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Ken Levine Q&A

The Ken Levine Q&A on Next Generation chats with the 2K Games developer about the game industry, learning, among other things, about his glamorous life: "I have a wonderful understanding wife and I stay up late and I don’t have a social life or friends. I recently won this writing award and I got up to accept it and everyone was cheering and it was a really wonderful, amazing experience. My heart was lifted. After winning an award, most people go out to parties. I go back to my hotel room and I play WoW."

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19. Re: No subject Apr 5, 2008, 00:31 CreamyBlood
 
It's also good to know that at least one of the big names in gaming has no social life. At least I'm not alone in finding most social activities empty and completely boring.

There's nothing wrong with having an active and balanced life, including for many, work, family, friends and gaming (spirituality). Having a girlfriend that doesn't bitch about only seeing the back of your head while you waste a bunch of boneheads online is a bonus.

 
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18. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 07:54 Ecthelion
 
Just in general I haven't played the Freedom Force games but I heard they had good stories as well, which sort of says KLevine hasn't really made a bad story (most think very good) in the game industry.
They did have great stories, although you have to be able to enjoy silly comic-based stories to appreciate the stories in the two Freedom Force games.

I think Levine has definitely proved himself as a writer. Most of the games he has been involved in were very good games, if not outright amazing.

It's also good to know that at least one of the big names in gaming has no social life. At least I'm not alone in finding most social activities empty and completely boring.

 
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17. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 06:36 Acleacius
 
Sepharo I am not sure if you meant me or Jerykk, I never intended to hold media outlets as infoulable objectionists (pun intended), just as a measuring stick of the success. Like I said I never played it I have to go by something and actually Moby has been around for 15 years or so (iirc) and is mostly fan based, though I don't know much about Mediacritic.

Jerykk, while I agree Halo's are mostly crap, they apparently they give boners to the console crowd.

Just in general I haven't played the Freedom Force games but I heard they had good stories as well, which sort of says KLevine hasn't really made a bad story (most think very good) in the game industry.
However KLevine has said he failed in the movie industry, but I am betting it wasn't due to lack of quality and solid writing, more likely just wouldn't compromise as he seems pretty headstrong.


This comment was edited on Apr 4, 06:37.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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16. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 04:28 Flo
 
Levine's team did in fact work only on the SP for T:Vengeance. Which was pretty good, just unnecessary for a Tribes game.
Exactly, and from that point on I knew that this team was one to watch. I mean, seriously, creating a good SP story for Tribes? Wow....
 
Supporter of the "Chewbacca Defense"
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15. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 03:47 Prez
 
Levine's team did in fact work only on the SP for T:Vengeance. Which was pretty good, just unnecessary for a Tribes game. The failure of the MP was another team's fault.

And having played Swat 3 and Swat 4, I can easily say that Swat 4 was better than Swat 3 in every way, at least as far as I'm concerned.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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14. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 03:11 Reactor
 
I was a huge fan of Swat 3, and while Swat 4 wasn't exactly terrible, it certainly wasn't as good as Swat 3. Dumb AI and a cartoony feel to it was the cause, more or less.

 
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13. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 02:35 Flo
 
Just for the record: Tribes: V was not really Tribes in Multiplayer but - believe it or not- it had a fucking great single player story line. I remember buying it for 10 bucks some years ago and thought I'd play the SP just to see how they could have possibly come up with a story for Tribes. When I started playing I couldnt believe it: Great storytelling and a plot you really cared about with lots of little surprises like flash-forwards and some pretty good twists.  
Supporter of the "Chewbacca Defense"
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12. Re: No subject Apr 4, 2008, 01:35 Sepharo
 
In an indirect way you're playing devil's advocate for a guy who made a dumb comment to begin with...

But you're right. Mainstream gaming review outlets [and to be fair others as well] are what Metacritic uses to obtain it's averages and we all have seen [GameSpot v. Gerstmann] what a bunch of shady assholes they can be.

The gaming community [run through an idiot sifter] and Wikipedia are what I form my pre-play opinions on.

 
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11. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 23:45 Jerykk
 
These are culminations of at least 10 of the top gaming site reviews and thousands of fan reviews, looks like Not many people agree with you.

Tribes: Vengeance got an average score of 81%. Lower that by about 50 and you get the average score amongst people who actually played Tribes 1 and 2.

The media caters their reviews to the lowest common denominator and are therefore completely unreliable. Halo 1, 2 and 3 got average scores of 95%, 94% and 93%, respectively. I rest my case.

 
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10. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 23:05 Elf Shot The Food
 
I thought T:V and SWAT 4 were pretty good. Then again, I don't have any sort of serious emotional attachment to any of the prior games in each series.

