Jimquisition: Perfect Pasta Sauce

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Jim, have you been reading "What the Dog Saw?" I love that book, and could guess exactly where this episode was going as soon as you said "Malcolm Gladwell." You were right. This was a damn good episode.

Disney? Listen to this man. Take the message to heart. Now is the chance to make good on your shakeup involving the shutting down of LucasArts and its incompetent leadership.

Listen very carefully now...

Hire Lawrence Holland and Edward Kilham. MAKE...ANOTHER...X-WING...GAME...

The fans have been clamoring for a new Star Wars space combat sim for YEARS now. You have a golden opportunity to win the loyalty of legions of fans. Don't screw this up.

It seems publishers are sometimes completely unaware of audiences even when they're right under their noses. City of Heroes was a super hero based twist on the classic team RPG (ie made use of the typical trinity but didn't massively forced it on you) with well engineered social elements such as the side kick system, level scaled content with adjustable difficulty, not to mention user generated content with the mission architect and the costume creator itself.
However, as it wasn't pulling in massive amounts of cash and NCsoft couldn't be bothered to advertise it or let Paragon Studios develop a sequel, they shut it down. Thousands of players without an MMO as no other MMO compared to City of Heroes (World of Warcraft especially). Not only that, but when the closure was announced there were just as many people saying they never knew the game existed as those mourning it's lose, so we have another massive audience uncatered for as MMO publishers were obsessed with the gear grinding, long winded PvP focused games that were a bastardisation of World of Warcraft and whatever was popular in Korea at the time because they make all the money. Meanwhile, City of Heroes was strolling along happily making a bit of profit, unconcerned by Champions Online and DC Universe Online until NCsoft suddenly decided they couldn't be bothered anymore.

kajinking:

PBMcNair:

kajinking:
Sigh...

This just reminds me of how much I want a good new RTS that isn't totally indie or some f2p nonsense, I just want a fair priced RTS with a decent single player story and some skirmish modes for me to mess around in.

Sigh....wonder how much Red Alert 3 is on steam.

EA game, probably origin-only these days.
If you do get it, consider playing the campaign co-op, AI is...well its AI.

Nope, still there. This was before EA went totally insane and said they were going to build their own clubhouse and valve wasn't invited.

Also I can deal with AI partners, they can make decent cannon fodder.

I could have sworn EA pulled all their stuff, the more you know I guess.
And the AI aren't that bad, just prone to completly losing the plot from time to time.
Just be open to the possibility of them costing you the game.

Jimothy Sterling:

Also, the difference between Prego and the coffee thing is the difference between gauging an actual preference versus obtaining someone's perception of their own preferences. You can have someone taste different things and they can tell you what they like. You can simply ask someone what they like and they'll tell you what sounds good. Hence, people say they want "rich, dark roasted" coffee when, in reality, they prefer the taste of something weaker and milkier.

Had Prego just asked people what they wanted, it's likely they'd not have discovered extra chunky, because nobody would have said it.

I think, in gaming terms, "innovation" is also one of these perceived prefereces. It just sounds so damn good to claim that you want "some originality", and how it makes you sound like a jaded connoisseur, who is already familiar with everything under the sun.

Ask gamers simply "what they want", and they will cry for new IPs, for whacky genre combinations (like MMORTS), and for genres never seen before.

Yet even in the examples you gave for surprisingly successful games, what gamers turned out to really want were resurrections of old genres and beloved franchises, fine-tuned versions of comfortably familiar gameplay, and interesting plots that still fit into the basic trends of narratives.

If there is one thing that really needs to listen to Jim's words and fits the pasta sauce analogy, it's the MMO genre. Considering WoW is the Ragu, and a whole lot of other MMOs are Pregos, no wonder people just aren't finding the series interesting enough to explore. GW2 really tried, and for the last few months I've heard nothing about it; TERA tried, and it ended up going F2P, and we all know what happened to TOR. TESO isn't looking too good either.

