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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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  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:33AM (#46639635) Journal

    We geeks are the doers.

    We make things.

    We create new stuffs.

    We come up with new and exciting ideas.

    But we are *NOT* tools for anyone.

    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.

  • by Altus ( 1034 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:44AM (#46639779) Homepage

    Part of the problem here is "downing their tools" which is an idiom that is not used in American english. While I was able to take a guess at what it meant it is confusing and awkward to those who are not familiar with the idiom.

  • by korbulon ( 2792438 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:47AM (#46639809)
    Is that even English? Seems more like some dystopian futurespeak loosely based on a form of English which has been coopted by media and communications majors.
  • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @12:18PM (#46640097) Homepage Journal

    Not only is it English, it is British English from English Britain, the original and still the best English since 1066.

    More like the tortured English of Murdoch's London headline writers. I don't think they are required to have a complete understanding of the language. I could write a book entitled "How to turn any sentence into meaningless gibberish with just a Thesaurus" using just London newspaper headlines as examples.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @12:19PM (#46640111)

    Read the articles. That was proposed by the sponsors after firing the asshole. However, the devs had lost so much energy and focus due to the jackass that they were pretty confident anything they'd come up with at that point would be crap. Rather than put out crap just to finish, they walked.

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @12:24PM (#46640163) Homepage Journal

    Reality stars are people desperate for fame and "a shot" in hollywood. They get pushed around for bogus dreams of a future that they won't have.

    Indie game devs are people with useful skills and degrees who could be making twice what they are right now, but chase the dream of making what they want, and doing what they enjoy. Rolling over for some corporate shill you can do at JP Morgan chase for a lot more money, and a lot less hassle.

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

    by mjwalshe ( 1680392 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @01:26PM (#46640865)
    That is whey people in the industry refer to them as "frankenshows" assembling a monster out of spare parts.
  • by Nanoda ( 591299 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#46641055)

    After being incredibly turned off by "reality" shows that contain no reality at all ("Dangerous Flights" is the most egregious example I've seen lately), I was totally absorbed by Penny Arcade's low-budget reality show offering of Strip Search [] last year. (The site is slightly misorganized, but you can find stuff if you try).

    The show was a dozen web comic artists in competition. The premise of a single artist being funded and supported by Penny Arcade for a year was motivational, and the simple act of appearing in an episode granted even the entrants ousted first an audience for their work. While it was clear the producers provided for the possibility of backstabbing and conflict, they didn't go out of their way to insert any, and in the end the show was all the better for it. I'd actually put PA's Strip Search above 90% of professional, high-budget, high-production-values TV series.

    My point being, it's totally possible to structure an interesting show where game dev competition is friendly and rewarding for all, and producers with zero-sum on the brain don't exist. It just hasn't been made yet, apparently.

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @02:34PM (#46641549) Journal

    The "consultant" thought he would make a name for himself by acting like Gordon Ramsay. Hilariously, he was right, just in the exact opposite of what he hoped for.

    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.

    So, he worked to create strife. He forced the participants to drink Mountain Dew (so, more caffeine than they were used to) in order to get them hyped up. He made deliberately provocative statements. He did everything possible to get the participants out of their comfort zone and arguing with each other, deliberately, in order to make a show that would sell.

    Arguably, although his plan failed, the show might have also failed without his influence, simply because of a lack of drama.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas