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Spore Dev Down On the Wii

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the cruel-to-be-kind dept.

Nintendo 315

An anonymous reader writes "As reported by IGN, Spore developer Chris Hecker made a very quotable statement at a traditionally contentious GDC panel. At the 'Game Publishers Rant' event Wednesday morning, Hecker stated that he thought the Wii is a piece of sh*t. He went on to refer to it as 'two GameCubes stuck together with duct tape.' He also took Nintendo to task for not taking games seriously enough. 'It's not clear to me that Nintendo gives a s*** about games as an art form.'"

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sony? (3, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273306)

how much did sony have to pay him to say THAT?

Re:sony? (4, Interesting)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273668)

Probably not very much. This guy is a loon. I've shipped more videogames than this joker (hes shipped ZERO) and I couldn't hope to be half as opinionated as this pompus prick. Doesn't seem he can commit to a project long enough to actually ship the game as it stands. Find it amusing how hes bitching about the Wii when he pisses & moans elsewhere that there is a lack of creativity in the industry, while wanting alternative markets and models for small-scale video game production. I could have sworn thats what the Wii has going for it most. Guess hes sold out too far to, "the man".

Something I find odd is that a Wiki Admin deleted his bio barely an hour after this article went live.

Wiki Deletion [wikipedia.org]

Google Cache [72.14.253.104]

Re:sony? (2, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274178)

FOr what it's worth, the deletion log message "CSD A7" refers to Criteria for Speedy Deletion: Unremarkable people, groups, companies and web content. Warrented in this case, in my opinion, but I think an AfD discussion would have been more sensible.

I'm impressed (5, Funny)

robbywalker (968790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273312)

It must have been hard to build an industry changing motion sensing controller with spare GameCube parts and duct tape. Nintendo must have hired MacGyver!

Re:I'm impressed (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273448)

So that's what he's been doing after Stargate SG-1

Can game developers be Divas? (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273332)

It sounds like some game developers take themselves way to seriously.

Re:Can game developers be Divas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273416)

only John Romero (ok maybe Peter Molyneux too)

Re:Can game developers be Divas? (5, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273432)

It sounds like some game developers take themselves way to seriously
This is especially true considering that he hasn't actually ever released a game himself. I mean the man is working for Maxis, they released a really fun game (The Sims) and then 'true to their art' made the biggest selling game of all time by releasing endless ripoff expansion packs, they released The Sims on mobile phones for fecks sake, surely they had to compromise on power there didn't they.

Perhaps this is an admission that Spore wont be any fun? But that will be OK because it's art and we will buy it for that.

Re:Can game developers be Divas? (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273608)

I don't agree with his idiotic statements, but:

1) He has apparently been involved [mobygames.com] with a number of successful games.
2) Maxis did some great stuff, pre-Sims. Sim{City 2000,Ant,Farm,Earth,Tower} were all unique, enjoyable games.

Re:Can game developers be Divas? (2, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274256)

1) He has apparently been involved with a number of successful games.
Good link, but a closer inspection of the titles Chris Hecker is on the credits for, shows that he is only ever listed as "Special Thanks" - meaning he had as much involvement as Dolby Labs Or IBM.

2) Maxis did some great stuff, pre-Sims. Sim{City 2000,Ant,Farm,Earth,Tower} were all unique, enjoyable games.
Agreed, they made fun games. They obviously want a change of direction (the Sims wasn't that successful) and have employed the Salvador Dali of the gaming world.

I will bet that Spore does end up making it to the Wii. Let us not forget what Chris Hecker said now when that happens.

Re:Can game developers be Divas? (1)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273694)

You don't take your job seriously? A lot of game developers are very passionate about theirs.

RTFC (2, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274294)

You don't take your job seriously? A lot of game developers are very passionate about theirs.
The parent said they take themselves too seriously. Not their jobs.

News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformist (3, Interesting)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273368)

This pretty much says it all:

"Hecker also took Nintendo to task for not taking games seriously enough. "It's not clear to me that Nintendo gives a s*** about games as an art form," he said. To illustrate his point, he searched for references to games as art on all three console manufacturers web sites. While he found numerous such references on both the official PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sites, Wii.com had none at all. He then shared quotes from executives at Sony and Microsoft talking about games as a serious artistic medium, and then a quote from a Nintendo executive saying the company only wanted to make "fun" games."
God forbid Nintendo would want to make FUN games, instead of exclusively games that take 5 years of development, a hundred different visual artists, and [insert generic Save The World/Universe epic scope] breadth and gameplay.

Chris Hecker & his coworkers look like he's putting out a great game, but he needs to take himself and what he does a little less seriously. As a games consumer I care less about what neato tricks a developer can contort the console CPU into doing and more about how much fun it is. Which is why I'm getting a Wii, as soon as, well, I can find one locally!

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (2, Interesting)

dunezone (899268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273652)

God forbid Nintendo would want to make FUN games, instead of exclusively games that take 5 years of development
Exactly, the Wii was designed to be simple and easy to develop for, so developers wouldn't have to reserve years of development time towards brand new hardware. Nintendo understands that a third party company doesn't have the resources to do this, this is why the Wii is easy to develop for and uses older hardware.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (4, Insightful)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273680)

Honestly, I don't think he cares what you think. This was directed at other developers -- and Nintendo itself. Remember the name is 'Game *Developer Conference'. He wants Nintendo to change before it's too late for them to get out of the trap of DS and GameCube rehashes. Do you seriously want to play the same games you played since the SNES over and over -- never getting something really different and new? That's what he's arguing with just a little bit of venom turned up to be sure it gets across.

He's just putting his foot down now before all the Wii is first party games and movie licenses. Toss in a DS and PS2 port ever so often. I think he's already too late for that personally. All Wii users seem to want is more Wii sports and mini games, and he's actually standing up and saying that's not good enough for Spore.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (2, Insightful)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273812)

> Do you seriously want to play the same games you played since the SNES over and over -- never getting
> something really different and new?

Yes. And so does everyone else. The sales of Mario rehashes, Virtual Console style stuff on Wii and XBox is through the roof - much higher than any expectation. Nintendo release old SNES and NES games for the DS. They released the old Mario games on a single cart for the SNES and even bundled the console with it (I miss Mario Allstars more than you can imagine)

Sony do the same thing with myriad rehashes of Crash, Spyro, Gran Turismo (same game, same cars, SHINIER SPECULAR HIGHLIGHTS, same lawnmower engines, MORE LEAVES ON THE TREES).

Modern games are only an artform if you think accurately modelling the wind on the leaves individually makes your car go any faster round the track.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (4, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273850)

Do you seriously want to play the same games you played since the SNES over and over

As an owner of pretty much all of Nintendo's consoles, I'm not sure what the hell you're talking about. Are you telling me that Twilight Princess is the same game as A Link to the Past? Or that Super Mario Sunshine is the same game as Super Mario World?

Or are you implying that there are no artistic, fresh games on the DS? Kind of... absurd. The Wii will go the path of the DS: Some movie licenses, sure, but also a ton of innovative games you simply can't get on any other console.

Seriously, if anyone can be accused of constantly rehashing old ideas, it's certainly not Nintendo. Ever looked at the games available for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 or PS3? Frankly, I feel like I'm living in some kind of bizarro alternate universe.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274398)

Um rehashes? Like Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3? Like the 7 versions of Ghost Recon? What about GTA? ...

