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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant" 465

Sockatume (732728) writes "Would you like to see a half-million-dollar TV show in which four teams of indie developers and Youtube personalities compete to create amazing videogames? Tough luck, because GAME_JAM from Maker Studios has spectacularly imploded. Although a lot could go wrong with this kind of show, the blame isn't being levelled at game developer egos or project mismanagement but the heroic efforts of one Matti Leshem, a branding consultant brought in for Pepsi. After imposing Mountain Dew branding rules that even banned coffee from the set, his efforts to build a gender divide amongst the teams culminated in the competitors downing their tools and the production collapsing. Accounts from Adriel Wallick, Zoe Quinn, and Robin Arnott are also available."
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

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  • Re:wat? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:34AM (#46639659)

    Typo. I mean production. I definitely do not mean that existence is all an elaborate ruse to distract you from the terrifying truth about reality.


  • by Altus ( 1034 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:49AM (#46639835) Homepage

    Practically unreadable. It is far too long and contains many run-on sentences. Further it is filled with jargon that is not explained.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:50AM (#46639839)

    That "pepsi consultant" can go eat shit and die - if he or she thinks he/she can push geeks to do whatever he/she likes.

    Well, if the event was sponsored by Pepsi, yes. That's generally one of the conditions for sponsorship.

    Otherwise the event will probably either not happen because there are no funds to organize it, some other sponsor is found (to which one has to follow THEIR rules), or some other form of fundraising is determined.

    It's why sites like Wikipedia don't do advertising - because they refuse to abide by any sort of rules a sponsor might want to impose, and while it's possible there are few who are willing to sponsor anyways, the numbers are far fewer, and the money small enough that it's not worth the bother.

    The fallout from this will likely be minimal unless Pepsi sponsors a large number of them - generally the event there is dead, but others will remain unaffected.

    Plenty of blame to go around - Pepsi for being so demanding, the organizers for not reading the contract close enough to see what restrictions on sponsorship were, and developers for not asking questions about the sponsorship (and probably letting the "cool, I'm on TV!" factor play an excessively large rule)

  • Re:wat? (Score:2, Informative)

    by kodiaktau ( 2351664 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:51AM (#46639857) Journal
    Idioms don't transfer well between languages. English/Australian: "to refuse to work, especially because you are not satisfied with your pay or working conditions" http://idioms.thefreedictionar... []
  • Matti Leshem (Score:4, Informative)

    by Webs 101 ( 798265 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:52AM (#46639877) Homepage
    Gee, he doesn't look like a dick at all! []

  • by hendrips ( 2722525 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @12:17PM (#46640091)

    So...Norman French? Because that's the language they were speaking after 1066...

  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @12:37PM (#46640307)

    Rule #1: Always read the contract carefully.

    If you read the articles, you'll see that not only did they read the contracts, they re-negotiated several provisions that were clearly unacceptable.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @12:45PM (#46640381) Journal

    So far, no luck though ...

    Well, some devs went to a game jam. The production company tried to turn it into a dodgy reality TV show, which annoyed everyone. And it was all being run by this guy who I think is best described by a quote from "in the thick of it": Christ alive what a cunt!!!

    The combination of him and the generaly crappyness of it resulted in a mass walkout from the devs and the event tanked, burning all the money spent on it.

  • no, just ignorant (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @01:15PM (#46640733)

    It is used in American English.

    If you are an American and you don't know this idiom, you are simply an ignorant, illiterate American.

  • Re:no kidding (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @02:18PM (#46641389)

    They're all fake to some extent.

