Behind the scenes
Though we as gamers got a great game and it still sold decent, I see this yet another case of business considerations destroying the game design choices and messing with the customer experience, like those devs so focused on pirating that they implement DRM that pisses off their paying customers (respect for GoG for pushing against that with business sense).
In Hitman I felt it too every time when after paying the full season pass game I was repeatedly forced against my will to connect to their servers and experience that extra wait/problems/the thus designed repetition gameplay, particularly the artificial structuring of the replays for episodic gameplay: it diminishes the value the customers get out of their gameplay. Plus in being greedy that way I think they lost a lot of potential customers which only got 1-3 episodes and never got the rest. This makes me think of games like GTA 4 & 5, granted huge games, which I hear stats say most people never finish, yet that’s no problem because 1) the people who do finish them feel they got great value 2) those who didn’t got a unique experience of a huge scale with a taste of much more. Now imagine they would’ve had monetization in the forefront (as i’d suspect they’re transitioning to), and had made chunks. Then group 1) would’ve gotten a butchered experienced, with locked areas and never become the huge advocates, and would’ve gave off worse reviews and group 2) would only buy 5-10h of gameplay because after that they already got the taste and lost interest. At least that’s what I imagine would happen. But with Hitman in particular it felt that while it was a great game by the devs, there were definitely management people there who had monetization rather than customer satisfaction as their highest priority and that could be felt in many game design influencing choices.
PS: since he mentions it in the video, yes, i’m one of those, i fully subscribe to being an admirer of the original Watch Dogs which I purchased multiple times and incredibly disappointed in how they destroyed their integrity and credibility with Watch Dogs 2 in order to make it more “mass market” (yes, you can feel that strong push, from the politically correct black hero, to the very safe subjects to dumbing it down for the masses). And I get why it’s so hard for the devs to tell, because I bought Watch Dogs 2 on preorder full price, based on the credibility of Watch Dogs 1, and yet now due to the big disappointment in 2 I will be much less likely to do that for 3 even though they might return to the origins. It’s hard for the devs to tell, similar story with Assassin’s Creed, but yet as a gamer I can tell when something is driven by a desire to make sales/get social hi-fives or a desire to create something wonderful. I’m always encouraged when I see this pattern, of the game which got the critical praise and media doesn’t sell so well as I feel there’s some justice in the universe after all and the customers are in fact smarter than the sales people take them for in recognizing a genuine thing from a quick cash push.
I was pleasantly surprised both at the amount and the quality of the bonus videos on the Until Dawn disk. I wasn’t expecting much but a bunch of them were rather interesting. This one (above) shows a bit of what I had indeed noticed in the game which is cool attention to lighting, particularly some fantastic use of rim lighting. There’s for example this moment with the chandelier which is a true lesson of how you can have a mysterious character front and center full screen and still keep it mysterious and graphical with mostly dark/shadow and shape/detail only shown via edge lighting.
This video shows not only one of the reasons why I think the game turned out great,a scientific and mass-testing based (as opposed to opinions which can sometimes be persuasively wrong), but, at least as importantly is incredibly entertaining to watch showing many types of people and many types of reactions. Anyway, it’s this kind of work and testing for quality entertainment (and aiming for a mass market!) that I think sets the game apart and makes it in my eyes worth deserving of great commercial success, even if it’s not totally my genre (the *teen* horror), I can’t help but admire it and wish it all the best.
Always so cool to get a peek behind the curtains where the magic happens. There’s also a video on the development journey and one on the story and characters. How very awesome for them and the players that they got 2 years bonus surprise development time.
It is the year 1912, and you’ve somehow found your way aboard the largest man-made mobile structure on Earth. Naturally, because it’s a plague-free couple of years, you find time to wander around the ship, bask in its beauty, and overall enjoy the view.
Oh, wait, all of this is about to be on the ocean floor in a matter of hours (spoiler alert).
The dedicated people at Vintage Digital Revival LLC are hard at work recreating the Titanic, down to every last watertight[citation heavily needed] bulkhead. Seriously.
The project is still in its infancy (the game engine seems to be at default settings based on some glitches caused by detail culling in UE4), and at this stage (much like Cameron’s “Titanic”) is devoid of characters. Gameplay should feature both a ship exploration mode, and a story mode.
It is estimated to be available for purchase somewhere in 2018, so sit tight.
There are 2 demos available for download on the developers’ website (alongside a beautiful gallery of in-game shots). The devs recommend having a whopping 8 GiB of system RAM, but it’s worth it.
Remember LucasArts and their cool point ‘n click video games? While all of them had an overall cool storyline and feel, this one stood out throughout the years. For some, it was the classic character and the puzzles you had to go though, for others, the otherworldly design of Atlantis.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is being (unofficially) fan remade by a 3rd party, featuring a modern-ish look and feel. Let’s hope all goes well and they don’t get the axe from Disney. Also, let’s hope for a Day of the Tentacle remake as well.
Not excited about VR but this talk has some quite interesting insights about both the human body and mind as well as game design decisions so I thought I’d quickly post it.
Whuuhuuu! New Feng Zhu video is out today! And even better he did a reimagining of the old game Flashback. COOOOL!
Wow, i had no idea they had gotten this big, hundreds of people, multiple floors. Wasn’t impressed by the artwork but that’s to be forgiven considering they have concentrated on workflow, convenience and have lots of open spaces… not to mention a fruit bowl :D
PS: never been a huge fan of their art departments to be honest, felt more of a technology website, still, i’m totally looking forward to some portal 2 brain teasers :D
Don’t like the voice of the presenter and the imho cliche movie style but very happy to have found this vid with a behind the scenes look. I haven’t played the game yet but I’ve heard many great things of the experiences of friends who did…
Interviews with developers from smaller/indie development companies on this GDC 08 1UP special: PixelJunk (Monsters, Eden, Racers) & That Game Co. (flOw, cloud, flower).
Just the other day i was desperatelly searching wikipedia & general web hoping to find out about books featuring interesting anti-hero type characters. Gotta say I love ’em more morally ambiguous characters. For example I keep trying star wars books but the universe seems so black and white, I’m quite bored of the eternal triumph of clearly positive characters. I’m curious about stories which mirror what I see in the real world more closely: a lot of morally grey choices and good/bad results not always following their good/bad respective choices. So, about prototype: open world + more gray character = I’m quite interested. Now there’s two things that I’m worried about: first I have yet to see trully inspiring artwork, and the bigger issue: I wish there were choices and options involved. Keeping my fingers crossed. I know I’m wishing for much, and either way I’ll probably be giving the game a try someday because it dares to be a bit more niche, but I’m hoping it’ll be so much more…
GameTrailers has this awesome 5 part documentary on the making of the game. Above is part 3, focusing on the acting. Imagine that, the actor who played Gollum of Lord of the Rings leading the dramatic direction! How cool is that? Here are the other four parts: