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Subject: Any word from Rio Grande or Donald X on the whole Goko mess? rss

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1603-1714
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I can't imagine that Jay at Rio Grande Games or Donald, Dominion's creator, are very pleased with what has happened with Goko over the past week or so. It's been a huge embarrassment to Goko and it has to have Jay and Donald at least a bit worried (especially Jay, since it sounds like Race for the Galaxy is next in line from Goko). I know Donald is very active in the Dominion forums, which I greatly appreciate, and Jay even posts on BGG now and then.

I'd love to hear some sort of response to this situation from either RGG or from Donald. What are their thoughts about the mess Goko has created? It would be great to hear what RGG has envisioned for the electronic version of Dominion and how Goko's plans and implementations (or lack thereof) are or are not living up to those ideals. Maybe this has already been posted somewhere, but I've not seen it.

I'm a huge fan of the game and have really been anticipating this release. I'm even a beta tester, so I've played Goko implementation. But the way everything has fallen apart has been really disheartening to me and I imagine to other fans of the game. Any word from the board game side would be greatly appreciated.
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Jake Troughton
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I'm gonna go ahead and guess that they're contractually forbidden from saying what they think about all this.
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I doubt that we'll hear much. The reason is simple: Rio Grande is still (presumably) in a binding contract with Goko, and so it would be bad business for Rio Grande to drive a wedge between themselves and the company which owns the rights to online versions of their games for the next 5 years.

Rio and Donald have a vested interest in what Goko is doing, and trash-talking and generally alienating the people who should be working feverishly to fix things up will not help relations at all.

Of course, it's possible that there is some aspect of their agreement which allows either party to leave if things go sufficiently far south. But I really doubt that it's reached that legal level, despite what you may read in these threads.

It's also possible, as mentioned above, that Rio and Donald may be contractually obligated to stay quiet.
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stampimo wrote:
I'm gonna go ahead and guess that they're contractually forbidden from saying what they think about all this.

I'm wondering about that too, since it seems like they've said absolutely nothing. Maybe they've just been too busy with GenCon and Dark Ages coming out. Still, even letting us know that they can't say anything would be appreciated.

dcclark wrote:
Rio and Donald have a vested interest in what Goko is doing, and trash-talking and generally alienating the people who should be working feverishly to fix things up will not help relations at all.

I'm not really looking for trash talk, just anything really. I'm sure they have opinions of the situation and I'd love to hear whatever they can share.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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As long as isotropic is still up, not too concerned about it. If they take all the online options down, and then don't fix the issues, I'll be a lot more upset. From the message from Goko, it doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon that this will go live again, so maybe Jay will relent on not including Dark Ages on isotropic.
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jschlickbernd wrote:
As long as isotropic is still up, not too concerned about it. If they take all the online options down, and then don't fix the issues, I'll be a lot more upset. From the message from Goko, it doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon that this will go live again, so maybe Jay will relent on not including Dark Ages on isotropic.
+1 for Androminion.
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Klim Chugunkin
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This is exactly the place to which greed takes you.
 
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Sharikov wrote:
This is exactly the place to which greed takes you.


Whose greed?
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Sharikov wrote:
This is exactly the place to which greed takes you.


I can only presume you are writing this from some kind of agrarian commune.

I respect that they are trying an honest business venture with Dominion Online, and I have ample sympathy (along with derisive laughter) for the issues they are hitting along the way.

I think the surprise over their business model being unprecedented and provocative is colouring all conversations on the subject in a negative light, which is neither appropriate nor mature.
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Or it could be that their business model is not unprecedented, though it is undoubtedly provocative.

I am curious why you feel obliged to interpret everyone's opinions for them as inappropriate and immature.

Are you the Great Keeper of Appropriateness in the universe? wow
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Or it could be that their business model is not unprecedented, though it is undoubtedly provocative.

I am curious why you feel obliged to interpret everyone's opinions for them as inappropriate and immature.

Are you the Great Keeper of Appropriateness in the universe? wow


Of course. Now stop being inappropriate.
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gf1024 wrote:
stampimo wrote:
I'm gonna go ahead and guess that they're contractually forbidden from saying what they think about all this.

I wonder, why doesn't the same contract include Goko making a decent implementation of Dominion?
Contracts are tricky :nod:
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jschlickbernd wrote:
As long as isotropic is still up, not too concerned about it. If they take all the online options down, and then don't fix the issues, I'll be a lot more upset. From the message from Goko, it doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon that this will go live again, so maybe Jay will relent on not including Dark Ages on isotropic.

Doug already said in another post that Dark Ages is already coded, and tested. I must have missed something, but is this not being released to the public because it has been forbidden by RGG?

This is all so painful to watch a great property like Dominion get butchered, while we all whine and lament, and RGG just sits by saying nothing.

