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Gaming 3L33t - <Game Over>
March 2nd 2002, 17:23 CET by Desiato

You're waiting in line. It doesn't matter exactly where or precisely why you are in this line, it just happens to be where you are in this example. Up ahead, a man is getting louder and angrier about something. The clerk sheepishly tries to keep the conversation under control, but as he fails you can hear the man's anger. His neck is tense, ropy with the exertion of arguing his seemingly vital matter with the clerk, and now his manager. He stomps off finally, and you sigh a subconscious breath of relief.

"Glad he's gone....what was that about?", you think to yourself.

That angry man? Every gamer that has taken enough interest to talk online about the games they play.
The relieved customer? Every average joe that makes the bulk of the 'store' sales. The store of course would be the game publisher.

Guess who really matters?

Joe Compaq, Doug Dell and Thrifty McE-Machine.

"Wait! We CARE about games, we give our opinions, fill out every poll - WE know what we want to see in our next gaming experience!" you may cry.

As a game-buying percentage, what do you represent?

Go ahead, ask yourself that question. How many people you know casually (no, the online game CLAN doesn't count) that are actually into games? You know, someone who would really care if there was a newer version of the 'SUPAR ROBOT MOD' that had been updated with different colored armor and a new gun model. Even if that meant downloading another 80MB to 'update' the mod.

Did you read that last paragraph and nod knowingly?

*zing* - you know what 'mod' means, don't you.

Not Joe Compaq. He just wants his games to load and have him shooting within 30 seconds. He doesn't care about 'fun names', 'resolution', 'openGL', 'Clans' or adding custom models to play with. If it doesn't work, he'll probably return it. If he can't return it, the game will become part of the beer-coaster collection. It doesn't matter, and by extension - those who don't represent the actual economic 'voice' of the game industry don't either. 'The Sims: Hot Date' isn't on top of the charts because it has cool rocket arena support, plays mp3 files or ganks the latest demos from the web.

It's simple. What makes money, gets made. Those that believe signing online petitions and submitting ideas to developers in the vain hope they'll be credited for thinking of the "SUPAR SNOT SHOTGUN" are due for a painful disappointment. Also futile is raging about feature "X" that the devs got "All wrong". There's a reason they are developers. They actually can get a project done, and usually within the budget. They also can ask for publishers to back them, and most of the time - get that commitment. You aren't going to see "Joe's HYPER CRAB MOD" make the big time, and you most certainly won't have a message board zealot influence a game in the slightest.

But it isn't all that bleak.

You still can play online, can't you? :)
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Gaming 3L33t - <Game Over>

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#1 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 17:31:44
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
1st post? Me?

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#2 by Martin
2002-03-02 17:38:08
http://www.mocol.nu
Apparently. 8)

Second?

-- Martin
"Burger me!"
#3 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 17:41:24
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Just because I like owning a topic, I'm going off topic.

The new morpheus client is out, check out here, assuming I did the url correctly.

It appears all the problems stem from Kaaza pretty much hijacking the fasttrack network in an attempt to shutdown morpheus, which is why the new client is gnutella based.  It isn't as slick as the old client, but it works, is still spyware free, and isn't under attack.

Kaaza is on my hate list already, for the insidious cydoor spyware. spyware that disables virus scanners, nicely enough.  Oh and Bailey, you might want to check your system with ad aware, because e-donkey uses cydoor.  Now it's an option for download, but it wasn't originally.  Removing the spyware will disable e-donkey though.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#4 by Hugin
2002-03-02 17:48:16
lmccain@nber.org
I'm ignorant of the background here, why is Kazaa trying to shut down Morpheus? And how can they?
#5 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 17:49:56
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Now on topic:

Actually, I think this group here discounts what Joe Average knows too often.  Sure, they don't understand OpenGL, but they still visit Planet Halflife/quake/unreal.  They may not be l33t, but if they really like a game, they do seek out the mods to an extent.

Joe Average may be the excellent butt of jokes, but he knows more than the hardcore give him credit for - because the information is oh so easy to find. He may not understand half of it, but he is there.

