Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games

A Plea For Game Devs To Aim Higher 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the chest-slow-them-forehead-stops-them dept.
A recent article written by Mike Acton of Insomniac Games challenges video game developers to broaden their ambitions and fight to get back to their rebellious roots. Quoting: "[W]hy is it that game developers are beginning to drown in a culture of fear, or more specifically, a fear of change? Is it because the gaming world has gone too corporate and is no longer exclusive to small teams of genius misfits and creative underdogs? Is it because the demographics of game players—once made up almost exclusively of teen boys—has widened to include nearly everyone from 5-50? There are people who would deny that it’s fear of change that keeps them where they are. There are those that are content with the status quo because they believe that they have a formula 'that works' and there’s no good reason to risk a major change when they already successful with what they’re doing. ... Game developers are, at their heart, futurists and this is what they need to do now—put themselves ahead of the times so that they can surpass the stale leadership and old models that are holding them back"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Plea For Game Devs To Aim Higher

Comments Filter:
  • Formulaic... like the film industry has been numerous times in the past (and perhaps today)? This sort of thing breaks down as soon as the audience gets bored of it.
    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>This sort of thing breaks down as soon as the audience gets bored of it.

      Indeed... but Rockstar has been making a killing at repeating the GTA formula (four times, and then again in the old west and again in the 1950s) even though most people get only about halfway through their games before they get bored. I beat Red Dead Redemption, but even I was feeling the drag as they kept going, "Oh, but just one more mission, Marsten!!" over and over.

      My wife wanted me to pick up LA Noire today, but I just cou

      • Much more than four times if you count Vice City, San Andreas and the various Stories games and expansion packs.

        I still love the open world format more than linear games :)

        You should try Saints Row 2 (I never actually played the original as I just assumed it was a cheap rip-off of GTA, but it seems I was wrong). It's a lot like the GTA 3 series, but with more variety in the mission types, plenty of humour, and 3 main plot lines. The co-op play is also good fun.

        • by Canazza (1428553)

          I think he was counting VC and SA since GTA and GTA 2 weren't Rockstar, they were DMA at the time, and the formula was much simpler and quite different. For example, there were no cutscenes in GTA1 and 2 (besides the end-of-city screens), they were both top-down 2.5D and took place entirely out doors. Most of the missions were driving missions and there was little or no gunplay in them. Infact, guns generally were used in pedestrian slaughter, something that GTA 3 onwards really downplayed.

          the 4 games he's

          • They didn't stop making other games. Apart from Manhunt (and perhaps Bully, which I haven't played), they just like making very open, freeform games. Manhunt sucked, and I am not a big fan of Midnight Club compared to say Burnout Paradise (though I didn't give it much of a chance), but the other games are all great fun:

            Notable games published
            Grand Theft Auto series (1997–present)
            Midnight Club series (2000–present)
            Max Payne series (2001–present)
            Manhunt series (2003–2007)
            Red Dead serie

            • GTA IV felt like a step backwards.

              Agreed, it felt like they were taking themselves too seriously and trying to be too realistic. They took out a lot of the "fun" stuff like taxi missions, parachutes (though they re-added the parachute in the ballad of gay tony) and airplanes (though they kept helicopters), and added the really annoying windscreen ejections and friends bothering you all the time. They also took out character stats (I find it nice to have your character continue getting better at stuff even when your innate skill isn't so you

          • Every now and then you get some real gems out of pulp fiction though -- for example Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft were both published in pulp magazines of the day. As in the original Conan tales were pulp fiction, as was all of H.P.L.'s work.

            As for Rockstar games, Saint's Row 2 basically ruined GTAIV for me. GTA4 tried to be too "realistic" for it's own good. SR2 didn't. That, and of course your character in SR2 was a psychopathic badass, which dovetails well with how most people *actually* play G

            • by Gulthek (12570)

              I played GTA4 in character. I tried to do the right thing, drive by the rules, and not kill anyone. My Niko had already seen enough of war and bloodshed, but it was all he knew. He tried to make a change going to NYC, but did not have the will to break free of the dominating personalities surrounding him.

