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Sunday, April 21, 2013

New York Times: Thrown for a Curve in Rhode Island

You have to imagine what it was like being Don Carcieri in the harsh winter of 2010. As Rhode Island’s governor, a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, he had come into office seven years earlier as a business executive turned politician, vowing to retool the state’s corroded economy.

But that winter, Rhode Island was on the precipice of economic ruin. Its unemployment rate was pushing up against 12 percent — fourth worst in the nation — and three of its cities were careening toward bankruptcy. Facing term limits, Mr. Carcieri had only months left to do something to arrest the steep decline.

And that’s when Don Carcieri ran into Curt Schilling, the revered former Boston Red Sox ace — the man who had famously bled through a sock while pitching his team to its first World Series title in 86 years. That March, Mr. Carcieri attended a fund-raiser for a prospective documentary at Mr. Schilling’s 25-acre estate in Medfield, Mass. The two men exchanged pleasantries in the living room before the talk turned abruptly to business.

“I said, ‘Well, what are you doing?’ ” Mr. Carcieri recalled when I met him recently, at a Panera Bread in East Greenwich, R.I., his hometown. “And he said, ‘I’ve got this business, this company, creating video games.’ Which I knew nothing about — my grandkids know more about it than I do. But he was describing it. He said: ‘It’s a great little company, it’s growing,’ et cetera. And he was looking to grow it further.”

More to the point, Mr. Schilling let drop that he wasn’t getting much help in Massachusetts when it came to the financing he needed to expand, and he was frustrated. You can imagine the heralding trumpets that must have been blasting in Mr. Carcieri’s ears as he listened to Mr. Schilling dangle hundreds of jobs in front of him.

Tripon Posted: April 21, 2013 at 02:56 PM | 159 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: curt schilling

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   1. spike Posted: April 21, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4421494)
FTA - Ideas that seem plausible in our darkest moments often seem plainly flawed in hindsight, and you can probably see where all this is going.

Good lord this idea seemed disastrous at the time, and anyone competent enough to evaluate a crackpot proposal like this would have told them so. This article just makes me hate everybody in it all over again.
   2. Darren Posted: April 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4421505)
“Sitting across from people at investor meetings, I wonder, How can you not understand this?” Mr. Schilling told the study’s authors. “How do you not see what we are doing? And if you do see it, why aren’t you writing a check?”


This sounds like Schilling's approach to everything. I'm so obviously right, how dare anyone disagree with me?
   3. pthomas Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4421528)
The game industry is changing from second to second. Here is an article about game economics in 2013. Schilling never had a ghost of a chance.

http://hitboxteam.com/dustforce-sales-figures
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4421532)
As I noted in the other thread on this article, there is plenty of blame for Schilling & the R.I. politicians to share. I suspect this happens a bit more often in one-party states/cities where there is less of a check on the majority party's bad ideas, although I believe Rhode Island has something of a bipartisan tradition of corruption.
   5. Lassus Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4421535)
He should have never trusted Carcetti.
   6. GregD Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4421539)
As I noted in the other thread on this article, there is plenty of blame for Schilling & the R.I. politicians to share. I suspect this happens a bit more often in one-party states/cities where there is less of a check on the majority party's bad ideas, although I believe Rhode Island has something of a bipartisan tradition of corruption.
This makes intuitive sense to me as a general rule but not sure it fits this case, since this was a case where a Republican governor negotiated with a Democratic legislature for benefits that were only opposed by one (Republican) legislator, and then were fought later by a former Republican turned independent who is likely turning Democratic new governor, all in a heavily Democratic state. now, if you want to talk about Providence corruption, that's a good example of a single-party town becoming a funnel for dirty cash.
   7. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: April 21, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4421576)
Lincoln Chafee comes off terribly in this article as well.
   8. Publius Publicola Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4421585)
If Rhode Island wanted to expand its economy by giving a loan to a video game company, they should have put together an evaluation panel with experience in the video game business and put out a solicitation for proposals, and evaluated them based on competitive merit. Giving a handout to someone who can get close enough to con the governor is a recipe for disaster.

What's even more worrisome there is that Schilling had no resume in the video game business, and his previous career did not require skills that would be useful in the video business.

What a poor decision. Carcieri deserves to be boiled in oil for this. I don't fault Schilling so much because he was sincere in his intentions and was willing to invest a lot of his own cash. He was just foolish because he didn't understand his own limitations.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4421592)
Lincoln Chafee comes off terribly in this article as well.

Well, he looks a bit silly suggesting the bloody sock was a hoax, but what was he supposed to have done about a loan made before he took office? He didn't have the clout to fire the Economic Development Corporation folks and those guys were apparently oblivious to how Schilling's corporation was performing - not that Curt went out of his way to tell people he was losing his shirt.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4421594)

this author is not toeing the BBTF party line re Schilling:

"To the casual reader, though, the case against Mr. Schilling may not be all that impressive. After all, if people went around suing everyone who accepted a loan for less money than they actually needed, the courts wouldn’t have time for anything else. In the state’s version of events, Mr. Schilling comes off as an arrogant and overexuberant entrepreneur, possessed of grand delusions. But there’s no suggestion that he intended to swindle anyone. He clearly believed he could succeed."

if the writer has any kids, surely they will be taken away.



   11. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4421601)
And that’s when Don Carcieri ran into Curt Schilling, the revered former Boston Red Sox ace — the man who had famously bled through a sock

Why the #### was this ever a big deal? Does anyone know anyone who works o their feet for a living who hasn't bled through something on the job?

####### princesses.

Isn't Schilling a Republican? Why was he panhandling the government for capital he should have been raising himself? Goddamned welfare queens.
   12. Tripon Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4421625)

Isn't Schilling a Republican? Why was he panhandling the government for capital he should have been raising himself? Goddamned welfare queens.


Because there was no private investment to get for his MMO. Its pretty telling that EA decided to publish Amulur, but wouldn't touch the MMO. (Which wasn't Amulur, the two games were made by two different dev teams and didn't share assets for the most part.) A person as desperate as Schilling to create something out of nothing decided that his game was more important than his principles.
   13. puck Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4421662)
The game industry is changing from second to second. Here is an article about game economics in 2013. Schilling never had a ghost of a chance.

http://hitboxteam.com/dustforce-sales-figures

That was a pretty small scale game (4 employees who sacrificed a year's salary to develop it). I imagine the odds are far worse for something the scale of Schilling's company.

And heck, those guys made money off a game about housecleaning? That's pretty amazing.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4421698)
I sure that Schilling saw no contradiction. He was a Job Creator.
   15. Tripon Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4421705)

That was a pretty small scale game (4 employees who sacrificed a year's salary to develop it). I imagine the odds are far worse for something the scale of Schilling's company.

And heck, those guys made money off a game about housecleaning? That's pretty amazing.


The industry as a whole is hurting right now, and is in transition. Nintendo's doing okay despite their inability to sell Wii U's, (And I say this as an owner), because the 3DS is kicking ass right now(and I say this as an owner of the original 3DS, and the 3DS XL). But with the two new consoles likely coming out this holiday with the XBox 720, and the PS4, and big company after big company seemly can't make money after selling millions of units on games that forced the CEOs of EA, and Square Enix to resign, and Capcom to halve their profit forecast in 2013, the video game industry in general feels like they need a kick in the pants.
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4421715)
The big boys in game development/publishing are making the mistake of assuming that "bigger is better".
Bigger game budgets.
Bigger advertising budgets.
Bigger launches.

