Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

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Argh
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Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Argh »

For the TL:DNR crowd: Console video game development makes more business sense than development for the PC market, because the PC gaming market is completely irrational and has destroyed itself.

**************************************************

For the two people who actually read stuff around here:

Developing for a console makes perfect business sense. Developing for the PC market is very scary, by comparison:

1. With a console, you know your hardware, period. You know, as a developer, what it can and cannot do. With PCs, it's a complete guessing game- Crysis's developers got it wrong, just like they got it wrong before. Their previous game was well-nigh unplayable on typical rigs when it was delivered, or did everybody forget that? I blame the developers for that mistake- the guys working on the CryEngine didn't spend nearly enough time optimizing for slower machines, and gee, the market responded. Bioshock's PC version, on the other hand, plays nicely on my aging rig, albeit with settings turned lower than I'd prefer. Was developed for a console first. Go figure.

2. Consoles are not ruled by the whim of a giant monopoly which doesn't seem to care about video game sales.

Microsoft shafted the PC market in multiple ways over the last two years (for the third time- remember DirectX 3, or the switch between 5 and 6?).

First they screwed everybody developing in OpenGL, by dropping good support for it from Vista, then they screwed DirectX devs, by making DirectX 10 almost wholly incompatible with an approach designed to support XP users as well as Vista users, from everything I've read. Both choices vastly altered the playing field, and not in a way that benefited anybody in the PC development world. I really, really wonder who Microsoft thought was benefitting- maybe their own game publishing arm?

Hmm... but they don't seem to be pushing out many games for PCs these days. I swear, Microsoft's executives must have fallen asleep at the wheel, especially after promising everybody that Vista would be awesome for gaming :P

3. Budgets for games keep skyrocketing upwards, and consoles are a much safer bet, because you know how much a disc will hold... and you know that you're losing few sales to piracy, so you can do some pretty simple math against projected sales for a given genre, and budget accordingly. Assuming your game doesn't stink on ice, of course.

I think that the budgetary issues are making less and less sense, honestly. I honestly think that the Industry needs to learn how to do things cheaper, and that there needs to be a lot more focus on how to get content made (the biggest single area of cost, other than marketing, usually) at a reasonable cost. A game like Freelancer does not look that much worse than X3, and X3's present successors-in-development don't look that much better than X3.

Of course, so far as I can tell from screens, the successors are all being fairly wise, and are just trying to match X3's visuals, instead of looking a lot better... and probably saving a lot of money. Maybe they're learning. More likely, they're all operating on a shoestring budget, and if their games don't sell, they'll go bankrupt.

I think a lot of that is plain human stupidity. As the requirements for new visuals keep getting harder to reach, we're entering yet-another period where developers are paying more attention to reaching the desired visual result, and a lot less attention to usability by the artists. I've read a lot about the current state-of-the-art production process for a typical game's art nowadays, and meh... give me .S3O. Who wants to have to hack up normal maps, spec maps, shader maps, glow maps, etc., oftentimes in multiple documents, with some special command-line tool used at the end, where you just hope that it looks good?

Moreover, we're in a monopoly situation, right now- if you want to join this workflow, then you must be using Zbrush- no ifs, ands, or buts. Lack of competition is a terrible thing. Zbrush is a cool tool, but it's a very, very expensive tool, and it is designed for professionals who just want to use it, and nothing else- it's a lot more proprietary-feeling than Photoshop ever was. And nobody is competing with them, so it's staying that way.

Modeling at the low end, thanks to players like Blender and Wings, has finally become something rational again, although, having seen that happen once before (in the 3D-renderers-for-2D-sprites game arena) I'm not exactly holding my breath, and hoping this situation continues to improve.

I think that the day when we finally hit "photoreal-enough" and then people start making the process and the tools less painful cannot get here too soon, but it's probably at least a couple of decades out.

I do think that it's incredibly sad that, whereas for sprite-based games I used to be able to literally just paint a guy's animations, or at most rig up a character, animate, render, and clean up and it maybe took a week, now for a first-person shooter, we're talking at least a month, when you factor in all the time rigging, animating, tweaking various textures, making the LODs... and probably longer. Whereas, with Spring, I can go from "idea" to "working" in about 8 hours.

HL 2 didn't have a relatively sparse number of character models because VaLvE wanted it that way- it had to have been mainly an issue of cost. I thought that Oblivion's character engine, which has identical rigging and stock human figures with mesh-tweaked faces was a wonderful concept, but it doesn't look like it's being used a lot elsewhere, and so the costs continue to be a major issue. Yeah, yeah, I know, pro artists are leet and super-fast, but there's a huge difference between their speed runs, doing some random-ass gun model, and doing a fully-articulated character model with a bazillion different issues to deal with.

Static content is of course another problem- there, the issue is mainly that the 3D art market is totally screwy, due to copyright issues and yet more human stupidity. If you want a billion-poly photoreal object, great, it's available at a reasonable price... if you want a low-poly mesh with normalmaps, then you're probably in trouble unless you want to contract it. I would love to offer to change that, by opening a market for, let's call it, "mid-poly" work, but I think it'd fail miserably and I'd rather waste time making stuff for Spring, which I actually play...

In short, because console hardware specs are more limited, content costs can be controlled better. I think this is mainly the fault of the publishers behaving irrationally. See "how to get out", below.

4. Consoles usually arrive with very good developer support.

PCs running Windows? Um, see part 2. MS is "helpful", but yet they may or may not be planning to screw you over in a year. Whereas, with a console, even one owned by MS, they cannot do that, or they'd be abandoned by developers and become Sony ;)

Linux? GTFO! It's Balkanized mayhem... I think it's completely bloody amazing that as many people can get Spring to compile and run as they can, and even play with other folks... but if I had to bet my five-million-dollar budget, no way in hell I'd bother. Maybe after everything else was done. Pretty much like Macs, that way. Sorry, Linux and Mac people. It's not your fault. It's the Linux core people, for encouraging rampant Balkanization, and the Mac people, for not figuring out how to compete with MS. Sucks. I really miss my old Mac, sometimes, but I wasn't about to spend $3500 for a computer again, just to stay reasonably current for a year...

5. Consoles have standardized and simple control schemas. Simple controls? Well, gee, that means we can only make certain choices about how UI works. That's terrible... ooh, it means that these things can be delivered to developers as standard stuff, among other things.

And it keeps costs down, just like the standardized hardware does. "No need for 5 LODs, artists- we know that this console will not handle giant draw distances gracefully at the detail levels we want, so... just do two, for 'fairly close' and 'really close', and we'll have the level designers compensate". Or do like the original Resident Evil, and cheat like mad ;)



I think that the future of PC games that people pay for is incredibly grim, frankly. Piracy is a real issue, not minor, but the rest of the above is also a reason for pessimism.

How to get out?

This is my take on the subject. I've read various gurus' opinions on this topic, but I personally think that most of them are hoping for stuff that doesn't make a lot of sense, such as a thriving indie-game market. So far as I can see, the indie-game market is mainly guys who barely make any money after lots of work, like I did with Silent Dark... not a real solution, imo.

1. PC developers should quit trying to develop for "tomorrow's hardware", they should develop for "midnight tonight". Which means, quit developing with a 3-year horizon, develop a year ahead, tops, with a deadline for Gold of less than two years, this is reasonable.

Don't expect too much, the hardware situation is likely to continue to jump and swerve at random for years, if not decades, to come. Freelancer looked "old" when it arrived, and had it not gone waaaaaaaaay over budget, it would have made money for the publisher (I couldn't find sales figures, I just tried, but I've always heard from the FL modding scene vets that it maybe broke even- but they went through three budgets and a lot of reorganization, and basically rebuilt the game, at least twice... you can do the math).

"Midnight tonight" content looks a lot different from "tomorrow". Game critics will whine and howl, because they're stupid, spoiled brats about graphics. "OMG, it looks like it was released last year", they'll whine.

Players, on the other hand, will be OK, I suspect. Why? Because, these days, "Midnight Tonight" looks fabulous! We're not in the early 1990's any more- being one step behind the bleeding edge isn't a horrible idea. Dawn of War still doesn't look like crap, next to Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, even though it's a much older game engine.

So, why not have a game that plays great on middle-of-the-road hardware? Cheaper, easier, and faster to develop, too...

2. Game publishers should figure out that it's not in their best interests to have everybody writing their own game engines from scratch.

They should grab the people developing engines like OGRE, tell them to keep releasing stuff under an OSS license, then use the resulting engines. Pay them a good salary, have meetings to decide what the engine's specs should be, but quit shelling out money to every house they sign, if they want to go on reinventing the wheel.

Game engines should just be a toolbox, that are well understood, have standard components, and aren't rocket-science. To put this another way... all this time, the game publishers have been like movie studios, except they were not only betting on the creative vision of their people, but also on the type of film they'd invent to depict the show. That's stupid. Consoles are the logical response to that, but surely it could be done with PC games, too. Instead, it looks like the publishers are just vulture-like, feasting when a good OSS engine arrives, or consigning it to indie dev if it's not super-hot. Stupid.

It'd be better to have one engine, with a lot of plug-in modularity. Spring could be that engine, if we could get the rendering / model-format stuff sorted out, I think. In every way but the game code's tie-ins with the renderer, Spring's almost there, in terms of modularity, imo. Get rid of that problem, and hey presto... you can gut the game code, and keep the renderer. Or vice-versa. Or modify both a bit (say, we want to make Freelancer II, let's not bother having maps, write new code for flying around, use LUA for the UI...).

3. Game publishers should create a rational market for art content. This follows naturally from having an OSS standardized game engine sitting around, because content specifications (file formats, etc.) could calm down a lot.

Instead of hiring giant teams of Chinese artists (or wherever is cheap today) they should just figure out a legal formula that will allow them to get what they want and keep it theirs (exclusivity), hire concept people to explain what they need, and bid on a big market. They'd win on price and quality, I think. The way they're doing it right now seems awfully inefficient, when if they just wanted to pick up 50 trees, they could say, "hey, we want 50 trees, here are our concepts, you have one week, GO", and watch 500 trees show up... or just buy from the 450 trees that were made last week...

4. Video game developers should form a union. Seriously! A union, just like the Writer's Union, etc. Make it international (yeah, I know, legal mess, but whatever, it can be done, dammit). Call it the "Digital Creator's Union" or something catchy like that.

It'd force the publishers to start thinking about behaving like rational economic partners in a creative endeavor, instead of rigging the entire game about cost at the developer end. Which is how things have been going, as costs spiral. Instead of trying to limit what they want to do, they're just trying to find who's going to do it cheapest today, and while that makes economic sense in the short run, I think it's been a terrible plan over the longer term.

The best way that the developers could cure this, and wake the publishers up to the mess they have been creating... is to organize. Although many of the publishers does a lot of the work in the Second World, they rely on people, many in academia, in the First World, to provide them with the tools they need. So both Second World and First World folks could benefit.

5. Ask Google to finally get done with its long-rumored OS project... with a few details in place that would benefit them as a whole. Most of the glorious days of PC video games occurred during a period when MS wasn't entirely ruling the Earth.

Maybe they'll start behaving like a rational company again if they see a real threat to their competitive edge- Linux caused them to build 2000 and XP, then Linux collectively blew it by disintegrating into little worlds of customization. I used to think OS X might get Apple back into the game, until I saw just how awful the early versions were, and how little Apple seemed to care about people like me, who did not want the damn OS so full of eye-candy, and so hard to work around. Maybe Google will do a better job, putting out a free (with sponsored links and constant spying, heh) OS that doesn't suck.

6. Come up with a format that's not readily pirateable, for the PC. Oh, wait... this has been pretty much solved, given that most of the market for games consists of people with Internet connections now.

I mean... come ON. DVDs were a stupid idea, because they cannot be changed. Hackers breaking the stuff in Vista was, erm, expected, I would have been disappointed if they hadn't done so promptly.

Steam, on the other hand, works pretty well. When I read about Chris T's piracy whining, I thought, "man, sell on Steam foo". Ok, you cannot protect games that are single-player only very well, with Steam. Meh, that's a tradeoff, maybe single-player games can only be console titles, or niche markets where piracy ain't so bad. OK. But multiplayer games are fine- you wanna play, you have to have paid.

Anyhow, those are my thoughts about all of this. I get tired of reading about these issues, and watching people just chase the same old arguments around...
Last edited by Argh on 28 Feb 2008, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Dragon45
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Dragon45 »

wall of text


sounds like you need moar econ studies
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Machiosabre
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Machiosabre »

I can't believe you wrote all of that, what's wrong with you?
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Comp1337
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Comp1337 »

I cant believe i fucking read it
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Argh
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Argh »

You wanted haiku, instead? ;)

PC comp games are
Not designed by rational
Economic means

As for the "moar econ"... let's see your analysis, bucko, you obviously didn't read it very carefully- I think I covered the salient points about where costs have been occurring, and why, fairly well. Solutions, mind ye, aren't easy, but saying "moar econ" implies that you've got a magic crystal ball, showing why the Wii worked this time, when the fact of the matter is, that it wasn't something you could prove ahead of time via any economic means. A "great product" is a subjective valuation.

