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General: AGC Talk: Moving Beyond Men in Tights

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Jon Wood sat in on a panel interestingly called "Moving Beyond Men In Tights". This talk was given by Damion Schubert of BioWare Austin. Here is his report:




Working for a news site like this one, I have the opportunity to look at what people are saying about games, both on the side of the players and the developers. One thing that both sides have in common, even if they don’t realize it, is that they are both continually talking about the idea of innovation. Developers and Players alike are asking why we keep churning out so many “WoW clones”, games that simply copy and paste what has worked in the past. Schubert seemed to have a very simple answer. Because it works.

Schubert though, wanted to talk about ways that developers could innovate and still make a game that people wanted to play. The solution is “smart innovation”. Smart innovation, he told us, is “listening to and understanding the needs of your customers”. He says that one of the problems is that he sees far too much of what he called, “Crazy Innovation” which he defined as innovation that confuses people; no one cares about, and costs a lot of money. Another problem he noted was the industry Producer who, when presented with a design problem, says “What would WoW do?” He was quick to point out that while the industry often says that WoW simply was not innovative, they did have one huge innovation. WoW is soloable.

You can read more here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

Comments

  • LearyLeary Memphis, TNPosts: 49Member
    Bioware: true masters! I am glad that they put this out there. It needed to be said from mighty mouths. This genre is so overly-populated with mediocre garbage. We need someone to do something innovative; take the chance; break the mold!

    And funny that it was Bioware delivering this message with their own MMO in the works. This makes me tingly and very excited!

    Nice article.


  • tkobotkobo Dunellen, NJPosts: 465Member

    The more of these articlea i read, the more i understand that these Devs just dont have a clue.

    This artcile struck me as : Excuses to why we make crap 101

    Are there actaully any people among these DEVs that are game designers ?And no, i dont count programmers given the title.

    I mean people who actaully designed games for a living who dont program.Why the heck havent they head hunted the Pen and paper game designers ?

    Why dont they head hunt and hire established best selling authors ?

    Sooner or later the MMO dev community is going to have to stop hiring only from within the computer comunity.

    Programmers are NOT game designers.

    If you look at the combination of the above with the production ethics of the MMO dev community,its not suprising at all that most of whats been made is  NON-innovative crap.

    And if you further follow these little speeches they seem to be giving each other,its obvious they dont have a clue how to STOP making non-innovative crap.And would rather instead promote excuses and proven to be failed thinking.

    It just freaking amazing.

  • LearyLeary Memphis, TNPosts: 49Member


    Originally posted by tkobo

    The more of these articlea i read, the more i understand that these Devs just dont have a clue.
    This artcile struck me as : Excuses to why we make crap 101
    Are there actaully any people among these DEVs that are game designers ?And no, i dont count programmers given the title.
    I mean people who actaully designed games for a living who dont program.Why the heck havent they head hunted the Pen and paper game designers ?
    Why dont they head hunt and hire established best selling authors ?
    Sooner or later the MMO dev community is going to have to stop hiring only from within the computer comunity.
    Programmers are NOT game designers.
    If you look at the combination of the above with the production ethics of the MMO dev community,its not suprising at all that most of whats been made is  NON-innovative crap.
    And if you further follow these little speeches they seem to be giving each other,its obvious they dont have a clue how to STOP making non-innovative crap.And would rather instead promote excuses and proven to be failed thinking.
    It just freaking amazing.


    Uh, did you even read the article? This was taken from Bioware. Bioware! Name a MMO that Bioware has made. Got one? Huh? No? Of course you haven't. They haven't made one YET. They are working on one, but have not released one. Innovative games that Bioware has made otherwise? I could name quite a few.

    The article was about what needs to change in the way that MMO's are being developed. As they have not released a MMO yet, maybe they will be the ones that will show what a true MMO can be. If anyone is capable of breaking the mold, it is Bioware.
  • tkobotkobo Dunellen, NJPosts: 465Member

    Actaullly i read the article just fine thank you.

    It doesnt matter that BIOWARE hasnt made a MMO yet.

    BECUASE they are simply hiring the same people who made the past and current mmos.AND the preaching they are doing shows these people are intending to make the same lame mistakes they made in the last games they worked on.

    A company is ONLY as good as its employees.Hire the same employees who were responsible for the last mmos, and you'll continue to end up with the same kind of product.

