Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A Blog for Darren...


Well here I am, my inaugural blog. Hello, my name is Jon, or Xelous, which ever you prefer, and this is my first blog about... well anything I damn well please.

You see, I'm one of these many people jumping onto the blogging band wagon to spout off about stuff no-one else wants to listen about.

I must stop myself a moment though and send your hatred and derision to Mr Love over at CommonSenseGamer he's constantly threatened... well not threatened exactly... maybe just mentioned it once... in passing... that he'll let me on his wonderful podcast if I blog. I don't know why you have to blog to get onto his podcast, but it's his rules so... Love your blog Darren Love, big hugs.


So, now let me kick off my rabid drooling by picking up where I left off on Darren's Blog earlier... he's made an excellent post about quitting WOW.... Kudos to you sir, good move, well done, you're now one step closer to being able to leave the rehab centre and return to society, jolly good, pip pip. (Please Note: I am English, I was safe while using this phrase, no puppies were harmed while writing it; and unlike Dick Van Dyke doing a cockney accent; I never even broke a sweat).

But as part of Darren's post has made me think, about the game industry "blowing it's load", you see I see it similarly, but I think the game industry blew it's own brains out many years ago, and all that's left are pessimistic investor types funding more of the same stuff. Spoon feeding the console generations who will by any title, as they want to play all the titles for their limited dead-end specification console.

The reason being they've invested in development houses, tools and technology to write games, and they want to see return after return and return for that outlay. "They" don't care that "they're" now making "Blow your clip of ammo XXIV", because we're still down Asda or BestBuy cough over our dosh for it.

Now, I don't pick on consoles to be a bastard; I own consoles myself; I've seen them leap-frog a head of other gaming technologies. But once out a console becomes a rung on which we all dangle. We're all ready to reach up for the next rung, but it's not there until it gets hammered in the wall. And "they" only get their hammer out when "they" have rung every penny, cent, yen or drachma out of that platform.

And it's that ringing out of every last drop of cash which has currently taken hold of the game industry.

There are more and more titles from each and every developer who have paid for their development tools, but all are in the same dowdy old genres. RTS, FPS, MMO, RPG, MMORPG, MMOFPS... sometimes listing the genres of games is like going into a coffee shop "I'll have a decaf half fat frapachino.... and a Wii Controller".

God it annoys me.

Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge innovation when it comes along, the Wii... I liked it's new take on control methods I went so far as buying one. But, the games are all the same sort of thing... You know, I like nothing more than a Zelda title on my Nintendo. I love it... But has there been any innovation since the N64 with that genre? No, not much at all... It's the same lovable characters carrying it off, with better graphics and sounds along the way... but how far can character take us?

Without someone pushing PC gaming on there's going to be little innovation to move on the Consoles, and vice-versa, and since they're using PC's to write Console Content I don't see where any innovation is going to come from, there's (I reckon) ten years in the current Playstation 3, maybe a little less in the Wii & Xbox360. Ten years on the current nVidia Chipsets (260+) until we all HAVE to go buy a new PC.

That's a long time. I feel we're sitting on a high tide mark in the sand, and though we know the tide will come in one day, and maybe carry us higher up the beach, for now we're high and dry, picking through what we've got.

I do however hold a small candle in the wind, hoping that some indy developer comes along with some real innovation for us. CCP did it with Eve, maybe their new titles can (they're certainly pushing the massive eye candy with the current Nvidia Tools). But will they produce anything by another WoW style game, or a ST:DS9 episode style situation via their ambulation in stations promises?

In my next post, expect me to slate Star Trek Online and World of Warcraft... or Bloody Let Down and Virtual Cocaine, as I see them.

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