March 31, 2013
— Gang of Gaming Morons! White Knighting in videogaming strikes once again.
(btw, White Knight Chronicles was a fun game as long as you bought the second game which also came with a remake of the first game which is interesting considering there was only a two year gap between the first game and second game's release. And the first game bombed and they did all that work for the second game to bomb even harder even if it was an enjoyable for the most part single player MMORPG while borrowing stuff from one of the only two good Final Fantasy games since VI, FFXII)
Anyways gaming below....
First off the bat you have two incidents that I find amusing happen at GDC:
You have people resigning over the hiring of female dancers at a IGDA industry event. Frankly, I don't understand the hubbub over this but you have to pay dues to be part of them and people weren't happy that they spent cash on female dancers. Now admittedly, it probably wasn't the wisest move after having a women in game development panel earlier in the day but I just dunno. Even with an open bar, people won't be sticking around when it's a sausage party hence why it's a standard for any industry to hire females to liven up the party.
Second incident is that Notch and Mojang is being accused of hiring female dancers at an after-hours party at a nightclub and people being faux outraged by it. Now this does come with a caveat as last year, you had a girl sexually assaulted with a dude pulling his penis out and rubbing it next to a girl and security being afk. Not on Mojang but rather non-existent security but it did happen under their name so what ever. Anyways, Notch and the promoter claim that no girls were payed to be there dancing and having fun in the VIP area but that will never stop people from making fools of themselves on twitter ie stuff like this
I've helped run parties before all the way from house parties to business parties and these people just make me laugh. I forever hope that none of these people ever go to a nightclub.
Alright, on to actual gaming news:
Telltale Games finally gives some info on their Fables series after two years of wondering. It's titled A Wolf Among Us staring Bigby Wolf and out this summer. The splash page on Telltale's site looks okay but it kinda looks off compared to Mark Buckingham's artwork but that being said, I hope this is good as I love Willingham (even his artwork for TSR) and the universe that he shaped.
Another one bites the dust as hot on the heels of Riccitiello getting the boot as EA's CEO, another prominent president, Yoichi Wada, stepped down after Square-Enix released their financial report. Don't envy for the person getting that job as other than them buying Eidos for a song and expanding their toy business, they've been screwed up for this whole generation with slow releases, wasting time and money on an engine that was hardly ever used and botching announcements of games that aren't even in the planning stages (looking at you, Versus). It's a Herculaneum task to be sure. Too bad Iwata and Fils-Aime hasn't fallen on their swords yet.
And speaking of their financials and Eidos, though Crystal Dynamics claims that the new Tomb Raider had the best week one sales of the series, Square isn't happy with the sales of the new Hitman, Sleeping Dogs (though the game wasn't bad, they should have left that one to rot after Activision cut it loose from it's low sales) and Tomb Raider. Of course, I would like to point out that this is another feather in the cap of people who say that the videogame market is in a spot of being unsustainable with it's small consumer base and ballooning budgets as gamers want better and better graphics but scoff at any attempt for the manufacturers to increase said base as it's not directly "gaming based" even though it is. And don't mention to gamers in anything that the publishers try to improve their chances of getting into the black with DLC and expansion packs as gamers don't like that either.
Jason Rohrer makes a game, buries it in the desert and then gives people pages of random coordinates so they can try to find it. It's E.T. all over but this time for fun. I actually like this guy and his games (his Castle Doctrine game is fun in it's alpha state)
On one hand, it's an established IP. On the other, it's not exactly a decent selling IP even after THQ dumped tons of cash into advertising the second game in their final throes but Crytek US reiterates that they will in fact be bidding on the Darksiders IP at the auction in April
Epic released another tech demo for UE4 that is supposed to run on a single 680
It's announced that MineCraft has hit the 6 million mark on the 360. Who ever at MS that gave the nod to moneyhat a version of the sandbox deserves a raise. Everyone in marketing should be taken out back and shot for not having a branded MineCraft 360 console promotion this past Christmas.
Internet old but still cool
Creative Assembly (Total War series) announce that they are making a MOBA titled Total War: Arena. Sign up for the beta here
Blizzard's foresight, it's lacking. Jay Wilson admits that the auction house in Diablo 3 was a mistake
Microsoft goofed up again (how can this specific error happen over and over again?) by accidentally throwing up the cover art to the upcoming expansion pack for Far Cry3
Was going to do a quick writeup on Luigi's Mansion but I screwed up and spent a whole week trying to find a copy of it in a store instead of just ordering it from Amazon. I did find a single sad copy of Fire Emblem on a shelf of Best Buy, first one I've seen in a store since it was released.
Would talk about Bioshock Infinity but I would just ruin it outside of saying it's pretty but really shallow. IMO, in the end, it still ends up as a mediocre story wrapped up in an even more mediocre FPS than Bioshock 1 .And considering the highscores it's got, I'm obviously in the minority.
Grasshopper is now working on two financial failures at once as they released artwork for what is obviously a new No More Heroes sequel. More than likely, I'm going to enjoy every minute of those megabombs while still wondering how they can make games while releasing a bad selling game after bad selling game
That's about it this week from The Dude
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 08:24 AM (i4RhQ)
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 08:24 AM (i4RhQ)
Posted by: Zakn at March 31, 2013 08:26 AM (zyaZ1)
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 08:28 AM (i4RhQ)
Posted by: fluffy at March 31, 2013 08:30 AM (z9HTb)
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 08:31 AM (i4RhQ)
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 01:24 PM (i4RhQ)
Looks pretty but I didn't care for it. I'm in the minority on the feelings of the game though
Posted by: The Dude at March 31, 2013 08:32 AM (vJdyz)
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 08:33 AM (i4RhQ)
Posted by: Navycopjoe at March 31, 2013 01:31 PM (i4RhQ)
don't or at least wait till it's $10-15. Though not as boring as the second game, it's still quite boring. CryEngine 3 is sweet though
Posted by: The Dude at March 31, 2013 08:34 AM (vJdyz)
Posted by: The Dude at March 31, 2013 08:37 AM (vJdyz)
Posted by: edmund at March 31, 2013 08:43 AM (rCS6C)
I blew the margins with dem elbows
Posted by: The Dude at March 31, 2013 08:45 AM (vJdyz)
B) I spent the better part of the 90's having to go to bashes thrown by rich geeks and have spent the better part of the 2000' trying to erase those memories (except for the ones I enjoy telling to others in my snarky and mocking fashion I am famous for).
C) Happy Easter. Weather in WA state is an exceedingly sunny 70 degrees. I have some gardening and lamb eating grilling to (a whole). And maybe some drinking and latter (B) to do. I shall repent later.
Posted by: shan at March 31, 2013 08:45 AM (V9MHw)
Posted by: Capt. Soothsayer Picard at March 31, 2013 08:47 AM (LVtr+)
See I don't really mind DLC, if its worth it. If it actually makes it feel like it is in addition to the story instead of just an attempt to get more money. For instance, despite the big middle finger EA gave with Mass Effect 3, I think they made a good move in that the multiplayer dlc for the game was free. I still haven't played the single player DLC so no full opinion on if it was worth it or not though. As opposed to Assassin's Creed 3 which does make you purchase even multiplayer dlc, and Borderlands 2 which does have ridiculous amounts of dlc to buy.
Oh and if you going to be pumping out dlc don't start making justifications about your video game being art. Picasso didn't get to come in and change his paintings after he turned them over to his recipients. Beethoven didn't get to alter his fifth symphony over a year after he completed it.
I'm more insulted by the efforts of pulling microtransaction shit than I am by DLC.
Posted by: buzzion 5+ year commenter so you must bow to me. at March 31, 2013 08:49 AM (GULKT)
Posted by: Soothsayer at March 31, 2013 08:50 AM (xIzGn)
Posted by: Soothsayer at March 31, 2013 08:51 AM (052zE)
Posted by: buzzion 5+ year commenter so you must bow to me. at March 31, 2013 01:49 PM (GULKT)
Don't get me wrong, some gaming should be considered art but man I hate people who put stuff on a pedestal. Say using the term "graphic novel" when it's not pisses me off
Posted by: The Dude at March 31, 2013 08:51 AM (vJdyz)
Posted by: The Dude at March 31, 2013 01:51 PM (vJdyz)
Oh yeah sure. Some of its definitely beautiful incredibly well done, and certainly worthy of the title of "art." But I'm just remembering the "How dare you demand bioware change the ending of ME3. Its ART!" Um no, bullshit. You're pumping out DLC thus changing the finished product afterwards already. And if other artists presented a work to a customer and they didn't like they damn well better make changes or else find a new customer. So if you're releasing dlc, claiming its art is pretty hollow.
Posted by: buzzion 5+ year commenter so you must bow to me. at March 31, 2013 08:59 AM (GULKT)
Posted by: Truman North at March 31, 2013 09:06 AM (Twvy/)
Posted by: Truman North at March 31, 2013 09:14 AM (NZp/q)
Posted by: Ed Wood VS Godzilla at March 31, 2013 09:20 AM (iRrYQ)
Posted by: Trimegistus at March 31, 2013 09:28 AM (99sIg)
Posted by: waelse1 at March 31, 2013 10:00 AM (qHSHU)
Posted by: Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith's Other Mobile[/i][/b][/s] at March 31, 2013 10:14 AM (bxiXv)
There was anticapitalist / antiReagan smug way back in Star Control 2 (the Druuge, anyone?).
