Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Talking About GDC Rants & Daytona USA: What The Heck Is Going On

BTW, after saying GDC so many times, it means Game Developers Conference if you're so blissfully unaware.

Okay, this is hopefully the last time I have to bring up GDC.  Now these guys have been around the industry for years so I really can't come here and shred what they have to say.  Here's what I got out of it.

Our future of gaming involves blood, people getting ripped apart, giant bugs, and Final Fantasy/Halo clones.  Right there is depressing enough, but I've already talked about violence and stuff before so I'm not going to rehash this again.

But there's two messages from GDC that made me think.  They both pertain to the future of gaming.  Now these are the two...


The first is by David Cage, lead creator of Heavy Rain.  Now I don't know much about Heavy Rain except for the "Press X to Jason" song.  All I know is the protagonist's son dies and he goes around doing dramatic stuff.  But what Cage was trying to say is to make your games for adults--make them serious.  No more crazy crap like bosses, high body counts, etc.  Gameplay seems to rely entirely on progressing the story line though they throw in multiple endings for curiosity's sake and replay value.

Well look, I'm going to say something controversial here.  I'm getting really tired of these deep video game plots.  Some of my most favorite games have no storyline to be heard of such as Sega racers, Counter-Strike, Rock Band, and so forth.  Usually, when you're heavily confined to a story, it limits the gameplay, making it like you're playing out a movie instead of, ya know, a game.  A good story is no match for good gameplay, sorry.

I wonder what happened to games where you play for high scores or fast times.  Those games suck and have little replay value it seems.  Apparently, it's cool to play serious stuff like Final Fantasy or Shadows of the Colossus.  I don't want to roleplay or sink into the depths of the human psyche, I want to play an engrossing, action-packed game.  Otherwise, people wouldn't give a damn about games like Super Mario Bros. or Pac-Man anymore.  Doesn't necessarily have to be a multiplayer game either.  Which leads me to my next point...


The other rant is by Cliff Blesinski, design director of Gears of War.  Now I've had my fair share of disagreements with Gears of War, but it's a popular game so at least it does some things differently.  He says that the "middle class game" is dead.  Basically, you either make these little Flash/iPhone games or you go all out with big production value.  Which I assume means game studios of 5 or 500 employees.  Uh, cool I guess.

Now I don't really like all these big games nowadays.  First of all, they're catered to the mainstream.  FPSes, fantasy, sports, and so forth.  For example, Call of Duty takes a lot of crap nowadays, but if it's popular, then keep churning them out.  Therefore, a lot of "specialty" games that go beyond the depth of a simple iPhone game apparently will fail.  It certainly seems that way nowadays so I guess he's right.

Not only that, but games of big teams take a hell of a lot of time to develop which means less variety.  As games get bigger, it takes more manpower to make them.  You could make a quick NES game with a few people in no time.  Nowadays to make a game like Halo, you need hundreds of people working for at least a year nonstop.  How much more complicated can games get, requiring more effort to complete and thus drawing out the production time even more?

What I want is Sega to try to make some new racing games (obviously, the big Daytona port), but I can tell these kind of games won't be "big" projects.  For that reason, Daytona USA seems like an oddball game to release and it won't generate much popularity as Mr. Blesinski says.  See OutRun 2 home ports.  This of course hurts the likes of Sega and other "middle class" devs who don't really have the effort to produce huge-ass games.

FYI, I have an old Counter-Strike buddy I used to know in high school.  He says his ex-girlfriend is now dating Mr. Blesinski.  If that's true, then that's crazy, man...


Eh, I guess these rants about games make me feel a little beat-up.  Like I wonder if I can muster up the courage to make this game.  I think the allure of a Daytona USA 2 sequel is the nostalgia of only being able to play in small increments.  To tell you the truth, I have OutRun 2 and Crazy Taxi but I haven't played them much recently.  I'm a disgrace to the Sega community.

At least I felt the "good vibrations" from having played those games in the first place.  You can't take that away from me.  They are good pick-me-up games too so if you ever feel depressed, give 'em a shot.  Like a fine wine, you can't drink it all at once, but it's superb for that brief moment.  It kind of changes my outlook on some of these games.  You don't have to play them nonstop to be happy.

"It's about quality, not quantity." - Some vodka commercial.

We're gonna make this Daytona game not just for myself, but for the Sega community.  Cause they deserve it.

This is probably my last post before I go on my trip to Orlando, FL.  Like I said, I'll try to get an internet connection going, but don't expect me on Xbox Live any time soon.  Then we'll check out the colleges and see what path we'll go down next.  I'm running down a dream...

No comments:

Post a Comment