Something I think a lot of you should read.
Quote from the document: “A solid game design is one piece of a successful game. However, a successful break out design needs to also identify an unmet need in the society at large.”
Something I think a lot of you should read.
Quote from the document: “A solid game design is one piece of a successful game. However, a successful break out design needs to also identify an unmet need in the society at large.”
No offense Abadd, but I thought game developers only saw the most worthwhile aspects of games in terms of selling power? If the market demands all female threesomes in their RPGs then who are we deny the market what it wants especially when making this game feeds the families of all developers involved? If anyone has a problem with such a game, too bad.
If I was a billionaire, then you can bet I’d do things a little differently. For a start I’d update a few old-school classics with modern day graphics regardless of however well they sold. Of course, I’d probably buy a few liscences from my old friends at Sega first. >:)
Thing is, “unmet needs” are relative.I personally have a need for a game featuring a world devoid of visual clich?s (just so you don’t bash me for saying original).Something neither scifi or fantasy-like.
I’m sure my need would be classified as “niche” tho.
Funny you highlighted that sentence Geoff.
Sir, that’s a requirement for ANY marketed product, be it video game or new fashioned cheese grater.
The key in that phrase is “one piece.” Which is why a game can be completely kick-ass, but still not sell if it does not meet a need in its audience.
And Geoff… why do you see those as mutually exclusive? In Japan, for instance, there was a market demand for dogs. That provided a significant amount of marketability and selling power. If there was no demand for dogs in the market, do you think the game would have been made?
And if the market wants female threesomes in their RPGs, then you bet, most RPGs will put them in. However, there comes a saturation point in the market where it doesn’t matter anymore, or someone will do it so perfectly, all competition will pale in comparison. That being said, the saturation point for, say, FPS games has not been reached yet. It’s getting close, which is why you’re starting to see a lot of FPAdventure games instead of straight up shooting.
Remember, when I make comments to counter arguments, I’m simply showing you the other side of the coin. The truth lies directly in the middle. There is plenty of room for innovation, but you must innovate in a way that the market can understand. Rez, for example, is an innovation that nobody cared about. Nintendogs, at least in Japan, is one that people do care about. See the difference? You can’t just blindly design a game and cry when it doesn’t sell. The writer of the article spoke about all the research needed when trying to break the mold. Too many game designers say, “Here is the game I want to make, and I don’t care what anybody says.” Sometimes they get lucky and it sells. Most of the time it doesn’t and they cry saying, “The game industry is doomed!!!”
That’s the differentiation I’m trying to point out here.
(Oh, and by the way, your comment about being a billionaire? That’s pretty much exactly what Trip Hawkins said when he started 3DO :P)
So the bottom line is developers need to innovate in ways that the (casual) market understands/wants?
That’s all good, but then we have to take things to the next level. When you dumb down and sex up a game to make it friendlier/more appealing to mass market gamers, how far do you go? Do you sink to any depth to sell your product? Do you stoop to any low?
If the main agenda here is merely to make money, then who cares how you do it? I think that logic alone is more damaging than people might initially realise.
Games used to be made by gamers for gamers. Now they are made by men in suits for money. I still think there are many new ideas out there which have the potential to open up new markets like Myst did (Gehn’s favourite game of all time). Whether or not anyone is willing to gamble away their money by exploring those ideas is another matter entirely.
But what would I know.
Who said you had to dumb down/sex up a game to make it appeal to the mass market? The entire article was about Nintendogs. Is there any dumbing down or sexing up of that product?
Like I said, you see things too much in black and white.
[quote=“Geoffrey Duke”]If the main agenda here is merely to make money, then who cares how you do it? I think that logic alone is more damaging than people might initially realise.
Games used to be made by gamers for gamers. Now they are made by men in suits for money.[/quote]
Again, black and white. Why is it you only see things as “making money” or “making games”? The two are intertwined. The moment you have a company producing a product, you cannot separate the two. That does not mean that all companies will do is pump out crap to make a quick buck. Your quote from Bizarre Creations? What that really means is that if you simply try to make a quick buck, you’re eventually going to run your company into the ground (a la 3D0). You get in it for the long haul, which means earning consumer trust through delivering quality product. THAT will earn you money. Sega has lost too much trust with its consumers, which is why Sega is attempting to “start over,” so to speak.
