TSM Episode 116: For the Good of the Industry

Ecclesiastes 3:1
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…

Download: Produced 2013.09.08

Imitanis and Mel join Caspius in a discussion of Kickstarter’s effect as a litmus test for investments, and as the site crosses the half-way mark in its fifth year of operation, Caspius considers the long-term viability of the Caspius.com enterprise.


  1. A time to be born, a time to die
    A time to plant, a time to reap
    A time to kill, a time to heal
    A time to laugh, a time to weep

    To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn
    There is a season, Turn, Turn, Turn
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

    You were probably quoting Ecclesiastes and not The Byrds(who adapted their lyrics from that), but even so, I felt this needed to be done.

  2. I appreciate your criticism of Kickstarter is the new litmus test. I’ve never been into Megaman. I want this to succeed to send a nice middle finger to Capcom but at the same time I’m worried about crowd funding’s consequences. Indiegogo has had the same thing happen with bands. Look up the Protest the Hero debacle.

    Don’t close the site. I don’t want to have to listen to cat fancy ever again.

  3. I have to say that I hope the site goes on. I love the articles you people put in the site and I think the podcast is excelent. I really really really really dont want to be forced to listen to cat fancy again, Its golden age for me over there was when Caspius, Ethos and Oliver Montok (that´s no typo xD) were in the cat fancy podcast .

    Sadly I cant tell my friends to go to this site, since they dont understand english the way I do, but I like to see that the good work that you people put in this site be able to continue .

    I am in shock that I actually miss the talk about cricket in the podcast D:

  4. I need to be better about commenting. I think you all do great work here, and your site does indeed provide coverage of games/rpgs with integrity which is quite evident (and in stark contrast to a lot of what exists in the internet). I listen to the podcast faithfully, as it is something I can generally find time to listen to at work, and I try to check in on the news posts regularly as well, though not as often as I would like. I will work on making it apparent that people do appreciate what this site provides (my attempts to turn my friends on to the site have thus far not succeeded as far as I can tell…. I find the playthroughs are generally when I try to spread the word the most, because I figure a feature playing a great game and discussing such with intelligent folk is a good way to get people into the site, and hopefully one of these times it will work).

    About FFXIV, would you all say it is worth paying the monthly fee to get into this game? I played WOW for a few years, but the grind got to me. It got to the point where playing felt like a job, so I quit. I currently play Guild Wars 2, and it’s a pretty decent little game, but your initial reactions to XIV make me wonder if maybe I should join up.

  5. I was just looking at Riddlethos.com after always thinking it was just an ongoing gag, but no, its real and I spyed something very interesting.
    On every page, there is a banner for Caspius.com

    Isn’t that technically an advert Lusi?

    DJ. Stone (Formerly known as Dean Stone Knight/King)

  6. Also, I agree with Kisaki Project and Ferchu, don’t close the site. I don’t want a website from the 90s to be my main source of podcasting and news!!

  7. Genuinely hilarious to see that the number one reason espoused by nearly every commenter is, “I don’t want to have to listen to Cat Fancy!”

    That said, they began recording their podcast at the same time as ours, and after we finished, I had time to chat with my staff members, then join FancyCast, and then participate there for more than an hour. (I think Sabin is actually working on beating the World’s Longest Podcast record.)

    @DiceAdmiral: More than probably! Click the picture. ;)

    @KisakiProject: Exactly. I am still angry at Capcpom for the Mega Man Legends 3 debacle. But at the same time, Kickstarter-as-litmus-test is deeply troubling. Warrrgh.

    @OctoDad: A wicket is a set of stumps with bails on top, at which the bowler in a Cricket match bowls the the ball, in an attempt to strike the stumps and dislodge the bails. When wickets are counted, they refer to outs taken or remaining, or a batsman’s position (a sixth-wicket partnership occurs after the loss of five wickets, a bowler can take five wickets (he got five men out), a team can have three wickets left (they’ve lost seven), and so on). Wicket can also refer to the state of the pitch itself: i.e. ‘a fast, bouncy wicket’ refers to qualities of the pitch, and not to the physical wicket itself.

    Because Wicket is used as a term in so many various ways, it can seem very confusing. However, the *way* in which it is used generally dispels any confusion.

    @Ferchu: I agree, and I think we did our best work here at Caspius.com in the early days when Ethos, Montok, and I were writing and recording podcasts together. But, the nature of our jobs (and the demanding time investments of Caspius’s Fountain of Perpetual Disappointment render that impossible for the present.

    I missed talking about the Cricket; we would have done, but the first ODI between England and Australia was rained out without a single ball being bowled! (And then England got whipped yesterday, about which I will be speaking next week.)

    @Kobold: For my part, it was absolutely worth the $12 monthly cost for an account, even though I can hardly play it at all right now. That said, I was a huge fan of FFXI, and was eager to see Squeenix finally make a good MMO where my time investment felt like fun and not a chore or boredom (choredom?). If you enjoyed WoW, you will *probably* find XIV fresh, inviting, and not at all work-like.

    Of course, I don’t know your interest in quests, missions, exploration, storyline, &c., so it is hard for me to say this without doubt, but I think that if you played WoW for such a long time then you probably won’t have any trouble getting into XIV (and, in general, I think it is much better in many ways).

    @DJ Stone: I certainly can’t be held responsible for what was done at Riddlethos! To be sure, we never asked them to do anything, and we CERTAINLY never paid them. If people advertise us of their own volition, then so much to the good–but as far as paying for advertising goes (or hosting advertising on the site), we don’t do that.

    Also, a website from the 90s would have good news about video games (see the Internet Radio Programme, for example).

  8. It’s great to see so many familiar names commenting on the podcast thread.

  9. @Second Stone: It’s real AND an ongoing gag. That was its premise in a sense even when it was running. And if you’ll notice, the header for the Caspius.com banner is “featured link”, not “advertisement”.

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my name (or username) said so many times in a recording. You guys sure know how to make a reader feel… well appreciated really isn’t quite the right word, but maybe noticed works instead.

    One of the reasons that I listen to and comment on the podcast is because it is something that can be consumed while I’m doing something else, and I’m rarely doing only one thing. The articles on this site (and most others) present a speed bump which forces me to actively stop doing something else to do. I suppose that I probably should find the time to make the authors here feel appreciated by and reading their work and commenting on it.

    One last observation about reader comments: If you hire all of your readers, and then complain that only your employees comment on articles, then you’ve created your own problem.

    In regards to the kickstarter discussion: I agree with most what you said, at least what I can remember of it. I’ve never paid into kickstarter. I can imagine that a situation may exist where I wanted to, but it is unlikely to be a video game, and mostly for the reasons that you mentioned. I think that having big name game devs on kickstarter is totally the wrong way to use the system, and it’s something I’d probably never support. The system is so stacked against the supporters in those situations that there’s really no worthwhile gain for participating. The rewards can be pretty cool. but as a gamer looking for quality games I think the who system is really backwards to produce that kind of result for large studios. One only needs look at Double Fine to see how true that is.

    I’m really against stretch goals in these cases too. I think that they more often hurt the development process than help it. Adding whole new mechanisms and extra content to a game can be done after a successful launch of the core product. I’m not sure if the Lusiteam would support DLC in that case, but I think that it would probably be warranted.

    my $.02
    -D.A. OUT

  11. Also, the Facnycast may be long, but I can’t remember the last time that they used that time to say anything worthwhile. I like long podcasts, but theirs are brutal because it’s essentially just white noise.

  12. @DA: “One last observation about reader comments: If you hire all of your readers, and then complain that only your employees comment on articles, then you’ve created your own problem.”


  13. Fair point!!
    OH! Lusi, one of my favourite TSM/MAP podcasts is the IRP!
    I love it so much! And especially how Chris wanders in talking about Groupons. :)

  14. I agree with DJ Stone. That was a pure genius. I got like 3 other people to listen to it and they SEEMED to like it. I really hope Caspius.com doesn’t close down that would be a sad day, indeed.

  15. Like many others, I read the site and listen even more often than that, but I rarely comment on anything. Even though I usually feel I have nothing to say, I would be very sad if Caspius.com was taken down, so I will definitely make more of an effort to post more often.

    I also agree with not wanting to listen to Cat Fancy either. There was once a time when I really looked forward to those podcasts, but those days are long since past. Their podcast is mostly blithering nonsense as of late, especially in comparison to the Starlight Megaphone, and I am just not interested in wasting two (or more!) hours an episode with them.

    Anyway, enough of MY blithering. Thanks all of you for working so hard, and I hope Caspius.com lasts long into the future.

  16. Also Lusi, if you close the website, will you keep the podcast running??
    Oh and tomorrow I will be blanketing my college walls in posters that say:

    Like Videogames? Caspius.COM

    And I should also be able to donate about 10-20 USD depending on what the exchange rate is atm. :)

  17. I somehow stumbled onto this site sometime in the single digits of the MAP, and have been a regular listener and reader since, yet I probably have averaged a few comments a year. Caspius’s PSA was a wake up call for me in terms of the state of the site, and I will certainly comment much more often and do my best to spread the word, for I too would feel like something is missing from my life if this site closed.

