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Black or White, right or wrong, good or bad...
August 29th 2001, 16:53 CEST by Peter Bridger

...looking back on the lavishly praising reviews of Peter Molyneux's ultimate game! (TM) Were we and the reviewers too blinded by hype and hysteria to really judge this game?

If you check out <a href="http://www.gamerankings.com/">http://www.gamerankings.com</a>, you'll see B&W achieves a healthy average rating of 88.78%. You'll notice that most of this high grade is procedure by the tidal wave of highly positive initial reviews of the game. If you look a little closer, a few reviews are far more critical, and manage to look at the game without drooling so much.

I bought Black & White, I even went back and had another little play around with it the other day, but in my eyes, it just doesn't offer much in the way of enjoyable gameplay. Normally in discussions like this people are quick to defend Black & White, stating that "It's ground breaking" or "You had fun, wasn't that worth 30 ($50, whatever)", and yes it was. But at the end of the days, wasn't Populous a better god game? Wasn't AoE better suited for RTS? and isn't it more enjoyable watching your Sims wet themselves, than listening to the complaints of a village or lazy believers?

Now the hype is over, what do you think?
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Black or White, right or wrong, good or bad...

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#1 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-28 20:59:46
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Ooh, please forgive me...
#2 by "Peter Hajba"
2001-08-29 17:03:35
skaven@remedy.fi
What do I think? I think that while it's good that games are finally receiving credit as an art form, some people still take games a bit too seriously. Religiously. Strip all the mystery, hype and hysteria, and you still have an original, cool game that nobody else but Peter Molyneux and Lionhead could have created.

Perhaps people expect way too much from games right now.

Perhaps there isn't such a thing as an "absolutely perfect game". Everyone's got a different taste.
#3 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 17:04:06
kimsbitch@succubae.com
It was a toy. The initial fun wore off.
#4 by "Houston"
2001-08-29 17:06:39
houston@ifuckstuffedanimals.com http://olsentwinsnude.planetcrap.com
I loved my monkey

I just don't have time for my monkey anymore.. and damn land 4 was hard.
#5 by "MaverickUK"
2001-08-29 17:10:30
peter.bridger@tpg.co.uk http://www.thisstrife.com/
The trouble is whenever I play the game, all the niggling faults start to drive me crazy after a few hours.

If the game could be patched so
1) Trees regrew and/or buildings didn't need so much wood
2) Mana came from the amount of belivers you had, not 'prayer power'
3) Spells did something! Like in the Populous or Magic Carpet days

then I'd had great fun! but as it stands, there are too many minor irritations that prevent this game from being a classic.

--
Mav (Peter Bridger)
\"What kinda shithole planet is this!?\"
#6 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 17:10:58
kimsbitch@succubae.com
I guess that when I say 'the initial fun wore off' I mean: the game was cool, I was having a bit of fun, but once I lost my creature I got really bored with it and started playing Fallout again, and never went back. It was like SimCreature for me, the Populous/god stuff in the game didn't really hold my interest. Chances are, even if the creature didn't get taken away I still would have become bored with it.

Yet I continue to play the almost-mindless Diablo2x. Go figure.

PS: I'm a time traveller! First post for the next story - in advance - bitches!
#7 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 17:12:51
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Just kidding, mr0n.
#8 by "asspennies"
2001-08-29 17:16:02
asspennies@counter-strike.net http://www.asspennies.org/
Didn't we have a topic on this already?

I think we came to the conclusion that Black and White was an overhyped, initially fascinating but increasingly shallow toy masquerading as a game.  It was ultimately a fantastic disappointment.

But even more disappointing than the game were the reviewers.  It is not the responsibility of the developer to handle the way the press covers their game.  That is the press's responsibility, and they absolutely dropped the ball.  I can accept that Molyneux made the game he wanted to play - even though it turned into nothing more than a non-portable tomagotchi after a few days - but the gaming press played the game for 5 hours and declared it one of the best ever made.  It was shameful.

For every reviewer that got it right, like Steve Bauman, there were 10 more who went the easy route.  Were they trying to trump the other sites by getting their review out first?  Were they simply so lazy that they couldn't take the time to examine the game for all it was?  Were they so fascinated by the beginning of the game that they simply couldn't hold back their gushing?