They are running a race against themselves, and there is a limit to how much they can spend.

The little guys (indie developers) and less prolific publisher/developers (Valve) are doing okay.
   17. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4421847)
The industry as a whole is hurting right now, and is in transition.
Why is this?

Okay--RTG's take makes sense. Past a certain point, and that point was probably Half Life 2 c.2004 (admittedly a giant of a game for the time), eye candy gets meaningless. The same guys who care about 16x Anisotropic filtering are the same four guys who cared about perfect fidelity in their $10,000 speakers.

The whole open-world business is also a shame. Unless there's something very interesting across that desert, I don't want to travel across that desert. When all it is is one more not terribly interesting quest, who cares? Give me a tight story, any time. Besides, an open-world is only meaningful or interesting if that world allows for the creation of meaningful or interesting choices which in turn lead to something you can't get otherwise, something you can't get from a more closed game--if that's not an engaging adventure or story, what's the purpose? You're necessarily limited to something like ten to fifteen interesting things/set pieces in a game. What's gained by spacing them thirty minutes of pointless wandering apart?

I hadn't played games in a couple of years, then Telltale Games' The Walking Dead came out and I couldn't figure out why people were excited about it. It turns out it actually had the rudiments of a story, and the characters could crudely interact. I guess that was a very big deal even though the story overall was a monorail, and any decisions you made didn't do more than nudge the story briefly off that rail. It's kinda sad, how in other than graphics there's been so little development in the depth of games.

A person as desperate as Schilling to create something out of nothing decided that his game was more important than his principles.


Ouch!
   18. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:06 AM (#4421906)
Why the #### was this ever a big deal? Does anyone know anyone who works o their feet for a living who hasn't bled through something on the job?

As an avid runner but not so avid groomer, it's not unusual for one of my toenails to get a little long and cut into one of my other toes during a run. So when I'm changing afterwards, I will take my shoe off and notice my sock is bloody even though I felt nothing during the activity itself. I just wash the sock. It never occurred to me that I was a hero and I should be send the sock off to a Hall of Fame somewhere.

How pathetic that baseball considers in noteworthy that a grossly overweight guy continued to pitch with some sort of abrasion on his leg.
   19. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 22, 2013 at 05:58 AM (#4421915)
grossly overweight guy continued to pitch with some sort of abrasion on his leg


There's his plaque, right there.
   20. Bug Selig Posted: April 22, 2013 at 07:04 AM (#4421917)
How pathetic that baseball considers in noteworthy that a grossly overweight guy continued to pitch with some sort of abrasion on his leg.


Two gross inaccuracies in one sentence. Impressive.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: April 22, 2013 at 07:04 AM (#4421918)

In my early 20s, I once walked through a field with some friends and saw a Budweiser can in the weeds. I absent-mindedly kicked it, soccer-style, only to ... meet resistance.

Feeling some pain, I took my sneaker off - to find that my entire white sock had turned red from my toes up past my ankle.

Turns out that someone had dumped a car windshield in the high weeds that was invisible to an oncoming visitor. Only took about 10 stitches to fix. Was glad I had imbibed some... general anesthetic before this incident!

#takethatSchilling
   22. bookbook Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4421984)
I, for one, am looking forward to Roger Clemens' 3D manufacturing empire, and hope my stat govt gives him millions of my tax dollars.

Seriously, RI has wasted less money on MLB players/stadia etc. than at least several of its peers. So, there's that.
   23. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4422007)
21: All I got is stepping on a board while chasing after a rebound as a kid, the board and the nail sticking out of it, which went through my foot. Blood, blood, blood - and the insult of having to patch up the shoe and continue to wear it for a few more months.
   24. Zach Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4422068)

[Carcieri] and the Democratic leaders of the Legislature were preparing to appropriate $50 million to the corporation so it could place bigger bets on new industries looking to locate in Rhode Island.

For years, state officials had been kicking around the intriguing idea of transforming the old jewelers’ neighborhood in Providence, not far from the Rhode Island School of Design, into a nationally competitive “knowledge district” — the kind of neighborhood to which hip, young graduates would flock to design software. So, right from the start, what Mr. Carcieri and his economic planners saw in 38 Studios was just the sort of high-tech start-up that could be the magnet to revive the area.


The creative class theory strikes again.

“They were telling us we could have unemployment of 13 or 14 percent!” Gordon D. Fox, the Democratic House speaker, recalled when we sat in his State House office one morning last December. “And you’ve got a population saying: ‘O.K., lookit, we need something to happen now. We need jobs now.’ And O.K., what is government’s role in that?”


If that's your logic, then what are you complaining about? 38 Studios moved every job to the state that you asked them to move.



   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4422073)
The whole open-world business is also a shame. Unless there's something very interesting across that desert, I don't want to travel across that desert. When all it is is one more not terribly interesting quest, who cares? Give me a tight story, any time. Besides, an open-world is only meaningful or interesting if that world allows for the creation of meaningful or interesting choices which in turn lead to something you can't get otherwise, something you can't get from a more closed game--if that's not an engaging adventure or story, what's the purpose? You're necessarily limited to something like ten to fifteen interesting things/set pieces in a game. What's gained by spacing them thirty minutes of pointless wandering apart?


I'm an RPG fan and I'm generally sympathetic to this disdain for open-world games. In many respects the Elder Scrolls games have done a very good job of modeling large open worlds without making the gameplay too onerous thanks to their generous fast travel system, but it does tend to unfocus gameplay and narrative when the designers have to populate their huge open worlds with various events and locations of interest in order to make the fast travel viable. Compared to less forgiving open worlds like the old Gothic series it's a nice attempt to mitigate the issues inherent in the format, but I don't know that I find vanilla Skyrim more enjoyable to play than more linear, restricted RPGs like the Witcher series.

So of course the next Witcher game is moving to an open world design. Sigh.
   26. zack Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4422086)
Story is the enemy of gameplay. Games can have a focus but they should not tell a story, because then you don't have a game, you have a semi-interactive movie.
   27. tshipman Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4422107)
Story is the enemy of gameplay. Games can have a focus but they should not tell a story, because then you don't have a game, you have a semi-interactive movie.


I strongly disagree with this. Games have the element of choice and participation, which is what gives them power and is the source of their potential as an art medium. Running around different places and killing boars is only so interesting. Making real decisions, that you have to wrestle with, now that's interesting.
   28. The Good Face Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4422125)
The whole open-world business is also a shame. Unless there's something very interesting across that desert, I don't want to travel across that desert. When all it is is one more not terribly interesting quest, who cares? Give me a tight story, any time. Besides, an open-world is only meaningful or interesting if that world allows for the creation of meaningful or interesting choices which in turn lead to something you can't get otherwise, something you can't get from a more closed game--if that's not an engaging adventure or story, what's the purpose? You're necessarily limited to something like ten to fifteen interesting things/set pieces in a game. What's gained by spacing them thirty minutes of pointless wandering apart?


