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The Hollywood's little brother or its own son?
May 27th 2000, 17:00 CEST by trin

Cliff Bleszinski noted an important point when he was interviewed just after E3. He noted that the trend lately in the game industry (that he found was apparent from the last E3) was that lately, the game industry is trying to make itself into a mini-Hollywood. Is this true?

Quite simply, the argument could go both ways. We could say one of two things:

1) The industry is just trying to find a way to cultivate the gamer's taste by including not only a killer game, but the added bonus of a singer/actor that is part of one of your many interests.
2) The industry is sticking old and aging musicians (eg. Motley Crue *shiver*) into its games because somehow they feel that they can become a more broadband niche of entertainment that would get more players, making it the mini-Hollywood.

As cynical as I am, I'm sure you're not surprised I agree with the second more. That's, of course, not to say that its the only reason. I know for a fact some games have musicians in their games because they truly feel that they can convey the right atmosphere.

For example, look at id. Id as a company is a long time supporter of NiN. When Carmack approached Trent to do the music for Quake, it was because he could do what it takes to comvey the creepy music. Of course, I would have looked a bit more deeply into the situation had I seen a bit sticker plastered to the front of the box (or even the back) shouting "MUSIC DONE BY NiN!!" In fact, you only find out NiN did the music if you read the fine print, the credits, or the "Buy Quake" message after you quit. Quite simply, Trent was part of a computer company, not some sort of money making studio.

Now lets look at Kingpin. Im sure that Cypress Hill conveyed the atmosphere well, but quite simply, I was cynical about the whole "MUSIC BY CYPRESS HILL" label on the front and back. Perhaps it wasnt only the game that sold the game, but the music as well. Marketing ploy or just innocent brand labeling?

Now lets look at Tribes2. For the life of me, I cant figure out what's going on in Dynamix's head. Truly, what are they thinking?? Hair metal in a first person shooter? I cant think of one way that Motley Crue can convey the feeling in any way. Tribes2 and Motley Crue have no real connection; all at the same time Motley Crue is getting just as much publicity from the game as the developers, and even the game itself.

You know it goes downhill when you stick aging hair metal bands in a game, just to gain some sort of noteriety. Now some magazines are treating the bands and actors like stars, and sometimes totally forgetting the game itself.

Personally I think this a trend that, while only infecting a small contigency of the developer base, is becoming quite a thorn in the side of the industry. If the game industry wants the rest of the world to take it seriously, they should make a face of their own, and not try to make it from the grafted dead skin of other industries.

C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: The Hollywood's little brother or its own son?

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#1 by "McGrew"
2000-05-27 17:53:29
mcgrew@famvid.com http://TheFragfest.com
What's wrong with Motley Crue, and have you been sharing the Crue's bong? Metal fits the FPS perfectly. Doom's daddy Duke Nukem (2d) may be taking Forever to make their next game, but word is Megadeath is on the sound track. Have you not heard Quake II's sound? All the Sonic Mayhem tracks are metal. Could a band with a name like that get away with playing much BUT metal?

As to Hollywood, I think the question is a little late. How about the cinematics in Wing Commander III with Mark Hamel and a bunch of other well known actors? What about 1995's Road Rash, with a dozen tunesby the likes of Soundgarten?

Perhaps a better question is, "is this what we want"?
#2 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-27 17:55:09
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
I always liked games that featured their own music, created by the same guys who create sound effects... It could be some other band, but they have to dig the game and make the music *after* playing it, then it'd work I think...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "flamethrower"
2000-05-27 18:14:25
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
The soundtrack to Quake 2 ruined what little game there was in there.

What I really, truly, detest, is installing hundreds/thousands of megabytes onto a harddisk and still be forced to listen to the fucking game CD. That consumes the excess salty moisture off a canine's reproductive organ.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Selma"
2000-05-27 19:02:04
Selma@Slimy.com
Nothing to do with this thread, but did you guys read about the E3 UT demos being played NOT on a PS2 at all, but on development tools?

What's the big deal? Well, it clearly misrepresented the playability of UT on PS2, given that dev. tools are known to have MUCH more RAM (hence, running MUCH faster).

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
#5 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-27 20:11:56
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
A couple of things:

I spoke with a bunch of guys from Dynamix about the whole Motley Crue thing, and they're just as baffled as everyone else. Apparently they had no idea about this until the PR guys announced it.