The first Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic also spouted out publum about social-inequality. In Alien Legacy where you get advice from your advisors, you're supposed to ignore the military advisor. I could get into all those games in which an evil corporation is the villain, but I tend not to buy them (Aliens: Colon[ial] Marines being the latest).
Adam Levine belongs to the same "Creative Class" that the authors of the above belong to.
Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 31, 2013 10:18 AM (QTHTd)
Posted by: EC Hackett at March 31, 2013 10:20 AM (9JS/n)
They did manage to assimilate Picard at the end of Season 3. Riker gave him a blast of the wave-motion gun, too.
Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 31, 2013 10:23 AM (QTHTd)
Posted by: EC Hackett at March 31, 2013 10:23 AM (9JS/n)
Adam Levine had nothing to do with it.
Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 31, 2013 10:25 AM (QTHTd)
I got my Levines mixed up in the laundry apparently
Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 31, 2013 10:26 AM (QTHTd)
Agree or Disagree?
ST The Next Generation would've been better with Riker as captain of the Enterprise.
They should've killed off Picard in Season 2.
Posted by: Soothsayer at March 31, 2013 01:50 PM (xIzGn)
Completely disagree. I hated Jonathan Frakes over-acting, although Patrick Stewart had his moments. I would have been fine had they killed off Riker and brought Data up a peg. Loved Brent Spiner. Played the soulless android very well.
Although I never got over the Picard's British accent with a "Frenchman." I mean REALLY?
Not to mention the incessant moralizing and preaching they did in TNG, which is why I like Deep Space Nine so much more (much more realistic, if still a bit wonky, view of the world).
Posted by: NWConservative at March 31, 2013 10:31 AM (M1gmo)
Posted by: NWConservative at March 31, 2013 03:31 PM (M1gmo)
The episodes about the Gabriel Bell riots are where Obama would love this country to be. Not the actual riot of course, but having all the unemployed walled off from the rest of society beholden to the government for everything while the rest of the country pretends they don't exist and continue acting like its all great.
Posted by: buzzion 5+ year commenter so you must bow to me. at March 31, 2013 10:40 AM (GULKT)
Posted by: buzzion 5+ year commenter so you must bow to me. at March 31, 2013 03:40 PM (GULKT)
Yeah, I think we are already there, minus the walls. The majority of the population here are sticking their heads in the sand about everything. No one wants to see the bad shit going down around the world/country.
Posted by: NWConservative at March 31, 2013 10:45 AM (M1gmo)
Posted by: Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith's Other Mobile[/i][/b][/s] at March 31, 2013 10:47 AM (bxiXv)
Posted by: Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith's Other Mobile at March 31, 2013 03:47 PM (bxiXv)
Well, Google is not even mentioning it today. They'd rather honor Cesar Chavez.
Posted by: NWConservative at March 31, 2013 10:58 AM (M1gmo)
Posted by: Michael at March 31, 2013 11:32 AM (dHgMz)
Personally, I came away thinking this is exactly the kind of utopia an old post-civil war southern democrat with delusions of messiah-hood after the discovery of world altering technology would envision. Basically, he wants to reshape the world to his ideas and beliefs and will burn the world to make it happen.
When I can play a game and care, really CARE about the characters, it works. Watching Elizabeth go from a wide-eyed Disneyish princess character to jaded, emotionally damaged dark harbinger of destruction, it makes me WANT to protect her, as a person, not just as a means to getting through the game.
I enjoyed the game for what it was. A dark alternate world where you are given a reason to want to tear it all down and the tools to do it with.
Anyway, I enjoyed the crap out of it. If you are avoiding it just because you think it might promote some kind of ideology you don't like then you are missing out.
Posted by: Dewy at March 31, 2013 11:34 AM (0xrBB)
Posted by: EC at March 31, 2013 11:42 AM (doBIb)
The story was interesting once you got past the 'oooo America is so extra evil, boooooo' part and it does get past it to the 'oooo radical anti-capitalists ain't any better, booooooo' part. Though Fink's characterization annoyed me greatly. Capitalism isn't any more exploitative than anything else, and since it appeared he had a government sponsored monopoly, it wasn't capitalism in any case. Idiot game designers have no understanding of socio-political-economic theory.
The gameplay is a lot like Bioshock and Bioshock 2 but that's ok, I enjoyed those, too.
The end is a bit of a mind-fuck, but that was the interesting part. The MacGuffin girl is done very well; and shows what an escort mission should be like. It ain't no Skyrim, but what is? Aside from Skyrim, of course.