As a caveat, though, you cannot simply make a game that you think is good, release it into the market, and expect people to accept it with open arms. Anyone who thinks they can do that is a primadonna. You are making a product for a wide audience, and you must keep in mind what their wants and needs are. So what do you do? You start from two places:
a) put together a concept based on an idea you had
b) you go into the field and research what people want.
With the first starting point, you then have to take your concept into the field and find out how people react to it. With the second starting point, you have to try and find that one thing that people want that hasn’t been fulfilled yet.
It’s that careful balance of listening to the market and listening to your gut instinct that makes this industry so damn difficult. Half the time, gamers don’t even know what they want.
And no, games are not made by “men in suits.”
Correction Geoff.Panzer Draggon is my favourite games serie sof all time.Just in case you hadn’t noticed already
Different people different views.That’s why talking about the needs of the market is a bit tricky.Call me what you will but I don’t think playing a dog would ever constitute a need of mine …
I can understand your need to emphasize the un "black and white"ness of the gaming industry Abadd.Truth is back in the day you wouldn’t come up with much answers if you did a survey on people’s videogame needs.And that’s why games felt purely indie.It was a time were people risked a bit more.
The public dind’t dictate which games were to be made;we were “educated” to like those games in many ways.I hope that amkes sense…
Of course, different people have different needs. Which is why the research that I mentioned is necessary.
But even so, back in the old days, we enjoyed games for novelty factor. They were all new. Was Pong a fun game? If you think about it, not really. It was only fun because it was novel… there was nothing else like it. However, you become desensitized to media, and you expect more and more out of it. Your tastes become more refined (though, that’s an extremely relative term). Where people used to enjoy games like Kung Fu, now they prefer God of War. Same genre, different generation.
I’m going to have to side with Abadd here, Geoffrey. All companies, even Sega, are ultimately businesses and so they have to make a profit at least somewhere along the line. That doesn’t mean that all of your output has to be an EA-style production line, but you do need at least a sound financial backbone - however it’s acquired - and then you can create the enlightened and sophisticated gaming. To do otherwise is irresponsible.
In Sega’s case, it has had certain “killer app” brands, like Sonic the Hedgehog (which can be seen as perfect for the casual gamer - a brightly coloured world, lots of speed, simple controls of ‘bop enemies on the head and run right’) or Sakura Taisen (it may be a non-entity in the West, but it’s obscenely popular in Japan), which it can milk to provide the staff payroll, and with that secure basis we can have our NiGHTS and Shenmue and Panzer Dragoon.
Now, about the era that Geoffrey was speaking of:
Another thing to bear in mind when considering the debate about the relative quality of gaming across the years is that throughout all eight generations of consoles, from Ralph Baer’s Brown Box to the GameCube and beyond, there have been bad games!
We had corporate domination of the industry in the guises of leviathans like Magnavox and Atari. Atari in particular held such an iron grip on its share of the market it refused even to let is programmers and designers be credited for their work, for fear of them being identified and poached by rivals. A slyly-hidden scene in the game Adventure which showed the programmer’s name is the first recorded ‘secret room’ in gaming history!
We still had imitation and derivation - most of the early commercial games were literally just Pong in different coloured boxes.
Let me reiterate that we’ve had absolute and utter travesties of gaming long before we had to suffer the PlayStation - any gamer worth his salt will know well the infamous Crash of '83, incited by reams upon reams of unplayable, repetitive and sub-standard software (popular case studies are the botched E.T. game, which infamously had tens of thousands of unsold copies being ignominiously buried in New Mexico, and the lacklustre Pac-Man Atari 2600 port). It was a commercial catasophe which almost completely wiped out the console industry killing many developers (and these were the days you even had Mattel producing a console) and mortally wounding Atari. It also created the power vacuum which allowed the advent of Sega and Nintendo.
So, whatever you may think of the condition of the industry today, it’s nothing new.
Yeah well, I like to see the corporate side of a games company in terms of stereotypes. I assume the days when the upper management of a company was totally out of touch with how to make great games has become a thing of the past now? Obviously when Virtua Quest was bankrolled, the first thing that probably came to mind was cashing in on a popular name, rather than making something that was genuinely good. Yet that’s a perfectly sound business practice by all accounts.
My quote is from an old Sega Saturn Magazine interview with the staff at Bizarre Creations. The team decided to stop developing sequels to the popular Formula One franchise they started on Sony’s Playstation even though continuing to make those games would have been “the safest route to take” financially, because their programming dreams layed elsewhere. Why not stick with milking the cashcow for all it was worth? That’s what Neo Sega would have done.