To me this just smacks of the "pizza OR tacos" debate. Why is there not room for both? Some of the best games ever made had tight stories (Planescape: Torment, the first 2.75 Mass Effect games, the Bioshocks, etc.) and some were open world (Elder Scrolls, EVE Online, Privateer (and other "Be Han Solo!" type games). Also, I'm not sure that conflating story with "meaningful or interesting choices" is really accurate. Bioshock Infinite allowed for NO meaningful choices, but was still an incredibly engaging story. Oblivion allowed all sorts of meaningful choices, but the actual storyline was dull as dishwater.

It's fine to prefer one over another, or even outright hate one style of gameplay, but I don't think the continued existence of each is representative of any kind of crisis or problem in the game development community.
   29. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4422130)
Full disclosure.. my PS3 gets used as a Netflix/Blu-Ray/streaming videos from my computer machine far more than it is used as a video game machine.. with 3 kids under 5, video games just don't fit into my schedule very much anymore.

That said, I really tried to get into the MMO stuff back when Evercrack made it's debut on the PS2 way back when. After playing a few quests and having to rely on other people, I quickly got tired of the whole affair and it dawned on me way back when. I like my video games to be a solitary experience for the most part*. It's sort of a "me time" kind of thing and I don't want to involve a bunch of people I don't know. When I do play, I'd rather crank out a game or two of Madden against the AI for a little while and not have to worry about playing some chump (who would invariably kick my ass because I am terrible at it right now) who might quit if the score gets too close.

Plus, I always hated working groups;

* Don't get me wrong, my buddies and I used to have a blast with the fantasy tournament stuff on Madden in the PS1 days. Get 8 guys together, draft teams, and play it out until the end. Freaking awesome. Back then we had to be in the same room to do it and I think that was part of the fun.
** Tetris 64 (or whatever it was) on the N64 was one of the most fun multi-player games ever. My bff's parents had a big screen back then and the 4 player mode was fantastic on that TV (even though the TV was really awful in retrospect, at least compared to our fancy TVs now)
   30. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4422152)
I hadn't played games in a couple of years

Well clearly you are singularly suited to dictating how games should be developed then.
   31. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4422158)
I'm an RPG fan and I'm generally sympathetic to this disdain for open-world games. In many respects the Elder Scrolls games have done a very good job of modeling large open worlds without making the gameplay too onerous thanks to their generous fast travel system, but it does tend to unfocus gameplay and narrative when the designers have to populate their huge open worlds with various events and locations of interest in order to make the fast travel viable. Compared to less forgiving open worlds like the old Gothic series it's a nice attempt to mitigate the issues inherent in the format, but I don't know that I find vanilla Skyrim more enjoyable to play than more linear, restricted RPGs like the Witcher series.

So of course the next Witcher game is moving to an open world design. Sigh.

Ooh they are making a new Witcher game. Hadn't heard that yet. *drools*

Also the first Gothic game was a marvel. I will not hear it besmirched.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4422170)
Story is the enemy of gameplay. Games can have a focus but they should not tell a story, because then you don't have a game, you have a semi-interactive movie.


I'm with you on that. I don't mind a "story" to progress the missions along, but when it becomes more than that, in that you actually have to bother to pay attention to the story, then it's just a waste of time.


   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4422185)
As an avid runner but not so avid groomer, it's not unusual for one of my toenails to get a little long and cut into one of my other toes during a run. So when I'm changing afterwards, I will take my shoe off and notice my sock is bloody even though I felt nothing during the activity itself. I just wash the sock. It never occurred to me that I was a hero and I should be send the sock off to a Hall of Fame somewhere.

I don't have any great love for Schilling, but comments like this mystify me. Are you winning marathons or Olympic gold medals with your bloody toes? Do your toes have 55 stitches in them when you're running, or require 3 hours of surgery afterwards? Then, no, your bloody sock ain't worth much.

I mean, Willis Reed gets pretty similar treatment and he scored 4 points in the game in question. Schilling threw 7 innings and held the Yankees to 1 run.
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4422197)
I tend to minimize fast travel in Skyrim. Destroys the suspension of disbelief, for me. What I am likely to do is to plot routes that take me past a number of objectives in an efficient manner. I will fast travel if I have one mission to wrap up and need to get to the origin point quickly (like Winterhold).

The thing that makes fast travel attractive, in fact, is the bane of the RPG open-world game: random encounters. If I didn't know that walking between cities inevitably means being dragged in to half a dozen fights, I would barely fast travel at all. (See The Bard's Tale for a similar phenomenon).

Story is the enemy of gameplay. Games can have a focus but they should not tell a story, because then you don't have a game, you have a semi-interactive movie.


But that's what I like. The more story the better, I say.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4422213)
When people are talking about story, they are talking about a very narrow game genres I have to imagine. There is no reason for a story in a fighting game(and yes I know they put one in everyone, but they are a waste and if they interfere with the pace of the game they are damaging) the best game of all time needs no story...I'm of course talking about Civilization. And even when first person shooters were coming out, the story was relatively unimportant. Doom or Duke didn't need a comprehensive story other than to set the story in motion. Heck even the mmorpgs didn't really have a story, as much as they had quests. The worst part of the entire Command and Conquer series was the cut scenes to deliver the story.

Now of course other genres need a story. I don't think a good horror game would work without a story. Obviously Leisure Suit Larry had to have a story etc... It really depends on the genre(and with so many crossover genres happening, stories of course become more important)
   36. Shredder Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4422221)
Story is the enemy of gameplay. Games can have a focus but they should not tell a story, because then you don't have a game, you have a semi-interactive movie.
I think it's a matter of personal preference. I love the Uncharted games, but those are basically movies with some game play involved to advance the story. I'm fine with that. Part of the fun for me is seeing where the story goes.
I like my video games to be a solitary experience for the most part*. It's sort of a "me time" kind of thing and I don't want to involve a bunch of people I don't know. When I do play, I'd rather crank out a game or two of Madden against the AI for a little while and not have to worry about playing some chump (who would invariably kick my ass because I am terrible at it right now) who might quit if the score gets too close.
The only game I've played online against others is Mario Kart for Wii, and it's mostly for this reason. I may lose, but I'm rewarded for doing OK against better players, and the game is over in a few minutes anyway. If I tried to play sports games or FPSs against other people, I'd get slaughtered because I simply don't have the time to devote to getting really good.

And frankly, for me video games are fun when they're both challenging, but also when I generally win. It might be more realistic to create a Road to the Show character in MLB13 who generally hits about 275/365/490, but it's a lot more fun to put up consistent seasons of 385/440/825. It's not realistic, but it's a lot more fun.
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4422227)
Ooh they are making a new Witcher game. Hadn't heard that yet. *drools*


Yep. Check it out.. The Witcher games are really curious beasts, some of the gameplay mechanics are utterly bizarre and for an RPG there's an uncharcateristic dearth of customization options for your character and his equipment, but the stuff the games get right it gets really right - the atmosphere, especially in towns (Elder Scrolls games are notorious for having cities with all sorts of grand architecture, populated by a dozen robotic maniquins). Since the Witcher games have used the PC as their primary platform they've also boasted outstanding graphics and haven't been as saddled by poor UI choices in order to comply with the gamepad kiddies. On the whole I like these games a lot so far, and if anyone can make a compelling open world RPG these days I think these guys can.


