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You forgot Customer Service Rep for the game you are playing, or at least some kind of MMO CSR who's hooked into the network
1 year, 5 months ago on Professionals in your Guild
@Doone I think the the tiers are a fact of live and the gaming companies simply are selling to the way the market takes shape. There are so many people who stand in front of the Mona Lisa or a Van Gogh who shake their head and wonder what it is about. Sounds a bit elitist, but I am one of those wondering about Mona Lisa's smile.
As for the big companies having the money to buy their way into the consumer hearts and wallets, they don't have unlimited good will. The market is fickle and a company is allowed one failure, one overly hyped game before the consumers will run away.
The problem with serving a niche market first in order to become multi-market is the fact that the overall market is already mature. Many of the things a niche game can explore have already found their way into mainstream and the tolerance for failure is very low. I wrote <a href="http://www.mmocompendium.com/moat-world-warcraft-biowares-swtor/">this article<a> a while back, talking about the features a MMO needs nowadays in order to be accepted by the players, leading to ever increasing development cost.
Not even a healthy dose of software reuse will get us out of this. A studio will have to acquire certain technologies to add them to their feature list. That still costs money or the loss of independence, if they have to hit up EA, Sony or Activision for the usage rights.
Let me finish with two negative examples: Ryzom and Istaria. Both games started out around 2004, before WOW went live. Both with new features, like sandbox playstyle, player housing, harvesting professions, nodes. They never really made it and live in the shadows since, played only by hardcore fans. I am tempted to play them occasionally for a few hours or days, but I end up playing mainstream games, or yet another more experimental game for 2 month.
1 year, 6 months ago on The Role of Gamers in Creating a Cynical Games Industry
re: to big to failWe probably have to start thinking in tiers here. To compare it not just to Hollywood, but to the food industry, we will have lower tier McDonalds games, mid tier Maccaroni Grill games, and upper tier Ruth Chris games. Throw in a good number of independent restaurants and the picture becomes similar. Additionally, you will see that there are no franchises in the top tier. Only top chefs, which may branch out in a second or third restaurant, or move down and become US wide franchises (Wolfgang Puch anyone?)
Thing is, each of those tiers has its own clientele, with some dynamic between the tiers. If you end up being a MMO gourmet, stop whining about McDonalds games like Eligium or Allods or any grinder games. If you end up playing WOW, know about its shortcomings and remember that you aren't the target market. Even if you go out and sample the indie scene, you'll be served many meals which give you the runs or you end up with sand in your salad. Accept it, or trust others who've been there before
I am a computer programmer going back 25 years, having played games on 64 kByte computers. To me, highly interactive games always had a trade-off: less content. If the game focuses on presentation, it will offer less content in some other way. One less dungeon, one less boss mob, even one less character class.
It might have to do with me having seen computer games develop over this time frame, going from pong and text adventures to those highly interactive games like you showed in the second video, I might be much more forgiving about missing interaction, since I've seen how it has developed over time and my expectations are low.
It might be truly different for the average 18 year old today, who just hasn't seen how it was just 10 years ago.
Similar to this, it is hard to be compared against WOW, especially the animations, since Blizzard had such a long time to improve and add onto it. These things go into the initial release as back burner features, but given enough time will show up. They are often developers pet projects and will evolve when the people are working under project deadlines. You won't find this in new games like SWTOR or now The Secret World. But if the game survives long enough, somebody will eventually have a worm crawl out of a corpse and perform a tap dance on the street, Michaal Jackson Thriller style,
1 year, 6 months ago on Immersive Interaction In Media
I've said it before elsewhere, but it needs repeating. The first rule of backup is to learn how to restore. Should the .01% event happen, you don't have time to learn to restore and there's a good chance you mess things up. Set up a test site, backup and then restore. then repeat with restoring your life data to the backup site.
The second rule of backup is, it's usually you who deletes your programs and data or makes them unusable. Which makes it a 1% event, not just .01 %.
1 year, 6 months ago on 8 Step Checklist: Finishing Your Blog Setup