Alva Majo and the hoax of the miners: the risk of opinions

Alva Majo y el bulo de los mineros: el riesgo de las opiniones

If you don’t know who Alva Majo is, the right thing to do is start with an introduction: we’re talking about a young independent game developer, who in recent times has also gained notoriety first as a youtuber and later also as a streamer on Twitch. His acid and irreverent personality is combined in his content (which in my opinion is a very positive point, since the result is really fun and honest), with the disclosure of game development, which truffles with aspects of his personal life, reflections, current state of development of their projects, etc.

In other words, Alva Majo’s content proposal opens the door to the world and life of an indie developer, and he also does it from sincerity. They are not found in its contents, and this is something to be very grateful for, hackneyed and easy formulas, quite the contrary, it always demonstrates a pragmatic view of the world of indie game developmentproviding an extra sense of sanity to an audience, largely very young, and with a very idealized image of a world that, in reality, is much more complex.

If I speak in this way, it is because, as is easy to imagine, I have been following Alva Majo for a long time (I think I remembered him looking for Unity guides on YouTube, but I am not sure) and, in this time, I have followed his contents so much like, of course, the games that it has published on Steam and other platforms, part of which I have been buying over time. And I think along with other creators in the current indie scene, like Guinxu and HeyNau, who are also content creators as well as developers, opens the doors of a world so complex and thriving at the same time.

I emphasize honesty because it is closely related to what has happened recently, and that It seems to me an example of something that is not going well on the Internet. Recently, Alva Majo published The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king, a free game with simple gameplay and a global leaderboard that collects the names of the last players capable of pulling the sword out of the stone. The game, as I say, is free, so its only way to generate income is with a Steam DLC that gives us access to its soundtrack.

On the day of its release, Alva Majo broadcast a direct on Twitch, in which you could see some bug in the game, specifically in the global scoreboard, and far from hiding it, he later uploaded a video summary of what happened. And the same when, shortly after, he discovered that someone was hacking the scoreboard. He could have hidden it, since in the end he pointed out possible flaws in its development, but instead he documented the process and made it public, something that we are not used to, unfortunately.

One of the first pieces of advice I remember hearing in your videos was that it’s essential to set an FPS cap on games, something that is normally done via vertical sync. And it is that a title without limits in this regard, will take the GPU to 100% of its performance, and in addition it will also demand much more from the rest of the components. The problem is that setting a maximum vertical sync in the game configuration settings may not be enough, and this is something that has happened in this case.

Thus, when The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king (hereinafter “the game”) had been on Steam for a few weeks, some negative reviews appeared that, without providing a single proof in this regard, they claimed that Alva Majo’s game was, in fact, a cryptocurrency minera conclusion they reached after seeing that it used the GPU well above what would be expected from a title with that.

After seeing this criticism, the developer analyzed the situation and concluded that, under certain circumstances, vertical sync was off and from that point on, the game demanded as many fps as possible from the PC. Thus, he proceeded to add a strict limitation in this regard in the game code and immediately published an update with said correction. Until that moment, four negative reviews had been published with that accusation. At that moment Alva Majo thought that the problem was solved.

Big mistake. When I contacted him to ask what happened next, he told me that after fixing the problem there were still another 20 new negative reviews, with the same baseless accusation. And this despite the fact that the already published update solved the problem of unlimited fps and, therefore, made use of GPU. And this is not something that Alva Majo has told me, it is something that I have personally verified:

Additionally, to further complicate the situation, despite the huge amount of positive reviews for the game, Steam ranked these unfounded negative reviews particularly well.. But the top of the range is found when we know that, in the face of an initial lack of response from Alva Majo, this was interpreted as confirmation of the accusation, but when the developer began to respond explaining the real reason for the excessive use of GPU… accusations returned to “If he defends himself so much, it will be that the miner thing is true.” Unfortunate, but real as life itself.

The problem, the real problem with all of this, is that whether that criticism stems from stupidity or from evil, can have very real and very harmful effects on what they talk about. For example, Alva comments that she could see how a streamer with about 5,000 viewers was going to show the game in one of her live streams, but when she saw the negative reviews she backed down and decided not to. An audience of 5,000 people who were left with the taste in their mouths that the game was a miner.

We live in complicated times, in which it is better to be cautious, that is indisputable. However, we must be much clearer the difference between protecting ourselves and raising a public accusation without any evidencesince we can be “playing” (in the worst sense) with the work of a person, as has happened in this case with Alva Majo.

If we now review the negative reviews of the game, we see that the accusations have disappeared, although I do not know if they have been removed by their authors or if Steam has removed or hidden them after verifying that they are not true. And given the public profile of Alva Majo, the impact of this attack (because it personally seems like an attack to me) has not been too high. Now, what would have happened if you couldn’t fix the problem as quickly as you did? What would happen if, to this day, the game continued to squeeze the maximum possible GPU of some systems? The impact could have been much greater.

Asked about a reflection on this, Alva Majo shared the following with me:

«I find it worrying that one or several malicious users could so easily cause harm to an indie developer. In my case, I have the means to defend myself, and even if it is a huge inconvenience it is not something that is going to ruin my life, but if I had to suffer something like that when I started throwing my first game, it would have destroyed me. I fear that something like this could become a recurring thing given its effectiveness and lack of consequences.»

And I couldn’t agree with him more. As I said at the beginning, we are talking about a person who has managed to carve out a public image, who has an important community of followers, and who, as he himself puts it, has what it takes to stand up to an action of this type. Now, what if instead of being Alva Majo it had been, for example, Bocata Games, the studio responsible for my beloved Puerto Viejo?

As a general rule, user reviews and comments have become a key resource when deciding whether to buy/hire something, and it is logical and understandable, since this information, when true, adds a lot of value. The problem is that, for some time now, opinions on the Internet have been distorted for many reasons. Until now, the main one was false opinions to improve image, but now, with the case of Alva Majo and The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king, we see another reason to watch them with even more reservations.

I spoke before of honesty as one of the values ​​that I perceive most strongly in Alva Majo, and one more example of this is that, far from trying to cover up everything that happened, chose to give it as much visibility as possible through your channel. A video that, if this has seemed interesting to you, I recommend that you see:

I have already made my opinion quite clear, and you can find Alva Majo’s opinion both in his reflection on the matter and in the video. Now I would like to know yours. What do you think of these types of actions? Do you usually trust feedback on Steam and other platforms? To what do you attribute actions like this?

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