User information for Chris Johnson

Real Name
Chris Johnson
Nickname
Istari
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Signed On
December 9, 2003
Total Posts
30 (Suspect)
User ID
19629
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30 Comments. 2 pages. Viewing page 2.
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7.
 
Why does everyone misread the market?
May 30, 2004, 14:52
7.
Why does everyone misread the market? May 30, 2004, 14:52
May 30, 2004, 14:52
 
OK, that sounds incredibly arrogant - "I know better than everyone else" - but I keep scratching my head at the game designers and publishers.

I loved Giants - thought it was creative, deep and innovative.

But I never bought Armed & Dangerous, because reviews made clear it had been "consolized". I can't stand 3rd person views, the gameplay was simplified and made more action-intensive, the progression was linear, etc. etc. It was a game clearly optimized for the X-Box.

Then Planet Moon comes along and says - wow, A&D did fairly well on X-Box, but tanked on the PC. The PC market is in decline, we're headed off to PSP.

** Doesn't ANYONE understand that the PC audience has different tastes and expectations than console gamers? ***

Instead, we get port after port, which flop on the PC, supposedly proving again that the PC market "is in decline." That's like offering Rambo movies to subscribers of the "New Yorker", and then being surprised that movie watching in that demographic is declining. Well duh - offer them what +they+ want, not what a different target audience wants.

Arrrgh!!!!

Istari

66.
 
A good game is a good game
May 29, 2004, 18:02
66.
A good game is a good game May 29, 2004, 18:02
May 29, 2004, 18:02
 
Can somebody please explain the logic of this? I just read a comment a few down this thread that said that it makes perfect sense for companies to make one game that cuts across all platforms.

I just don't get this line of reasoning. Console games have an entirely different feel, play style and immersion than PC games. Not worse per se, but quite different.

Console games are played sitting on a couch, 10 ft from the TV, often with friends, for an hour at a time. They have great driving and fighting games in particular.

PC games are often played solo, 18-24 inches from a high-res monitor, for hours at a time due to immersion. Strategy, RTS, simulations and FPS are the PC hallmark. Complexity of options and controls is another.

Console games don't port well to PCs, and PC games often fail going to consoles. Even KOTOR, the exception to this general rule, suffered considerably from "dumbing down" to fit the X-Box. C'mon - tell me that keeping KOTOR's storyline, graphics, characters, but adding a little more of NWN or BG2's tactical complexity would have made it a worse game?

I think they're fundamentally different markets - in style, consumer base, etc. Why don't the publisher's understand this?

Put another way, DX:IW was made for both X-Box and PC to make more sales, then if it was PC alone. Yet couldn't a case be made that DX:IW would have sold more total copies if it was a quality PC game only, rather than a rushed, botched port?

A Luddite PC gamer,

Istari

44.
 
Thief demo
May 28, 2004, 23:51
44.
Thief demo May 28, 2004, 23:51
May 28, 2004, 23:51
 
Just dove into the Thief demo for 15 minutes, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I was completely pessimistic after the crushed hopes of DX:IW, but this is pretty good.

Have to agree with Punisher though, the PC gaming market is really pretty stagnant. Feels like we're moving backwards rather than forwards in every area except graphics.

The hallmark of PC games used to be customizability - pages of toggle settings to set the game to your playing style. After 15' with Thief: Deadly Shadows, I'm already itching for toggles to turn off that ridiculous blue glow and the glint of treasure. Ruins the immersion and reminds me I'm playing a game. Yet, since this is also an X-Box game, the options are surprisingly few on the Options screen. This is going backwards, not forwards.

Sigh. I'm going back in to try some more, but it's so frustrating to see game design regressing.

Istari

59.
 
Thanks to Gearbox guys here
Apr 13, 2004, 21:59
59.
Thanks to Gearbox guys here Apr 13, 2004, 21:59
Apr 13, 2004, 21:59
 
Man, does anybody care that the developer actually took the time to stop by and post a response that addressed some of the critiques?

Look, I wasn't wild about HALO PC either. Bought it, tried it out, was appalled at the frame rate (even after patches and tweaking) and returned it.

So I agree that Gearbox has some wins and some not-so-greats - but I still think it shows guts to come in here and post in a topic thread that is mostly flaming Gearbox.

With that kind of effort to reach the fans, I'm willing to give Gearbox the benefit of the doubt and see how "Brother in Arms" turns out. Frankly, my big worry is it'll be another game "dumbed-down" for consoles - hello DX:IW. But I'm willing to give the man a chance.

Istari

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 22:01.
31.
 
Re: calling for fire
Mar 19, 2004, 20:41
31.
Re: calling for fire Mar 19, 2004, 20:41
Mar 19, 2004, 20:41
 
OK, you can debate whether we really want to use a protractor in our game, but I still think SMA's got a good point.