Do you think they would have stuck with Sony if Sony had bribed them? There was a reason why they avoided the bottlenecked PS2 and went straight to the Xbox after the Dreamcast’s early retreat from the market (if you know anything about the Liverpool-based Bizarre Creations, then you’ll know that the founder skipped university to set up his own company, and that most of the staff there are hardcore gamers, some of whom are even former dish-washers). There’s more to life than making money. Much, much more. Oh yeah, and I can’t stand Liverpudlian accents.
As for Nintendogs (I apologize for taking us off-topic)… take Nintendo out of the title, and then let’s see how well it would have sold. It may be innovative yet reflective of mass market tastes, but generally speaking, Nintendo still doesn’t know how to do anything other than recycle the same old tired brands over and over and over again to save its life. Let’s see them set up a few new franchises for a change without the safety net of an established brand, because as we all know, Capcom won’t be there to bail them out during the next console war thanks to Capcom’s shareholders suddenly deciding to burry the hachet with a soulless corporation that wanted to ban all of their 2D games at one point in time (forgive and forget, eh?).
Like you said, it’s all about marketability. If all the market wanted was pure and utter crap by our standards (like say, purely hack ‘n’ slash-driven Action/RPGs which are designed for people who don’t have the patience to play real RPGs), then the same justifications for supplying that demand about staying afloat, paying staff, feeding families etc apply. People would still defend the sale of crap simply because this is a business (nothing more, nothing less) where the only thing that really matters in the end, apparently, is profitability. How can you not hate that?
If there’s anything I’ve learnt from all my favourite games dying, it’s that most gamers in this day and age aren’t really gamers. They are casual players looking for a quick onscreen fix who treat games like the average person would treat a movie: as a brief distraction from everyday life. What’s worse is that the industry is still male dominated and while (straight) female gamers continue to be marginalised further and further as a direct consequence of over-sexed objectified female characters (as opposed to realistic depictions of them) born from the minds of sex-starved cavemen, that’s not going to change any time soon.
Like I said, if the only goal here is merely to feed a demand by reflecting all the latest and forever ongoing trends with instantly accessible fantasies of them, how far do you go? People hated making Planescape: Torment just because it wasn’t an instant success. Is that what we’ve become? Now we may never see another game with the same level of depth. It’s not that the industry is doomed. It’s that most “gamers” can’t appreciate the finer things in life. I, for one, will not defend them even for a second. Having said all that, innovating in a way that the mass market understands still means we’ll miss out on the games the masses don’t want. It’s a tragedy when no one wants a truly great game (even one that fits a mold to lend it some appeal).
[quote=“Robert Frazer”]I’m going to have to side with Abadd here, Geoffrey. All companies, even Sega, are ultimately businesses and so they have to make a profit at least somewhere along the line. That doesn’t mean that all of your output has to be an EA-style production line, but you do need at least a sound financial backbone - however it’s acquired - and then you can create the enlightened and sophisticated gaming. To do otherwise is irresponsible.
In Sega’s case, it has had certain “killer app” brands, like Sonic the Hedgehog or Sakura Taisen (it may be a non-entity in the West, but it’s obscenely popular in Japan), which it can milk to provide the staff payroll, and with that secure basis we can have our NiGHTS and Shenmue and Panzer Dragoon. Of course, it helps when the “cash cows” are excellent games in their own right. [/quote]
The problem is, with the way things are heading, even if Sega was drowning in money, they still wouldn’t fund the creation of Shenmue 3, Nights 2 etc, for no other than because Sega may lose money on those games.
Would you still give Sega your undying support then?
The problem is, though, that this condition was perhaps inevitable as games stopped being a niche hobbyist interest and became mainstream.
We may want a wider demographic to enjoy the more intellectual games, but the hoi polloi are inherently inimical to that. Quiz a random in the street about Harry Potter, and he’ll probably know what you’re speaking of; ask him about Smollet and you’ll get a blank stare. Such is the nature of the beast. If we’re to erase the casual gamer, we need a fundamental change in our societies themselves, far beyond just gaming.