All econ shows you is what happened. It does not show you why, in this case. "Past results do not guarantee future performance" rules here- if the market for PC games behaved that way, it'd be trouncing consoles still, like it was in the 1990s.

The console market eclipsed the PC market in sales years ago. It outsells PC titles by an enormous margin. These are facts.

My analysis is that the factors that made this occur were not inevitable socioeconomic factors, nor simply that the design and business advantages of the console platform are overwhelming, but were the result of a lot of bad choices, many of them by the development houses as well as the publishers.

People who want to play games on their PCs whine and moan all the time, about how games like Wing Commander just don't seem to get made any more, etc., but nobody seems to understand why. I offered my analysis of what went wrong, and some wild ideas to fix it. I'm not even claiming they're good ideas. Just different from most of what I've read elsewhere, and based on the premise that the main problems are that people behaved irrationally, and the market responded in the way you'd expect.
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Zpock »

Solution: all the "business" and "industry" moves on to consoles where they think they can make more money. Why does it matter if hundreds of crappy PC games are not mass produced with the elegant business model used by for example LICHOs employer? A few hardcore companies like blizzard, and stardock stay with the PC and make awesome games. Other's who also wants to make worthwhile games such as "wing commander" go with the opensource model. Spring has alredy proved it can be done as well as it's superiority to crap like supcom, cnc3, and it's only the beginning.
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Argh
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Argh »

The OSS world has been doing some great stuff, absolutely. I'm not saying that's bad- I'm here because I got frustrated with closed-source engines, after all.

I'm not saying "release more crap". Licho worked on one of the Alien games (Alien:UFO, I believe?) which was a fairly major title, and the sequels are still selling... I find it completely appalling that he never got paid, frankly...
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Wolf-In-Exile
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Wolf-In-Exile »

Pertinent points. At least, I agree because your thoughts largely mirror my own on the subject.

Its undeniable that piracy partly accounts flagging PC sales, but like anything functioning in society, it is hardly the sole reason for that. In fact its far from the biggest factor.

The biggest factor IMO which has caused the PC market to suffer is the hardware "arms-race". Back in the day of pre-3D up to nVidia's Riva TNT2, your rig could last you at least 4 years before starting to become obsolete. Now, you'd have to replace your PC every 2 years at least just to keep up with the latest games.

This acceleration in graphics cards has put a strain on developers who struggle to keep up to date with new graphics technologies, and having to develop games with next-gen graphics and still take into account those people with less-than-next-gen hardware, as well as an increasingly disparate hardware manufacturer market has skyrocketed dev. costs.

This has also put a strain on gamers to upgrade or buy new rigs, especially if they want to play the latest games in their 'full graphical glory', which leads to a vicious cycle. Thanks to the law of limited resources, increasing costs for both game developers and gamers, this hardware race is nearing its breaking point. Gamers can't afford to keep upgrading or buying new rigs, developers can't afford to keep developing for better graphics.

The effects of this hardware race are now being felt and realised. Casual gamers and the less tech-savvy masses are frustrated with not being able to play games on their PCs, due to insufficient system specs, buggy games and so forth.

For all their (numerous and grevious) faults, EA made a very smart move with recycling their SAGE engine, both financially and technologically. It was born with Emperor: Battle For Dune. It has been consistently updated and recycled for C&C Renegade, Generals, Battle for Middle Earth, up till C&C 3 and the upcoming Red Alert 3. Thats right. 11 games plus expansions have been built upon the SAGE engine, which frankly is an amazing example of maximising resources.

Another factor is the traditional approach that some development companies employ to develop games on new media platforms, namely PC games. Its apparent to me that these developers heavily focus on feature-oriented development.

Features work well on traditional products like cars, juicers, TVs... because people expect them to just work, and don't really expect more. You don't buy a car and expect it to transform and fight Decepticons.
There's a lot of games which are developed on features, and rely on these features as selling points, and wonder why their games don't sell, after all it works for other products! Damn piracy! This is known as Doing It Wrong.
Ever see/play games that boast "Next gen graphics" and promise 'X hours of gameplay', 'hyper-realistic AI', 'infinite replayability', but have really, really mediocre gameplay?
All too often i've played games that use contrived mechanics to waste your time (read: grind) doing pointless things ('feature' unlocks, i'm looking at you) to extend gameplay time so they can deliver on that X hours of gameplay promise.

Features don't make good gameplay. Good gameplay is enhanced with features. Lets look at analog games. Chess isn't sold because it is made of 'superior quality materials'. Monopoly isn't marketed for 'having 100 different cards'. Magic The Gathering doesn't sell because 'it has pretty art'.