I can't say that gaming journalism is any worse than other forms of entertainment journalism, but you usually expect reviews to have a little more thought and consideration but into them.  It's a pity.
#9 by "Iazu"
2001-08-29 17:18:14
iazu@hotmail.com
I liked Black and White, but this is the very first game that was killed (to me) by the customer support. I got the game the first day it came out (first mistake), and played all day long in land one (I decided to take my time). Suddenly, I started getting save game crashes (runtime errors). So I went to the official boards and the PBW forums looking for an answer. After spending a couple days trying tons of different solutions, I finally decided to wait for the patch since I didn't want to start over again for fear of the same crashes happening again regardless. The patch was supposed to only take "two weeks" at first, 3 months later we finally got the patch, by that time I had already uninstalled BW out of disgust. Hell, they even announced an expansion pack for the game before the patch was done.

Add to that the fact that they were supposed to release little expansions (the mp3 support, soccer, etc.) and even those were delayed months (they're all not even out yet are they?) and I just got tired of the game without even really playing it.
#10 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 17:30:03
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Actually, yeah... this topic has been covered.
#11 by "MaverickUK"
2001-08-29 17:40:50
peter.bridger@tpg.co.uk http://www.thisstrife.com/
Jeremy Witt (#10):
Actually, yeah... this topic has been covered.


Yeah, a long time ago.
This is a second look type of topic, now that everyone *should* be over the hype.

--
Mav
\"What kinda shithole planet is this!?\"
#12 by "Chet"
2001-08-29 17:44:37
chet@AllOfYourGodsAreDead.com http://www.portalofevil.com/news/
What about Civilization I?  Now that it has been a hundred years later, isn't it time we discussed it on Planetcrap?  

This is the inherent problem with PC.  While fun at times, most people here are either a) retarded, b)12 c) both. Expecting the readers to supply threads is useless and unless it is on AO, I don't think morn cares anymore.

Those of you who read that and are now mad, I was talking to you.  Those of you who giggled, I wasn't talking to you.

My favorite all time topic was when Andy was outraged that some supermodel who posed naked, said she never posed naked.  That was a good one.

Chet
#13 by "MaverickUK"
2001-08-29 17:48:52
peter.bridger@tpg.co.uk http://www.thisstrife.com/
Chet (#12):
What about Civilization I? Now that it has been a hundred years later, isn't it time we discussed it on Planetcrap?

This is the inherent problem with PC. While fun at times, most people here are either a) retarded, b)12 c) both. Expecting the readers to supply threads is useless and unless it is on AO, I don't think morn cares anymore.

Those of you who read that and are now mad, I was talking to you. Those of you who giggled, I wasn't talking to you.

My favorite all time topic was when Andy was outraged that some supermodel who posed naked, said she never posed naked. That was a good one.

Chet


Then why not channel your powers of outrage, into another Andy style shit stirrer thread. PC is what you make it.

--
Mav
\"What kinda shithole planet is this!?\"
#14 by "fyrewolf"
2001-08-29 17:55:38
Then why not channel your powers of outrage, into another Andy style shit stirrer thread.


I tried by sending in a story about how the Max Payne software license explicitly prohibits you from actually playing the game, but Morn didn't post it.  Probably with good reason too.
#15 by "BATTLE-DWARF"
2001-08-29 18:03:46
Thinking is thought, thoughts are doubts... Doubts, we can do without.
Liked Black & White then...
Like it now.  No use in crying about it folks.


The Incredible Male Battle-Dwarf
#16 by "mgns"
2001-08-29 18:06:28
wratte@home.se http://www.planetquake.com/wrath/
All things considered, I miss Andy.

No, really, I do!
#17 by "Derek Smart"
2001-08-29 18:07:38
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
#8 asspennies
Didn't we have a topic on this already?

I think we came to the conclusion that Black and White was an overhyped, initially fascinating but increasingly shallow toy masquerading as a game.  It was ultimately a fantastic disappointment.

But even more disappointing than the game were the reviewers.  It is not the responsibility of the developer to handle the way the press covers their game.  That is the press's responsibility, and they absolutely dropped the ball.  I can accept that Molyneux made the game he wanted to play - even though it turned into nothing more than a non-portable tomagotchi after a few days - but the gaming press played the game for 5 hours and declared it one of the best ever made.  It was shameful.