To continue to enjoy more varied games, you need people in the development companies who are motivated to make them. As noble and desirable an objective as it is, it’s futile to convert the unwashed masses - you just have to ensure that there are people at the producer end who do appreciate games as art, and make sure that these people, once they’re there, keep their influence. Penguin Books has the Classics imprint of pure literature, but they churn out throwaway pulp novels too.
Sega’s runaway success was based on this principle. Sonic, the icon that made the Megadrive, is perfect for the casual gamer. A brightly coloured world, lots of speed, short and sharp levels, cute fluffy animals for the tykes, and simple controls of ‘bop enemies on the head and run right’. Yet this same company produced things like Shining Force. The two streams of gaming attitudes are not mutually exclusive.
To prevent the preponderance of the casual-stream over the hardcore-stream, you need to change developer ethos, not public ethos, as the latter’s invincible. And the way to do that is to send your CV to Middlesex and join Sega.
Obviously when Virtua Quest was bankrolled, the first thing that probably came to mind was cashing in on a popular name, rather than making something that was genuinely good.[/quote]
You speak as if you know who made the decision to make that game. Take a look at who runs Sega: Oguchi-san, ex-producer/president of Hitmaker. Not saying that he bankrolled that project, but the people in charge at Sega are anything but suits.
Most likely because they had made their money and decided to move onto something else. And they’re a small company that is able to jump around as such. But, when you’re a company that has thousands of employees, you can’t do that. It’s likely that a larger corporation, with that much money, would have simply kept that line going, and started a new one as well. Where’s the harm in that? There is obviously a large group of people that was enjoying that product. Why is that so wrong? You are providing a product that brought pleasure to your audience. Sure, your real interests may lie elsewhere, and it’s fine to pursue that, but there is nothing inherently wrong with continuing the F1 license.
And yes, I know Bizarre.
Do you realize that you just contradicted yourself? Here you are, talking about Nintendogs, a completely new brand and concept, and yet, in the same breath, you talk about how Nintendo can’t do anything new to save its life? I’ll give you another one: Pikmin.
And is there anything inherently wrong in continuing a successful franchise? You’re missing one important thing: people enjoy those games. You mean to say that Nintendo shouldn’t release another Zelda game because they’ve already done one? What about the million plus people that really, really like Zelda? And frankly speaking, Nintendo produces some of the highest quality games in the industry, regardless of whether or not they have “Mario” slapped on the front of the box. That’s more than you can say about most publishers.
Again with the black and white. Marketability is a fluid term. If all the market demanded was hack and slash RPGs, then why are Fable, KOTOR, and Morrowind so successful? You only look at a single genre that you dislike, and then apply that logic to the rest of the industry. And it’s an entertainment business. That’s the key difference. Like I said before, you can only guarantee long term success by earning the trust of the audience. If a game is truly crap, then sales will tank and the company will go out of business. But, just because you, or some small subset of the gaming community, thinks a game is crap, doesn’t make it automatically so. Remember, not everyone has the same tastes and hobbies.
Hell, half the people on these boards bash sports fans for being crazy about this team or that team. Yet, to them, they feel the same way about your passion for Panzer. Everyone has different interests.
And again, you ignore half the industry. Let’s take a look at a few extremely successful titles: the Sims, Morrowind, Fable, KOTOR, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, etc. And to a lesser extent, games like Katamari Damacy. If what you said was true across the board, why is it these games are selling? And let’s be honest, aside from Tomb Raider and the DOA series, how often does a game about sexy chicks sell? Almost never. BMX XXX, the Guy Game, Bloodrayne, etc all performed extremely poorly.
The games mentioned above have brought gaming experiences to gamers that were never possible before. And all you talk of is the “dumbing down” of the industry?
This statement doesn’t even make sense. You mean to say that your personal tastes and internal trends take precedence over the tastes and trends of a society? What makes your tastes right, and their tastes wrong?
Then what would you have game companies do? By your logic, each game company would release a single game, go out of business, then everyone would simply go on with their life and work in a different industry. You say gamers have changed? The generation of gamers that grew up playing the exact same games you did in the 80’s and 90’s is still playing games and enjoying them. Yes, it’s tragic that a game like Ico didn’t sell blockbuster numbers. But that is how all forms of entertainment have always worked. Most “classic” literature was considered pop fluff during its time, and very rare is the artist that is appreciated while he is alive. You expect games to be any different?
I don’t think the people at Sega would like me very much; I’m too much of a naive dreamer who doesn’t value paper currency more than life itself.
