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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Issue : Games : Coterie


I'm just gonna go ahead and get this off my chest. Good for you if you have a game you want to make, and you have all of the functionality mapped out, and you have all the assets sketched, and you have environment, and you have topography, and you have programming templates, and you have a production road-map, and you have a hiring and marketing budget, and you have a publishing plan or an indie campaign and/or crowd sourced money. But when you gather all of these coins and then say, "And as for the story, we will build it as we go along," I just, I kinda call the ballgame then.

And I get it, I do, we have been over this loads of times, there are three great nations in gaming, Story, Code, and Art. All with splinter lands among them, all necessary for the world to float level. All are mighty, all are gracious, all are lauded. And unlike other worlds, say, the worlds of film for instance, a game creator has the ability to step out of the machine they build to let other people drive, instead of that machine doing tricks in front of the audience and them only guessing at the other possible permutations.

It's a baby that grows by way of exponents, which necessitates a whole other skeletal base and rearing. That shits hard to do. But creating a soul-less mechanical behemoth,  putting a joyrider in the cockpit, standing over their shoulder telling them which buttons and levers do what, and then releasing their agency on a landscape in no particular direction rarely ends in any other way than the rig in a ditch and the driver moving on to another shiny thing.

If they bought the vehicle or paid a lot for the seat they want the vehicle to look good, that's art, they want it to preform well, that's code, and they want a reason to purchase that particular model, wherever that is. Sad truth, regular passengers (e.g. Not Us) are in there, be it a bus, a train, or a car, to get somewhere. They don't care how the engines or the wipers work, they just want them to. The story of where they are going and why is usually the interesting part.

And yeah, I can feel the shrugs from those that know me, dismissing these as the braying of a malcontent word nerd fresh off another failed pitch of Lord of the Dragonflies meets Terminator in a Buffy crossover post apocalyptic past where Hulk is president. An impossible game that would take a team of a thousand monkeys, a memory capacity that does not exist, and an uncomfortable knowledge of  Dickensian bowel movements. And maybe I do rep dat gang? So what? Doesn't make it any less true.

Also, Shadowrun Returns. Not a fan of kicks or starts, is what it is, but you guys made it look goooooood. A year turnaround, on budget, a build set that is just... thank you, and the game could not be more legit. My words good sirs. The heart of the franchise beats loud and true. First X-Com and now this, these kids are way too lucky. I hope that poor mans Rick Deckard got his commission, and uh, also, uh, yeah, Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 169 Issue : R. Batty

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