Nintendo is hardly the only developer with rehashes.

And besides, sales of the DS are um, a bit higher than that of the PSP.

If Nintendo decided the DS2 [or whatever] would basically be the DS + faster cpu + more ram and say motion sensors :-), I think I'd go for it. "faster" doesn't mean 3GHz PPC, currently [iirc] it has a 66 and 33 MHz ARM processors. Bump those to 133 and 66, give it 16MB of ram instead of 4MB and it will have plenty of room to grow.

Tom

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274588)

And keep in mind where this guy Heckler works -- Spore is being developed at EA, which is pretty much the ultimate master of uninspired rehashes and artless greed-centered game development these days. Whatever you think of the Wii, Nintendo pretty much wipes EA all over the floor when it comes to gaming as an "art form."

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274438)

You're right, I shouldn't just play the same damn games over and over. I should get a console that has Ridge Racer 7, Virtua Fighter 5, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 5, and other TOTALLY NEW game experiences.

I dunno, but I don't see any evidence at all that "the same games we played on the SNES" or even on the Gamecube are at all on the table.

Nintendo has provided a controller that pretty much guarantees a rethink of the game. Sony has provided the same thing as last time, only faster.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (3, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274680)

You misspelled 'Riiiiiiiiiiiiidge racer!'.

All Sony really has to do is use the real time weapon swap to flip the DS and the Wii and hit the weak point for massive damage. I think maybe Sony's brother spilled coke on the controller so it's L and R buttons aren't working.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274522)

Do you seriously want to play the same games you played since the SNES over and over -- never getting something really different and new?

If the rehashes are fun, then sure. That's why I play games, after all.

I don't play games to experience art. I go to the museum for that.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273724)

The weird thing is;

Microsoft and Sony talk about "games as art" on their websites.
Nintendo doesn't, but makes the most "art" type games of the three.

Apparently Hecker equates "art" to "high budget productions". Is a movie like "Pi" any less art then "American Pie" because it didn't have "next gen" recording equipment?

Besides; ever since slamdance(?) pulled the Columbine game, it seems the public isn't ready to accept games as an artform yet.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273980)

I would actually disagree with you there. Nintendo makes some fun games to be sure, but I wouldn't call them art by any stretch. As much as I enjoy a round of Mario Party with my friends, or a few rounds of Smash Bros with my brother, or beating Twilight Princess a month or so ago (hint: quite a lot, for all of them), it doesn't make them "artistic."

Like it or not, artistic and fun are too different (but not mutually exclusive) things. And they aren't, generally speaking, the things that Nintendo is trying to do with first party titles or the Wii. An artistic game is the kind of game that I'd want to play just to play the game. Do something like see the interesting/beautiful scenery, follow a well-written plot, or something like that (same reasons you might want to read a book or look at a painting). Nintendo games are more of a "good clean fun" type of feeling, where I want to play them to get to accomplish some arbitrary objective (get the star, beat the boss, collect the power-ups).

I'd say if any console can claim to be the home of artistic games in the previous generation, it'd be the PS2. Games like Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, and Katamari are the first to come to mind when I think of games that I enjoyed for their interesting takes on the environment and story-telling.

Of course, that's probably because the PS2 had by far the largest install base in the last cycle. I'd be willing to bet that if you look at any given console generation, the most "artistic" system would also be the one that had the largest install base. Just because it's safest to make a game like that (one where you know it won't reach as high a percentage of the install base). If the Wii can grab that spot, it very well might be the next "artistic platform" (although I'd like to see what a game like Shadow of the Colossus could do with the PS3 or 360's hardware, personally).

(side note: I haven't seen Pi, but it doesn't take much to be more artistic then American Pie)

Narrow definition of art (5, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274626)

I think you are using a very narrow definition of art ...

You're saying that for an author to produce art it has to be a novel or epic-poem, for a painter to produce art it has to be a grand mural, or for a composer to produce art he has to produce an opera.

A haiku can be art, graffiti can be art, and a pop-song can be art ...

Sometimes the most important way to define art is that it changes the medium after it has been produced ... Games like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Brain Training, Nintendogs, and Wario Ware have all changed how the industry sees games or how a genre is seen.

Whether some people would like to admit it or not, Wii Sports could be seen as art because it was produced by the artists frustration with complicated control mechanics and massive budgets; and the industry will never be the same for having experienced it.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274678)

I'd say any game has to have the gameplay and interactivity, otherwise it's just a book/painting/movie made in the wrong medium. Art also means to choose the right medium and use it. I'd argue that a game with a great story but gameplay that becomes a nuisance isn't deserving to be called (good) art because it failed to consider the medium it uses. For a game to be proper art it has to use the fact that it's a game to further its purpose (usually the expression of something although a lot fo art expresses nothing and just has interpretations tacked on to make critics feel more important). A good example for a bad art game is Killer 7, that would have worked better as a movie or something because its gameplay is pretty much just filler.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274694)

Music isn't art because of how the sleeve looks.
Movies aren't art because of the type of special effects it has.
Literature isn't art because of the font and page layout.
So why should games' artistic value be judged by their visuals? If anything can make a game art, it's the gameplay.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (1)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274426)

Here are some games which I would consider "art". I haven't played all of them.

Rez (PS1/DC)
Lumines (PSP/mobile phones etc)
Every Extend (freeware PC version/commercial PSP version)
Elebits (Wii)
Katamari Damacy (sp?) (PS2)
LOOM (DOS, Mac OS, Amiga, Atari ST, FM Towns, TG16)

I don't see any Nintendo games. Nintendo games are "good clean fun" as another poster said, but they aren't art.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18274456)

Electroplankton for DS. Art.

Re:News At 11, Industry Insider Hates Nonconformis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18274686)

Uhhhh --- didn't you just point out Elebits? Isn't the Wii from Nintendo? One of us is missing something, here...

it all depends... (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273372)

Hecker said the console isn't powerful enough to provide the next-gen experience he has been waiting for ... Although he stated the system is "severely underpowered," Hecker noted that he wasn't simply referring to the Wii's graphical capabilities. He wants to spend a console's CPU making games more intelligent, and he has found the Wii doesn't have the power to process things like complicated AI.

I guess it depends what makes a good game. Tetris was great, and didn't require complicated AI.

Re:it all depends... (2, Insightful)

willisbueller (856041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273446)

Tetis was not great. Tetris was definitive. I don't even know of what. it just was. And anyone else notice any correlations between tetris performance, and academic performance on the same day?

Re:it all depends... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273584)

Tetris is a great game.

Re:it all depends... (1)

madprof (4723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273600)

Tetris left me going around in a daze wondering how to get the blocks in my head lining up.

Re:it all depends... (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273854)

Hecker said the console isn't powerful enough to provide the next-gen experience he has been waiting for ... Although he stated the system is "severely underpowered," Hecker noted that he wasn't simply referring to the Wii's graphical capabilities. He wants to spend a console's CPU making games more intelligent, and he has found the Wii doesn't have the power to process things like complicated AI.