[quote=“Abadd”]Most likely because they had made their money and decided to move onto something else. And they’re a small company that is able to jump around as such. But, when you’re a company that has thousands of employees, you can’t do that. It’s likely that a larger corporation, with that much money, would have simply kept that line going, and started a new one as well. Where’s the harm in that? There is obviously a large group of people that was enjoying that product. Why is that so wrong? You are providing a product that brought pleasure to your audience. Sure, your real interests may lie elsewhere, and it’s fine to pursue that, but there is nothing inherently wrong with continuing the F1 license.
And yes, I know Bizarre.[/quote]
I’m just saying that if they wanted to make more games that were guaranteed to sell, they would have stuck with the F1 franchise instead of taking the risk of making something entirely new (Metropolis Street Racer).
Why make something that has no guarantees of success when you can make something that does? That is the question passing through the lips of most games developers today.
I said generally speaking. There will always be an exception to the rule, but never many in Nintendo’s case.
Take Nintendo out of the title, and then we can put Nintendo and new in the same sentence.
If anyone without the influence of Shigeru Miyamoto had come to Nintendo with the idea for that game, and if it didn’t share similarities with Pokemon, do you think Nintendo would have even considered taking the gamble of seeing it through to the end? Kudos to Nintendo for setting up a new brandname though. We’ll probably see sequels to this game for decades to come.
How about making a Zelda game without Zelda in the title? Would that be too risky? The only difference is it wouldn’t enjoy the same brand recognition, but it would still be the same game. Would people be lost without that popular brand calling out to them?
I don’t think Nintendo has what it takes to survive the next console war, but we’ll see. If Nintendo hadn’t drastically reduced the price of the GameCube so soon, I doubt the console would have picked up much steam. The console pretty much ran out of gas in the UK because everyone here is way too trend-driven for their own good and way too PS2-centric. Nintendo have essentially allowed themselves to slip into third place all because they are so reluctant to take risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but nothing lost either, except for most of the market to Sony.
So if something is poor by my standards, and kills a genre which I’ve loved for years because every developer in the world wants to cash in on the greater popularity of this latest fad, I’m supposed to accept it?
KOTOR was so successful partly because it was made by BioWare (the makers of acclaimed Baldur’s Gate 1-2 and MDK 2) and partly because anything with Star Wars in the title sells like crazy. Morrowind sold well partly because it filled a void in the Xbox’s early library of games (which wasn’t one of the best line ups in the world) and partly because PC gamers are more discerning than their average console counterparts (this applies to KOTOR to some extent too). The game also had very little competition on the PC with Interplay killing itself. Fable? Fable was hyped up from Lionhead Studios and M$ from its very inception. I’d love to think that games sell on merit alone, but that’s not always the case anymore.
[quote=“Abadd”]And again, you ignore half the industry. Let’s take a look at a few extremely successful titles: the Sims, Morrowind, Fable, KOTOR, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, etc. And to a lesser extent, games like Katamari Damacy. If what you said was true across the board, why is it these games are selling? And let’s be honest, aside from Tomb Raider and the DOA series, how often does a game about sexy chicks sell? Almost never. BMX XXX, the Guy Game, Bloodrayne, etc all performed extremely poorly.
The games mentioned above have brought gaming experiences to gamers that were never possible before. And all you talk of is the “dumbing down” of the industry?[/quote]
Why is it the average gamer would much rather blow something up into a thousand tiny burning pieces than read through some text? That’s an example of what I mean by dumbing down.
Sexy chicks are a pre-requisite in most games today. I’m glad Bloodrayne 2 more or less flopped, though, because it was leaning on sex-appeal far too heavily to soar to the top of the charts. Bad, bad move.
By the way, how many sequels, expansions and spin-offs to The Sims have we seen so far? That’s an example of EA flukily opening up a new market with an untested idea.
What makes their tastes wrong? BG&E, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Planescape: Torment etc etc flopping. That’s what makes them wrong in my ever-so humble opinion.
Bridge the gap between hardcore and casual tastes. Make games by gamers for gamers. Why the hell not?
You can’t tell me, Abadd, that everything in the industry is just peachy. Even Lorne Lanning criticized the industry for letting a money making agenda discourage innovation. And IMO, the lack of depth in games like Dark Alliance is a poor sign of things to come. Oh well, at least Black Isle made the sequel a lot more story-driven before most of the people there were all fired without warning.