              This style of play made some of the missions where you had to escape the police much more exciting.

      • Re:Film industry (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Friday June 10, 2011 @07:20AM (#36398446) Journal

        But to be fair a lot of the "GTA style" games isn't about actually doing the missions but just seriously fucking off. One of my absolute favorite games is Just Cause II, which if you have never played it brings "just fucking off" to the height of crazy. You have this crazy hookshot grapple hook thing that lets you do crazy shit like tie a bad guy to the bumper of a chopper and use him for a fricking wrecking ball, tie two cars together while going 100 miles an hour on top of a third, totally crazy shit. Frankly I quit giving a shit about the story after like the third mission because I was having too much fun going nuts to really care.

        If anyone here watches Zero Punctuation [escapistmagazine.com] old Yahtzee pointed something out that is really wrong that I hadn't even noticed before. He said basically "we are awash in a sea of brown chest high walls surrounded by thick neck marine types" and frankly he is dead on! Too many of these developers seem to forget that ultimately its a game and games are supposed to be fun not a dragging your ass around while following the numbers snoozefest. I swear if I see one more WWII shooter or one more game featuring thick neck marines with convenient chest high walls I'm gonna scream!

        Ultimately it wouldn't be so bad if games ripped off one another if they just did like Just Cause II and remembered that games are supposed to be fun. If they would have made the game in ANY way realistic it would have been the uber suck. After playing Stalker I already know how I would do in a real war, very very badly. So how about make it fun! Give me AI that is a challenge without obvious cheating, like how EA shooters will have grunts that can instantly spot you even when you are behind cover and snipe you from 1000 yards away with a pistol while taking more rounds than the T-800, give me something to shoot other than the same damned weapons everybody else has, like the sneaky crossbow in NOLF II, or even the "angry kitty" bomb! Who cares if that "would never happen in real life" because it ISN'T REAL LIFE it is a fricking game!

        You don't have to give us five legged kittens riding purple ponies devs, just quit rehashing the same old shit, okay?

        • It sounds like you're only really complaining about games on rails, graphical stories where you click next to continue. I don't have a problem with "realistic" games, thick neck marines or chest high walls. However I do have a problem when I don't get to choose which chest high walls I get to use however.
          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            The problem is it is too damned predictable and I'll give you some examples: if the game is set in modern times, you will get the MP5, the M16, The AK47, and for a sniper either the 50 or the Draganov. If it is WWII you will get the Garand, the MP40, the 1911, the Tommy gun, the k98. Yawn. All while the entire battlefield just so happens to have chest high walls, you know just for decor. Yawn.

            Meanwhile they talk about "realism" yet I can be standing there with a fucking bazooka and I STILL CAN'T BLOW A FUCK

            • by kalirion (728907)

              Meanwhile they talk about "realism" yet I can be standing there with a fucking bazooka and I STILL CAN'T BLOW A FUCKING WOODEN DOOR DOWN! WTF?

              Reminds me of my second "Holy Shit" moment in Crysis. On the second level, I took cover inside a wooden hut from a machine gun nest, and watched the place get taken apart around me in a storm of bullets.

              For the record, the first moment was seeing the sunrise over the beach in the first level at 2am IRL and it messing with my circadian rhythm.

              • by hairyfeet (841228)

                Realism is fine in small doses but If you want crazy fun you need to try Just Cause II and Red Faction: Guerrilla. Nothing more satisfying than being chased by a bunch of federales and using the grappling hook in JCII to shoot a line into their hood and the ground to do a nice, complete with massive explosions!, re-enactment of Terminator III. And being to drive through buildings in a semi in RF:Guerrilla just gives a nice warm fuzzy feeling deep in your heart. BTW if you do get RF you should immediately g

        • by Machtyn (759119)
          Sounds like you might like Serious Sam 3. No hiding behind walls or buildings because the horde of enemy charging at you will bust right through it. And there ain't gon' be no wussy guns either. There may be rails... but the space is supposed to be expansive, and you will have a helicopter (or that's what it looks like in the preview).
        • by sgtrock (191182)

          It's strange. I find myself in total agreement and disagreement at the same time. Part of the difference, I think, is simply that my tastes differ from yours.