Not to mention that painfully excruciating "Q&A" session from the Goko spokesperson yesterday. I am not going to lie. I couldn't finish it, it was the most painful and awkward thing I have ever seen
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elkabong wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
As long as isotropic is still up, not too concerned about it. If they take all the online options down, and then don't fix the issues, I'll be a lot more upset. From the message from Goko, it doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon that this will go live again, so maybe Jay will relent on not including Dark Ages on isotropic.

Doug already said in another post that Dark Ages is already coded, and tested. I must have missed something, but is this not being released to the public because it has been forbidden by RGG?

This is all so painful to watch a great property like Dominion get butchered, while we all whine and lament, and RGG just sits by saying nothing.

Not to mention that painfully excruciating "Q&A" session from the Goko spokesperson yesterday. I am not going to lie. I couldn't finish it, it was the most painful and awkward thing I have ever seen


We need more honest folk. A lot of people are being very polite about this nonsense. Remember this is a company that wants your money for its product. Its product is not up to snuff.

Dominion itself (awesome though it may be) cannot save a terrible implementation.
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Goko is to online gaming what Microsoft was to GUI (Windows). There were many painful issues, and still are, with what MS first put out as an operating system. MS will keep going until they get it right. So will Goko.
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guidobass wrote:
Goko is to online gaming what Microsoft was to GUI (Windows). There were many painful issues, and still are, with what MS first put out as an operating system. MS will keep going until they get it right. So will Goko.

I think I would rather that their (likely) plan (as terrible as it is) succeeds and they are bought out quickly by someone who plans on doing some good with these licenses.
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guidobass wrote:
Goko is to online gaming what Microsoft was to GUI (Windows). There were many painful issues, and still are, with what MS first put out as an operating system. MS will keep going until they get it right. So will Goko.

How are you so positive? They have no direction, no project management, and they have contracted programmers at the lowest rate possible!

The company has spent the majority of its capital (8 million US from what I understand) on purchasing "IP Rights" to some massive games, with absolutely no capacity to produce the platform they promised to the IP Owner (RGG)!

This company is not interested in implementation - they are interested in creating a company that they can sell. This has been very clear from the start. I wish I felt better about the company Goko, but this is not a company that is programmer-heavy. They are VP-Heavy.

Also, project management seems to be non-existent, and I will say again : that poor uninformed girl that they are pushing out in front of the angry Dominion community -- That was horrid. It felt like they were pushing the lowest person on the Totem Pole in front of the bus.

Again, I wish I could understand where your positive outlook is coming from, I just don't see a single ray of light, and yesterday's fiasco was most disheartening.
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elkabong wrote:

How are you so positive? They have no direction, no project management, and they have contracted programmers at the lowest rate possible!


I'm still not 100% certain what they're programming direction is. As far as I can see they have no in-house programming division. It seems they have a small shop (you can google streetview it), an idea, and 150 licenses. They are using that to say, "Hey, if you like these games, come and write code for us!"

I'm totally confused as to what their plan is. Unless, as you and others have pointed out, it is strictly a money grab to gather licenses and then sell out for profit.
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Agreed,I know Trisha's job is 'community manager', but it seems like they hired some minimum wager who happens to like board games to do the job. She is obviously unqualified, and is going to draw a lot of fire as the only public voice for the company.
It's clearly unfair to her. I would bail in a heart beat if I were her.

Unless they are paying her some ridiculous amount of money, in which case, go ahead and tarnish your reputation, you clearly aren't going into any kind of broadcasting or public speaking position any time soon...
 
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pinkymadigan wrote:
Agreed,I know Trisha's job is 'community manager', but it seems like they hired some minimum wager who happens to like board games to do the job. She is obviously unqualified, and is going to draw a lot of fire as the only public voice for the company.
It's clearly unfair to her. I would bail in a heart beat if I were her.

Unless they are paying her some ridiculous amount of money, in which case, go ahead and tarnish your reputation, you clearly aren't going into any kind of broadcasting or public speaking position any time soon...


Yeah, their PR has been atrocious. They are a tech company and they can't even bother to create/update a blog once a day, let alone use the current trends (i.e. Twitter) to their advantage. It seems that they are woefully understaffed for the type of endeavor they were hoping to create.

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Yes, the Q&A session was painful and some of my key questions weren't answered. In that thread about the session was where I was first exposed to the idea that Goko is just trying to get itself bought, which has been repeated in this thread. That's a pretty disturbing idea, especially with Dominion and all these other games tied up with the company. I know it goes on a lot in the industry, but it seems pretty dishonest to me. Sounds like RGG may have gotten involved with a company it can't trust.

This just gets worse and worse.
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cagriggs wrote:
Yes, the Q&A session was painful and some of my key questions weren't answered. In that thread about the session was where I was first exposed to the idea that Goko is just trying to get itself bought, which has been repeated in this thread. That's a pretty disturbing idea, especially with Dominion and all these other games tied up with the company. I know it goes on a lot in the industry, but it seems pretty dishonest to me. Sounds like RGG may have gotten involved with a company it can't trust.