I take it that no Xbox, PS2 or pre-2k PC game had complicated AI, then. Yes, you can run into CPU limits but I'm betting 90% (WAG) of AI problems grow exponentially in which case it'll hardly matter. With dual core CPU most games should be able to dedicate a full core to "everything else" including AI, did games get a lot smarter? No? Sure, sometimes throwing enough power at it works, we now have 3000++ rated chess computers that no human can beat, but it's usually the least efficient way...

Exponential? Not really... (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274134)

Why do you think AI problems grow exponentially? There are many problems for which the best known complexity is much better than exponential. Even for NP-Hard problems, polynomial-runtime approximation algorithms are often good enough.

Re:it all depends... (1)

sid0 (1062444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274474)

With dual core CPU most games should be able to dedicate a full core to "everything else" including AI, did games get a lot smarter? At least one game did. Galactic Civilizations 2 http://www.galciv2.com/ [galciv2.com] has perhaps the best TBS AI ever. In the expansion, there is an option to turn on even better AI algorithms, and there is no CPU cost for dual core users.

Re:it all depends... (1)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274102)

Exactly! No one will ever agree on what makes a great game, but Nintendo are going after a different market. This is the first console I've really wanted to own and one of the appealing features for me is the fun, multi-player games. You don't need complicated AI for that.

Re:it all depends... (2, Insightful)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274340)

I'm sure you meant didn't require AI at all.

This guy should pull his head out of his arse. Serious artistic medium is all fine and dandy, but people get games to have fun playing them, not to sit back and appreciate the aesthetics of the artform, or the complexity of the AI. That's what developers do, not players. Nintendo understands this difference, while MS and Sony take the highbrow road to their detriment. His game isn't headed for the Louvre, it's headed to someone who wants entertainment and enjoyment. The Wii caters for players in this regard perfectly.

Eek! (4, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273384)

"It's not clear to me that Nintendo gives a s*** about games as an art form."

Listen - I love insult comics. But look at you - stringing together accusations and a couple expletives and acting like you gave Nintendo a thrashing? Hmph - it's clear to me, you don't give a s*** about insulting as an art form.

Go listen to some Lisa Lampanelli [insultcomic.com] , and THEN try it again, you miserable excuse for console troll.

Ryan Fenton

P.S. As you may have noticed, though I do like my insult comics, I personally suck quite badly at the game myself. You should see me in traffic - a dejected 'dude, you suck' is about at far as I can manage. Just saw the insult, and thought I'd give Lisa Lampanelli a plug.

Re:Eek! (1)

meatflower (830472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273426)

...thought I'd give Lisa Lampanelli a plug.

Well, you wouldn't be the only one.


*BA-DUM-TSHH*

Re:Eek! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273556)

You could just as well have linked to Penny Arcade, at least that's videogame related.

At least they shipped something.. (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273390)

we're still waiting for Spore... of course, once you do ship, all is forgiven.. at least until I get bored with the game and wonder why there's no multiplayer (and don't give me that "asynchronous multiplayer" crap).

Nintendo doesn't support games as art? (2, Insightful)

raisedbyrobots (808710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273394)

Obviously he's never seen the envelope art in Nintendo Power.

And you know what's sad about this? (2)

Daimando (842740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273412)

This is the same guy who blasted the PS3 and 360 for being graphical powerhouses.

I've got one word for this guy: HYPOCRITE!

Re:And you know what's sad about this? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274122)

Not really, since it seems he was criticizing the CPU power more than the GPU power... But I'd have to look up his other statements.

PS: What I've written above doesn't mean that I don't think the guy's probably an asshole.

Who? (nm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273418)

Death Jr. Limited Edition (2005), Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
        Serious Sam II (2005), 2K Games
        Serious Sam: The First Encounter (2001), Gathering
        Icewind Dale (2000), Interplay Entertainment Corp.
        Descent 3 (1999), Interplay Entertainment Corp.
        Hot Wheels: Turbo Racing (1999), Electronic Arts, Inc.
        Quake (1996), id Software, Inc.

Re:Who? (nm) (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274390)

I have posted this above but as the actual list is here and not the link. The list looks impressive (I am sure this list is used on his resumé), look closer - he is credited on these but only as "Special Thanks". He has as much to do with these games as Dolby or IBM.

This 'developer', has developed no games.

Re:Who? (nm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18274414)

Credited as "special thanks" which doesn't tell you much though.

Wikipedia? (2, Interesting)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273424)

Strange, I read about this a few hours ago and checked this guy's wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] , which for some reason got deleted a couple of hours ago.
According to the deleted article Spore will be this guy's first game to be released. Apparently he is known in the dev circles, but he has never released any game he has worked on, and he is probably part of a large team developing Spore.
And I would not be nitpicking here if his arguments made a lot of sense. No fanboy of any kind here, just someone who does not really like lazy or incompetent devs bashing things for the wrong reasons.

Re:Wikipedia? (1)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274006)

To clarify - the entry was deleted for falling into the category of "...unremarkable people, groups, companies and web content. An article about a real person, group of people, band, club, company, or web content that does not assert the importance or significance of its subject."

You can read the old entry at Google's cache [216.239.59.104] until googlebot realises it's not there any more. The article is kinda miserable, and you can see why it was deleted; he simply isn't notable. Too many others like hime.

Personally, I laugh at the idea of games as art; art gets paid attention to for the first 15 minutes, or during comparisons. After that the only thing that matters is gameplay, and fun. That's why the Wii has been selling like hot cakes - who cares about the art? Gaming is a platform, not an artform.

finally someone said teh truth... (1, Troll)

Sundawn (762701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273440)

not like everybody else a..licking & brown nosing not to harm any publishing rights on any future games... wii is a piece of sh.t . that thing has been out for more than half a year.... where are the fun games? how long are we supposed to play wii sports or zelda... don't get me started on the other crappy launch titles... not even worth mentioning. the wii is on par with the DC/xbox1 at best... and those things are 5 and more years old. 720p support with some decent hardware to bring the wii on par with sub 500$ PC would not have pushed production costs. the wii is about moneymaking. not about fun games. jeez one friggin controller is 40 bucks and its only half a controller. the people playing the fun games in the next few months will see what the other consoles are capable of and hoq much support they get wishing they had gone for them. even without hd screens

Troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273862)

How does 3 and a half months constitute half a year?

And just because something is expensive doesn't mean that it isn't fun. Speaking of expensive, buying 4 wiimotes plus console is still only about $400 (way cheaper than a PS3, and about the same price as an xbox 360 core system). If you decide to buy 4 nunchucks (I haven't played a game yet that needed more than two), the cost would be around $475, which is about as much as an xbox 360 pro.

And I'm arguing for the xbox 360 rather than the PS3 because it not only costs less, but at the moment has games that I believe are more fun (xbox360 had a pretty crappy launch as I recall, but they have had over a year now). Ultimately, I believe they are still competing for the same space, traditional video gamers who can devote a lot of uninterrupted time to a single game.

High-Def still isn't common. It might be in a few years, but since you're arguing about the next few months, I don't see why I have to consider any longer period of time. Besides, if you are concerned over expense, high def probably isn't for you.

Fun is not proportional to specs (I have more fun playing tetris than Call of Duty 3). And specs are only a rough measure of performance anyway, especially if you consider complex variables like distributed computing.

"the people playing the fun games in the next few months will see what the other consoles are capable of and hoq much support they get wishing they had gone for them." - yikes, if I have fun games, then my console has done it's job. If a console is better than the Wii in the future, then I'll get it in the future, and if I have something fun to occupy me (which I'm sure Nintendo will produce), then I can wait until prices plummet.

I just bought an xbox last year, and buying used/cheap games for it will keep me entertained for some time to come. Remember that not everyone cares about being on the bleeding edge (I wanted to make a Gentoo shot here).

Re:finally someone said teh truth... (0, Flamebait)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273936)

What the fuck are you talking about? Its been out FIVE months and if you look at the Xbox 360 in the same period... NO GOOD GAMES.

Re:finally someone said teh truth... (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274272)

and if you look at the Xbox 360 in the same period... NO GOOD GAMES.

Gears of Wars is no good?

Re:finally someone said teh truth... (0, Flamebait)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274332)

What are you retarded? That did not come out in the first five months, nay even the first 8 months. Gears of War was relaeased almost a FULL YEAR after the xbox 360 came out. Stupid Fanboy.

Re:finally someone said teh truth... (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274548)

What are you retarded? That did not come out in the first five months, nay even the first 8 months. Gears of War was relaeased almost a FULL YEAR after the xbox 360 came out. Stupid Fanboy.

no need to start foaming at the mouth, because other consoles have good games, yet yours is just... gimmicky. OK, so you meant the same 5 months from launch for the three shitty. let's see, Oblivion, FFXI, PGR3, Prey (okay, this was 8 months after release), Perfect Dark Zero, Q4 and Ridge Racer 6. are these any good? what do you have on your precious wee? another zelda and nekoneko pets?

disclaimer: I don't own any consoles, I'm no fanboy of any of them but this guy is obviously nuts.

I may be mistake, but I don't think it sucks..... (2, Insightful)

joeshabazz (617894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273442)

Make a system that doesn't suck? This guy has got to be high or something. How could something so successful suck? Not to mention the fact that the moron has completely disregarded the DS for all it's artistic content (A little game about a little hotel comes to mind). Finally the system has been out for what, 5 months now? You want art? Art takes time, and for the record, dogs playing poker is not art, spore, although cool, not art, Killer 7.... a pain in the ass, but probably art. Send this arse back to highschool where he belongs

Re:I may be mistake, but I don't think it sucks... (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273566)

According to him, the XBox 360 and Playstation 3 suck because they push graphics over gameplay and Nintendo sucks for pushing gameplay over "art".

well... (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273946)

How could something so successful suck?

Two words for you: Britney Spears (Paris Hilton was an acceptable answer too :-P)

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18274366)

In terms of good music, yeah they suck.

In terms of money generated, they are a success. Now let's be honest, which matters more to music execs and advertisers?

Sucks.... success, it depends on the angle you are looking at.

Oh Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273462)

Developers aren't paid to be Nintendo fanboys. If you ever had to deal with Nintendo compared to Sony or Microsoft to develop a console title you'd bitch as well. Just look at how they flood their console with crappy movie licenses and treat 3rd parties like they're compeition. Nintendo will jerk you around in meetings for months, and then tell you "hey, will you make an XXX title" we don't care for you to make titles that are of YYY genre it's for kids! Only a very few titles like Capcom's RE4 are able to break the Mario ceiling. =(

Most developers I know hate Nintendo, but these are the same developers that make the longer playtime and story driven games -- odd huh? It's not about the gimped console as much as the asshats you have to deal with on top of it. Also the Wii is better for DS style games than PC style games, which are taking consoles by storm now on 360 and PS3. eg Networking = extended content + multiplayer and tons and tons of content. I don't actually dislike Nintendo, but I would never have to worry about cranking out a crap movie game. I just see them as dragging the overall quality of games down. Just look at Wii game scores on metacritic.

Re:Oh Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273744)

Sounds like you've never had to deal with EA.

They could out-asshat Nintendo in a month long meeting about movie licenses any time.

Unbelievable responses (2, Insightful)

buzzzz (767841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273468)

I am amazed how good news for Sony is ridiculed in post after post and bad news for Nintendo is dismissed with complete one sidedness.
While Sony Home may not be the greatest thing, it is definitely a big announcement and a good step forward. Similarly, the rant against Nintendo probably arises from a disgruntled company but it is something to think about.

There is an utter lack of objectivity in gaming related discussions on Slashdot. With what I would expect the demographics here to be, it definitely surprises me. For someone like me, who is trying to decide which console to buy, these discussions are extremely frustrating for their lack of objective analysis.

It is truly sad that a good post about PS3 is tagged "fanboy" just because it is about PS3

Re:Unbelievable responses (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273586)

The problem is that this complaint comes from a guy who just a year ago complained about "next gen" being too much about pretty graphics. If he was consistent with his complaints he might have more credibility but right now he looks more like he just loves to bash anything popular to make himself look more "discerning".

Re:Unbelievable responses (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273604)

If you're amazed then you're ignorant. Would you assume a liar's statement to you was true or false? Well Sony has a track record of nonsense, Nintendo doesn't - at the very least not within the last 5 years.

Re:Unbelievable responses (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273658)

Why is it unbelievable? The money Zonk has been paid for his year and a half long FUD tirade against the PS3 and Sony have pretty much caused all but the most hardcore Sony haters to hang around here anymore.

Zonk stories have become nothing more than fanboy circle-jerks.

Re:Unbelievable responses (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273886)

If your looking for my two cents (admittedly as a Sony Fan boy) reading everything I've come to the following conclusions.

Nintendo Wii is a gimmick, its really well put together but has no staying power, games like Buzz and Singstar are great games on the PS2 but you don't play them often, the entire Wii game list so far seems to be games like that. It is massivily underpowered but sells itself on the idea of the Wiimote, which everyone thinks is brilliant. I think the console can be best summed up this way: My dad and my little sister have both seen the Wii in action and want one, we have a PS2 hooked up to the tv downstairs and they both play Colin Mcrae rally, GTA SA, Tekken, regulary. When I asked them if they would play Wii Sports/Zelda regulary and get rid of the PS2 they both admitted no. This is an example of a more serious game dev getting fed up that Nintendo don't seem to have done much other than marketing for the Wii

The Xbox360 is a nice idea but personnally after looking at the games library and then looking at my PC library there is nothing it can offer me that my PC can't already provide. I'm currently building a XP MCE machine capable of running all the XBox360/PC games that I like and all I'm missing is the cool white box of the 360. Then again I do know people who love the exclusive library so its a question of your gaming tastes. I'm actually quite impressed with the 360 as a unit, just lacks any games for me to get one.

Personnally I'm looking at the PS3 european realise and I can see four games I quite want, its the most powerfull of the three but, that doesn't mean much, it has blue ray (but then I only have a standard TV) and sony look like they've understood what people are after and that singstar, guitar hero and Buzz are their way into the market that Nintendo is after. The singstar online thing does show they've thought about it as well(its actually something I can see my mum and little sisters using.) The Playstation home thing is an interesting idea but not something that would sell the console to me. But is costs £425!

You reap what you sow (4, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273888)

There is an utter lack of objectivity in gaming related discussions on Slashdot.