          For example, for the past several years my go-to game when I've got an hour to kill is Day of Defeat:Source, a WWII game that started as a player created mod for the Half-Life engine 11 years ago. Strictly multi-player, strictly PvP. Good balance of weapons and solid objectives enforcing good teamwork. Lots and lots and LOTS of player created maps

      • LA Noire is very very different from GTA, Red Dead and their ilk.

        Except for the part where it gett boring part way through.

    • Re:Film industry (Score:5, Insightful)

      by White Flame (1074973) on Friday June 10, 2011 @06:00AM (#36398162)

      Yes, it's the same problem as the film industry: Increased budgets means more money is at risk, meaning you're only allowed to play it safe.

      When you're playing with your own money, you can do whatever you want, either in independent films or independent games, and only need to sell to customers, who desire innovation and fun. If you need to finance your project externally, you need to sell your not-yet-started project to your prospective backers, who desire monetary returns with reduced risks.

      • by Xest (935314)

        It's so short sighted though. This quote from the summary just makes me shake my head:

        "There are those that are content with the status quo because they believe that they have a formula 'that works' and thereâ(TM)s no good reason to risk a major change when they already successful with what theyâ(TM)re doing."

        Isn't this the same industry that's already whining about decreasing revenues and AAA studios whining that innovative new mobile games are a danger to them?

        I don't understand how on one hand

        • by archen (447353)

          It's a cycle that's in a lot of industries. You take a circle of influence with the hardcore dedicated at the center, and people with a passing interest at the edges. Those at the fringes easily tire and drop away and it looks like a drop in sales. Instead of trying to better expand that market, their logic is that they need to do more of what made them successful and further concentrate on that thing. From that point it can go into a death spiral with more and more people losing interest each iteration

      • When you're playing with your own money, you can do whatever you want, either in independent films or independent games, and only need to sell to customers

        Such self-distribution isn't always possible. Some leading video game platforms have middlemen that decide who can and can't develop games for the platform, with a selection process biased toward established companies rather than indie startups. And just avoiding those platforms isn't easy because not all video game genres work well on PCs or smartphones. I can go into more detail if you want.

      • by adisakp (705706)

        Yes, it's the same problem as the film industry: Increased budgets means more money is at risk, meaning you're only allowed to play it safe.

        When you're playing with your own money, you can do whatever you want, either in independent films or independent games, and only need to sell to customers, who desire innovation and fun. If you need to finance your project externally, you need to sell your not-yet-started project to your prospective backers, who desire monetary returns with reduced risks.

        Exactly... plus there is plenty of innovation in the low-development-cost $0.99 games for phones which target a generally non-gaming audience. Games like "Cut the Rope" are quite innovative and seem to have a much broader appeal than just for hard-core gamers. Heck a couple guys in a garage can make a phone game. It requires a studio with at least 100 people and a $20M+ budget (plus another $10-20M for marketing) to make a AAA+ title.

    • by morari (1080535)

      No, it breaks down as soon as filmmakers get bored of it. The audience of both mediums are general drones, interested in consuming only what is popular. The difference in the two mediums being that anyone can grab a camera nowadays and inexpensively make a good film if they have the motivation to do so. It'll play the same as any Hollywood film. The same cannot be said about videogames. The days of small garage-based teams making Doom and Quake are long gone. The indie developers have a lot to offer, but it

  • Back when Ken and Roberta Williams founded Sierra game development was a very different scene from today. (Read Steven Levy's Hackers.)

    Today game development is an industry, employing a huge amount of people. Much like movies, games need to sell for people to pay their expenses and live their lives.

    It's likely that games, like movies, will develop an art scene where things are developed independently or funded by grants beforehand. But the mainstream stuff? Let's just say that the ship has sailed. Apologies

    • by dingen (958134)

      It's likely that games, like movies, will develop an art scene where things are developed independently or funded by grants beforehand.

