Computer Games

A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.

Computer Games

Postby YMix » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:31 am

Project Eternity: Crowdsourcing Classics

Baldur’s Gate. Icewind Dale. Planescape: Torment. Fallout. Players that have spent time at the PC with role-playing games may have heard of these classic titles, and now Kickstarter is being used to see if there’s still demand for this kind of RPG in today’s gaming landscape. As it turns out, the Project Eternity Kickstarter is $3 million+ as of today, well over the original $1.1 million goal.*

We had a chance to sit down with the legendary Chris Avellone at GDC Online to discuss how Kickstarter has been instrumental in bringing titles like Project Eternity to life. Titles that may not appeal to an AAA publishing studio can be efficiently and effectively funded through programs like Kickstarter. Gamers that were around to experience the inspirational titles for Project Eternity have a lot to look forward to, as some of the best aspects of each game will go into the role-playing risotto. Is there demand for another title hearkening back to the glory days of PC RPG titles? Do players want this kind of game in this day and age?

If the Kickstarter is any indicator, it looks like the answer is a resounding yes. Player input and player funding can now be factored into the process before the game is made. Want to see the Paladin class in the game? How about a Bard? Something specialized? More dungeons? Bigger dungeons? There are stretch goals and buy-ins for just about everything, with content and customization at the forefront.

Are you one of those gamers that longs for the special lore items that come in the box, relics of a gaming era long past? Do you want to hang your cloth map on the wall as you dungeon crawl through perilous crypts? Actual game manuals you can hold in your hands? These days, it’s not uncommon to offer backers actual in-game immortalization at higher donation tiers, and Project Eternity is no exception.

Kickstarter allowing players and backers to essentially “be the boss” behind things like Project Eternity is an increasingly prevalent practice, especially for small studios or indie game development teams. A Kickstarter project can do everything from fund, gauge interest, and open a direct dialogue from the player to producer. Is the Kickstarter era of gaming just beginning? Only time will tell. For now? Let’s hope we won’t be waiting an eternity for Project Eternity.

*$3.4 million via Kickstarter + 100,000 via PayPal on October 16.


I've been meaning for a while to post about this project that got me really excited. I played a lot of Baldur's Gate 2, Icewind Dale 2, Fallout 1 & 2, Arcanum and Planescape: Torment, my favorite story in game format. It's amazing to see the people who made these games get together to make a game that will, hopefully, have nothing to do with the cinematic lavender that passes for games nowadays. I've been hoping for a project like this since I first heard of Kickstarter and it's now coming true. Moreover, Wasteland, the post-apocalyptic game that led to the Fallout series, is also getting a proper sequel, funded by fans of the original with a cool $3 million.

I love Kickstarter because it allows developer to completely bypass the publishers and pitch directly to the fans on the strength of their reputation and past achievements. Instead of having to make an AAA game that must sell a couple of million copies, Eternity's developers have already sold 65,000 copies and got the funding they need.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Taboo » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:12 am

Excellent news!
User avatar
Taboo
 
Posts: 453
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:05 am

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:55 am

I was hoping you'd see this thread. :)

The final Kickstarter+Paypal tally is $4.1 million and Obsidian promised not one, but two cities as big as Athkatla. I hope they deliver.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Enki » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:29 pm

One day I hope to be able to work on a project where I can create an intelligent city in a video game. ;)
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
-Alexander Hamilton
User avatar
Enki
 
Posts: 4962
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:59 pm

As a pure background simulation or as an actual place for adventure?
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Enki » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:55 pm

YMix wrote:As a pure background simulation or as an actual place for adventure?


An actual place for adventure. I am thinking of kind of like an Assassin's Creed/Grand Theft Auto closed metropolis where every single NPC has relationships with the city based on their profession, their family, who they know etc.. Some other things like whether or not someone is greedy/altruistic can be modifiers.
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
-Alexander Hamilton
User avatar
Enki
 
Posts: 4962
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:16 pm

Nice. Well... get to it. ;)
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Enki » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:20 pm

YMix wrote:Nice. Well... get to it. ;)


I am building my software company now. It's probably something that would be realistic about ten years from now.
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
-Alexander Hamilton
User avatar
Enki
 
Posts: 4962
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby noddy » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:55 am

Image

nerd art joke of the day.

throne of games.
noddy
 
Posts: 5499
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:33 pm

“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:09 pm

"Prison Architect" acquires over $1 million in pre-orders

By Jeffrey Matulef Published Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Darwinia developer Introversion's upcoming management sim Prison Architect has earned over $1 million from pre-order sales alone. Not bad for a team of seven. Who knew so many people dreamt of being prison wardens?

The current total comes to $1,016,710 out of 30,259 alphas sold. That comes to an average pledge of $33.6. The minimum amount one can buy the alpha for is $30, then $35 grants players an artbook and soundtrack, while $40 pledges come with Introversion's entire back catalogue as well as all of the above.

"What an incredible milestone! We are incredibly thankful to everyone who has joined us so far," tweeted Introversion Software's company account.


I'm not sure this is a good thing.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:39 pm

Me: EA have a phrase they seem to use a lot: “resonate well with the consumer.”

Swen: There’s three things wrong with that. The first thing is “resonate” – what kind of word is that? Who talks about the player as a “consumer,” it’s like a product – what the hell, it’s a game? When you hear things like that – you know… I knew a marketing director from the perfume industry. He’d never played a game in his life, but he was going to tell me what an RPG needs to be. He said “I’ve done my research!” So he came up with a list of things that RPG’s had to have, and I said “what are you talking about?”

People hear these stories – they think we’re exaggerating, but they’re true! We witnessed them! Usually the marketing director is the guy who is going to decide if the game is made, or not. I was in greenlight meetings where my game was well received by everyone, except the marketing director. The others wanted to do it, but the guy didn’t want to do it. That guy hasn’t played a game in his life, yet he’s the one who gets to decide.

[Laughs] Okay I’m making a caricature of it, but this is pretty much what it’s like. Not always, not everywhere – but it’s often the case. There’s been such amount of bad games, so much money wasted if you think about it. Think of all the licensed games – movie licenses – thank god there were a few good ones, but most of them are total crap. Why did they even get made? Because there was an audience for it, and the audience was apparently larger than the hardcore gamers.

The damage that has been done to video games development as an art is enormous. It set back the evolution, the artwork, really by decades.

Thankfully, digital distributors – who are of course in it for the money – shortened the gap, and developers can now really figure out who their players are [without publishers].


Interview with Larian Studios’ Swen Vincke.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:06 pm

What European developers need to know about American online gamers
By Matt Martin

Don Daglow's five-point plan to designing for a North American audience

Veteran games designer Don Daglow detailed key differences between European and American online games consumers at GDC Europe today, suggesting that developers need to flip their understanding of audiences if they want to see success in North America.

Speaking to a packed audience in Cologne, Daglow delivered a warm and witty assessment of his countrymen, gained during more than 40 years in the business of creating video games.

Firstly, he pointed out that American schools emphasise the student as a free thinker. Students do not fail in class. They are challenged and they are encouraged to learn from the experience, but the actual idea of failure has been dramatically reduced. Failure doesn't kick in until students reach the age of 17 and begin to apply for colleges and discover that rejection and failure is real and there's a steep impact from that. So American users see failure in a game or app as a problem with that game, not a user error. This is an issue for designers because traditionally failure is used as an inducement to succeed. So the solution for games designers is to break down the experience simply, minimise text and show the audience things rather then tell them. And reward success constantly, even in tutorials where there is only one button to press.

The second point raised by Daglow is that users are 'turbo-browsing' the internet and their attention span is tiny. As an example he pointed out that commercials on TV used to be 60 seconds long, then they were reduced to 30 seconds, and now clicking on a YouTube video you'll be faced with a five second advert. With such an extremely tiny window to grab eyeball attention, anything frustrating will cause the player to switch off. Daglow also pointed to the console business, where once a player bought a game the designer would spend time slowly introducing them to the mechanics and story. In the online space this is all an obstacle and the first few hours need to be streamlined. This is where the games designer needs to think like George Lucas or a James Bond movie - grab the player's attention in the first ten minutes with a thrill ride. Whatever your expectations of the time it takes a player to warm to your game, cut it in half, said Daglow. And if you're coming directly from the console space, slash all you expectations by a factor of ten because the patience of American users is so much less.

The third point is that users crave to be individuals. In America people are taught to be an individual able to blaze their own path through life. Daglow observed that US coverage of the 2012 Olympics focused on individual sportsmen and women over the actual sporting event in which they competed. Discussion and montages of their performance was more valued than the act of competing. He described this as the lowest hanging fruit, and games should begin with avatar creation because American players are happy to begin paying for content to make them stand out, even in a game with 3 million users. Do that first and more revenues will follow.

The fourth point focused on the traditional queue. Before online stores, users would buy a game and then wait two or three years for a sequel or the next game from the same development team, happy to line up on release day. But now, with the success of app stores that offer thousands of games, it's the developer who's queuing up to reach a customer overwhelmed with content. Although designers have gained so many new routes to market, they need to grab the audience when they get the chance, treat the player as a celebrity and focus on that first impression.

The fifth and final point was that European designers need to understand that American history is not taught the same way. People know who Steve-O is but not Stalin, said Daglow, who illustrated his point with a six-point slide on the shallow history knowledge of his countrymen:

Romans Vs Barbarians.
Dark Ages, nothing happened.
Renaissance, then we got cars and planes.
Stuff was going on in China and Japan, too.
US got Independence, had Civil War over slavery.
Lots of big wars in the last century.

While the slide was humorous, the point was very real, said Daglow. If you're going to build a game based around history your best bet is to latch on to popular culture, so follow the success of shows based on Spartacus or the Tudors right now, he suggested.

Daglow's' summary was simple enough:

Craft the opening minutes to hold attention.
Use a simple, clear interface.
Minimise text: show, don't tell in tutorials.
The player is a celebrity, give them unique customisation.
Recognise that we're in the queue and the user is the master.
History rarely sells and is often unknown.


I have no idea who Steve-O is.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:33 pm

Crowdfunding the classics: 20 years and $1.8 million later, 'Shadowrun' returns

It's not just a great throwback — it's a great game
By Andrew Webster on July 25, 2013 10:45 am

Kickstarter has become the go-to place for game studios looking to get out from underneath the publishers' thumbs. And gamers have certainly taken notice, helping multiple companies raise in excess of $1 million each to build their dream projects. The thing is, so far none of these big-name projects have seen the light of day, and a number have seen major delays. Double Fine, for instance, recently announced that Broken Age, perhaps the most high-profile Kickstarter game to date, would be split in two so that the studio could sell the first half of the game in order to fund its increasingly larger scope.

We know that Kickstarter can be a great tool to fund smaller titles like Kentucky Route Zero, but there have been no examples of great crowdfunded games built by bigger teams on a bigger budget; that is, until now. Today marks the launch of Shadowrun Returns on Windows and Mac, a role-playing game from Harebrained Schemes that managed to exceed its initial funding goal by 459 percent last April. So what does $1.8 million buy you on Kickstarter? In the case of Shadowrun Returns, a damn fine old-school RPG.

Like the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, Shadowrun Returns is a modern game based on a classic pen-and-paper RPG franchise. Originally released back in 1989, the series blends science fiction with fantasy to create a unique cyberpunk world where magic plays as big of a role as technology. Humans mingle with elves and everyone has cybernetic implants. Shadowrun is also a series that's had an uneven history when it comes to video game adaptations: the early 1990s saw the release of great games on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, while in 2007 the Xbox 360 was graced with a poorly received title that unwisely turned a classic RPG into a first-person shooter.

