2009, We Demand Of Thee

Pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

So this is the new year. Do you feel any different? When thinking about what 2009 holds, I want to think slightly beyond the many exciting games we’re looking forward to and get a bit more thematic. On what journey should gaming take us in the following year?

2008, despite containing a ton of great games, felt a bit of a filler year in terms of progress. 2007 felt so huge probably purely thanks to Portal, and the impact that had on our expectations of gaming. But did it have an impact on last year? I’m not sure it did, beyond a few games making references to it (World of Goo Sacred 2 to name the first that springs to mind). Will the last year of the decade see us beginning to define what the twenty-teens will be about?

The question really becomes about: what do you want to see games do this year? You know, developers read this site – post your thoughts below and they might get read by the right people. Let’s inspire them. So here’s a few thoughts I’ve had:

– Let’s start with Portal. Like so many interesting games, Portal was released to a cry of prophecies, forecasting the short-form game as an option for major publishers. But unless you count Mirror’s Edge’s five hour main game (and I’m betting EA would rather you didn’t), this hasn’t come to pass. Certainly indie games have clocked in at similar lengths, and similar prices, but we’ve not seen a major publisher commission themselves, or hire a dev team, to try and create something in a similar bracket. This is something I would love to see, despite being very aware of the stack of issues that come with it. Would Valve have been able to create Portal without bundling it in the Orange Box? Now they could, certainly, but how would it have been received if it weren’t riding on the back of hugely anticipated games like TF2 and Episode 2? Sometimes I think it could have. The point of a big publisher is they’ve got big advertising budgets, so it wouldn’t be a case of word-of-mouth sales. Why aren’t we seeing Ubisoft, EA, and so on creating novella games to a public that has proven they’re interested?

– I’m worried about the FPS. I’ve been worried about it for years now. I think it’s the most under-served genre on the PC, and the one most likely to be poop. Long ago the adventure game reached stagnancy because it stopped reinventing itself, and started photocopying. It’s never recovered, obviously. I believe the FPS is deeply in the same mire, and 2009 must be the year of its reinvention? What should that be? I dunno – I’m the bastard who writes about them later. That’s the developers’ challenge. But I’m fairly sure the answer isn’t “RPG elements”.

– Voice acting. Come on now, that’s enough. Developers, you must employ a voice director. It’s not enough to cast and give them lines in isolation. Sure, it takes a lot more work, but if there’s someone in the room making sure the standard is above a primary school play, and ensuring the intonations make sense, your games will seem so much better. It strikes me as very odd that few companies would be happy to ship a game with a glaringly obvious graphical glitch, but nearly all don’t seem to care if the lines are read out incorrectly. Not any more in 2009.

– I want 2009 to be the year of the comedy game. Brutal Legend is a good sign. So let’s have some laughs this year. But things have been a bit po-faced for a while now. It must be remembered, funny games need comedy writers. Hire them.

– Virtual reality hyper masks. No, I’m lying.

So what are your wishes/demands?

180 Comments

  1. Thomas Lawrence says:

    The thing about videogames is that this year’s titles aren’t going to be a reaction to last year’s, because dev cycles are usually at least eighteen months.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    Ditto on voice acting, but ultimately I’m happy for 09 to be a year of incremental improvement on previous years.

    Also:

    I’d like to see really good mods for Stalker: Clear Sky and Far Cry 2.

    I’d like Alan Wake to be really unexpectedly good.

    I want Jumpgate Evolution to be an actual, workable point-and-shoot spaceship MMO.

    I want to be surprised by more than three games.

  3. Paul S says:

    If you’re making an MMO, make sure it’s a good game. No, seriously. I’m sure most developers aren’t interested in quality, and the publishers don’t seem to care. You can’t just toss it off in a year or two and ship with a barely functioning engine and programming issues from here to the Galapagos Islands. You only make the big money with MMOs when you produce quality. It is the only genre where you just can’t get away with being crap any more. Why won’t the big houses learn this?

