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Default Dungeon Siege 3 - Interviews with Feargus and Nathan Davis

June 22nd, 2011, 17:19
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
No you are right it certainly doesn't have to mean that, although I think at least for RPG developers it usually starts that way - there are far easier paths to "make it" as an indie than with CRPGs, I'm pretty sure.
I actually think in Vogels case its somewhere in between - its become a job for him, its not about passion so much anymore. His blog and comment is very down to earth and he often comes across as rather disillusioned. So its his job - but its a job he knows he does very well and he is proud of what he does - more an artisan than an artist, then. The end result is still that he is single-handedly responsible for probably just about every second TB CRPG that got made in the last ten years, love 'em or hate 'em.
Well, with that post we get closer to agreeing.

Maybe we're both delusional
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June 22nd, 2011, 17:26
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
I can't help thinking that that's just simply wrong.
It's like he's talking about the 30's or something but it's about games made a decade ago… I bought them back then, and I'm still around plus I now can waste my own money on a whim without having to justify it. Someone told me that the average age of gamers is 35 years… and that actually sounds right to me… we're still here, you are just not interested to sell anything to us.
Unfortunately, I think he's dead on the money.

It's not so much a question of age - as it's a question of it having become a mainstream thing.

Lots of 35 year olds are mainstream gamers with little or no interest in the history of the RPG genre and how it all began.

With that said, I think they're overcompensating and taking the easy way out - in terms of ensuring profit.

The primary audience may very well be mainstream, but that doesn't mean you can't give them complexity and an experience requiring an investment. The thing is that developers are NOT doing what they claim they're doing.

They're not "easing" them into the game and introducing complexity. They're easing them into it alright, but where the hell is the complexity? Also, they balance the "normal" difficulty level so that everyone and their mother can do it. Why would anyone want to invest, if every challenge can be overcome without it.

That's the primary issue I see today, and I simply don't believe this bullshit line about "slowly introducing" complexity.

DS3 complex at any point? You've got to be kidding me.
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June 22nd, 2011, 17:47
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's not so much a question of age - as it's a question of it having become a mainstream thing.
What I actually wonder is who decides what 'mainstream' is.
I expect what most will call mainstream is whatever sells most. But will you sell a complex RPG if you don't bother to advertise it or even make one for that matter? The thing is that now that I'm in my 30s I don't really bother to search too much, if you want me to buy your game you need to come to me and show me, but I'm here and I will buy it if you do it.

I'll use DA: Origins as an example - somewhat simplistic when you looked under the surface but, regardless of whether it was good or not, that game did have the appearance of a complex and deep game, (and it still is more complex than most games I've played recently) it was promoted as such and it still sold.

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June 22nd, 2011, 17:54
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
What I actually wonder is who decides what 'mainstream' is.
I expect what most will call mainstream is whatever sells most. But will you sell a complex RPG if you don't bother to advertise it or even make one for that matter? The thing is that now that I'm in my 30s I don't really bother to search too much, if you want me to buy your game you need to come to me and show me, but I'm here and I will buy it if you do it.

I'll use DA: Origins as an example - somewhat simplistic when you looked under the surface but, regardless of whether it was good or not, that game did have the appearance of a complex and deep game, (and it still is more complex than most games I've played recently) it was promoted as such and it still sold.
I think you're very right that marketing plays the biggest role.

But even a big seller like DA:O had many detractors based on the "complex" character creation - which is a bit of a joke, considering how incredibly simplistic it was.

But we largely agree that there is a much larger market for complex games, than what developers/publishers are trying to paint as reality.

You should remember, though, that DA:O was one hell of an investment for the team behind it. You can't make an equally complex/deep game (and we agree it's not really very complex/deep) without doing something big in terms of marketing and production values.

If they can sell similar numbers by working for a year and marketing it right - then that's naturally what they'll do.

That's kinda what they tried with DA2. They shot themselves in the foot with that one, though, because they'd spent so much capturing so many people for a "deep" game - and then switched around way too much, generating a very powerful word of mouth against it.

