• The Phil Fish Message

                I think the message behind the move Phil Fish made to quit the industry over being abused by Marcus Beer, who may or may not have been playing to his persona, is being overlooked here.

                And I want that to grow into a topic of discussion, where hate is created and used as bait for generating website hits.



                Phil Fish was an open and opinionated guy, and he didn't hesitate to put his thoughts out there. Let's make it clear he can come across as an asshole in doing that. That's OK, but was Blow an asshole too. He got abused more, if anything, by the Macrus Beer. I appreciated him being open so much, even if I didn't agree with him or his delivery all the time.

                So how many developers are taking this abuse silently, and since when is it "part of the game" to just learn to put up with it (as Cliff's open letter to Phil implies)?

                Would you sign up for a job that had in the description "ability to put up with personal attacks and vile abuse and insults 24/7"? So, why are we expecting these independent developers who are not protected by the PR companies to accept that as part of their job when they get big? What kind of ridiculous expectation is that? Are we really accepting the fact if you are in the public eye, it's gonna happen and all we have to say about it is "Well get used to it and STFU."?

                C'mon now.

                Phil's only "flaw" was, he was not a guy that suffered silently. He hit back. How is that a bad thing? How many times has someone replied to you on a forum in a disrespectful way and you fired back? Why can't he do that? Is it because of his success? No, he is a guy like us that just happens to make great games and we shouldn't expect anyone who is famous to just stay quiet.

                This of course extends beyond journalism to gamers themselves and really I think we need to appreciate on a grander scale what this all adds up to.

                It's us, not them.
                This article was originally published in forum thread: The Phil Fish Message started by masteratt View original post
                Comments 19 Comments
                1. curryking1's Avatar
                  curryking1 -
                  I agree with the OP you got there masteratt. Being in the public eye shouldn't mean you should be abused, and other people should hold responsibility for their own actions. Who makes them accountable, who the heck knows. Hopefully karma does it's job, or something.

                  I'm still not sure what exactly went on around here with this guy.

                  The guy is entitled to his opinions. But more importantly, he's entitled to be himself.

                  In the spotlight it can be hard for IMO most people to 'act appropriately.' Some people might become more 'age appropriate' or some nonsense, others might just 'be themselves' and so on.

                  All that said, it does seem like this guy used and maybe abused some of his own popularity it his own right. A fan asking a question about what inspired you about Japanese games, what's the point in abusing that guy for asking a question? If the question really offends you, just say like 'I object to this nonsense question' or just pass on it, or just say 'well I don't take much inspiration because I have no interest.' Or something like that.

                  But also I have to say, this is not a directive or educational post on 'how to act appropriately.' I'm just saying that some people 'might' want to 'play nice with the other kids' etc etc.

                  I said he should be allowed to be himself. Well, that applies, but so it should also apply that people should show some restraint, especially when talking to strangers or people you meet in a conference.... or anyone really. Being yourself doesn't preclude not being an ass to random people lol. I mean... some people are just asses, but what can you do.

                  So treat people the way you want to be treated, I think that's the best you can do, and the rest is just hoping for the best.

                  Should people attack him? No. Should he be attacking other people? Probably not. That's all there is to it I think at this point. Start playing nice or whatever.
                1. AC!D's Avatar
                  AC!D -
                  Sort of related:

                1. curryking1's Avatar
                  curryking1 -
                  Yes, act like the medium is maturing and then leave it to the gaming 'journalists' to fly off the hook with meaningless banter only days later.

                  This is what I mean when gaming media pretends to be better than it is. You can't be classy just by saying you're classy, you have to act it...
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  What exactly is so crazy here? People post bullshit on Vine everyday
                1. curryking1's Avatar
                  curryking1 -
                  He's just a guy with bad customer relations.

                  I think most people are like that :P
                1. Segitz's Avatar
                  Segitz -
                  Honestly... who cares? He seems very bipolar... a lot of people are (to varying degrees). The difference is, he's not being held back by some other person. (at least I assume this).
                1. BahnNZ's Avatar
                  BahnNZ -
                  That's a shame, Fez is well regarded and more Fez would have been grand.

                  In indie game development you're surrounded by dickheads with the actual fans of your work almost silent. Often working long hours in isolation too. Big time dev you're seperated by PR people, which is awesome.

