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50 Games Industry Figures To Watch?

simoniker posted about 11 years ago | from the they're-famous-but-not dept.

PlayStation (Games) 37

Thanks to 1UP for their feature discussing important videogame developers to watch out for, as they list "...fifty people in the game industry - some you've likely heard of, many you've not - who we think will help define gaming the most in the next twelve months." As well as the John Carmacks and Warren Spectors of this world, notably overlooked figures on the list include Julian Eggebrecht of Factor 5 ("Eggebrecht's team is one of the few out there that actually try to tax the GameCube to its limits") and Yasumi Matsuno of Square Enix ("..the director of Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy Tactics... [now] directing Final Fantasy XII.")

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Penny Arcade (0)

evilmuffins (631482) | about 11 years ago | (#7204846)

I think Penny Arcade put my feelings best... []

Re:Penny Arcade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7206677)

Get your own damn feelings.

What about Alex Garden of Relic & Homeworld fa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7205054)

Sharp mind. Sharp dresser. Game-to-Innovation ratio is high. Ego the size of the Jupiter. Likes to give keynote speeches. C'mon! Get him on the list!

Article is a troll (3, Informative)

moronga (323123) | about 11 years ago | (#7205104)

Miyamoto isn't even on the list.

We're supposed to believe that the guy behind the dead-on-arrival N-Gage is more important than Miyamoto? Please.

Re:Article is a troll (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7205913)

Err, this is people to WATCH, not "old heroes". Is Miyamoto really about to bring us to the next level of gaming? To be honest i'd never even heard of the guy until Slashdot started linking to all these interviews. I've never been all that thrilled by Nintendo games and i don't think i'm the only one. I know he did Super Mario Bros. or something, but by the same token i could complain Raffaele Cecco isn't on the list - he did Cybernoid, Exolon, Stormlord etc... but has he done anything recently? Is he about to break through with something new? Not really. It's the young crowd that are the ones to watch, the ones who are pushing the boundaries and trying something different, taking gaming to places it hasn't been before.

Re:Article is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7206504)

He's only brought us to the next level of gaming...I think 5 times now? Even people who don't like his style of games agree with that. Why would you leave him off the list of people to watch, he's done it 5 times he seems to have a streak going...

Re:Article is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7206938)

Listen to what you just said: "I have no clue who Miyamoto is or what he does and I don't like Nintendo. But I know that Miyamoto did nothing important since Super Mario Bros, so he must not be important."

Indeed you have no clue. Look him up before making yourself look dumb.

Re:Article is a troll (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 11 years ago | (#7207466)

> by the same token i could complain
> Raffaele Cecco isn't on the list -
> he did Cybernoid, Exolon, Stormlord etc...

Stormlord? STORMLORD? Give me a fuckin' break! That has to be one of the most goddamn awful games ever. Even Donkey Kong on the 2600 was better than that.

Re:Article is a troll (1)

h0mer (181006) | about 11 years ago | (#7207939)

Is Miyamoto really about to bring us to the next level of gaming?

Possibly. The next Mario game, known as 100 Marios, is supposedly the next true Mario game. If that's the case, then you can expect a game that brings a lot of new ideas to the table.

Was Storm Lord the game with the naked fairies? That was pretty cool when I was 9 years old.

Re:Article is a troll (1)

devnull17 (592326) | about 11 years ago | (#7210070)

Nothing important since Super Mario Bros., indeed.

How about every Mario title since that? What about the groundbreaking Super Mario 64? The ingenious Super Mario Bros. 3? The amazing Super Mario World?

Still not convinced? How about Zelda? Ocarina of Time? The Wind Waker?

How about the signature elements (such as the switchable visors) in Metroid Prime? Donkey Kong? F-Zero? Pikmin?

There are very few people in any industry that are greatly respected by everyone. Miyamoto is one of those few. He is God of everything that has a joystick. When he talks, everybody listens. Get your head out of your ass and go play BMX XXX or something.

Re:Article is a troll (1)

n0wak (631202) | about 11 years ago | (#7210683)

F-Zero and Metroid Prime? The role he had on those was minimal AT BEST. I agree with you on the other games, but those two really aren't his works.

Re:Article is a troll (1)

devnull17 (592326) | about 11 years ago | (#7211490)

Agreed. The visors in Metroid Prime, among other things, were his ideas, however. Nintendo at one point stopped in at Retro Studios to review the game and they were reportedly unimpressed with the results. Miyamoto went over to make things right, and the game was released to rave reviews.

Re:Article is a troll (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7206829)

also missing Peter Molyneux - he might possibly f*ck up B&W2, but it's certainly someone where i'd watch what he's doing . And agreed - some names don't belong on that list.

Factor 5 is kwel (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 11 years ago | (#7205328)

The original Turrican was nothing special, but the later versions - Mega Turrican (Genesis) and the two Super Turrican games (SNES) - were some truly great-looking, action-packed platformers.

