Well, I’m sure you noticed by now or you don’t care that the comments section has been altered on the site, why’s that?
Previously I was using disuqs which was pretty good for what it did and was at least clean. They didn’t have ads until they did- after they promised they’d only advertise on bigger sites. Recently Lu of Piece of Me Comic found ads on his site through disqus. Which they never informed him they were doing!
The thing is they did say they were going to do this but would only be doing this on large websites or sites with a lot of traffic. I really expected them to at least inform the site host if they were going to do something like this but, since they didn’t and offer no real alternative like …paying them (correction in edit) …They’ve convinced me they’re not trustworthy and I’ll be changing the comments to a new system.
EDIT: Apparently they do offer a payment option, at $10 a month I’m not sure I’m interested as that’s about half of the cost of my entire server cost by itself.
I get it, they’re a service and they need support to survive. However… An option to opt into that, or at least being informed they were going to start advertising on your site would have gone a long way. Or, just let us pay a fee or something.
Now, if you’ve seen ads on this site like this? Now you know why. Antares Complex has never, ever been ad support on this site for a few reasons.
1- I think they’re irritating and some often can be sneaky where they’ll have really dodgy ads that’ll try to fool visitors. I really, really hate sites that have ads that try and fool you. “Click here to download” and it’s a bullshit ad and not what you’re actually trying to get.
2- Even if you go with good ad services, they may show visitors ads with viruses. I won’t say which site because it’s less to do with them and more to do with the service but, they’re a pretty well known site and I white listed them on my adblock and 2 weeks later, virus warning. So, me doing that just seems dumb after something like that.
I’d rather do patreon/paypal or ko-fi support for Antares Complex and have it as an option vs potential virus bullshit for my readers.
ANYWAY, it’s not like DISQUS was being used terribly much here and I think I’ll be sticking with the built in one for my website. You may be wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. Well, there’s a lot of bots out there that target wordpress sites. Trying to hack them or post spam comments on them. I had this system up for a few weeks and I think in that time I got 50 spam comments trying to fool me to get past moderation. Really lame attempts like “Nice stuff! Also check out this totally not spam bullshit here at hardcoreXXXasianSchoolGirlsXXX.fart
Wow, what a deal Mr.Notspam! Thanks for informing me of such a great website!
ANYWHO! Just figured I’d let you know why this all changed. If you know of a better comment system, feel free to let me know in the comments below. But, this is the one I think I’ll be sticking with.
I know my last few posts have been ‘kinda negative’ but, I’m going on a positive spin today. No forcing it here either! I’ve been thinking about this and it’s …it’s one of those things that you see online, or rather you don’t see. Where, you’re happy to say negative things but you neglect to say nice things about the people and things you enjoy.
I follow a bunch of artists on twitter and deviantart and it’s been an interesting ride watching all of them kick out new stuff, improving every day. Learning and sharing new tricks while showing off some awesome pics.
I don’t want to call out specifics, because …this would be a 14 page blog post and my fingers just don’t have that kinda stamina to burn only to jump right back into making some comics! Comic artists, pin up artists, cartoonists …ahem, lewd artists, I follow a bunch of them and I wanna say thanks for creating, sharing and know that you’ve made my day better and I know those who are silent also are grateful for what you do. Some of you punks know me and the others sure as heck don’t but, thanks to everyone…and…to er, anyone I might have missed D: <3
Well, I didn’t want to do this but, given how many people were talking about what a shit show 2017 was and I saw some edgy posts from some people on FB/Twitter stating that “2017 wasn’t bad, it’s just normal life things people are being babies about” along with pressure from friends, I guess this was an inevitable post.
While I’d love to agree that it’s just normal, 2017 has just been more crap stacked on top of what I can only call a disaster decade for not only myself but my family. I don’t like talking about this stuff because, let’s face it…no one wants to hear about this kind of depressing shit. And, seriously my twitter feed has been filled with people struggling with their own issues, big and small and it’s been comically bad…
We have a disabled family member in our house that we take care of. She cannot take care of herself in anyway, she needs 24/7 monitoring and aid. She can’t talk, she can’t understand, feed herself or anything. She’s got Primary Progressive Aphasia if you’re looking to google what’s going on. It’s really rough on everyone. Thankfully we in the last few years have gotten an aide because before that? Well that’s another story for another rant… But anyway, with her as a focus and living in our ..what was our living room it’s been a bit hard. I’m sorry if this is coming across as incoherent but it’s not a pleasant year to remember.
Over the years we’ve had to limit her access to rooms in the house. She walks all day till she’s medicated and put to bed and this year she’s fallen not once, but twice. Resulting in a hospital visit and …a chipped tooth (weeeee playing with my phobias!) then for the second fall a hospital visit, hair fracture of her wrist and a light cast to help that. So, we’ve literally limited her with gates in the door ways. There’s so many other things that have gone on involving this. I mean I cannot describe to you guys how difficult it is to get someone in this state out of the house nevermind a car. Even with a wheel chair it’s a massive challenge to get her anywhere…especially when I got car sick from both ambulance trips. Thankfully she didn’t break anything leg related because, I cannot stress this enough. She walks, all, day. I think this is common among people with similar mental illnesses but she will not stop walking, sitting down doesn’t last for more than a few minutes at a time. Hell, feeding her dinner is frequently done standing up and when she makes her rounds of the room back to the aide.
Despite all this, she’s …as healthy as she can be. I just have to stress how bad this illness has progressed before someone assumes we’re jailing up someone. We aren’t. Everything done is for her own safety because again, she is incapable of understanding or talking. She’s like a late stage Alzheimers patient …how do I know? When I was a kid I frequently went with her to visit her father who …had late stage Alzheimers. Why don’t we take her to a nursing home? Because in our experience many do not take good care of their patients and we would like to NOT be driven into poverty for that. Speaking of financial weight, we’ve had to change insurance companies two times …why? Hell if I know, we got a notice stating they would not be servicing our county anymore. Okay, cool- thanks guys. Just more stress trying to keep this balancing act going.
Recently I moved rooms so we could try and get her into a room of her own where it’d be easier to keep her safe. Now we’re getting my dad moved into another room so a room can be free’d up and ….it’s taking a while because he’s, understandably, depressed from all this. So I’ve been spending the last few years helping keep her safe and my father sane and helping him with whatever tasks he needs doing to help speed all this along. He’s very depressed, the problem is he doesn’t know how bad he is. What didn’t help is another family member dear to him has gotten cancer and that’s fucked the holidays up and his head up.
Also, as I stated in an earlier blog post, my uncle who was an big art inspiration passed away due to a heart attack. The man who kept a cousin safe, inspired and happy with himself. Also, my best friend’s sister passed due to a drug OD…Seriously, fuck 2017.
To top this off, at least 3 of my friends have been depressed as well through out the year. They’ve all had issues as well that I’m not inclined to discuss….Some are recovering after we’ve talked it out (and their other friends, I sure as hell don’t have the gall to accept credit for these miracles..).
There’s plenty of other shit too, that I do not have the permission or the will to list here. It’s been rough. Not the worst year, I’m not even sure I could discuss that without a glass of booze and a box of tissues…
It’s been mentally exhausting all of this, physically as well at times obviously. I’m still getting used to the new room I’m in, it’s … someone I loved lived here, recently passed away. And, it’s on another floor, so I don’t get the same visits from family as before, though…maybe that’s less the fault of the flight of stairs up here and more the memories in this room and perhaps the weight of the year weighing things down.
I hate to type this shit up, but, I dunno I keep getting told by my friends that getting this off your chest via venting is good and healthy. I’m not sure I feel any better, but, maybe it’s actually good for those of you reading this what goes on behind the scenes? I don’t know if that’s true nor if anyone would even care to read this depressing mess. But, this is what I do…. I am up at night watching a camera to make sure my mom is alright and during the time my dad is around I try and make sure his mental health is as good as it can be.
Other than that, I make the comics and get by with what I can with the small business I run with my brother and the Patreon contributions of my supporters. Thank you to those that support me there, you’re too awesome.
Shit, I know 2017 has been rough for a lot of people out there. My heart goes out to you. I hope that Antares Complex, my stupid Let’s Plays or whatever brought you some joy this year and as well as the future! …I’d also like to apologize for the negative posts in a row. I’ll have something more positive after this. It’s my birthday in a few days so, what could POSSIBLY go wrong? Well judging by how I’ve reminded you all of Bubsy, I’m sure I can expect to be watching my back for hitmen.
In any case, it’s just another set of days but here’s to hoping that 2018 will be better for my family and yours. Again, I promise to try and have something positive to chat about next time. If you’d like to vent in the comments below, feel free. I don’t mind!
I’ve been playing games for a long, long time. There’s a trend that started somewhere with the PS3/360 days where they just gave up trying to win you over with a product. They don’t try and grab you anymore with goodies that come with the game or even the luxury of a manual.
I know, this is a familiar story but, hear me out. Recently, I bought Mass Effect Andromeda for PC and upon opening it, I let out a big laugh. The thing didn’t even come with a disc for PC. It’s an empty box with a code on a card. They couldn’t even be bothered with a disc this time.
Cut back a few years to Mass Effect 2 and on PC, for 60 bucks I got the collectors edition with is covered in fun stuff. A metal case, soundtrack, artbook and comic. Heck, the way it opened and folded out was neat as heck.
But, even with this glorious package, it’s still the special edition. But just a few years earlier you’d still often get at least a manual and better yet, a color one filled with artwork and fun stuff.
Now? They don’t care. Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii came with a shiny foil cover and a full color book with awesome artwork. WiiU version? Same price, but no manual. More comical: Bayonetta 2 on the WiiU came with both Bayo1 and 2 on two discs and it was $60 bucks. Know what? Not a bad deal, new game and the original game together! I like it! Cut to a few years later and Bayonetta 2 on the Switch! Comes with the first ga- wait no it doesn’t. It comes with Bayo-2 on cartridge and the first game is a download…and it’s $60, again. It’s the same collection but worse for the same price.
They know people will buy this stuff anyway, it’s to the point where they’re cutting out stuff and making it DLC or microtransactions and what’s becoming more and more common these days…They don’t even finish the damned game before launch. You get the game and you’ll be downloading anywhere from a 500MB to 10GB+ patch. They seriously do not put any effort into selling games anymore, the boxes, what you’re taking home. They’ll do the commercials, they’ll spam out ads online but they don’t care what you’re being handed.
Cut to today and with my X-Meh gift card cash I decided to buy a game, it’ll be out soon and it’s Wonder Boy on the Switch. I like my games physical even if it costs a bit more. ($20 on the eShop vs $40 physical, but, with a lovely discount it’s at $30~) I wasn’t expecting to see extras with it. This is by an indie company let me remind you:
Box, mini-soundtrack, keychain and a full color manual. An indie company is putting out a proper full box release with all the trimmings. It’s $40 bucks vs the $20 e-shop version but you’re getting the full deal here. I don’t wanna hear “but it’s 2D” it’s a beautiful game that rivals even the AAA developed platformers of Rayman and the 2D Marios, from a presentation aspect anyway.
Similar deal I got with Ys VIII on PS4, it came with a mini-artbook and a soundtrack sampler. But then Resident Evil Revelations on Switch, Revelations comes on a cart but Revelations 2 is a download? …A download that is literally too BIG for the Switch’s internal memory? Final Fantasy X & X2, same deal on the Vita. The second game is a download. So, these smaller companies can put in the effort, but big ol’ publishers can’t manage to TRY to entice buyers but the smaller ones can?
(You could argue that part of the problem is that in the case of the Switch, Nintendo only has up to a 32GB card and 64 aren’t available yet. Mmm, still not a good case considering, again, look at Bayonetta 2)
These AAA publishers put millions and millions into marketing their game in so many ways but they can’t put anything into …making the game worth a damn to people when they buy it? This isn’t asking for anything crazy, just what they used to do.
Demos, remember them? Sometimes you’d get a disc full of them and you’d get to try a game before buying it? Bought Brave Fencer Mushashi? Get the demo to Final Fantasy 8. Now? I’m not sure I can remember the last AAA demo I got. DOOM2016 was praised for it’s LIMITED TIME demo. Get the fuck out of here. Limited time? What the hell is this? Nintendo’s 3DS demos freakin’ have a limited number of times you can launch them. That is, if there is even is a demo.
Gaming is getting really tiresome. I’ve really found it hard to buy a game and get excited for it when half the time they’re nickle and diming you. Nevermind the microtransactions and lootbox bullshit. They can’t even be bothered to sell you a working game unless you’re paying a consistent drip feed to enjoy the game you bought. So, not only are you looking up reviews of the game, you gotta make sure you know what’s coming with it and if they’re trying to rip you off with these micro transactions after the fact. Great.
Look at Bethesda, Skyrim just got re-released for the 3rd time on Switch after PS4 and XB1 got their remastered versions and it STILL has the same bugsfrom the final PC release! Game breaking bugs, bugs that modders fixed years ago. They will tart a game up and make it look pretty but not implement basic freaking fixes?? Ah, right, they have that mod store to implement instead. Where, somehow a set of armor is valued at like ..what, 1/12th the cost of an entire game? Game is $60, armor is $5…no, wait, you can’t actually buy the armor directly. You have to buy points like the old Microsoft points. Where 800pts=$10 bucks. So, you’re not even able to drop $5, you gotta get probably $10 in points first. ….I got sidetracked. Anyway.