Sims is at the top because Word of Mouth, the Sims name, and what you can do with the game.  It is a hardcore game, despite the lack of fragging.  It's also likely the most copied game in existence, as any idiot with a burner seems to know enough now to rip a copy and download a no cd patch from games copy world.  Don't think so? I can't even begin to tell you how many friends of mine, who have zero concept of computers, come over and give me a copy of the sims. I have 30 copies of the damn game, and I own it for gods sake.

See joe average moves the industry in ways I don't it even understands.  Joe average has zero issue with ripping games, because to him, it's the same as copying a CD to tape.  

The problem gamers, is not what Joe Average DOESN'T know, it's what HE DOES.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#6 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 17:50:59
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Hugin, mostly because Kaaza wants to be Number 1...they were purchased by some Aussies, and that's when the spyware and attacks pretty much started. Basic competition. Or anti competition, depends on your perspective.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#7 by Hugin
2002-03-02 17:59:59
lmccain@nber.org
Also, I disagree with a lot of the premise of the topic.  Diablo 2 gets made, it makes a mint.  They make an expansion, and make changes, like increasing the size of the storage chest, and adding the ability to equip and heal your minion.  Joe Average isn't the one plastering Blizzard forums about that sort of thing, it's hardcore geeks.  

I understand the idea here is that a vocal minority tends to overestimate it's power, sure, but in many cases, what you're really talking about is the difference between Geeks, and Really Big Geeks, not Geeks and  Joe Average.  LPMiller, I'd argue that true Joe Average doesn't go to PlanetHalflife or PlanetUnreal, doesn't download mods, or belong to a game or gamer community in any significant way. He or she buys the game.  Installs the game.  Plays the game.  Heads off to watch Everybody Loves Raymond.
#8 by Hugin
2002-03-02 18:02:15
lmccain@nber.org
So, what can Kazaa do/what has it been doing to hurt Morpheus?  I ask because I happen, (completely randomly), to use Morpheus, and always thought of the two of them as basically different front ends to the same system, hardly more different than skins made by two different companies.
#9 by Eris
2002-03-02 18:03:08
firemote@hotmail.com http://www.doomwave.com/forums
I'm ignorant of the background here, why is Kazaa trying to shut down Morpheus? And how can they?


I would imagine that they're two arms of the same company, and that they can do whatever the hell they want with morpheus. It's not like they were trying to make money with morpheus anyway...
#10 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 18:04:18
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I disagree. Because Joe average knows enough to type half life into yahoo. They aren't heavily into the mod scene, mostly because of dial up, but they are there.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#11 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 18:07:07
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
According to Morpheus, Kaaza launched a DOS attack against the Morpheus servers, and also are hacking into the client to change reg files...supposedly to reestablish M on the fasttrack network, but M implies it is more I dunno, sinister.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#12 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 18:11:17
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
From music city:
"Steve Griffin
StreamCast/Morpheus CEO

It appears that the attacks included an encrypted message being repeatedly sent directly to your computers that changed registry settings in your computer. Later, it appears our ad servers were attacked resulting in messages being sent to other sites without our knowledge, which threatened our most basic revenue model. We believe some of these attacks continue as Morpheus users attempt to connect to the old Morpheus User Network. This was why it is important to quickly deploy our new software product.

This unprovoked attack is being carefully investigated, as it appears that federal laws may have been violated. We are still attempting to discover who would want to eliminate the community of millions of consumers who are using the Morpheus software product to connect with other users around the world.

These attacks have forced us to more quickly deploy our new software product in order to allow you to bring the largest p2p community back together. Since it appears that the attack on your computers came from the closed proprietary FastTrack-Kazaa software, we have opted not to continue with this p2p kernel. We believe it to have the ability to access your computer at will and change registry settings. In addition, we remain committed to NOT bundling any spy ware with our product.

We are pleased to migrate to an open Protocol product with the release of Morpheus Preview Edition, which is based on the very large network of Gnutella users. The new software will provide you with the ability for faster searches, the display of more search results, and many more new and exciting features. KEEP IN MIND that this is only our preview edition. Any time change occurs, many object and think the old version was better. Our objective is to create a new and exciting software product. Since our company and your p2p network are being attacked, we would appreciate your constructive comments for improvement, not simply criticisms. With you help and input, we will continue to provide the pre-eminent p2p software product in the world.