You get what you sow. Sony used to be great, but they have constantly fucked with their customers for a few years now. Nintendo used to censor their games and be generally jackasses, but in recent years, they've put out great, fresh hardware and fun, innovative software, and they've shown that they've changed for the better.

People are annoyed at Sony, and they are happy with Nintendo.

So we have a so-so new product announcement from Sony, basically copying Miis, Achievements, Second Life, and adding an unhealthy dose of Micropayments. Big suprise, people don't fall for it.

Then, we have some developer basically explaining that the Wii is shit. Big surprise, people don't agree.

Both companies get what they deserve right now. So, what's your point?

While quite rudely put (2, Interesting)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273474)

There is SOME truth. I own a Wii and hardware wise it isn't a graphical and processing monster. The core enjoyment comes from the controller. As a long time PC gamer (although I own all 3 last gen consoles) I have never felt comfortable with FPS controls on a gamepad. The Wii controller on the other hand is very intuitive for me to use.
I've purchased 6 games for the Wii (not including Wii Sports) and all have offered something interesting but a couple have shown limitations in the hardware. I really enjoyed Elebits but the last levels have some severe frame rate issues when you start flinging around vehicles and buildings. I also enjoyed (after turning the sensitivity WAY down from default) Call of Duty 3 but the graphics were inferior to Call of Duty 2 when played on a PC. COD 3 perhaps suffers more because the game needs to look more realistic than Elebits. Despite the issues I still feel that the control scheme for FPS style games is better than a gamepad and will get better as developers get used to the Wii remote. Here's hoping the next Metroid shines.
I am also disappointed that games like Rayman and Super Monkey Ball don't have well fleshed out multiplayer modes. The Wii really shines when you have a couple friends over and some sort of overall multiplayer mode structure around the mini-games would make this even more fun. I look forward to Mario Party but I would love to see something with a less inane board game component. Even something like the old Epyx Summer Games/Winter Games titles would be great.
I don't honestly think the Wii competes directly with Xbox 360 or PS3. It isn't trying to beat those consoles in the areas they have carved out. Much like the DS versus the PSP I think we will start to exclusives on the Wii that just wouldn't be much fun on a system without a Wii style controller. We are already seeing updates of DS games like Trauma Center and Cooking Mama. We have heard vocal support from companies like EA and Activision for Wii games. If the Wii continues to sell well I think we will see a lot of games developed to cater to this different, more casual market.
The Wii isn't the end all be all of game consoles, it's an interesting tangent that hopefully will continue to bring us new ways to play.
I currently don't own a HDTV and I do most of my "hardcore" gaming on a PC. I have a couple kids and Nintendo family friendly games are a good thing. I certainly don't rule out purchasing a PS3 or Xbox 360 a couple years down the road but right now for how I game and how my family games there isn't a point. But that's just my situation - I know there are a bunch of players who want Resistance or Halo 3 and couldn't care less about Mario.

Re:While quite rudely put (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273540)

Can't say support from EA and Activision will mean much. Sports sequels and repatative comic licence games? I'd liek Square/enix, konami, capcom, namco, and bioware throw their hat in. I prefer if EA and Activision go bankrupt tommorow.

Art vs. Fun (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273476)

and then a quote from a Nintendo executive saying the company only wanted to make "fun" games.

I know pro sports people do infact play what is essentially a game - but I thought that didn't apply to video games and that games were still supposed to be fun.

So are game developers not even trying to make games fun these days then?

Re:Art vs. Fun (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273648)

The simple answer is... no. Competitive games are what companies make now, because they are one of those things that keeps paying and paying and paying with little input.

WOW isn't popular because it's fun. It isn't. It's popular because people get sucked in and have to become "the best" even though that is physically impossible, and while you try to do that impossible, you pay your game tax monthly... most MMOs are like this, but it's not limited to them.

Compare to a good RTS- it takes planning, good design, debugging, balancing and it's a one-time payoff (not counting expansions). Even FPS is falling out of favor because it isn't the cash cow it was compared to "gotta be the best" games, though most that exist now have elements of that in them, like BF2.

Re:Art vs. Fun (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273766)

That's really sad.

Overgeneralizations (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274498)

Just becausae you don't find WoW fun doesn't mean its not.

SS Sporetanic (5, Funny)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273488)

He then shared quotes from executives at Sony and Microsoft talking about games as a serious artistic medium, and then a quote from a Nintendo executive saying the company only wanted to make "fun" games.
"Rest assured," he went on to say, "we won't fall into the stupid design trap of making our game fun. We'll leave that for the amateurs at Nintendo."

This guy always hates everything anyways... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273496)

"It pains me to say this but I recently just took a job at EA. However, I worked for Will on the game you just saw, so.. [laughter] I'm going to rant about How Sony And Microsoft Are About To Screw Your Game Design. Look, how are we going to get where gameplay, graphics and physics are all evenly well balanced? At the moment we're the 120lb weakling, except nowadays his right arm here, graphics, is enormous."

--Chris Hecker, GDC, 2005

To paraphrase his annual edgy developer commentary:

"Game consoles aren't designed exclusively around my own personal favorite part of game design at this point in time."

This is notable? This is news? 95% of game developers probably feel this way. User interface people adore the Wii for exactly the same reasons next-gen artists and AI/physics programmers are frustrated by it. Parents adore the Wii's price for the same reason that high-end next-gen developers abhor it (because big honkin processors, it turns out, are not particularly cheap).

The real problem with his claim is the idea that serious and/or artistic games need massively powerful AI or physics routines in order to affect players. I do not agree that powerful technology is the only key to making an artistic game, or a game that has an emotionally powerful effect on people, or a fascinating narrative. Art direction and writing and getting rid of the publisher committee-approval ideology is a lot more important than neural networks. I am sure that there are certain types of artistic games that will become more prevalent as computing power increases, but to pigeonhole artistic games as games that have really good AI...isn't that just a little self-centered?

Hard on Chris Hecker (0)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273510)

You don't know the back story. Nintendo has the arrogance thing too, and earlier. Remember Nintendo circa SNES/NES. Tyranical ball busters. The Wii's a hit and soon they will go back to that. Don't forget they are a business. They aren't cut elittle mario. They will play hardball. Who knows maybe Chris had three meetings. Sony is shitting themselves because they're falling behind so they kissed his ass and asked politely for spore to use there cell chip like a $2 whore. MS needs help keeping up as well so they kissed his ass and asked spore be multiplayer with rockets. Nintendo thought their back in the SNES/NES days and told him they'd licence him if they would just let them sleep with Chris's wife. Who knows.

Re:Hard on Chris Hecker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18274304)

newsflash: Hiroshi Yamauchi has taken a back seat since then.

What is art? (5, Insightful)

Rafajafar (217298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273552)

What was disturbing to me about his rant was not what he said, but how ill-defined his terms were. He professed that Nintendo does not take gaming seriously as an art form. What is this "art" he speaks of? As someone who studies philosophy, it's very important to me that such an objective argument as "Nintendo hurts art" is defined properly.

When one speaks of art, they speak of aesthetics. What he argues is that function possesses the highest form of aesthetics. This is an extremely shaky ground for argument. One could easily weigh other factors of a game in with beauty... graphics, challenge, and enjoyment seem to be the pervasive accounts of beauty in gaming. Let's focus on these three and see if we can try to understand why Nintendo chose to focus on enjoyable rather than pretty and smarter games.

