Golden Ticket

Golden Ticket

"'I think this is something that happens with a lot of license properties,' says Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer at Turbine, creators of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (LOTRO), 'thinking that [once you have a license,] somehow the majority of the important job is done. You just have to wrap the game around it and you'll be there.'
"LOTRO is anything but a wrap job."

Golden Ticket

"In basic design, football is a well-oiled machine. Its rules, incorporating play length, number of plays, number of exchanges, areas required to advance and variations that disrupt a natural rhythm, combine to form a fast-paced action adventure that hits its audience with regular but unpredictable shots of adrenaline at edge-of-your-seat intervals. And from a physical action standpoint, football incorporates nearly every track and field discipline. Small wonder it was one of the earliest game sims."

Erin Hoffman passes a critical game designer's eye over America's favorite sport, and the industry's new favorite game, football.

Golden Ticket

"By contrast, in dealing with a licensed property, you're necessarily playing by someone else's rules. No matter how much it would fit the story, the Enterprise is never going to sport 20-inch spinning rims and cruise down to the LBC. The secret, he says, 'is to find a meeting point between the IP and whatever it is that keeps you personally inspired, so that you're both honoring peoples' expectations of the work and giving them something new and fresh that comes from the heart. ... That's also the hard part. But all writing is hard.'"

Shannon Drake talks to Robin Laws, game designer and Star Trek novel writer.

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"While the demo was rudimentary, Lucasfilm fell in love with it. They could walk around. They could turn their lightsabers on and off, with appropriate noises - though they couldn't swing them. But still, the game's charm showed through. 'For all that it was limited, it was immediately technically accomplished at the engine level and crucially fun to play,' says Smith. 'The characters were just fun to walk around. And they had to be, as you couldn't do much else with them. To have nailed that at the start, it was only ever going to get better. ... We stared with pure fun.'"

Kieron Gillen talks to the creators of LEGO Star Wars.

Golden Ticket

"So, do the suits have it right? As with personal investing, it comes down to a question of how much risk you are willing to bear along with your objectives. If you are super risk averse, don't expect to make massive returns - T-bills do not the millionaire make. Fundamentally, this boils down to modern portfolio theory, using diversification to optimize a publisher's range of IPs (internal and external, as well as new and franchise)."
"But, what's the right mix?"
IGDA President Jason Della Rocca looks for the balance between internal and external properties.