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May 22nd, 2008, 15:24
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
… I had this thought only a few days ago … And the more I think about it, the more I'm intrigued …

How do PR people of game companies see their influence on the game industry themselves ? How do they see themselves all in all ?

Same goes for the bookkeepers : How do they perceive their influence on the gaming market, on industry decisions ? Do they see their influence at all ?

I'm not interested in how they see the market itself - that might be pretty obvious - or at least we can all imagine what they probably might say.

No, I'm interested in how they see themselves and their influence on the market.

To me, several interviews covering that would be pretty interesting.

I want to learn about the patterns that influence their decisions that influence the video game industry.
I think that would be interesting to hear as well… So, I just emailed the PR manager at Bioware to see if he would be interested in answering some questions for an interview that focuses on those ideas. We'll see what he says, and if he gives me the interview I will send it to the powers at RPGWatch.

May all your hits be crits!
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May 22nd, 2008, 15:57
You all know that I'm weird …

I'm currently listening to "Supper's Ready" by Genesis and I was thinking : Woah ! The end apocalypse would make a great background for an RPG …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 23rd, 2008, 15:42
… I think I had too much caffeine in my blood when I wrote this …

Two big mugs of coffee seem to have their price …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 1st, 2008, 21:31
Interesting, I always liked this aspect of Ultima but I didn't exactly consider it in the ways of this thread I will consider it for the game project, I am working on.

I've been in China for 14 days so it was a little bit on hold, if anyone woundered why I've been so quiet.
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October 25th, 2008, 23:05
I just wrote this piece in a different forum, I'll copy it to here, because it is the destillation / result of the thoughts of my last days:

About DRM:


The bad thing in principle is in my opinion, that old games - even after 20 years, for example - won't given away for free. They are *still* a commercial product, then, although no-one will buy it (except a few enthusiasts), and they're "dead" as "cash-cows".

The reason why I see this as a problem is of philosophical nature:

A game is meant to be played, NOT to be stored away.

If it is stored away and no-one plays it anymore, then it is no game anymore.

But this is what the companies do: They de facto forbid to play these older games by placing copying as illegal meanwhile not producing these games anymore and not giving them away as Freeware either.

I'm NOT talking about Abandonware !

This is of philosophical nature, and I don't have the impression as if the companies think like this.

Because - I assume - otherwise they would react differently.

If this assumption is right, then this is further proof to me that these so-called "game producers" don't believe and think in terms of "games" at all !

No, instead they are treating games as wares !

this means that games have become "economized". Games have become a ware like everything else, and thus are stripped off thir original meaning of being games.

I find this very disturbing, even more disturbing that the companies never thought it this way.

according to how they act towards games, they apparingly believe in game-wares as something you use and thrwow away after use. Like you eat a banana and throw away the remains. Or drink from a bottle of watrer and throw the empty bottle away, then.

This just adds to the drive of the economies to commercialize everything of our living - all of our lives.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 26th, 2008, 13:59
Don't be hurt by my following remark, your post seems to me so obvious, like an old known evidence that I suspect some cultural difference playing their role here.

You can apply this to anything, movies, music, novels, tv series, and so on. The marketing lead is more important when more money and more people is required. That's why books escape more easily to this constraint and music too but video games and movies have rude job to manage with marketing because of all the money they involve.

A first point is to quote when marketing thinks that quality is required and it's not only an abstract product that bring money like anything else. Or to quote when marketing or money lost the battle in favor of something else.

In fact you can apply this to anything like food, clothes and so on. Each time the equation is different but the purpose the same, making money, more and more.

I wonder if that (from my partial eyes) most ambitious new CRPG are coming from Europe take its source from a general mentality that is perhaps different.

Among the little details, quote how many time, any people, any media, even, you or me, failed in confusion between quality and commercial success, "that is a great stuff he sells so many…"
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October 26th, 2008, 17:19
Hm, I believe there might really be a different "mentality", as you call it, in Europe.

I can't put it down into words … It's like … No, I ran out of words, literally.
I think I need to think several days over this to "grow" words for what I mean. Maybe someone else is better in that than me.

It's like the Bauhaus philosophy of building buildings. In fact, it conquered EVERYTHING.

I'm often going around here in Cologne, and I often notive the Art Nuveau - here called "Jugendstil" - type of architecture.

These buildings are exceptionally rich - sometimes - in their embellishments.

It's as if people have added some embellishments to the outer walls to let the people actually see some sort of beauty in the houses they live in - and that any time they approach them (their houses).

The front side of buildings just become art.

Just as an example (found via google) . http://www.schwarzaufweiss.de/belgien/jugendstil.htm

Or this: http://www.designladen.com/metz/sour…stil-4267.html


Now, Bauhaus stripped everything of these [embellishments].

Look here, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus

Everything is driven by Rationality, Efficiency, there is nothing there anymore to please the people like art normally does.

The form language has been reduced to edges and to wedges; to clear, straight lines without any interuption; to an most possible efficiencvy (so it appears to me) in terms of using building stuff.

This has never changed. There are no more embellishments to please the eye anymore. Because people have learned that they are just one factor: Cost(s).

So, Art is pushed out, because art is reduced to one factor: To "how much costs it ?".

Art is therefore no more art, because it has been economized, it has been commercialized. Art pour l'art is no more possible because everyone asks for costs.

So, the loss of embellishments of hpueses is to me a quite symbolic sign of how humans began to treat art in general. There is no more "public art", because 1. art is meant to be for an elite only (at least here), and 2. (therefore) it is "banned" into museums and into very few public statues etc. . Almost all public art I see here is several decades old, with a few exceptions, of course.

Furthermore, because Art is reduced to the cost factor, Art isn't seen anymore as a way to express oneself (artistically), and art isn't seen anymore as a way to please people publicly.

Let's take making vases, for example. People will only ask for the "cost factor". The clay ccosts money, the burning costs money, not to speak of finding or making an oven for that. It just costs.

This emphasis on the "cost factor" makes people hesitate from performing art themselves.

And therefore this emphasis on the "cost factor" is an effective too from holding people away from doing something artistically, from doing something that "pleases the eyes", so to say.

Making and manufacturing art has become almost a profession of a selected and/or gifted few. No more of the masses.

This whole process reminds me of the book "Momo" by Michael Ende.
In this book, it's time - and time becomes money.
Which leads the people into hestitating to use "time" as a "resource".

In the book, Time is also economized, commercialized. People are effectively stripped of their greatest gift: Of Time !

Same goes for Art now, and of Games.

Because these factors are imho an essential part of human living - and breaking them down and reducing that all into "costs", nothing else, nothing more, is like true poison to Humanity - like what the Men in Grey do to time.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 26th, 2008, 18:53
I don't think sophistication or beautiful mean art nor the reverse. The example you quoted are interesting. If you look at the Bauhaus page, in right bottom there is this building:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:8…_Shankbone.jpg

I feel that totally ugly but there's eventually more art effort put in this than in the other buildings you quoted. I wonder what the architect wanted to signify but there's certainly something strong here.

Still about simplicity vs art, it's like when Europe discovered or rediscovered the extreme simplicity of some Japan graphical art. At same time Europe had reach an extreme sophistication in graphical art.

I don't mean I disagree with the point of view you developed but I'm not sure that the Bauhaus architecture is a good sample to illustrate it. Instead just take a picture of one of the numerous anonymous building with no style that invade cities.

I agree that time is certainly a factor but that it's money that is the key. Time is a factor mainly because more time means more money. It's probably the topic of the
Michael Ende book you quoted. I haven't read it, from the same author I started read the Neverending Story but never finished it, I have only seen the movie from this book.

About Art and elite I don't think the past was more glorious about that. Eventually art in past was much more for the elite only. Ok through architecture and some other public stuff like statues, some art was less for an elite only. But I don't think past was so much more shiny. I see regularly example of cities or even small town investing in public art like statues, wall painting or other stuff like that. I don't necessary find that beautiful but often it's hard to deny it's art.