What made OFP so different from other games is that it was a "live world", and if you weren't smart in how you fought and navigated that world, you could very quickly end up with hopeless odds. That is what real warfare is like, and it added tremendous tension and challenge - you really had to think to survive. Realistic touches like calling for fire or navigating are other elements that mean if you don't think, you may die.

Contrast that with playing "Call of Duty" last night - in Huertgen Forest, I know that each event is triggered by my killing X soldier or crossing Y point. When each event triggers, it will be an enemy force sized perfectly to challenge me but that I can handle with good eye-hand coordination. Even if I WANT to set an ambush, escape, flank them... I can't. I'm on a very narrow roller coaster ride and just have to shoot it out against perfectly balanced odds until the game ends.

That's fun, but OFP is a very different, much more engrossing kind of game. Here's hoping War Story is like this.

Istari

12.
 
OFP Redux
Mar 19, 2004, 17:24
12.
OFP Redux Mar 19, 2004, 17:24
Mar 19, 2004, 17:24
 
Yes, there's been nothing that's come close to Operation Flashpoint. Personally, I found it much more fun than Ghost Recon - you had real firefights in OFP, not the eagle-eyed snipers of GR who would kill you with their first shot from 500m. Grrr...

I'm hopeful they're truly aiming for the OFP realism side of the market - I enjoy Call of Duty and MOH as much as anyone, but it's a different kind of game. There's going to be plenty of competition down there (Men of Valor, MOH: Pacific Sun, etc.). Higher realism certainly brought alot of money to the people at BIS (makers of OFP).

Istari

92.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2003, 20:40
92.
Re: No subject Dec 9, 2003, 20:40
Dec 9, 2003, 20:40
 
Dedeye,

Good summary of the PC market. I don't mind having fewer games for PCs than the consoles - that's the nature of the demographics.

What really burns me is that I can't think of ANY games being designed with that PC demographic in mind, with the exception of Half Life 2 & Tribes: Vengeance. We'll see what Bioware does with their PC-only RPG. (BTW - I crossed Thief 3 off this list after seeing DX:IW. Anyone else disagree this will be "streamlined" as well?)

I used to be able to look forward to a dozen titles off in the future for the PC, but now????

Istari

88.
 
Theory: Lack of Familiarity
Dec 9, 2003, 19:02
88.
Theory: Lack of Familiarity Dec 9, 2003, 19:02
Dec 9, 2003, 19:02
 
I think the interesting test case would be to take an established franchise (Baldur's Gate, KOTOR, Deus Ex), and make a complex, hardcore PC-only game using that franchise.

I say this because I wonder if part of the reason for the PC flops is that they were unfamiliar subjects (Planescape? I remember looking at the box and scratching my head, not knowing what it was. Only after reading glowing reviews did I take a risk).

If a speculative Baldur's Gate 3 - a game using a very established "hook", but made with a plot and dialogue as rich as Planescape: Torment - bombed badly in the marketplace, I think we'd have to concede that the hardcore audience is just too small to support our passion.

Thoughts?

Istari

87.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2003, 18:57
87.
Re: No subject Dec 9, 2003, 18:57
Dec 9, 2003, 18:57
 
Miles,

Fair points re: the gaming audience.

However, I would answer that I would "ignore that market" because there are already so many people fighting for a share of that pie. There are dozens of short, "accessible" (or "streamlined" to use Ion Storm's new phrase) games already in the marketplace, aimed at the casual player. Any new game has to compete with all the dozens of titles out there already. How many serious, deep PC games have come out recently? Seems like there's a market niche waiting to be exploited.

Second, I'm not sure about that 80% figure. If I recall, PC gamnes are about 27% of the market, and remember that the remainder of the market in consoles is divided up among several players. It's not like there's some monolithic Console(tm) out there that singlehandedly captures 73% of the market. PC and X-Box market are about the same in market share.

I'm granting you the underlying premise - that the console market is larger than the PC, and has been faster growing in recent years. Yet I think the case is overstated too often. Break down those numbers, and it's not quite as bad as people think.

Istari

62.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2003, 02:39
62.
Re: No subject Dec 9, 2003, 02:39
Dec 9, 2003, 02:39
 

**** WHY DO GOOD GAMES NOT SELL??? ****

Now with BIS going under, joing the moldering corpses of Looking Glass Studios and the old Microprose, I'm left again to wonder...

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Planescape: Torment, System Shock 2, NOLF/NOLF 2 and Undying flopped in the marketplace. H**l, even Deus Ex and the Thief series only sold moderately well. Yet Enter the Matrix sells millions. I just don't get it.

Seriously - if deep, complex and rich games sold well, you wouldn't get the debacle that is Deus Ex: Invisible War (now with more powerups!). Why is it that none of these games sell well? Are we just such a small market that a company simply can't break even on us? Is it a failure of marketing?

Istari

30 Comments. 2 pages. Viewing page 2.
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