Graphics: Since the PS1, graphics seems to be the focus of most games. Higher texture density, more polygons, faster processing. These were what made a game "good" for a very very very long time. And while game sales were still increasing, more and more gamers were complaining that games seemed too much like their predecesors. Racing games were prettier, but they were still racing games. Fighting games had more characters with greater detail, but they were still fighting games. Sandbox games like GTA were getting sharper graphics and interfaces, but they were still GTA. Gamers were catching on that the industry is merely eating glitter to make the same old crap sparkle more.

Smarter: With the same old games comes the same old play. The only way to improve this is through design changes, which serves for temporary "newness" but quickly becomes associative in a near one-to-one nature from previous games in the genre. Final Fantasy games, for example, had a completely different play style from game to game, but functioned on the same basic prinicples as the last game (until 12). Fighting games may have different dynamics of button mashing and combo systems, but they were still button mashers. And racing games? Pfft. So in lieu of breaking the mold and trying to make games that challenge the mind in new ways, developers ... dare I say "in the box" developers... improve AI so that the same old game is harder to the same old player. While this may be nice when playing a genre game, I fail to see the argument that it has been applied artfully from system to system. Granted, it can be. It just has not thus far and I do not see a majority of developers as taking full advantage of it any time soon.

Enjoyability: Remember the first time you played a side fighter? Remember the first time you played a virtual fighter? Remember the first time you played an RPG? Remember the first time you played GTA? Wow, wasn't that fun? And so much so, it's had many gamers chasing the carrot on the stick for the companies that put out those games ever since. Remember the first time you played a 3D game with an analog stick? Do you remember all the other games you played using the same analog stick? That was enjoyment you got out of EVERY SINGLE GAME from a simple interface change. Nintendo has been the pioneer in that market since the Super Nintendo (and arguably sooner). Sure, they made a lot of sacrifices to graphics and processing power. But let's face it, the Wii is enjoyable. They chose a different definition of "art". To Nintendo, making games a social experience, making them widely available, and making them "fun" was what "art" is. To Nintendo, their system is THE system to progress video games as an "art form".

To say that Nintendo does not do for gaming as an art form as much as the other two major systems does is rather blind, I think. No other company has been as influential on the other two systems as Nintendo. Top buttons on the d-pad? Sony used it. Trigger buttons? XBox. Analog sticks? Sony and XBox. Force feedback through controller rumble? Sony took it again.. this time illegally. And now, full motion sensing capabilities... SONY TRIED TO COPY IT. So my question to this man would be, if a game is supposed to be art, and Nintendo is not art... then where does fun fit into the equation? I'd much rather have a peice of artless trash that was fun to play than a game that felt like an interactive screen saver.

In all fairness, the system has nothing to do with the art of a game. Shadows of the Colossus is a great example of a fun game, that was pretty, and used a system that was not Nintendo. If you think your art is hindered by what paint you use... you sir, are no artist.

All that aside, Spore looks fun.

Re:What is art? (1)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273620)

I'm really too tired to reply as much as I'd like. I just wanted to echo your frustration at his vague definition of 'art.' I guess my problem is he didn't stress enough that the Wii didn't work for what he wanted to do, not what is possible to do. Like you said, just because you're not interested in using a medium which is limiting in one aspect doesn't mean others can't use it to great effect. To make an analogy (a shakey, tired analogy...) just because you're interested in clay because, dammit, you can walk around a sculpture and have to think about three dimensions doesn't mean paint is worthless just because you're not interested in a 'flat' canvass. Taking my already silly analogy further, it doesn't even mean something 'cheap' like fingerpaint is worthless or unable to produce 'art.'

Anyway, I've already said more than I probably should at the level of sleep I'm currently at...Apologies for my ridiculous analogy and I hope someone else can get something good out of it...
-Trillian

Re:What is art? (3, Interesting)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273742)

I've spent considerable time pondering the possible aesthetics of video games, and agree with you that any list of pure specs cannot lead to higher aesthetics. Tetris was simple in every possible criteria, but still could be seen as one of the more beautiful games ever, much like primitive cave paintings. Your last paragraph captures this perfectly.

That said, though, no one really has analyzed the aesthetics of games, and many people say that they cannot be aesthetic since they are A) mass produced for market, and B) interactive. I disagree with both of these premises, btw.

Its late, and I'm lazy, so I'll just link to articles I wrote about this topic:
http://nonservium.blogspot.com/2006/09/prelude-to- interactive-art-aesthetic.html [blogspot.com]
http://nonservium.blogspot.com/2006/12/video-games -as-art-revisited.html [blogspot.com]
Yeah, self promotion AND laziness, I now embody the modern internet.

Obviously his idea of art revolves around complexity, and not the limitations of the medium. If he was a poet he would be Kerouac with massive free-flowing strings of consciousness, and his haiku would be as broken and unstructured as Kerouac's too. This is a relatively routine distinction in art, some people think that the limitations of a medium or style increases its merit, while others are too lazy, limited, of whatnot, to see the point. This is becoming more and more common in digital media, we're spoiled by ever increasing power, and have a hard time respecting even out current low limitations. Imagine this guy developing on a 8-bit system, or worse a text adventure!

I personally think that good are is a sort of metaphorical collaboration between the artist and the medium. /. has been inundated with philosophers lately! I'm very happy that the esoteric crowd is ranting too!

He misses a few points (4, Insightful)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273624)

First off, I have to question Chris Heckers developer quality, since he's one of the I need more power because I can't get my stuff run fast enough people. Quite often the issue is that the resources at hand aren't used optimal, either because the tools at hand lack the quality or the developers lack the quality. For example, I'm really impressed with Final Fantasy XII: the developers managed to squeeze quite nice graphics out of the total of just 36MB RAM they have at hand, especially the level of detail implementation is really good. Overall, the PlayStation 2 is a very good example at how developers had to learn to use the resources they have available: the first generation PS2 titles looked awful compared to the games that hit the market in the last few months. And I also remember playing around with graphics programming on my 80386. I never managed to have it do smooth animations, let alone smooth scrolling. Yet others proved that the hardware was not the problem (e.g. Doom), so the problem wasn't that the machine wasn't fast enough, the problem was that I didn't understand to use the resources adequately.

Also, the guy completely ignores Nintendo's situation: unlike MicroSoft and Sony, they don't have money to burn. They have to make a profit off their consoles from day one since that's all they do. They don't have other businesses with which they can make money (apart from licensing, of course). So they can't subsidize their consoles like MicroSoft and Sony do (they sell their consoles for less than their production costs).

This and other issues led Nintendo to conclude that they can't compete with this generation of consoles from MicroSoft and Sony. So if you can't play in the same market as the other guys you have to find another market, and that's just what Nintendo did, and successfully so. They managed to attract people to the Wii who wouldn't play console games otherwise. I know two couples who never had a console but found the Wii to be fun and bought it. They are both in their mid-/end-twenties and only now entered console gaming through the Wii and simply don't care about the PS3 or XBox360 since they don't appeal to them. Chris Hecker simply doesn't recognize that Nintendo is targeting a completely different audience than both MicroSoft and Sony.

Game Art? (2, Insightful)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273706)

You have to define what a game being art means. Videogames are an art form of their own, you can't judge them by the same standards as films or music. Personally, I think there is art in, for example, Mario64's level design and its perfect blend of challenge, reward and novelty.

Fake controversy (3, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273726)

I doubt the guy even believed it himself. The conference needed a little controversy to spice things up, the online gaming rags promoted it to get more page hits, and now Slashdot does the same.

Wii is FUN, Spore aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273872)

I appreciate he thinks games are an art form, but they are the Yoko Ono of the games world.

A rant, pretty much (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18273878)

This guy needs to go out and get himself a new gold-plated mobile phone, $4500 laptop or something, and calm down a little.

Gamers who want the MOST STUFF are really the worst kind. They'll play (and design!) any old shit as long as it gets a review score for prettiest, shiniest graphics or most surround-soundy audio. Gameplay? What's that anymore? We need a huge, epic storyline, that's what we need. Something that confuses the piss out of gamers and leaves them disappointed with a cliffhanger, when you spent the last 6 hours wandering through the ice level, lava/radioactive level, jungle terrain and arrid desert - token level designer staples - oh and the "totally fucked up and not necessary alien world full of pixel-accurate jumping puzzles" at the end.. but wow the STORY was great and you want MORE okay!?! And the enemies must be able to speak 3 languages including French with an convincing accent. Because better AI means a lot more fun.

I can only be impressed a couple of times when an enemy ducks behind a barrel on a level, and I have to walk out into the open and get shot in the face to even get an aim in. He should concentrate on level design and game mechanics, and stop whining about whether the CPU will let him add layers of sparkle.

Talking too big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18273900)

Hey Mr "Im developing spore that is Procedural Rendering so im important but i really never shipped one game" do you really know the definition of a game? Seriously if he is thinking that games are art when he is coding Spore then i predict:

-->The game will be graphic expensive with no playability at all.
-->The game will have the best orchestra but it will play the wrong type of music for a specific event in the game.
-->Also this game is coming for PC right? Its Procedural Rendering so it will generate textures and landscapes on the fly and i do not believe it will be written on the disk due to access time.
Will this be the Windows Vista of games aka eyecandy 99%?

Bullshit (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274140)

He also took Nintendo to task for not taking games seriously enough.

F*ck you. Who is responsible for state of gaming PC market??? Serious games??? Give me a break, moron.

Games must be ... games, not some twisted brain fuck [wikipedia.org] . And you can go to hell with all the elitist' "seriousness" crap for "hard core gamers" of yours.

I want to have something just to forget about all the "dog food" I have to eat every day 8 to 5. No, I do not need your "serious" sh*t - I need games I can take half hour for a ride just forget the office' stench.

Banana Blitz - is cool. Nintendo's WiiPlay & WiiSports - best what happened in gaming in last five years.

Re:Bullshit (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274172)

P.S. And if game devel makes such comments, I can only judge that he is not up to challenge. People did near perfect (for the time) 3D graphics on 386SX@25MHz - and the games were cool & fun. Devels were not saying "486 is crap since it cannot push 1000000000 triangles we have thrown into our latest game" - they were trying to deliver best gaming experience with means available. Notice that "means available" go after "best gaming experience." Game devels need to suck less from big corporations (M$/Sony/EA) and start concentrating on the experience after all.

Re:Bullshit (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274458)

Bingo. That's basically a symptom of a larger problem. When not resource constrained people don't know how to be conservative. Give them a 3GHz processor and they'll fill it with everything and anything. Who cares if 15% of the time is spent doing [say] virtual translations [C++ overrides] or whatever. It's a 3GHz processor!!!

Look at some of the games for the N64, that was a platform. And in the end, after people spent a lot of time figuring it out, they were able to make the graphics and AI very advanced [for the day]. Nintendo was smart with the Wii. Since most of the hardware [and probably GFX engine/etc] are based on the Gamecube developers won't have to invest as much to port to it. That the Wii has faster processors than the Gamecube gives them even more room to maneuver, but the developers will still have to smart about what they are doing.

I think it would be a good idea if new comp.sci students only wrote programs for seriously constrained devices at first. Learn what it is to fit a program in a 4KB block of memory on an 8051. When you can master that, here's 64KB of ram and an ARM, etc. We sit kids down, who have never programmed for anything less than their parents desktop with 1GB of ram running at multiple GHz, of course they don't know better.

The 360 and PS3 aren't not setting a good trend. Like Intel of yesteryear they want to convince you that larger numbers == better. So you should run that 400W/h console. I mean, it's just oh so much better. Along those lines the 360 version 2 will consume twice as much power, because, afterall, billions of pixels in super duper HD is all that matters.

Tom

Re:Bullshit (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274246)

Agree. 100%.

Unfortunately, there are far too many people out there with there heads stuck up their own asses needing to intellectualise everything to bring it up into their level of existence.

These are the same people who like seeing pictures of naked women but are too scared to go look at them in case they get caught and are seen as seedy little people - instead, they get photos of women taken at weird angles through photo filters and call it "art" to justify it intellectually.

Games are entertainment. You play them or you don't. You like certain games but not others.

Most of us just get on and do it without giving a hoot what anyone else thinks - it's the intellectual-types who are so damned self-conscious that they need the approval of their peers before they find the strength of character to do anything.

Just ignore them. They're idiots.

it may be 2 gamecubes taped together (1)

liquidhippo (988103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274236)

But it's still the first video game console I've ever seen with such widespread participation from people other than boys or young men... it's amazing to go to a friend's parents' house and see them playing right along with us, or at a party seeing just as many girls get involved with bowling or something as the guys...

This is funny, fanboy's in trouble (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274258)

You got some amazing posts today, including some kid who thinks The Sims was Maxis first big hit. HA!

This guy is a pro and works for a company that has been making fun games when SERIOUS power was 8mhz.

However since that day two things have happened. We have got more and mhz on our cpu's which at times seems to be only used to update the graphics. It is of no doubt that the Wii in this department cannot compete, pure polygon/texture/fps count it is going to loose to the 360/PS3 and ALL consoles will SUCK donkyballs increasingly so compared to the PC.

BUT that is not what this guy is talking about. He is complaining about lack of power to power NOT the graphics but the game itself. The AI.

AI is often ignored by gamers, we note it when it is bad but in most reviews a decent AI will take second place in importance to the graphics. I have no idea way I mean sure the human race has developed above such supervisial OOOH SHINY!

Eh where was I?

However in the background the AI code has been getting a share of the increased processing power and it shows. Today's AI in games is still nothing to worry any real human but if you ever make the mistake of playing a game from the dark ages you can see just how moronic the old ai's were that had to run on ancient hardware.

This guys complaint is that the Wii with it's simpler hardware just doesn't deliver enough oomph to power the AI in games.

First off, this guy works for Maxis, a game company that has NEVER produced a single OOOOH SHINY game. In fact all their games heavily depend on AI. This has been a problem for them before, their games never looked as spiffy as say your average FPS but offcourse the AI in them was still making your computer sweat. If you ever designed your own FPS level with AI monsters you know how fucking difficult it is to get them to walk straight down a corridor EVEN with massive pre-proccessing. In the sims you got easily a dozen AI all finding their way around a constanstly changing enviroment. While you maybe only seeing the effect of all your girls queing up for the same toilet and peeing themselves (Mmm, there might be a reality show in that) the fact that they even can do that requires a lot of code to be run.

