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S4ur0n27
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Dragon Age 2 demo depresses me a lot.

Dragon Age Origins wasn't a great game, but it's what reminds me the most of Baldur's Gate, althought it's much thinner.

I miss so much isometric RPGs, interesting stories with mature stuff(mature themes, story twists and writing, not "sex scenes"), amd good but not necessarily voiced dialogues.
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Fuck Dragon Age Origins!

Reminded me of those shitty George Martin books that I read. You know, that fat old fucker who can't seem to finish his series and is creaming over the fact that his books made it to FailBO. Just the fact that FailBO took an interest in his books should be enough!
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Watched Burger's interview via CN after having pushed it back some times and I ended up enjoying it a lot more than the Fargo & Cain interviews Poops or Koc posted in the news but then Heineman is a lot better interviewee than either of those (not to mention a better compliment to the "shy" interviewer). If you haven't yet, do watch. Becky's a real trooper. salute

Anyways ended up at Gamasutra reading an interview* with some Bioware hoagie (*read ego stroking / rec room convo if you know wahmeen) but whereas the "interview" was shit, there were a couple comments that deserve some mention IMO.

Quote:
I believe there's only so far you can go with dropping RPG features in favor of the admittedly more visceral CoD-like experience before it's no longer an RPG, and calling it that can only feel deceptive to the gamers who bought the game expecting the thoughtful RPG experience.

In other words, if BioWare want to get away from making RPGs, that's fine... but a respect for truth in advertising should compel them to stop marketing those games as "Role-Playing Games."

This was one of the most annoying things about ME2. I mean, really how different is it from the standard 3rd Person Shooter?

Quote:
In short... I will never buy a Bioware game again.

The reason, I am not sure that the designers there know how to make a complete RPG. What am I saying?: Try playing any of their previous games BUT don't ever use a fighter type character. The player simply cannot complete the game this way, but only finding out this fact after 40 hours of play. What is worse, if the player simply adds a fighter to their group, these games become trivial. Some character types are clearly second-class citizens in the land of Bioware, only there to provide support for the meat-heads.

I believe the problem to be their trend to the "10: Press A, 20: goto 10" method of game play, opting for simple mechanics to appeal to a broader audience. While I agree that developing a complete gameplay experience for magic users is way more complex than for a fighter, that is no excuse. I don't think that if all the character types can play the lead, the game can't be called an RPG. (I can't play the role I wish to)

After playing the demo for DA2, I am convinced that this game is simply mortal combat with the ability to roam around the world. I guess that the need for complex thought in a RPG is going the way of the dinosaur and replaced with "A-A ... Powerup ... B-A-Up ... Combo ... B-X-Down ... Combo ... Headshot"

If anybody from Bioware reads this, please add random encounters and test the game with all combinations of characters (without a fighter to start). If I wanted to press the same button repeatedly for 8 hours for obviously limited and prescribed events, I would get a job in data entry.

Or play some mumorpager. Then again the data entry job might be more fun than that.

Quote:
The least satisfying thing about DA:O to me was BioWare simply cloning generic MMORPG rules -- right down to aggro management, cooldown timers and buffs/debuffs -- instead of designing gameplay that directly fits the unique world that BioWare is rightly proud of having created.

For them to (let's use the polite word) simplify DA2 even further from a rich set of distinctive RPG actions, as they did when moving from Mass Effect to ME2... well. Purely as a matter of personal taste, that will leave me thinking that DA3 is not worth buying.

(Side note: as I've said before, the MMORPGification of gameplay in DA:O makes me think that the games in the Dragon Age franchise are actually just marketing for the MMORPG that EA really wants BioWare to develop, just as Blizzard created Warcraft 3 to pave the way for the long-term moneymaker that is WoW. We'll see.)

Let me recall my DA:O experience... Boring? Check. Repetitive? Check. Bad/Absent Story? Check. Grindtastic? Check. No challenge curve? (as in it doesn't get easier as your character gets more powerful or harder as you face more powerful enemies) Check. Faux choices? (as in "what spell will I use to kill this enemy?" instead of "do I kill him? Do I make him an ally? Ignore him, even?") Check. Crap. Now I know why I stopped playing it.

DA:O is effectively a single player MMORPG.

Bidonware, you sneaky fucks.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Cimmerian Nights wrote:
Really the indy shit is the only hope.

The industry is becoming a victim of it's own success. Just like every Hollywood movie has to be a remake/sequel/comic book/old sit-com/japanese horror movie formulaic crapfest to turn a profit, so it seems that gaming follows the same path. (...)


I guess comparing two entertainment industries is fair enough. Only I'd argue the games industry to be a fair bit worse off than the movies.

I mean for every ten Hollywood movies you ignore, the eleventh is usually decent enough and even if it isn't, you got auteur movies around, you got foreign films, you got international collaborations, you got plenty to choose from from within the 10k$indie-----------------100M$Hollywood spectrum.

Why doesn't anyone seem to think that kind of thing is feasible in games? Why can't you have a Troika or a Nival (of Silent Storm fame) that make an average production value game that is smart enough to get the good graces of a specific part of the critic and eventually find its niche through intelligent marketing (if there is such a thing) and still manage to turn a profit??? Does every producer in the game world mandatorily need to go "It's either AAA or bust"??

Maybe gaming grew up too fast.

At this point I'm not sure that the consumer needs a gaming industry at all, at least not in this fashion. Goes without saying I could do without. And I reckon with a little more info and a better knowledge of history even most of the crowd that's the raison d'etre for the industry could, as well. It's happening with music. Why not games?
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Haris
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You guys should try Super Street Fighter 4 when played online. Thats the only game i have honest fun with in the last 5 years. Allmost all other games i finished i was just waiting for it to end so i can move on with something else.

Streetfighter 4 so far 130 hours played and still i want to play alot more. Its the most fun i had since counter strike first came.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

that's great haris smile
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Cimmerian Nights
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tofu Man wrote:

Bidonware, you sneaky fucks.

I don't know, I don't hold a lot of contempt for Bioware because I don't hold them to a very high standard. Having jumped on board when Baldur's Gate originally came out, I've always kind of accepted that they do more action adventure type stuff than hardcore RPGs. It's what they always done, and that's the best they can do and everybody should know that by now. They could be a lot worse...

Bethesda however takes disingenuous bullshit to entirely new levels and took a pretty respectable RPG franchise (well two if you count Fallout) and have successively dumbed it down and whored it out with some of the most stupefying design decisions and bullshit PR excuses and strokejobs I've ever witnessed.
Quote:

I mean for every ten Hollywood movies you ignore, the eleventh is usually decent enough and even if it isn't, you got auteur movies around, you got foreign films, you got international collaborations, you got plenty to choose from from within the 10k$indie-----------------100M$Hollywood spectrum.

And it was almost as if PC gaming would be that bastion, and it has been in a sense. The lack of viable choice and alternative now is pretty thin these days.

Quote:
Why doesn't anyone seem to think that kind of thing is feasible in games? Why can't you have a Troika or a Nival (of Silent Storm fame) that make an average production value game that is smart enough to get the good graces of a specific part of the critic and eventually find its niche through intelligent marketing (if there is such a thing) and still manage to turn a profit??? Does every producer in the game world mandatorily need to go "It's either AAA or bust"??

Troika couldn't cope with the realities of running a business and satisfying publishers. From a design standpoint, their only flaw was bugginess/rushed things/unpolished-ness which was them being pressured to put a box on the shelf for the holiday season.

I think the sad thing is, even from a business standpoint, sometimes these bottom-line driven approaches can still produce good games.
Games like PS:T and Fallout turned a profit, and you can still have your BGIIs and IWD cash cows.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tofu Man wrote:


DA:O is effectively a single player MMORPG.


Then why do I find some MMO's waaaay cooler than that shit?
I think it's more than not being single player. icon_wink

Gimp Mask wrote:
that's great haris smile


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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Cimmerian Nights wrote:
I don't know, I don't hold a lot of contempt for Bioware because I don't hold them to a very high standard.(...)

I know it might seem like I do but I don't. I'll tell anyone who asks that I'd ten times rather have Obsidian's buggy/unpolished/rushed takes on their property than any of their originals.

Being associated with EA aside, really, my biggest gripe with bioware is one of definition. It's them/their fanboys/their PR calling their games RPGs when they're not. I mean isn't Dragon Age closer to Diablo than it is to Fallout? Isn't Mass Effect closer to say, GTA IV than to VtmB?? Do people consider either Diablo or GTA IV RPGs?

DA:O/2 and Mass Effect 1/2 should be the de facto standard of the action title, not the RPG. If current action titles are that deficient in story/plot/character terms (and if the audience actually wants that) then it's a problem that should be adressed by people who make action titles and not by the people who're supposed to be making the RPGs.

At least that's my take on it. I reckon Fallout, PS:T, VtmB and to an extent (to the extent that I haven't played around with it enough) SS2 aside, I can't really say I've played any other real RPGs. If people consider a game a RPG just because there's an actual plot or because there's swords and dragons and shit, then I'm sorry but that's not my definition of RPG. More often than not, that ends up being my definition of a game whose gameplay's crap (see Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit, DA:O etc).


As for Bethesda, you said it all. I'd add that with that lot, at least you get some entertainment out of their braindead posse (BTW the fuck happened to twinkie? The hell are we paying you for, boy?).

Cimmerian Nights wrote:
I think the sad thing is, even from a business standpoint, sometimes these bottom-line driven approaches can still produce good games.

Sadder still, when you watch that Burger interview and you realize that people (well, some of them at least) in the industry not only know that, but are quick to realize what was it that burst the bubble
Quote:
(...)was that Interplay's greatest contribution to the gaming world was that we took risks. We came up with a lot of games that no one would touch because they were so off the wall -- like Tass Times in Tonetown, I mean, who in the hell would come up with that and actually ship it? We did!(...)

yet are willing to bet $Millions on a crap licensed game, some shitty sequel or some AAA knock-off and not
Cimmerian Nights wrote:
(...)Games like PS:T and Fallout turned a profit, and you can still have your BGIIs and IWD cash cows.

So why the hell not? I mean, you and I both saw Burger light up when Matt asked her what game she'd like to be doing, right? Tell you what let's kidnap her and Fargo and lock 'em in a room along with Cain and why the fuck not, Avellone and Urquhart and tell them they're not leaving until they've agreed on making (a PC exclusive) Wasteland 2. icon_wink
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Stalagmite wrote:
Then why do I find some MMO's waaaay cooler than that shit?
I think it's more than not being single player. icon_wink


So you're asking me why you think there're MMOs better than DA:O? As far as I'm concerned, there aren't. And in case I wasn't clear enough, I thought DA:O was arse, but I find MMOs are inherently trite. Kash and Denis (IIRC) already gave you plenty of reasons why.

If you're making the point that it's fun with friends, then alright, but i'd still rather have those friends over for brew and watch a game of footie or play some pro evo or some shit.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
It's them/their fanboys/their PR calling their games RPGs when they're not. I mean isn't Dragon Age closer to Diablo than it is to Fallout? Isn't Mass Effect closer to say, GTA IV than to VtmB?? Do people consider either Diablo or GTA IV RPGs?

Yeah, I never held them to any kind of high standard, and to me, they are kind of a baseline, middle of the road for RPGs. Nothing more, at least they get some shit right. I don't really follow their development at all.

I do think Black Isle's (Fargo's?) use of the Infinity Engine was a brilliant business model for the bottom line and for fans. (Not that I'm saying it was a great engine or anything.)