      That's already happening of course, and on a pretty big scale too. Even mainstream gamers play the occasional indie every once in a while.

  • Where's the equivalent of You Don't Know Jack for modern consoles? Buzz is a good start, but you can do better, I'm sure! Is that too high budget? I'm 34. I play with my wife and sometimes with friends. I PAY for my games. I demand some respect!

    For some reason the expansion of the target audience to 5-50 caused game model ideas to revert to the stone age. It's a greenfield people! It's your next frontier for excellent games. Get to work!

  • ... from a very, very long time ago. It deals with the same topic, but it's much better. So good that I chose to take it as a mantra of my own. Definitely worth reading: link [lib.ru]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RogerWilco (99615)

      It's a bit longwinded, but indeed a very good read. I really liked this part, it gives deep insight and is still true today:

      "But even that isn't enough, you know.... There's talk nowadays
      in publishing circles about a new device for books, called a
      ReadMan. Like a Walkman only you carry it in your hands like
      this.... Has a very nice little graphics screen, theoretically,
      a high-definition thing, very legible.... And you play your
      books on it.... You buy the book as a floppy and you stick it
      in... And just think,

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      20 years is a "very, very long time ago"? You must be very, very young.

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Friday June 10, 2011 @05:35AM (#36398050)

    "Is it because the gaming world has gone too corporate and is no longer exclusive to small teams of genius misfits and creative underdogs"

    While its true you have large corporations producing last year's games with better graphics, you shouldn't discount the indie scene.

    I got the last humble bundle (and the ones before that) and its amazing how fun and different certain game concepts are. Support smaller developers who you feel are creative enough for your likes, and the industry will get better. If everyone keeps buying 'generic shooter with better graphics VII', then the industry will churn out more of those.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I didn't even hear about the last humble bundle... and I bought the previous two. Asked about it and got some crap about spam but it wasn't there of course.

    • Support smaller developers who you feel are creative enough for your likes

      If I remember correctly, the Humble Indie Bundles are PC-only, but not every gamer is a PC gamer, and not all game concepts work well on PCs. How do you recommend that such "smaller developers who you feel are creative enough" get their products past the middlemen [slashdot.org] and in front of the audience?

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        If I remember correctly, the Humble Indie Bundles are PC-only, but not every gamer is a PC gamer, and not all game concepts work well on PCs. How do you recommend that such "smaller developers who you feel are creative enough" get their products past the middlemen and in front of the audience

        Well, there are two types of gamers left - console and phone. For the console, the only legit development channel for non-established devs is the Xbox Live Indie Arcade, which is $99/year and subject to community approv

        • I'm trying to build a business plan here, so please bear with me.

          For the console, the only legit development channel for non-established devs is the Xbox Live Indie Arcade

          So let's assume I can come up with $1,175 for this ($399 for a PC newer than mine, $299 for an Xbox 360 with a hard drive, and $159 per year times 3 years for App Hub and Xbox Live Gold). Now how do I translate an existing game's game logic to C# or another language supported by XNA (notably, standard C++ is not supported) so that I can write a new graphics engine for it? Or should all games designed for Xbox Live Indie Games be designed from

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday June 10, 2011 @05:35AM (#36398054)

    [W]hy is it that game developers are beginning to drown in a culture of fear, or more specifically, a fear of change?

    Because the average AAA game development budget is now eight figures. Next question?

    • by Deus.1.01 (946808)

      Thats the jist of it, but there is a reason why the budgets are so bloated, its because they think a game wont sell unless it includes a full feature Hollywood piece.
      Its been detrimental to gameplay, because they dont trust in niches and genres to bring multi million sales, Its all about accessibility's now, homogeneous soup to tap into every possible market and they try to make it up with cinematic content.

      "Button -> Awsome"

    • Insomniac Games is no stranger to money.

  • When it comes down to it, it's the money. That's it.
    And I don't necessarily mean it's about the big companies wanting to turn over a $billion on their latest iteration of some regurgitated franchise with non-inventive gameplay or anything like that.
    But even us Indie devs... we WANT to make innovative, new, fantastic games that push the very boundaries of what one perceives as a "video game", but we're bogged down by the one thing - money.

