Living the Dream

In response to “Hard to be Humble” from The Escapist Forum: The way halo got big follows the exact same rules as how many businesses get big.

Its not who does it best that wins, its who does it adequately well and brings it to the masses.

– Goofonian

Back when I was into “multimedia” development, I had to purchase a Mac. I was really into my PC games and felt cheated by having spent a small fortune on a work machine that I couldn’t really enjoy my favorite hobby with. Oh, how wrong I was.

If one were at all familiar with their previous works in the Mac gaming community, Halo’s success is a no-brainer. The real mystery is how Microsoft managed not to ruin Bungie.

– Echolocating


In response to “Deconstructing Collection” from The Escapist Forum: I almost slipped into the endless gyre of game collecting. Last year I picked up just about any hard to find PS2 RPG and SRPG that I could get my hands on – just in case. The year before I bought a REPLACEMENT copy of Valkyrie Profile and because it didn’t work all that well, I returned it for Ikaruga.

But what started it all was a friend of mine who burned his first print of Disgaea out a sort of misplaced “rock and roll is the devil” mentality. He gave me all of 16 his PS1 games … mostly Squaresoft and Enix, and vanished off the face of the earth. Then when times were tough, instead of selling any of my 25 Gamecube games I had purchased and played to completion over the years, I sold games that were far more valuable to make ends meet.

I wasn’t attached to games that I bought out of a sense of rarity. I would never get rid of games that meant something to me. I have a Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete that I won in a bet. It’s one of my favorite games, and playing that and Chrono Trigger with my children some day will out last the impulse completionism that led me to buy the Shadow Hearts games.

– Human Bomb

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In response to “Information Complexity and the Downfall of the Adventure Game from The Escapist Forum: I have to agree entirely with this article. I loath hotspots in games. RPGs suffer from this problem too. I was playing Astonishia Story yesterday for hours, with no idea how to advance in the game. Finally I got fed up and looked at FAQ. Hotspot. An area that didn’t look any different from other areas was hot and clicking on it arbitrarily gave me an item I needed and things flowed like silk from there.

This isn’t fun, nor is it good design. And just because you’ve gotten good at spotting them just means you’ve gotten used to a lousy gaming convention. However, that doesn’t make it less lousy. These are adventure games, if you like hotspots there’s an entire subgenre devoted to it. Or you could pick up a Where’s Waldo book. Frankly, if you need to arbitrarily extend the life/difficulty of a game by making an object barely visible there probably isn’t that much of a game there. It’s the Adventure equivalent of grinding.

The problem with adventure games has nothing to do with slow-pacing or complex puzzles (issues I often hear cited by “adventure snobs” as to the reason the genre is on life support) but the fact that you can solve a puzzle within minutes of being presented with it and then spend hours trying to determine how to manipulate the interface in order to get the game to do what is you want it to do.

And as great as some adventure games are, none of them are worth that kind of frustration.

– Woflrider

The downfall of the adventure game? This conversation might have been apropos ten years ago (“now we have CD-ROM technology!”). In 2007 we have the Nancy Drew series, Sam and Max, a small army of DS games… Adventure games take up a third of the shelf space of the PC section at my local Best Buy. The genre is as big as it’s ever been – it’s just a smaller proportion of a much bigger and more diverse ecosystem.

– will.jennings

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