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The Future Proof Podcast 041

Podcast episode

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:21  
Hello, and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. This is our bimonthly podcast where we talk about what we've been working on anything cool we've been planning. I'm Gregory Avery-Weir.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:31  
And I'm Melissa Avery-Weir. So we wanted to give a little update on Exploit: Zero Day.

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:38  
Yeah. So if you've been following us, you know, we've been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a very long time. We're very close to the end, we're currently working on job nine of "Headless Swarm", which is going to be the finale job that wraps up that plotline. When we finish job nine, the initial development of that, we're going to do some checks and then release job eight, which has been done for a little while, but has been waiting for our pipeline to fill up some more. And then our next step will be working on a revision of the whole story. Because it's been a long time since we've been doing this, I think I saw an initial announcement went out in 2016. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:24  

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:25  
And so we were going to make sure that like the story we started telling is the story we finished telling and make any little changes in text or adjustments to the, to the branching. And also just make sure that job nine works properly with, with everything. And then once that's done, that revision, then job nine will come out and "Headless Swarm" will be done. And we'll probably talk to you again and encourage you to, you know, tell folks, you know that like, if someone's been holding off on picking up "Headless Swarm", because it's been unfinished—which is perfectly reasonable, I think—that it's done now. And so you can just get the full version of it. And if you haven't checked out Exploit: Zero Day, you should check it out now. There's an entire season of free story that's been there that's, that's really good, as well as a bunch of miscellaneous jobs and, and a whole lot of stuff that our players have made that's totally free. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:18  
We've done another release lately that is not Future Proof Games-related.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:23  
Yes. So we have talked, I think, in previous episodes about a non-Future Proof Podcast that we are doing called Before the Future Came. We have now released the first episode of Before the Future Came. It is temporarily not a Star Trek podcast, courtesy of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that are going on where they have asked podcasters to not promote struck works, which would be things on streaming platforms. And we're totally in solidarity with that. So we're reading and partaking in other utopian sci-fi material. And our first episode is about the novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. It's an amazing story. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:09  
It's really good. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:10  
Yeah, it's super good. You don't have to read the story to follow the podcast. We give a summary. When we talk about thematic points and things we find of interest, we provide context about what happens around it. If you listen and you find we don't give enough, please let us know. That would be really good feedback for us to have.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:30  
Yeah, we can definitely adjust and get more info. Generally, we'll be talking about the values that show up in utopian science fiction. So if that's a thing you're interested in, definitely check it out.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:42  
Yep. And we probably mentioned it before, where we take a very... a very queer, a very socialist, a very sort of communist approach to this sort of thing when we look at our utopian futures and assess them. So that is an excellent book to start with. And then I don't think I will say what the second episode will be...

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:04  
Yeah, you can, you can be surprised when you get to the end of the Binti episode. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:09  
Yes. The way the podcast works is that one of us sort of in secret picks what the next work is, that's going to be discussed. And so it is revealed on the podcast to the other folks and to listeners. So, and that is hosted by myself and Gregory and Dr. Lucy Arnold, who has been on a podcast episode before of this podcast. Two, three years ago, when we released the survey results and did sort of an analysis on our, our sort of community outreach stuff. So it's very exciting. The podcast is again called Before the Future Came. It is in all of your sort of major podcatchers that you like, if you want to listen to it on the web for some reason and it is added beforethefuture.space. Episodes are transcribed. And if for some reason, I get this, this episode out extremely quickly, the Binti one might not be transcribed fully, but it is in flight and going forward, we should be releasing simultaneously. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:21  

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:22  
Yeah, it's very exciting. So in more game industry-related news, Unity—the makers of the game engine and development platform Unity—have been acting a fool.

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:37  
Yeah, so I think we talked about this, like two months ago, in our previous episode on, on some of the annoyances of working with Unity. And they have recently announced that they are going to start charging game developers per install of their games, which is just an absolutely wild thing to do. And, and is going along with a bunch of other really, really shitty corporate decisions they've made. We're going to be okay, probably because we, sadly, are not past the earnings threshold at which this would apply. Hopefully, someday we can deal with that problem. But there are a lot of big developers that used Unity that are in a pickle at the moment, trying to decide exactly how they're going to deal with just basically Unity, saying, Hey, we're going to make up a number that you now owe us without you giving permission for us to charge you for this previously.