For every reviewer that got it right, like Steve Bauman, there were 10 more who went the easy route.  Were they trying to trump the other sites by getting their review out first?  Were they simply so lazy that they couldn't take the time to examine the game for all it was?  Were they so fascinated by the beginning of the game that they simply couldn't hold back their gushing?

I can't say that gaming journalism is any worse than other forms of entertainment journalism, but you usually expect reviews to have a little more thought and consideration but into them.  It's a pity.


*sniff*, man that was bootiful, just bootiful. Couldn't have said it any better.

To me, B&W was a novelty that quickly wore off. However, that is not to say that it wasn't an enjoyable novelty for some. Obviously, by the sales figures, it sure as hell was - regardless of what you or I think.

Though I find the AI to be a technical achievement in itself, I have to say (sorry!), that I could've done a tad better and gone further with it. But thats just me, I like to go all the way. I'm just that kinda guy, I suppose.
#18 by "Paparazzi"
2001-08-29 18:21:24
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
Might aswell throw in my 2 cents.
I liked B&W for the short time i played it (installed - played till 5am. Played a bit the next day, but thats about it)

I had a lot of games around that time, so i quickly moved on.

However, with my upcoming (and very much needed) computer upgrade, I am looking foward to playing B&W again - with all its addons and expansions and what not.
#19 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-08-29 18:32:48
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.happyhappyjoyjoy.com
#12 Chet

My favorite all time topic was when Andy was outraged that some supermodel who posed naked, said she never posed naked.  That was a good one.

Chet



I'm posting naked.  

My kind of restaurant!  I'd love to be the one who answers the phone here!

......."I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
#20 by "Chet"
2001-08-29 19:07:49
chet@AllOfYourGodsAreDead.com http://www.portalofevil.com/news/
Then why not channel your powers of outrage, into another Andy style shit stirrer thread. PC is what you make it.



No.
#21 by "Chet"
2001-08-29 19:11:01
chet@AllOfYourGodsAreDead.com http://www.portalofevil.com/news/
To clarify - no on your idea that everyone should submit threads and that is the only way to participate at pc and no on your idea that I should do something.  Your arguement is right up there with, don't bitch about games - go writeyour own.  To all of that I say no.  No No NO.

I always think Andy is still around.   Case in point, jaf'd.  That has to be a made up name for andy.  No way god made two people that stupid yet gave them the ability to type.

Chet
#22 by "Lucky"
2001-08-29 19:48:47
Reviewers don't have weeks or months to stew over a game.

We do - and most of us were blown away by the first day of playing it. But in this case typical magazine reviews didn't cater for reviewing the long-term effects, IE; planting trees and slapping cows isn't fun after two weeks.
#23 by "DanSTC"
2001-08-29 19:50:24
DanSTC@rinkworks.com
No way god made two people that stupid yet gave them the ability to type.


Well, uh, first of all...

Oh, the hell with it!
#24 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-29 19:56:11
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
Chet
This is the inherent problem with PC. While fun at times, most people here are either a) retarded, b)12 c) both. Expecting the readers to supply threads is useless and unless it is on AO, I don't think morn cares anymore.

Those of you who read that and are now mad, I was talking to you. Those of you who giggled, I wasn't talking to you.

I assumed that you, of all people, would have figured out how PC operates by now.

Topics get the conversation started ... within 100 posts, we're usually talking about something completely different.  The topics are conversation starters.


Black&White, to me, is a classic game.  It made good forward progress in the area of AI, and it was fun while I played it.  I've played games that have sucked from the moment I started them up.  Black&White grabbed me from the start and I put a lot of hours into it before I stopped playing.  That tells me there's something there.

Yeah, perhaps they didn't go as far with it as they could have ... but I give them a lot of credit for what they DID achieve.  They wrote their own engine from scratch and included a great example of what AI is capable of.  The creature learned, it immitated and a personality emerged after a while complete with quirks and mannerisms.  That was amazing to witness.