Also the first Gothic game was a marvel. I will not hear it besmirched
.

The first TWO Gothic games were great, but boy, they weren't shy about being games for serious RPG fans. No auto mapping, a really unintuitive combat system, and a complete lack of any sort of enemy scaling (which I hate, don't get me wrong) made these games very unfriendly to casual gamers. If you're an RPG lover like me they were great though, and I didn't mind the subpar graphics I had to endur to experience the world.

Gothic 3 and 4 are, as you know, worthless pieces of branded poo.

   38. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4422228)
It might be more realistic to create a Road to the Show character in MLB13 who generally hits about 275/365/490, but it's a lot more fun to put up consistent seasons of 385/400/825. It's not realistic, but it's a lot more fun.


And therein lies your problem, you think games are supposed to be fun. :)
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4422236)
Doom or Duke didn't need a comprehensive story other than to set the story in motion.


Which is why both were far, far inferior to Marathon, a FPS with a solid storyline that drew the player in.
   40. Swedish Chef Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4422243)
the best game of all time needs no story...I'm of course talking about Civilization.

One reason that it is so great is that you make your own story in it. Every time you get a different narrative, and there is a clear sense of an, if not remotely realistic, at least an explainable world where cause and effect is operating.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4422297)
Which is why both were far, far inferior to Marathon, a FPS with a solid storyline that drew the player in.


Which was more successful? (Is marathon the gamers version of Pavement?)

   42. The Good Face Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4422304)
(Is marathon the gamers version of Pavement?)


It was released for the Apple Macintosh back in 1994. So, yes, pretty much.
   43. Sonic Youk Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4422381)
How pathetic that baseball considers in noteworthy that a grossly overweight guy continued to pitch with some sort of abrasion on his leg.
this isn't what happened. Schilling didn't have an abrasion, he was bleeding from his ankle because he has experimental surgery on his foot. That's why it was a big deal that his sock was bloody.
   44. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4422468)
Yep. Check it out.. The Witcher games are really curious beasts, some of the gameplay mechanics are utterly bizarre and for an RPG there's an uncharcateristic dearth of customization options for your character and his equipment, but the stuff the games get right it gets really right - the atmosphere, especially in towns (Elder Scrolls games are notorious for having cities with all sorts of grand architecture, populated by a dozen robotic maniquins).

You're forgetting the ability to get sh!tfaced, and then hook up with anything that moves.

I still love Morrowind though. That game did factions better than any game I have ever played. And the levelling and crafting systems were both excellent and different.
   45. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4422541)
You're forgetting the ability to get sh!tfaced, and then hook up with anything that moves.


I miss the collectible cards for your conquests in the second game. I don't think they're coming back in the third game either :(

I still love Morrowind though.


I liked Morrowind's art direction more than anything else. Most western RPG games really cling tightly to the Tolkienesque archetypes, especially in architectural design, but Morrowind's weird organic structures were definitely a breath of fresh air. I'd absolutely love to see a return to Vvardenfell using a modern game engine.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4422546)
I liked Morrowind's art direction more than anything else. Most western RPG games really cling tightly to the Tolkienesque archetypes, especially in architectural design, but Morrowind's weird organic structures were definitely a breath of fresh air. I'd absolutely love to see a return to Vvardenfell using a modern game engine.


I keep hoping someone would pick up the Talislanta license and make a game based upon that universe. It is significantly varied terrain, species, looks and concepts from traditional fantasy that I think it would be a treat.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 22, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4422560)
Schilling didn't have an abrasion, he was bleeding from his ankle because he has experimental surgery on his foot.

Performance enhancing surgery.
   48. The Good Face Posted: April 22, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4422568)
I liked Morrowind's art direction more than anything else. Most western RPG games really cling tightly to the Tolkienesque archetypes, especially in architectural design, but Morrowind's weird organic structures were definitely a breath of fresh air. I'd absolutely love to see a return to Vvardenfell using a modern game engine.


Here you go.
   49. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4422596)
I liked Morrowind's art direction more than anything else. Most western RPG games really cling tightly to the Tolkienesque archetypes, especially in architectural design, but Morrowind's weird organic structures were definitely a breath of fresh air. I'd absolutely love to see a return to Vvardenfell using a modern game engine.

From what I've read of ESO, it's supposed to cover the whole of Tamriel.
   50. Select Storage Device Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4422670)
Most western RPG games really cling tightly to the Tolkienesque archetypes


*western fantasy RPGs

/takesoffjerkglasses

From what I've read of ESO, it's supposed to cover the whole of Tamriel.


Gah. This is still a dreadful idea. You might be able to assume that Bethesda (and subsidiaries) has better tools and the benefit of hindsight over Bioware, but this smells like a dud on arrival. If you can get some fun-canon over a three month span -- maybe worth it.

But, puke.
   51. Select Storage Device Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4422678)
The one big positive is that no matter how ESO ends up, there will be no problem going back to that universe/brand.

SW:TOR murdered the Old Republic series.
   52. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:45 PM (#4422741)
Which was more successful? (Is marathon the gamers version of Pavement?)


Marathon spawned the Halo series of games, whereas Doom spawned a movie nobody saw and Duke Nukem spawned the most famous piece of vaporware of all time, so I'd say the former.
   53. Select Storage Device Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4422798)
Marathon spawned the Halo series of games, whereas Doom spawned a movie nobody saw and Duke Nukem spawned the most famous piece of vaporware of all time, so I'd say the former.


/putsjerkglassesbackon

Marathon provided a collective where specific developers could evolve their skills in making the Halo franchise and bring console gaming to the multiplayer era. Doom set a standard for which a much larger part of the industry grew rich on. It's Beatles to Monkees.

And Duke Nukem: Forever actually saw the light of day -- as terrible as it was. It's not vaporware.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM (#4422851)
Marathon spawned the Halo series of games, whereas Doom spawned a movie nobody saw and Duke Nukem spawned the most famous piece of vaporware of all time, so I'd say the former.


I would say Doom was more successful. I don't remember any game called marathon. Saying it spawned Halo is like saying The Quarrymen spawned the Beetles, therefore they were more successful than Pink Floyd.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4422917)
Let's put together an RPG based on Cormac McCarthy novels.
   56. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4422972)
Let's put together an RPG based on Cormac McCarthy novels.


No fair! My character doesn't even have a name!
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:24 AM (#4423012)
Here you go.


Looks promising but I'm disappointed there doesn't seem to be any video of the mod in action. I remember a similar mod for Oblivion but it never really came to fruition. Still, the Elder Scrolls games are all about modding, both Oblivion and Skyrim were shiny, mediocre trudges out of the box, it took a good year for the mod community to really develop the games' potentials.

From what I've read of ESO, it's supposed to cover the whole of Tamriel.