Lastly, we want to address some of the misinformation we've seen recently. There have been many comments that we caused these problems intentionally. Let me assure you that we would NEVER treat the Morpheus users in this fashion. Others have said we would re-launch with a paid subscription model, again, not true. Our commitment is to always provide you a free version of the Morpheus software product. Thanks again for making Morpheus the most widely downloaded p2p product in the world. We are hard at work to provide you with the products you have come to expect from our company. From our perspective p2p means people to people.

Our goal is to create the software that lets you create the network. Thanks again for your support. "


What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#13 by WeeMadArthur
2002-03-02 18:20:01
smarteyman@interia.pl
I don't seem to be able to download the new client. Damn!
#14 by "Gunp01nt"
2002-03-02 18:30:01
supersimon33@hotmail.com http://planetp01nt.tmfweb.nl
GAME DAVELAPRES OWE US NOHTING!!1!11!!


seriously, isn't Desiato getting a little too cynical about the situation? There are games intended to make money (The Sims and alike) and there are games intended for the players to have fun (CS, MoH, C&C:R).

Look at Counter-Strike: during the beta period and even now, the CS team continues to listen to user input. Same thing for many other developers. They mostly develop what the gamer wants. To do that, they have to know what that is.

is it frustration with this attitude that some game devs indeed put on (and we all know who are a great example) that caused Desiato to post this topic? or is he disappointed that all his faaabolous ideas he mailed to game developer companies were never approved?
#15 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-02 18:32:04
supersimon33@hotmail.com
it was really me.

<<< Do you believe in a god that tells you lies or do you believe in me? >>>
#16 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 18:36:39
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
huh, it's only a 707kb file...I could email it to you.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#17 by Bezzy
2002-03-02 18:41:49
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
The public keeps buying what
The publishers keep selling what
The public keeps buying what...

Honestly...

The other day, my sister's ex-boyfriend e-mailed me about "skinning an engine" for some film promotion. So yeah, #5, Joe's learning. But more and more initiates are stepping up to the plate just as soon as a fellow breaks out of the stereotype.

I long for a time where the average Joe knows as much about game design as he does about how subtley and well a Cohen Brothers film is shot, but I don't pretend to think it'll be any time soon. I'm no film student or particularly huge fan of the medium (compared to the next guy), but I comprehend emotive visualisations in such films as Pi, or The Man Who Was Not There It has taken the film industry, what, 60 odd years to educate "people" to this decently descerning level? How long for games? And how do you explain that game rules can be descently emotive, too, when few games use any emotion more complex than "fear" and "reward" factors.

Not only do "people" need to wise up, but we need to give them something to wise up to. We need to be working to a higher level, and have people appreciate that. And it has to stop just being peers. It has to be Joe Public appreciating something higher inside of games. This is the 21st century's artform, is it not?

There is no just cause that a fool will not follow. HALLO MISTAH!
#18 by WeeMadArthur
2002-03-02 18:44:20
smarteyman@interia.pl
Nevermind, used a proxy, got it.
#19 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-02 18:45:16
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
LPMiller
Joe Average may be the excellent butt of jokes, but he knows more than the hardcore give him credit for - because the information is oh so easy to find. He may not understand half of it, but he is there.

No, you're giving Joe too much credit.  Seriously.  The average consumer ... the one we make jokes about ... doesn't know about PlanetQuake.  How would they?  Think about it.

Anyone who reads online gaming news sites, is in the hardcore crowd.  The average consumer MIGHT read magazines but that's about it.

My Dad is into computers ... he loves playing games ... but he doesn't read news sites.  I doubt he even knows they exist.

We look around at our friends and think that the person who knows the least about games represents the average Joe.  Not even close.

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#20 by Bezzy
2002-03-02 18:48:59
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Ooof. My previous post was just barely relevant. Sorry. Add a period in there, and take out "factors" and it might even make the first piece of sense that it was intended for. Why can't I write proper after being awake 26 hours?!

There is no just cause that a fool will not follow. HALLO MISTAH!
#21 by Caryn
2002-03-02 19:14:50
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
All right, a topic I can sink my teeth into!

LPMiller: how is The Sims hardcore? You lost me on that one. I see it as one of the most mainstream of mainstream games. People controlling little people in real-life, mundane scenarios. Anyone can immediately relate to the Sims.