Perhaps we need just beauty but no art? Even then beauty is a relative value. For example the Pyramid in the Louvre, some people find that nice and fitting well the whole, some other don't.
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October 26th, 2008, 19:03
I don't think the money tyranny destroy any art impulse nowadays. I think there's many example showing that despite it's the money reign something else could be done. What could be interesting is to highlight when this happen, why and how.

I think there's something different with video game than for example movies. And the differences could come from different levers weights to allow going over money tyranny. That could be pure mechanic, those levels could work better in movies than in games just because of a structural difference.
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October 26th, 2008, 22:05
Originally Posted by narpet View Post
I think that would be interesting to hear as well… So, I just emailed the PR manager at Bioware to see if he would be interested in answering some questions for an interview that focuses on those ideas. We'll see what he says, and if he gives me the interview I will send it to the powers at RPGWatch.
I missed this thread until today and am wondering if you ever heard from that PR manager, narpet.

Based on my own experience, PR people aren't typically involved in product marketing beyond product PR, and even that's sometimes limited (if someone else is handling marketing communications).

That's not to say their jobs aren't important, it's just that their role typically doesn't involve product planning, development or marketing (beyond product PR).

In fact, PR can be a great career (especially for women), but competition for jobs is tough, and folks are often expected to pay their dues for a while, before they get to do the fun stuff.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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November 1st, 2008, 15:24
Imho another proof of the "commercialization of games" is that some games are treated merely as a tool, not as a game.

Let's take the classic example: Halo 1. Used as a tool by Microsoft to promote another platform.
It was NOT treated as a game, but merrely as a promotional tool by Microsoft.

Similar things have happened to som other games, too.

This means that people stripped the meaning of a game being a game totally from that game (Halo 1, in this example), which resulted in its use as a promoting tool.

If this game had been regarded as a game, then it would've been treated differently, imho, putting the play into the foreground, not its use as a promotional tool.

Which would have imho resulted in a different developing cycle.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 3rd, 2008, 14:51
I just wondered if there are cultural differences in perceiving games - and why they are so great.

Background is my thought that Baldur's Gate - which is considered "great" and a classic by many people - was used as a guide or/and model for Drakensang - according to the developers (stated several times).

Now, although they are a minority, there still *are* German gamers in the official forum saying that the game becomes too much combat-heavy towards the end.

My question I ask myself is now this: Has been BG perhaps been analysed, and maybe the developers of Drakensang took elements from BG that are great for an audience with a different culture than German gamers have ?

I'm just wondering. Cultural effects must be there, imho, but in how far ?

I don't believe that *anyone* ever made studies about the effect of the developers' cultures on the games they make …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 18th, 2009, 22:26
It's been a long time …

Today I had two thoughts.

You know, I tend to switch my point of view for about 180 degrees, to see what might come out of this.

Now I noticed that some games don't accept virtual CDs. They just won't start.

Now, why shouldn't I do the direct opposite ? Program a game that doesn't run on physical CDs ? ONLY on virtual ones ?

My dream is to develop a game (text-adventure like RPG) which does CD checks - although it is Freeware. Yes, BECAUSE it is Freeware.

It simply stays Freeware. It does nothing buch check whether there's a CD drive and whether there's a CD insterted in it.

That would drive all current copy protection schemes that rely on physical CDs ad absurdum.

Because it does the direct opposite. It checks for CDs although it is a Freeware game.

And then, it should check for [b]virtual[7b] CDs. It shouldn't run with physical CDs at all. That's the direct opposite of games not running when

a) there's no CD at all in the drive (of course it should be the game's CD, but since my game should be Freeware …)

b) the game is on a virtual CD / in a virtual drive.

I would force everyone to install virtual drives. The direct opposite of forcing people to use game CDs in physical drives.

To put it even more extremely, my game shouldn't even run if it detects any of "the usual suspects" in terms of copy protection: SecuRom, StarForce … This would force people to remove them.

Of course I do know that I'm crazy.

But I just follow this to see how gaming business works.

A propos gaming business: My second thought today was that

if the customer is king, then the shareholder is the implicite tyrant.

Gaming companies implicitely let themselves be dictated by the shareholders. They do everything to please the almighty shareholders. They do everything not to disappoint shareholders. They do everything to feed shareholders with their money - with their profits.