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:37  
So please be sensitive to any developers who are going through that sort of thing. And if you are a developer, we highly recommend trying Godot for your next big project. If it's something that Godot seems like a good technological solution for and otherwise, there are a bunch of other platforms that I think will... you can trust a little bit more than Unity these days.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:02  
And if, if "Godot" is not a word that sounds like a word, it is spelled g o d o t. So people might say it "god-ot" or any number of ways people might say it.

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:13  
"Guh-doh", you'll sometimes hear. Yeah, I'm a I'm a weird literary person. So I'm, I'm like, well, the, the playwright of "Waiting for Godot" specifically said that God is an important syllable in the name. But yeah, either way works.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:28  
For googling purposes, someone has to know what all the letters are. Yeah, Unity, Unity, making this move is baffling. Their communication has been particularly poor. When when questions have been raised, like, "Hey, what about demos? Or what about, you know, your Epic free sales? Or, you know, free deals or whatever?" They've kind of gone, "Huh? Well, I guess we should think about that." Which is absolutely wild. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:59  
It's a pretty big shift off of their previous, their previous stance. And the good news is that it looks like as of the wording I saw a couple days ago that this applies to downloads after the start of the year or after sometime in 2024. Which means that, like, all retroactive installs, for people who bought games in, like, the Black Lives Matter bundle, aren't gonna get hit for that. But also, Unity doesn't collect analytics and Unity games are not phoning home to Unity by default. So there's a lot, there's lots of questions. This whole thing's pretty icky. Especially in conjunction with the CEO selling off stock. It's a whole mess, I will link to some relevant, like lineups of the factual situation of what's happening in the show notes just to sort of give some some broader context, if anyone wants to go down that rabbit hole. Then, who knows? Maybe by the time this episode comes out, they will have completely backtracked.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:12  
This is this is as of Wednesday evening, so it might be different tomorrow.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:18  
Wednesday, September 14. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:21  

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:21  
So yeah, it's it's a mess. We'll see where it goes. And consider other platforms. It's... there's other cool tools out there that are professionally used, and produce good work, so.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:35  
Our final bit of news is about The Majesty of Colors, ironically, which is a game built in Unity. The Apple App Store has a policy where games must be updated on a certain cadence or they will be removed from the store even if there is no need to update them. So they gave us a notice. We have deprecated Mac support for a couple of years, in part because we don't have a Mac on which to perform builds for Mac OS or, or Apple and, or for iOS. And it's absolutely required for iOS. Mac OS, you can do other ways. Given that we don't have a way to do builds, and that it is not cost effective for us to spin up a way to do builds. And in short, we don't make a lot of money on iOS, at all. So it doesn't make sense for us to spend hundreds or more on an Apple machine just for one game that doesn't make a lot of money. So The Majesty of Colors is going to leave the App Store before the end of September. If you have already purchased the game, you, you have it. It will always be available for you to download. I say "always"; it will continue to be available for you to download. Who knows—

Gregory Avery-Weir  11:08  
Until they have a new policy again. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:11  
Exactly. So if you've already purchased it or purchase it before about September 20th, 22nd, something like that, you will have Majesty of Colors. After that it disappears from the App Store and cannot, cannot be purchased. So that is, I think, the end of that. It is, it is still on Google, Google Play. It is available, of course, on desktop platforms via itch and Steam. But this, I think this is the end of it on iOS unless something changes. We could find some way to bring it back or you know, have some sort of mechanism for that. But we do not currently.

Gregory Avery-Weir  11:54  
It's a bummer, but yeah. but the good news is it continues to be I think we think a great game and an inexpensive game. So if you really feel the urge to play it and you were going to play it on iOS, it is very affordable, we think, on PC. So that version, you can get at itch.io. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  12:19  
And you can find all of our stuff at futureproofgames.com. We're over on cohost as FPG and on YouTube as Future Proof Games. You can give us questions or comments on our blog, on social media anywhere you see us, or by emailing us at info@futureproofgames.com. Our theme music is "Juparo" by Broke for Free which is used with permission.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai