Game Updates

March 11, 2009

A Death Foreordained and Engineer have both been updated to fix a few bugs. Shortest blog post ever.

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There has recently been a flurry of activity in the used games sector, as it has been announced that Amazon, Best Buy, and Toys R us will all be offering some sort of used game program. Used games, as anyone who is familiar with the industry knows, are a point of controversy right now, as Gamestop is making a mint off having a virtual monopoly over the used game business. There is a lot of money here, and it seems that some other big players are stepping up to the plate in an attempt to cash in, as well.

Now, of course publishers and developers have a common enemy here, as the used market is a direct competitor to the standard retail market, the main revenue stream for most AAA games. Take-Two has already expressed discontent, and this isn’t surprising. The used games business model threatens the business model that most publishers and developers depend on to survive, so why shouldn’t they be pissed off?

I have no problem with a corporation clinging to an antiquated business model in an attempt to stay solvent, because THAT’S WHAT CORPORATIONS DO. Businesses exist to make money, and there’s nothing we can do to change that. My gripe is with the employees of these businesses that are now adding their voices to the maelstrom that is the used games argument. Recently, David Jaffe, the God of War guy, posted a Youtube video about his thoughts on used games, and now others are following suit. For instance, David Perry of Acclaim recently posted a barely intelligible post on his blog on the subject.

Now, here’s why this annoys me…If you willingly work for a big developer or publisher, I don’t think you should get a say. Your personal opinion is trumped by the fact that you are but a wage slave to the mainstream games industry. By being employed in the industry, you are automatically supporting whatever stance AAA publishers and developers end up taking in the used games debate. So, please, just shut up and continue making big budget games for those who care. I’m tired of seeing every two-bit game designer’s thoughts on the subject, especially since it’s blatantly clear that most of them don’t have a fucking clue as to what is going on.

Fuck Mainstream Gaming

March 8, 2009

I agree 100% with everything in this post at Eegra. Here’s a snippet.

The point is, don’t worry about those fucking expensive games. Fuck ‘em. They’re probably shit, and even if they aren’t, fuck ‘em – spend that money on a trip overseas.

I have been following the sad saga of Midway Games, a pioneer in the video game world, which coincidentally has offices a few blocks away from me. We all know they have been having some financial troubles, and have had some rather craptastic games lined up for release, but this bit of news sheds a whole new light on the situation.

Midway has set aside about $3 million in bonuses for certain employees. This is a last ditch effort for the top-tier of employees to scrape up as much cash as they can before Midway implodes. Kotaku also reports that Midway is denying paid-time off benefits to lower level employees, as well.

It is blatantly obvious, that this is nothing but an attempt by Midway’s management to personally profit as much from a dying company as they can, while shafting the lower levels of their workforce. These practices are something I would expect to see out of old-school EA, rather than Midway.

I would suggest a boycott of Midway, but nobody is interested in the garbage they have to offer anyways. It’s really a sad sight to see such a respectable company turn into such a pit of corporate greed.

I recently read this article about F2P Asian MMO ZT Online. ZT Online is heavily focused on getting players to spend real money on in-game stuff, to the point where it is virtually unplayable without paying. The original article was written in Chinese, and has been taken down from its original posting and many other websites, due to pressure from the operators of ZT Online.

It’s a rather long read, but it provides some great insight into a direction that Western MMOs could possibly take, seeing as the whole “microtransaction” thing is starting to really take root here. If microtransactions as used in ZT Online are the future of MMOs, then count me out.

A Death Foreordained

February 28, 2009

Download A Death Foreordained

A Death Foreordained is my entry in a 48-hour game jam hosted by RPGDX. The theme was “lofi,” and as you can see, it’s pretty graphically simple. My goal was to make a arcade/RPG hybrid, but it ended up turning out a bit more arcadey than I wanted. There are some really good looking other entries to the jam, and I will be going over a couple of them in the near future.

Cockpit Compo

February 21, 2009

TIG is having a competition, with cockpits as the the theme. I am building a cel-shaded mech game, with a couple twists. Here’s an early screen.

More Midway Hilarity

February 20, 2009

I’m really not sure if the idea of adding the ability to turn into a 15′ tall beast in UT3 is pure genius or fucking retarded. This really takes the Call of Duty method of rewarding good players to an extreme.

Why Midway Games Will Fail

February 19, 2009

I live down the street from Midway Games in Chicago, and have blogged about them before. They have been having a bit of financial troubles, and have teamed up with Ubisoft to publish their next game. Now, Midway has a second chance that a lot of companies don’t get.

Unfortunately, they are using this chance to release Wheelman, featuring Vin Diesel…great. This means that someone at the Midway offices said “Hey, we are on the brink of failing as a company, let’s release a GTA clone featuring Vin Diesel to win back the public’s affection and money!”. I could be wrong, and Wheelman could turn out to be a good game, but, to me, it looks like Midway still doesn’t get it.
If they keep releasing mediocre looking games like this, I don’t see a future for Midway.

Escape from City 17

February 17, 2009

If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth checking out. The Half-Life universe is a very rich setting, and I will use any excuse to get more of it. The video itself isn’t that long, but is impressive for an independent work. This is what happens when people who are passionate about games make video game movies. These guys aren’t Uwe Boll trying to make money in some European tax haven. They are HL fans, and it shows in their work. I hope to see more of these soon.