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Smashbox
04-11-2011, 08:41 PM
Poor, poor Maxis. Victims of their own success. Clawed to pieces by vulturous cigar-chompers at EA. Condemned to a lifetime of hard labor in the Simsmines.

Will Maxis ever be relevant again, or is it too late? And what of Will Wright? Do you reckon he's burned out and done with the games biz, or poised for a comeback? Do you care?

Nalano
04-11-2011, 09:16 PM
Welcome to 14 years ago?

pakoito
04-11-2011, 09:29 PM
Welcome to 14 years ago?Boy that Spore looks great. You can do ANYTHING!

Althea
04-11-2011, 09:35 PM
Poor, poor Maxis? They're making games they love, their games are always charting, they're sitting on piles of cash and they just remake the same few expansions every iteration. I don't think there's anything poor about their situation.

It'd be cool if they did another SimCity, though.

Oak
04-11-2011, 09:36 PM
Edit: Snotty post.

Drake Sigar
04-11-2011, 09:48 PM
At least they've got food on the table, which is more than can be said for Westwood and Origin.

Nalano
04-11-2011, 09:54 PM
It'd be cool if they did another SimCity, though.

Not like Societies. Please, for the love of god.

Althea
04-11-2011, 09:57 PM
At least they've got food on the table, which is more than can be said for Westwood and Origin.
I don't know, Westwood's re-emergence as Petroglyph seems to be working quite well for them.

pakoito
04-11-2011, 10:30 PM
I don't know, Westwood's re-emergence as Petroglyph seems to be working quite well for them.Petroglyph can go fuck themselves. Guardians of Graxia released broken but day 2 DLC at half the price of the game fixed it. Complete swindlers.

And Rise of the Immortals, their dota-clone wow-clone everything-clone

Heroes of Newerth, 2009 <-----------------> Rise of the Immortals, 2011
http://fragforcancer.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/circular_hon_logo-copy.png<--------------->http://www.riseofimmortals.com/forums/ccs_files/webart/logos/roi_mini_icon.png

Althea
04-11-2011, 10:37 PM
How the flip is Rise of Immortals a WoW clone? Like League of Legends, Bloodline Champions and most other MOBA games it uses the WC3 art style.

Petroglyph did Universe at War, anyway. That's one funky RTS.

pakoito
04-11-2011, 11:24 PM
How the flip is Rise of Immortals a WoW clone? Like League of Legends, Bloodline Champions and most other MOBA games it uses the WC3 art style.

Petroglyph did Universe at War, anyway. That's one funky RTS.They took the MOBA stuff and made it into a persistent world with gear and stuff, l WoW.

Oak
04-11-2011, 11:53 PM
They also made Panzer General: Allied Assault, which is a good reason to use your Xbox.

Keep
05-11-2011, 12:17 AM
I've ended up disliking them because they took a simple, compelling game idea (Here is a doll house of AI people - watch them try to be Human) and ended up being the only show in town for that genre.

Which is fine, but I've come to be really repulsed by their understanding of people and social interactions and purpose and desires.

I find it sick. Diseased. Gimme the goriest manshooter, the most depraved amoral murder-simulator any day, over the twistedness of The Sims.

Smashbox
05-11-2011, 12:18 AM
What about Will Wright? Is he ever coming back?

mr.doo
05-11-2011, 01:33 AM
If that means delivering another piece of crap like spore again then keeping it low might not be such a bad idea.

Hensler
05-11-2011, 02:25 AM
I don't know what the profit sharing situation with EA is like, but it seems like Maxis should vaults upon vaults of gold to do whatever they want with at this point.

Actually, that might explain the whole WTFness of Darkspore...

Warskull
05-11-2011, 04:01 AM
Poor, poor Maxis? They're making games they love, their games are always charting, they're sitting on piles of cash and they just remake the same few expansions every iteration. I don't think there's anything poor about their situation.

It'd be cool if they did another SimCity, though.

Making games they love? They've been cranking out the sims and sims expansion packs for about a decade. Even someone who loved making the first Sims would be sick of it by now. They are likely underpaid, all of the profits go straight to EA, and anything that made Maxis the studio is was is long gone by now. The Maxis team is just like the Madden team, the throw people on it, they crank out stuff. Instead of football games, you get sims games.


I don't know what the profit sharing situation with EA is like, but it seems like Maxis should vaults upon vaults of gold to do whatever they want with at this point.

EA owns Maxis and has absorbed Maxis, just like what happened with Bullfrog, Westwood, and Origin. The only reason you still see the Maxis logo is because it once stood for something and still has some sway with gamers.

Althea
05-11-2011, 08:06 AM
They took the MOBA stuff and made it into a persistent world with gear and stuff, l WoW.
What? I don't remember RoI being anything like that.


Making games they love? They've been cranking out the sims and sims expansion packs for about a decade. Even someone who loved making the first Sims would be sick of it by now. They are likely underpaid, all of the profits go straight to EA, and anything that made Maxis the studio is was is long gone by now. The Maxis team is just like the Madden team, the throw people on it, they crank out stuff. Instead of football games, you get Sims games.
Have you seen Maxis talk about their games? Have you? They're incredibly passionate about them, and you're insulting them and their passion by making such ridiculous assumptions. They're still called Maxis (albeit EA Maxis, I suppose) because they're still a studio. Mythic, BioWare, DICE, Black Box and even Phenomic? They've all retained their names under EA.

Nalano
05-11-2011, 08:09 AM
Have you seen Maxis talk about their games? Have you? They're incredibly passionate about them, and you're insulting them and their passion by making such ridiculous assumptions. They're still called Maxis (albeit EA Maxis, I suppose) because they're still a studio. Mythic, BioWare, DICE, Black Box and even Phenomic? They've all retained their names under EA.

On the scale of autonomy between "we do this because we want to" and "we do this because our paymaster tells us to," I'm going to assume all EA's studios fall towards the latter. Sequelitis is rampant in EA studios.

Althea
05-11-2011, 08:30 AM
And that's different to anywhere else how?

Have we conveniently forgotten that in the past, franchises often hit the six, seven and eight numbered iterations?

Nalano
05-11-2011, 08:36 AM
And that's different to anywhere else how?

Have we conveniently forgotten that in the past, franchises often hit the six, seven and eight numbered iterations?

Ultima's the only example that comes to mind, unless you have something better. And I remember Bullfrog doing a lot of new things before it became an EA subsidiary and Molyneux left.

It's not exactly unheard of that public corporations tend not to risk doing new things. It's not exactly a secret that EA buys companies with successful IPs, meaning they got to take the risk making them, and EA gets to milk that IP forever and ever.

Althea
05-11-2011, 08:39 AM
Ultima's the only example that comes to mind, unless you have something better. And I remember Bullfrog doing a lot of new things before it became an EA subsidiary.
Wizardry, Might & Magic.


It's not exactly unheard of that public corporations tend not to risk doing new things. Hell, EA's only getting into the whole 'Steam Client' now after how many years of Steam hegemony?
Mirror's Edge, arguably The Sims: Medieval, Spore/DarkSpore.

Nalano
05-11-2011, 08:43 AM
If you think "Sims: Medieval" was real departure from the mold and not simply an "...in Space (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RecycledINSPACE)" venture, you're even more conservative than your average corporate investor.

And congratulations, two new IPs in twenty years out of the largest publisher in the business. That's real bold.

Althea
05-11-2011, 08:50 AM
If you think "Sims: Medieval" was real departure from the mold and not simply an "...in Space (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RecycledINSPACE)" venture, you're even more conservative than your average corporate investor.
Didn't say it was a real departure, but no-one else has done it, ergo it's a new thing.


And congratulations, two new IPs in twenty years out of the largest publisher in the business. That's real bold.
Those were the only ones that came to mind. It's not even 9am, I'm not fully operational.

Grizzly
05-11-2011, 09:25 AM
Crysis too. Quite sure Battlefield was always with them too...

Althea
05-11-2011, 09:30 AM
Crytek aren't owned by EA, though, so I'm not sure if they own the Crysis brand or if it's EA. I know Ubisoft have their mitts all over the Far Cry brand.

Drake Sigar
05-11-2011, 10:10 AM
And that's different to anywhere else how?

Have we conveniently forgotten that in the past, franchises often hit the six, seven and eight numbered iterations?
Yes, in the past. Those past franchises go way back to a time when it wasn't irregular to churn out one sequel a year. That's not really feasible anymore (plus most of the Sims games have been expansions, not full games). The modern day franchises following that timetabe are mostly sports updates.


If you think "Sims: Medieval" was real departure from the mold and not simply an "...in Space (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RecycledINSPACE)" venture, you're even more conservative than your average corporate investor.
When a franchise stagnates in it's own juices for ten years, even the slightest change seems like massive innovation. It wasn't a great game, but it did manage to suck me in as much as the first Sims for a week. (http://drakesdoomsdaycorner.blogspot.com/2011/03/sims-medieval-review.html)

buemba
05-11-2011, 01:59 PM
I admire Spore's ambition and am glad they made it, even though I didn't particularly like the game. And I really like Sims (Yes, even though I just bought a pets expansion for the third freaking time).

So I guess Maxis is alright in my book. I'd like a new Sim Something, sure, but if all they ever do is more Sims I guess I'm alright with that too.

pakoito
05-11-2011, 02:16 PM
I admire Spore's ambition and am glad they made it, even though I didn't particularly like the game. And I really like Sims (Yes, even though I just bought a pets expansion for the third freaking time).I think Spore was, at some point, quite more complex and deep, then EA cam and gave the "for kids" cut to most gameplay stuff.

We'll never know.

KaiserBob
05-11-2011, 07:09 PM
Crysis too. Quite sure Battlefield was always with them too...

Neither of those franchises were started by EA. DICE was an independent studio when they created BF 1942 and Crytek was too.

Althea
05-11-2011, 08:17 PM
Crytek was too.
Crytek still are.

deano2099
06-11-2011, 01:05 AM
If you think "Sims: Medieval" was real departure from the mold and not simply an "...in Space (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RecycledINSPACE)" venture, you're even more conservative than your average corporate investor.

And congratulations, two new IPs in twenty years out of the largest publisher in the business. That's real bold.

Yes but a risk is relative. Sure, Sims: Medieval wasn't a great departure from the format, but that team could just have easily been set to work on another Sims 3 expansion pack that'd be far closer to a sure thing.

vinraith
06-11-2011, 01:18 AM
I think Spore was, at some point, quite more complex and deep, then EA cam and gave the "for kids" cut to most gameplay stuff.

We'll never know.

I occasionally go back and play it because, for some reason, I still just can't believe it is what it is. Even from a distance, it looks like it should be so much more, but somehow it ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Its probably one of the worst wastes of a brilliant concept in the history of gaming.

TillEulenspiegel
06-11-2011, 02:26 AM
The tragedy of Spore is that it starts out so well. You're zipping around as a little single-celled organism, and it's gorgeous, and "evolving" is fun, and the bigger creatures are scary.

And then it ends, all too soon. And you spend the next few hours being subjected to some of the most disappointing minigames man has ever known. The tribal and city stages were the worst offenders. No substance, no point, and definitely no fun.

And then the space thing. Which looked mildly interesting, but was ruined by the never-ending crises that you had to deal with every few minutes. They worked pretty hard to strip out any possibility of fun.

vinraith
06-11-2011, 03:26 AM
The tragedy of Spore is that it starts out so well. You're zipping around as a little single-celled organism, and it's gorgeous, and "evolving" is fun, and the bigger creatures are scary.

And then it ends, all too soon. And you spend the next few hours being subjected to some of the most disappointing minigames man has ever known. The tribal and city stages were the worst offenders. No substance, no point, and definitely no fun.

And then the space thing. Which looked mildly interesting, but was ruined by the never-ending crises that you had to deal with every few minutes. They worked pretty hard to strip out any possibility of fun.

Yup, I always play through the cell stage enjoying myself, have a bit of fun in the creature stage, and then either burn out there or hit a brick wall in the tribal stage. I've never made it to the space stage, to be honest, because I've never been able to get past the unbelievable chore that is the city stage. Seriously, what the hell was the point of that?

Keep
06-11-2011, 11:36 AM
You're zipping around as a little single-celled organism, and it's gorgeous, and "evolving" is fun, and the bigger creatures are scary.

Different strokes...but "evolving" was what I hated most about the game. They took too many liberties with the idea. On paper: "design a creature, guide it through its evolution". Wow I just creamed myself. In practise? Nothing like that. The mechanics were nothing more original than a sub-standard RPG: fight monsters, get better gear, level up, rinse repeat.

That's how the whole game turned out really. Cellular - sub-standard arcade game. Tribal: sub-standard RTS. Civilization: sub-standard strategy game. Space: sub-standard 4X.


somehow it ends up being less than the sum of its parts.

If you mix together pot noodles and ketchup and Quorn beef, you're not gonna end up with spaghetti bolognese.

Althea
06-11-2011, 11:42 AM
If you mix together pot noodles and ketchup and Quorn beef, you're not gonna end up with spaghetti bolognese.
Well, of course not, because they're not the ingredients. A better analogy would be "If you put spaghetti, tomato pure and beef into a blender, you're not going to end up with spaghetti bolognese".

archonsod
06-11-2011, 08:24 PM
On the scale of autonomy between "we do this because we want to" and "we do this because our paymaster tells us to," I'm going to assume all EA's studios fall towards the latter. Sequelitis is rampant in EA studios.

Sequelitis is rampant in the gaming industry as a whole, largely because we're well past the point where it's economically feasible to start from scratch with every game. Much quicker and cheaper to simply take something you already have, kick it around a bit and add one to the number at the end of the title. Not to mention developers tend to think of themselves as specialised these days; you're not just a coder, you're an FPS coder. Asking someone who's spent ten years writing FPS games to go away and come up with the next Sim City is going to get you a Dr McCoy style response. Or an FPS reboot of the franchise, depending how much leeway you give them.

Batolemaeus
06-11-2011, 09:16 PM
Which is fine, but I've come to be really repulsed by their understanding of people and social interactions and purpose and desires.

I find it sick. Diseased. Gimme the goriest manshooter, the most depraved amoral murder-simulator any day, over the twistedness of The Sims.

Amen. Especially the last sentence. It wouldn't be so bad if the depiction of social interaction in The Sims was purely fictional with no basis in reality. But how close The Sims comes to how many people treat their social life is unsettling.

Also, Maxis, where is my updated Sim City? :(

psyk
06-11-2011, 09:20 PM
Asking someone who's spent ten years writing FPS games to go away and come up with the next Sim City is going to get you a Dr McCoy style response. Or an FPS reboot of the franchise, depending how much leeway you give them.

A brick laying simulation, I'm surprised thats not been done.

Nalano
07-11-2011, 12:12 AM
Sequelitis is rampant in the gaming industry as a whole, largely because we're well past the point where it's economically feasible to start from scratch with every game.

I don't think that's true at all.

I'm sure corporate types believe that. It's practically their doctrine - I'm reminded of the execu-bot in Futurama who's programmed to only like things he's seen before - but I don't at all think that such is true.

TillEulenspiegel
07-11-2011, 12:37 AM
The funny thing is, most of the time they do start from scratch in all the expensive ways, particularly graphics. Prototyping new gameplay concepts is cheap - a couple guys, a few months. Doing full-blown development with cutting-edge technology year after year is incredibly expensive.

I really don't understand why asset reuse isn't more common. Like, take BF3's graphics and engine code and make a few really great single-player games with it. Why not? The gameplay could be very different; it would only look similar. But it'd save tons of cash.

Nalano
07-11-2011, 12:42 AM
I really don't understand why asset reuse isn't more common. Like, take BF3's graphics and engine code and make a few really great single-player games with it. Why not? The gameplay could be very different; it would only look similar. But it'd save tons of cash.

Not to mention you can point to the entire golden age of computer gaming as precedent.

pakoito
07-11-2011, 01:00 AM
The funny thing is, most of the time they do start from scratch in all the expensive ways, particularly graphics. Prototyping new gameplay concepts is cheap - a couple guys, a few months. Doing full-blown development with cutting-edge technology year after year is incredibly expensive.

I really don't understand why asset reuse isn't more common. Like, take BF3's graphics and engine code and make a few really great single-player games with it. Why not? The gameplay could be very different; it would only look similar. But it'd save tons of cash.Like they've done CoD MW 1-2-3, WaW and BLOPS? no but seriously I'm all in for stagnating the graphics and working on the games themselves. They have kind of done it this generation with 360-PS3 hardware but they never try to push gameplay boundaries or get into depth, it's all FPS, "streamline" and "accessible for everyone" shaggy PC ports.

We got Hard Reset, who would have been "average" 10 years ago compared to Quake or Painkiller, and it was praised as a fresh breeze in the genre ffs.

archonsod
07-11-2011, 01:07 AM
Not to mention you can point to the entire golden age of computer gaming as precedent.

Which is kinda like using the 1920s as an example that it'd be feasible to go back to shooting silent movies in black & white. You could. I doubt you'd get anywhere near the current audience though.

Nalano
07-11-2011, 01:45 AM
Which is kinda like using the 1920s as an example that it'd be feasible to go back to shooting silent movies in black & white. You could. I doubt you'd get anywhere near the current audience though.

The golden age of PC gaming was ten years ago (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1861) and lasted five years. Dear god, man. Should we have no memory at all?

I mean, Sci Fi movies peaked in the 70s-early 80s what with Solaris, Logan's Run, Blade Runner, Mad Max, Alien and Aliens, Brazil, et cetera, but considering the wealth of modern remakes (Avatar, In Time), despite the long expanse of time, it's clear that the demand is still there. We don't just stop liking things.

Wizardry
07-11-2011, 01:59 AM
The golden age of PC gaming was twenty-six years ago and lasted eight years.
Fixed. =)

Keep
07-11-2011, 02:04 AM
The golden age of RPGs was twenty-six years ago and lasted eight years

I'm gitting cheeky with your cheekiness...

TillEulenspiegel
07-11-2011, 02:26 AM
Which is kinda like using the 1920s as an example that it'd be feasible to go back to shooting silent movies in black & white. You could. I doubt you'd get anywhere near the current audience though.
'Cause god forbid your games look a few years old?

I'm not saying stop graphical progress altogether. I'm saying we've long since reached a plateau of "good enough" for 3D games, and while it's great to keep pushing the limits, maybe not every game needs to do that all the time.

If a few new games were released in 2012-3 with 80% Skyrim graphics, 20% original art, and 100% original gameplay, that would be pretty neat. There would be plenty of whining from the usual idiots, but I don't think it would matter at all. Because they would have entirely new games that looked pretty good.

If I were running a major publisher, that's one thing I'd do. Keep funding the usual AAA projects. But then do much, much more with those valuable assets that would otherwise just be thrown away and never used again.

Nalano
07-11-2011, 02:33 AM
'Cause god forbid your games look a few years old?

I'm not saying stop graphical progress altogether. I'm saying we've long since reached a plateau of "good enough" for 3D games, and while it's great to keep pushing the limits, maybe not every game needs to do that all the time.

If a few new games were released in 2012-3 with 80% Skyrim graphics, 20% original art, and 100% original gameplay, that would be pretty neat. There would be plenty of whining from the usual idiots, but I don't think it would matter at all. Because they would have entirely new games that looked pretty good.

I'll take original art styling to bleeding-age technology any day. I mean, shit, a lot of original and interesting games use Lithtech and Source, over many years.