AGC: Gamasutra’s take on the talk

 Posted by (Visited 10710 times)  Game talk
Sep 082006
 

Gamasutra – AGC: Koster Says Game Industry Dinosaur ‘Doomed’ is the best “summary article” thus far, I think.

  14 Responses to “AGC: Gamasutra’s take on the talk”

  1. AGC: Gamasutra’s take on the talk  – 2006-9-9  – Raph AGC: BioWare’s Schubert Goes ‘Beyond Men In Tights’  – 2006-9-9  – (author unknown) Microsoft Japan Launching Core Xbox 360 Bundle  – 2006-9-9  

  2. the future of gaming. From his point of view, it sounded like game developers needed to step up to create games and applications that take advantage of the increasing processing power of the PC. Interestingly, this was somewhat in contrast with the remarks of game developer Raph Koster earlier in the conference. A transcript of Dell’s remarks below: Q: Are you much a gamer these days? A: I occasionally play a little World of Warcraft. Q: What was first game you were playing, 10 or 20 years ago?

  3. of gaming. From his point of view, it sounded like game developers needed to step up to create games and applications that take advantage of the increasing processing power of the PC. Interestingly, this concept was somewhat in contrast with the remarks of game developer Raph Koster earlier in the conference. A transcript of Dell’s remarks below: Are you much of a gamer these days? I occasionally play a little World of Warcraft. What was first game you were playing, 10 or 20 years ago?

  4. Gamasutra recently altered their description of you as the “legendary MMO designer” to the “renowned MMO designer”.

    You were legendary during the sale, but as soon as you left the lot, you lost value. 😉

  5. The Kodak camera didn’t destroy the market for professional photography. The video camera didn’t shrink the market for Directors of Photography in Live Action Filmmaking. I’m sorry Raph, the statement about artists in games being less necessary due to user created content just isn’t backed up by historical precedent through analogy in other markets. Granted distribution of work is changing, but work is not. Work pays because it’s work, i.e. it’s effortful, not easy, it shows, and people pay for it.

    It’s why Comic-Con gets bigger every year, it’s why people don’t throw away comicbooks any more. Artistic effort isn’t disposable ever; it only gains in value over time. It’s what history has shown. From the lasco cave paintings no longer available for public consumption to guernica. Artists drive this business more than anyone wants to let on. Art above all else, gets me to try a game, gameplay makes me stay. But you can’t get me to stay if I won’t even knock on your door. Art brings the knocks. You don’t get the knocks, you don’t get the business. You die. Dinosaur or not.

  6. I’m sorry Raph, the statement about artists in games being less necessary due to user created content just isn’t backed up by historical precedent through analogy in other markets.

    I didn’t make that statement. (The bracket is an editorial insertion by the article writer). What I stated in the talk is that the pressures inherent in digital distribution and lower budgets for more disposable games will force less focus on assets and use of alternate techniques. 2d art, procedural art, stylized art — just LESS art and less INTENSIVE art than now. This means less artist jobs.

  7. […] Raph’s Website AGC: Gamasutra’s take on the talk AGC: Damion Schubert, “Moving Beyond Men in Tights” AGC: coverage of my talk on “The Age of the Dinosaurs” AGC: MMO economies CNN.com – Some games may enhance sociability – Sep 6, 2006 AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote In Austin for AGC Using Games to Tap Collective Intelligence Two writers I met at Worldcon The Sunday Poem: Summer Camp […]

  8. Sorry for the misinterpretation. I’m in total agreement with you on alternate visual techniques. God is it needed. From Photographic cutouts, to you name it. Imagine a game done in the style of Lottie Reiniger with a decent budget?

    There are so many precedents of visual and narrative forms not even touched on by mainstream publishers. Indeed, it’s going to be a much wider world unfolding.

  9. “What we’re seeing here is that other people have come out around us and said, You have a good thing going, but the entire infrastructure is just broken, so we’re going to take all the good bits and money and all the customers you think are not good enough. The market got broadened for us by other people.”

    Great quote, however I found the term “other people” a little troubling. I’ve always considered Runescape, Habbo Hotel and even Neopets members of the games industry. When Andrew Gower was writing the original Runescape in his basement or wherever, I don’t know that he thought of himself as being “outside” the games industry. After five years as a TAD in console games, I quit to concentrate on MaidMarian.com full time….but I never though of myself as being “outside” the industry because I do web games.

    That gang of ten or so major publishers may be in trouble but I think the industry will adapt. Runescape and others like it may be what the future looks like (I hope so for my own sake) but Runescape is and always was part of the games industry…so everything is going to be just fine…..just no boxes.