    We have the technical skill, many have the experiential drive and kno

  • I didn't get the impression those guys drowned in a culture of fear, considering the topics they tackled and the approach they took with the story.
    • GG in au gave it a pretty mediocre 7, IIRC, for exactly the reasons in TFA: formulaic, relying of bells and whistles over good character development... the usual AAA f-ups. just another soliders with guns game, just based on the ludicrous premise of a starving third world nation becoming a superpower. Nazis with dinosaurs make more sense.

  • Lets do something constructive, list of Indie games which 'aim higher' or whatever. Just to give each other/interested people a few interesting games to play which aren't the generic mass produced things.

    Who wants to start us off?

    • by daid303 (843777) on Friday June 10, 2011 @06:12AM (#36398204)

      http://db.tigsource.com/ [tigsource.com]

      You are welcome.

      • by RogerWilco (99615)

        http://db.tigsource.com/ [tigsource.com]

        You are welcome.

        Oh, nice website. It indeed already has all the games I would mention.

        It also shows the problem with Indie games: Overall they are quite limited. Minecraft is nr2 on their Top List, and that's still in Beta. It's very ambitious for an Indie game and I really like it, because it's different.

        I'm not saying some of those games aren't great fun. I think they are. But it also shows that in today's game market people you need a level of perfection and an amount of content and art quality that is very hard to achi

        • by daid303 (843777)

          Oh, nice website. It indeed already has all the games I would mention.

          It also shows the problem with Indie games: Overall they are quite limited. Minecraft is nr2 on their Top List, and that's still in Beta. It's very ambitious for an Indie game and I really like it, because it's different.

          I'm not saying some of those games aren't great fun. I think they are. But it also shows that in today's game market people you need a level of perfection and an amount of content and art quality that is very hard to achieve alone or with a small team. If you want to reach the masses that is. It's amazing what such Indie developers can accomplish with the limited resources they have. But it also shows that there is a difference in scale compared to something like Blizzard.

          The nr1 on the top list is Cave Story. A platform game with quite good and simple pixel graphics, all made by a single person. To get success in the indie market you don't need huge amount of content and art quality. You'll need a solid game.

          And, there are loads and loads more indiegames then in the tigsource db, those are just the most noticeable. If you want more indie (smaller scale), head for the feedback forum: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?board=6.0 [tigsource.com] where people show off finished and unfinishe

          • To get success in the indie market you don't need huge amount of content and art quality. You'll need a solid game.

            "Nice solid game you got there. I watched the video, and now I'm interested. Too bad it's only for PC and Mac. If you made it for the Wii or PS3, I'd buy a copy. No wait, you can't, because Nintendo and Sony won't let you." What do you recommend for a developer in this position?

    • I've been checking in on Play This Thing [playthisthing.com] on and off for years. A lot of what they find is very odd, very small, and often pointless, but it's more than worth a look.

      They also bring out indie tabletop games (cards, board, etc) about once a week.

  • by jamesh (87723) on Friday June 10, 2011 @06:03AM (#36398180)

    Headshot!

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Friday June 10, 2011 @06:26AM (#36398246) Homepage

    the presentation of artwork, hiring of actors for 3D modelling and the massive development means that the average 3D game costs around $8 million. if users expect games to be of this standard, anyone expecting an independent team to develop something that's "competitive" is pissing in the wind. about the only possible hope is a free software massively collaborative effort, based around existing work and engines, such as WorldForge for MMORGs or the Quake or Doom 3D engines for 3D games.

    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      about the only possible hope is a free software massively collaborative effort, based around existing work and engines,

      I don't think this is going to happen. Any such community will fracture, because people feel passionately about game content. It might work to develop a half decent engine, or maintain and expand one. But it's not going to work to build something on the scale of World of Warcraft, the project would go down in arguing.

      • by lkcl (517947)

        it has actually happened. look up the games "cyphesis", "wesnoth" and, to a lesser extent, "bzflag".

  • What strikes me as odd is when people complain how things used to be great and how it used to be so good back way back when...