This just shows the might and the power of the almighty shareholders. Implicitely, shareholders run the entire gaming business !

So - it's NOT the gamers for whom gaming companies produce ! No, no, it is the shareholders !

So, with all this indirect, implicitely performed power, the games are indirectly produced for the shareholders. Not for the customers, not for the gamers, no, but for the shareholders instead.

Because the gaming publishers do everything to please "the shareholders". In principle, the whole business runs for them !

It's like having a mass of people sitting "in the shadows", not seen, but lurking, but on the other hand directing a whole business with theor hands and banknotes like a director directs an orchestra.

If the orchestra doesn't play like "the shareholder" doesn't want it to, then he or she just withdraws. Gone is the money !

So … The whole gaming business is nothing but a way … a scheme … to please the greed of people who lend their money.

This has nothing to do with gaming anymore. This is just a … an effective way of multiplying money. Totally void of anything that lies within the word and definition of a "game" …

"Games" that are optimized for generating money - through attraction … like a sucking-machine … only for money …


… And that goes for ALL Bussiness areas …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 19th, 2009, 02:19
Then maybe we need more gamers to become shareholders!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 19th, 2009, 11:59
Yes, that would be a great idea !

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 18th, 2009, 14:26
Today (about 10 minutes ago, in fact) I came across the idea that playing a role is rather an intellectual thing.

You know, it's essentially about playing in a theatre. It needs some points in intellicence to be able to act - I mean to really act like a professional actor !

This is very much true for P&P role-playing. There, the playing of a role is much closer and nearer to real theatralical acting than in an computer/video game.

With a video game, the actual acting is much more difficult, because the scenery on the screen is so much more away from the "watcher", the player, in fact.

Here, we must even distinguish between isometric view and 3D view in RPDS on computers and on consoles.

This separation is necessary, imho, because playing a role - acting a role - in isometric view is imho much, much more difficult than in 3D view, where you can rather "dive into" the scenery. Become part of it.
Isometric view is almost like playing with table top figures on a table top battlefield.

In my opinion, this is the reason why action-RPGs are so often in isometric view, and (as a tendency) rather "real" acting RPGs often in 3D view.

If I follow this thought, this leads me to believe that such a typical action-RPG is rather like a table top game on screen. You move a figure through hordes of enemies following special rule, but the imho most important part to it is that one cannot "dive into it", so to say. Becoming part of the scenery is much more difficult than in 3D view where you have the enemy standing directly before you - standing eye-to-eye.

Which could explain the nature of combat-heavy action-RPGs : Since table top games are normally about nothing but fighting, they are kind of fighting games … Especially in isometric view. This explains why the actual amount of real acting in an action-role-playing-game is so much reduced.

So, back to the topic, this is why I think that real acting in an role playing game is something imho rather intellectial : Because it needs many more skills than a table top game, which is rather about strategy.

Of course, a good strategy game can be very challenging intellectual-wise, but real acting is imho a completely different beast. For real acting, you need to have control over

- your voice
- your mimics
- your body in general
- your gestics
- your look (clothes, especially)
- sometimes your make up (playing as an orc, for example, or as a goblin), too
- quickly determine what kind of reactions your character should have and express

This all is heavily reduced while playing any kind of action game, and not needed at all if you're playing a table top game.

This is why I consider a real role-playing game as (as a tendency) rather an intellectual thing.

And I think, that this should - if true - be expressed through the development and the marketing of an role-playing game.


And finally, this is what evoked my thought :

Quotation from the Larian forums :

It#S a shame. I understand the walls for quest reasons, but actually bringing death and destrcution to gorund units was what i was looking forward to. Im sure the Roleplayingpart will be awesome, but i am not really a roleplaying-fan, i was interested in the flying part. Well guess this means i wont get the game right from the start…
Maybe those limits will be removed later with a mod or something.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 18th, 2009, 15:01
IMO it's not what we usually think of as intelligence — more what D&D calls "charisma." It's the ability to empathize — to really put yourself in the skin of someone else; think like them; feel like them… act like them.