    Oh, and stop making me sign up to websites / clubs / GFWL. I don’t wanna. Same goes for my 360 pad. I’ll use it when I say, not you.

    All said, congrats. I played some cracking games in 2008.

  4. Oddtwang says:

    Pleasantly, right?

  5. LewieP says:

    Less/much shorter load times, I am bored of them now.

    I would like to see what Subversion actually is, and I would like it to be as good as I expect it to, and I would like some mainstream media to actually give it some coverage.

    I’d like to see something on Splinter Cell: Conviction, and for it to be the update that the series deserves.

    I’d like Fez to come out.

    I’d like to pretend that Deus Ex 3 doesn’t exist.

  6. Walruss says:

    I want more horfically self-conscious artsy games, with visuals inspired by Gustav Klimt and Odd Nerdrum, with a House of Leaves like meta-plot and good voice acting, a first person RPG where role playing doesn’t mean stats but personality.

    And then I want the moon to be terraformed and for us all to live there in hysteric suicidal happiness, with marshmallow treats for everyone!

  7. rocketman71 says:

    I’d like to see DRM disappear from the face of the Earth.

    Also, SecuROM bankrupt, and whoever thought that fucking paying customers uselessly is OK out of the industry and serving burgers for all his life.

    Hey, don’t look at me like that. It’s the Christmas spirit.

  8. dhex says:

    “Voice acting. Come on now, that’s enough.”

    yuppers. especially as more folk go the mass effect, every little bit of wording must be voiced somewhere route.

    hell is other people talking.

  9. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    For 2009 I’d really really love a procedural and (perhaps more importantly) involving story. I don’t care what genre it’s in, but I’d bloody love it no matter where it comes from. Imagine the replayability!

  10. Pavel says:

    “But I’m fairly sure the answer isn’t “RPG elements”.”

    For me it is : ). Deus Ex over Half Life any day.Far Cry 2 could have used more of actual dialogues and better quest structure.And inventory.And…..

  11. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Oh, and I’d also love for a few more massive Indie hits to shake up the industry a bit more. There must be some out there!

  12. AndrewC says:

    Open worlds that are more heavily systemetised would be lovely. By which I mean: the tangibility of the world comes from how you can interact and change it. No matter how pretty the textures, if you can’t do anything with the building/cave/elf/drug-dealer, it’s a just a picture on an empty box. I love exploring, but a world worth exploring comes from what you can do with it.

    But Fallout 3 did this quite well with it giving the player the ability to change the gameworld by their actions. GTA4 worked incredibly hard to create an invisible culture that informed the surface graphics. Just lots more of that. And no stupid plot stuff. I will pretend Walker’s rant against voice acting extends to all narrative and character bits in the game.

    Problem is I can’t tell if this request is tediously unimaginative or embarrassingly optimistic.

    Realistically though, Assassin’s Creed 2 having some real gameplay in it would be fab.

  13. Thants says:

    Huh, is Alan Wake still a thing? I remember being excited about that way back when.

  14. Tei says:

    I am looking forward for… Demigod, Aion, and other games. A game take years, so If is not in production just now, most games will not ver released for 2009.

  15. JonFitt says:

    I’d like to see developers factoring in support and updates to big games that goes beyond “Let’s sell this crap we cut or didn’t finish as DLC in 6 months time”
    I mourn the loss of expansion packs, surely after you’ve spent so much time developing a game like Mass Effect you can do more with it?
    I hold out hope that Fallout3’s expansions are more than 5 minute diversions.

  16. Kong says:

    Something like Vampire Bloodlines.
    We know it can be done. A great adventure with a FPS engine, any setting: historic, present, future, horror whatever.

    Please put international audio on the DVD. I am so sick an tired of german so called “voice talents”.

  17. Junior says:

    I look forward to less plot and scripting in games. Let me and the engine bash out something approximating a plot, or anything else I feel like doing in the world I’ve bought.

    I don’t need guiding by the hand, I can explore on my own, and I’ll get into my own damn trouble.