    My favorites:
    - Storage Wars. The producers were in the habbit of pre-stocking lockers up for auction with rare, valuable or unusual items to ensure some good television. One team objected to this, and made their objections clear to the producers. The producers responded by no longer pre-stocking lockers for that team, but continuing to give the others with just as much loot as before. The team sued.
    - Scrapheap Challenge and the US counterpart Junkyard Wars. Though the rules state that competition ceases at sundown, towards the end of the builds it's not hard to see that the sun has long set, and bright floodlights can only go so far to mask it - and, in all the series runs, not once has a team failed to produce a machine that can at least run. It's not hard to tell what is going on: A machine that can't move is bad television, so the organisers don't declare time up until both teams are ready with a machine that can provide an entertaining contest.
    - Duck Dynasty. After the 'incident' a few people did some digging on this, and found photos of the family from before the show - when they were all well-dressed, and clean-shaven. By all accounts well-spoken people, with college education. Their redneck persona is entirely fictitious, an act put on for the show - beards, accents and all.
    - A visitor to the pawn shop of Pawn Stars wrote a very interesting account. You can buy a lot of show merchandise there - but it's no longer a functioning pawn shop, and the owners are rarely present. They make an appearance only when it's time to kick out the fans and film a producer-supplied purchaser to play their part.

  • by Some_Llama ( 763766 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:46PM (#46642273) Homepage Journal

    "Let me suggest an alternative. The consultant was very smart. He knew that without strife and discord, there would be no show. Nothing that people would watch. Reality programs need drama. "

    Let me offer an opposing view, you didn't read the article and have no idea what you are talking about.

    Since the actual show wasn't a reality show, it was something more akin to "" or home makovers where the homeowner comes back to see their renovation and the show follows the technical aspect of the renovations, there was no need for "manufactured" drama.

    In fact, making an indie game from scratch, involving all the technical aspects from both veterans and novices (the programmers and youtubers respectively), and having to do this on an imposed deadline would create all the "real" drama needed to make the show interesting. Not to mention the inside look at what most people never get to see, creatives making entertainment out of nothing.

    what this douchebag did was take a creative environment, strip all of the creativity out of it and then throw in heaps of sexism, forced strife, corporate policy and "reality" fakey crap (like forcing a game programmer to re-enter a "scene" 5 times to get the "shot").

    the biggest stupidity was that he was just some corporate douche who used the sponsorship ties the program had to force changes he thought would make the program better, he wasn't even someone there to make those decisions, only by throwing his corporate money weight around was he able to get the ones who were in charge of that stuff to concede to his input.

    at the end of the article everyone pretty much agreed if this douche had never been there, there would have been no issue...

    TL:DR the adults would have gotten along fine without this mental 3yr old.

  • by Mr. Shotgun ( 832121 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @05:23PM (#46643329)

    Basically he went on a game show

    From the fucking article:

    That natal idea, and one of the themes central to all eleven developers agreeing to travel to Los Angeles for the shoot, was the production and filming of a game jam for a televised audience (or at least a YouTube audience) with the intent to document the ups and downs of actually developing a game

    The developers agreed to produce a documentary, it was the sponsors that tried to turn it into a reality show. The only drama they were expecting was game crashes and bug fixes, ordinary issues that occur when developing a game.

    Also FTFA:

    At some point which remains unclear, the show wholly dipped into a scripted reality slant and became less about making a game, and more about creating drama for sake of the audience, less than one day out of the four blocked off for shooting available to sit down and jam. The rest of the program, as it turned out, was filled with arts and crafts, physical challenges and competitive gaming â" once again, totally unrelated to game development. But that wasnâ(TM)t communicated to anyone, and through Polarisâ(TM) local contacts, the developers were signed up and flown out to Culver City, where they awaited their first hurdle in Makerâ(TM)s legal department.

    So not only did the developers initially agree to the documentary format, but when the format was changed no one thought to ask the developers if they were ok with this? I am guessing that if they had known beforehand they would not have come. When they did find out they rejected the initial contract and had reservations about the show. This snowballed because of Matti Leshem's attempts to impose branding restrictions and incite drama where there was none, causing the developers to form ranks and reject the show entirely. They decided they didn't have to stand the shit and instead threw it back in the producers faces. and I really can't blame them. Next time the companies want to make a reality show, tell the actors first.

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