Fortunately, it looks like their involvement will be limited to the opening music, sorta like the Duke Nukem theme song in Duke 3D (which wasn't done by any major band, but you get the idea).

Asking major musicians to do game soundtracks is a weird thing. Sometimes it works (Yes doing Homeworld, or David Bowie's fanTAStic Omikron soundtrack) and sometimes it doesn't. And then, of course there's the "licensed" music trend, where the band has zero involvement, but the developers use music samples for the game. This is what happened in Messiah (Fear Factory) and Kingpin (Cyprus Hill).

In Japan, it's a totally different story. Square shelled out over a million dollars to get the well-known singer Faye Wong to record the theme song "Eyes on Me" for Final Fantasy VIII, and they're doing it again with a different singer for FF9.  This was a great move for them, as they ended up selling boatloads of single and soundtrack CDs on top of the game sales, and cheezy though it may have been, the music fit the game. The only way I can compare this to American gamers is to imagine Madonna being contracted to do an original song for a game...it's a big freakin' deal.

I spoke with someone from Westwood recently who told me they tried to get Metalica to do a song for Red Alert 2, but they were told it would cost at least $80,000 which was slightly out of their budget for the game.

-jason
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "McGrew"
2000-05-27 20:12:42
mcgrew@famvid.com http://TheFragfest.com
[3] flamethrower "What I really, truly, detest, is installing hundreds/thousands of megabytes onto a harddisk and still be forced to..."

I hate having to put it in at all. If they want me to put in the game's CD to fiol pirates (yeah, that'll work...), there ought to be a hundred byte footprint on my hard drive and nothing else.

Software developers keep forgetting that the hardware budget eats into my software budget.
#7 by "Cube"
2000-05-27 20:14:18
cube@telefragged.com
UT's music was good, a nice break from constant guitar. Shame my CD drive doesn't seem to like the UT CD anymore...and my TNT doesn't like UT D3D.
#8 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-27 21:33:21
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
Given the context of CliffyB's comments I think it was more in line with the whole extravaganza going on at E3. Gaming and Hollywood have a lot in common. They are both entertainment and they both have a lot of money for the taking. It makes sense that you would market your product to hell and gone.

But as far as getting celebrities to contribute, well sure, if they can do it. Of all of id's games, I think the music in Doom and Doom2 fit the game the best. It's a matter of setting the mood, not making a rocking song.
#9 by "Apache"
2000-05-27 21:38:36
heh, Cliff actually said that to me at E3, just after Jace Hall got him in to get a signed autographed picture of Ice-T. :-)

on an off topic note, anyone read Geoff Keighley's "Making of Daikatana" article on Gamespot? Brilliant piece of writing.
#10 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-05-27 22:20:10
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
'For example, look at id. Id as a company is a long time supporter of NiN. When Carmack approached Trent to do the music for Quake, it was because he could do what it takes to comvey the creepy music. Of course, I would have looked a bit more deeply into the situation had I seen a bit sticker plastered to the front of the box (or even the back) shouting "MUSIC DONE BY NiN!!" '

Ah, but they sure plastered NIN logos all over the maps and on every box of nails you could pick up, especially in the shareware levels... Actually, id tends to be pretty good about not overhyping the musicians that do the music for their games, and about getting the right feel for the music. Sonic Mayhem and Front Line Assembly did the music for Q3, and I think it came out pretty well (though having the wav files in the pk3 file doesn't make a lot of sense to me, especially when I need the CD in the drive to play single player).

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#11 by "Andy"
2000-05-27 22:52:36
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#10</b>, PainKilleR-[CE]:
<QUOTE>
Ah, but they sure plastered NIN logos all over the maps and on every box of nails you could pick up, especially in the shareware levels...
</QUOTE>
I don't think there were any NIN references in the maps. The only references in the whole game, as far as I remember, were the nail boxes. Man those must rate as the coolest pick-up items ever!
#12 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-27 23:02:57
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
One of the add-on levels for DOOM had a huge NIN logo worked into the geometry of the map.
#13 by "flamethrower"
2000-05-28 01:22:34
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
Loony - I read it, it was a solid and reasonably evenhanded piece of work.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "RzE"
2000-05-28 01:53:10
rze@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
Apache:
Geoff is the best Game Freelance writer ever, though in a catagory with few other people..

www.gameslice.com
check that out
#15 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 02:08:38
Rze: I know Geoff :)

He has one of the coolest jobs on the planet.
#16 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-28 02:14:56
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#14</b> "RzE" wrote...
<QUOTE>Apache:
Geoff is the best Game Freelance writer ever, though in a catagory with few other people..

www.gameslice.com
check that out </QUOTE>

I'm reading through it right now...  stuff like this is inspiring.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-05-28 02:15:47
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
I've always liked Geoff's work, great writer in our industry.

As far as the Hollywood thing, I don't put to much thought into it.  For the most part, if a "star" or "hot" musicial act gets involved, it's only because the suits think it'll sell games.

On the otherhand, id put NIN in Quake because American Mcgee dug them and pushed to get them in the game, if my memory serves me right, and NIN was a big part of the project, not just a property slapped on the box.
#18 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 02:22:51
The only thing that might of been wrong with the article (according to former ION LD Rich 'zdim' Carlson, on the blues news forum) is that the people he recieved quotes from people were in essence spinning their own take on what happened, and that it's only about 70% accurate...
#19 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-28 02:28:02
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#18</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>The only thing that might of been wrong with the article (according to former ION LD Rich 'zdim' Carlson, on the blues news forum) is that the people he recieved quotes from people were in essence spinning their own take on what happened, and that it's only about 70% accurate... </QUOTE>

Where is this thread on Blue's News' forum?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#20 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 02:35:42
here's the direct quote:

<quote>This article is about 75% accurate...Which is not bad. A very interesting read, and a fair attempt at a 'definitive' Ion overview, even with its inaccuracies.

For the record, there were three level designer teams who worked on Daikatana, not two.

Team #1] Sverre Kvernmo, Steve Rescoe, Matt Hooper and DrSleep. They split to form Third Law, except for Sleep, who went to Xatrix.

Team #2] Then it was Larry Herring, Iikka Keränen, Bobby Pavlock, myself and Killcreek. (With Klie as lead designer.) Exit Iikka and myself to Looking Glass, and Bobby to Rogue.

Team #3] Lastly, it was Larry Herring, Guf, Weasel and Killcreek, who all managed to stick around through a severe 9 month crunch until Daikatana was complete. I don't know how they did it. It must have been Hell for them</quote>

It's linked on the Gamespot story.
#21 by "flamethrower"
2000-05-28 03:18:15
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
zdim also backed up this post on BN:

"It may be well researched, but that doesn't help at all when the people you talk to are lying...

Former Ion Storm artist Jim Daly, for instance, (known company-wide for having his nose up Art Director Jerry O'Flahery's crack) with his claims that the Level designers thought they were better than the artists. The level designers and core team fought, fought and fought for the first year and a half to have the artists integrated into the team rather than separated into the "art department". Originally Ion's plan was some unworkable scenario where the dev team was supposed to just magically get content out of the faceless art department. This abysmal system was one of the biggest, longest-running problems that Daikatana ever had. Perhaps it was just the fact that Jerry O'Flaherty continually rebuked his artists for communicating directly with the core development team that has left Jim Daly so confused and misinformed.

Another notable case was the claim that the merge from Quake 1 to Quake 2 rendered 11 months of code useless. Ridiculous. The merge took a few days. Some things surely didn't work right for a while thereafter, but 11 months of code didn't get trashed. There were worse problems afoot... Also, this merge was finished in February of 1998, not January 5th of 1999 (more than a year after Ion revieved the Quake 2 source) -- that's even more ludicrous a statement."


This reminds me of something I've been meaning to do. ;-)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-28 04:20:01
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Geoff is the best Game Freelance writer ever, though in a catagory with few other people.. </quote>
Hmm, I used to edit his work, and I can say he's... gotten a lot better.

Tom Chick is the best freelancer in the biz. I wish he'd write for us more; we don't dumb down his articles like some publications do...
#23 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-28 04:25:11
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
Oh, and just so no one thinks I'm being mean, that Daikatana article is quite good.
#24 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 04:34:03
Steve: Some of those old OGR writers used to kick-ass, Jason Ocamambo (sp?) I can't recall the other guys...
#25 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-28 05:27:00
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Steve: Some of those old OGR writers used to kick-ass, Jason Ocamambo (sp?) I can't recall the other guys... </quote>
Really? Hmm... I dunno, it seems most people who "like" game writers are really saying they agree with their reviews or share their tastes. It usually ain't their skillz with da wordz.

Are you thinking of Jason Ocampo, who's now at Gamecenter?
#26 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 05:49:13
<quote>quote]Are you thinking of Jason Ocampo, who's now at Gamecenter?</quote>

Could be... I don't read gamecenter. Anyhoo -- It's more than just how they score a game. It's the way they write. Someone who can do more than just regurgitate the facts is always a bonus (personality, anyone?) I admire people who have the ability to relate to their audience, have a decent grasp of the English language and are not afraid to speak their mind, even if it could upset the masses, publishers or forum hooligans. (Or other Editors)

In the case of Geoff, he just gets a lot of high profile work with very interesting subject matter that I really enjoy reading about.
#27 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-28 06:28:27
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
Sometimes you guys scare me


Happy Cow (back to the wall)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "G-Man"
2000-05-28 06:30:13
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#26</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>In the case of Geoff, he just gets a lot of high profile work with very interesting subject matter that I really enjoy reading about.</QUOTE>
I've been reading Geoff's "Behind the Games" series on Gamespot for years now, and a lot of it isn't what I would call high profile. Rather it is just in-depth like Gamasutra's "Postmortem" series.

Establishing himself as a 'serious' game journalist is probably the best career move he could have made. I've never read a Geoff
Keighley review for example.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Jeremy"
2000-05-28 06:40:14
jnthornh@eos.ncsu.edu
I can see the next big thing in the online community...

Game-reviewer fanboys.

Jeremy<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 06:41:26
<quote>I've been reading Geoff's "Behind the Games" series on Gamespot for years now, and a lot of it isn't what I would call high profile. Rather it is just in-depth like Gamasutra's "Postmortem" series.</quote>

Anytime you can get a headline that reads "GameSpot Presents: Geoff K's etc,etc" (Not JeffK;) I call that pretty high profile. GameSpot is a much more broadly read, mainstream site than Gamastra.
#31 by "RedHeadedStepChild"
2000-05-28 06:44:23
u always scare me happy cow

(back to tha cealing)
#32 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-28 06:44:54
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
<quote>I can see the next big thing in the online community...

Game-reviewer fanboys. </quote>

what do you mean the next big thing? GSI has been doing that stuff for years now.

Happy Cow (anybody got change for 10$)

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Tony"
2000-05-28 07:28:17
Happy: I think you missed the point of his statement.
#34 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 07:45:18
<quote>Game-reviewer fanboys</quote>

hehehe, sad but true :)

It's cool when a reader uses you as a reference for a school report, (video game violence is popular) asks to interview you on their site, sends you email about how 'cool your site is' or creates fan-art for you.  

But on the other hand, the hate mail, forum posts can be VERY nasty at times...(esp if you bash a popular game in a review) I guess it all balances out.
#35 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-28 07:54:32
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
<quote>Happy: I think you missed the point of his statement. </quote>



I think you miss my point. Fan boy journalism is not only here. It's the dominant form of reporting game related information. Why? It's good for business. I see very few, if any news outlets that are not more beneficial to the industry then the consumer. GSI is the grand master of this sort of thing. I remember when Unreal came out (the original game not UT) and planet unreal reported "some modem players have been reporting spotty performance in the Internet game". If that is not Fan boy spin doctoring I don't know what is. The fact was Unreal was totally unplayable online. But had the reported this it would have been bad for business.

So welcome to the future. Fan boy Journalism is here and in full effect.