There is the small matter of memorizing lines, of course, but that's pretty easy; anyone with average intelligence can learn that. It's the empathy, imagination, and ability to communicate emotional affect that counts.

Re tabletop games, that depends entirely on the style of the game. There are games that are heavily based on mechanics, where you do need to carefully consider your character development choices and your tactical choices in situations you encounter. Then there are games that are based on storytelling, intuition, experience, and make-believe. And games based on social interaction. And combinations of all of the above.

IMO they're all "real" role-playing games. You can even alternate between, or combine, all of these within one game system.

The ones I've been gamemastering for the past quarter-century or so have been more towards the storytelling, imagination, empathy, and social-interaction end of the scale, even though they've thrown in occasional strategic gaming as well.

We do use figurines occasionally as well, and in my experience they do nothing to *detract* from the role-playing aspects of the game. In cRPG's, I certainly don't see any correlation at all between the choice of perspective and the degree of my involvement with the protagonist; I don't think I've ever identified with the protagonist as much as with The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment (2d iso), nor as little as with Gordon Freeman in the Half-Lifes. All of which are fantastic games IMO.

IOW, my experience is pretty different from yours, and therefore I feel that you oughtn't generalize it so far.
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October 30th, 2009, 14:34
I'm quoting myself, just ignore this, if you can .

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I think the lack of romance of any kind is just a sign of … writers, developers, whatever, don't seeing the need for relationships.

To make it short, the lack of relationships in RPGs make them rather lok like an immature boy's dream: Adventures, but no need to be troubled by girls. "Bah ! Kisses !!!"

Personally, I'd say/guess, the more romances a game includes, the more mature it is, because only people of a certain span of ages feel attracted by the possibilities of having a "real" relationship - especially in a game, playing a role "as if".

Plus, romances in a game are more women.oriented, I guess (just a broad guess, nothing more), assuming that a game like Gothic 1 is the dream of any boy/man never really wanting to bother with women at all.

I guess that a game like Gothic 1, only with the sexes swapped in their roles there, would completely fail at male gamers, at least at the majority. I don't believe that the majority of male gamers could stand a society like in Gothic 1 only vice versa where EVERYTHING is being ruled by women - and men are the absolute minority …

Originally Posted by KapitanUnterhosen View Post
Romance in a game requires you to actually "care" about a character,

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I very much agree with this snippet.

But - I assume that groups of developers consisting mostly of males don't seem to have developed a way - a kind of language and story-telling pattern - to present this in a game. It's just a blank part of the map of storytelling.

Of course they never needed it so far, because all RPGs were so far mainly about combat.

And the storytelling aspect of combat is overall very good developed, internationally, and in all RPGs, I guess.

… I just don't know … but I have the feeling as if developing groups mainly consisting of males developed storytelling aspects which are innate to males first. Hero Journey, competition, being the hero who makes his way through the world, slays evil, becomes kind - and eventually "rescues the maiden fair" (Genesis, "The Lady Lies"). These are stories a boy would rather like to play, or a man - and these are developed quite good, I guess, over the course of the last few decades, in terms of video games storytelling.

But - I assume that women would focus on other aspects. And storytelling in *these* areas is just not developed.

A becoming hero just normally doesn't have to deal with social networks within his fantasy town. He even doesn't need to, because he is - usually - depicted in games as the lone hero, a "Lone Star" (Spaceballs ), and he usually doesn't need to bother about any social networks in town - and the developers didn't implement them because of that !

Now, future development of storytelling aspects must imho focus more and more on social aspects - and romancing is in my opinion just one of them.

Of course, there'll always be games with the old "lone hero" clichι, because that's one of the oldest and strongest myths … - but at one point there'll be social networks also.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 2nd, 2009, 21:10
Theory :

Dark & Gritty = Punk of the current days ?

I just had the thought that all of "this new shit" is nothing but a form of provocation and protest like the Punk era was.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 13th, 2010, 16:18
I opened up my first blog entry : http://my.opera.com/akrproject/blog/

I plan to update it at least as long as the GamesCom is there, because I want to post there what I see there.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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