Boy do I have zero interest in that. The first MMO that I give a damn about won't earn my business because of their IP, there's going to have to be a significant advance in game design and mechanics.
   58. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:32 AM (#4423015)
I liked Morrowind's art direction more than anything else. Most western RPG games really cling tightly to the Tolkienesque archetypes, especially in architectural design, but Morrowind's weird organic structures were definitely a breath of fresh air. I'd absolutely love to see a return to Vvardenfell using a modern game engine.


I get what you are saying and all, but the color palette for the game was awful. Just a ton of gray and brown, with dust storms! YAY!.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LRvMzEIpOmU/TVRyxIbw6jI/AAAAAAAAAcM/nUWMLkUt8gg/s1600/Morrowind+2011-02-10+17-32-29-45.jpg[/img]]And the models were a work in progress.

The game was good and all, but I like Skyrim a lot more - better engine, much better combat, much better graphics, don't care about either story. And the mods available will make the game into pretty much whatever you want.
   59. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:53 AM (#4423023)
   60. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:59 AM (#4423027)

And Duke Nukem: Forever actually saw the light of day -- as terrible as it was. It's not vaporware.


It was vaporware before it wasn't.

Saying it spawned Halo is like saying The Quarrymen spawned the Beetles, therefore they were more successful than Pink Floyd.


I'd argue that the Quarrymen were the Beatles under an earlier name, so yes. I mean, the same company made Marathon and Halo. Without the success of Marathon, Halo doesn't get made.
   61. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4423033)
Just a ton of gray and brown, with dust storms! YAY!.


A refreshing change from the 1001 variations on the English countryside that one gets from most fantasy games.
   62. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4424087)
Speaking of neglected games, Wheel of Time really fell through the cracks. A FPS with a manageable but diverse range of interesting spells, excellent inventory management (the bane of so many games--whothefuckever came up with a limit on what you can carry? Or, you have to cache items and come back to them? If I wanted realism, I'd be playing a game called Driving and Grocery Shopping), a great story. It was the best combination of RPG and FPS I've ever seen.

   63. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 07:19 AM (#4424174)
f I wanted realism, I'd be playing a game called Driving and Grocery Shopping


I find this amusing, because I'm the sort of player who will mod the #### out of Skyrim to make sure my character needs regular sleep, to stay hydrated, and to eat food (and cooked food, or risk food poisoning), and to also wear warm clothing to avoid hypothermia while disabling fast travel. I like my gigantic open worlds to be immersive, damnit. I might only get to play 4-5 games a year, but they're gonna get a lot of time put into them.

While we're talking about truly great games of the 1990s, System Shock 2 was better than Marathon. SHODAN > Durandal.
   64. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4424218)
The greatest video game ever made is Tetris. It doesn't have an open world or a story.
   65. Barnaby Jones Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4424258)
I prefer the Shenmue style of "get a job at the docks, buy food on your lunch break, go to the park to practice fighting moves you'll use twice, and be in bed by 11."
   66. The Good Face Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4424266)
I find this amusing, because I'm the sort of player who will mod the #### out of Skyrim to make sure my character needs regular sleep, to stay hydrated, and to eat food (and cooked food, or risk food poisoning), and to also wear warm clothing to avoid hypothermia while disabling fast travel. I like my gigantic open worlds to be immersive, damnit. I might only get to play 4-5 games a year, but they're gonna get a lot of time put into them.


Ugh. Old Man Murray dealt with this issue nigh on 15 years ago with their review of the first Everquest game; "Spent 15 hours trying to scrounge up enough money to buy a pair of shoes. Not content to eke out a miserable existence in my everyday life, now I'm doing it in a fantasy world. Except as a midget."
   67. Shredder Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4424282)
whothefuckever came up with a limit on what you can carry?
Evolution?
   68. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4424400)
I play Skyrim on the Xbox, so can't mod it, and even so I try to sleep at least once every 24 hours and eat regularly.
   69. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4424420)

I play Skyrim on the Xbox, so can't mod it, and even so I try to sleep at least once every 24 hours and eat regularly.


Don't want to sound all high and mighty and ####, but mods for the Elder Scrolls games have been very impressive. They really, really help the game. Huge content additions, minor tweaks such as house markers, massive graphics overhauls, glitch fixes, you name it.
   70. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4424428)
While we're talking about truly great games of the 1990s, System Shock 2 was better than Marathon. SHODAN > Durandal.


SS2 is still one of the best PC games ever made. It's sad to see how the once-promising FPS genre that was evolving with Half Life, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, and Thief, actually regressed over the subsequent decade or so.
   71. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4424479)
Don't want to sound all high and mighty and ####, but mods for the Elder Scrolls games have been very impressive. They really, really help the game. Huge content additions, minor tweaks such as house markers, massive graphics overhauls, glitch fixes, you name it.


Without the mods there's simply no way Skyrim is in any sense a great game. A great game engine perhaps, and even that's a stretch. It's only through modding that Skyrim reaches its potential, making the wooden combat model appropriately dynamic, populating the empty cities, and making the dragons finally worthy of respect. Seriously, the whole plot of the game revolves around the dragons being terrifying and neigh-unbeatable, thus necessitating the Dragonborn to save humanity, and yet the dragons in vanilla out-of-box Skyrim can be taken out by a few town guards. Nope, without mods Skyrim stinks. Similarly, any version of Skyrim without mods is crap. Sorry consolers.
   72. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4424497)
Without the mods there's simply no way Skyrim is in any sense a great game. A great game engine perhaps, and even that's a stretch. It's only through modding that Skyrim reaches its potential, making the wooden combat model appropriately dynamic, populating the empty cities, and making the dragons finally worthy of respect. Seriously, the whole plot of the game revolves around the dragons being terrifying and neigh-unbeatable, thus necessitating the Dragonborn to save humanity, and yet the dragons in vanilla out-of-box Skyrim can be taken out by a few town guards. Nope, without mods Skyrim stinks. Similarly, any version of Skyrim without mods is crap. Sorry consolers.


Vanilla Skyrim may not be the bestest game ever, but it is a long, long way from crap. It really boggle me that people think this way, you sound almost like someone who set the bar so insanely high that no game could ever fulfill it, and then anything done in the game that is not to your liking was done by the publishers specifically to spite you personally. It's a great game, that made noticeable improvements over Oblivion, and continues to improve with the continued mods and add-ons to the game. Skyrim's mainstream success brings money to the genre as a whole and will lead to better games in the future.
   73. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4424545)
Vanilla Skyrim may not be the bestest game ever, but it is a long, long way from crap.


Oh it isn't crap. It's stable, pretty enough, certainly ambitious. I loved the first two iterations of the "Gothic" RPG series but if you want to see crap just look at "Gothic 3". What out-of-the-box Skyrim is is the foundation for a great game. It isn't a great game by itself.

It really boggle me that people think this way, you sound almost like someone who set the bar so insanely high that no game could ever fulfill it, and then anything done in the game that is not to your liking was done by the publishers specifically to spite you personally.


Nah, I like RPGs and I'm well aware that some aspects of my person preferences aren't for everybody. At the same time though, I'm hardly alone in my opinions on Skyrim, as evidenced by the massive, thriving modding community which became so popular and essential to the full enjoyment of the game that it's fully integrated into the official Skyrim release through STEAM.