                  Understandable if he's not enjoying his time on this earth.

                  Solution: Never answer your email, I don't.

                  The meat of this issue from Wikipedia...

                  "However, little was heard of the game for several years as Fish's company, Polytron, lost its funding and encountered legal problems, mainly due to Fish's business partner leaving the company and threatening legal action. Fish also encountered personal and family problems, and admitted that his perfectionism contributed to the game's delay, as did his loss of perspective over the game's merits and consumer demand."

                  Dude having a lousy time

                  "Fez won the "Excellence in Visual Art" award at the Independent Games Festival in 2008, where it was also nominated for the "Design Innovation" award.[40] It appeared at PAX Prime 2011 as one of the PAX 10,[41] and won two awards, Story/World Design and Grand Jury, at IndieCade in 2011.[42] It also won the "Seamus McNally Grand Prize" at the Independent Games Festival in 2012.[43]
                  In December 2012, Fez was declared Eurogamer's Game of the Year.[44]"

                  Sequel to a groovy game is lost

                  And that's that. Enough with the bipolar nonsense.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Seriously, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this guy mentally other than people being total assholes to him and him retaliating because they can't get what they want. He always owned up to why things weren't going perfectly and never tried to bullshit his way out of it like the big named people do. He's perfectly aware on the problems of things and that's not the behavior of someone who's mentally hindered. People treated him like absolute shit and they should be ashamed because they just killed a promising developer which also means they just took away the flame of an artist. And that's sad.
                1. BahnNZ's Avatar
                  BahnNZ -
                  Yup, "why should I spend the next 3-5 years on Fez 2 dealing with douchebags when I could be enjoying the one life I have".

                  What a crazy guy.... My ass....

                  I'd say to him if he was here take a year off, go partying in Magaluf, Phuket, Ibiza etc have some fun in your twenties, then get back into Fez 2. Wearing your dipshit retardant underwear.

                  Cos it's a shame to waste talent.

                  "Before you diagnose yourself with depression be sure you're not just surrounded by assholes" - A great man once said.
                1. AC!D's Avatar
                  AC!D -
                  This is what's wrong with the world. When someone clearly in need of help gets ignored it always ends in tragedy. Lets blame it on the doucebags though.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Umm, no. He's not in need of any help. He does not exhibit any behaviors of someone who's having a mental breakdown. I found a couple of those Vines to be funny like the fortune teller one. Furthermore, the ones that were filmed off of the TV was actually being broadcasted and many people were watching it. It was a movie marathon and one of the films had the Oompa-Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I forget the name of the movie, but I've seen it). The fact that it was him doing what he was doing in the movie, it's kinda funny since that role is all he's really known for. He's clearly showing people "Hey, I'm watching TV and living a normal life. I also find these movies funny and here's a funny scene" and not "Hey, I'm a fucking lunatic and this is my cry for help."

                  There's nothing wrong with Phil Fish, let it go. I've talked people out of suicide and self-harm (I interned for a guidance counselor) so don't give me that "This is wrong with the world nonsense."
                1. AC!D's Avatar
                  AC!D -
                  @Crazybone126

                  Well, you've got a lot on your plate.

                  PF: Yeah, I'm just not good at being organized, and being focused, so the producer really helps. After the second time we lost our funding and there was the whole divorce with my business partner, and all sorts of horrible things going in my life, I was seriously considering just giving up. Actually it became like this weird like suicide fantasy that I was going to cancel Fez out of spite, like, "You're NEVER gonna get it! Fuck you all!"

                  And like I was just in such a horrible place for a while that like yeah, it really did seem like the game was actually not going to happen. It felt like every force in the world was conspiring to make sure that it was never coming out, and I was getting so burnt out and so depressed that when Trapdoor came along they saved the project. I don't think there would be a Fez if they didn't help us out.

                  Because you're burnt out with that style of game?

                  PF: I'm burnt out, period. Like literally I've been in burn out for years now. Like I'm always a little bit sick, I'm always a little bit depressed, I've lost interest in everything, and I'm always tired. It's horrible! It really sucks!

                  Yay, indie game development!