I know a lot of people have heard this from me, but I feel that the next big MMO will break a few "taboos" hovering around the genre and prove the thoughts about them wrong. One taboo I'm waiting for to be broken? Private server support. That word "Massive" in the acronym MMO can stand for something else in the games, it doesn't have to be about how many players there are on a server.

Definitely one of your best episodes. Put into clear and simple words what I couldn't quite figure out in my head.

For as much EA squanders on marketing, they have some of the worst marketers out there. They say they can't take risks in the big budget market anymore, but putting out such copy and paste drivel has been a hell of a lot more risky than actually exploring new territory. You can't make a good game based purely on established metrics.

Dear Jim,

I woke up about 15 minutes ago and, because it's Monday, one of the first things I did after getting my Cheerios was come watch your show. And then you said "Pasta Sauce." And I now feel my day is complete. Thank god, for you.

That being said (and I bloody well mean it, please, say Pasta Sauce at least once per episode, you'd make me so happy), this is exactly what I've been saying for a while, and it's the reason I think that in the near future, the majority of AAA publishers are gana go the way of THQ. A small handful might make it selling titles like CoD almost exclusively to console players. But that majority of games that won't suck will come from the indie scene. And, TBH, that makes me very very very very very very very very happy. :)

I am that 1/3 of chunky users! I don't want big budget military shooters thrown at me right and left. Give me something new!

Goodness, this video was great. Thank God for Jim.

Dak_N_Jaxter:
Your best episode yet.

SOB someone beat me to it lol.

Long time prego fan lol. and yes it does beat the high f. out of rago. and now i'm hungry.

Ever consider doing marketing jim?

Neverhoodian:
Disney? Listen to this man. Take the message to heart. Now is the chance to make good on your shakeup involving the shutting down of LucasArts and its incompetent leadership.

Listen very carefully now...

Hire Lawrence Holland and Edward Kilham. MAKE...ANOTHER...X-WING...GAME...

The fans have been clamoring for a new Star Wars space combat sim for YEARS now. You have a golden opportunity to win the loyalty of legions of fans. Don't screw this up.

Lets let disney fix the film franchise first.

Holy poop Jim, I am amazed. This is the first episode I've seen in a long time that didn't feel like a waste of time. Admittedly, I've been saying this for quite a while, but it was still a good episode.

Frankly Jim, this has been said 100 times in 100 different ways. And you know what... this is probably you're best episode ever, because you have said it the best that it has ever been said.

Thank god for you Jim

Unfortunatly the most important people to please are shareholders. Doing money is not enough, because you could have made Big Money! Not trying for Big Money, especially when competitors do it, makes shareholders unhappy. Decisions that make sense (and money) can't be made in such an enviroment.

What I've wanted to see fully fledged in this gen was a freaking 3D platformer, not a stupid kart building game, thankfully Sonic Generations was awesome and I still play it from time to time, but I wanted a freaking collectathon, Banjo-Kazooie style.

While I appreciate Nintendo is still making great Mario platformers... they're still Mario platformers, we need something else.

Also, remember Bionic Commando Rearmed?, I want a fully fledged Contra game with that style of retro/new stuff, not a freaking MegaMan 9, heck, I wanted MegaMan with that style, not freaking 8 bits and then forget about it.

I mean, fortunately it's not all doom and gloom, thanks to the indie scene and it's multiple awesome 2D platformers, heck, even we have a AAA 2D platformer with Rayman Origins, Donkey Kong Returns and Sonic Generations (I consider it mostly 2D), but... I want a AAA 3D platformer with Banjo-Kazooie's style, or even better yet, a Banjo-Kazooie platformer.

You are obviously not a royalist anyway jim.

Good episode

I believe the recent Syndicate reboot could have been what XCOM Enemy Unknown is if they had bothered to release it as a strategy game. But no, opportunity wasted.

