Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Limbo and Linkage

Laura Parker put together some very smart words for Gamespot about Limbo and how its success could inform improvements in AAA games. She interviewed Manveer Heir, Tom Armitage and myself as part of the piece and it really is good stuff. I think I may have linked it on Twitter when it came out a few weeks ago, but it took Tom commenting about it to remind me I'd never mentioned it here.

It's a shame that it is buried in a staff blog and not part of their main news feed, because this is the kind of writing that would actually make me want to read sites like Gamespot. Apparently Laura had to fight pretty hard for the piece too, so please, give it your eyes for a few minutes.

I finally finished Fallout: New Vegas and have been trying to put together words about it. But the swarm of holiday obligations and business and descended early this year, so that will have to wait until this weekend. Laura's article will have to tide you over until then. But I used the phrase "burgeoning payload" in the interview, so really, what more could you possibly need?



Blogger Jacob Clark said...

It is great to see that Xbox Live has proven itself again with another great Indie title. Xbox Live titles such as Trials HD, Braid, Castle Crashers, and DeathSpank have given me a reason to keep my Xbox in the first place! You don't believe my love for these games my Xbox Live icon is DeathSpank himself.

The sad truth about the future of games those is that most of the innovation will be done by Indie developers because companies more and more are looking at the bottom line. Expect innovation to be at the 10 to 15 dollar price point. If you look at the some of the major new IP's that came out last year tanked in sales even if they were not bad titles. Brutal Legend now only 3.99 brand new on amazon while Modern Warfare 2 is still at the high price of 49.99.

I have your back though keep on fighting the good fight! It is going to take a movement of dollars to show AAA developers that innovation is the way to go. Sure don't get me wrong I love my Halos, and Call of Duties, but i do not need a market full of them.

December 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“They can actually create a game with a single, coherent message that’s more substantial than 'Chainsawing aliens is awesome!'”
Good stuff. Paradoxically, it reminded me of Cliff Bleszinski talking about trying to get a message across with Gears of War (that was in an Irrational podcast I think).

I enjoyed Warren Spector's comments and the remarks about game literacy too.

Loved the piece, thanks for sharing this.

December 1, 2010 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Nels Anderson said...

@GiP Of course, and I tried to make this point in the article, it's not like AAA games are necessarily doing something wrong or wicked. I know lots of folks who make AAA games and they're smart, thoughtful people. But they've got constraints and complications that as part of a ~15 person company, I never have to worry about.

Of course, the corporate structure can very well do more harm that good. It takes a lot of discipline and trust for really good stuff (regardless of innovation) to come out of that structure. I'm not really comfortable with that. If something I made doesn't work, I want it to be because of decisions we made, not because the quarterly financials forced us to release something too soon or we had to shoehorn in motion controls because "that's what the audience wants."

@Hugo Totally. I wasn't knocking ol' Cliffy, he is a really good designer that creates very high quality games. Gears isn't a bad game, it's just popcorn, more or less. I'm fine with Gears being a thing, I just don't want it to be the only thing.

December 1, 2010 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Jacob Clark said...

Thanks for responding! I know I sound pessimistic about the gaming industry but I do wish the best for it being a gamer. Most people will say vote with your wallet, but we can always do more than that to affect future titles. Developer's such as yourself make forums for a reason to hear thoughts and even complaints about the titles before they come out. Raises Right hand "I promise to be more involved with games and to voice my opinion as much as possible."

December 2, 2010 at 2:40 PM  

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