Gaming Massively

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm so afraid

So the guy behind some very cool films has signed on to do a Warcraft movie. Sam Raimi did the evil dead films, and more recently (and more sadly - they were crap IMO) the Spider Man films. They're talking 2012 (just in time for the Olympics!!) for the movie. I'm... dubious, but who knows - could be a laugh riot!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

I win!

It seems certain romance novel readers also think the video game market could do with a dose of originality. Specifically a dose of romance novel writing.
So you have high output with frequent, addictive variations on the same theme. You have episodic content. You have buyer lock-in. You have nimble adaptation to changing technology. Sound like the wet-dream fantasies of any industry we know? And to sweeten the deal, most romance readers are women. If videogame publishers want to extend their reach beyond the standard 18- to 34-year-old male demographic, they might want to form development teams with fewer gamers and more romance novelists.

You may remember my post back in January of 2008 concerning the idea of a romance novel mmo, and the various forms of gameplay available to designers of a game of that nature. I like that others are going there too. (Via Smart Bitches)

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

What are they up to now? 38 Studios edition

It's funny how conservative young people can be. Keen has a post up, noting concern over recent statements by 38 Studios in an interview with Joystiq about their recent acquisition of Big Huge games. In the post, Keen notes that he is concerned that the game isn't well defined, and that makes him 'uneasy'.

Of course, the trick here is that with RA Salvatore, they don't need a game at all. They could create an IP and go crazy with it on t-shirts, posters, etc. (gotta keep all the artists busy somehow - otherwise why pay them?) and make a killing. The story will sell - we know that. And so do they. So take as a given that the key element - the IP - will be successful.

Now it's gravy time. And here there is some legitimate room for concern. The game could be built just like every other game that's been built on a successful IP. I'm thinking here of movie games (E.T. on the Atari 2600, anyone?) But let's, for the moment, give them the benefit of the doubt - these are professional game makers. With nothing defined except for the fact that they will have an awesome and successful storyline on which to build a game, I think it's a bit premature to start worrying the sky is falling (will fall).

The other nice thing is that, even if the main game sucks at first, with the funds they'll have from everything else (those t-shirts, etc.) they should have time to hold on and make it right. I think that's the biggest thing people forget is that longevity is the biggest factor in making a good game (or anything else - everyone knows the first gen has bugs). With their plans for making money in a variety of ways, they should have the resources to take their time and polish it up to shiny. And because the IP should be good, at least we can expect any games to come out to at least have a credible story - that may not help the game, but it can't hurt.

Finally, the only way gaming, as a genre, is going to get better is by people pushing the envelope. So if they release 15 crappy games and one truly new thing, we'll all be happier than if they released nothing at all.

Patience, Grasshopper.

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Bank robbery in Eve Online

By now I'm sure you've seen news of the massive bank heist that happened in Eve Online. One of the people running the bank made off with the cash, and apparently triggered a run on the bank.

The thing I love about Eve, in theory, is that this can happen - these huge networks of trust are built, and can equally be destroyed. In reading the interview, it's fascinating to see how much the game, for the people running the bank, has nothing to do with 'the game' - they're playing a whole other game, and apparently playing it well.

I hope we see more of this, as new games are released - I think a mobile phone interface for the auction house is a start. Of course, economics is the easiest bit to make mobile, and I hope that's already a given for developers - now let's see some augmented reality apps, possibly using the GPS in your phone.

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