    Except when they start mentioning the old hits, the classics, they don't seem to understand that in the years that those games/movies/music/etc came out, there was a dozen crappy counter examples. TV has gotten much better, but that is the exception, not the rule.

  • by fistynuts (457323) on Friday June 10, 2011 @07:45AM (#36398570)

    ..it's the publishers. Most publishers will only play it safe, sticking to established brands and themes. I'm sure there are a hell of a lot of game dev studios out there with great game ideas, but what's the point if no-one will publish it?

    Playing devil's advocate, perhaps the publishers have a point. Today's game-buying community loves franchises (FIFA, Final Fantasy, Mario, Zelda), loves playing the same game over and over again (CoD) and virtually ignores great new games (Enslaved, Bayonetta).

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Thankfully in the age of digital distribution, publishers will matter less and less. They're more like venture capitalists than publishers nowadays, but stuff like Steam, GoG, etc. makes it easy for a small studio to self-publish and put out something interesting without having to kowtow to some idiot in marketing who wants you to up the cup size of the female lead to a FF.

    • by Artemis3 (85734)

      Publishers to developers, are like labels to musicians. They need a product to sell, they don't like risks and you become slave. They rather not try "too different" until somebody else in the industry had.

      Like some musicians, who think without labels (and their controlled promotion/distribution channels) they can't never succeed, some developers think they need the publishers, to hold an 8 figure project of pretty graphics and very non challenging repetitive game play.

      Most sales are related to consoles, and

  • And yet... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phydeaux314 (866996) on Friday June 10, 2011 @08:33AM (#36398854) Homepage

    ...I find games are better than they've ever been - whether or not they're doing something new. They're more accessible, more immersive, better-written, with a more in-depth and convincing set of stories. Innovative gameplay quirks, while fun, aren't the point of video games any more. We've come a long way from "Come up with a new mechanic, write a paragraph justification in a manual, sell for $10" that was around twenty years ago.

    Now, games are about telling stories or creating a world. Look at the Halo series, the Half-Life series, the Mass Effect series, the recent Modern Warfare games. You have games as a medium to tell a story now, and an interactive one at that. I vastly prefer a re-used gameplay mechanic to tell an interesting and original tale with believable characters to a beautiful mechanic with nothing to keep me interested beyond the thirty minutes of "Huh, that's cool."

    • by dskzero (960168)
      I'd rather have interesting mechanics with so-so tales. You know, because an interesting plot won't force me through a game, but an interesting gameplay will make me ignore the plot. Unless you're one of the Halo generation. No offense, there are different opinions.
  • I am currently starting my own independent game company. If you tell all the big players what they are doing wrong and how to do it better, my chances for success will drop drastically. Sure I could then just go and work for them and get my ideas published anyway, but I don't see any downside to letting major labels die in puddle of their own mediocrity and letting small new startups pick up the slack.
  • "[W]hy is it that game developers are beginning to drown in a culture of fear, or more specifically, a fear of change? Is it because the gaming world has gone too corporate and is no longer exclusive to small teams of genius misfits and creative underdogs?

    Indirectly, yes. Mostly this is because EA can afford the impact of warezers, whereas indies cannot.

  • While you're at it, can you please develop a creative new Facebook game ideas as well? It seems that almost every Facebook game out there is a variation of farming game. They all give you X number of energy points to do something, and then require you to show up every X hours to collect something or risk losing it.

    Yeah, Yeah... I should be ashamed at myself for even trying these games out. I know, I know.

    • by daid303 (843777)

      Those games have been around a lot longer then facebook, loads of webgames use the same mechanics. It's something about doing something and getting a reward that triggers an addictive reaction or something like that. In any case, doesn't work on me.

  • If you're developing some flash game out of your basement, it's easy to take risks and try something new. But if you've got a budget in the millions of dollars - where a sales disaster could put the company under - it's a lot harder to stray too far from the audience's expectations. Much like the movie industry.