There’s a lot of truth to what you say, but I can’t say I like the direction the industry has gone in (with casual tastes shaping everything). I’d love to know what Brett Sperry would think about all of this, especially after he left the successful company he co-founded after EA bought it from under him and dumbed down the C&C series with a less mature theme, and more rampant destruction.
Giving the majority of the market exactly what it wants can do more harm than good.
[quote=“Geoffrey Duke”]I’m just saying that if they wanted to make more games that were guaranteed to sell, they would have stuck with the F1 franchise instead of taking the risk of making something entirely new (Metropolis Street Racer).
Why make something that has no guarantees of success when you can make something that does? That is the question passing through the lips of most games developers today.[/quote]
Because yes, developers get bored doing the same thing over and over. But, if you were a publisher, why wouldn’t you just take both? You’ve got a successful franchise and a developer who has proved they could deliver the goods. You’ve got your cash cow, let them experiment. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying.
You’ve been saying that the cash cow has no value. I’m saying that the cash cow is what gives developers the freedom to experiment.
Replace Miyamoto with Will Wright, Sid Meier, Peter Molixneuxudweanoigzx (never could spell his name), etc and it’s the exact same thing. It takes a certain level of genius to be able to pull off something that weird. And until someone proves they can take an idea and make it into something good, that idea is worth nothing. There are a million ideas a day… the trick is to learn which ones to bet on.
And similarities to Pokemon???
But what’s so inherently wrong about creating another Zelda game? Are you saying that the games are bad? Are you saying that the name Zelda doesn’t bring with it a whole slew of emotions and expectations that gamers enjoy? The very same “gamers” that you say games should be for are the ones clamoring for another Zelda. These are the same gamers that actually have played Ico and Panzer.
Didn’t say anyting about the hardware I’m just talking about the software. It is very rare that Nintendo makes anything that isn’t at least an 8.0 or higher, or sells less than 1 million units.
The only genre that has truly died is the adventure game, and that’s just as much the hardcore gamer’s fault as it is the casual gamer’s fault.
You gave reasons why those games were successful… but how does that change the fact that they were? And the fact that KOTOR 2 outsold KOTOR 1 should prove that it wasn’t just Bioware. Sure, the Star Wars license helped give it a boost, but it’s the best selling Star Wars game of all time, I believe. It was the hook to bring gamers in, and the quality of the game is what kept the sales going.
And this isn’t an isolated case of this kind of game doing well. I gave you 2 others, both of which you gave excuses for… but 3 games, all topping 1 million units, doesn’t constitute a pattern for you?
I, for one, think it’s because most of the text in games… is dumb. In addition, most RPGs are 40 hours. Who the heck has time to play a 40 hour game??? And half the time, you get 10 hours into it and realize it’s not even that good. This is the Japanese RPG makers’ fault, I think. There simply isn’t enough good, shorter RPGs to really bring the genre to its full potential.
Yes, most games feature some sort of sexy chick, but they also always feature a muscle-bound man with superhuman athletic abilities. I want to see a game featuring a beer-bellied old dude as the main character
Fluke? It’s Will Wright. It’s not a fluke.
And yet, there are plenty of great quality games out there that have succeeded. I’m sure there are very few people who play those games and say they suck… I’m sure that most people simply never heard of them, or the advertisement simply didn’t speak to them.
Wait… isn’t this what I’ve been saying the whole time? Bringing innovation to games that appeal to a wider sensibility?
Never said things were peachy. But things are in trouble for a whole different reason. Every generation leap causes budgets to nearly double. The industry is quickly going down the Hollywood path, which it needs to do out of necessity. But, like I’ve stated before, I hope that this will bring about an indy backlash, like has happened to Hollywood in recent years, and bring about another wave of smaller, more efficient developers raised on middleware.
And come on… you make Dark Alliance sound like it’s the best selling game of all time and that it’s ruining the industry. It sold like 400k, and it was fun for what it was. I don’t think anyone really believed that it was the second coming. There are a lot of clones, yes, but very few of them sell.
And Lorne Lanning… heh. Early games were good, but Stranger? Very high quality visuals, but the Live Ammo system? Weak sauce, man… weak sauce. It’s a fun little game, but it’s always seemed to me that he was more interested in making movies than games, anyway.