90% of my job revolves around this very quandry: the hardcore crowd and the average gamer crowd are very widely separated. Warren is right: Joe Average just doesn't go to PlanetQuake -- but he might go to GameSpy.com (it IS geared for the average gamer), which in turn might lead him there. The average consumer reads PC Gamer, which rarely covers mods in any detail, although they're getting better about that (most game magazines are like this -- one of the reasons why I was approached for and wrote the Computer Games cover story this month is to make headway in this direction).

The hardcore crowd <i>does</i> help drive game development in a very tangible way -- hence why so many games in recent years are easily moddable, and why games like Neverwinter Nights are going to as much a toolkit as they are a game.

They also shape the direction of game development by coming out with mods that actually rival some professional games. Look at mods like Action Quake 2/Action Half-Life and The Opera, and of course Counterstrike. There's no denying that the popularity of these mods (okay, at least CS since the other two still haven't really caught on with the mainstream crowd yet) has helped shape game development in the real world -- I would suggest that games like Ghost Recon and other realistic squad-based games give a nod to games like CS.

But while the hardcore crowd helps shape the direction of game development, the mainstream crowd has no idea this is happening because they still don't know what a mod is for the most part, still don't know where to find maps, and still have no clue what you'd do to make a mod if you knew what one was. I have direct evidence from this from my job -- every couple of weeks I create an email that goes out to those who've signed up for updates on the official Wolfenstein site, and a large part of the purpose of this email is to inform the mainstream crowd that's signed up for this what mods are, what custom maps are, where you can find them, and how to use them. When I don't cover this information or don't cover it adequately, I'm always asked by many of the subscribers where they can find maps after I mention that they're out there, and how they can use them. They have no clue, and when they see me mention it, suddenly they're interested.

It's one of the things I've been meaning to do something about when I took this position -- you've got this incredible community producing <b>free stuff</b> and 80% (NPFA -- Number Pulled From Ass) of the people who bought the game have no idea it exists. Wouldn't it be cool if they did and you told them not only where to get it but how to use it? Because if you did, wouldn't they feel like they got a whole lot more for their money, and wouldn't they maybe remember that with the next game you put out?

I guess that was more a tangent to Desiato's post (which I whole-heartedly voted yes on!). The point that relates more directly to the post is this: the hardcore crowd does, to some extent, influence game development, but not in the direct way that they think they do, in my opinion. However, if you removed the hardcore crowd, I think you'd lose a very important and influential part of what's supposed to make games great.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#22 by MCorleone
2002-03-02 19:17:38
Bullshit.  That would certainly be thinking in the short term.  I guess the logic is missing that one of three things are at work here:

1)  These users are very young
2)  These users are new to gaming

3 I'll get into later.

1)  These users will get older, and as they get older their capacity for more depth will fuel their desire for it, and then all of the issues such as mods, expandability, quality of different metrics (texture detail, model quantities, detail, etc) will put them into the "hardcore" crowd that you differentiate.  Using the patented PNOOMA scientific method (PullNumbersOutOfMyAss) I would say that the hardcore crowd is GROWING.  We all loved pong-ish games on our intellicolecos at some stage.  Those games wouldn't hold our interest very long anymore.  The worm will turn for these newbies, and when it does you'll find that the hardcore demographic getting larger and thus more important for devs to be reflexive to.

2)  Same stages as above.  Their tastes will refine and they will no longer settle for BASS-FISHING WITH TRENT REZNOR.  Well, maybe with Trent Reznor they would still buy, but my point is communicated.

3)  Casual gamers.  When the wife's working nights or they have a couple of hours before the football game they flick-on their PS2's.  As they're casual gamers, they most likely just buy a game once every few months and play it out.  One or two major titles (with the flashiest packaging in most cases) soak up all the revenue, but overall they don't contribute much to the industry in terms of dollars.

So I contend, perhaps now the hardcore don't have much of a voice, but that will certainly change.  Keep in mind that the gaming industry boom has been growing geometrically for only about 10 years by most guesses.  As the young/new gamers get older they will join the hardcore and that translates into dollars.

Contrary to popular belief, not all forms of ignorance are bliss
#23 by sentinel
2002-03-02 19:46:21
Now some pointless whining: the hardcore crowd is always just a small percentage of the total group of players. When the players wise up, the hardcore moves on to other stuff. Otherwise they wouldn't be hardcore :)

Which brings me to an interesting point: Since most people here are claiming that eventually everybody will get into the stuff that is hardcore now, what do you think the cutting edge in community involvement will be 4 years from now? Are we going to see immensely successful community-developed games based on for instance opensource 3d engines with a large group of people creating *ahem* open content in a standard form for lots of games to use?

That would be cool :)
#24 by "Dinglehoffen"
2002-03-02 19:47:50
CLANS R FOR FAGS HAHAHH NE1 WHAT LIK CLAN O MY GHOSH UR FUNEE U IDJIT HAHAHA URGAY
#25 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 19:49:23
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Let's see, it has tons of mods, websites devoted to it, a huge online following...how is the Sims NOT hardcore?

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#26 by "Dinglehoffen"
2002-03-02 19:49:24
BTW, the best thing a gaming compay can do is to NOT TARGET THE HARDCORE CROWD. A hybrid game that appeals to a broader audience is ideal: although I hate "The Sims", it's a developer's/publisher's dream.
#27 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 19:50:59
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
let me redefine, actually. What the hell is hardcore?  What defines it?

Obsession.  The skins, the mods, the websites, the constant playing, talking about, referencing.

The Sims fits that, don't you think?

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#28 by Caryn
2002-03-02 19:55:21
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Actually, I'm going to contradict my own post...

Maybe the average gamer is going to PlanetGameName nowadays, but I know that in the past they probably weren't. And it's funny I should pick on the Planet sites about this because I'm actually partially responsible for what I'm about to criticize them for, and that's how much help they'll be to the average gamer. If you're Joe Average and you just got Quake III Arena and you want to find, say, strategies for it, you'll put "Quake III Arena" into Google. You'll get id's page as well as quake3arena.com (id's official web site for it), PlanetQuake, and Quake 3 World. The first two sites aren't going to give you what you're looking for, so you'll likely hit either PQ or Q3W. Once you hit either one of those (I'll pick on PQ), you'll get a wealth of information on the game including strategies, how to set up a multiplayer server, and stuff like that. That's all really helpful stuff that you're not going to find anywhere except for some cursory information in the game manual. What the site doesn't do well, however, is present the world of mods, maps, and tools to the novice gamer. The sites, like most game sites, are time-based, presenting news about such things but never really defining what they are. Joe Average comes away with the idea that there are some things out there for the game but doesn't quite know what they are or how to use them (few mod sites are very helpful about showing the newbie how to run and install their mod, although some are).

Back when I ran PQ I did so under the assumption that my audience was hardcore, which it was. Maybe what I should have been doing was thinking that I should be making the information more useful to the newbie gamer who hits the site in a Google search. To GameSpy's credit, they started shifting towards that viewpoint before I went to Activision, which is great. The Planet sites right now are probably the most useful site out there for those new to the game -- most of the new ones have strategies, set up guides, and forums where you can go to maybe get some help on this stuff. And before anyone starts in, the argument here isn't about whether or not GameSpy is evil, so let's not even go there. I think no matter what you think of them, what I've just said about the Planet sites stands and if you disagree, give me something that backs up your claim about them not being more useful than most game sites to the new user.

But even so, most game sites are time-based and assume you already know what mods are, how to find and install custom maps, etc. But I think they can do better to appeal to the mainstream gamer.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#29 by Matt Perkins
2002-03-02 19:58:16
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
#25
So that brings up the question, what do game companies try to develop for?

I have idealistic view of the gaming industry...meaning I assume that many developers (not publishers, of course) still try to create games that are what they want to play.  That the best games that come out are a labor of love, brought forth because the game had to be made, because developers had to make the game and wanted to play it.

Is this true?  Games such as Soldier of Fortune don't seem to follow that, but games such Half-Life, RA2, Starcraft, UO (back in the day), Jagged Alliance 1&2, Fallout, Baldurs Gate, etc, etc, etc do.  They seem to have been from a place of people that really want make these games...sure they hoped they would be successful, but wanted to make them not because of that, but for a love of the games...

You devs out there, is this true?  Are most games nowdays made with commitees and long meetings about what will be most successful in such and such market?

