[a href=" http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.36620']In response to "Turning the Tables" from The Escapist Forum[/a]: It's amazing how many people EA employs and how few great titles they try to make. Nintendo manages to push out a ton of games with only 1,500 while the most EA seems to have is the Burnout series by Criterion. I must be missing some, but Ubisoft is a huge third party company that puts out a lot of really good games, mainly the Splinter Cell, and Assassin's Creed games. It's hard to think of good EA games, but I think they own Maxis so that's pretty huge. It still seems like EA could at least try to give a [christmas tree].
[a href=" http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.36620']In response to "Turning the Tables" from The Escapist Forum[/a]: Having worked at Maxis PRE and POST absorption into the EA mother ship, I can tell you that Maxis as a creative body no longer truly exists outside of Will Wright (who is of course, still a genius). Most of the core developers at Maxis either left the company once EA took complete control or were moved from Walnut Creek to EARS and are now working at their satellite studio in Emeryville working on Spore.
I really loved working at Maxis when they still had hands-on control of their company. EARS is a corporate cesspool where creativity goes to die. Just look at what they did with the Sims console titles following the takeover. No one asked for URBZ, Sims 2 on PS2, Sims 2 Pets on PS2, but there they are, primarily to pad the VPs console portfolio presented to stock holders. "The Sims franchise is one of our strongest performers on the PC. Oh yes, we also have that franchise on the consoles." It's too bad EA can't develop IDEAS outside of their own company, rather than just buying companies that do and turning them into franchise spewing zombies.
In Response to "The Perception Engineers" from The Escapist Forum: I don't really understand the need for jobs like this to exist. Everything they "discovered" that was wrong with the game is just a common element of game design, and should be handled by the development team. But my definition of a game designer includes paying careful attention to focus groups and random testers, and having an innate or learned ability to judge when something is or is not "fun".
I guess there still aren't any trained game designers out there. Everything is still done based on intuition and experience and working up the ranks from programming or making maps. Maybe in a few years we'll start seeing so-called Game Design schools like Full Sail offering psychology/ludology courses.
In Response to "The Perception Engineers" from The Escapist Forum: This article couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'm a fourth-year University student, about to graduate with a BA in Cognitive Systems (Psychology). I'm also about to be interviewed for a job with a local game developer, and I've been struggling to figure out how to explain what it is I can offer them, skill-wise. This is it. *This* is what I am educated and prepared to do, this is what I *want* to do. Thank you, Escapist, and thank you, Spanner.
In Response to "EA Talks Microtransactions, PS3 Network" from The Escapist News Room: Microtransactions are something that really rub me the wrong way as a gamer. People are paying $60 for current generation titles and companies want to fleece them for more money? It is ridiculous. I just hope that any great games that come down the pipe in the future will not have a microtransaction system implemented. I would hate to miss out on a great game, just because the publisher wants to squeeze the consumer for every penny they got. I'm looking at you Halo 3! As if expansion packs and episodes weren't enough.
In Response to "EA Talks Microtransactions, PS3 Network" from The Escapist News Room: I don't have a problem with microtransactions when they are truly "micro." I mean, a quarter here, a dollar there, sixty cents for this, that, and the other. Five bucks is not a microtransaction. Five bucks is a plain old regular transaction.
- Bongo Bill
In Response to "EA Talks Microtransactions, PS3 Network" from The Escapist News Room: I can understand mini expansions or episode content for a good $5-20 but when it comes to little extras like skins and models I think it's a rip off just like a collectors edition will have the same kind of things such as an extra skin or a middle of the road goofy power up for a price of $55 instead of the regular $50. I really hope this doesn't become the norm for online RTS or FPS games because I won't be paying a couple extra dollars to use the weapon that will let me kill more effectively.