Posts Tagged ‘opinion’

The Ignorance Of Crowds: Why Open Development Is Crap

By John Walker on January 23rd, 2014.

No wisdom here.

Open development is just about the worst idea for games.

People like to think they’re pretty special. And people do tend to have a habit of thinking what they think is right, and those who disagree are wrong. In my case it’s actually true, but unfortunately that’s not always the case for others. And really, honestly, the very last thing I want is other wrong people to be influencing the games I’m going to play. Developers have to stop asking other people how to make their games.

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Why Early Steam Machines Need To Be Upgradable

By Nathan Grayson on January 22nd, 2014.

Steam Machines might be Valve’s answer to consoles, but that doesn’t mean they play by the same rules as Sony and Microsoft’s increasingly indistinguishable boxes. Linux is an open platform and Steam is constantly evolving. I do not think it’s unreasonable, then, to expect elements of PC gaming to creep into Steam Machine hardware as well. Just, uh, maybe don’t get your hopes up for Alienware to kick off that trend. The intergalactic planetary PC supplier has decided that upgrading its Steam Machines won’t be a modular process. If you want shiny new CPUs, graphics cards, or even memory, you’ll have to pick up a whole new box. While SteamOS can change conveniently and for free, hardware, as ever, comes at a price. And that’s a problem – one that hardware manufacturers should consider remedying if they want us to be at all interested in their first round of Steam Machines.

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Rohrer Isn’t Wrong About Sales, But He Also Isn’t Right

By Nathan Grayson on January 16th, 2014.

I've been wanting to use this image in a post since pretty much forever

OK, first things first: Castle Doctrine, Passage, and Sleep is Death creator Jason Rohrer is a giant. I am automatically more inclined to believe anything very tall people say. They’ve seen so much more than the rest of us from their monolithic neck perches, their giraffe-like forms stretching up into stratospheres I’ve only dared imagine. Also, it’s instinct: big person beat me up, ergo ideologically correct. So even though I don’t agree with everything he said in a lengthy missive about why rampant sales are hurting gamers (or just the things he says in general), I am obligated to think he’s 100 percent right.

Yes, of course I’m being silly. There’s tons to discuss here, as Rohrer’s criticisms are both important and flawed. Let’s dissect why big sales – for instance, those frequently bazooka-launched at us by the likes of Steam and Humble Bundle – are both harmful and crucial to PC gaming.

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Games Are The Ideal Place For Telling Great Stories

By John Walker on June 12th, 2013.

There are some who have argued that games just aren’t the right medium for telling stories. Pointing out that scant few games have ever produced literary works comparable with other forms, the suggestion is that gaming just isn’t a suitable place for such narrative experiences. But this argument is entirely flawed, failing to understand that gaming is home to a completely new form of storytelling, and one that is perhaps more potent and powerful than any other.

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Maybe Games Just Aren’t For Telling Great Stories?

By John Walker on June 11th, 2013.

During all of the recent conferences for the forthcoming consoles, a refrain is repeated by all involved. When they boast of their new technology, their graphical improvements, their breakthrough achievements, it always seems to be said that it will provide enchancements in storytelling. New ways to connect emotionally with the player. “To tell stories in a far more powerful way.”

I’m fascinated that this is the angle they choose. Not just because it’s the most disingenuous, but because it seems like it’s the last thing their core audience appears to care about. It seems like trying to sell a speedboat based on its lovely coffee holders. Yes, it has coffee holders, but most people are buying it because it goes fast over waves without sinking. Who of the Modern Warfare generation is buying games for their groundbreaking ability to tell stories?

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E3′s Press Events Do Not Represent The Gaming I Know

By John Walker on June 5th, 2012.

Gaming.

After alternately watching live feeds of the press conferences last night, and watching colleagues’ reactions to them on Twitter, I awake with a heavy cynicism for the entire industry. While a couple of new IPs were announced, and they were perhaps even interesting, the overwhelming message of the LA evening was one of partisanship, stagnation, and a disturbing lack of awareness of what is most problematic in the gaming world. Which can pretty much be summed up in the frighteningly repeated phrase, “With exclusive DLC for our console.”

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Opinion: Blurring Genres

By John Walker on April 11th, 2011.

A few years back I remember Kieron angrily arguing that genres were stifling development. I’ve decided to muse on that. Simply by applying the label we inhibit both the game’s development, and the audience’s appreciation of the results. So perhaps one of the most frustrating results of such thinking is the notion of labelling something a “genre crossing game”.

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