Happy Cow ( the all knowing, all seeing Bovine)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "None-1a"
2000-05-28 08:06:41
none1a@home.com
Happy it think he meant fanboys for the game-reviewer not the games. Ie people saying they will not buy any game Geoff doesn't recommend even his he's the only one that didn't like it, and things like that.
#37 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-28 08:08:54
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
The point isn't to be a fanboy journalist. It's to be a fan boy of a journalist. See.
#38 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-28 08:09:23
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
Doh! What he said.
#39 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-28 08:29:54
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
whoops, my bad. I did not see the point. I'm sorry

Happy Cow (blushing)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "wabut"
2000-05-28 08:42:02
wabut@yahoo.com http://madownage.cjb.net
the gamespot daiktaiktaktkatatana article was a great read.  The only bad part of it was having it on 36 different pages. Stop with the clicking, just let me scroll! bastards and their banner revenue :)
#41 by "RzE"
2000-05-28 08:58:10
rze@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
apache: ahh.. the life of a webbie!
#42 by "RzE"
2000-05-28 08:58:52
rze@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
<quote>the gamespot daiktaiktaktkatatana article was a great read. The only bad part of it was having it on 36 different pages. Stop with the clicking, just let me scroll! bastards and their banner revenue :) </quote>

Yeah, I would have liked to have printed it out, and read it all at once............... :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDd
#43 by "Andy"
2000-05-28 08:59:50
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#25</b>, Steve Bauman:
<QUOTE>
I dunno, it seems most people who "like" game writers are really saying they agree with their reviews or share their tastes. It usually ain't their skillz with da wordz.
</QUOTE>
Absolutely. Remember all the nasty stuff said about Keighley after Monolith put something about him at the end of Blood 2? That was nothing to do with his talent, that was because a (then-popular) game developer decided to say something bad about him. Now people think he's the best games journo on the planet because they happen to like what he's saying.
#44 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-28 09:18:34
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Now people think he's the best games journo on the planet because they happen to like what he's saying. </quote>
What should happen is you should like a writer even if you disagree. And if you do, maybe their review/article gives you a better understanding of the game.

Since I was a little kid, I've loved reading reviews. Movies, music, it doesn't matter. I devour them all, even the ones I completely disagree with. They don't get me upset (unless they're full of factual errors). They make me re-evaluate my own feelings toward a product. Well, at leas the good ones do...
#45 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-28 10:10:57
Who wasn't impressed that luke skywalker, the porn star, sting, and that guy from indianna jones were all in that wing commander space game from a few years ago?



<quote>Tribes2 and Motley Crue have no real connection; all at the same      time Motley Crue is getting just as much publicity from the game as the developers, and even the game      itself. </quote>
 
gee...  I wonder if they are related?
 
"Dynamix is stupid to put a formerly popular hair band onto their sound track because it is getting them a lot of publicity for the game and thousands of people who probably wouldn't have heard of it any other way will be given some level of exposure to the title"
 
is that the jist of it?
 

"Most of the game's music is going to be done by an independent composer."  Hex, Dynamix

 


<a href="http://cross.randall.tripod.com/motleytribes.jpg"></a>
#46 by "AnalFissure"
2000-05-28 10:30:56
<b>#45</b> "Bad_CRC" wrote...
<QUOTE>Who wasn't impressed that luke skywalker, the porn star, sting, and that guy from indianna jones were all in that wing commander space game from a few years ago?</QUOTE>

Dude! What about Biff, from <i>Back To The Future</i>?!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "Desiato"
2000-05-28 15:39:49
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
Hmm...the only comment I have about music in games is that you'd better give me a control or setup option to turn the CRAP OFF if I don't agree with the game designers musical tastes.

Fortunately I can say that has been not very often where I have invoked that right, but it is good to know it's there.

That's something that will seperate games from film/other media in hollywood. There sure isn't a "mute music" button on your armrest in the movie theatre, or on your video remote.

Personally -- I'd rather listen to some good techno track when deathmatching, but I'm probably in the minority.

Desiato..
#48 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-28 17:36:53
<b>#46</b> "AnalFissure" wrote...
<quote>Dude! What about Biff, from Back To The Future?!</quote>


doh, can't believe I forgot biff!
 

________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-28 18:10:21
<b>#9</b> "Apache" wrote...
<quote>anyone read Geoff Keighley's "Making of Daikatana" article on Gamespot? Brilliant piece of writing. </quote>

 

don't ya hate people who don't provide links?
 

________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Andy"
2000-05-28 18:13:28
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#49</b>, Bad_CRC:
<QUOTE>
don't ya hate people who don't provide links?
</QUOTE>
It was the top story on Blue's for the best part of a day so I guess he thought everyone had seen it.

<a href="http://www.gamespot.com/features/btg-daikatana/index.html">Here you go diddums.</a> That easy enough for you? :)
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