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 The Rise and Fall of Interplay View next topic
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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

[ Company -> Article ] - More info on Company: Interplay

This is a few months old now and I'm not sure if it's been posted before, but....

There's a good Youtube documentary about the rise and fall of Interplay. Have a look:

Part 1: Meteoric Rise

Part 2: Meteoric Crash

Part 3: Life in the Crater

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POOPERSCOOPER
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good news post, these videos are interesting and the guy who voices them sounds familiar.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

He left a lot of the information about Bethesda having their asses handed to them in court.
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St. Toxic
Haha you're still not there yet
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

And no mention of Troika. icon_chew
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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I never realized how much of a sinking ship Herve Caen took on. I knew Fargo made some very bad decisions, but it seems he really bled the place dry.


Last edited by King of Creation on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cimmerian Nights
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Nice find. Pre-Herve Interplay always gave me good vibes. Bard's Tale I can remember playing as a kid, got BGI when it first came out. Good synopsis from what I've seen so far.

It is kind of lame how an innovative, risk-taking group like that tanked while studios and publishers that pump out profitable yet forgetttable rubbish flourish.

Real bummer how some of the great, prolific developers early on just dried up. Especially SSI and Microprose.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I miss Microprose. Mechwarrior 3 is one of my favorite games, and with the exception of making every mech effectively an omnimech it was an incredibly awesome Battletech game.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Do the rocket!
Also, shame about E Jim. Much better character than 99% of the Marios out there.

SenisterDenister wrote:
I miss Microprose.

I'd say the same. Yet, looking at what they put out it'd seem that what I most miss isn't Microprose, but Sid's games. Either way, GP2, Civs, Pirates, Dark Earth, SotS... there're a lot of good games in there.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Are you kidding me? Master of Orion, Mechwarrior, Mechcommander, and X-Com justified all of it.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I do miss Microprose in its entirety. I just said that out of their games, the ones I liked the most involved Sid. SotS, Covert and Pirates, to be precise.
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Cimmerian Nights
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sid Meier is great, I find myself firing up Gettysburg! or Alpha Centauri once in a while. Great game designer. When everything else seems to be moving to this free-roaming shooter (i.e. run around and do kewl shit) he's always kept the focus on strong mechanics and deep, sustained gameplay.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Cimmerian Nights wrote:
(...)he's always kept the focus on strong mechanics and deep, sustained gameplay.

I think that's the main thing I dislike about recent gaming trends, that they're less and less like that anymore, and why I keep going back to games like his or older games in general.

Used to be you had games that were made by game designers and you had great mechanics and responsive gameplay. Then 3d came around and slowly but surely, games seemed to no longer be directed by them but by graphic artists, so every game had to look pretty before it felt it had to play worth a damn, which meant a lot of them didn't. Now it's no longer graphic artists but wannabe movie writers/directors with their drawn out cutscenes, their ultra-realism and their "this-game-has-to-be-accessible-to-everyone-within-the-5-to-50-demographic" concept of gameplay and mechanics leading to shallow concepts and shoddy execution.

Totally with the Mattchat guy on this one, "Time for games to be fucking games again".
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Its been a full decade since the last Mechwarrior game. Sure, Mechwarrior Online is coming out next year but I want a single player mechsim. Its been so long.
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Cimmerian Nights
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tofu Man wrote:
Now it's no longer graphic artists but wannabe movie writers/directors with their drawn out cutscenes, their ultra-realism and their "this-game-has-to-be-accessible-to-everyone-within-the-5-to-50-demographic" concept of gameplay and mechanics leading to shallow concepts and shoddy execution.


This is one of those elitist PC gamer statements, but I truly believe they are afraid to alienate the broader target audience with mechanics and systems that have any kind of learning curve or sophistication to them. They are trying to hit that demo., but I think there's also this concerted effort to make shallow, easily digestible games that any joe can sit down, fire up for 15 minutes of mindless fun and not get frustrated by having to figure out anything too heavy, lest they move on to the next shiny bauble.

You see this with how Bethesda has slowly taken the challenge away, stats lose their use gradually, to-hit rolls replace but a FPS dynamic, choosing one door doesn't close other doors, skills merged, skill checks replaced by inane minigames etc.

I kind of like games that can kick my ass, give me a printed manual the size of a small phone book that I can read on the shitter, and challenge me to think and agonize over making choices that have appreciable and visible consequences to them. I like numbers and stats that have an appreciable effect, sophisticated systems that can be broken down, understood and manipulated. I'm not of the 'run around and blow shit up in funny costumes crowd'.
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think running around in funny costumes and blowing shit up has its place - Saints Row 3 is a brilliant execution of it. What gets me is everything out there with few exceptions is a mediocre to all right execution of a first person shooter.

Honestly, the only games I've gotten mileage out of in the last five years aside from GTA sequels is New Vegas, DEHR, SR3 and Dragon Age. Although those titles don't compare well gameplay wise to older games, but they're the best this generation has to offer in terms of depth.


Last edited by Retlaw83 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

There's also a growing market of independent developers that are providing niche games for starving genres like 4X Turn-based Space games, for one.
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Cimmerian Nights
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Retlaw83 wrote:
I think running around in funny costumes and blowing shit up has its place - Saints Row 3 is a brilliant execution of it. What gets me is everything out there with few exceptions is a mediocre to all right execution of a first person shooter.

Yeah, I don't have a problem with SR3. Personally, I don't think I could bear more than 15 minutes of that kind of game, but it's not what I'm looking for either.

But yeah, the larger trend here, and they touch on it in the video above, is to be profitable you need that multi-platform cash cow.
They don't really disclose the bottom line, but it appears that BIS, who are arguably the best cRPG developer ever, couldn't turn a profit. I can see that with nitchy games like PS:T and at the time Fallout, but BG I & II were big fucking deals, and IWD was supposed to be their Diablo-killer.

Ultimately the video claims that being PC exclusive is what sunk them, but I think the Catch22 here is that if they wanted console success they'd have to simplify things to the point that the games weren't as good, just to appeal to a broader market and get them to work smoothly on a console interface.

So on one hand you had BIS and Troika who had great design acumen, but perhaps shitty bizzzness skills. And on the other you have Bethesda, who suck at designing RPGs, but could shit in a box, call it FO4 and get GOTY - because they have the business model down.
There has to be a happy medium that these guys can craft something for a sophisticated audience and still turn a profit. I guess that's what Obsidian is trying to do - see some bright spots, but at the same time playing sloppy-seconds with licensed sequels, which if this video is to be believed, the publishers make more off.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Digital distribution is a pretty viable choice to save niche gaming for the PC. Indie developers are utilizing the internet to the fullest and don't have to rely on publisher's funding or deadlines. The problem with that is the products out there run the entire gambit of quality, but there are a lot of gems out there, and it seems like overall quality, in a general sense, is increasing, what with games like The Binding of Isaac, Natural Selection 2, Overgrowth, and a lot of other titles. It shows, to me, that despite the pandering of the lowest common denominator by the huge publishers pushing their AAA rated games, that people still want quality games of specific genres and independent developers with their own means of distribution are more than happy to oblige.

I'm not saying that indie companies will be the driving force to save computer gaming or anything, but if the big companies can see the success that those smaller companies can do with the titles they're making it should give them a nudge in the right direction.

Or not. icon_drunk
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Stainless
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Natural Selection 2


Hahahahaha. Natural Selection 2 was such a failure. Its infestation of levels being its only real saving grace.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The netcode is really the only problem with it, the core of the gameplay is pretty solid. Regardless, you know what I mean.
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