Jim, theres plenty inside the head of Prince Philipe... like racism.

On one hand, I want to have this sent to all publishers immediately and make them watch it again and again until they get it.

On the other hand, I want to make sure no publishers see this and allow them to continue bringing about their own deaths. If they're this fucking horrible at running a business then they shouldn't be in these jobs in the first place.

I.Muir:
I know I would like more plat formers that are not Mario

I mean just look at how the killed Banjo Kazooie by turning into a racer and stating as much in game. They literally said they were broadening the demographic and assumed gamers nowadays just want to shoot things with some serious 4th wall breaking. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO RARE!

Microsoft didn't do anything to Rare. Rare ruined Rare. Why do you think Nintendo was so willing to sell? Because they knew Rare was turning into shit. It astounds me how many people still don't realize this very simple fact and blame Microsoft.

Dr.Awkward:
If there is one thing that really needs to listen to Jim's words and fits the pasta sauce analogy, it's the MMO genre. Considering WoW is the Ragu, and a whole lot of other MMOs are Pregos, no wonder people just aren't finding the series interesting enough to explore. GW2 really tried, and for the last few months I've heard nothing about it; TERA tried, and it ended up going F2P, and we all know what happened to TOR. TESO isn't looking too good either.

I've actually had an episode all about MMOs planned for a while, along those lines.

I've been wondering how long it's going to take before developers start thinking in terms of niche markets. I'd like more RPGs with rich characterization options like Bioware makes.

Excellent analogy, Jim. I see no need to mix in elements in a game where they don't make sense. I noticed you didn't mention anything publishers are doing to MMORPGs, so those are safe, right?

I'm equally interested in and scared of seeing a "point and click" game, made today. The plot could be taken from a good book, if it's too difficult for publishers to think of a good storyline. It could be very interesting, having all this modern tech and all. Probably AAA fans wouldn't like it very much, but still it'd be a bloody fascinating project :)

Good points indeed there Jim! There's definitely a lot of other kinds of games to be made out there. Fortunately they do seem to be getting tackled by other developers, either on their own or through ventures such as Kickstarter. Hell, just look at the massive kickstarting success of Star Citizen, or the upcoming release of Stardrive. A new Freelancer and a new Master of Orion like experience? Sign me the hell up! :D

Jim, i doubt you can ever go back to britain without having the SAS watch your as through a scope.

Nicely said Jim, nicely said. Not that it means a lick to the 3A's . See there's a reason they always base everything off of market research and focus testing. They likie to keep their asses covered.

See it's like the film industry. Ever wonder why there's such an industry hard-on there for sequels and reboots? Simple. Spreadsheets. You see anything new is a risk and if it doesn't work or doesn't work as well they have a lot of angry investors (with lawyrs) asking them why their dividend payment is less than they're expecting. Saying you were trying something new will get you buried in litigation, claims in incompetence and what have you. However if you say. Well all research and market evidence points to X as being popular and having wide market appeal so we tried to make x+, For some reason it didn't work but as you can see the figures and trends pointed in that direction.

That will save your ass.

Which more or less means that games have finally achieved their goal. They wanted to be considered an industry and artform on par with film and guess what, they are, same budgets, same payouts and sadly the same problems.

I think what this invariably means is we mkay see one of two things happening. The collapse of the current 3A's freeing up space for the current crop of indies and small studios to expand into thusly repeating the cycle just in time for the PS9 release.

Or. Much like the film industry what you will find is 3A's not so much producing games but simply buying up any successful indie or small franchise/company and making it their own, much like DIsney is doing and what EA has been doing for years. Also look for them to start leasing their IP out to third party developers.

Support for smarter more diverse types of games have been so big that AAA companies aren't going to ignore smaller more stylised titles or forms of game-play. COD, Halo, and Battle Field are one angle that big publishers are going in, but I think they are going to considerable effort to try and captivate the middle ground. For example: support for new independent developers, more willingness to finance indie development with smaller budgets and to produce mid-level titles for themselves.