This just gets worse and worse.

I think I'm the one doing the majority of the talking about the company's exit strategy.
I was tipped off by someone (forget who, I believe here on BGG though) about their CEO's history of starting and selling companies. It is a legitimate practice, but usually the company is doing well in its infancy, and has more to show than a bunch of licenses they've managed to purchase (or swindle, as the case may be).
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elkabong wrote:

They have no direction, no project management, and they have contracted programmers at the lowest rate possible!


How do you know this?
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elkabong wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
As long as isotropic is still up, not too concerned about it. If they take all the online options down, and then don't fix the issues, I'll be a lot more upset. From the message from Goko, it doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon that this will go live again, so maybe Jay will relent on not including Dark Ages on isotropic.

Doug already said in another post that Dark Ages is already coded, and tested. I must have missed something, but is this not being released to the public because it has been forbidden by RGG?


This is correct - Dark Ages exists on test isotropic - it was used to test the cards prior to release. DougZ commented over on the dominionstrategy forums that he asked if he could release them and Goko said no. Personally - I think they should take a PR win and authorize the release with a note of apology for their botched launch as well as their offensive claims that all other online versions are illegal.

Quote:
For what it's worth, I did ask about putting DA up on iso after the aborted launch and they (goko) said no.

There's a small window of time between a new expansion being spoiled and it being widely available when a site can get a big boost from being the only way to play the shiny new thing. iso itself got a big boost from Prosperity, early in the site's existence (and that window was extra-long because of the shipping accident with the printed copies). I imagine goko wanted the same thing from Dark Ages; there may yet be time for them to get some benefit.


http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=4203.msg91...

As for DXV and Jay - the closest that I've seen would be:

Quote:
Obv. I am not the guy to answer this, and my answer would mostly be yes, try it why don't you, but I am answering anyway because, I personally would hold off until someone posts that the javascript bug is fixed.


http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=4188.msg90...

Obviously they aren't going to say anything critical. Tom Lehman posted something elsewhere about RTFG that seemed like exactly what I'd expect someone like Jay or Donald to say.... Nothing critical (alienates goko - hurts revenue) or defensive (alienates fanbase - hurts revenue).
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stampimo wrote:
I'm gonna go ahead and guess that they're contractually forbidden from saying what they think about all this.

I do not have a contract with Goko, but obv. I am not so interested in badmouthing people I'm working with. I would like other people to want to work with me based on how they see me handle myself and stuff. At the same I am helplessly me, value honesty above achieving goals, am rude to people, and so on. But you all know this.

I have not been posting about this because man I do not want to spend all of my time interacting with people unhappy with Goko. And I still don't. Man, ask Goko the hard questions, not me; I am the guy who signed a normal contract with a game company; the game company listened to pitches for a computer version and picked the one that sounded best; and now I am working with those guys to improve whatever I see that needs improving.

Here is a brief summary of my opinion of the various topics.

- Overall I am optimistic. The game plays well, and while there are UI things I would still improve, I expect them to be improved, as such things have been in the past. If the game is slower to take off due to the failed launch, it will still be there for the people who want it.

- The launch failed. Bummer. I don't know what more someone could expect me to say here. I hope it's working and out soon.

- There were security issues. Wow that's awful. I am told they are fixed though (in the public beta - I don't think they ever updated the private beta). Wait, does this mean they will always have new security issues? Man I wouldn't think so. And the people who found the problems last time will no doubt be looking for them again in the public beta.

- There's no offline version. An offline version was not a significant issue to me and Jay; we are all about playing with humans. If people really want offline play then for sure we would like it to be there for them. The bots are good enough to enjoy those games. Anyway you can point at us for this one, we were not pushing for offline play.

- Wow is that what they're charging? Man some people think a game with 8 expansions, one unreleased, is secretly one game-sized product. I have spent years on these expansions, they do not seem like inconsequential things to me. I have poured hours into the online version too, playtesting and suggesting improvements and making sets of ten cards and coming up with achievements. I don't know what the going rates for computer games are but I do not see cause for alarm here.

- Hey are these guys Zynga or what. Jay turned down the people who wanted to do everything in micropayments. We went for, you can just buy expansions and play them, and ignore the hats. There are hats, yes, I don't see how you get away from hats these days.

- Taking down isotropic is like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Huh from where I'm sitting it's The Grinch Who Gave Out Free Dominion With All Of The Expansions But Not For Forever. I would like to think I live in a world where that guy isn't universally hated, where it's okay to give people stuff, though I know there are people reading this thinking, wow because he said that he is the Grinchiest Grinch ever.

I hope this suffices! So, how about that Dark Ages? I hear the offline play is pretty sweet, except for all the shuffling.
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