    The DEVs just move from team to team,creating and than leaving behind the same crap, as they are welcomed into the next team.The name of the company they work for THIS YEAR, doesnt mean squat.

    Bioware is currently one of the few game companies i think are capable of making a decent game.BUT sadly ,all the signs are that they are following the same paths the other MMO dev teams traveled down.Which as i said, really shouldnt be a suprise,becuase they are hiring people from those teams.

  • TheAdlerianTheAdlerian philadelphia, PAPosts: 30Member
    The ideas in the article are a great example of what's wrong with capitalism. The idea is to take a good concept or product and squeeze it until all the jiuce runs out. Usually, after the first ten or twenty squeezes the juice gets pretty bitter as well.

    I'm going to be 40 this October and have been attracted to games since I first saw Pong in a toy store. The attraction came from the chance for a fantastic experience, and later as games evolved, the chance for adventure. The adventure of a good game was much like being able to "play" a good book. In relation to this idea I always think of the Ultima games, such as The Black Gate.

    I recall years ago calling support for an Ultima game and I couldn't resist asking about who was making such great games. There was all kind of detail and places to explore. It wasn't "needed" but it was there, and that was cool. Anyway, the guy on the phone said that most people didn't even have an education in computers but had taught themselves how to make these games. I was impressed.

    It seemed that these guys created a "video game collective" and were motivated more by desire than profit, which I'm sure got them a lot of profit. This is different from the capitalist that tries to assemble the right "parts" to make a game that "sells" units.

    The bottom ine is that games became popular because they offer adventure to bored people living in a very safe time. The fighting and the levels are part of the adventure, but they aren't the adventure themselves.

    The idea of "adventure" isn't something that can be counted of measured. It has to do with quality and depth of story. People that write stories are either talented amateurs or professionals, and the gaming industry needs to find or hire some. Most of these games seem like concepts that need fleshing out, and it would be wise to spend money on developing the adventurous elements, and letting the fighting and whatnot naturally follow.

    Note:

    Stop lying, the grind is just a vicious way of stringing people along to take their money while they wait for weak, minimal, or fantasy content.


  • bugzonlsdbugzonlsd Odessa, TXPosts: 410Member

    Then there was Highlander. Highlander is a well-known license and also have huge “geek appeal” (double coating), but there is an inherent flaw in the franchise. Perma-death. Highlander is built around the concept that “there can be only one”. How do you make that fun and engaging for everyone?

    I guess he never noticed the movie went on for 6 parts. The point of the movies were in fact to be the "one" but its not being the one that made it great, it was road to being the one that make it worth being an mmo. How could any single player ever be the one, use some imagination is the answer, how are you goin to be the one when your playing with thousands and thousands of people daily with either a permadeath system or xp loss system apon death? That would be the whole point of the game, to survive long enough to be the last and once you were the last if you made it that far then you win the prize.

    Players wouldnt mind this.. its repeatable content, its sandbox and has heavy pvp.

    clearly time would play a factor, watchers, holyground.... being geek enough to play a game that doesnt half a frikkin elf in it for gods sake.... that actually lets you runamuck in the world taking some noobs head just because you can... /sigh i guess we will never see a full pvp game where talkin smack and backin it up IS the game that doesnt revolve around some wuss wavin a wand.

  • ShadowoakShadowoak Salonika CityPosts: 236Member
    I really laughed at the part that said that WoW's innovation was that it was soloable. I mean, do they play games? Or read the costumers complains about games?

    And even if WoW was soloable, it wasn't the first one. In pre-NGE SWG you could solo anything. From the little birds outside Bestine when you were novice, to the krayt dragons (that supposedly couldn't be killed even by the jedis in KOTOR) when you were Master Doctor/Master Rifleman, Master Swordsman/Master Doctor, (insert FOTM template here). That didn't made the game succesful, if anything, it made it less social and more dumb.

    Anyway, since when a multiplayer game is considered innovative when its soloable? Its like that stupid idea in Age of Conan, where the first 20 levels are single player. In a few years, a single player game will be considered innovative for being just that, single player.

    Really, why do they even bother making MMOs? Oh yes, I forgot.



    Unfortunately, I must share tkobo's disappointment at bioware, as I too was expecting them to make a new game, using the true meaning of new here, but it seems they started their excuses before even announcing details about their game.


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