Friday, 17 February 2012

GW, big IP, names and myth

Four things linked by the theme of IP ownership.

First, BoLS yesterday linked to this discussion at reddit in which apparently verified high-profile ex-GW staff members talk about inner workings; pricing policy, release and retail are all covered.

Second, an earlier discussion on a Chapterhouse jetbike, with some musings of mine:

... the jetbikes we once had as standard GW stopped producing. As a community we have a stake in the game, and no matter what GW may prefer to present in its materials, we still collectively know that jetbikes were once common on tables, ... .

That thing ... had come into being, taken a life of its own, and it should not be possible to remove something that has value for a group and does no harm by its existence

Chapterhouse continuing to make a jetbike we might feel fits 40K is in that sense a public service.

... If we accept that competition is a good and brings good in turn, and that the greater the degree of monopoly power, the worse off we are overall, balancing mechanisms may be needed to prevent tendencies to domination, or should be protected where they exist naturally. Law can do this by holding that free space open, recognising that with greater reach comes greater adoption and genericisation, and greater scope for public use of what are becoming public resources.

And more, referencing the ideas of interchangeable parts and genericised trademarks.

... recently I've been wondering whether the 28mm space marine form will end up something like a 'genericised interchangeable part', assuming it isn't already.

Third, Jeffs Gameblog has some very BattleTech-y early 40K robots, here then here.

Finally, Reality Refracted looks at using familiar names in your worldbuilding, saying:

After all, a lot of the fiction we have now is basically modern mythology.

Update: Now five - I just saw this at NewPulp on Edgar Rice Burroughs and Dynamite.


Omlet said...

Ugh, games workshop... Do not like their games very much - primitive and outdated rules, ridiculous prices and shitty gamers in my city :D
Despite that I still own about 4k points of almost pure death guard CSM and my girlfriend has shitloads of orks - about 300 figs I suppose :D

Porky said...

And you once commented here to say your English wasn't up to scratch - that's near native speaker fluency! Those are impressive numbers as well, and how many gamers must dream of a girlfriend who's also a collector. Of a non-power-armoured faction too.

I can more or less agree on the rules and prices; in the reddit discussion there's a justification for the pricing that seems to make sense - for GW at least, and maybe some players - but time will tell.

Omlet said...

Prices in Poland are very unstable due to pound sterling fluctuations. Prices for models are rather reasonable for elite armies such as SM, CSM, Demon Hunters etc (after all I was able to collect my army while unemployed and without much money) but may cause problems with swarm-based as 'nids or the Greens.
But if you know *where* buy a minis it's way cheaper (I wonder if Darksphere still has such awesome prices :D).
But one must be insane to buy GW tools :D
About that my old comment - I constantly try to improve my English although not via school or sth like that - just writing, commenting, gaming :D

SinSynn said...

GW will change, meld, and perhaps break the fluff wherever they see fit. They've proven this time and time again.
Overall, I think the grimdark has evolved in a good way, overall.

Some may lament the lack of 'jetbikes for everybody,' but limiting jetbikes to the Eldar is one of those things that makes each force in 40k differ from one another.
Many games have a 'generic' type of armory- 40k does not.
And yeah, it's a pin in the butt sometimes as a result. Heh.

I had a good laugh when the Ultimate Rival took offense at a speeder making an appearance in the beginning of 'the First Heretic,' though.
Cuz, y'know...the Ultras didn't HAVE speeders, then.

It's CANON, dude, c'mon....
:P's all so silly.

Porky said...

@ Omlet - In my experience that's the best way to learn too, by integrating the process into everyday life and routines, and for learning beyond language even. A lot of knowledge has crossover of course, and maybe even in surprising ways when we look for it. On the GW, elite armies do make sense financially, or should of course - prestige and points-based pricing could have an influence on that. Also, in an area like gaming, where one particular range of options could dominate - elite over swarm for example - a producer could play with pricing to affect the balance among the ranges, to improve overall community experience. I wonder how much that thinking affects the approaches at various producers.

@ SinSynn - I can see why they'd want to do it. There's a real attraction in diversity across factions, and that's definitely something that's evolved over the years in 40K, from the days of a common or overlapping equipment pool. It's hard now to imagine we ever had that, although the natural limits of the weapon stats do stop it going too far without special rules. To a certain extent of course it needs that time, for the variation to emerge as the individual natures of the various factions are explored. In response to the jetbike point, I'd say GW could have taken jetbikes for two or more factions as a challenge, specifically to come up with an even more advanced tech for the Eldar. Back before we had Necrons, Dark Eldar and Tau this could have been done with more warp jumping or use of the webway. Nowadays maybe it could be done by playing up psychic ability across the force, allowing deployment through spontaneous webway filament creation, or through a mental bending of reality, with that maybe merging in background terms with the speed and agility of the individual. If so, maybe the members of a unit could combine their ability, to get a movement based on current size, and the size of a force as a whole could make a difference, possibly allowing bonuses to reserve rolls or deployment locations, to represent an overall softening of space. Maybe this power could also allow wraithbone weapons to be bonesung in the course of combat, making them more like organic extensions of the arms? Holofield tech could be played up as well, for being a classic Eldar concept, maybe by having it standard equipment for all units. I'm sure the guys at GW could think of much more than that, and there may still be time before the next codex...

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