  18. Colthor says:

    Ignoring The D Initialism, how about something a bit more unusual than a lone/small group of US/Space marine(s) shooting a bunch of nazis/aliens in a first/third-person perspective manner?

    How about a horde (gaggle? Flock?) of space-bats rescuing their children from evil space-bat-children-eating Jovian hippos, in various entirely-improbable locations across the asteroid belt, and beyond!? Maybe as some combination of space-physics and group-AI action-puzzle game. A daft example, but more ‘daft’ would be nice.

    If the wonderful thing about games is that you can do amazing and impossible things… Why don’t we?

  19. Plopsworth says:

    I’d say that Far Cry 2’s dedicated (yet strangely selective in some circumstances) stance to diegeticness should be recognised.
    How about the year of co-op?
    No longer is co-op implementation seen as reason enough to play a crap game.

  20. Larington says:

    Well, I’m finally seeing comments from developers, I mean, recognisable names, saying Lets try and move away from releasing risky new IP like Little Big Planet during the xmas sequel madness… ( link to gamasutra.com )

    …And then I rejoiced.

    I’d also like to see better use of writers in a ‘Lets bring an experienced (Preferably games) writer from the start of the project instead of towards the end’, or better still, ‘Lets bring an experienced writer in house to work with the developers and designers on a daily basis’ (This person can also produce mini-stories for hyping the game, its settings and characters and I’m sure do other wonderfully useful things) kind of way.

    (I understand that writer(s) have been brought in for Deus Ex 3 before any code had been written, I certainly regard that as a very positive sign, regardless of peoples feelings about certain design decisions such as very brief context sensitive third person or regenerative healing)

    Also, as I mentioned in another comments thread, I’d love to see a publisher try an anthology series game, something done episodic (Not released episodic, I mean, a collection of different length anthologised stories in a sort of multipack) that re-uses the setting (Or at least the game rules) for a variety of different ‘short adventures’. With adventure packs released which also include a variety of different adventures of varying lengths (So if a player has 4 hours to spare, he can play through a particular adventure in that time and not have to worry about remembering story details as you might get in a longer adventure). The forgotten realms setting ala D&D 3.5 edition would be a great one to use for such a game.

  21. Hybrid says:

    More open world type games like AndrewC said above and
    hopefully Half-Life 2: Episode 3, that is if Valve doesn’t get bogged down in Left 4 Dead/ TF2 updates.

  22. Dolphan says:

    In 2009, I want more hints along the lines of the one Football Manager 2009 just gave me – “A player with a high corners attribute would be a good choice to take your corners”. And a new comments-devourer to replace DRM.

  23. NoahApples says:

    Procedurally Generated Content. More of it, done well.

    It has the obvious advantage of increasing replay/continuing play value, but I also think it forces better game design.

    I’m tired of sucking at online first-person shooters because people who have been playing longer than me know advantageous minutiae of the map we’re playing. And level design is just one area where procedural generation could be implemented, which I’ve seen done successfully before. Forget additionally, downloadable content (or don’t forget it, but rethink it) – just make the game create new stuff for the user. I’m sure it’s easier said than done, but it doesn’t seem like it would take *more* work from developers, just different allocation of resources and thought. Rather than balancing particulars of limited resources, create a framework of balance, giving everyone an equal chance each playthrough of potentially ending up in an unbalanced position one way or the other.

    Think about Diablo II. I firmly believe its continued success as a multiplayer game, and my continued enjoyment of it, is tied to its use of procedurally generated content. At a glance, sure, the map is layed out differently so every game you have to run around a different path, and that’s neat. But that leads to so much more: all players have an equal chance of finding the good loot, you never know which spots are going to be particularly challenging, and it drives down monotony in what can be a pretty monotonous game.

    Also, it’s awesome.