Thankfully, Shadowrun Returns doesn't try to mess with the formula too much, and instead builds off of the earlier games in the franchise. "We wanted to pick up where they left off and bring the team-based gameplay of the pen-and-paper game to the screen," says series creator Jordan Weisman. "We love this universe and really just wanted to tell stories in it again, as well as empower players to tell their own stories in it."

The result is a game that, in a lot of ways, feels like a long-lost PC classic. While it features modern visuals with slick menus and flashy special effects, Shadowrun Returns also includes a number of old-school throwbacks, from its isometric perspective to the use of only text to tell the story. It's not just the gameplay, though. Since it's a game based on a decades-old franchise, Shadowrun Return also has a sense of style that's distinctly '90s. It's the kind of world where people say things like "meatspace" unironically and you hack into computers by entering a virtual-reality world.

According to Weisman, fighting the urge to tinker with the formula too much was one of the biggest challenges. "Returning to the world after a 20-year absence, I was tempted to update all sorts of things," he says. "But I realized that if I did so I would be creating my own little version of 'Han shot first,' so I had to temper my desires to update and only slightly alter things that would have made the game harder to understand or become immersed in, which amounted to very little."

However, despite its decidedly old-school mentality, Shadowrun Returns doesn't feel dated. There are a few frustrating issues — most notably the lack of a manual save system — but the menus and game mechanics have been streamlined in such a way that it's pretty approachable to just about anyone, even if you've never played or even heard of Shadowrun before. Aspects like character customization, for instance, are simple to understand but offer a good amount of depth that makes it possible to really build the kind of character you want. There are different races and classes, and you can use skill points and cash to constantly upgrade your abilities. And in keeping with Shadowrun tradition, there are trade-offs with regards to magic and tech. If you decide to outfit your body with augmentations, for example, you'll become less spiritually attuned, diminishing your magic potential. So it becomes a choice between new robot arms or the ability to shoot fireballs out of your hands.

This flexibility extends to how the game plays out. Though the first campaign — a wonderfully dark whodunit set in a moody, futuristic version of Seattle — has a linear narrative, you'll be able to approach situations differently depending on what type of character you've created. A good hacker might be able to get information from a nearby computer, for example, while a more charismatic character might be able to simply talk their way into getting it. There's even a full-on creation mode that lets enterprising players build their own story campaigns.

Crowdfunding may mean that development studios no longer have to worry about the pressure of dealing with a big publisher, but there's a different kind of stress created by an audience that feels very invested in a project, especially when it's a beloved name like Shadowrun. "I can honestly say that this has been the highest pressure game I have ever made," explains Weisman. "The fact that it was funded by the audience made the experience extremely intimate. If we didn’t ship or we didn’t live up to at least most of the expectations, we would not be letting down a publisher or an investor, but the fans who passionately care about Shadowrun. That is real pressure! But it made us better and I think made the game better as well."

The blend of modern accessibility and classic gameplay should satiate the rabid Shadowrun fans who collectively forked out nearly $2 million last year. And for Weisman and Harebrained, the experience with crowdfunding was so positive that they're launching a brand new Kickstarter, though this time it won't have the benefit of a cult name like Shadowrun — instead, it's a new, completely original universe. A crowdfunding campaign for Golem Arcana, a tabletop game that makes use of smartphones and tablets to augment the experience, will be launching next month.

"We have seen that older properties which have an established audience can be well funded on Kickstarter," says Weisman. "We are hopeful that new games and properties can also be funded because we — meaning the industry and the players — need a way for new games and universes to be funded, since publishers rarely will take the risk to do so."


So, the first of the big budget Kickstarted games is here and the developers seem to have done a decent job. I'm glad they realized that they were given 1.8 million specifically so they wouldn't make any major changes to the original formula.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:03 pm

Eve players stage giant online space battle

One of the largest video game space battles ever seen has taken place in the Eve Online game.

For five hours on 28 July about 4,000 players took part in the epic battle between two of the game's biggest alliances.

The two sides were fighting for control of resources within several of the game's solar systems.

Time was slowed down in the virtual universe to help servers cope with the huge numbers of players and ships.

The battle pitted spaceships belonging to CFC against those from the Test Alliance in a region of space known as 6VDT. It ended in victory for CFC.

Eve Online is a detailed space simulation that sees players fly spaceships through thousands of virtual star systems, seeking resources they can use to prosper.

The resources can be found on planets and in asteroid fields or acquired through piracy or other underhand means.

Ships vary in size from small trading vessels to giant capital ships.

Erlendur Thorsteinsson, one of Eve Online's developers, confirmed in a tweet that the battle was the biggest ever seen in the game.

At its peak the battle involved 4,070 pilots and their ships.

Game time was slowed to 10% of normal to lighten the load on servers working out who was shooting at whom.

The pivotal moment in the battle took place two hours in, when CFC sent in a large fleet of capital ships - the most powerful in the game.

Their arrival prompted many members of the Test Alliance to try to flee.

By the end of the conflict thousands of ships are believed to have been destroyed.

Their destruction has a real-world cost as the game's internal currency can be bought with real money.

So far no-one has worked out the total value of the ships destroyed, but a far smaller battle earlier in 2013 laid waste to far fewer spacecraft that in total were estimated to be worth more than $15,000 (£10,000).

The giant battle was the culmination of a long campaign by CFC to force the Test Alliance out of 6VDT.

Some have speculated that it may be the only the first of a series of conflicts that seek to extinguish TEST.

"These kinds of conflicts are business as usual in Eve but this one was bigger than normal," said James Binns from the PCGamesN website.

Mr Binns said several big events had made the last few weeks in Eve absorbing to watch. During that time a giant ship was hijacked and then destroyed in a carefully co-ordinated ambush and a huge in-game corporation was disbanded and its resources stolen by a spy from a rival faction.

"It's a fascinating online world and its constant drama is nothing like any other game," he said.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Ibrahim » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:35 pm

YMix wrote:
Crowdfunding the classics: 20 years and $1.8 million later, 'Shadowrun' returns

It's not just a great throwback — it's a great game
By Andrew Webster on July 25, 2013 10:45 am

Kickstarter has become the go-to place for game studios looking to get out from underneath the publishers' thumbs. And gamers have certainly taken notice, helping multiple companies raise in excess of $1 million each to build their dream projects. The thing is, so far none of these big-name projects have seen the light of day, and a number have seen major delays. Double Fine, for instance, recently announced that Broken Age, perhaps the most high-profile Kickstarter game to date, would be split in two so that the studio could sell the first half of the game in order to fund its increasingly larger scope.

We know that Kickstarter can be a great tool to fund smaller titles like Kentucky Route Zero, but there have been no examples of great crowdfunded games built by bigger teams on a bigger budget; that is, until now. Today marks the launch of Shadowrun Returns on Windows and Mac, a role-playing game from Harebrained Schemes that managed to exceed its initial funding goal by 459 percent last April. So what does $1.8 million buy you on Kickstarter? In the case of Shadowrun Returns, a damn fine old-school RPG.

Like the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, Shadowrun Returns is a modern game based on a classic pen-and-paper RPG franchise. Originally released back in 1989, the series blends science fiction with fantasy to create a unique cyberpunk world where magic plays as big of a role as technology. Humans mingle with elves and everyone has cybernetic implants. Shadowrun is also a series that's had an uneven history when it comes to video game adaptations: the early 1990s saw the release of great games on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, while in 2007 the Xbox 360 was graced with a poorly received title that unwisely turned a classic RPG into a first-person shooter.

Thankfully, Shadowrun Returns doesn't try to mess with the formula too much, and instead builds off of the earlier games in the franchise. "We wanted to pick up where they left off and bring the team-based gameplay of the pen-and-paper game to the screen," says series creator Jordan Weisman. "We love this universe and really just wanted to tell stories in it again, as well as empower players to tell their own stories in it."

The result is a game that, in a lot of ways, feels like a long-lost PC classic. While it features modern visuals with slick menus and flashy special effects, Shadowrun Returns also includes a number of old-school throwbacks, from its isometric perspective to the use of only text to tell the story. It's not just the gameplay, though. Since it's a game based on a decades-old franchise, Shadowrun Return also has a sense of style that's distinctly '90s. It's the kind of world where people say things like "meatspace" unironically and you hack into computers by entering a virtual-reality world.

According to Weisman, fighting the urge to tinker with the formula too much was one of the biggest challenges. "Returning to the world after a 20-year absence, I was tempted to update all sorts of things," he says. "But I realized that if I did so I would be creating my own little version of 'Han shot first,' so I had to temper my desires to update and only slightly alter things that would have made the game harder to understand or become immersed in, which amounted to very little."

However, despite its decidedly old-school mentality, Shadowrun Returns doesn't feel dated. There are a few frustrating issues — most notably the lack of a manual save system — but the menus and game mechanics have been streamlined in such a way that it's pretty approachable to just about anyone, even if you've never played or even heard of Shadowrun before. Aspects like character customization, for instance, are simple to understand but offer a good amount of depth that makes it possible to really build the kind of character you want. There are different races and classes, and you can use skill points and cash to constantly upgrade your abilities. And in keeping with Shadowrun tradition, there are trade-offs with regards to magic and tech. If you decide to outfit your body with augmentations, for example, you'll become less spiritually attuned, diminishing your magic potential. So it becomes a choice between new robot arms or the ability to shoot fireballs out of your hands.

This flexibility extends to how the game plays out. Though the first campaign — a wonderfully dark whodunit set in a moody, futuristic version of Seattle — has a linear narrative, you'll be able to approach situations differently depending on what type of character you've created. A good hacker might be able to get information from a nearby computer, for example, while a more charismatic character might be able to simply talk their way into getting it. There's even a full-on creation mode that lets enterprising players build their own story campaigns.

Crowdfunding may mean that development studios no longer have to worry about the pressure of dealing with a big publisher, but there's a different kind of stress created by an audience that feels very invested in a project, especially when it's a beloved name like Shadowrun. "I can honestly say that this has been the highest pressure game I have ever made," explains Weisman. "The fact that it was funded by the audience made the experience extremely intimate. If we didn’t ship or we didn’t live up to at least most of the expectations, we would not be letting down a publisher or an investor, but the fans who passionately care about Shadowrun. That is real pressure! But it made us better and I think made the game better as well."

The blend of modern accessibility and classic gameplay should satiate the rabid Shadowrun fans who collectively forked out nearly $2 million last year. And for Weisman and Harebrained, the experience with crowdfunding was so positive that they're launching a brand new Kickstarter, though this time it won't have the benefit of a cult name like Shadowrun — instead, it's a new, completely original universe. A crowdfunding campaign for Golem Arcana, a tabletop game that makes use of smartphones and tablets to augment the experience, will be launching next month.

"We have seen that older properties which have an established audience can be well funded on Kickstarter," says Weisman. "We are hopeful that new games and properties can also be funded because we — meaning the industry and the players — need a way for new games and universes to be funded, since publishers rarely will take the risk to do so."


So, the first of the big budget Kickstarted games is here and the developers seem to have done a decent job. I'm glad they realized that they were given 1.8 million specifically so they wouldn't make any major changes to the original formula.


I was rooting for this, I played the original quite a bit when I was a teen. Don't know if I'll actually get around to playing this one, but I'm glad these guys got to do it, so I threw them $20 and downloaded it.
Ibrahim
 
Posts: 6362
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:06 am

Re: Computer Games

Postby Enki » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:13 pm

Shadowrun Returns was enjoyable.