And just in terms of RPGs there are plenty of games I've really enjoyed over the years - the Witcher series, Neverwinter Nights, the first Dragon Age, Gothic 1 & 2, Deus Ex, to name a few. Sure I have high standards but I think anyone who truly enjoys anything has high standards, that's why you prefer watching MLB to high school ball, after all. With Skyrim we at least have this thriving robust modding community out there to really emphasize how much better and more interesting the game could be than if we were stuck with what Bethesda gave us.

It's a great game, that made noticeable improvements over Oblivion, and continues to improve with the continued mods and add-ons to the game.


It's a decent game out of the box, but the mods make it great. Oblivion was the same way, a decent game made much better by the modding community.
   74. smileyy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4424628)
[72/73] Even though you may end up hitting the same spot, its more disappointing to aim high and miss, than it is to aim lower and hit the target.

OTOH, if you have the cred, like Elder Scrolls (and other games do) it makes a lot of sense to release the game as soon as you have a platform that's playable. People will buy it, and people will keep buying it as it gets better after release.

Civ V had horrible gameplay without mods on release. Eventually Firaxis absorbed all those mods, and also released a greatly improved expansion.

Edit: this doesn't even have to be true of established AAA titles. I'm led to believe that Minecraft is only good because of mods. You just have to get your game in front of enough people for it to start being crowdsourced to success.
   75. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4424651)
#73 -

Well said, sorry if I came off too heavy, but you specifically said 'Without the mods there's simply no way Skyrim is in any sense a great game...Nope, without mods Skyrim stinks. Similarly, any version of Skyrim without mods is crap.'
   76. The Good Face Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4424652)
[72/73] Even though you may end up hitting the same spot, its more disappointing to aim high and miss, than it is to aim lower and hit the target.


True. If people are disappointed and/or enraged out of the gate, it's a lot less likely that your game manages to build up a decent modding community that can save it.

Edit: this doesn't even have to be true of established AAA titles. I'm led to believe that Minecraft is only good because of mods. You just have to get your game in front of enough people for it to start being crowdsourced to success.


The critical thing is to have a framework that people want to build off of. Minecraft or Mount & Blade are good examples of "games" that are barely deserving of the word, but each provided a unique framework that inspired people to fill in the empty spaces. It's harder to do that with A_Generic_Shooter.v.3477638.
   77. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4424723)
One thing I struggle with in playing massive, look-at-the-amazing-world kind of games is finding a balance between appreciating the accomplishment and having fun. The first time I remember making that distinction was GTA: San Andreas, which I think I've come to consider an extraordinary achievement but a less impressive game.

It's wonderful to create these extraordinary, detailed worlds with a sense of scale and enormity, but traversing them isn't always fun. And the games that fall short too often make the same mistake, which is requiring players to trek and trek and trek and then provide them with no relief should they die in the obligatory in the obligatory mission. That was what annoyed me about San Andreas: a difficult mission paired with a lengthy drive, and no way to skip the latter if you don't initially succeed at the former.

By contrast, I think the Fallout series (well, 3 and New Vegas, which are the ones I've played) does a good job of creating a huge world for you to explore while also making it a little less tedious. Your initial quests are all well-spaced, so you have a bit of a hike between story missions, but not a truly dispiriting one. And the ability to fast travel between discovered locations really eliminates a lot of frustration.
   78. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4424750)
Sure I have high standards but I think anyone who truly enjoys anything has high standards, that's why you prefer watching MLB to high school ball, after all


Reminds me of this.

Anyway, if Skyrim had no cities, no people, no monsters, no missions, no items, no powers, and all you could do is walk around, it would be worth every penny of its retail price for me.
   79. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4424770)
Reminds me of this.


Seriously though, anyone who hasn't lost a weekend while taking in the awesomeness of Canadian Surrealist porn hasn't lived.
   80. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4425068)
Well said, sorry if I came off too heavy, but you specifically said 'Without the mods there's simply no way Skyrim is in any sense a great game...Nope, without mods Skyrim stinks. Similarly, any version of Skyrim without mods is crap.'


Fair enough. I stand by my contradictory statements - Skyrim without mods is only the framework of a good game, but not a good game in itself. There's so much wrong, missing, or simply broken in its mechanics and gameplay (yes, you too can become the greatest blacksmith in all the land by grinding out 1000 iron daggers) that I wouldn't see any reason to play it over a dozen other RPGs. Are shiny graphics really that overwhelmingly important? Not to me. And frankly, the graphics in Skyrim could have stood a fair deal of improvement as it was, given the huge number of improvements offered through the mods, to say nothing of fixing the awful user interface. I dunno, having played the original version at launch and then later experiencing it in all its modded grandeur I don't see any circumstance in which I'd want to return to the very dull vanilla pudding Bethesda foisted off on me initially.
   81. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4425077)
Minecraft is truly great even without mods, but the modpacks do make things more fun and adds a lot to the game.

Minecraft or Mount & Blade are good examples of "games" that are barely deserving of the word, but each provided a unique framework that inspired people to fill in the empty spaces. It's harder to do that with A_Generic_Shooter.v.3477638.


It should also be noted that Minecraft and Mount & Blade were both released as Alphas to the public, which resulted in both income to the studio from people pre-ordering the finished version and which allowed years long word of mouth campaigns to stoke interest in the game before their actual "release." And each had some mechanics that simply weren't available anywhere else- I'm still stunned no game has ever come close to the quality of mounted combat in the very earliest versions of M&B.

eta:
It's sad to see how the once-promising FPS genre that was evolving with Half Life, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, and Thief, actually regressed over the subsequent decade or so.


Yeah, this seems entirely true to me.
   82. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4425081)
Man, the system really doesn't want me to edit my typo in 77.
   83. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4425085)
Man, the system really doesn't want me to edit my typo in 77.


You only have about 10-20 minutes to do an edit.
   84. smileyy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4425089)
It should also be noted that Minecraft and Mount & Blade were both released as Alphas to the public, which resulted in both income to the studio from people pre-ordering the finished version and which allowed years long word of mouth campaigns to stoke interest in the game before their actual "release.


Ah. That's how non-established games do early releases.
   85. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:41 PM (#4425232)
While we're talking about truly great games of the 1990s, System Shock 2 was better than Marathon. SHODAN > Durandal.

SS2 is still one of the best PC games ever made. It's sad to see how the once-promising FPS genre that was evolving with Half Life, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, and Thief, actually regressed over the subsequent decade or so.

Agree wrt Deus Ex,SS2, and HL. Thief I found disappointing, and after a couple of subsequent games that also never got the stealth right, I've given up on those kinds of games. Still, it seems odd that Deus Ex and SS2 and HL (the latter a rather different kind of game) represent the peak of FPS rather than an excellent starting point.

I suppose Far Cry is a solid example of what you can do with graphics that engines simply couldn't manage as of the late 1990s and 2000. I don't think the first Max Payne, a splendid game, advanced on the graphics of the big three, but the story was novel at the time, and engagingly executed. It's a worthy successor to some of the best games of the last millenium.

It's sad, though, when a game a badly made and as falsely advertised as TTG's The Walking Dead is heralded simply because it tells an involving story. You'd think that would be the minimum requirement, not some sort of peak.
   86. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4425292)
I suppose Far Cry is a solid example of what you can do with graphics that engines simply couldn't manage as of the late 1990s and 2000.


I assume you mean Far Cry 3, as the early two iterations were nothing special as I recall. I haven't played FC3 all that much but it does have some impressive technology and a novel (if nonsensical) crafting system that encourages exploration. I don't know exactly what aspects of the game you think couldn't be achieved in 2000 though; I think the first Far Cry came out around then and had the same sort of wide-open far-sight maps where you could spy a specific rock on the far side of the island and end up standing on that same rock after trekking for an hour or so.

[EDIT: Hmmm, Far Cry came out in 2004, shut my mouth]

I don't think the first Max Payne, a splendid game, advanced on the graphics of the big three, but the story was novel at the time, and engagingly executed. It's a worthy successor to some of the best games of the last millenium.


I enjoyed the hell out of Max Payne when it came out, but from my recollection the only really interesting new facet it incorporated as an FPS was a robust integrated physics system. The fact that you could throw a grenade into a pack of baddies a dozen times and get a dozen slightly different results and degrees of mayhem was incredibly cool. I still think physics effects are underutilized in games today - why Skyrim, for all its glamour, really doesn't do anything that Max Payne didn't do a decade ago in that regard. Where are my destructable environments and physics-based combat models? Stowed away with my robust advanced AI, I assume.
   87. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4425340)
The fact that you could throw a grenade into a pack of baddies a dozen times and get a dozen slightly different results and degrees of mayhem was incredibly cool.


Yes. Iirc this was a very big deal at the time and presaged a number of advances that... oh. Well, it was a big deal and should have led to all kinds of interesting effects. Hell, the AI in the first Half-Life was better than many games out now. I can still remember those sobs dropping on ropes from choppers. Startled the shite out of me.

As for AI, it's not all that hard to write decent game AI in Basic, fer chrissakes. Don't know what the problem is for some games.

The second Max Payne was disappointing, but was still a pretty good game. Did you give it a try? No idea why they thought they had to make it more like ever other game, though. Plus, I HATE with the heat of a thousand suns those games where you have to keep someone with crappy AI alive, especially when a timing system is involved. And don't get me started on games without Saves wherever you want.

Pretty sure the open world gameplay and AI in the first Far Cry hasn't been topped. You were forced to go from place to place just enough to keep it interesting and keep it from turning into a wander, and the occasionally baddy along the way between major points was enough to keep the tension high. Still, if I hadn't downloaded a cheat off the 'net that left me save whenever I wanted I wouldn't have made it through.

Have you played the third Deus Ex? The second was a horror. Well, it was, compared to the first.
   88. Swedish Chef Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:17 AM (#4425361)
If a shooter had opponents behaving anything close to intelligently, the player character would be killed all the time. Actually, making such a shooter would be a neat idea for an art project. It could end with two villains standing over the hero's body and discussing the insanity of taking on hundreds single-handedly.
   89. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4425364)
If a shooter had opponents behaving anything close to intelligently, the player character would be killed all the time.


So... how does anyone ever survive a war?

In fact, why do most soldiers survive wars?
   90. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 03:14 AM (#4425365)
Oh come on. FPS constantly have the player killing hundreds if not thousands of enemies all on their lonesome as a one man army. Even given the fact that the player has stronger shields/greater health than the computer enemies, there's no way what Swedish Chef said isn't true. The reason people survive in real combat is because you're working as part of a combined unit, and for the most part you're sending a ton of lead downrange to kill people while staying in very solid cover as often as possible yourself, AND you can run away/withdraw unlike enemies in FPS who are there as virtual targets so tween boys can go "awesome!" at the gouts of blood they get from constant headshots. Seriously, that was a dumb comment, Jack Carter.

I was just playing Bioshock Infinite* and if the enemies had any brains at all, they'd stop standing out in the open where I can snipe them from half the area away. Friggin' awful AI.

*Now THERE'S a game that proves the thesis that the FPS genre peaked in the late 1990s, it could have been an incredible game but for being tied down to bog standard FPS mechanics which pretends "difficulty" is achieved by throwing larger and larger waves of the same gormless mooks you've been thrashing for hours at you and totally undercuts the narrative momentum of it's own story by forcing you to play through those shooting galleries to advance the plot, especially when your character is ####### immortal anyways and dying just means a loss of some cash. ####### waste of money, ####### waste of talent, and ####### pathetic on the part of the gaming industry that this is considered a high water mark of the genre.

ETA: I enjoyed Deus Ex: Human Revolution because except for the idiotic boss fights, I didn't have to kill a single person. And so I didn't.
   91. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 25, 2013 at 03:38 AM (#4425369)
Oh come on. FPS constantly have the player killing hundreds if not thousands of enemies all on their lonesome as a one man army.


Have you ever played any of the Dynasty Warriors games? I love how there are armies of hundreds of people fighting each other, but they're all basically waiting for the player to roll up and kill the entire opposing army single-handed.
   92. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 07:37 AM (#4425380)

Fair enough. I stand by my contradictory statements - Skyrim without mods is only the framework of a good game, but not a good game in itself. There's so much wrong, missing, or simply broken in its mechanics and gameplay (yes, you too can become the greatest blacksmith in all the land by grinding out 1000 iron daggers)


I'll agree there are some less than stellar game play mechanics, although I don't consider grinding to be one. You can grind in any game that levels up skills.

that I wouldn't see any reason to play it over a dozen other RPGs.


Name them please - I have been looking for something else to play, and I am curious as to the copious amounts of games I am missing. And before you start, I am assuming you are talking about games from the past 5 years or so, because no matter how good something was in 2000 it just doesn't make the grade today.

Are shiny graphics really that overwhelmingly important? Not to me. And frankly, the graphics in Skyrim could have stood a fair deal of improvement as it was, given the huge number of improvements offered through the mods,


Not everyone has a fast computer that can handle top end graphics. Games have to be made with at least a nod to the lowest common denominator.

to say nothing of fixing the awful user interface.


A result of making the game for consoles. It's not ideal, I agree. I understand it, but I don't like it.

I dunno, having played the original version at launch and then later experiencing it in all its modded grandeur I don't see any circumstance in which I'd want to return to the very dull vanilla pudding Bethesda foisted off on me initially.


Just because the modded version is better does not mean the original was bad. It remains top of the list for fantasy RPG's.
   93. The Good Face Posted: April 25, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4425412)
And each had some mechanics that simply weren't available anywhere else- I'm still stunned no game has ever come close to the quality of mounted combat in the very earliest versions of M&B.


Truer words were never spoken. The first time I led a mounted charge in M&B and watched the lances dip as my men and I couched them, I think I peed myself a bit. Yeah, it's not exactly historically accurate (warhorses are not tractors and cannot be treated as such), but it provided an incredible gaming experience that nobody else has even tried to replicate, despite it having been 5 years now since release.
   94. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4425422)
Name them please - I have been looking for something else to play, and I am curious as to the copious amounts of games I am missing. And before you start, I am assuming you are talking about games from the past 5 years or so, because no matter how good something was in 2000 it just doesn't make the grade today.


The Witcher series is a great start. Witcher 1 has a really weird combat system that I developed a love/hate relationship with - you build combinations by timing your attack clicks to flashing cues, which worked pretty well but you end up focusing intently on your cursor and missing all the actual action and combat animations, with vexed the hell out of me. It's also fairly unforgiving compared to the Elder Scrolls games, no auto-leveling world here so be careful out there. You can famously seduce a few dozen wenches throughout the game which I actually found a fun little diversion, you're rewarded a "collectors card" for each one bedded. The game world is refreshingly mature and harsh, with a significant amount if racism on open display. If your mother really does suck dwarf ####, you'll need a thick skin.

Witcher 2 is, visually, one of the more striking games for the PC, you can find some impressive gameplay videos online. The wench-schtupping game is gone but so is the weird combat system, which is probably a net positive. Combat can get pretty intense and it's a dynamic thing to watch. No RPG has successfully risen to the level of the combat in the Arkham Asylum/City games, but Witcher is on the right track. I actually haven't finished this yet as I was planning on building a new system this year and wanted to play it through in all it's graphical splendor - my current system was built in 2007(!!) with the more recent addition of a new graphic card and some RAM, it plays everything but games like Witcher 2 and Total War Shogun 2 can make it chug when things get heated.

As for games from 2000 not being up to snuff, I think you're wrong - System Shock 2 is available on GOG with texture mods and other improvements, and that game still holds up exceedingly well. If you've never played it you really should, it's just a few bucks now,

Speaking of modded older RPGs, have you ever played Vampire: The Masquerade? It was the first Source engine game to market, even beating Half Life 2, and it was a buggy unplayable mess on launch. The core of a really cool, novel RPG was in there though, so in the past 9 or so years a very dedicated fan community has released some 80(!!) patches to squash bugs, unlock hidden content, and tweak the game in a dozen generally wonderful ways. if you get tired of elves and wizards and dragons and whatnot, you can't go wrong with picking this up for a few bucks and playing it through as one of 8 types of vampire.
   95. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4425443)
my current system was built in 2007(!!) with the more recent addition of a new graphic card and some RAM, it plays everything but games like Witcher 2 and Total War Shogun 2 can make it chug when things get heated.


Heh, I hear you there. My last build was 2008, I've upgraded the GPU and added a SSD as a boot drive/select program drive (a fantastic add well worth the money) and even though I hit at least 90% of the max settings for everything I play I have recently started to get the new build itch.

I have heard good things about the Witcher series - but every time I go to get it a new 'legacy' game catches my eye - Civ, Elder Scrolls, HOMM. Lately it's been Guild Wars 2 and League of Legends (completely free - gotta love that).

Heard of Vampire from previous threads here but never played it.
   96. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4425536)
Name them please - I have been looking for something else to play, and I am curious as to the copious amounts of games I am missing. And before you start, I am assuming you are talking about games from the past 5 years or so, because no matter how good something was in 2000 it just doesn't make the grade today.


I agree with YR that old games can still be very, very good. System Shock 2 would be very high on my list of games that any fan of Sci-fi should play. Likewise, Planescape: Torment and the original Fallouts are still very fun, very impressive games. Likewise, I'm not sure if they've made better RPG/Strategy titles than Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. And if you haven't played Knights of the Old Republic and have any favorable feeling towards Star Wars, it's definitely worth your time. All of those are games that are over a decade old (a decade and a half in some cases) and that still hold up incredibly well in every way other than graphics. Excellent, deep stories with very strong game mechanics.

For fairly recent RPGs, I guess it depends on how you define RPG. If you're looking for a fantasy RPG you should definitely play Dragon's Age: Origins. It's excellent. If you're looking for a sci-fi RPG, play the Mass Effect trilogy. Mass Effect is one of the most fully realized fictional worlds ever put into a video game. Beyond that, the modern Fallouts (3 and New Vegas) are very good, as is Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

I can't speak to the Witcher games, they never really struck my fancy and I couldn't get past the fact that once I got to town every single female model looked like a pin-up centerfold. That's also a problem with Planescape: Torment, but the graphics are poor enough that it's harder to make out when you're not looking at the character menus.
   97. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4425537)
Oh I'm definitely getting an SSD drive for my next build. Those Total War games, which I absolutely love and provide a tactical gaming experience unlike anything else I've found in the last decade, are just huge and battles take forever to load, literally on the order of several minutes to load the combat engine. You can lose a lot of enthusiasm in 3 minutes.

RPGs can be pretty time-intensive so I can understand not being able to fit a completely new one into your rotation. Still, next time Steam has a big sale you definitely should check out Witcher, it's a really interesting game with some long-overdue interpretations of western fantasy RPG tropes. Hell, I'll gift it to you if you're on the fence, for $20 I'll get in the good graces of the gaming gods, I need all the help I can get.

The Vampire game is actually pretty great, it has a stealth model that's reasonably worthwhile (which is handy because some vampires, like members of the hideous Nosferatu Clan, simply can't be seen by humans without causing chaos and penalties), good dialogue options influenced by your character traits, and some very clever mission designs. The feeding requirement creates a sense of pervasive motivation that added to the flow i thought, and the models and textures are decent or better once modded. The combat is a weakness for me, both brawling and firearms were unsatisfying IMO but overall this was a very ambitious game that deserves attention from RPG fans.

   98. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4425546)
And if you haven't played Knights of the Old Republic and have any favorable feeling towards Star Wars, it's definitely worth your time.


The first one. The second one was a big disappointment for me. I liked the first one a heap though, despite some pretty stupid design decisions, like making my light saber just another stick that I had to beat enemies with a dozen times to subdue them. I wanted limb-hewing gore dammit!

I still want to play Pazaak at a casino.

If you're looking for a fantasy RPG you should definitely play Dragon's Age: Origins. It's excellent.


The first one. I don't know what the hell they we're thinking with the second one.

It's excellent. If you're looking for a sci-fi RPG, play the Mass Effect trilogy. Mass Effect is one of the most fully realized fictional worlds ever put into a video game.


I loved everything about Mass Effect except the game ;) you're so right that the game world and the lore are top-notch through.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


This game was a blast, excusing the stupid boss fight decisions. Lots of options for how you want to play, good backstory, I don't mind the hub-based level design since everything loaded quickly. A decent successor to the original, as the second version referenced earlier was indeed an abomination.
   99. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4425553)
The first Dragon Age is certainly up there high on the list for me, I really enjoyed it. It doesn't really have the time wasting aspect (which I enjoy) that you can get in other games, where you look up and it's midnight and you realize you haven't progressed the actual storyline all that much, but it has decent replayability with the different classes.

FF Tactics and Tactics Ogre were fun, but they have hit that point where I can't really invest more than a nostalgic weekend in them any more.

Anyone played the old Romance of the 3 Kingdom games for the SNES? I played the 3rd one I think way more than it was worth - just a whole bunch of micromanagement and eventual buildup to some serious AI crushing.
   100. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4425562)
Never managed to beat the final boss in Dragon Age: Origins -- is there some key I'm missing out on?

I just finished Dishonored and liked it.
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