They coded the engine and packaged it 3 ways as

-A middle of the road adventure/RPG - BG, BG2
-a cash-cow, hack-n-slash Diablo competitor in Icewind Dale
-a quirky, philosophical, text intensive RPG for the hardcore crowd in PS:T.

I'm not saying that IE in and of itself was any good, just the fact that they had the wherewithal to take it in three different directions in an attempt to reach three different audiences, instead of deluding themselves into thinking they can cater to everyone (even non-RPG fans) by making the same grey TES or MAdden 200X over and over again.
I think in the case of IE, it was win-win for everybody (flaws of IE notwithstanding, please lets not go there).

It is a really rough sell though when you start out under the assumption that a game "isn't for everybody" or inaccessible due to attention span/literacy issues like Torment vs. say an "RPG" like Fable.

And you have the bigger gains from the mainstream games to offset the chances you could take with off-beat stuff like Planescape (and their "B Titles" like Fallout was considered icon_razz). Burger made the case for why this doesn't happen and the resulting "stifling of creativity", the gameplay innovation has to come from somewhere, because most of the only innovation we get are shallow marketing buzzwords graphical shit that only advance the visuals while everything else stays the same. It surprises how much games like FPS and platformers are still essentially the same shit over and over again with just a different IP slapped on it.

I think Fargo touched on this in his MattChat interview, that while Interplay came out with a lot of really innovative, off-beat, quirky stuff that nobody else would do, they ultimately failed financially because they didn't have that flagship, cash-cow franchise like others to subsidize the rest. That's really their fault since they did posses some worthwhile licenses (Star Trek, D&D, LoTR ???) and came up with some great ones of their own.

I don't really give a shit how great the cutscenes and bloom and number of pixel shaders or whatever the fuck Deus Ex 3 will have. If it doesn't have some semblance of the gameplay, it's just a name on the box to entice suckers.

/apologies for any hungover Sunday incoherence

Quote:
So why the hell not? I mean, you and I both saw Burger light up when Matt asked her what game she'd like to be doing, right? Tell you what let's kidnap her and Fargo and lock 'em in a room along with Cain and why the fuck not, Avellone and Urquhart and tell them they're not leaving until they've agreed on making (a PC exclusive) Wasteland 2. icon_wink

"Slam Dunk"
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tofu Man wrote:
Stalagmite wrote:
Then why do I find some MMO's waaaay cooler than that shit?
I think it's more than not being single player. icon_wink


So you're asking me why you think there're MMOs better than DA:O? As far as I'm concerned, there aren't. And in case I wasn't clear enough, I thought DA:O was arse, but I find MMOs are inherently trite. Kash and Denis (IIRC) already gave you plenty of reasons why.


You're entitled to your opinion of course, I just ask you don't base all MMO's on WoW. I got bored and tested out a few free to play ones and I found a few quite addictive.

Quote:
If you're making the point that it's fun with friends, then alright, but i'd still rather have those friends over for brew and watch a game of footie or play some pro evo or some shit.


I usually go solo when I can, I find the other players are good for buying the crap you make at auctions and trading.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Cimmerian Nights wrote:
(...)I think in the case of IE, it was win-win for everybody (flaws of IE notwithstanding, please lets not go there).

No, I get what you're saying (and I'll assume ignorance towards the virtues or faults of IE).

Basically set yourself up for 3 games under the same licensed engine, one to pay the bills, one solid AAA piece to make a market statement and to strenghten the ranks of your fans and a more experimental piece where you aim for the heart, where you try out new concepts (and I'm totally with you when you ask for ACTUAL innovation rather than just some new meaningless graphical bell/whistle), as you push the boundaries in the medium, essentially figuring out what the next slew of your titles could do with or without.

