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the recent portal trailers were pre-rendered, and conveyed a mood. (the final one, "boots", even showed you the main character in action: which served to inform my gameplay in ways the game never came close to - I'd never thought about Chell spark-skidding across plates and landing in a badass crouching pose. Don't confuse those Portal trailers with gameplay. They were short movies.).
* The original article author was correct that nobody currently remembers trailer in the long run... I guess. Maybe that's my key problem with this whole backlash to the DeadIsland trailer.
I think this mindset will change. With youtube, you can go back and enjoy good trailers. I already keep track of trailers that were far better than the movie (terminator4, 300, star wars prequels, come to mind). Hopefully, the real lesson of the Dead Island trailer is : we're entering an era where the advertisement houses will be more recognized and remembered for their art.
In response to "How Games Get Zombies Wrong" from The Escapist forums:
A note on "negative reinforcement":
You don't want to reinforce them. And you're certainly not doing it negatively. "Reinforce" means you are attempting to get them to continue that behavior. And what you're doing isn't "negative", it is "positive": you are applying something (instead of taking something away), in this case electricity to the brain.
What you're really doing is positive punishment. Punishment because you are trying to decrease the unwanted behavior. Positive because you are adding something to their experience (electricity to the brain). Let's whip out the grid so you get a full understanding of the ideas:
|.||decreases likelihood of behavior||increases likelihood of behavior|
|presented||positive punishment||positive reinforcement|
|taken away||negative punishment||negative reinforcement|
Any time you are attempting to decrease the likelihood of a behavior (such as make bad zombie games), what you're doing is punishment. Punishment takes two forms: positive (the addition of something undesirable; electroshock) and negative (removal of something desirable; money, i.e., a fine).
If you are trying to increase the likelihood of behavior, what you're doing is reinforcing a behavior. Reinforcement also takes two forms: positive (the addition of something desirable; have a candy bar) and negative (the removal of something undesirable; let's turn off that high-pitched whine).
This is just a long-winded way of saying that a zombie movie is not the same as a zombie game. In zombie fiction, the danger does indeed come from the threat of infection, or competition with other humans over scarce resources in a devestated world.
In zombie games, the threat comes from the zombies themselves, for which the counter is guns, guns, and more guns.
The two share some elements; namely zombies, although the zombies themselves are not the same across all media.
Zombie games won't become better games by becoming more like zombie movies, or making the zombies in zombie games more like the zombies in zombie movies. Making other humans the real threat in zombie games just makes zombie games more like non-zombie games.
The way out of this conundrum has already been shown by one game: Stubbs the Zombie. In a proper zombie game, you play as the zombie-- which makes it only natural that the real threat comes from humans.
I'm sort of at a loss for what the author expects developers do to differently as a result of these revelations, if anything.