it every week for over a year now and have witnessed the (albeit slow) improvement. But improved it has. Is it perfect? No. Never said that.

The reply further above that is wrong about "everything else is a paid service".

If you're logging in for the very first time because you want to play this new game when released... it's not charging you a penny to do so. You can jump in and play for as long as you want.

I've never paid a dime to Antstream, and on my account I log in and can play as many games as I want. It only uses 'gems' for tournaments, challenges, and other special events. If you don't believe me go watch a VOD of one of my Twitch streams to see it in action and me navigating the interface eg -

twitch.tv/videos/1261826429 which was last Tuesday.
They never gave me any special account, hell - they hadn't even heard of me until around August/September last year prior to Bug's Quest being released.

I am however hearing now that some people have accounts where gems are required to play games. Some don't have to. I don't know then what's going on with some people's accounts and what Antstream are doing there.

However it is clear you get given a big bunch of 'gems' then at least when you sign up. And more can be easily earned. If you're not happy about it being 100% free then you have your emulators.

I get it, that some people have a real 'issue' with a retro gaming streaming service. And I've never said it's perfect.

I would have hoped though that we would have been a bit more supportive at finally getting some Amstrad on there. And no-one is holding a gun to your head to go sign up for Antstream.

And any issues are a mute point when you'll be getting a .cdt/.dsk file shortly after, again for free, with more content.  :doh:

Shaun M. Neary

Not like any of it matters seeing as the disk image won't see the light it day outside of the YouTube circle jerk.  :laugh:


Wonder if CPC-power and CPCRulez will get sued by Antstream when they host it too?  :picard2:


All this because of opposing opinion. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic.
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

ComSoft6128

IMHO this thread has turned negative, corrosive and divisive and should be abandoned.

Xyphoe

Quote from: Shaun M. Neary on 14:52, 16 January 22
Not like any of it matters seeing as the disk image won't see the light it day outside of the YouTube circle jerk.  :laugh:
Wonder if CPC-power and CPCRulez will get sued by Antstream when they host it too?  :picard2:
All this because of opposing opinion. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic.

That's a bad take dude.
Especially when the guy that runs one of those sites is involved with the coding and project....  :picard:

Shaun M. Neary

#46
Quote from: Xyphoe on 15:17, 16 January 22
That's a bad take dude.
Especially when the guy that runs one of those sites is involved with the coding and project....  :picard:


It's not a bad take when the author of the game actually said it on his discord chat!
Yellowbelly — Yesterday at 16:42
dont worry Pete, when i give the dsk files out it will only be to this and bugs community, if cpcwiki get hold of it they will have the full force of Antstreams legal dept to fend off"


Or is it okay for you guys to express an opinion but not for the wiki forum?
Lot of childish behaviour going on man.
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Gryzor on 15:18, 16 January 22
Feel free to open a new thread for the merits of lack thereof of Anstream. You have completely taken this thread off the rails, going to do some housecleaning tomorrow... This thread is about the game.


Bit unfair T.
1) we can't really talk about the game yet as it hasn't been released
2) You we're just as vocal against Antstream on this thread 😊
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

GadgetUK164

OMG - why all the negativity here??  My view on antstream - I don't like it (from what I know about it), I prefer real hardware.   But its a huge service that may just get some people back into the CPC scene as they discover new games there and it gets them thinking about the CPC they loved when they were a kid.   As Xyphoe said - it's coming to real hardware too - there really is no issue here!   Some of the comments just add fuel to fire imho.  For example "TLDR" when Xyphoe has taken a lot of time to articulate his point of view  (granted, the comment following in that reply was that the person would read later).  It just comes across as rude and adds more fuel to the fire!   I personally would have expected the reply "Oh sorry - yeah, antstream is crap - I dislike it and the adds, I didn't realise it was coming out on tape and disk", "I can see the benefit of pushing it out to a large user based system like antstream, thank god we dont need to use that in the end"...

All of you are passionate about the CPC - fight with Commodore or Sinclair owners, not each other lol.
https://www.youtube.com/GadgetUK164 -  Retro Gaming Repairs & Mods

Xyphoe

Quote from: Shaun M. Neary on 15:23, 16 January 22

It's not a bad take when the author of the game actually said it on his discord chat!
Yellowbelly — Yesterday at 16:42
dont worry Pete, when i give the dsk files out it will only be to this and bugs community, if cpcwiki get hold of it they will have the full force of Antstreams legal dept to fend off"

You know YellowBelly well enough by now and his sense of humour / personality to know he is joking!

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