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I couldn't agree more with this - the lack of effort put in by some game designers is disheartening to those of us trying to get into the industry. Just because you're not working on a multi-million dollar, triple-A title, that's no excuse not to exploit every aspect of your brief and create the deepest, most enthralling experience you can. Clint, I wonder what you would feel was the most important underlying cause for it? Is it the lack of diversity (are too many designers white male nerds with fantasies of being a super-soldier)? Or perhaps the lack of established training/academia surrounding game design? Or an obsession with the bottom line/a marginalization of design in favour of easier production? Something I haven't thought of? On another note, the superficiality of "dress-up" elements in otherwise deeply character-driven games has always annoyed me. Why, in a game like Knights Of The Old Republic, can I strip Darth of his favourite gun because I think another one might suit my tactics better, even send him into battle buck naked, and he never seems to care? Managing a team - whether you're developing software or saving the galaxy - is often about the little human things that you can't track in numbers. Why can't we exploit that once in a while?
Commented Oct 4, 2010 on
Part Two: The Emperor's New Clothes Imagine for a moment an alternate reality where racing games suck. Here, racing games only exist on portable devices. And they don't ever let you actually race. You have a couple dozen car models, and a few different engines. You can swap out tires and spoiler...
I remember this topic being hot when the Matrix trilogy came out, and I attended a talk from a "media convergence company" on the subject. Whats sad is that, while the Matrix trilogy itself took a sharp downturn, the creative process at the heart of it was the best use of convergence I've seen. They might not have got it perfectly balanced, but the Wachowskis were onto something with the idea of creating an overarching IP, rich with multiple plot threads, backstory and characters, and then leveraging parts of that IP to the mediums that best suited them. Many of the stories in the Animatrix series wouldn't have worked in a live action setting. The story of the game's characters was necessarily light on narrative content and big on action. I think there's a lot that could be done with a more top-down approach to multiple media formats when creating an original IP. The downside is that this is more financially risky than the bottom-up approach of leveraging parts of a movie IP for a game and vice versa.
Commented Sep 23, 2010 on
Part One: The Vampires of Culture From a design perspective, 'convergence' is a dirty word. Convergence is a business concept that aims to bring about an overlap in otherwise diverse audiences by leveraging IP across games, film, toys, books and comics, television or other forms of entertainment...
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