                  PF: [laughs] You know, I'm in very poor health these days; I'm completely out of shape. I feel like I'm going to have to basically kind of rebuild my life, because everything has just gone to shit. Other than Fez, I've had to neglect every aspect of my life to get this game done.

                  Like, I haven't paid my bills in months, I haven't done dishes in months. I'm just like messy. I'm a terrible friend. I don't see my friends ever because I'm always busy. And when Fez comes out, regardless of what I end up working on next it's going to be like, "All right, but first, who are you? What are you going to do about everything that's wrong with you?" Like begin to rebuild some kind of social life, or something like that.

                  Is there another way? Does it have to be the way that you've done it? Obviously you've got this amazing product, but everything else, you're quite negative about. Does it have to be that way?


                  PF: I hope not; I think it's just me. I'm just kind of a messy person to begin with. Like, our programmer is balanced, healthy, he's got his shit together. He does not panic and have meltdowns ever. And I am just like constantly freaking out -- and my anxiety and neuroses and all that. But we're the odd couple; we're completely different. Like, he's managing everything perfectly well, and he's happy with his life, he's living with his girlfriend, and his apartment is not a complete mess. I know friends that manage well; I think it's just me.

                  I was not ready for this, or just too much bullshit happened. Not just with Fez, but just my life in general. Yeah, at some point it was just like, "Okay, I can't do anything else but work on Fez." Like I'm so deep into it that it's the only thing my brain is good at right now, is just making these levels, making that art, and everything else just kind of fell by the wayside.

                  So what do you think you're going to take away from this project? If you could like sum it, boil it down to a single lesson, what's positive that you got from the last few years?

                  PF: I don't know. I feel a lot of pride that we actually did it. It took everything. That was really, really hard. We had every reason to just give up, and so many obstacles to overcome. It took five years, but we did it. I made my game, and the final product is really close to the original vision that I had, and I more or less accomplished what I wanted.

                  And I realized it, but I feel like I don't really realize it yet. Like today, I was just looking at people play it and I was like, "I made all of this!" Holy shit! That's quite an achievement. I'm trying really hard to be positive. Because good things are happening to me and the game right now, and I'm lucky to be doing what I'm doing, and I'm lucky to have all these things happen to me.

                  But at the same time, I'm so burnt out and tired, and I just want to get it over with and have a life again. I don't know. Honestly, I'm trying to be positive. If you would've asked me a year ago, "What's your advice for people who want to get into indie games?" it would've been "Don't."

                  Just don't do it. It's not worth it. It's going to ruin your life, it's going to fucking kill you, it's going to take away your health and your happiness, and it's going to cost you every meaningful relationship that you have in your life. Your girlfriend's going to leave you, your friends just become distant, and it's not worth it. Don't do it. Just get a real job and make games on the side as a hobby thing.

                  But now, I still feel like that a little bit, but it's starting to actually pay off now. But I don't know. Is it actually worth it? It's hard to say now. I'm starting to feel a little bit of gratification for the work I've put into this.
                  http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...f_.php?print=1

                  I am not trying to be a dick here. He clearly has a very bad case of OCD for starters. This guy constantly complains about depression, anxiety and in his words his neurosis. He is constantly snapping at ppl on twitter or at the media. Not to mention he has this narcissistic god like complex and when he gets called out for it then his persecution complex emerges. I guess he got to play his suicide fantasy the second time around.

                  The man needs help. Not based on those strange videos he posted on their own i might add. Weird way to make your reemergence into the social media cicrles when you know the gaming world is watching no? His entire history screams of someone who really really needs help.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  There's still nothing alarming about what he's saying. He's being very genuine and even having a laugh. That's not what people who are going off the deep end do. They try to lie, make excuses etc. He's not doing that at all. He's being straight up and sincere. This game was very important to him and he managed to let things go while finishing it. This interview is also quite old. The game wasn't even out yet.