  24. matte_k says:

    More games that buld upon some of the prototype innovative ideas we’ve seen in the last few years. From big buck games like Spore to two-man teams like World of Goo, take those ideas and apply them to something new, and in context. I remember years back hearing about Republic-The Revolution and Stalker and thinking “how the hell will they pull that off?” and when the games finally arrived, they were about 70% right but broken in so many ways that a devoted community was left to put it right (Are those KoToR 2 guys still working on the mod? That’s some dedication…and hopefully worth it).

    Let’s see developers and publishers getting things 95-100% right- if you can do that, you will be rewarded by purchases and praise. Isn’t that worth waiting a bit longer for release?

  25. MA6200 says:

    I have to agree with Paul S. Please no more crappy MMOs! I feel like such a sucker after trying Vanguard, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Tabula Rasa, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online. I’m starting to think there’s a business model forming that consists of spending all the production money on advertising/hype in order to sell 700,000+ boxes at $50 a pop on release and then just junking the project. Don’t most single player games consider a number like that a big success?

    Or, maybe I just don’t like MMOs any more. The last ones I enjoyed were Ultima Online and World of Warcraft. I finally took the plunge and tried Eve out. So far so good.

  26. Gap Gen says:

    The FPS hasn’t really revolutionarily changed for quite a while now. It’s more exciting than the adventure game, though, so that goes a long way to prolonging its survival. Another idea I heard was that adventure games were popular in early computing because you needed to be a puzzle-solving master just to fire up games on the PC in the first place.

    That said, the FPS has been changing slowly, or at least doing new things. Films have settled into a groove, but are still popular – the comparison between Pixar and TF2 isn’t unwarranted.

    As for short games, games are becoming shorter anyway. Call of Duty 4 isn’t as long as most games before it, and most of Spore can be completed in an afternoon. The biggest challenge to developers in this respect is making their games accessible to people who haven’t spent years honing their skills – I completed Portal in a few hours, but my dad struggled when he was forced to attempt it, and many people just don’t want to spend hours getting into something, unlike the feature film which typically only lasts 2 hours or so. Then again, companies are already doing this sort of thing, with testing being more rigorous in the bigger studios. But then this, and better voice acting, can be costly.

  27. Helm says:

    I want to see more games tackle adult themes without having to water down for the lowest common denominator. I guess I expect this mostly from either the indie scene or The Russians, as they did with Pathologic for example, only more, only better. I want more humanity in videogames I guess.

    Also, better / more conscientious art direction (no halfshirt underboob, no shallow cool), actually paying actual writers to write the games and not ‘hello I am a gameplay designer I also wrote the game script!’. Perhaps if these things are done, then the humanity thing will take care of itself!

  28. Steve says:

    Planescape 2?
    Outcast 2
    Kings Bounty for reasonable money.
    Well, one out of three at least?

  29. Larington says:

    As far as unusual concepts goes, how about this:

    2nd person shooter. Umm, this could take a little bit of explaining. I’ll use an example.

    You control a squad that is charged with hunting down a sniper using an advanced sniper rifle that has some sort of image feed built into it. You can see what the sniper rifle is pointed at and possibly a top down view of an area map.

    Your task is to give your squad the right orders to hunt down the sniper. Its done in real time, so if the snipers rifle is suddenly being lifted up from the floor and being moved up to a window you know you’d better be shouting “take cover!” pretty damn quickly. (Heck, this’d be cool if it was voice activated, but I know developers have struggled with the implementation of that before so I won’t be so bold as to say it should be a requirement of the design)

  30. Nitre says:

    More new IPs from companies that have been sitting in their sequels for far too long.

    More games like World Of Goo; indie, charming, thought provoking, funny and well made.

    More effort by developers (more likely publishers) to make games polished and not rush them out with game-breaking bugs, or just plain terrible bits which really need more work.

    More effort put into storylines. I don’t want the same crap we’ve had 5 million times before. (You are the super amazing ultra person who has come to save the world which has been taken over by an alien species/evil people! Now go!) I want plot twists, strong characters that i actually care about, so that when you kill them off i don’t just think ‘Ah damn, need to find me another person to shoot shit’ or ‘thank god for that, their voice pissed me off to no end!’

    Less focus on improving graphics and more attempts to do things that haven’t been done before. Indie developers are doing good stuff here, but big developers need to start doing so as well. Take some risks and don’t stick to your stagnant, money making series.

    Some of these things are probably impossible, but one can dream.

  31. BooleanBob says:

    I’m taking this as an invitation to ramble on for a bit, then spend the rest of the evening assiduously checking to see if there was a response from anyone (so lonely!) despite the fact that I didn’t bother to really construct any sort of coherent argument or contention, and certainly made no effort to back myself up with facts or keep things to a reasonable length. Unfortunately this won’t make you the squillions of pounds from ad impressions as you’re clearly hoping for, you evil blogger bastards, because I use adblock. If you resent the cynicism in that last sentence you only have yourselves to blame, because your Sunday Papers links led me to this (specifically, half-way down p3 onwards) and it really isn’t much fun to have your thoughts and opinions reduced to a measure of revenue, however lazily scribed and tangentually challenged they may be.

    My view of 2008 is coloured by the fact that it was the year I played catch up on 2007. Mass Effect and Bioshock taught me that it was OK to like huge budget games despite my vague centre-left suspicion of large amounts of money (see above), and also that it was OK to like games which have been critically lauded and financially successful despite my hugely egotistical suspicion of everybody else’s tastes. Portal sits on my hard drive thanks to Steam’s crazy-go-nuts holiday sale and promises, I gather, approximately one Sunday afternoon’s-worth of undiluted orgasm-o-bliss.

    So what do I want? Just one thing really: I want Dragon Age to feel more like BG2 and less like KOTOR – not in terms of plot or theme, because obv it’s going to be fantasy not sci-fi, but in the sense that when I played BG2, despite (possibly because of?) being built on a ramshackle, schizophrenic engine that threatened to brake at any moment – threats upon which it often made good – I was in a world. That is, it did more to distract me from the fact that I was playing a game than just about any other game that springs to mind. I wasn’t in a game, I was in a place. That it had so unsubtly orchestrated a plot, every bit as ‘go here, do this’ as KOTOR or Mass Effect or even your average JRPG (as per the slightly snobbish stigmata the genre struggles to shed) hardly mattered: nothing* present in the game ever really threatened to dispel the illusion that I was a poor but heavily armoured half-god half-rube with an entire country at his feets’ disposal and an endearing if overly saccharine little sister to save (all my favourite games seem to involve saving little sisters – paternalism as the most compelling chivalrous mode?).

    Reusing 3d art resources, I suspect, is what’s to blame here. Because you can use your imagination with identikit 2D peasants and so on, they’re just markers anyway and your brain glosses over them and allows your eyes to fully take in the utterly convincing (and utterly beautiful) hand-painted filth of the slums around. Whereas Bioware’s 3D games force upon you a perspective – the over-the-shoulder third person – that demands you take the world at face value, and all the clumsy artifice of its unerringly identical props and furniture alongside. (And if anyone tries to tell me that in the future everything will look the same because of molecular assembly drones or some other piece of nonsensical technowizardry I will brain them with a Plasteel container and lock their limp, unconscious body inside).

    So yes; what I want is for every game released from now on to use pre-rendered, and indeed pre-painted 2D backdrops, regardless of genre (or camera perspective). Or to just be Armaggeddon Empires. That game. Man.

    I’d also like Nintendo to release, or even just unveil, an out-of-the-park, triple-‘A’, cliché-defined title to remind me that they can still do that (as Super Mario Galaxy left me strangely, and seemingly singularly, cold).

    *almost nothing. There was that one bloke with the absolutely atrocious Mockney accent. Snoipin’s a gourd jorb, moight…

  32. Ziv says:

    I would like developers to think we mean something.
    This year had many, many games that were supposed to be awesome but sucked because they weren’t finished. for example: GTA IV which most people couldn’t run, far cry 2 which had SO MANY issues I heard stalker had issues too but I didn’t play it. and again like what that has been said before we need originality.

    think the only “big player” game that was any good this year wa left 4 dead. set aside the name itself the game was polished, original, expendable (there’s an expension pack on the way w/ more maps), it was affordable and easy to get (steam/direct2drive which I think are the future).

    so, summing it all up, developers! go play left 4 dead and understand what a good game is!

    P.S. another great example of a good game that I forgot to mention is king’s bounty, which I haven’t finished yet but it’s a really good game.

  33. qrter says:

    I’d like to see less money spent on graphics, instead spending that money on using some real writers to write dialogue/story (and I mean actual, proper writing, not the kind that’d be used in a mediocre action flick) etc.

    Also, less worrying by devs about ‘immersion’ and trying to hide UIs and HUDs – I know it’s a game, I’m fine with the artificialness, I can handle it AND still enjoy your game.

    I’d like to see less fetishisation of ‘open world/sandbox’ gaming, as if it’s the be all and end all of games. Open world is great for exploratory games but they tend to stink in the storytelling department – mainly because devs seem to choose the wrong kind of story to tell in those games. Embrace the openness and fractured nature of your game and tell a story (or set of stories) that meshes with the experience of open world games. Or dump the whole storytelling aspect and go for exploration in all its forms.

    I’d also like to see mature games that are mature because they try to work a story and/or concept on several levels, not because the devs think that a bunch of sex, gore and swearing makes something ‘for grownups’.

    I’d like to see previews disappear in the gaming press, or only appear when a game is a couple of months away from being ready.

  34. dhex says:

    my real big hope is that age of decadence kicks ass and doesn’t suck.

    and that project origin is good.

  35. Gap Gen says:

    Also, can someone hypnotise the Activision board of directors into reversing their decision to become a sequel-churning factory? Actually, I don’t really care as long as EA’s new direction works, in which case Activision and EA have just switched roles as to who is the evil one and who is the benign giant.

  36. Dave says:

    I don’t have that opinion of FPS’s. Maybe because I play a limited set of them, and most of those are Valve… But to me HL2, L4D, TF2, Crysis, and Bioshock are all as different as they could reasonably be within the same genres.

    That said, I want more of the kind of experience Thief 1 delivered, and the first couple of Rainbow Six games. (Vegas is way too far in the action vein for me. Rogue Spear was perfect… just needs a graphical update.)

    The FPS I’m most looking forward to is the Black Mesa mod.

  37. Gap Gen says:

    I’d like to see new IP over sequels. I’m glad Tim Schafer isn’t making a sequel to Psychonauts, and would rather that the sequel to BG&E was a new idea instead. Sequels can be good, and a chance for developers to hone the mechanics in the first game, but they’re often fan service and ways of making more money.

    If Michel Ancel can come up with something as enchanting as BG&E then it’s a shame to waste that imagination on making an unnecessary sequel. Sure, it could expand on the story, but why? BG&E’s story finished (bar the cheap cliffhanger after the credits) and there’s no need to revisit Jade’s world. The sequel to BG&E is actually a defeat for originality and new ideas.

  38. Pags says:

    (Honest to goodness I read your entire post BooleanBob, but I just thought I’d single this part out and ‘rap a little on it’)

    Whereas Bioware’s 3D games force upon you a perspective – the over-the-shoulder third person – that demands you take the world at face value, and all the clumsy artifice of its unerringly identical props and furniture alongside.

    See, now I know some people find it very easy to dislike GTAIV, but I think this is definitely where Rockstar have shown it is entirely possible to have an actual 3D world where things rarely feel cut-and-paste; take a walk round the city (if you can run the game that is) and take note of how you’ll almost never see the same shopfront twice, or how they include a million different unique details that you never pick up on because… well, because you never see them again. An example: I went into the office of that warehouse full of soda you shoot up for Manny whilst on one of my jaunts around Bohan; on the desk was a desk lamp, modelled and textured and unassumingly tucked away. I must’ve been there five full minutes, mind blown, thinking that someone actually had to make that lamp and put it in the game knowing that no-one would think twice about it being there.

    Of course, that game had a budget of bazillions, spent a huge amount of time in development and had a ridiculous amount of staff, but the fact stands: it is possible.

  39. Rob says:

    @BooleanBob

    I agree.

  40. qrter says:

    Forgot one – make more PC games moddable.

    That part of gaming seems to be disappearing and it would be a real shame.

  41. nihohit says:

    I would like tim Schaffer to take over EVERY development company, hoping that that way he’ll be able to make games more than once in an epoch.
    I’d like western companies to look at CDProjekt and feel ashamed.
    I’d like games that, when I wake from a 200-gazillion hours gaming spree, will make me feel as if I’ve done something constructive, or at least interesting with my time.
    I’d like someone to harness all of that fan-rage and make something that is more “Fallout 2”-like, because even though Fallout 3 was excellent, it wasn’t Fallout 2, and frankly, I liked that more. Only updated.
    Oh, you know what? Let’s combine two of my requests – some should look over GOG’s content, and think why some of those games are still worth playing today. The answer is simple – many of them had no successor. If we were reminded of they’re existence, let’s see how they can be updated, too.

  42. Tei says:

    I love RPS.

  43. nihohit says:

    Also, ponies.

  44. Feet says:

    I’d like…

    – More mad
    – More meaningful choices
    – Less faux choices
    – Less MMOs
    – Less crappy or late or both ports
    – Less DRM bs
    – More rewarding paying customers
    – More turned-based games
    – Less graphics
    – More gameplays
    – More games with writing
    – Less games with stupidness

    That’ll do.

  45. Larington says:

    “Reusing 3d art resources, I suspect, is what’s to blame here. Because you can use your imagination with identikit 2D peasants and so on, they’re just markers anyway and your brain glosses over them and allows your eyes to fully take in the utterly convincing (and utterly beautiful) hand-painted filth of the slums around. [snip]”

    Contender for post of the year, I miss the backgrounds of earlier adventure games that could be regarded as art in their own friggin’ right. Sod the elitist snobs who look down on a new entertainment form just because its a new entertainment form. With that in mind, is it any wonder that the experience from World of Goo felt so… Comforting, to me?

  46. Gorgeras says:

    Love will beat WoW. It’s financial, artistic and cultural impact shall utterly destroy the Everquest clone, prompting Jeff Kaplan to be fired for crimes against player-made content and goals.

    Considering I don’t even know much about the gameplay of Love, I must really be wanting WoW to get a kick in the nuts. Mythic failed because they lied to PvPers, end of.

    Second, Rockstar will either fix GTA IV and go on to become a great PC developer again, or the company will die and the Housers will be put on trial for some kind of corporate fraud.

    The mask will also be pulled of John Riccitiello, revealing him to secretly be Jack Thompson in disguise. Giving how much effort he has been consistently putting in to destroy gaming, why would this be a suprise?

  47. machineisbored says:

    APB, Dawn of War II, Borderlands and Overgrowth are my big hopes for the year. Reckon its going to be another good one for gaming.

  48. Alaric says:

    I’d like StarCraft.

  49. Eli Just says:

    I want games to have a thesis, something that they consider when they make all aspects of the game so all the aspects of the game reinforce that one point. That is where Mirror’s Edge failed and how Bioshock fell apart at the end.

  50. JonFitt says:

    I appreciate the sentiment behind the “less graphics” comments, but I’m not so sure that is really desirable. If Portal 2 was released looking like Quake 2, but everything else intact, it would have still get the indie gamer’s attention, but would receive bad reviews and sell badly. People like the pretty.

    But I don’t think you need a new engine for every game, and the industry is well aware of this now. Compare the use of Unreal 3 compared to previous generations where everyone had their own engine.

    However, I think we’ll see a continued movement towards art over photo-realism. Think TF2, and Mirrors Edge, as opposed to Crysis.