Odd choices (3, Informative)

edwdig (47888) | about 11 years ago | (#7205356)

If this was written a few years ago, I could see including the Stamper Brothers of Rare. Bur first off, Rare's quality has greatly gone down hill over the past few years. More importantly, they want to get out of the business soon. That's why they sold all their stock of the company to Microsoft a year ago.

And how can you include all the big people at Nintendo except for Miyamoto?

Speaking of designers... anyone know what happened to Lori and Cori Cole from Sierra? They made some great games, but the Yosemite division got shut down a few years ago.

I'd be interested in... (1)

stienman (51024) | about 11 years ago | (#7205402)

A list of the top engine developers for the games, rather than a list of directors with a mix of other important developers.

Ken Silverman ought to be mentioned somewhere...


Re:I'd be interested in... (3, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | about 11 years ago | (#7205628)

Well, for the most part engines aren't very interesting.

For the PC, most people just licence either the latest engine from Carmack (who was mentioned), or the latest from Epic. The HL2 engine will probably make it into that list too when it finally comes out.

For the PS2, most companies just make an engine and stick with it as much as possible. Look at Capcom's games - most of them are based off the Resident Evil core.

On the Xbox and GC, who knows? No one ever really talks about it.

Really, people only really care about the engine if it's more important than the game itself. Quake 3 was on ok game, but it's engine was the important thing. It made a lot of money for id, and was used for a lot of good games. Doom 3 probably won't be a bad game, but it'll probably be remembered far more for its graphics than its gameplay. Think about it... we don't really know much about the game other than that it looks really good.

Re:I'd be interested in... (1)

pixel_bc (265009) | about 11 years ago | (#7210862)

>> Ken Silverman ought to be mentioned somewhere...

Or not, he's not doing anything interesting.

And number 51.... (4, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | about 11 years ago | (#7205595)

51: Valve's IT Security Guy

Watch him get booted out of every job in the future!
Watch him use MS Outlook without patching!
Watch him lose his company millions for leaving ports open!
Watch him get grilled into little chunks by the HL2 community!

Err... (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | about 11 years ago | (#7205723)

Eggebrecht's team is one of the few out there that actually try to tax the GameCube to its limits

Clearly the article submitter is not a game developer. Aside from possibly porters, there isn't a developer out that that doesn't "tax a console to its limits".

You write the game. It runs too slow. You optimize it until it runs quickly enough. It needs just about all the juice.

Really? (2, Flamebait)

Inoshiro (71693) | about 11 years ago | (#7206212)

Perhaps you haven't looked at games recently. Let's do a comparison.

What looks better, a game that uses bump mapping, or a game that doesn't? A game that does, of course, because proper use of bump mapping gives the illusion that a model (such as terrain or a character) has many more thousands of polygons of detail with a simple extra bitmap.

Now, what games for the GameCube use bump mapping? Nyo-ho! Now we see that most of the games for the GameCube do not use this feature, thus not taking it to the limit.

Until games targetted at the GameCube (and, by extension, the Xbox) use all the advanced features like surround sound, bump mapping, and higher-resolution video output, you can't say that every develop takes the console to its limits.

Repeat after me, "I own a Nintendo GameCube -- NOT a Playstation 2 -- I desire 4 player support, bump mapping, prologic 2 encoded audio, online broadband and system link features, and GBA connectivity support."

Repeat after me, "I own a Microsoft Xbox -- NOT a Playstation 2 -- I desire relevant content downloads on Xbox Live, 4 player support, really good positional audio for my 5.1 surround sound setup, 720p mode with widescreen support, good system link features and Live online play, real caching of disc access via the HDD, a truly persistent in-game world because of amazing amount of save space available, in game soundtrack support."

Most developers develop for the PS2 -- which means support for memory cards, rumble in the controller, and little else; they do not include in their visual engine things like bump mapping or the interesting pixel shaders that the GeForce in the Xbox, they do not include support for positional audio beyond stereo, they generally do not even bother to extend 2 player support to 4 player support (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyone?). In some cases, they can even not bother to totally port the work over, leading to bizarre slowdown (MSG2: Substance on Xbox on tanker level and other areas!). GBA connectivity beyond EA's silly "unlock a level" stuff is rare beyond Nintendo's own titles.

There is so much more to a game than wether or not it slows down, it's not funny.

Re:Really? (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | about 11 years ago | (#7206356)

Now, what games for the GameCube use bump mapping? Nyo-ho!

The GameCube doesn't have support for hardware bumpmapping. There isn't any hardware that isn't being used -- it's just CPU cycles that are going to other things.

The surround sound...all right, I suppose that you could argue that it's not being "pushed to the limit".

I don't believe the GC *has* a higher resolution mode, though I can't swear to it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7206486)

You are so wrong.

The GameCube supports both emboss bumpmapping (with the T&L unit calculating the correct shift angle) as well as environment-mapped bumpmapping (using sphere maps) with special hardware that does a per-pixel matrix multiply to rotate the bump from tangent space into eye space.

To even suggest that the CPU can do per-pixel bumpmapping is silliness.

The GameCube also has support for hardware multisample antialiasing as well as progressive-scan component video support. It doesn't support 720p or 1080i, though.

Re:Really? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | about 11 years ago | (#7206905)

"The GameCube doesn't have support for hardware bumpmapping."

Wrong. [] Wrong. [] WRONG! []

You're thinking of the PS2. It doesn't have hardware bump-mapping. Fortunately the processor in it is slick enough to pull it off anyway.

They may not use it in every game, but the machine can certainly do it. It also does hair and shadow rendering.

Re:Really? (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | about 11 years ago | (#7209928)

Not to the limit? Come ON, fhqwghads [] .

Besides, who writes a phrase like, "tax the GameCube to the limit"? What are the developers, the Government?

Re:Err... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7206321)

Clearly, you don't know much about the games business. Especially for the GameCube, the process usually goes something like this:

-Take the PS2 code & assets, port them to target console.
-Assign 1 or 2 people to the task, don't give them enough time to do a good job.
-Take what's he's done by the deadline and publish.
-(It's not like it matters; PS2 is the only important sku.)

In other cases, it's a matter of:

-(someone) chooses complexity target guaranteed not to hit frame limits.
-levels are designed with that target in mind.
-if FPS limits aren't hit, then it's done.
-if FPS limits are hit, then chop the art back.
-(it's much faster & easier to chop art than to do any programming.)

The reason that so many titles follow procedures like the above is that the games business is becoming more and more an assembly-line business. You can't stop and polish a title because you've got to get it out the door by the deadline, and there's another project coming down the line.

In general, only the 1st-party-developed titles get a chance to really polish a game. It's rare when a third party gets a chance to do so.

Let's see... (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | about 11 years ago | (#7205954)

Romero... Romero... Nope. No Romero!

And I'm appalled. APPALLED, I say. We're all his bitches, you know.

Or maybe this is just like in Soviet Russia...

Re:Let's see... (1)

daeley (126313) | about 11 years ago | (#7206173)

Or maybe this is just like in Soviet Russia...

In Soviet Russia, dead horse kicks you.

What about some of the even "newer' newcomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7209256)

I for one would keep an eye on the group at S2games. I have been a diehard CS player, then BF 1942, and now Savage. I think these guys have built an engine that has the staying power of the HL build (in it's infinite modability, expandability, etc). Jesse Hayes and his group over there could probably pump out some more excellent games, of course as small companies go, I guess you never know who's payin the bills tomorrow.

myst creators? (1)

wickedj (652189) | about 11 years ago | (#7209469)

What about Rand and Robyn Miller? Creators of Myst and it's various sequels. They're set to release an MMOG that doesn't involve killing stuff over and over again. I think that's something to watch out for. Besides Myst set various records and helped put cdrom pc games on the map (although, it was inevitable).

Re:myst creators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7209980)

Find me a game critic that doesn't hate Myst, and then we'll talk.

UGH. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7210275)

Ken Levine?

He doesn't belong on that list.

The guy was some kind of scriptwriter before getting into the game industry, and somehow I think he got a job at Looking Glass and then quit to form his own company and got a lucky break when Looing Glass took pity on the three guys who started the company and gave them a contract to do System Shock 2. The other two company owners were programmers and had a lot of talent, and the reason the game turned out as well as it did is thanks mostly to the artists and level designers who worked on it.

Here's a couple Ken quotes for ya:

"I want you to go home tonight and take a look at Banjo Kazooie to get some ideas for the look of Shock 2." (Yeah that'll make Shock 2 really creepy.)

"Everything on the ship should be clean and brightly lit. This ship's just come off the assembly line." (Note how in the final game everyhting is messy and broken, as it should have been from the start.)

Yes, indeed. System Shock 2 was as creepy as it was all thanks to Ken.

And here's one last Ken quote. This is a classic:

"The more public a person you become, the more a sheen of phoniness goes around you."

Re:UGH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7213038)

Irrational definitely deserves to be on the list as a team to watch. I suspect the reason Ken was chosen is probably because out of Irrational's Australian and Boston locations, the US studio gets the most attention from US media.

Consoles and FPS, but where's the meat? (1)

Quinn (4474) | about 11 years ago | (#7210571)

Where are Brian Fargo of inXile and Tim Cain from Troika? These guys have and will produce the greatest role-playing games of all time. Fallout? Arcanum? WASTELAND? The Bard's Tale remake? Wtf? Get off your couch and play a real game, young man.

Where is Chris Sawyer? (1)

bbingham (145204) | about 11 years ago | (#7210858)

One would think the developer of the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise (not to mention the beloved Transport Tycoon Deluxe game)should be somewhere in that list.

Has anyone other than Will Wright made more money than he has with a single franchise?

Questionable list.... (1)

DigitalSpyder (714806) | about 11 years ago | (#7214342)

When Feargus Urquhart and the Black Isle founders aren't even on the list. What about Romero?? Highly questionable...

Tim Sweeney (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7215368)

I find it hard to believe that Tim Sweeney isn't on the list. He and Carmack are both highly regarded as a couple of the top dogs in the engine arena.
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