    This readership situation got me thinking why I never really comment, and I realized that it’s not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I always talk myself out of commenting, sometimes after having written several paragraphs. I suppose I was always a bit intimidated by the majority of the commenters here (Julian and Caspius, in particular), mostly due to feeling like I can’t compete with the quality of their comments but possibly a little due to a fear of being berated for some ill-formed opinion of mine. It’s painfully obvious to me now that this is an utterly silly reason not commenting, and thinking like this will only lead to a negative impact on the self esteem of myself and the creator of the content, and the health of the site in general.

    It seems this self-defeating mentality exists in some of the other listeners/readers, so hopefully this will encourage some of them to help the site become more active, as well.

  18. Regarding the rest of the podcast, I agree with Caspius’s assessment of some of these high profile Kickstarter campaigns of late. While I would love to support Mighty No. 9, this idea that Kickstarter could be used as a proof of concept for potential investors is yet another in a long list of reasons not to support any large projects on Kickstarter. I was sorely tempted by this one, but then I remembered that fronting money for a game and merch that could end up being shit is a terrible decision. The pricing of some of those tiers seem absolutely ridiculous, anyway. I’m sure if this game ends up being good, I’ll be able to pick up a copy of it for $20 or less eventually. If they make a tier with some kind of physical copy of the soundtrack, though, I might abandon all reason and jump on that. Manami Matsumae will surely nail it.

    Regarding DVRs and TV in general (I’m in my late 20s), I still use both pretty heavily. Mainly, I use the DVR for sports and a few TV shows that I follow, and my girlfriend likes to fill it with terrible programming. The video quality is much better and more consistent (with Direct TV, at least) than with internet streaming, and sometimes I like to look for semi-crappy TV to put on in the background while I play games on a handheld, work from home on my laptop, browse the internet, cook, etc. I guess it’s just less of a commitment to tune a TV to something like a rerun of Numb3rs (something mildly entertaining, so it’s not engrossing or distracting) than it is to actively search out a show like that online to stream. I’m one of those people that, at times, finds it easier to focus on what I’m doing or find the motivation to work when there’s something going on in the background that is relatively easy to tune in and out of as necessary. I think it keeps my mind from wandering into weird tangents that will potentially distract me from my task, which happens to me quite often (perhaps I have some mild form of ADD?). So, there are still some advantages of traditional TV and DVR over online streaming, but there’s no way in hell that I’m going to buy an XBone for its TV capabilities.

  19. @Brett: Are you VERY OLD?

    We kid, of course–but I wonder how much better your DVR quality is than Netflix. My streaming through Netflix is HD quality. It looks fantastic. There’s a setting in one’s account for this–between HD, SD, and a point in-between, as I recall–but it is most definitely there, and it doesn’t look fuzzy at all. And this matters, because we have two TVs and they are both large HD LCDs.

  20. I’ll admit that my eyes are riddled with cataracts, but from what I CAN see, I’d still say that DirecTV generally provides better picture quality than the best available from Netflix. Maybe saying much better was a bit strong, on second thought. DirecTV obviously has to limit how much bandwidth is allocated to each channel, and the amount varies, depending on the programming. Higher profile and/or popular programming is compressed much less than Soapnet, for instance. To my eyes, the highest quality DirecTV picture looks a bit better than the highest quality Netflix picture, with deeper blacks and marginally less fuzzy edges, but the shitty channels on DirecTV can look as bad as a 480p youtube video on my 55″ Plasma.

    To be fair, I have never really done a direct comparison of the same content between streaming and satellite, so maybe I’ll try one over the weekend. For me, though, this will be purely academic, because I can’t give up viewing local sports live. I suppose I could always join the side of rightousness and become a Cricket fan so that I can replace my love of PRIMITIVENESS (MLB) and ADVERTISEMENTS (NFL) with a bunch of courteous, studied, tactically-minded foreigners running around a symmetical circular field, making well-spoken commentary and all that, just so that I can listen to or watch my favorite sport live online. Well, I have a little something called American boorishness, and lack of intellectual acuity, so I will say no thank you to that.

    [Minor edits for clarity. -Ed.]

  21. @Brett (23):

    Brett, I’m sorry to hear that you have adopted such a position, but I hope–fervently–that you will be able to overcome your many personal failings and, in time, appreciate Cricket.

    I am heartened to see that you recognise the manifold shortcomings of your position, however. This is the first step on the route to change. Keep up the good work: we’re with you all the way if you need support!

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