In response to "The Story Sucks" from The Escapist forums:
In a lot of cases, the game world is static in a general sense too. Not only does the protagonist stay the same, so does everything else. Sure, you might have vanquished evil after evil after evil, but the NPC in the first town will still act as if nothing ever happened. Everywhere you go, things are scripted to change only after you perform a certain action. Without the specific input from the player, the world stagnates. In some ways, the phenomenon you're describing is just an extension of that. Why have one person in the whole world have change when no one else does?
The Hero's Journey, let's say it all together, was an exploration of Jungian psychology and the monomyth, and in particular a fascinating study of the similarities between certain archetypal tales from different cultures across the world. Taking it as some sort of ideal blueprint for a game narrative is not just wildly off-base; it's a lazy attempt to find convenient cut-and-paste shortcuts instead of doing the hard work of crafting a good story.
QFT. It's not like stories can't be made using the monomyth as a template, (e.g. Star Wars) but they don't have to be and that's not what the theory of the monomyth is about in the first place. Especially when they're in a nonlinear medium.
Also, I'd submit that many of the best stories don't have any deep character development at all - Odysseus, for instance (alongside most other Homeric characters), is a completely static character, and is easily one of the most compelling fictional characters, period. The concept of the ideal story being a middle-aged middle-class male navel-gazing over coffee is pretty recent in the history of storytelling.
In response to "Self-serving Small Print" from The Escapist forums:
My biggest problem with EULAs is that you have no choice but to accept THAT EXACT eula or go with out. If I go to mcdonalds and they say they will only sell me a cheeseburger if I agree to eat it naked, I can tell them to **** *** and go next door to burger king and get something almost identical but without the requirement.
Entertainment is the only area I set my mind on an exact product and then I can only buy that exact product from one developer. With that exact eula every time.
I guess the point I'm going for here is that games are a lot less fungible than many other products, which severly limits your options. A car is a car. It has 4 wheels and goes from A to B if you put petrol in. They don't all look the same, they aren't identical but to most people the exact choice is no real matter.
That being said, I do wish they could condense it down to "Don't pirate stuff", or in the case of online games "Don't sue us if our servers go down"
Yeah, I do read EULA's, and like 80% of them is stuff like this. Don't use this to break laws. Don't pretend to own the copyright for this, and don't sell it like you did. Don't sue us for stuff that is clearly not our fault. Don't sue us if we can't provide you an online service because your internet is down/our servers are overload/we went bankrupt.
It's the other 20% that kills.
I'm quite certain that EULA's will never stand in court, though. It would make no sense that they did. A legal decision will likely be on the side of common sense, so it would uphold the EULA in the cases I mentioned in which the costumer is the one being a whiny bitch, but would strike it down if it was the company who was acting all uppity.
Well, at least after the Geohot case ends we'll decisively see OH WAIT
Well, since the Supreme Court has ruled that EULAs can in fact strip you of the right to class-action lawsuits and force you into arbitration (with third-party companies that tend to find in favor of the corporation 95% of the time), the only advice I can give now is this:
Do not buy any consumer goods, at all, ever, unless you can afford a lawyer to go over all the fine print.
Because, seriously, every time someone says "Well, just read the EULA", I respond: Have you? Sixteen pages' worth of small-print lawyertalk designed to confuse anyone with less than an MBA in law? We should get a 5% reduction in a product's price everytime their EULAs use words like "henceforth" and "heretofore".
In response to "What They Say" from The Escapist forums:
It's a real nerdgasm to sit here, read this and know that your beloved industry is (largely) in the hands of people who know their beans, know what needs to be done, don't take success for granted but analyse it when it happens and are doing their upmost to bring the industry forward.
In reply to Jon Shafer wondering if 3D could actually have any utility at all in strategy games of it would just be a cheap selling point, imagine if in Homeworld you could actually see what was going on without tons of overlays and moving the camera around for perspective. When the 3DS was announced I was playing Sword of the Stars and thought how useful and convenient it would be if the galaxy map was displayed in 3D. For a more traditional flat board game it would be more of a gimmick but sometimes I forget that board games might be about squares and hexes but computer games are more naturally about circles and spheres. I'm playing Shogun 2 at the moment and would it be strategically useful to quickly see that my Matchlocks don't have a clear line of sight to the enemy? You bet it would.