I think Lionhead did a great job of showing what is possible.  For that, I commend them.
#25 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 20:05:42
kimsbitch@succubae.com
I think Lionhead did a great job of showing what is possible.

Yeah, but I don't want to spend $40-50 to 'see what's possible'. It didn't (IMHO, and all that) succeed on it's own merit as a fun game. The last 3/4 of Septerra Core may contain the best fucking spreadsheet simulator that man has ever seen, but the game still sucked - even if it allowed me a glimpse of what is possible in future spreadsheet functionality. Feh.
#26 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-29 20:07:37
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
Yeah, but I don't want to spend $40-50 to 'see what's possible'.

Well, sorry to be brutal, but who's fault was that?  Lionhead didn't hold you down and yank $50 out of your wallet.
#27 by "DanSTC"
2001-08-29 20:16:00
DanSTC@rinkworks.com
I enjoyed it while it lasted, found tons of flaws in gameplay, to say nothing of the technical side, got bored of whining villagers, and quit.

What really pissed me off though, was the fact that the game literally almost forces you to babysit your villagers at any given time.  "WE NEED FOOD!  OOPS!  NOW WE BRED TOO MUCH!  NEED HOUSING!  OOPS!  NOW WE NEED WOOD!  OOPS!  NOW WE NEED FOOD AGAIN!  WAAAGH!  NOW WE NEED PROTECTION FROM THE MEGABLAST SPELL YOU CAST ON US!"

The villagers, in my opinion, are WAY to dependant on you.  For fun, I tried an experiment to prove this.  I started up a junk sandbox skirmish mode with no enemy god, and a docile creature who hadn't learned attack spells.  Then I painstakingly worked my butt off to satisfy the villagers to the point where no flags were raised.  I even made sure they had enough farms to feed them, but not enough to overfeed to the point of overbreeding.

And then I decided to step out for about 4 hours.

When I returned, almost all the desire flags were raised high in the air, and the people were dropping like flies.  The creature, however, had wandered to the other side of the island, where he was in a routine of eating the nearby sheep, and then napping.  It was at that point where I taught my creature to use fireball...on the remaining villagers.

What pissed me off the most about the game though, was the fact that you NEED to advance the people in order to advance in the game.  However, the villagers from multiplayer map to single player to skirmish are transient and inconsistant creatures.  Your creature, however, remains constant.  So by logic, the game should put more emphasis on playing with your creature and merely helping the villagers when they especially need it, right?
ENNT.  WRONG.
Not only do you have to babsit your villagers to keep them from turning into ethiopians, but the game deliberately fucks over your creature.  "OOPS!  IN THIS LEVEL WE TAKE YOUR CREATURE AWAY AND BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM WHILE HE'S FULLY CONSCIOUS SO HE BECOMES VIOLENT WHEN HE'S RELEASED."  "OOPS!  IN THIS LEVEL WE PUT A CURSE ON YOUR CREATURE!  TOO BAD FOR THE BUG THAT MAKES THE CURSE PERMANENT!"  Etc.

If Mr. Molyneux wants to make his pet project more fun, I say he needs to make the villagers less dependant upon you, (and less stupid...) make the creatures the most important part of the game, (Like maybe a level where your creature must complete a complex task without your help...instead you need to train him to solve it on his own.) and last but not least, make the game FAR less resource-dependant.
#28 by "Gabe"
2001-08-29 20:16:26
gabe@opencrap.org http://www.opencrap.org
#26 Warren Marshall
Well, sorry to be brutal, but who's fault was that?  Lionhead didn't hold you down and yank $50 out of your wallet.

I thought some of the thrust of this discussion was that reviews when the game was released were overwhelmingly positive. In retrospect, they may have been higher than it deserved. Maybe not Lionhead's fault, but I imagine several people do feel like they were held down and had $50 yanked out of their wallet.

-- Gabe
#29 by "shaithis"
2001-08-29 20:17:48
chrisb@gamespy.com http://www.gamespy.com
I sort of have to agree with Warren here... and I was more disappointed with Black and White, nearly from the get go, than most. I paid fifty bucks for it, played it for six hours, uninstalled it and gave it away.

But... it's my own fault I paid fifty bucks for it on the day of release, instead of waiting and checking the game out. I could've learned that it was essentially a really, really mediocre micromanagement-heavy RTS with a tamagotchi plugged into it.

-shai
#30 by "Karl Palutke"
2001-08-29 20:22:57
karl@digitalsavagery.com
Lionhead didn't hold you down and yank $50 out of your wallet.


I fear the day when developers and publishers figure out that trick. . .  on the plus side, we wouldn't see so many having financial problems.
#31 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 20:28:29
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Lionhead didn't hold you down and yank $50 out of your wallet.

I wasn't complaining really, and you didn't hear me demand my money back. All that I'm saying is 'it wasn't a very good game, but it showed what was possible with AI' doesn't do much for B&W as a game... it wasn't marketed as an AI tech demo.
#32 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 20:39:19
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Peter explains the target audience for his Tamagotchi killer, Black & White:

I have seen children as young as 5 play and get totally obsessed with Black & White
#33 by "shaithis"
2001-08-29 20:46:51
chrisb@gamespy.com http://www.shaithis.com
I see the Flamethrower "unnecessarily link every few words of a post" virus is spreading. =)

As far as the hype vs. the reality goes, and reviews getting carried away, I agree. I was not thrilled with our own review (GameSpy) of the game, which ended in it getting a 91... a score nearly thirty points higher than I personally wanted to give it.

-shai
#34 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 20:59:40
kimsbitch@succubae.com
unnecessarily link every few words of a post

Literally half of the links were to the interview I was quoting! I didn't link to 'SKO' unrelated oppressed masses news story...
#35 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 21:03:37
kimsbitch@succubae.com
I was not thrilled with our own review (GameSpy) of the game, which ended in it getting a 91... a score nearly thirty points higher than I personally wanted to give it.

Yeah, but you know how it goes... Lionhead wasn't buying your personal review.
#36 by "shaithis"
2001-08-29 21:10:17
chrisb@gamespy.com http://www.shaithis.com
Jeremy -

re: links - fair enough. The tamagotchi link just seemed funny, because it's unlikely anyone reading that sentence wouldn't know what one was. =)

re: GameSpy - Think what you like. John Keefer, who runs GameSpy.com, has by far the most journalistic integrity of anyone I've ever met in this industry.

-shai
#37 by "kanaeda"
2001-08-29 21:12:09
kanaeda@sunstorm.net
The villagers, in my opinion, are WAY to dependant on you. For fun, I tried an experiment to prove this. I started up a junk sandbox skirmish mode with no enemy god, and a docile creature who hadn't learned attack spells. Then I painstakingly worked my butt off to satisfy the villagers to the point where no flags were raised. I even made sure they had enough farms to feed them, but not enough to overfeed to the point of overbreeding.


and there lies your problem. the villagers have a group ai routine and an individual ai routine. you cater to their needs, they rely on you. the less you do for them, the more they start doing on their own. or you can teach your creature to tend to their needs while you worry about expanding your power and taking over villages. :)
#38 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-08-29 21:28:37
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Not to harp, but I'm bored, and our "from 0 to Gamespy bashing" time has suffered recently-

the most journalistic integrity of anyone I've ever met in this industry.

And I have the largest testicles out of everyone in this convent.
#39 by "Greg"
2001-08-29 21:56:18
greg417@worldnet.att.net http://www.insidemacgames.com
shaithis:

Are you sure the link was put in by Jeremy, or that it wasn't a subversive plot by Microsoft that it automatically added in the link to sell Tamagotchis? :)

Greg
#40 by "shaithis"
2001-08-29 21:59:17
chrisb@gamespy.com http://www.shaithis.com
Greg -

I suppose that's possible. Now if mr0n were only running planetcrap on UNIX, this would never have happened!

Err... wait...

;)

-shai
#41 by "Hugin"
2001-08-29 22:24:23
lmccain@nber.org
Well, okay. You're a gaming website/magazine.  Your job, or at least a great chunk of it, is to cover upcoming games and then review them when they come out.

As a practical matter, you cover four types of games:

1. Games that are being pushed by big publishers.  If EA thinks it's a big deal for whatever possibly misguided corporate reasons...you grudgingly at least have to take a stab at treating it like it's a big deal, you just can't pointedly ignore it. (again, as a practical matter, this is the business you're in) This includes big media tie-in games.

