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Games Entertainment

Games That Could Have Been 99

Posted by Zonk
from the sparks-in-their-creators-eyes dept.
Gamespot, to accompany a piece on the art of pitching a game has up a companion article on a few good pitches from talented developers that never quite made it into games. My favorite of the three, from Will Wright: "I've always been fascinated with airships, and I wanted to do a game about the Hindenburg. And it was originally conceived as a cross between Myst and a flight simulator, if you can imagine that. You basically wake up on the Hindenburg. You're all alone. It's flying toward Lakehurst, New Jersey. You can walk anywhere on the ship. You can turn lights on and off. You can steer. You can adjust the engines. But every time you come into Lakehurst, it blows up. And you have to figure out why, and it becomes like this weird mystery flight simulator thing. I'd still love to do that."
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Games That Could Have Been

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  • Re:My pick... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xelios (822510) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:01AM (#21778898)
    Eh... should have said "way to leave us hanging Interplay", it's not Volition's fault the publishers refuse to give up the liscense.
  • by BytePusher (209961) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:19AM (#21779116) Homepage
    It would be nice, but unlikely. Sometimes companies don't know when old source is going to come in handy. Once it's "opened" they can't close it again. Where I work, sometimes, every now and then, when conditions are just right, when the planets align, we get to sell some software we haven't touched or sold or even thought about in 15 years for a pretty decent price. Admittedly though it may take us a while to find the code and some code is never found.
  • Nnamtsreg (Score:5, Informative)

    by mqduck (232646) <mqduck AT mqduck DOT net> on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:36AM (#21779336)
    One would be excused for thinking this post is a trolling (which, if you will remember, is tactically trying to stir up trouble for the troll's own amusement). Though I wouldn't mind if I DO stir up emotions, my goal isn't entertainment for myself or anyone.

    Okay, the substance of the post:
    Let us not forget that Gamespot should still be shunned continually until it at least somehow repents for firing Jeff Gerstmann. Gamepost denied the rumors, Jeff hasn't, and frankly the facts of the matter speak for themselves.

    It may well be a fine article (I wouldn't be a Slashdotter if I actually READ it), but we shouldn't forget the apartment policy (of at least willingness) of censorship - especially not just because it's been a little while, and "who cares anymore?".

    Sure, I'm blowing it out of proportion, but you should be righteously angry to a relative degree.
  • Re:Because... (Score:4, Informative)

    by blueg3 (192743) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:37AM (#21779356)
    That theory has been fairly soundly debunked.
  • Re:Nnamtsreg (Score:4, Informative)

    by seebs (15766) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:39AM (#21779374) Homepage
    No idea what parent is talking about?

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/29 [penny-arcade.com]

    That's what parent is talking about.

    And I agree. Mod parent up!
  • Re:Because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by omeomi (675045) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:59AM (#21779660) Homepage
    That theory has been fairly soundly debunked.

    Not true. The Mythbusters episode clearly showed that the paint, which was essentially thermite, had quite a lot to do with the speed of the burn:

    http://mythbusters-wiki.discovery.com/page/Hindenburg+Mystery?t=anon [discovery.com]

    Not that the giant balloon filled with hydrogen helped matters.
  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:33AM (#21780160) Homepage
    I can see quite a few reasons why they might not want or be allowed to 'just open source [it]':
    • If the game is based on a franchise / IP they licensed, they might be unable to release those rights.
    • If based on a franchise / IP they own, they might be unwilling to release it due to concerns they might allow anyone to create and publish derivative works.
    • If they game uses an engine or other software they've licensed from other companies, they might be unable to release it.
    • If the game uses an engine or other software the company considers to be part of its competitive advantage, they might be unwilling to release it to the general public when it might be used in later games and/or licensed to other companies.
    • If the game hasn't been well screen, both in terms of content seen in the game as well as information in the source code, there could be negative PR if certain types of elements are found. (eg, the potentially offensive character that one of the artists put in as a joke, a frustrated programmer with a paragraph of derogatory comments about his manager, or something similar to 'hot coffee').
    • If the code is cleaned up and finished, it could potentially compete with the other games that the company might release in the future.
    All you need is one unlicensed song left in there, and you can expect to be sued out of existence.

    The process of vetting the software for release to make sure it's clean -- that you're allowed to release it, and that it won't adversely impact the company is something that takes time and resources, and although might earn them points with some members of the community would likely piss off their publishers and distributors. It's unrealistic to expect that it's 'free' for a company to make their their demo open source, and that it'd be in their best interest to do it.
  • Re:Because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by omeomi (675045) on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:45AM (#21780362) Homepage
    We're quoting Mythbusters as an authoritative source now?

    I wouldn't say they're authoritative, but they did pretty clearly show that a hydrogen blimp burns faster with thermite paint than it does without.

Sentient plasmoids are a gas.

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