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Brian 'Psychochild' Green

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  • Interesting writeup. A few thoughts. For one, the problem with hype is that gamers buy into the hype. When every other game is screaming about how great it is, it's hard to be the voice of reason. Hypothetically, if one game says it offers 100 features and another game only promises 20, people are going to buy the 100 feature game. Of course, they're going to find out that there's probably only 15 good features and about 50 half-assed features (and the other 35 might be patched in later, if ever). Of course, the money has already been spent and people will simply put up web sites to complain about it. I'm a little biased, because I run my own small online game, Meridian 59 (http://www.meridian59.com/). We've tried to be honest about our game. It's not super-pretty, but it's still fun. Our game focuses on player vs. player (PvP) combat, which is a niche interest. The problem is that other games have come out promising the moon. Why play an "old" game like Meridian 59 when ShinyNewGame 2 will have AWESOME GRAPHIX! Of course, it will take six months to actually patch in the game, make sure the login server works, and stop the client from crashing every hour. Meanwhile our game remains stable and fun, but attracting only a small fraction of the people that the overhyped game does. Unfortunately, it's hard not to support the system. Even Doug in the article above pre-ordered a game! That's perhaps the worst thing you can do. You're essentially telling the big companies, "You could sell me a box full of steaming crap, and I'll still pay for it!" I'm not saying that GTA:SA is going to be a terrible game, but how can you know a game is worth buying before it's even out? ESPECIALLY if you haven't even read anything about the game? There is an easy solution to this issue, though. Independent games. There's a lot of great games out there that aren't overhyped, so you probably haven't heard of them. Garage Games (http://www.garagegames.com/pg/) has a selection of good independent games that you can buy for very affordable prices. These games often focus a lot more on good gameplay because they simply cannot afford to hide bad gameplay behind glitzy graphics. Most game developers just want to make a cool game. Few of us care about hype or making large piles of cash. (If I cared about money, I wouldn't be making games for a living!) So, supporting independent developers is a great way to see more games that have actual fun gameplay, not that suffer from endless hype and overpromises. Thoughts from an indie game developer. Have fun, -Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    Game Publishers: Stop Overpromising!
    Posted on: October 24, 2004 at 6:17 am on Gear Live - 5 comments total

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