                  Just because someone says they're "depressed" doesn't mean they're insane. I'm depressed, you're depressed, WE'RE depressed. Calling someone who's depressed insane and saying they need help is actually going to MAKE them crazy because now they feel there's something wrong with them when there actually isn't. That's not how you deal with someone who has depression. And that's exactly what the media do to him. They're constantly accusing him of being crazy and trying to get a story out of his mentality when he isn't even crazy to begin with, so he flips out. DO NOT CALL A DEPRESSED PERSON CRAZY AND THEN WHEN THEY FLIP OUT CALL THEM CRAZY AGAIN. I can't stress that enough. It's really that simple lol
                1. AC!D's Avatar
                  AC!D -
                  Therein lies the conundrum. Either he is sick and needs help or i am wrong and he is just one really nasty individual. I get that he made an amazing game. Hell i will even buy it when it comes out on Vita. At the same time though how can anyone defend a person like this that does and says the things he does and then acts like the persecuted innocent when ppl snap back?

                  If some of my personal fav ppl in the industry like Kojima, Druckmann, Straley, Henning, Fox and many others acted like this i would never be able to defend them.
                1. Diresu's Avatar
                  Diresu -
                  Personally, I tend to think he is an egotistical douchebag. Especially after the comment on the Japanese industry. And while I don't think the abuse towards him was warranted he basically did the playground version of "I am taking my ball and going home" instead of reacting like an adult. Sorry, I don't feel bad for him.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Quote Originally Posted by Diresu View Post
                  Personally, I tend to think he is an egotistical douchebag. Especially after the comment on the Japanese industry. And while I don't think the abuse towards him was warranted he basically did the playground version of "I am taking my ball and going home" instead of reacting like an adult. Sorry, I don't feel bad for him.
                  His complaints about the Japanese industry seem pretty accurate to me. As a whole, Japanese devs have fallen off. When it comes to the point that whenever anybody hears the names "Capcom, Sega, Square Enix" prominent Japanese developers back in the day, and they groan, that's showing you the sign of the times. They're doing something wrong. What are they doing wrong? Trying to appease to the western masses while also ignoring things the west is doing right (ex. online functionalities). When I say online functionalities, I'm not just talking multiplayer either. I mean all aspects of online gaming (DLC, patching etc). I think the only Japanese devs who've stuck to their guns is Suda51, Hideki Komiya/Platinum Games, and Hideo Kojima/Konami. And what do you know, the games from those 3 three companies are the games people are buying. Who woulda thunk it
                1. curryking1's Avatar
                  curryking1 -
                  Quote Originally Posted by AC!D View Post
                  Therein lies the conundrum. Either he is sick and needs help or i am wrong and he is just one really nasty individual. I get that he made an amazing game. Hell i will even buy it when it comes out on Vita. At the same time though how can anyone defend a person like this that does and says the things he does and then acts like the persecuted innocent when ppl snap back?

                  If some of my personal fav ppl in the industry like Kojima, Druckmann, Straley, Henning, Fox and many others acted like this i would never be able to defend them.
                  That's a very good point Acid.

                  Many people struggle with mental illness. 25% of people experience an episode of depression in their lifetime in USA.

                  Mental illness is a hotly debated issue as well. What qualifies for criteria, how to diagnose, when is treatment required, etc. It's overall not very well understood and the art of treatment and compassion needs to come in at some point.

                  (also depression has specific criteria, the cause is not one of them fyi @BahnNZ though specific causes may put the diagnosis under different umbrellas such as dysthymia or cyclothymia and adjustment and post partum and other such things) though yes of course it's good idea of course to surround yourself with people who can make you happy )

                  I can't say if Phil Fish has a disorder that can satisfy the criteria for a diagnosis of mental illness, I have not seen him myself making this impossible.

                  However, I think it is quite likely that Phil Fish suffers from some "disorderliness" rather than a disorder, and many people do and this is simply life.

                  I think it's perfectly right that we should say people should not be kicking him down. It's unfair to him. What would also be helpful is that if there are people close to him, may they help discuss with him what's going on with him and help the guy find strategies to deal with his role as a popular game developer.

                  At this point... who cares who is at fault. Just get everyone to stop being douches and be a bit more friendly.
                1. BahnNZ's Avatar
                  BahnNZ -
                  Personally I'm one bar and trifflin' woman away from a nervous break down and depression.

                  If he hadn't gotten into bed with those XB Live snakes he'd have been a happier chappy. Jus' saying.

                  http://www.develop-online.net/news/4...er-to-enter-US

                  Indie devs have a hell of a time.
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