Pre-Script: read till the end. I'm not simping for Fizzer. I just think we can safely assume good faith and work from that instead of thinking Fizzer doesn't care about us. There's a lot more and better things we can do if we begin from the assumption that Fizzer cares a whole lot about the indie game he's spent the better part of his career building and maintaining.
I think there's still a range of plausible interpretations of these events that assume good faith from Fizzer. Heck, I view the INSSpocalypse as a good sign because it aligns with Hanlon's Razor: instead of the strategic community not being a priority for Fizzer, we saw that the misgivings between the two were just miscommunications and misunderstandings. I suspect Fizzer cares a whole lot about Warzone (including Warzone Classic) but there's just a disconnect between him and the frustrated side of the strategic community.
He made this game, after all, and per his statement on stream he lives on a budget to do this. Given his background and the fact that he's successfully singlehandedly built and maintained an indie game site (that's aggressively
free-to-play) for 10+ years at this point, he likely has the competence to be making bank working at some big tech company or living off of shares from some unicorn he worked on; I'm pretty sure a software engineer with 15+ years of experience makes at least $220k/yr even at Microsoft. He could also pull an EA or a Hasbro and make this game less free-to-play (or more pay-to-win). Every other game that competes with Warzone is considerably less free-to-play. Risk: Global Domination, the Hasbro-licensed one (and the only game in the Risk-like subgenre with a larger playerbase than Warzone) paywalls multiplayer behind tokens or a one-time premium purchase, and it makes you pay for maps. The other indie ones- Conquer Club, Dominating 12, LandGrab, Major Command, etc.- also lock things behind paywalls that we take for granted on Warzone- like real-time games, a non-Flash client, and maps.
Warzone is absurdly free-to-play. Except for Super Army Camps, every single purchasable item on this site can be unlocked without ever spending a single real cent, because you can get free coins and earn them from games. No other game in the subgenre goes this extreme.
So imo he's sacrificing at least a boatload of money to be doing what he's doing. I think it's safe to say he cares a whole lot and does his best.
why make two games that are polar opposites under the same name, website, same forums, maps, ui, and on browser you can literally just switch to idle by clicking a button?
Most likely revenue. Per his statement on Discord, the choice was either to create Idle or to make Warzone itself pay-to-win.
I don't know what that choice could imply except the need to boost revenue. He did say in the very first Idle stream that it was alarming how dependent Warzone revenue was on ads. So it could be a fragile revenue stream like that, or an actual decline in revenue. Pure speculation here. But Idle is clearly a cash cow.
And after making Idle, he came back and launched a major feature for Classic (Clan Wars). He lurks on Global Chat and on Discord. I think he cares a whole lot about this game and its community. If you read the blog posts and the app descriptions, he brags about player initiatives like Clan League.
But of course, like this incident reveals, good intentions != good results. Good intentions are not enough. We should assume good intentions from Fizzer and be pragmatic
There's clearly some communication gaps and challenges involved in the strategic community getting what it wants from Fizzer. We make all sorts of assumptions as to why (e.g., that Fizzer doesn't care about us, that he cares about money, that he cares about casuals) but we don't really validate them before acting on them.
My suspicion is that Fizzer does
try to reach out and listen- he made the CLOT framework, he open-sourced the AI, he streams and answers questions, he listened to the INSS petition, and heck, one time I emailed him asking for an API change and he did it within hours
. But what's happening is that the information he gets from the strategic community is noisy and often poor feedback. Instead of telling Fizzer about our experience (what we liked, what could be better), we jump the gun and start proposing features or making decisions for him. Or throwing a bunch of stuff at him that creates a prioritization burden.
I think we should really come up with a plan as a strategic community to improve the quality of our communication with Fizzer. If he doesn't care about us, then that's not actionable. But if we assume he does, we can use that as a starting point to proactively fix the gaps between us.
Edited 3/23/2021 04:50:27