Dec 9th 2017 by Bathbodyworks • 31 Questions • 169 Points
My short bio: Hi Reddit! My name is Jacob Orth, and I currently work as a VIP Host at a strip club in Las Vegas called the Hustler Club. It's a 3 story, 70,000 square foot building, with 21 bottle booths, 3 stages, 2 VIP rooms, female and male strippers (weekends only for males). I've worked in Vegas strip clubs for about 5 years now, and know the strip club industry in Vegas very well. Ask me anything!
Hello! I immediately fell in love with APOPO as soon as I discovered you guys and I've been a monthly contributor ever since. Thanks for doing what you do.
1) Is there any way for a traveler to see your workers and rats in action? Perhaps a volunteer mission?
2) I requested hi-res photos of your trainers and rats in action to hang at my home for visitors to see in hopes of encouraging them to get involved. Your people totally hooked it up. Animal-lovers dig it, but since most people think rats are gross, what other ways would you suggest to help turn people on to your cause?
How was it to work on Star Wars and then be involved with a Star Trek fan film?
If your immortal soul had to be locked behind a lootbox or paid content, how would you design it?
How strict are strip clubs about following the rules regarding prostitution? Is there a sense of "for the right price?"
Thank you so much for the kind words. Yes, travelers can see our rats in action - most convenient is in our training centre in Tanzania or in our recently opened APOPO visitors centre in Siem Reap. Thanks also for promoting us with the photos! We appreciate any initiative which will support us, be it word to mouth, be it organizing a group or a visible event - sure everyone has skills to contribute. You can also adopt a HeroRAT which makes for a great holiday gift!
Literal dream come true. Working on R2-D2 was a life achievement. As was playing TOS-era Sulu. I remember sitting in my Sulu costume, at my console, on the beautiful Enterprise bridge set, being SOO giddy because I couldn't believe I was doing it.
Cracks Knuckles Let's do this dance!
- My soul is the chase prize in a lootbox, along with other, extremely valuable content (gotta be in good company after all). We'll call this box 'The Soul Box'.
- You can't directly purchase The Soul Box from the store. It's a rare drop on a powerful, Dark Souls style boss monster. High HP, insta-kill attacks, very timing heavy, the works. We'll just call this 'The Boss Monster'.
- The only way to fight The Boss Monster is with a Boss Fight Ticket, which is the rare chase prize in the 'The Wheel Game Loot Box'. A ticket cannot be obtained any other way.
- The Wheel Game Loot Box can only be obtained by getting the Five Keys from the Wheel Game. It costs hard currency (currency bought with real money) to spin the Wheel. Getting the Keys is rare, spins usually get you lesser loot boxes. Each of the Five Keys is different, and you can get duplicates. This means that you could have 20 of the other Keys, but still need to get the Fifth Key, just to unlock one of the Wheel Game Lootboxes.
- The Fifth Key is way rarer than the other Keys. Like, suspiciously so.
- Keys can be redeemed for other prizes, like event-unique cosmetics, just for that added temptation. They look amazing.
- The Wheel Game has a ridiculously long spin animation, with lots of flashing lights and grating music. Neither of those can be disabled. You must sit through it. Every. Single. Time.
- That Boss fight? You can't save up tickets for it. You're not allowed to spin the wheel when you have a ticket (the button just greys out). This means that learning the fight patterns is extremely difficult, as you're looking at hours (and tons of money) between fights.
- PvP is enabled during the fight against the Boss Monster. If another Player kills you during it, you lose the fight and they get half of the hard currency you spent getting the ticket. Prepare to get mobbed by griefers every time you get within a mile of that thing.
- Did I mention that the presence of so many PvP players in the Boss Fight will cause terrible lag spikes during the fight? Because that's a thing.
- The Boss Monster has an unskippable cutscene, every time you fight it. He wants to destroy the world because everyone is too sad. The voice acting is horrendous.
I think that covers everything... I'm feeling pretty good about the sanctity of my soul.
In Vegas they're pretty strict about it. If a club is caught allowing that then they are at a serious risk of having the entire operation shut down. Vegas really markets itself well with the "Sin City" tag, but it's not quite as "anything goes" as people think. Even some cities in the U.S. have more lax rules than Vegas.
What is your favorite place to party in Vegas and why?
Edit: no spell good on mobile
Shit, now I'm afraid the Magpies are gonna steal my Soul Box.
I'm not the biggest party person (it helps me keep my sanity while working in nightlife and avoid burnout), but any of the popular nightclubs will do if you want to go hard. Hakkasan and Omnia are really popular since they're newer and so massive. Other clubs like Drai's, XS, Hyde, etc. are fun too. I actually think that the day clubs and night swims are more fun than nightclubs. Rehab was the first day club I went to, and it was awesome. XS night swim is something I encourage everyone to try during the warmer months.
is there any literature or theory that is popular among f2p companies re: psychology of f2p and how to maximize profits along those lines, or is every company re-inventing the wheel from a behavioral psychology POV?
Whats the craziest thing you've seen in there?
Reinventing the wheel, constantly. You would be shocked at how non-standardized the game industry is, from a development perspective.
Obviously, different kinds of games have different development needs, but even things as a simple as job titles can mean completely different things from company-to-company. Which is ridiculous and I think that'll need to change within the next 5 years.
At Kabam, we had elaborate spread sheets to keep track of all of our loot boxes and approximate "market values" for items. Still, sometimes things really came down to observation and the gut feelings you get from working on a game, 8 hours a day, for over a year.
When I was working at a previous club, there was a guy who puked in his private booth during his 30 minute session with a dancer because he just drank too much. Once he was done puking the dancer continued to stay and finish the time even though she didn't have to. That one was strange.
That's interesting -- nobody in any f2p company you've heard of has a psychology background?
It is a common belief that strippers have personal issues in their life that lead to this career path. What do you think of it? How much of it is true.
Also, compared to female dancers, how do the male strippers compare in terms of income?
While I'm sure some of my coworkers were psych majors in college, it never really came up. I've never seen (or even heard of, actually) anyone bringing in a practicing psychologist to work on loot boxes.
I don't think it'd be efficient to do so either. I feel like it'd be similar to bringing in an architect to solve a carpentry problem. Yes, they're in similar fields and there's similar study, but one is focused on the large scale problems and the other one is focused on the moment-to-moment problems.
It is a really common belief. It exists because there is some truth to it. There are those who have issues, grew up in really shitty situations, etc. and feel like they don't have a lot of options to make a lot of money. Many see dancing as a quick way to make a lot of money. The problem is that many of them spend their money as fast as they get it.
The men can make good money, but their earning potentially overall is nowhere near what the women can make. Most women don't spend very much money. It's men who are spending serious cash inside the club.
Follow up question! Which inventor would you want to meet?
Is there temptation for the companies to gradually increase the pay-to-win aspect of f2p games as time goes on?
I've played two f2p games a lot: World of Tanks and Total Domination Nuclear Strategy. Have you played them or do you anything about them? Any interesting comments?
Would you ever date a stripper?
Bart Weetjens, who came up with the idea of using rats for landmine detection was a schoolmate of mine. When I went to do my social service in Africa, in replacement of military duty, he supported me from Belgium by fundraising for our program in schools. So we set up a charity together with him and the founder of our design school. A few years later when I came back to Belgium, he had already prepared the work and we got our first Grant for the idea from the Belgian Government in November 1997. As we were planning to work this all out in Africa, my 3 years overseas experience came in handy.
I'd say that, on average, pay-to-win tendencies increase as a game's popularity goes down over time. When the game first starts out, balance and preserving the player ecosystem is everything.
As the game gets older, people start moving onto the next big thing, but a core sticks around. There's less of them, but they tend to spend more, on average.
As the game reaches it's final stage (sometimes called Farm Stage), a very small team is in charge of keeping the game on life support. They may love the game, but their development resources are tiny. The only thing they can do is fiddle with numbers. If you can't get your remaining players excited with new art, levels, or mechanics, what do you turn to?
The same items, but with bigger numbers.
Also, check out the Extra Credits video on Design by Accretion. It's a great insight for folks who aren't in the industry.
It would depend on the person she is. I've come across a few that were in it temporarily until they had enough to reach a certain goal like build a home, start a business, etc. That's the small minority though. A lot more become dependent and attached to the work with practically no future plan
What do you think about this whole "loot-boxes = gambling" idea?
The men can make good money, but their earning potentially overall is nowhere near what the women can make.
1) What about gay men as patrons.
2) Why aren't there any good gay strip joints in Vegas?
I have to admit, I'm of really mixed feelings.
Back when I was making them, the justification was:
- The player always gets something from the box
- They can't cash anything out for real money
- The paid content will be grindable in a month or two
This wasn't just internal chatter, this constituted a legal justification in several countries that our games were available.
However, while those criteria take away a lot of the problems with loot boxes/gambling, I also used to be a customer support guy on those same games. I've seen players with lifetime spend counts of over $50,000 on those games. People spend a lot of money on hobbies, that's a given. However, that kind of amount starts to worry you a little. Is this someone who really loves our product, or are we taking advantage of a compulsion?
Still, I don't think classifying loot boxes as gambling is a good idea, because it's going to have huge unexpected side effects. If loot boxes in games are gambling, what about Magic the Gathering card packs (the original pay-to-win lootbox)? What about loot drops on monsters in an MMO? Legally defining a 'loot box' in a game is extremely tricky, especially because most lawyers and lawmakers neither know, nor really care how games work.
Gay guys come to see male strippers sometimes, but the strippers often times don't want to dance for men.
The market is only so big for straight women to see male strippers, let alone for gay men to see male strippers. There's only 2 strip clubs in Vegas with male strippers. I think one gay nightclub has some male strippers on occasion, but I'm not sure.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a game designer?
Do you guys serve food?
Suspension of disbelief. When someone talks about your game, which is really just a bunch of blips on a screen, like it's something tangible and real.
No matter how big, visually stunning, or immersive a game is, there's still a huge gap between the game and reality. The space in-between has to be made by people. When their eyes light up and they tell you about the cool thing they did, or happened to them in the game, you can see a moment that was only possible when they put themselves in your game.
As a designer, you can never do that. You can never bridge that gap for them, but the player can do it themselves. It's rewarding. It's also extremely humbling, the first time it happens.
Now that some countries are investigating loot boxes and possibly ban them, what are the possible alternatives to monetize players in video games? Also, thanks for the ama.
What was your worse night like involving workers or customers?
You're certainly asking the right question. Games cost a ton of money to make, to promote, and operate past launch. AAA titles started getting into the loot-box thing because $60 per unit isn't enough to reliably recoup the $100+ million investment it took to make the game. You also need to pull a healthy profit, so you can have enough spare cash to start work on the next game.
However, the price of individual games can't really go above $60. Remember when it went up by $10? It was pandemonium, despite the ridiculously good fun/dollar ratio games provide.
A drink in a bar costs me $6 and gets me 1 hour of fun. A movie costs $10 and gets me 2 hours of fun. Wasteland 2 cost me ~$50 and got me over 80 hours of fun.
Still, people can't afford games being more than $60 right now (economy, etc...). I think micro transactions/opt-ins have a place in all of that, so that people who are really into the game can spend more to get more out of it. It just needs to be done elegantly, in a way that doesn't feel grimy and bad. Expansion packs are a perfect example of this.
Liked the campaign? How would you like more campaign, but in a different enough setting that it wouldn't have fit into the regular game?
Spoiler: I shell out for campaign expansions all the time. I love stories in games.
I had to tackle a guy once who punched an entertainer in the VIP room, and tried to run out of the club. I was working the door, and was the last guy with a chance to take him down. I had to make an open field tackle like I was a safety lol. I got him down, everyone else jumped on, and we cuffed him until the police showed up. He had at least one warrant out for his arrest. I don't know if it was my worst day, but it was nuts.
Are loot box revenues accounted for, or expected, when budgeting to build a game? As in, if they didn't plan on having them would they adjust the cost of the game up front?
Are the free limo ride and other offers given out by “promoters” a scam? If not, how much does it actually end up costing the patron?
Generally speaking, yes. Every company is different, but I worked in Free to Play and even when a game was in the planning phases, metrics were getting set. For example:
Servers cost $ a month, the team running the game costs $ a month (pay, health insurance, office space, etc...), and total cost of development for the base game is projected to cost $$$. The game's expected lifespan is X.
These costs together show the amount per month the game needs to pull in, in order to make a profit. You don't just to stay neutral, you need to pay back the development costs, and get enough money to pay for the next game the company wants to make.
Promoters on the strip have a reputation for being some of the biggest scumbags and liars in Vegas. The shit that they tell people to get them to the club sometimes is absolutely ridiculous. That's part of the reason I even started a youtube channel was because I knew there had to be a better way to reach people before coming to Vegas, and informing them of how clubs work.
Promoters have deals that they can do based on contracts worked out with clubs. You won't know what deal they can get at any particular club, so you're at a real disadvantage. I suggest planning ahead and not even dealing with street promoters. Many of them will lie through their teeth about prices, what they will get you (a free dance, a free bottle, a VIP table, a ride back to your hotel, etc).
Many Vegas strip clubs charge anywhere from $40-50 for entry. I've seen groups come to the front to get told what the cover charge is only to say that the promoter told them it was $15 or $20, and that was supposed to include drinks, a bottle booth, a guaranteed table because they're his "VIP"' customers, blah, blah, blah. I say don't bother with them because there's a good chance you won't get what they are telling you, and it will cost you more than what they are telling you.
That's not at all how it works. Watch their videos and listen.
I've been rewatching Mythbusters lately and one scene that gets replayed a lot through the series is you and Tori arguing over whether or not you "always use the blue rope" when towing cars. What is never shown is who was actually right. Who was right?
"Check it out if you're interested in rogue-likes/Japanese dating sims set in 18th century France."
Wouldn't it have been easier to just email that guy personally?
How did you get into this line of business?
What are the best and worst parts about the job?
There has never been a rat which was blown up by a landmine - they are too light to set them off and far to valuable and lovable to let them explode. They scan a minefield systematically on a search string, and they pinpoint the presence of a mine by scratching on the ground...as they would do if they found food.
We always use the blue rope.
Would you believe I tried? I think I got caught in his spam filter.
I actually started working in nightlife in CA back in 2006. I did it during the off season from football while I was in college. In CA I mostly worked nightclubs doing security and management operations. After finishing my MBA, I had a ton of debt from school. The cost of living was really high in my part of CA, and they just passed another state tax increase right before I left. I had experience in nightlife, I knew in Vegas you could make good money doing it, and once I saw how cheap it was to live there (plus no state in come tax), I was pretty sold on the idea.
Best part about the job is that it's not a "normal job" in the corporate world. Plus, being in Vegas, you meet a lot of cool people and make connections at other clubs and in the hospitality industry.
The worst part is just some of the bullshit that you have to put up with-drunken idiots, people wanting to fight, threatening to sue, false complaints made about you to try to get you in trouble, unbelievable entitlement some people exhibit, people lying to you, people trying to haggle prices like they're at the flea market, etc. Sometimes it comes from customers, sometimes it comes from dancers and sometimes it comes from coworkers. If the club is managed well, then that stuff can be kept to a minimum and they know when something has merit or it's just bullshit.
What new technologies or other recent innovations are you excited about right now? How do you think it will make our lives easier?
When using sliced pancetta for antipasto, do you need to heat it up first or can it be eaten straight from the packaging?
What's one thing you love about your job, and have you ever played host to anyone famous?
Self-driving cars. Foldable LCD panels. LCD contact lenses.
Pancetta is a cured meat, so you should be able to eat it straight from the packaging safely. In the case of antipasto, I actually like keeping it cold, as it provides a contrasting temperature against the other dishes.
Food isn't just about flavor. Texture, temperature, spice, acidity, and color all have a role to play.
I love the fact that it's very different than most jobs. Whenever I tell someone what I do, they usually have a follow up question or two. It's so out of the norm that they find it intriguing. I've come across some famous people. It's usually pretty unexpected. Sometimes the person comes on their own or in a small group and sometimes they have an entire entourage of people with them.
Dude I cannot believe I just found a DoA dev while scrolling down reddit! I had a great time playing it with my brother and some randoms on facebook. I remember getting out of school and opening the challenges prizes, checking with my brother who got better loot. Loved your game so much :).
Were you aware at Kabam of the amount of "cheaters"? Tbh literally everyone used add-ons and etc, how did you tried to fight against it? If I remember correctly there was a point at which players got kicked of the game for opening stuff too fast, being marked as cheaters, but that decision received a lot of hate for slowing down a core of the gameplay. In what ways did you have to change designer stuff, what did you learn from that?
Dude, you would not believe the meetings we had about add ons. The main reason we banned add on users was because the code in the add ons was complete amateur bullshit. The calls were so numerous and inefficient that it was slowing down the servers. The crazy part? People were even paying for some of these add ons!
An engineer and I were constantly pushing the idea that we should create our own add ons, that integrated smoothly with the code base, then sell them at a tiny price (like $0.99) and cut those guys out of their own market. The game would go faster, we'd make a little money and everything would be fine! Nobody would ever listen to us.
The way I see it, if people are trying to automate away a part of your game in order to have fun, something went wrong and needs to be fixed. The problem is justifying the cost of fixing it, to your superiors.
This is why I love reddit
Is there anything different between a normal strip club and a Vegas club? (other than the income tax)
Big picture question:
Do you perceive video games as an artistic medium? If so, does this necessarily mean that making a game with the intent to keep a company afloat is artistically destructive? If not, what worth do video games actually have?
Have any of the dancers (male or female) had regular customer turn stalker? How does the industry protect the help?
What personal engineering project would you undertake if funding was not a problem?
How big is the target demographic for rogue-like Japanese dating Sims set in 18th century France?
According to our Kickstarter so far, around 646 people. We're also getting a surprising number of people for whom this is the first project they've ever backed. That signals to me that there's an opening in the market that isn't being met. People want to play something like this, it's just not being made.
Though, to be fair, 2 of those backers are my parents. Not sure if they count.
For bachelor parties, I recommend eating at a steak house at least once. There are a ton on the strip, but I also encourage you to look off the strip. Especially at the Brazilian ones where you pay a flat fee and can eat until you're totally stuffed.
Shooting ranges, ATVs, renting exotic cars, zipline, are all cool things to do in addition to bars and clubs for bachelor parties.
Have you met Larry Flynt? Id so how is he in real life?
100 duck-sized kaiju LOL
Sorry, I haven't played ESO (though a few members of our team are active players), so I can't give a detailed answer.
I definitely think that paying for cosmetics is a great way to go for online multiplayer games. It doesn't hurt the game, as long as your clever with the cosmetics (changing character silhouettes too much can cause confusion in PvP).
However, the cosmetics thing only works in online multiplayer. Single player games will need to find another solution.
I have not met him. He actually is not the owner of the club. The company just pays him a royalty to use his name.
Any chance that another White Rabbit Project like show happen with you, Tori, and Kari?
Thank you for your response.
I’ve know a few strippers, seems like a lot of them sleep with guys that work at a strip club. Do you notice any of that?
There's always a chance. Sadly, there will be no season 2 of WRP on Netflix. Their focus at the moment is scripted series that are binge-able.
That would never work. IT'S TOO CLOSE TO REALITY.
In no particular order:
- Mechwarrior 2 - First thing I ever saved up for (I was 8, or so). From the moment I watched the first cinematic, something in me clicked. I knew that I wanted to make games.
- Fallout 2 - First serious RPG I ever played. The idea of a super violent game where you could still talk you way out, absolutely blew my mind when I was a kid.
- Planescape: Torment - Best writing in any game (personal opinion, obviously). Solidified my love of pacifist runs in any game that allows them. I legit teared up in a few places.
- Final Fantasy 7 - My first JRPG, it introduced me to my love of playing as set characters in games (as opposed to build-your-owns). It just felt so grand. I'd never felt anything like it, at the time.
- Dungeons and Dragons - I've been playing since 2nd ed, back when it was still AD&D. Tabletop will always have a special place in my heart, and is what first got me into writing for games.
I was at the front when we turned away rapper V-Nasty at one place I worked. I had two coworkers who said that they had to turn away Three 6 Mafia and his group at the front door.
What was your favorite part of the 'Down the Rabbit Hole' tour? Would you do it again?
Great list of games. As a guy in my mid 30's I grew up on a similar stable of titles and in many ways it has influenced my gaming habits today. None of these (obviously) are pay too win or had micro transactions at all.
My concern, and I would guess the concern for many, is that there a time rapidly approaching where the only way to beat a game is through micro transactions. You've already seen this in online multiplayer titles (COD games, Battlefront Battlefield 2, destiny) where PvP is all but ruined when those who pay get an advantage. It's now entering the realm of AAA titles to simply finish the game. Shadows of War, for example, forces you to go through an absurd slog at the end during the "Shadow Wars" sequence that makes it almost impossible not to pay.
My question is, does it concern you that there won't be games like the ones you mentioned above because micro-transactions have simply made it too profitable to make a game that forces you to get good and win? Are F2P and Pay to Win games raising a generation of young gamers that will only know that and thus leaving our generation doomed to only play older titles?
The best part of the tour was interacting with my friends in front of a live audience and hearing them laugh and cheer. For our finale, we create a giant cloud of nitrogen and walk through it to do our bows.
[The worst part is the travel. New city every day.]
The industry is constantly shifting and I'm sure a new financial paradigm will show up to displace loot boxes. Will it be better or worse? No idea.
As for older styles of games, I don't think they're going away. Television didn't kill movies. Movies didn't kill theater.
'Old School' style, micro-transaction free, games will always be getting made, just maybe not with the same level of financial investment as AAA titles.
I thought the Isometric PC RPG was dead, but so many new, good ones have come out in the last 5 years that I haven't even had the chance to play all of them.
There hasn't been a AAA 2D platformer in forever, but indie studios are cranking them out at a rate faster than anyone could ever play them.
Will the younger generation play different games? Probably, but that's always been the case. Tastes change. I could never get into Undertale, and Friday Night at Freddy's feels moronic to me and I've never even played Minecraft, but that's what the next cohort was playing a few years ago.
The world changes, but rarely are art forms truly abandoned.
We shut down the night it happened, but reopened the next for business as usual.
Did you ever try a myth where you got to the end thought "Well that was disappointing"?
Luth, what was it like growing up in a small town, and having your big brothers best friend be so cool? Playing paintball in the jagged teeth with them, driving around in his "super cool" dodge stratus, and uhhh... yeah I got nothing else. Super proud of you buddy!!! Grats on the game and the AMA. Love ya dude!
Squash Weightlifter. A growing pumpkin is supposed to have enough force to lift a car. We had champion giant pumpkin seeds and high-tech hydroponics. We couldn't grow a damn thing. Never made it to air.
Kind of depends on what position you're working. I've worked the front door, the floor and the VIP in multiple clubs. A lot of your job is really just facilitating the operations of the club. If you're at the door then you're mostly keeping underage people, weapons and drugs out of the building. If you're on the floor then you're walking customers to tables, setting them up with requested dancers, getting them change, taking them on a tour of the club, setting up their bachelor or 21st birthday boy to go on stage, handling disputes involving dancers, customers, waitresses, etc. You have to put out fires, and do your best to maintain the operation of the club.
Did you work on Realm of the Mad God, that Kabam acquired but sold off to DECA recently? If so, what was your opinion on the permadeath game which would encourage more players to buy the gear available for real money?
What is drug use like among VIP clients? Have you witnessed a lot of drug use since you’ve started? If a customer pays to get a VIP room, is he just free to do whatever the hell he wants in there? Like doing a bunch of cocaine off/with his stripper?
Very cool. I was working with Disney Research. We were building quick prototypes and testing ideas and making changes on the fly. Very much like how we did things on Mythbusters. Also, they have the most impressive shop I've ever seen.
I never worked on the Realm of the Mad God team, but I sat a few sections away from them a few years ago. They were fucking awesome.
I once walked by them having full-on meeting discussing the cost/benefit analysis of their team pooling their personal money, to have their team join a 'pie of the month club'. There were Powerpoint slides and everything. They knew how to have fun, but still get the job done.
As for permadeath, it was a fascinating decision to have permadeath in the game, and eliminating that would have destroyed Realm (permadeath was such a central pillar to their design). However, community management was a nightmare for them. Everyday, some high level player would die, lose a ton of stuff and go nuts all over the forums, which would make everyone else angry that someone is spamming and flaming everyone within 50 miles of them. I can guarantee you that they never wanted to kill players, just to reap a few extra dollars. The hassle was way too big.
For those wondering, I don't know if they ever managed to put PvP in there, but they really wanted to. The problem was making the server code reliable and exact enough for it. You can fudge numbers a little for PvE and nobody cares. PvP? With permadeath? It has to be utterly perfect, which would have required them to tear out and remake the netcode. That's too big of an investment and way too risky. What if they fuck up and break the existing game?
Not really. I've caught a lot of drugs at the front door on people. The clubs still have to operate within the law.
Do you still offer your services to the film industry post-Mythbusters?
Why do you think that AAA game companies are rushing to monetize as much as possible when indie successes like Stardew Valley or Terraria can survive without putting in any monetizing elements in?
There aren't many opportunities for practical models or animatronics in movies these days. That's why I've been consulting for Imagineering.
Successes like Stardew Valley and Terraria are extremely rare. For a point of comparison, around 20 new games are released on Steam, every single day. Most of them will never make their costs back, even some of the really good ones will get lost in the flow.
Small indie studios go broke all the time, it's just that nobody notices.
Big companies need guaranteed wins, because they're answerable to their stock holders. It's why they go so nuts with marketing and finding a way to get a financial edge with every, single, little thing. Big ads? Go for it! Celebrity endorsements? Pile 'em on! Branded Dorritos? Sure!
Bigger isn't always better, but it's often more reliable. When you're making huge AAA titles, you automatically stand apart from the indie games, just with size and production values. Your competition shrinks massively, but the costs are enormous.
Not very important
HI SENPAI ITS ME YOUR FELLOW EX COWORKER PLEASE NOTICE ME?
Has the legalization of weed changed anything for you?
My cosplays tend to be uniform-based. My two favorites right now are my BSG Viper pilot flight suit and the Star Trek Wrath of Khan-era ("monster maroon") Sulu.
No. It's not allowed in the building or on property.
Do celebrities really go into strip clubs and throw down like we sometimes imagine they do? No named needed, but if you feel like naming names/telling stories, go for it.
I grew up with Next Gen. Inner Light and Darmok FTW
Have you ever consider doing youtube videos?
I Bet you could do some sick science videos with Vsauce and a lot of people
Greetings from Argentina, here we still see mythbusters on discovery
Is consumer trust a calculatable variable when making games?
For example, if instead of loot boxes, you could just buy the outfit you want.
I feel that would produce consumer trust in your product, meaning more long term revenue, but less short term. Is this something that's accounted for when considering monetization of a game?
I've thought about it. I don't really like editing, so it involves a bit more effort than I want to exert. I do like livestreaming and have considered starting a Twitch channel.
You've really hit the nail on the head with a real problem in games (and in companies, in general). Consumer trust cannot be meaningfully quantified, so it's often left on the back burner. However, it obviously has real, tangible value.
EA and Nintendo could announce the exact same decision on the same day. People would hate EA for it, and love Nintendo for it. A few months later, a 'hot take' would appear on Twitter, pointing out the disparity, but nobody would care at that point.
So, even though consumer trust is real, and extremely valuable, it's undervalued because it can't be quantified. This happens elsewhere in business too. The sales team makes more money than everyone else because you can easily quantify the money they make for the company (how many units did they sell). But if the product wasn't as good, how would they be able to sell it? Surely the designers and engineers have an influence here, but you can't quantify it because the market is affected by a ton of intangibles.
The sales team makes more money because their value is obvious. Everyone else lags behind because it's easier to minimize their value.
PS: If you solve this particular problem, you'll win a goddamn Nobel Prize in economics. I'll also give you a hug, because I used to be a community manager and tried to argue this like, every other week.
I mentioned earlier taking down a guy a two different occasions. One for punching a stripper and the other for throwing a rock through the glass doors at the front. Also had a guy that turned out to be a pimp inside one night. He smacked a girl that was working for him, and casually walked out of the club. He was banned after smacking her.
Do you use a 3D printer in your builds? If so which one do you recommend for general applications?
Do you accept bitcoin yet? They should put QR codes on strippers' asses which corresponds to a crypto transaction when scanned.
I've had great luck with my Ultimaker 2+extended for PLA and Zortrax for ABS.
Working on it
Hi Grant! Big fan of your stuff, both as a Mythbuster... and a tabletop gamer! Loved watching you play that Dracula game with Wil Wheaton :) Will we get to see you do more tabletop stuff in the future? (Would love to get you on Critical Role as a guest, haha, or other Geek&Sundry stuff!)
Would you rather fight 10 duck sized strippers or 1 stripper sized duck?
I would love to do more stuff with Wil and Geek & Sundry! I'm also friends with Matt and Marisha. It all comes down to scheduling and whether they've got an opportunity.
1 stripper sized duck. It's easier to fight one opponent
I'm apparently already there. That is Dipper. She was a rescue cat. She is a polydactyl (extra toes).
What steps would you suggest for kids interested in robotics to turn their hobby into a career?
Start with a kit. When I was growing up, I had Lego (not even Mindstorms). Gotta start somewhere!
Hi, Grant. I miss seeing you on Mythbusters -- you always had (and usually made) the coolest toys.
What do you think is the coolest thing about Making / electronics? What about the hobby/profession excites you the most?
Bonus question if you have time: What in your opinion makes for a good vs. not-so-good electronics course? (I teach, and am always looking to improve.)
Giving something the appearance of life. That's the most rewarding part of animatronics for me.
What equipment would you want from games, movies, etc to have in your life?
I want Tony Stark's shop. Automated assembly line FTW
Discovery was very involved in the making of the show. There was a dedicated executive producer and they reviewed all our episodes and provided notes. We had to be careful about content (family-friendly channel) and we couldn't any brand names (Kleenex, Xerox, Leatherman) because they wanted compensation if we promoted any of those names. By comparison, Netflix was relatively hands-off. Another interesting quirk is that we weren't allowed to actively promote White Rabbit Project UNTIL it was actually live on Netflix. No "coming soon" or anything like that. I was told this was because they wanted someone to hear about it and then be able to immediately log on to Netflix and watch it.
If battlebots was scaled up to use remote controlled cars, modified with weapons. Which car and weapons would you use?