Word of mouth is something I often think suits underestimate and get surprised by.
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June 22nd, 2011, 19:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You should remember, though, that DA:O was one hell of an investment for the team behind it. You can't make an equally complex/deep game (and we agree it's not really very complex/deep) without doing something big in terms of marketing and production values.
That's true but still the intention of big production values is to impress the audience of the 'mainstream'. I expect that the audience of Icewind Dale yould be perfectly happy with cheaper, non-'magnificent' production (I understand we're talking about visuals and sound) as long as it's functional and pleasant.

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June 22nd, 2011, 19:12
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
That's true but still the intention of big production values is to impress the audience of the 'mainstream'. I expect that the audience of Icewind Dale yould be perfectly happy with cheaper, non-'magnificent' production (I understand we're talking about visuals and sound) as long as it's functional and pleasant.
Yeah, and I think they might be surprised by how big an audience there really is for such a game.

Even so, there's a bigger audience still for simpler iterations of the same game.

At least, I fear that's the case.
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June 22nd, 2011, 20:01
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
What I actually wonder is who decides what 'mainstream' is.
Good question, very good question.

I sometimes suspect there are analyst companies behind that - and that there is the sheer amount of data on sales is used.

The main problem I see behind it is, that no-one is "hinterfragen" things anymore a possible English translation would be "to ask what's behind things").

We need philosophers in the gaming and in the overall software business, I strongly believe.

Because - in my opinion - they are the ONLY ones who are able to REALLY "hinterfragen" things …

“ 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 22nd, 2011, 21:59
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
I can't help thinking that that's just simply wrong.
It's like he's talking about the 30's or something but it's about games made a decade ago… I bought them back then, and I'm still around plus I now can waste my own money on a whim without having to justify it. Someone told me that the average age of gamers is 35 years… and that actually sounds right to me… we're still here, you are just not interested to sell anything to us.
Not everyone who did it then would accept it now though. One thing I noticed debating the merits of Duke Nukem Forever is that, all other aspects of that game aside, a ton of people HATED the non-combat sections. Walking around talking to people or messing with stuff, the physics puzzles, the platforming… they hated it all. It didn't seem like they hated it on quality, they just hated the existence of non-combat sections. When I said Half-Life 2 did all those same things and is considered a masterpiece they all said something like "well that was 7 years ago, we've moved on."

In other words since the popular shooters today are constant action-a-thons and have removed puzzles and platforming and such it is considered wrong to do otherwise, even from people who enjoyed those elements years before. I would guess if you released Icewind Dale tomorrow, even with modern graphics, many of the very same people who loved it then would call it old and boring today.
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June 22nd, 2011, 22:28
I have played neither Duke Nukem Forever nor Half-Life 2 but judging by the reviews and comments I read I understand that you are comparing one of the best games of its genre with one of the worst. No matter what these people believe they hated, you simply can't judge things out of context like that. I mean even if those aspects were indeed good you might still hate them if they were presented at the wrong time and/or in the wrong way.

Hey, case in point: I can't think of an RPG but do you play adventure games? Did you follow the remake of Monkey Island? It's a much older game than Icewind Dale and devilishly hard compared to most contemporary adventures that play themselves.

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June 22nd, 2011, 23:38
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
I have played neither Duke Nukem Forever nor Half-Life 2 but judging by the reviews and comments I read I understand that you are comparing one of the best games of its genre with one of the worst. No matter what these people believe they hated, you simply can't judge things out of context like that.
I can when the complaints are about the mere existence of certain elements. And when the people I confront about it say things like "well Half-Life 2 is pretty boring if you play it today."
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June 29th, 2011, 13:17
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I can when the complaints are about the mere existence of certain elements. And when the people I confront about it say things like "well Half-Life 2 is pretty boring if you play it today."
What about Episode 2? Or have shooters evolved far past 2007 now? And by evolved I mean gone back to the on-rails approach of the early 90's, before it was possible to offer more varied gameplay.
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