Check out this game...it really crosses the boundary of game into art. It's called Papers Please, you play a border agent in a Soviet style country.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense ... tions.html
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
-Alexander Hamilton
User avatar
Enki
 
Posts: 4962
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:40 pm

Enki wrote:Shadowrun Returns was enjoyable.


I'd call it decent. The story was short, railroaded as hell and, disappointingly, turned into a "save the world" situation. The combat part was kind of easy.

Check out this game...it really crosses the boundary of game into art. It's called Papers Please, you play a border agent in a Soviet style country.


I heard of this, but didn't have a chance to try it.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Enki » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:43 pm

YMix wrote:I'd call it decent. The story was short, railroaded as hell and, disappointingly, turned into a "save the world" situation. The combat part was kind of easy.


Agreed, saving the world in a video game is generally retarded. I liked the combat even though it was pretty easy. I played it through 3 times with three different characters. A Shaman, a Generalist, and a Street Samurai.

Check out this game...it really crosses the boundary of game into art. It's called Papers Please, you play a border agent in a Soviet style country.


I heard of this, but didn't have a chance to try it.[/quote]

I may have to check it out.
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
-Alexander Hamilton
User avatar
Enki
 
Posts: 4962
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:14 am

Enki wrote:Agreed, saving the world in a video game is generally retarded. I liked the combat even though it was pretty easy. I played it through 3 times with three different characters. A Shaman, a Generalist, and a Street Samurai.


I went Generalist, Rifle/Conjuring and Shotgun/Decking.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:22 pm

All tokens, Class 5 flat, entire family is OK and I got some savings. :D

Image
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:12 am

Play4Real satire nails it:

If We Want Video Games To Be Good Again, We Just Have To Lower Our Standards

If you’ve been playing video games all your life and realizing that your standards get higher as you grow older, you might not find many games worth playing today. This is why we need to lower our standards so games can be great again just like when we were kids.In a world full of mobile games that do not scratch any sort of real gaming itch to triple A titles where no one can seem to understand how the budget was spent, it’s no wonder that many have given up on trying to find great games. The truth is, great games are still out there, we just need to expect less from them.

Back then, glitches were something that we just had to deal with and learn not to trigger as we thought they were part of the game. Now we know that these glitches come from incompetent programmers who are probably aware of the existence of these bugs but are too lazy to actually fix them. All we need to do now is just learn to love them. Bethesda fans are already doing this, so now we just have to apply that love to every game no matter how game-breaking or time-wasting those glitches are.

I think some people believe that storytelling is the one thing that has improved in video games but that is only because early video game stories were complete garbage. I fear that we will soon reach a point where we’ll learn that today’s stories aren’t really that good to begin with and demand more meaningful dialogue and more realistic characters. The only thing preventing us from ever reaching that point is our culture’s need to create tons of reality television and horrible Hollywood movies which help keep our expectations in check. Over time, even those stories might be considered good and then I guess we’ll have to lower our standards even further.

One thing that game companies have been working very diligently on is downloadable content and microtransactions. This is the one aspect that companies just can’t stop innovating in. Season passes, on-disc content, pre-order bonuses, all in the name of making the game better for you. If we voted with our wallets, almost every game released today would never be bought. Instead, we should just accept that this is the future of video games. It can’t get worse, right?

Growing up, every game we played was new and exciting but now with most companies continually making sequels, it’s hard to find anything completely new. In fact, even our expectations for sequels are rarely met with only a handful of companies making a truly superior sequel. What we need to do is lower those expectations so that we no longer anticipate better games, that way we’ll praise any trivial improvement to a game like adding new costumes or hiring celebrity voice actors.

The truth is, most developers can’t even come close to what we expect from a modern day video game so let’s make it easier for them to meet our standards. This is the only way we’ll ever get great games again.
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Re: Computer Games

Postby Miss_Faucie_Fishtits » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:26 am

MY S-I-L brought her Ipad over to our parent's house today and I played one of the aps. A charmingly indulgent lil' 'time suck', which is the best I can say for these things.....'>........
User avatar
Miss_Faucie_Fishtits
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Computer Games

Postby Mr. Perfect » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:49 am

Anyone know how you break into this business.
Censorship isn't necessary
User avatar
Mr. Perfect
 
Posts: 13715
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:35 am

Re: Computer Games

Postby YMix » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:22 am

Mr. Perfect wrote:Anyone know how you break into this business.


A word of caution:

Mobile gaming bubble has burst, say developers
by James Cullinane on 25 September 2013, 12:03 pm

Half of all mobile App developers make no profit at all, reports a new survey by the organisers of the App Developer Conference.

Those surveyed said piracy and discoverability were the primary challenges facing App developers.

“I speak with lots of mobile devs regularly and most are moving away or at least thinking of it, either to other platforms or out of the trade completely,” said Paul Johnson, co-founder of Rubicon, in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

“Having to give your game away for 69 cents a throw [after Apple's and Google's cut] and then competing with 1000 new apps each day is hardly a draw for anybody. We've reached a point now where even those slow on the uptake have realised the goldrush is over. It's actually been over for a few years.”

Games account for approximately 69 percent of all Apps, said the ADC. 26 percent of those surveyed said their software had been pirated, and a further 26 percent reported that in-App purchases had been obtained without the developer receiving payment.

“From the consumer angle, it's a golden age,” continued Johnson. “The amount of good quality games that can be bought for laughable prices is fantastic and there's a ton of money being spent on this platform as a result. The problem for developers is that each individual cut is tiny. This isn't even remotely sustainable and I don't know what the future is going to look like. If I was starting again now from a blank slate, without an existing fan base, I wouldn't touch mobile with a ten foot pole.”

App developers also said they were under pressure from PC and console veterans porting their powerhouse brands into the App space.

“The fact that more and more established PC and console veterans open new mobile gaming studios and more and more traditional publishers port their titles to iOS and Android, doesn't make it easier for one particular company or product to stick out,” Fishlabs CEO Michael Schade told GamesIndustry.biz.

However, Schade said interest from mainstream publishers wasn’t bad for App developers as “it clearly shows that the trend goes towards mobile, rather than away from it.”

All developers said that as discoverability becomes a bigger issue, public relations and marketing are increasingly important tools.

“I think many developers have the misconception that it's simply enough to release the game and let it speak for itself,” Jeffrey Lim, producer, Wicked Dog Games told GamesIndustry.biz. “They underestimate the importance of a marketing/PR campaign leading up to the game's launch.”

Lim concluded that many developers would look to greener pastures in PC and console development. “We do think developers (especially indies) are considering going back to develop for the PC - and even game consoles. The cost of self-publishing on these platforms has dropped significantly, and console makers are also making their platforms more indie-friendly now.”


And another word of caution from a friendly major developer:

Square Enix’s new president, Yosuke Matsuda, declared in the company’s annual report released on September 9 that the unprofitability of AAA titles is “a structural problem in the HD business”. Citing the financial disappointments that were Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs, he noted that the industry has become so competitive and development costs have soared so much that the current disc-based revenue model is unsustainable.

He’s only stating what a lot of people have recognized for a while. A few news outlets have framed it to be Square-specific, such as The Escapist’s deceptive title “Square Enix: Disc-Based Sales are Killing Us” (bold added for emphasis). However, this is a phenomenon whose various tendrils have been felt over this entire console generation: greater manpower required (and associated costs), longer development cycles, soaring marketing budgets, and an increasingly cutthroat competition at retail have all resulted in one clear fact: in many cases, the traditional AAA game is unprofitable.


Although it should be noted that it's very uncommon for AAA developers to say honestly: "Our lackluster sequels are so boring that too few people want to play them."
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
User avatar
YMix
 
Posts: 4346
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:53 am
Location: Department of Congruity - Report any outliers here

Next

Return to Art + Architecture

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 1 guest