 
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9. No subject Apr 3, 2008, 22:22 Acleacius
 
Good thing no one was standing on your shoulders when you made the craptastic games Swat 4 and Tribes Vengeance.
You sure about that Slippery Jim? I have no doubt you mean what you say for you personally and just in case you don't know he is a writer. I never played either but according at least 2 of the biggest most popular Game Scoring sites Moby and GameRanking Swat 4 got 85/86 and 85/81 respectively most game developers would kill to get 80% + games released. These are culminations of at least 10 of the top gaming site reviews and thousands of fan reviews, looks like Not many people agree with you.
http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/920508.asp?q=swat%204
http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/swat-4

the_cultureq
The more I read about Ken Levine, the more I like. This guy really has a grounded and realistic view of what's going on, and he actually respects the consumer.
Couldn't agree more like him or not the guy's strong point is being able to communicate to others and being creative doesn't hurt either.
He has storied some of my favorite games Thief, System Shock 2 and though I don't agree with the gameplay choices Bioshock did have a great story.

nin
THAT is a true gamer speaking.
Not only that how lucky is he that his wife lets him play games at the exclusion of a social life, lucky bastard!
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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8. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 22:15 Riker
 
Yes, and a lot of morons think that Gears of War and Halo are the cat's ass too.

Swat 4 was a buggy dumbed down version of Swat 3. It was visual bubble gum. Irrational Games killed the Swat series.

I'm going to have to disagree. I loved SWAT 3, hated Gears of War, thought Halo was overhyped garbage, and I really enjoyed SWAT 4. I'm sorry you didn't. I don't recall experiencing any bugs, but perhaps I'm the exception, I dunno. It has a score of 85 at Metacritic, so it was fairly well received overall.

Anyways, regardless of any other failings they may or may not have, Irrational Games is responsible for my 2nd favorite game of all-time, System Shock 2, and BioShock was a pretty good game as well.

This comment was edited on Apr 3, 22:20.
 
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7. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:44 xXBatmanXx
 
Yes, and a lot of morons think that Gears of War and Halo are the cat's ass too.

QFMFT.

Playing: Two Worlds(PC), Dead Rising, Gears of War, Rb6 Vegas 1, Lego SW Saga.
 
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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6. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:44 nin
 
There’s this quest that I hadn’t done before where you complete a long quest chain and you’re in this building and they give you like a tabard and a new weapon. I turn around and I go outside, and they have programmed in the sequence where all these WoW characters are lined up cheering for you as you go out. And so I have this experience like in life and then I have this experience at home and I don’t know which one made me happier.

THAT is a true gamer speaking.



------------------------------------------------
Fuck off Riley, you hypocritical ovary sack.
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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5. No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:28 Donkey_Punch
 
I thought quite a few people around here enjoyed SWAT 4.

Yes, and a lot of morons think that Gears of War and Halo are the cat's ass too.

Swat 4 was a buggy dumbed down version of Swat 3. It was visual bubble gum. Irrational Games killed the Swat series.

Tribes Vengeance was a buggy dumbed down version of the Tribes games. Irrational Games killed the Tribes series.

Both times they didn't have a clue what made the games so good in the first place. They didn't even try to understand them. For instance I remember the lead developer on Swat 4 saying that he never even played Swat 3. Here is a tip for developers working on a sequel...try the previous games out first!!

To be fair, I don't think Levine was directly involved with T:V. That one was made in their Aussie studio.

Ah yes I forgot it was the Australian division. Possibly true he didn't have input into the game. I guess Irrational Games just had a universal goal of destroying much loved franchises with piss poor sequels.

This comment was edited on Apr 3, 21:36.
 
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4. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:28 Jerykk
 
Good thing no one was standing on your shoulders when you made the craptastic games Swat 4 and Tribes Vengeance.

To be fair, I don't think Levine was directly involved with T:V. That one was made in their Aussie studio.

 
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3. No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:15 the_culture
 
But also, these guys are paying fifty, sixty dollars for our game, they have a right to fucking hate me if they’re not happy with that purchase. I think that’s reasonable. Well not hate me, that’s a little extreme, but you know, they have a right to be very disappointed.

The more I read about Ken Levine, the more I like. This guy really has a grounded and realistic view of what's going on, and he actually respects the consumer.

 
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2. Re: No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:13 CreamyBlood
 
I only played the demo but (correct me if I'm wrong) I thought quite a few people around here enjoyed SWAT 4.

 
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1. No subject Apr 3, 2008, 21:04 Donkey_Punch
 
“We are standing on the shoulder of giants."

Good thing no one was standing on your shoulders when you made the craptastic games Swat 4 and Tribes Vengeance.

 
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