  • Got that right, I do flash gaming for a living but only because I don't get to choose the technology. If I had my choice unity would certainly be it.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Friday June 10, 2011 @09:45AM (#36399606)

    I can't believe that someone from Insomniac Games, who has worked on what... 3 series (total) over their 15 year existence... is commenting on innovation.

    They were the developer of the first 3 Spyro the Dragon for the PlayStation, 8 of the Ratchet & Clank titles (the eighth being All 4 One, due out this year), and 3 Resistance games (number 3 due out this year or next year).

    I don't know about Resistance, but the other two series are notable for introducing 1-2 new gimmicks in each new game rather than real innovation.

    • by Gravatron (716477)
      Wait, you mean 7 ratchet and clanks, they didn't make Size Matters. They have tried to do some interesting things that don't boil down to gimmicks with the series, but it has stayed true to the formula, save for perhaps deadlock.

      Resistance, I dunno. It's an FPS, but the weapons opened up some interesting play styles, and the coop in 2 was quite interesting.
      • Wait, you mean 7 ratchet and clanks, they didn't make Size Matters.

        No, I mean 8:
        Ratchet & Clank
        Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
        Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
        Ratchet: Deadlocked
        Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
        Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
        Ratchet & Clank Future: Crack in Time
        Ratchet & Clank Future: All 4 One

  • I think this is a case of looking on the past with rose-colored glasses. Of course it seems that the industry used to produce more interesting and innovative games, as the innovative and interesting ones are the only ones you remember; the rest have long been forgotten/sold/thrown away, etc. Trust me, shovelware mass-produced crap has always been a large part of the computer gaming industry. I really don't think the problem is getting any worse.

  • Gotta love slashdot. Defending downloading and playing games without paying for them and then having the nerve to complain that game developers aren't putting any money into developing innovative titles.
  • Seriously. How many games have you bought in the last 12 months?
    This is a problem where an industry eats itself.

    Gamers have gone nuts. One of my neighbors lent us their Wii. Yeah, I know, I'm probably one of the only people in the country that doesn't have one. They asked, and I said OK. So they brought over this huge basket of stuff. Controllers, guitar, skateboard, and a slew of at least a dozen games. There were like 5 variations of "rock band". We had fun with it, mainly playing the sports game

  • If you're really interested in where the edges of the industry are being expanded, I suggest checking out the guys at GamersWithJobs.com, especially their weekly podcast. It's the best roundup (on a regular basis, even!) of the industry, with a slant towards this type of non-generic gaming. They also come at it like many of us probably do: slightly older gamers ("alpha gamers") who have been playing since the late 80s/early 90s, and who are as much interested in as they are concerned by the commercial evolu
  • Aiming higher is tough at $0.99. Although the future of gaming seems to be that the first one is almost free, but items cost money.

    Looking ahead, what's coming? Visuals can continue to improve, but the limitation is the art budget.Movies can now have full photorealism. It just costs upwards of $30 million per hour of screen time. Crowdsourcing? Visit Second Life. Not that many people have the talent to do good art. Also, you need art direction to get a consistent look.

    The big revolution in recent year

  • I am an indie developer myself. I develop without any regard of publishing. If the idea goes OK with my target audience, I just need to code it.

    Likewise, many of my fellow indie devs aren't constrained by market studies, publisher input, or anything except direct consumer suggestions or even fixes.

    Games in the "industry" are too regulated and expensive to allow such freedom. Look at some open dev diaries from pros, and you will find a lot of "this feature was added/removed because of something our publisher

  • Halo 4, Call of Duty 7, EA War Shoot Kill Securom Crysis of Duty 2011 Episode 3000! Look at how high those numbers are!

    The sad truth is that's what people want -- utter shit -- and as for-profit companies they're obliged to make it.

  • You've got the indies producing all kinds of games, you have social games, big budget games, mmos, varying price points for whatever you budget can handle and more games, and different types of games, available than ever before.

  • There are more choices than ever. If you don't like what's coming out of the big corporate game companies, then don't purchase from them. The internet allows everyone to become a distributor. There are plenty of small indie developers with widely varying gameplay. Some of it is crap. Some is awesome.

Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.

Working...