Posted by: The Atom Bomb of Loving Kindness at March 31, 2013 12:20 PM (jqHOY)
Posted by: John at March 31, 2013 01:31 PM (5Xl3B)
I happen to like FFXI. And I recently renewed my account. They even released an expansion (Seekers of Adoulin) this past week. But it's not for everyone, particularly in the current environment of WoW-influenced games. Square-Enix's other FF MMORPG, FFXIV, is currently moving through the closed beta stages, so it's too early to tell whether their attempt to save the game will work or not. It did look a lot better when they shut it down than it did at release, though that wasn't all that hard to pull off given how bad the game was at release.
Posted by: junior at March 31, 2013 01:39 PM (A9dYV)
The idea was that you could make a genuine 'micro' payment - cents! To get things. As it stands, DLC is nothing like this. It's 1 dollar a minimum, usually more; take Rock Band.
What they've done with DLC is, instead of increasing their earnings, they've narrowed their audience to obsessive college students because those of us who can't spend 100$ - 250$+ on a single game often don't get the whole experience. This is intentional, and the reason why DLC is hated. They even did a thing where they tricked you into thinking you bought the game, but in the end you had to buy DLC to get the rest of it. It's obvious that the bean counters have taken over at many of these places (EA for instance) and are unwilling to be creative about better monetization.
1. Treachery and deception on the part of the companies trying to profit from DLC has given it a bad name.
2. The fact that most DLC doesn't effectively increase a price point from say, 60 bucks to 70 bucks (as an example) but plays a trick typical of marketers on the end user: the game costs 'less' (40 bucks, 20 bucks, maybe even free) but to really compete or get the most out of it, you need to end up spending over a hundred dollars.
Add the horsecrap from EA on copy-protect and you've got a guaranteed stinker for these companies. Reducing your market to pure addicts and obsessives is not the way to expand your market or more effectively monetize it in the long run.
Also, there's a tendency to try to 'make too much of a break' with the old; in an attempt to 'authentically connect' with a new market, they are almost guaranteeing that they will offend their previous market. It's stupid design and stupid marketing, but whatever.
Minecraft is a great example in many ways of what TO do. Instead of giving an F-you to existing markets, it combines aspects of them flexibly, all the way from Roguelikes up to things like SimCity. ID got smart on Quake when they let people pretty much totally reprogram the game with Quake-C. In Warcraft III, you had players that never played the game, just custom maps. The GAME 'DOTA' is itself just an expansion of one of the most popular custom (player made) maps in Warcraft III - Defense of the Ancients.
Valve also has been pretty smart, though their management of Steam often smells very bean-countery. When they CYA'd on 'by using steam you agree to not do a class action suit against us' it was a bit of a betrayal. How well that move would actually stand up in court if Valve systematically did something really dumb is questionable, but as a move and the fact that they got called out on it and then gave a really dumb, papered-over explanation did make people feel betrayed.
By the way, Portal is an example (another example) of WHAT TO DO. It wasn't a crazy scheme to 'monetize' or 'market' specially, obviously it was well marketed, but it fused puzzle with first-person shooter seamlessly, bringing together both casual and hardcore markets in a single title.
The reality is and has always been, most game dev companies are mediocre and no amount of DLC or marketing whizzes will fix that.
Posted by: RiverC at March 31, 2013 02:11 PM (KTytI)
FFXII is not good? Really? Both IV and VI are very good; VII in my opinion is second-class at best. X was nice.
FFXII did turn people off with the style of combat, but once you got used to it you realized how ingenious it was. I think that was its flaw; and perhaps too much of a step for that series to take. Other than that oddity, it was an excellent title, very excellent compared to their bad run of three: VII, VIII, IX.
Granted, if you started playing the titles at VII as many did, this argument won't make much sense. But if you've played from the beginning it makes perfect sense. YMMV.
Posted by: RiverC at March 31, 2013 02:16 PM (KTytI)
Posted by: .87c at March 31, 2013 03:16 PM (cPDhg)
Posted by: Chris at March 31, 2013 04:06 PM (Ta7hi)
Posted by: Angry Potato at March 31, 2013 08:58 PM (c6Nlg)
As I said in the original comment, the problem is that there just isn't enough story for as long as the game is. I had logged 130+ hours by the time I beat it, and I didn't even do everything. If the designers had spent their time writing real side quests that added to the story instead of just tons of "kill the monster" quests, it would have been much better. Maybe if the player ignores all of the hunt side quests, it could work, but that's not something the average player would do on a first play through.
And you lost me by claiming that VII, VIII *and* IX were all bad. Uh, no. All three were vastly superior to XII. At no point in any of those games did I just decide to hurry up and beat the game because I was sick of it like I did with XII. I think VII probably was the first one that I played, but my favorite game in the series is VI (which I played later), so I'm not really sure how relevant when exactly I started playing the series is.
Posted by: John at April 01, 2013 02:17 AM (S32Hg)
Posted by: artisanal 'ette at April 01, 2013 04:02 AM (XYSwB)
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