Archive for July, 2006

Huge Indie Games Possible?
July 26, 2006

It’s a Saturday’s dawn and I find myself with colleague game designer and good friend, Chilko debating -probably once again- what a game really is. He has been working the last 4 years on Regnum Online, an impressive MMORPG that will be the first of its kind in Latinamerica. And he finally told me: “These massive worlds, where you can do anything, are not games. A game is defined by its limitations and rules. What I’ve been working the last 4 years is just a big massive digital world”.

 

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I agree with him. He was talking in some sense about the “Immersive Fallacy”. But what really made me tick is how you end up hating (in a rather special way of hate) your work once you spent more than a couple of years dealing with it. When it comes to make big games, you should expect 2 or more years for your baby to be born (even with big teams).

And what worries me, is that gamers will always be asking for more. Will we developers -specially independent developers- be capable of keeping the costs and big schedules in the upcoming future? Our hopes seem to rely on technology maturing, but the gap between the big companies and new-born studios seems to be increasing and there aren’t any signals of solid game development tools that are available for the masses…

(to be continued..)

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Single Player Intimacy
July 10, 2006

In our days, multiplayer games seem to be getting really huge from both, the commercial and development perspectives. Massive games such as World of Warcraft or Second Life require enormous investments to provide interesting social gaming experiences. Games like Unreal or Quake take advantage of their competitive nature and are even considered as sports by some, with their own olympic-like competitions.

 

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Probably the cause that’s empowering the multiplayer factor is the Internet itself. But what happens to the Single Player experience? A decade ago, connectivity wasn’t as common as it is today. But now, we must re-discover how an intimate gaming experience should be.

The most profound and touching moments a person can live when confronted against art, are felt in loneliness. When he can intimately relate to the work of literature, cinema or music without the interference of others. Of course, such joy can be shared with friends or a lover, but the connection happens in the most intimate layer of our souls.

I do believe that single player games must stop being considered “single player” and become intimate worlds that express something meaningful of the human condition.