  10. Group inclusion is a funny thing. You aren’t outside the game industry until all the people involved in a particular discussion agree that you are. =P And they have to keep doing it (implicitly) in any other particular discussion.

    I think the “other people” refers to the people who aren’t sitting there in front of him. But that’s a rather large assumption.

  11. That quote more specifically was referring the media companies coming in and acting as publishers. I have made the point several times that some of the larger casual games “publishers” to day are Lego, Kellogg’s, and Cartoon network — not game industry at all. I agree Runescape is part of the industry. But it’s on the edge of it, certainly — not part of the publisher infrastructure, not an ESA member, doesn’t go to E3, doesn’t submit to ESRB…

  12. The part most publishers will seize upon is your bit about alternate revenue streams.

    So we can look forward to “Don’t have Orc breath – Use Crest toothpaste!” ads in our next massively multi-consumer online roleplaying game.

    In fact, I hereby coin “MMCORPG” to mean “MMORPGs which include large amounts of in-game advertising”.

  13. […] Bloggers Supply and Demand at IGE 3 hours 5 min old, Darniaq EQ2 Alt-A-Holicism Continues: Hell Is Yourself 3 hours 32 min old, Geldon Weekend Design Challenge: Classes vs. Skills 3 hours 43 min old, Psychochild It’s a view 6 hours 42 min old, Mischiefbox AGC: Vernor Vinge’s keynote, at 3pointD.com 7 hours 17 min old, Raph’s Koster Website AGC: Vernor Vinge’s keynote, at 3pointD.com 7 hours 17 min old, Raph’s Koster Website Men In Tights Summaries 17 hours 23 min old, Zen of Design – Ubiq AGC: Sam Lewis’ slides on economy 18 hours 33 min old, Raph’s Koster Website AGC: Sam Lewis’ slides on economy 18 hours 33 min old, Raph’s Koster Website Links 23 hours 53 min old, Aggro Me AGC: Gamasutra’s take on the talk 1 day 1 hour old, Raph’s Koster Website AGC: Gamasutra’s take on the talk 1 day 1 hour old, Raph’s Koster Website Moments of Surrealism: AGC 1 day 3 hours old, BrokenToys – Lum AGC: Damion Schubert, “Moving Beyond Men in Tights” 1 day 5 hours old, Raph’s Koster Website AGC: Damion Schubert, “Moving Beyond Men in Tights” 1 day 5 hours old, Raph’s Koster Website Yeah, I’m linking to a mySpace Page 1 day 6 hours old, Jeff Freeman – Dundee Challenges Facing MMOGs: AGC 2006 1 day 7 hours old, Darniaq Razing BabbleOn 1 day 8 hours old, AFK Gamer – Foton Internet, but not international 1 day 9 hours old, Tobold Not much about nothing. 1 day 11 hours old, MMODIG – unbeliever Best-selling game, worst graphics 1 day 13 hours old, Tobold AGC: coverage of my talk on “The Age of the Dinosaurs” 1 day 14 hours old, Raph’s Koster Website AGC: coverage of my talk on “The Age of the Dinosaurs” 1 day 14 hours old, Raph’s Koster Website WoW Journal – 8-September-2006 1 day 15 hours old, Tobold A Full EQ2 Day: Loving Conjurors and Hating Betrayal 1 day 18 hours old, Geldon more […]

  14. In one form or another, all the big publishers have a green light process that set out the parameters for appropriate risk on a new game. This tends to create a very small box around the types of projects they would consider appropriate to move forward. Many designers, artists and coders have received that blank stare from their superiors when it comes to game pitches that involve innovation with distribution or revenue models – or at best, a “great idea, but I’ll never get this past committee with the current guidelines” type response. At least the “other people” are demonstrating that other models can work and when the pain becomes great enough, the publishers may be forced to see the light. It’s too late for the ones that are one disaster away from going under, but it’s realistic to expect to see a new batch of companies emerging that recognize the fundamental changes occurring and embrace it.

    I guess the frustrating part is that many game employees recognize the trend and the risks to their own employment but are unable to communicate this to their execs under the current management structures. An “I told you so” just doesn’t cut it when your job is at risk. Although the writing is on the wall, the publishers are reticent to reinvent themselves until the messed up financials of a typical next-gen game really start to affect the bottom line. Although we’ve had some major hints of that already, the full effect won’t hit for another year or two. Some publishers are still under the illusion that the PS3 will all of a sudden make the balance sheets look right.

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