As for “giving the majority market what they want,” you’re not listening. Go back to what this whole thread is about: a game like Nintendogs. Bringing innovation into the industry through a means that the average consumer can relate to. Bridging that gap, like you said. Why is this so bad to you?
Sorry, I was writing this reply before Abadd, so I adress some of his points about the indie scene.
I think the game industry is on the verge of its puberty, and that’s a very painful time.
In puberty all you try to do is beeing accepted and loved by others, you think that’s what makes you successful in life. It takes time to mature and realize tha you can find your place (and a very nice place) in the world without becoming rich and famous and glamerous and still do the things you want and live the life you want to live…
I personally don’t have a problem with games made for the mass market.
But the thing that more and more crystallizes is that there are two types of “games” (the term itself is bad, someone has to find something like Mcloud’s excelent definition of “comic” for “game” as well)
I’m not saying there may not be a mixture in between, it’s just that these might be two extreme poles of the whole field of interactive media.
What noone can deny is that we DO have a demand for interactive Art. The demand is small now, but it is there. In any other field of Art there is an indie scene. This scene is necessary and a sign of soundness, new ideas are produced and explored.
However “Art” is latin AFAIK and means “ability”, there is ability and skill necessary to make Interactive Art.
So who is going to create new games and new concepts?
What I personally wish from the Industry is not to make more artsy games (such as vanity projects made to polish the corporate image) but to provide the tools and knowledge for willing artists to create something, and assist them with distribution (like an editor for example)
Distribution over the Internet is cheap and relatively fast, and with P2P networks server traffic doesn’t matter anymore.
If for example EA would give 0.1% of the money they make on mainstream titles for funding the tutelage of independent projects, wouldn’t that be cool?
I think you are trying to hard to heate Action RPGs Geoff.Admit it, you’re just unhappy about SFNeo.Action RPGs are as much RPGs as startegy RPGs etc…
In the end RPG is a game of choices and you don’t need a strategy-like combat gameplay in order to make choices.
And yeah LC that would certainly be cool.EA wouldn’t do such a thing tho unless it would help their company be more popular than it already is.
Great post, Lord Craymen. The whole puberty comment makes a lot of sense actually. I sure hope, if that is the case, that the game industry reaches adulthood soon, though.
It certainly would be cool if EA put some of it’s profits towards funding independent projects, although I think another company would be more likely to do something like that than EA. EA don’t seem to be interested in releasing many creative titles themselves, so I’m not sure if their business model would be compatible with such an idea.
[quote=“Gehpnaet”]I think you are trying to hard to heate Action RPGs Geoff.Admit it, you’re just unhappy about SFNeo.Action RPGs are as much RPGs as startegy RPGs etc…
In the end RPG is a game of choices and you don’t need a strategy-like combat gameplay in order to make choices.[/quote]
But it is very difficult to make an action game, where you control multiple characters at once. That’s why story driven party based RPGs like Shining Force can not easily be translated into an action game without loosing something essential their core idea. That’s why Shining Force Neo won’t live up to the true Shining Force legacy. That’s one of reasons why some hardcore gamers are pissed off with the games industry at the moment. Causal gamers, in general, prefer RPGs where you control a single character and power that character up, like Diablo, or as a recent example, Fable. I just wish people would see the need for both genres.
Geoffrey: Pikmin doesn’t really play anything like Pokemon, although I can see the similarities (cutsy characters, etc). The closest thing to Pikmin, would be a real time strategy or puzzle game in terms of gameplay. There’s also another new franchise which Nintendo started on the Gamecube called Animal Crossing which sounds quite innovative, although I haven’t tried it myself.
Oh please there is nothing at all original, about Nintendogs (or what ever its called).
Pet sims like that were 10 a penny on the PC a few years back, and just an extension of Yoot Saito (a guy that really does make original stuff) Seaman, which I was playing on my DC ages ago.
Of course because it made by NCL everybody says its original . When apart from Wario Ware, Animal Crossing and Pikmin they?ve been everything but this gen.
Peter Molyneux is just like Jeff Minter some of the most overrated people in the industry. All they do is bloody rehashes of their old games .
In Peter?s case is the same bloody GOD sim time after time.
He promises the earth and never delivers on half of what he promised. I’m not saying he’s games are bad, far from it. Just that they are so overated. Black and White was Populous for the next gen
Though I do agree Will Wright does at least try new games.
BTW Geoff Crammond is the best coder in Britian