Despite all my problems with publishers not trying to sell you on the item these days….Physical is still the way to buy games, you can find so many stores now that do some preorder deal that’ll take 20% off and with the case of Best Buy they seem to last over a month after a release is out. You get your game, a box and it’s cheaper. It’s not the full package it used to be but, still better than the digital shops on console charging full price months later.
Call me nostalgic, but, back when I recall getting a game, being in the back of my grandma’s car as she drove us back home and I rip the plastic off my game. Opening the manual and looking over the game I’m about to embark on. Getting inspired by the artwork inside or at least getting to refer to it when I don’t get a mechanic.
“But Mike, just pull out your phone an-” It’s not about that, it’s about getting your bloody money’s worth. And it seems like the Indie scene are the only one making a damned effort to make you want to buy the game.
LOOK at this glorious bundle. A box, stickers, a coin, a leather pouch with a game related item, a FULL SOUNDTRACK, a wallet! Steam code and DRM free? FFFFFreaking BEAUTIFUL! Indie Box and Galaxy Trail nailing it out of the park …oh, and a FULL COLOR MANUAL.
Publishers used to put out packages, stacking reasons for you to buy their latest release. Now they just shove it out the door, unfinished and hold their hand out “pay up” then after you get the unfinished mess, their hand stays out as you play the game.
Thank goodness SOMEONE is listening these days. Considering the nonsense the AAA gaming industry is feeding players with lootboxes and, of course the biggest looming issue, the fight for Net Neutrality.
Patreon apparently is not going through with their new fee plan: https://blog.patreon.com/not-rolling-out-fees-change/ They say they’ll have to roll out better plans, and I hope this will be a better idea! They listened and we can continue working with patreon with less concern for a sustainable future with support from readers/viewers or whatever people are using Patreon for.
….Now then, Net Neutrality next, please?
Patreon dun goofed.
So, I’m sure you have heard that Patreon has done something quite stupid and changed how they’re charging people. They’re apparently putting a fee on supporters rather than creators, and putting a transaction fee on top of this.
While I don’t think it’s crippling or deal breaking….yet, I do think it’s an incredibly poor way to handle a price hike. They claim it’s for the benefit of the creators, meanwhile I’ve seen tweets, facebook and blog posts stating how many creators are losing a lot of their $1 patrons. It hurts them the most as patron is now taking something like $0.30 on top of a 5% of the patron’s support. Which, as you can see hurts small pledges the most, and they even say this in their FAQ: https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204606125-How-do-you-calculate-fees-
Why are they doing this?
I really don’t know. My guess, is like what I’ve seen with the gaming industry, Patreon has lost interest in a lot of small money coming in and they want people to put in bigger chunks. I’ve mentioned this in my streams, companies don’t want a hit, or even a home run, they ONLY want grand slams and constant ones at that. This focus has driven up fees and costs.
I think they’ve grown as a company and they could be pressured by their shareholders (if they have any, I’m speculating here) to make more money than they have been. And, as a company they do have a responsibility to those shareholders to improve cash intake. That said, this was not a good way to do it. Especially not them trying to make this sound like it’s better for the creators, when it’s obviously hurting more than it’s helping.
What’s my take on this?
I think it was a very poor decision. A small fee increase on what creators take would have been far more desirable and if they wanted to move fees to the patrons? Well my feeling on that is make it an option that’s OFF by default. This way if the person is feeling extra generous, they can contribute a bit more and not have the rug pulled out from under them.
This is likely ..and hopefully what they’ll decide to do. I think the flat transaction fee has to go because frankly it makes the $1 tier feel a bit weak. Support is support but to just take up that large chunk straight up? I think that’s a pretty crap idea.
Should we bail on Patreon?
I don’t think so, not yet anyway. They’ve been very helpful up until now, helping creators and progressively been making their platform better. Slowly, but surely. This was one stupid decision and judging by how they’ve reacted (retracting tweets/blog posts shortly after posting them) they’re obviously aware of the problem and the hornet’s nest they’ve kicked.
So, I think we sit and wait. See what they’re going to do and if they stand by this? Well, then it’s up you people. I have no interest in telling you what to do with your money. Do what you feel is right and don’t be afraid to ask others what their thoughts are on this. If you want to support Antares Complex you can do so via Patreonor Paypal.
I have some lovely people supporting methrough these sites I’ve put the contributions toward keeping the comic afloat. I’m super grateful toward readers or supporters and am happy to have you all.
If you have any questions, hit the comments below or ask around on twitter on this. I hope we hear from Patreon soon and they clear up or fix this mess. I’d hate to see the potential of this thing fall apart because of 1 bone headed move.