I reckon it pretty unsurprising that the titles that people tend to remember past the game's natural shelf life usually happen to be the third type of title you mention, and that that's what anyone involved in making games should aspire to create, at least if they take their medium as seriously as the people that defend that games should be considered art (not that I do).

Sounds like sound (pardon the pun) bussiness sense to me, at least with some of those guys backing the model up. Surely some of them have not only the necessary backdrop in the trade as well as the initial cash flow (shit, last I heard Carmack was building rocketships or some crap) to support a plan like this, so why don't they? (See, this is the type of question I'd like to see that Matt guy ask smile)


Does every single company need to operate on an EA basis, where the only risk you take comes under the form of the relatively tame (but still good fun to play) Mirror's Edge and that only when backed up by tens and tens of cookie cutter bullshit games? BTW if anyone cares, the sequel to M'sE got shit-canned, or postponed indefinetly or somesuch.

Cimmerian Nights wrote:
I don't really give a shit how great the cutscenes and bloom and number of pixel shaders or whatever the fuck Deus Ex 3 will have. If it doesn't have some semblance of the gameplay, it's just a name on the box to entice suckers.

Yep, and I think you found a perfect example in Deus Ex (the original, not any of the sequels) of a game that'd benefit of the system you propose. I'd say that with the current bussiness model Deus Ex would have never been made, but that is obvious enough when nothing since that was made has ever come close to it. The game's still heralded as one of the best of all time for a reason, and that's not that it was good, but that everything that came after it (especially its rather ridiculous sequel) was utter shite.

Quote:
/apologies for any hungover Sunday incoherence

Mate, this is DaC you're posting on. Hungover or otherwise, amidst the sea of Blargh, (icon_drunk zinger alert) you're still easily the most (the only?icon_crazy) coherent guy here.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Stalagmite wrote:
You're entitled to your opinion of course, I just ask you don't base all MMO's on WoW. I got bored and tested out a few free to play ones and I found a few quite addictive.

Then shoot, mate. I've already admitted to being strongly biased against any and all MMOs but if you still think you've got something that'll change my mind then out with it. Oh and I'm extremely cheap so take that in mind that you don't suggest something that'll have me pay 120$ for it in a span of 12 months rather than 40 all at once.

On a second note (and I've never played WoW or any other MMORPG for that matter) isn't WoW popular precisely because it is better than the rest?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I completely agree with you Tofu.
Games are made for simpler minds today.
Chris Hocker of Fucker or what ever his last name is (one of the lead developers of Spore) said he simply thought Will Wrights version of spore was to complicated for ordinary gamers and doubted their interest in all the sciency stuff.

Now that's not a FPS but it still illustrates the sad state of the gaming industry.
Then again when you see people swallowing a mouthful of Downloadable Content in terms of not only maps but "items", "skins for items" and soon to be "skins for dicks" not to mention name changes, sex changes, world changes and so forth it's easy to see why making useless crap and fancy pancy stuff is better than the more costly level design that takes time and money to beta and alpha test.


As long as people are simple enough to buy shit like Modern Warfare 2 game developers will try to catch that croud since selling to them is cheaper than selling to us.


But there will always be companies concentrating on our part of the market to.


About MMORPGS: Clearly playing against and with other players adds additional content not possible in a singleplayer RPG. If the community or the people you play with are remotely interesting it adds alot to the game.

Few singleplayer games have free-form dialouge where you can ask questions and hope to get answers. (Fallout tried it but it didn't work very well). In a MMORPG with free-pvp the amount of trechery you can commit, the contracts and diplomatic connection you can make and the friends you can find through the obviously unlimited supply of conversation topics and words in general is staggering. Not to mention - killing anyone in the game doesn't break it icon_dance

I don't like button bashing at all but then again most singleplayer games are button bashing to. At least those rpgs in real time.
MMORPG wise they are trying to develop new ways to play the games but the really biggest hindrance are all the cheaters and generally people with so much free time that they can outcompete and outdo anyone and then act like complete assholes, projecting their lonely and fucked up rl lives onto others. Or they might end up doing this: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/news200605wowbaby
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

CN's idea about "three-way" between a cash cow, in-between and proggressive piece sounds pretty interesting. Never really gave it any thought, but now it's making a lot of sense. Too bad these days game developers have dropped the proggressive pieces completely (it's all up to indie devs) and even the middle-of-the-road ones are becoming rarer and rarer. The big buck only cares about cash cows and that is sad.

But, then again, I've always tried to compare gaming industry to movie industry. Movies are quite an old art / media form when compared to games. About five years ago gaming passed the same borderstone as films had passed in the 1920's. They became a real mainstream, multi-million market phenomenon. Since the 1920's the movie industry has had time to develope, to refine its products and churn out a few gems every now and then. The gaming industry is lagging eight decades behind! TES: Oblivion's, DA:O's and Call of Duty's 1920's film equivelants were flicks like Singing Fool, Robin Hood and Jazz Singer. Sure they made a big buck. Sure they have been called cornerstones of film making by some. But do people really rate them as greatest movies (games) of all time in retrospect? Hell, no. So, give it some time -- time to mature and develope as an industry.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That seems like a hell of a philosophy from someone who writes off all MMO's as shit.
There's no growing potential there of course, riiiiight.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think St. Toxic's household appliance metaphor fits pretty well in here: toasters are pretty fun and neat for their purpose, but it would really suck if your weed was just full of toasters. So, if all games become alike we're worse off than if they had variety and different purposes and were aimed for different people. Yes, it's good that certain appliances are developed further, even that they get 'hybrid' elements of doing the work of other appliances as well, but this shouldn't still lead to a situation where you're trying to make a phone call or wash your hair with a toaster. If MMOs were appliances they were probably something like butt-plugs - very enjoyable to some, no denying it, but then there's the rest of us who can't understand why anyone would voluntarily stick a piece of rubber up their ass. No matter what the latest upgrade in the scene is.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Kash, your post made me laugh; also, I agree with it.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Kashluk wrote:
CN's idea about "three-way" between a cash cow, in-between and proggressive piece sounds pretty interesting. Never really gave it any thought, but now it's making a lot of sense. Too bad these days game developers have dropped the proggressive pieces completely (it's all up to indie devs) and even the middle-of-the-road ones are becoming rarer and rarer. The big buck only cares about cash cows and that is sad.

I couldn't really say that Interplay did such a thing intentionally, I think it just worked out that way, and rather well, whether they meant to or not. I think that's a business model that bears looking at, it has the potential to serve everyone, gamers, investors, designers etc.

Compared to another industry like cars. Dodge's bread and butter is minivans and trucks - they're all over the road. But they're product line spans the spectrum for there to high performance muscle cars - Challengers, Chargers, Magnums, SRT-10s, Vipers all that ridiculous stuff. The trucks and minivans are high sales volume, utilitarian, multi-purpose vehicles that appeal to a broad market. But the Challengers/Vipers appeal to a very narrow market, are totally impractical, frivolous, but even if they are not as practical, server to strengthen the brand and it's image overall. They make hardly any of the high-end ones, and I can't imagine the manufacturer makes that much on Vipers. When somebody walks into a Dodge dealer, they all go "ooo can I see the Viper?, not "hey where's the new Caravan?".

There's got to be a way where the cash-cow, flagship product can subsidize more experimental, innovative, off-beat stuff without it being too much of a drag on the bottom line. But, I guess that would be a tough sell to execs when you could just put in minimal effort and just pump out Barbie Lego Batman WWE Smackdown #347.



I like the toaster analogy. I don't usually buy games from storefronts, but I'll pop into an EB or Gamestop from time to time to see what they have used. Anyway, the PC section used to be like half of the store, and now it's slowly dwindled to like one dusty fucking shelf. They have coming soon/pre-order displays with empty boxes all over the store that are bigger. WTF.
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