At the very basic level, all successful games have a common ingredient: good, fun gameplay. Hell, look at The Witcher. The graphics (based on the NWN1 engine) aren't bleeding edge, doesn't have multiplayer, nor does it have as much of a sandbox-freedom as Oblivion has, but it delivers a very good and focused gameplay experience (save for the mind-numbing load times, butchered dialogue etc. but Projeckt CD has announced a huge update and fix!).
ZellSF
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by ZellSF »

PC Gaming is fine. So's console gaming. Steam sucks. Argh writes huge blocks of text. Piracy isn't a huge issue. Neither is continous improvements in hardware. There I just summarized what I think in two lines.

You just stated your opinion on what, 10 different gaming issues in a row, all of which have already been argued to death countless times without anyone ever being convinced of anything.
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Pxtl
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Pxtl »

Zpock wrote:Solution: all the "business" and "industry" moves on to consoles where they think they can make more money. Why does it matter if hundreds of crappy PC games are not mass produced with the elegant business model used by for example LICHOs employer? A few hardcore companies like blizzard, and stardock stay with the PC and make awesome games. Other's who also wants to make worthwhile games such as "wing commander" go with the opensource model. Spring has alredy proved it can be done as well as it's superiority to crap like supcom, cnc3, and it's only the beginning.
The problem is that, as the PC becomes less and less of a gaming machine, gaming hardware and community will flounder. Know how you can never find anyone to play EE with? Imagine that for everything. Then ATI/nVidia start dropping card lines.

I mean hell, I haven't upgraded my PC since I can't justify the cost to myself - I'd have to spend thousands for a platform that only plays a handful of games I'm interested in.

There's plenty of blame to go around - in general, the console has gained 90% of the advantages of the PC. There was a time where PC gaming had a laundry-list of features you couldn't get on the console - small indy developers (that consoles are now courting), online gameplay (duh), custom content (just starting to invade), higher resolution (HDTV is slowly becoming standard).

Pretty much the difference between the PC and the console these days is
1) different standard controls - joystick-oriented games will always be a ghetto on the PC, and pointing-device oriented games will always be a ghetto on any console without a pointing device.
2) endless fiddling to get the PC games working just right.
3) there are open-source games available for PC.

It used to be different - PC gaming was a pain, but had a laundry-list of features that made it worth the trouble. Now it's still a pain, but consoles have the features too. While the consoles caught up with PC gaming, the PC gaming world didn't fix its corresponding flaw. There was no great improvement in PC hardware/OS/game QA - you still had frustrating drivers, an uncooperative operating system, and buggy, fiddly games.

Open-source/pure-hobbyist gaming can't survive on it's own without a community of normal humans to play the games and support the hardware needed to play. If a console doesn't start providing a no-cost solution to hobby-developers, then open-source gaming will go into torpor when the rest of the PC gaming world dies.
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Zpock
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Zpock »

Consoles are becoming PC:s... why wouldn't they.

I hardly think computers would go out of production in the future, even if there was to be a decline in the amount of games made for them. That's just ridiculous...

The same graphics cards technology will be used in consoles/PCs, there's no reason for them to go away either.
Last edited by Zpock on 28 Feb 2008, 18:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Pxtl
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Pxtl »

Zpock wrote:Consoles are becoming PC:s... why wouldn't they.

I hardly think computers would go out of production in the future, even if there was to be a decline in the amount of games made for them. That's just ridiculous...
Of course not, but the gaming hardware and player-base might.
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by PicassoCT »

You know the Advantage of Consoles in my Eyes is - the Technical Limitation...
I know the first time you hear that, it sounds absurd. But come to think about it, the x-box who had the best graphic of the PS Sucessors, never overcame the PS2..

THe Reason is that Graphical Limitation forces you to work on the actual Coregame, consisting mainly of a huge excellsheet of Numbers and Rules+ a Good GUI.
Best Examples (although in one Case hated around here) are Starcraft and Defcon. Both accepted there limitations with open arms, winning through it and against all expectations.
Another classical Case were RPGs like FF7, which are again just some nicerendered backgroundpictures, with a great Wall of Text, served in little blue boxes...

The Reason why Graphics are so overrated, is a thinking error within the marketing machinery. Graphics really sell the Game- which is sad, but can´t be changed. People only buy the Supershadered Stuff by Eyesight (or they bored stop buying and turn to indi), so a Company needs a big name first to risk the WinbyPureContentkillingspree Blizzard is currently on.

PS: A friend of mine always burned his PS-Games, not for piracy, but simple to avoid damage on the originals...

Another thing on consoles is, that every title is qualitychecked by the Consoleproducer - nothing really bad ever came through the Nintendo tests..
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by BlueTemplar »

It'd be better to have one engine, with a lot of plug-in modularity. Spring could be that engine, if we could get the rendering / model-format stuff sorted out, I think. In every way but the game code's tie-ins with the renderer, Spring's almost there, in terms of modularity, imo.
In the Land of OSS where the penguins fly.
One Spring to rule them all, One Spring to find them,
One Spring to bring them all and in the LUA bind them
In the Land of OSS where the penguins fly.

EDIT: Yes, _fly_, in the Land of OSS everything is possible! :-)
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Pxtl
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Pxtl »

PicassoCT wrote: Another thing on consoles is, that every title is qualitychecked by the Consoleproducer - nothing really bad ever came through the Nintendo tests..
Lies. Have you *seen* the glut of utter crap on the DS? Sure, the stuff is stable and bugless, but it's awful.

Oh, and I assume you're European. In English, you only capitalize names of people and places (and things based on place-names), and for compound words you use a hyphen like-this, instead of smashingwordstogether. Not flaming, just saying - your Germanic style is kinda hard to read.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by PicassoCT »

The DS is no Console. And that Trash-flair of some Titles is wanted, like in Tarantinos movies. Look what Microsoft released for there Blackbox!
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Argh
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Argh »

PC Gaming is fine.
Fact: No, it's not. The last 5 years have been increasingly negative experiences for the large publishers. Have you not noticed that fewer and fewer PC titles that actually hit store shelves have been produced by a major house? It's not that the budgets don't exist- they're simply being spent elsewhere. On the console market.
So's console gaming.
It's doing a little better than fine, actually. It, by itself, is making about as much money as the movie industry. Giant piles of cash. Again, it's not about whether it's profitable, it's about why PC games are having problems.
Steam sucks.
Steam has been a business success. Obviously, customers don't think it sucks- since I, and all of the gamers I know all have Steam subscriptions... well, if it sucked, we wouldn't, would we? I don't play Counter-Strike very often any more, but I do show up on Steam, to see what they have on offer, among other things, and I buy stuff there occasionally. Much more convenient than going to a store, and usually cheaper too.
Argh writes huge blocks of text.
No, I just had a lot to say.
Piracy isn't a huge issue.
You're wrong, again. Piracy has been a huge issue since the beginning with PC games, and it's hardly gone away. Go read about the impact of piracy on computer game sales on Google. It isn't just some vague problem, and it's gotten worse with file-sharing being much more widespread.
Neither is continous improvements in hardware.
I'd say that the main problem is that the improvements haven't been "continuous", in a predictable and stable way. I think developers should aim for the lower end of the bell curve, basically.
The problem is that, as the PC becomes less and less of a gaming machine, gaming hardware and community will flounder. Know how you can never find anyone to play EE with? Imagine that for everything.
I think EE just needs to get on ModDB and other sites, and advertise. Oh, and UF needs to be back up, or we need to find another solution, so that we can actually build an audience. The timing of the PC Gamer article with UF being down could not have been worse for Spring!
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by Snipawolf »

Comp1337 wrote:I cant believe i fucking read it
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rattle
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by rattle »

Can't believe you fucking read it.
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SwiftSpear
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Re: Why Consoles Rule the Earth (v. long)

Post by SwiftSpear »

PC gaming is dying down. You can't build a AAA PC title that's "pretty good" any more. It needs to be the next CS, the next WoW, the next Starcraft in order to take. This doesn't apply to the console market, where a game like God of War can dominate, where in the PC it would be a laughable offering.

However, we're sort of at this uncomfortable stage in gaming where console gaming still can't do alot of the things PC games can do, and therefore REALLY is a lower form of gaming for the most part (which is why most console games ported to PC get horrible sales and suck), but at the same time holds the market share.

Realistically, one of two things happen. The consoles get worse and the PC games get better and people migrate to PC to play the more advanced games, or B the consoles get better and therefore the console to PC ports are less disappointing (which I think is far more likely). Ultimately, the PC gaming market isn't going to die. As long as there is PC gamers there will be some market to whoever chooses to tap it. And in the end, this might acctually be a very positive thing for open sourced gaming. Less commercial flooding means more likelihood for PC gamers to look elsewhere, which acctually gives us an interested community to tailor to.
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