Something with a low center of gravity, and a robust frame. Maybe a mustang. Or a police cruiser. I would have dual miniguns. Rockets are too hard to aim.
We’ve heard about Adam and Jamie’s relationship on Mythbusters being civil but that they weren’t friends outside of the show. Did that ever effect production and what are your relationships with Tori and Kari like in real life?
That statement is often misconstrued. They have mutual respect but don't hang out after work. But there's no "bubbling animosity" that's often implied. Since I was always at M7, I didn't often have the chance to interact with A+J, but watching them solve a problem in real time is really cool, actually. They do not bring ego into the suggestions.
Before starting on Mythbusters, I'd already known and worked with Adam, Jamie, and Tory for many years, and worked with Kari briefly. We weren't thrown together as a group of hosts, and I think you can see that chemistry.
I'm friends with Tory and Kari in real life as well, though it's harder to hang out since I've moved down to Los Angeles.
Did you get Geoff Peterson back from Craigy, or did that become the property of his production? Shouldn't Geoff have his own TV show by now? What's the hold up?
Actually, I get asked what happened to Geoff a lot. Last Christmas, I was at Craig's christmas party and I asked him. He said, "would you like to see him?" and I said "yeah" so we went to Craig's personal office, and there was Geoff, sitting in a chair. So he's safe and sound with Craig.
OLD school: Cowboy Bebop and Full Metal Alchemist New stuff: Your Name, Netflix Voltron is also pretty good
Are you actually afraid of spiders (or other creepy-crawlies)? I remember an episode of MythBusters where you seemed more than a little nervous to be surrounded by them :)
Yes. And NEVER tell a television producer what ACTUALLY scares you.
Yes, I'm working on a personal BB-8 and R2-D2 right now.
What build did you make that legitimately terrified you?
The big nitrogen cannon that flipped over a car for one of the james bond episodes. I designed and built it, but I had to crawl underneath to arm it. Nitrogen gas sits at about 3000 psi and has huge energy potential.
Hey Grant! A pleasure to be able to chat with you today!
As we all know, Adam has a small warehouse in the San Francisco Mission District an undisclosed location near the south of France that he has loaded with shop equipment, tools, and other treasures of jobs and movies past.
My question to you then is, do you have any such space that you do hobbies, tinkering, and/or robotics in? I can't recall having seen one that you have posted (but it's entirely possible that I'm one of today's lucky 10,000 and I would love to be proven wrong!). I'm sure more than a few of us would like a photo/video tour!
As a side question, do you have any advice for makerspaces that are on a bit of a tighter budget (I ask as a member of a 501(c)3 makerspace in Denver with a lower member count)?
And finally, what is the one tool or piece of equipment that you think every single shop should have?
Cheers, and thanks for reading!
I have my own shop. My tools include multiple 3D printers (Ultimaker and Zortrax), a laser cutter, a Tormach CNC machine, birdgeport mill, industrial lathe, and welding equipment. I put together the shop after leaving MB because I always wanted a place where I could make things. In fact, the mill is the same mill I used on MB. They let me buy it after we shut down M7.
Favorite car that you dealt with while filming Mythbusters?
That Chysler Imperial (Black Beauty) from Green Hornet. It was a shame we had to destroy it. I still feel bad about that.
What was it like on the last day of Star Trek Continues? and Favorite Star Trek phaser prop
Very emotinal. THe whole week, actually, because as each cast member would do their final scene, it would be announced and the whole cast and crew would applaud.
Yes, though I do not have certification. And I really need to practice my TIG welding more.
Have you ever thought of doing a building camp to teach kids (or kids of all ages :-)? My 8 and 12 year old daughters would love to go to something like that!
Kari Tory and I briefly considered some kind of Myhtbusters summer camp where you could get the MB experience. In addition to the obvious liability problems, there were licensing concerns, etc. So it was a fun idea but ultimately not feasible.
Too Many Zoos
Is Jamie really as grumpy as TV makes him out to be?
He's not grumpy when he's not on camera (usually) LOL
No, I had a friend many years ago who was trying to make a career mining. The technology leapt too fast and he couldn't get it going. They are super volatile currencies, which makes me a little wary.
Is anyone else allowed to use the calculator with your name on it?
Yes, absolutely. My name is on it so that it finds its way back to me.
Let's go back to 1999. Which did you like more: the Playstation or the Nintendo 64? What was your favorite game?
Playstation. Resident evil 2 FTW. Played in the dark with all drapes closed.