2. Sequels/ripoffs of games that were big, and therefore eagerly anticipated by gamers.  You treat Diablo 2 like it's a big deal, because Diablo was a big deal, to the point where its "Diablo 2-ness" so to speak, is actually more important than the fact it's made by Blizzard (see 3 below). And once Diablo exists and is huge, Diablo-like games get a second look to see whether or not they suck or not, especially if there's the sense of a lurking audience waiting for "Diablo, but Sci-fi" or "Total Annihilation, but fantasy" (Insert big TA:Kingdoms sigh here)

3. Games created by developers/designers that are hot, (last game was good/sold a lot), or respected/beloved (Molyneux, Mieir, Wright, Carmack, Looking Glass, Valve...whoever floats your boat), the actual content of the game being not entirely critical (I mean, developers tend to make games of a predictable-ish type anyway, but there is a degree of star desinger loyalty out there)

4. Some other junk, to fill the remaining space, throw a bone to niches audiences and fringes, etc... "Okay, this week...FPS FPS FPS, MMORPG, MMORPG, RTS RTS...and um, let's toss in a console dating sim I guess."

The problem is there's a limit to how much you can position yourself as editorially negative. I mean, for game categories one through three, it's hard to run a site with  "The upcoming game from ID looks pretty lame.  Don't expect much.  We recommend more Serious Sam."  Unless you're more a satire site that focuses on games as your targets (Old Man Murray, and this approach works pretty well pop media reviewing sites actually, MightyBigTV and a half billion snarky movie review sites come to mind).

So, for the most part, unless there's really strong evidence a game is going to be a stinker and has come to be waggish shorthand for "upcoming stinker"  (Diakatana), the sites are going to go positive most of the time.ie "We're really excited about this upcoming game, it looks like it'll be great."  At worst "Well, the copy we saw running was rough, but it's early still, assuming they get the kinks ironed out, it'll be great."  I'm not even getting into the whole free games, free junk pseudo payola, behind the scenes ego stroking and all that stuff, but clearly it's a factor.

Then the game comes out and it's not good. To admit this in the review is to say one of two things. Your choice of "We were stupid" on the part of the staff that covered the thing happily for the past year or two.  Or "We're pretty sure you're stupid" to the audience that's been reading and believing all this stuff.  It's hard to tell folks what they don't want to hear, (especially when you live on getting folks to come listen to you tell them stuff).  And it's even harder to openly comment on the process of your credibility getting torpedoed...many folks hope that if they don't mention it, the subject will quietly die off (Gary Condit, I'm looking at you).

All of that was to say, I'm not surprised so many gaming sites gave B&W good reviews, and I think it has more to do with human psychology than them not playing the game long enough.
#42 by "Derek Smart"
2001-08-29 22:52:30
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
#24 Warren Marshall
Chet
This is the inherent problem with PC. While fun at times, most people here are either a) retarded, b)12 c) both. Expecting the readers to supply threads is useless and unless it is on AO, I don't think morn cares anymore.

Those of you who read that and are now mad, I was talking to you. Those of you who giggled, I wasn't talking to you.
I assumed that you, of all people, would have figured out how PC operates by now.

Topics get the conversation started ... within 100 posts, we're usually talking about something completely different.  The topics are conversation starters.


Black&White, to me, is a classic game.  It made good forward progress in the area of AI, and it was fun while I played it.  I've played games that have sucked from the moment I started them up.  Black&White grabbed me from the start and I put a lot of hours into it before I stopped playing.  That tells me there's something there.

Yeah, perhaps they didn't go as far with it as they could have ... but I give them a lot of credit for what they DID achieve.  They wrote their own engine from scratch and included a great example of what AI is capable of.  The creature learned, it immitated and a personality emerged after a while complete with quirks and mannerisms.  That was amazing to witness.

I think Lionhead did a great job of showing what is possible.  For that, I commend them.


Agreed
#43 by "Derek Smart"
2001-08-29 22:53:22
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
#25 Jeremy Witt
I think Lionhead did a great job of showing what is possible.
Yeah, but I don't want to spend $40-50 to 'see what's possible'.


...hence the reason  you should buy from a store with a good returns policy. :-)
#44 by "MCorleone"
2001-08-29 22:54:58
www.planetcrap.com
Interesting.  Type www.planetcrap.com into Pornolize
#45 by "Derek Smart"
2001-08-29 22:55:39
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
#36 shaithis

re: GameSpy - Think what you like. John Keefer, who runs GameSpy.com, has by far the most journalistic integrity of anyone I've ever met in this industry.

-shai


I tend to agree...but then again, being an underdog-luvin' kinda guy, I'm hardly the litmus test.
#46 by "Ergo"
2001-08-29 23:00:28
stuart_harms@mentor.com http://www.opencrap.org
...hence the reason you should buy from a store with a good returns policy. :-)


That's easy for you to say. Most places don't offer returns on opened software. I can count the few who do on one hand.
#47 by "Derek Smart"
2001-08-29 23:04:36
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
#27 DanSTC

The villagers, in my opinion, are WAY to dependant on you.  For fun, I tried an experiment to prove this.  I started up a junk sandbox skirmish mode with no enemy god, and a docile creature who hadn't learned attack spells.  Then I painstakingly worked my butt off to satisfy the villagers to the point where no flags were raised.  I even made sure they had enough farms to feed them, but not enough to overfeed to the point of overbreeding.


Thats how most behavioral AI models work. Leave them to fend for themselves, and you'll see that, given time,
they will depend on you less.

....speaking of which, a few days ago, I had a scenario where a hostile marine, tossed a clip to his counterpart who had run out of clips for his weapon. I didn't see it at the time because they were BVR. I ran through the model text, trying to find out where the fuck my spent shell casings were going, and noticed "marine#2 tossed a DUPE clip to marine#9" But I later found out that the prick tossed the wrong clip. Marine #2 actually had a ZS10 rifle, which uses DUC clips. The DUPE clip is used by the BMP-9 high velocity sniper rifle. Fixed!

Anyway, sorry for straying, but thats the kind of thing. IF I were playing with my marines, I won't *know* that he was out of ammo, unless (a) I was within audible range to hear the telltale 'click-click' of his weapon (b) I notice that he doesn't have a weapon equipped and as such, is laying prone in order to avoid incoming fire (c) he actually tells me he's out of ammo. At which point I'd toss him a clip from my inventory. If I don't toss him anything, his friends will. And when all else fails, he'll crawl around until he finds a dead-body or clip lying around. If there is a weapon station in the area, he'll just go to it and get some clips. Its all in the behavior. When done right, you can be as involved as you want, or as hands-off as you want. B&W models this admirably and it works quite well, allowing you as much or as little control as you want. Similarly in every one of my games, you don't have to do a damn thing. Fire up the game, find a desolate moon and park on it. Come back a week later, and if your crew haven't die from starvation, someone has won a war somewhere. The game just, well, ....plays itself regardless of what you do or don't do.

Adaptic and behavioral (and I don't mean that run-of-the-mill flocking nonsense, either), AI are the future of games. And by God am there like Flint :-)
#48 by "wizardque"
2001-08-29 23:05:29
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#46 Ergo
...hence the reason you should buy from a store with a good returns policy. :-)

That's easy for you to say. Most places don't offer returns on opened software. I can count the few who do on one hand.


Maybe I don't know of enough places or maybe I have no fingers...but here in FL, the last one just quit (damn you babbages!).  Now it's a crap shoot.

-wizard
Not your average wizard.
#49 by "Derek Smart"
2001-08-29 23:06:22
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
#46 Ergo
...hence the reason you should buy from a store with a good returns policy. :-)

That's easy for you to say. Most places don't offer returns on opened software. I can count the few who do on one hand.


Indeed. Which is why you should either (a) shop elsewhere or (b) read reviews/previews until your eyes bleed. Then go out and buy the game if you are so inclined.
#50 by "Ashiran"
2001-08-29 23:10:47
ashiran@ashrain.net http://wtf.couchcrew.com
After a couple of days worth of play I came to the conclusion that the game wasn't going to offer anything I liked. And the countless small annoyances made it stay on the shelf where it is today.

Well that and what is known as the "Dutch language riot". Which I firmly supported btw.

And the AI? WAY too needy.
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