-wzrd
stupid vowels
#30 by Caryn
2002-03-02 19:59:14
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
LPMiller:

I think we have two different ideas about "hardcore". You're referring to the game being hardcore while I'm referring to whether or not its audience is hardcore. Many games have such add-ons, but I don't think that makes the game itself hardcore. I think hardcore is a term applied to its audience: if a large percentage of its audience uses the add-ons, then the audience is hardcore, but the game itself I think appeals to a mainstream audience. Maybe people disagree with that, though?

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#31 by Matt Perkins
2002-03-02 20:00:39
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
#30
I think the problem you run into with The Sims it has a huge audience...hard core and not...  it's a cross over game, rare, but true...

-wzrd
stupid vowels
#32 by LPMiller
2002-03-02 20:18:03
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I guess I don't know how I'd define a hardcore game.

But I think one problem is how Joe Average is defined.  Warren, Joe Average is not at the bottom of the spectrum.

Joe Average knows enough to have a computer, use it, access the internet, install and play some games.  He is at least computer literate, if not an expert.  As Caryn says, he does know enough to type Quake into Yahoo, and boom, there is planet quake.

Hardcore really is obsession, either with a single game like the Sims, or just games in general.  There are folks I know that are truly hardcore CS players, but never touch another game, and while are computer literate, are not what I'd call computer savvy.  Same with the Sims.  

And it only takes one game, really...an entrance drug.  A game like the Sims is a lead in to the wide world of games, and suddenly Average moves up a notch.  Hardcore then is just in an ever changing cycle of growth, as the median changes upwards, so too does the hardcore crowd.

Therefore, I think the fault lies in thinking of Joe Average as one single group, or in terms of last year. I think Joe Average is in fact, a moving target.  Joe Average now has a burner, Joe Average now has a decent video card, Joe Average is buying bigger monitors and buffer processors.  

We look at the success of Deer hunter - but that wasn't Joe Average, that was lower on the scale. Or if it was, Joe then bought bigger and better games, but mostly Deer Hunter were father in laws and the like who got Xmas gifts from their more knowledgeable son in laws. :)  We can't define the success of every 'mainstream' game as being the result of Joe.

We've seen it in the hardware community. 5 years ago, hardcore overclockers and tweakers were a small, small crowd. Now there is a much larger group of people that attempt a PC build, play with processor settings, overclock that geforce 3. It's like turbo chargers went from being an aftermarket add on to something you could get at Kmart.  What we define as newbies to the scene are really, Joe Average, once again raising the bar to what average means.

Newbies doesn't mean clueless, just means new. New, and interested, which I think most folks miss.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#33 by Caryn
2002-03-02 20:22:59
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
LPMiller:

Therefore, I think the fault lies in thinking of Joe Average as one single group, or in terms of last year. I think Joe Average is in fact, a moving target.  Joe Average now has a burner, Joe Average now has a decent video card, Joe Average is buying bigger monitors and buffer processors.  


IMO, this is a really good point. Like all defined groups, the mainstream gamer becomes more educated over time -- the casual gamer today is not defined the same as it was, say, 10 years ago. They know more now. I don't know if I would give them quite as much credit as you do (that sounds demeaning, but I don't mean it to sound that way), but I most definitely agree with your statement above, and I will say that until you stated that I didn't really think much about that point.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#34 by Neo-Reaper
2002-03-02 20:30:28
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
#27 by LPMiller
let me redefine, actually. What the hell is hardcore?  What defines it?

Obsession.  The skins, the mods, the websites, the constant playing, talking about, referencing.

The Sims fits that, don't you think?

I wouldn't necessarily say that makes the game 'hardcore'. It just means there are plenty of creative 'hardcore' players making new content. However, that game is mass appeal, as it attracts a lot of people who can't even figure out how to install this new content (trust me, I know... lord, how I know...). So its more of a main stream game than a 'hardcore' game, I guess.

And am I the only one that despises that term, 'hardcore', anyway?  Does it mean playing the games as much as that you get seizures, or is it spending more time reading/creating websites/content than you do even playing the games? Hmmmm.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#35 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-02 20:31:10
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
wizard
I have idealistic view of the gaming industry...meaning I assume that many developers (not publishers, of course) still try to create games that are what they want to play.  That the best games that come out are a labor of love, brought forth because the game had to be made, because developers had to make the game and wanted to play it.

It breaks down like this ... we make the games that we, ourselves, would like to be playing while keeping a careful eye on how it plays to make it accessible to the average gamer.  Everything from weapon effects to friendly markers over peoples heads, etc are all carefully considered and designed so that they appeal to the average gamer and at the same time, don't piss of the hardcore ("You're dumbing down the game!").

It's a balancing act and generally you find that what's good for the average Joe is good for the hardcore.  The opposite is NOT always true.

That's basically it ...

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#36 by Caryn
2002-03-02 20:33:15
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
sentinel:

Which brings me to an interesting point: Since most people here are claiming that eventually everybody will get into the stuff that is hardcore now, what do you think the cutting edge in community involvement will be 4 years from now? Are we going to see immensely successful community-developed games based on for instance opensource 3d engines with a large group of people creating *ahem* open content in a standard form for lots of games to use?


I think that's definitely a possibility. We've been seeing movement in that direction already. Just look at the number of free or cheap engines out there for use: Quake 1, Quake 2, the engine from GarageGames that I suddenly can't remember (the license to use it for a retail game is only $100, I think, as long as you publish through them), and the free engines like Auran Jet and the like.

Mods and maps are starting to reach the saturation point in terms of professional vs. "amateur" quality. In fact, using the term "amateur" anymore is almost tantamount to slander; most people creating mods and maps today consider themselves on a professional level, they just don't get payment for what they do (which is technically the definition of amateur anyway, but...). And many maps and mods are quality stuff that rivals some of the stuff you can pay for out there. When the skills have been maxxed out, it'll be time to move onto something more challenging, and creating 3D engines seems to me to be the next logical step.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#37 by Duality
2002-03-02 20:38:30
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
When I think of "Joe Average" I think of the people I work with.

They have a computer.  They have AOL.  That's pretty much they know.

I've got one end user who bought a little racing game for his son.  The extent of his knowledge is put the CD in, choose all the default options to install, run the game in its default 3D accelerated settings and have fun w/ the game.

I'd hardly call that computer literate, because he gets lost if I explain anything of much technical detail.

Some of the reasons why Joe Avg is getting better hardware is because that's what's being stocked in the big OEMs.

But its definitely difficult to pinpoint WHAT Joe Avg is.  Not only because of the ever changing consumer base, but also because everybody really has a different notion of what "average" is.

*smooches*
#38 by Caryn
2002-03-02 20:53:07
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
My husband is my token Average Action Gamer (in fact, some developers use him as a template to bounce things off of because he's such a model casual gamer, whereas I'm hardcore). He reads the gaming magazines (because I get them), knows vaguely what a mod is but doesn't know what the difference between a mod, a total conversion, and a full game is. He doesn't know the difference between a map and a mod (before you think he's a dumbass, really think about that one for a minute and ask your non-gamer or casual gamer friends to tell you the difference -- I can see why someone wouldn't know the difference). He could name one or two popular mods for you, and the number of mods he's played can be counted on one hand. He doesn't know how to install a mod (because he's afraid of screwing something up he just asks me to install something for him the next time I'm on the computer).

Most importantly, he doesn't care about knowing any of these things -- he just wants to play something fun. He loves Half-Life, Soldier of Fortune, Medal of Honor, Wolfenstein, Counterstrike, Day of Defeat (those are the two mods he's played that he likes), and the Battlezone games. He dislikes Civ III, most strategy games, and anything that doesn't involve shooting something.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#39 by sentinel
2002-03-02 21:16:58
About the definition of hardcore: the core-part suggests that it is a small group. So whenever something hits large numbers, it ceases to be hardcore. Counter-strike for instance is no longer something the hardcore players play. Then again someone that is still playing Quake 3 all day can be considered hardcore because he's so obsessed with it. So stuff itself is hardcore if only the group of early adopters play it, someone is hardcore when he's obsessed by it and/or devotes a lot of time to it. I think this article refers to the latter group.

I work for a Linux-company and when I tried to explain to someone that I definately consider to be an average or even below average computer user by saying "I'm working on software that competes with Microsoft's Windows, it was created by someone else" she said: "Oh, that's Linux right?" So much for Linux being hardcore, but there are still plenty of hardcore Linux-users :)
#40 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-02 21:57:45
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Just watched Jay and Silent Bob again ... quote of the day ...

"That's what the internet's for!  Slandering others anonymously..."
- Banky Edwards

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#41 by Matthew Gallant
2002-03-02 22:02:34
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Don't forget their schools, too. Gotta throw in their school.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#42 by Marsh Davies
2002-03-02 22:36:22
www.verbalchilli.com
I disagree.

To an extent. :)

If the hardcore scene is defined by people who know what a mod is then surely they must have some sway. Why else would games be increasingly modifiable? Why would developers release SDKs if it wasn't to keep this crowd enthralled? And mods do, sometimes, make the big-time - Counterstrike, for example. I remember way back when I pondered about replying to their request for skinners, and thinking... "Nah, it'll never take off..."

Of course the message board zealots aren't going to effect the development of a game one bit (thank God)... but hardcore gamers as a group probably will, if only for the reason that developers themselves could be considered part of this crowd.

-- ex Spatula Man --
#43 by Marsh Davies
2002-03-02 22:38:40
www.verbalchilli.com
And, damnit, why does this other Martin suddenly re-appear just when I start using my real name?

I need to protect my branding.

-- ex Spatula Man --
#44 by "EvilAsh"
2002-03-02 22:53:47
evilash@eviladam.com
If I were you martin I would rename yourself.. MArtin-bu and talk in third person when someone posts something you don't agree with .. And see how long it would take for them to get the reference. hehe
#45 by jafd
2002-03-02 22:58:44
I'll be glad when consoles fully replace PCs as the main gaming platform. Then all these fucking children (with or without credit cards) will GO AWAY and leave me and mine in peace.

Well, perhaps not. At any rate, it's going to be hell and gone a far away time from now, when consoles are used to develop console games. Keyboard, Mouse, and a box you can open up, pull stuff out of, and stuff things into are always going to be first home of bleeding edge technology, whether or not mainstream consumers are 'allowed' to get their hands on it.

I voted for the topic, mostly because I wanted an opportunity to mention that on the outskirts of every tragedy, there sits perceptive people who simply point and laugh. Sure, it's a big horror show to impatient folk and/or power-hungry pimps to have some loudmouth complaining and holding up "the rest of the line;" a more effective way of dealing with the discomfort involved in such scenarios is to STFU up yourself, and realize, this too, shall pass.

With the (possible) exception of the great games of the past that can't or won't be emulated... more "good" games are produced every day. Tired of the "elite" people bitching? Change the channel, or turn the set off.

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#46 by jafd
2002-03-02 23:01:40
Aw hell. That post looks like ass. Morn, how about just removing the "Post" button entirely, until "Preview" is pressed? I was trying to be topical and timely, figured it wouldn't matter in this case whether I proofed or not... bleh. :\

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#47 by sentinel
2002-03-02 23:12:37
Maybe you just need some editoroiokerla dislcipenm
#48 by jafd
2002-03-02 23:20:13
I figured that editing... yes, EDITING -- Didn't matter. (That time.)

I was wrong.

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#49 by None-1a
2002-03-02 23:59:04
It's a balancing act and generally you find that what's good for the average Joe is good for the hardcore.  The opposite is NOT always true.


You know I was thinking about that before. Out of every requirement I could think up only supporting the latest and greatest hardware features could be considered a 'hardcore' only requirement. Working out of box, simple to get into (no matter how complex the game is starting should alway be simple), ect all cross over really well between the two.

Sure there are a lot of things the hardcore demand that the average gamers don't give a shit about (quick save/load, remapping keys, mods, ect). But all of that can be done with out having any effect on the average Joe at all.

So it there really this big gap between the hardcore and average Joe that we all assume there is? Or is the only difference where they bitch about them*?


*Belive me the average gamers bitch about stuff just as much as the hardcore (maybe not the exact same stuff but still), they just do it to themselves rather then on message boards.
#50 by sentinel
2002-03-03 00:09:21
Actually I think you should distinguish between the hardcore bitchers and the hardcore crowd. To me the real hardcore crowd are the people working on mods, running gamesites, writing strategies, making maps/models/scripts, testing alpha versions of new mods, etc. They don't have time to bitch. The ones moaning and flaming on messageboards are just morons that like to hear themselves talk and because they are gamers too, that's how they express themselves. Don't be fooled by their claim of being "hardcore" :)
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