The X-Com example is a good example for this. Through" duress" when X-Com was released as a strategy game not an FPS it sounds like it was a complete fluke that something like that happened. The big publishers look at the people still buying games decided to do this. This shows growth not idiots who stumbled upon something. There will be more games like X-Com it's just takes time for larger companies to evolve to market changes.

Great show Jim! got to say the decline & stagnation of the MMO market with all those WoW clones should of been the early warning signal for the AAA market especially after SWTOR failed.

Waaghpowa:
I believe the recent Syndicate reboot could have been what XCOM Enemy Unknown is if they had bothered to release it as a strategy game. But no, opportunity wasted.

Quoted For Awesome Truth

So much focus on FPS's while the publishers forgot about the super success of XCOM, Batman Arkham City & company =/

ZexionSephiroth:
4- A game that Blends Science and Fantasy in extreme ways.
Seriously, who doesn't want to see a Mage Fighting off Robots with a Magic Gun that She uses like a wand? or a Knight That uses a Lazer Sword to Decapitate an Ogre? You Following? Now... Imagine doing all this while traveling across space with an Elf, a Cyborg, a Dragon and a Cat girl, all taking up roles as Scientists and Wizards to Study life on other worlds, and they come across an Alien Race of Trolls that are essentially the Larval Form of some offshoot of Fairies, and have built a giant cocoon world in the sky out of gleaming metal and are just beginning they're quest into space.
... This Overlaps with 2.

TV Tropes to the rescue!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ScienceFantasy

Complete with Video Game samples to go and try out X3

SirCannonFodder:

kajinking:
Sigh...

This just reminds me of how much I want a good new RTS that isn't totally indie or some f2p nonsense, I just want a fair priced RTS with a decent single player story and some skirmish modes for me to mess around in.

Sigh....wonder how much Red Alert 3 is on steam.

Red Alert 3? Single player? Hah, good luck. Enjoy being saddled with a brain-dead AI partner.

I had a similar reaction to "Red Alert 3" and "Decent" in the same post.

OT: I think Jim actually helped me out here with the whole Pasta example than he realised. Thank Menoth for Jim X3

Ironically, the shooter that will eventually outsell Call of Duty will be something disruptive - something new, nothing like Call of Duty, that takes chances and redefines the genre. You'll never outsellf Call of Duty with a CoD-like game, because the CoD fans are used to it already, and like it how it is. Plus they're getting new version just as often as they want them, they definitely don't want another similar shooter when they're 'shooter slot' is filled by Call of Duty already.

I.Muir:
I know I would like more plat formers that are not Mario

I mean just look at how the killed Banjo Kazooie by turning into a racer and stating as much in game. They literally said they were broadening the demographic and assumed gamers nowadays just want to shoot things with some serious 4th wall breaking. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO RARE!

... you know platformers are probably the most numerous type of game at the moment because they're the easiest for entry level designers to make, yes? And that lots of them are unique, well-received games?

Sam Rothrock:
Did a brit just totally rip on the royal family? Anyways, while I can certainly get behind his message, I do not see an easy solution to the current problem. Perhaps continued, painful economic losses are the only way to derail the pursuit of the "perfect" game. The only issue is that it leads to a bunch of talented people getting laid off for doing what their idiotic bosses told them to do.

The reality of the current market, is that anyone working at EA or unfortunately Squeenix or similar dinosaurs ought to be sprucing up their resume and taking a little look around to see if there's any other job options available to them. As Shamus and others regularly say, the future seems to be in small and medium-small sized companies making games with budgets that are actually budgeted towards projected sales, rather than projecting sales based on how much has been spent.

Oh god awesome video Jim. In my opinion the industry had more variety in the 90s then it does now but I'm a bit of a retro gamer. It's good to see so many indies making great games though. What your opinion on that, was the industry better in the 90s in terms of the process of how games were made and if so what changed and why?

