In reading over the ridiculously overhyped gamer’s manifesto from last week, Jamie points out what I failed to, which is that people think they want realistic AI, but they really don’t. His quote:
One of the reasons we make game AI stupid is not always lack of processor power but often because a smarter AI would school our players too deeply and they’d turn to simpler games. Look at chess – we’ve got some great AI there, so great nobody wants to play against the computer. Stealth games would be another example: if the security in a stealth game actually was decent, playing these games would become an exercise in frustration instead of an exercise in feeling like a kick-ass ninja commando.
Yep. It is ridiculously easy to write an AI that will kill you instantly.* And you may think you want a world where every guard in the complex converges on you if you trip an alarm, but in reality, you don’t. It is actually a much larger challenge to write an AI that doesn’t pwn on demand, but still appears intelligent. Continue reading
Time for the lazy man’s post — the monthly google keyword search. This month, we had kind of a theme. See if you can spot it. Continue reading
The games industry continues its inevitable slide to a world where games are all 3D all the time. The conventional wisdom is that 2D games are losers that won’t sell in the new world, and games like Age of Empires, Starcraft, and Diablo are dinosaurs that snuck in below the wire. So it wasn’t a huge surprise that both HoMM V and Civ IV both showed at E3 with full 3D visuals.
Going 3D isn’t automatically a negative for a license, provided that the gameplay is king, and that you don’t stray too far from what the license is really about (I’m looking at you, Advance Wars). Still, there is definitely past examples of games not handling the transition well. Greg Costikyan, in particular, is concerned about these storied licenses. Continue reading
Gaming Horizon has an entertaining article about Professional stuntman and actor Ilram Choi’s experience as a performer on Namco’s stage to promote Soul Caliber III. He played Mitsurugi. Continue reading
In a plot device supposedly written by the Wachowskis themselves, Morpheus was killed in the Matrix Online yesterday. MTV has the best account. Here’s about their future plans:
The next task for Morpheus’ followers, however, will be to figure out whodunit. Chadwick promised that the murder mystery will unfold every few weeks through the course of “The Matrix Online”’s first year. Players will be encouraged to figure out not just who the assassin is, but what Morpheus was really all about. That means, in fact, that thanks to the wonders of flashback scenes, “Matrix” users haven’t heard the last of Laurence Fishburne’s voiceover work in the game. “We’re going to milk Morpheus as long as we can,” Chadwick said. “He’s a great character.”
Two actor organizations which purport to represent Union video game voice actors is threatening to go on strike.
Voice actors have worked under a contract with game publishers since 1993. But now that video games generate nearly as much revenue as domestic movie ticket sales, actors say they want a piece of every game sold rather than one-time up front fees.
Continuing our theme of Rant Wednesday, Stuart Roch is ranting about the PS3 insisting it’s not a gaming machine.
Why, why, why?! Why must Sony persist in their efforts to make a PlayStation console to replace DVD players and stereos in people’s living rooms? Is it just not cool enough anymore to make great game machines? I swear I wish they would just get over this preoccupation with the uber home entertainment system and be satisfied with the fact that they make great gaming consoles. I promise you that I’m not going to buy a PS3 and trade in my PC and high-def DVD player in favor of this supposed all-in-one solution.
This one’s been making the rounds lately (I first saw it on Game Girl Advance): a players’ manifesto on how to fix the gaming industry. A seriously entertaining read, here’s one of the less profane snippets: (2014- Damion notes: updated to a new version of the article from 2007)
[P]romise me that you won’t play the same Madden commentary sound files on every fifth play. “Whoa, he looked like he was hit by a truck! A five-ton truck hauling a trailer!” Yes, you’ll hear that one six motherslapping times in one game of Madden ‘05. YOU HAVE A HARD DRIVE NOW, taking data from a 9 GB DVD. You have NO excuse to keep recycling the same mindless observations over and over and over again until we’re pointing at our television with a shaking finger and screaming “EAT ME, JOHN! JUST EAT MEEEEEEE!” as most of us do now.
Check out what the King from Katamari Damacy has to say on the subject of the ever-shrinking consoles.