There is a reason the full sims never appeared on the consoles, they just can't do it. (Try them if you don't believe them, the console versions are extremely reduced in capability compard to the PC versions)

Spore, if it delivers what it promises, is going to be much the same. For it to work there must be some serious number crunching going on in the background, yet ALL people see is the graphics.

Maxis can't produce a game that don't look the part. The graphics must pass a certain level or people just won't buy it. I am sure there is a market for a game with amazing ai and 8bit graphics BUT sadly maxis is to much into making a profit to explore that segment. Shame on them.

His claim is then that if a game is going to have passable graphics the Wii doesn't have enough horsepower left to power the AI. It is something PC owners have ALWAYS known. In some games you can alter your settings INCLUDING the ai difficulty level, lower it and performance improves. It is even simpler in the modding scene, lots of user made content mentions that you need a higher specced rig for their content then the original game simply because they upped the number of AI's in the game.

An old example is transport tycoon. A train game from I think the 386 days. If in those days you had more then a 50 or so trains in the game it would start to grind to a halt as the CPU simply couldn't cope. Nowadays a hacked version of the game happily runs with hundreds of trains of any length using the increased horsepower NOT just for graphics (increased resolution) but to run the AI for all those extra objects.

If you take the same game and try to port it fairly to all the gaming machines out there then the Wii is going to have to be the one with the smaller levels (less memory) fewer AI (less cpu power) and simplified interface (lesser resolution).

You can be a fanboy all you like but that is the deal, offcourse it ain't all bad, the lesser resolution also demands less graphics power (again test this on a pc and go from HD resolution to TV resolution and watch even the most demanding game FLY!).

What is funny is to see fanboy's rush to defend the Wii, fun over power. Hmmm, well that only works if one excludes the other. A power hungry game can be fun. Again the transport tycoon example, more trains is more fun.

Or for a more modern audience, F.E.A.R. had a video with the developers commenting on the max number of lights (graphics) and enemies (ai) they put in the game for the target hardware specs.

If the game had been released today it could have upped the number of lights (BOOH shallow graphics) OR the number of AI.

If the game was to be released on the Wii it would have to reduce the number of lights AND the number of enemies AND made for smaller levels.

That is a good thing?

The Wii is an intresting device with some intresting new takes on gaming consoles, but part of it is that is has sacrificed power and that means some games just won't be capable of running on it.

This story is roughly equivelant to a Nascar driver saying that the latest model Fiat pinto (or whatever tiny town car you want) just doesn't have it to drive in Nascar.

That is fact, it doesn't make Nascar silly, it don't make the driver and idiot and it doesn't invalidate what tiny town cars are.

PCConsole conversions have always shown this choice in power. Consoles have always had inferior memory (cue Deus EX2 with tiny levels and much loading in Morrowind where the PC version was at first not modified to use full system memory) and inferior display (Deus EX2 got lambasted on the PC for its Fisher Priced interface, and Oblivion players HATED the HUGE FUCKING FONTS on the PC). CPU power? Mattered less, with the reduced graphics AND reduced content (because of memory) less cpu power was needed in the first place.

Does that mean that there were no fun Console games? Offcourse not. Does that mean the powerhungry PC games were NOT fun? Offcourse not.

But if the Wii becomes the dominant gaming platform and sets a trend for the future then you better be prepared to accept a slowed advance in terms of AI. It is not such an amazing idea, on the PC if you choose NOT to buy a state of the art rig you always had to accept that you would have to recude the graphics and AI settings. Why are Wii fanboys so upset when they are told this simple truth? It sounds to me like nothing more then those endless rants on gaming forums were some 12 yr old complains the latest games won't run on his fathers old laptop.

Cry me a river.

Not all games fit on all platforms. Shocking! Next you will be telling me that some Wii games won't be ported to the X because of the lack of a Wiimote. Those stupid Nintendo developers eh, always coming up with excuses.

Turns out that (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274312)

his homepage [d6.com] is both highly graphical and innovative.. slashdot effect, plz. ;)

L.A.M.E. (0, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274354)

Look at the DS compared to PSP. Comparably "underpowered" yet while I own both, only one sits in a box, unplayed for months (hint: the PSP). Graphics are not the be-all for most people. Only lame undersexed gamers think they need a billion polygons/sec to make a "game fun."

As to his comment about the CPU not being fast enough for AI I guess we'll have to wait and see. Maybe he's used to bloatware or being inefficient. I'm sure Wii developers will figure it out.

Besides, I think the Wii has already proven it's not in the same track as the 360 and PS3. The games for the Wii will be much different in that they actually promote you to get into the game and not be all sloth-like on your couch with a remote...

Tom

Console fanboyism brings out kneejerk reactions (3, Insightful)

iapetus (24050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274388)

Seriously, I wonder whether people even bother to read things before leaping to the defence of their console of choice. "Oh no! He said bad things about Nintendo! Quick - to the ad hominem arguments and Chairman Miyamoto's Big Book of Wii Talking Points!"

For those who take a slightly more settled approach to life, it's easy enough to look at the title of the session. It's the Game Publishers Rant. This isn't supposed to be about rational discussion - it's throwing out exaggerated bile-fuelled versions of reality for the sake of engendering discussion. Look at the previous rants from the Game Developers Rants sessions in the last couple of years. The games industry is dead. Too many people whine about games not being innovative enough. Sony and Microsoft are going to screw your game design. Gaming has degenerated into a procession of Hot Babes - Sexy babes! Lesbian babes! Killer babes!

Do you think all of those things were intended as true statements? Of course not. Taking these rants as a genuine representation of the opinions of these developers/publishers is like assuming [url=http://maddox.xmission.com/]Maddox[/url] is an in-depth social commentator putting forward a model for how we can change life for the better. Take a chill pill, remove that radish from its current uncomfortable location, ignore the agenda-laden reporting from certain sites and enjoy the rant for what it is.

Hecker is not a developer. (4, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274562)

I believe there is some confusion over the term developer here. A lot of people use it to mean a company that creates games. In this context Hecker is working for the developer of Spore.

I don't think Hecker is even a Jr. Developer or anything of the sort of the actual game though. He's just another indie hack who wants to think games are some art form (as if we need that particular elitist disease in video gaming).

He's got a bit of a reputation as a ranter about this sort of thing. It's no surprise he'd take this sort of position because Nintendo's mantra of "just make it fun!" is pretty much directly opposed to the idea of games as an art. It's kind of amusing he works for Will Wright though considering Will is probably the most likely dev in the industry to throw art out the window and worry about fun factor first.

"WhatEv" (2, Funny)

Private.Tucker (843252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274570)

He's just mad because they're selling like hotcakes and he can't make a game work on it.

so he works on a console (1)

octal666 (668007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18274650)

and he must adapt his code to this limitations, obviously with more horsepower many problems can be solved (an AI is very cpu consuming) but you gotta do what you can with the machine you're given, and you gotta make it fun. I've read recently a quote from Mizuguchi in the Art Futura of Barcelona last year, "If a game isn't fun, you've lost the path"
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