I.Muir:
I know I would like more plat formers that are not Mario

I mean just look at how the killed Banjo Kazooie by turning into a racer and stating as much in game. They literally said they were broadening the demographic and assumed gamers nowadays just want to shoot things with some serious 4th wall breaking. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO RARE!

Okay. Try Braid, Limbo, Terraria, Cave Story (my personal favorite out of the bunch), and any games from the Basement Collection. Like I said, Cave Story is the one I recommend the most, as it feels more platformy than the others. In my opinion, of course. All of them are for PC, so go check them out. :-)

(I want 2D platformers too. I freaking love those games.)

OT- YES JIM YES. I fully agree that I'd like something new and interesting. I don't want homogenization, I want my good games. Considering I'm getting out of my zone and trying new things, I really what I'm seeing. I started Ys Origins. Fucking fantastic and a change from my days of playing TF2 and Skyrim.

Bravo man, bravo.

Dr.Awkward:
If there is one thing that really needs to listen to Jim's words and fits the pasta sauce analogy, it's the MMO genre. Considering WoW is the Ragu, and a whole lot of other MMOs are Pregos, no wonder people just aren't finding the series interesting enough to explore. GW2 really tried, and for the last few months I've heard nothing about it; TERA tried, and it ended up going F2P, and we all know what happened to TOR. TESO isn't looking too good either.

I know a lot of people have heard this from me, but I feel that the next big MMO will break a few "taboos" hovering around the genre and prove the thoughts about them wrong. One taboo I'm waiting for to be broken? Private server support. That word "Massive" in the acronym MMO can stand for something else in the games, it doesn't have to be about how many players there are on a server.

Guild Wars 2 is out, it's good, and it's like a love-letter to World of Warcraft and anyone who wanted to play that game but found it stupid, as they'e specifically re-engineer all the things people mock about WoW. instead of 120 skills you get 10. Instead of killing wolves to fetch hearts only to realize this wofl -has no heart- you go to areas where there are three different things t do and they all count equally towards the quest. instead of standing still in combat, tapping the number keys, the game requires dodge and maneuvering. Instead of the holy trinity of classes, the game is specifically designed so that every class is a red mage, and it's impossible to make a dedicated tank or healer. The gameworld is more unique than a cookie-cutter fantasy. The higher tier and harder to get loot is, the less of a difference in makes. You can put any skin on any armor so you don't have to choose between stats and appearance. Each level takes about the same amount of time to unlock, and you get the same experience from a level 5 zone as from a level 80 one. When you attack a monster someone else is fighting, you each get a seperate loot roll, and each get the same experience you'd get from soloing it. I don't know about WvW and PvP but I hear good things.

Sgt. Sykes:
I've been playing the Mass Effect trilogy for the past 2 months or so. The first game was really sweet. I knew the other two parts are shootier and shittier but I really didn't expect them to go this deep into the bland 3rd person cover-based shooter mud hell.

Seriously guys, what gives?

I think it's because people looked at the first game, saw a guy a guy with a gun and a third person perspective, and though "oh, this must be a third person shooter!"

Of course it wasn't; it was an RPG. And so those people bitched about the shooting mechanics being janky and not skill based, which would be fair if it were a third person shooter. But it wasn't; it was an RPG.

And so Bioware were bought by EA, and EA/Bioware decided that what people wanted *wasn't* an RPG, but a third-person shooter with RPG elements. That lead them to scrapping the inventory system rather than fixing it by introducing context sensitive stacking and ordering (which is all that was needed to fix the inventory system from the first game), turned the gameplay into a third-person shooter, and turned the game into a relatively small number of linear missions.

Now I really liked ME2, but I *loved* ME1 in spite of its myriad flaws. ME3 just fell apart completely as soon as it hit London.

Thank god for Jim and his knowledgable truthiness

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