PlanetCrap 6.0!
Front Page (ATOM) • Submission Bin (2) • ArchivesUsersLoginCreate Account
You are currently not logged in.
T O P I C
Disillusioned Game Developer Shuts Down.
September 7th 2002, 14:28 CEST by Nova Z

Seems to me like the owner was disillusioned with what the game industry has become.  Tired of not being able to pitch original ideas, he felt it worth closing his doors rather than lump themselves in with all the other game developers who sacrifice everything in order to make a quick safe buck.  

A sad situation, but perhaps a fitting testament to what the games industry has become.  Gone are the days of making games for the fun of it, gone are the days where you can do it for the love of it.  Games are big business now, and big business doesn't have the time or money for you to do what you love.
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Disillusioned Game Developer Shuts Down.

|«« - Previous Page - Next Page - »»|
#1 by Matt Davis
2002-09-07 14:36:14
http://looroll.com
Theres always room for low budget stuff.

Also if the company was making about 2.5m a year, doesn't that kind of say that Myst III didn't sell as well as its predecessors??

Oh Cannabis!
#2 by LesJarvis
2002-09-07 14:37:17
quoted from the article:

It seemed as though the company was riding a wave of success after producing the top-selling "Myst III: Exile"


As in the movie industry, the sequels and established characters the Warcraft IIIs and the Mario Bros. get the investments. The innovative, never-been-done ideas that Presto specializes in are sometimes viewed as risky, Kripalani said. [/quote

what else is there to say?

************************
#3 by LesJarvis
2002-09-07 14:37:33
well, you might say CLOSE YER FUCKIN' QUOTE.

************************
#4 by deadlock
2002-09-07 14:49:37
http://www.deadlocked.org/
or close your cuntin quote.

If he's so smart, then how come he's dead?
#5 by Ashiran
2002-09-07 15:19:44
So? What are you going to do about it? Innovation doesn't sell. Know why? Cause it scares people.

Online gaming? Frustration commences.
#6 by LPMiller
2002-09-07 16:12:17
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Oh please.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#7 by Sgt Hulka
2002-09-07 16:23:24
It's like that in most industries.  IMO, Innovation does not come from publishers.  Someone like a Derek Smart will come up with something new before a publisher will.  Publishers want "sure things", or as close to that as they can calculate, and calculate based off previous ideas is pretty much all they do anymore.

In other news, thank god Best Buy is bringing the Fun Zone to San Diego!

You can Feed Sally Struthers for just 3 Cents a Second
#8 by Matthew Gallant
2002-09-07 16:44:31
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
gone are the days where you can do it for the love of it


You do what you love on your own time. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Publishers are stupid, yes, and they just can't get the hang of picking a good game from a bad one, but developers who want to innovate need to make some sacrifices of their own; perhaps they could, hmm, save their money instead of getting that second (or first) Dodge Viper. Then they'd have enough to pool with their friends and make and promote their own project. If Presto, or any developer for that matter, doesn't want to stick their neck out then why should a publisher?

Independent filmmakers do their thing with their own money and then whatever they can scam from private investors. Then they pretty much beg people to look at it when it's done. What makes these games so much better that they can get shopped straight to publishers before they're even finished? Honestly I doubt very many of them would be better, just like not very many independent films are actually any good. But even the best films, with rare exception, have to jump through the hoops. But not games. No, developers are convinced that all a game needs is a proof of concept demo and publishers ought to start drafting milestones and writing checks.

Presto closed down because they were too prideful to make their brilliant game on their own dime and then have to enter it in the Independent Games Festival. I say, good. I don't want to play a game made by a bunch of people with a sense of entitlement.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#9 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 16:52:27
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Matthew

Well said.  The biography of Robert Rodriguez ("Rebel Without a Crew") is an excellent example of this.  He wanted to make films.  So he took all of his money and spent all of his time doing it on his own, making films the only way he could.  Borrowed cameras, using his family as actors, etc.  He even lent his body to science to make enough cash to cover his costs.

I'm not saying everyone has to go to those extremes, but if you want to "do your own thing" don't expect a red carpet to be laid out for you.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#10 by Bailey
2002-09-07 17:47:23
It is a dark, dark day in PC history when a developer agrees with MattG.

As for the Myst games, walking around and solving obtuse puzzles never really struck me as "innovative", so I'm not sure how much claim they had on that title to begin with.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#11 by Neale
2002-09-07 17:51:03
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
If you want to be a garage/bedroom developer, make the game that you want to make. Just don't expect a publisher to notice you and start showering you with money just because you have a website and some forums. Finish your damn game, then go to a publisher.

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#12 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 17:51:21
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
The graphics were really the hook with Myst.  The puzzle solving was just an excuse to keep you moving around the nicely rendered world.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#13 by Bailey
2002-09-07 17:56:47
Sure, but the whole "static world on rails" doesn't particularly impress anyone but Joe Compaq's Mom. Yeah, she's the one pushing the $7.95 ValuSoft titles to the top of the sales list, but that's all comparative.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#14 by Cliff
2002-09-07 18:05:39
cps46@rcn.com
Reading between the lines of the article, it doesn't sound to me like they were doing all that great.  Losing business to cheaper competitors.  Losing development rights for the next Myst.  

And really.

"We were at the point where we had so many expenses and such a high payroll that we started to lose passion in the games," he said.

You know who else "loses passion" when the dough starts running low?  Hookers.

#15 by Neale
2002-09-07 18:09:03
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
You pay by the minute?

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#16 by Leslie Nassar
2002-09-07 18:14:05
http://departmentofinternets.com
Finish your damn game, then go to a publisher.

Silence!  You're destroying the intricate fantasy worlds of hundreds of wannabe developers!  The reason they aren't the kings of the games industry has nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with the fact that they're lazy and untalented.  It's because the publishers just dont 'get' them.  If the publishers did 'get' them, they would have been showered with programmers and artists and designers and women and money and their innovative games would be on the shelves right now.  In fact, you wouldn't even be posting to PC, you'd be playing one of their hard-to-define yet easy-to-conceptualize titles.  It's like Dance Dance Revolution meets Resident Evil meets World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, only edgy and in your face.  It's got 'fun factor' coming out of every orifice and baby, you know you want it.

I just want to stand on land...
#17 by Neale
2002-09-07 18:21:07
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
Ha! Vindicated! I suppose this means I'm not a wannabe any more.

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#18 by Leslie Nassar
2002-09-07 18:22:50
http://departmentofinternets.com
High five!

I just want to stand on land...
#19 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 19:07:40
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Leslie

AIM salutes you!

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#20 by Bailey
2002-09-07 19:32:37
It is a sharp, sudden, flat-palmed salute thrust into the sky at a 75 degree angle.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#21 by Neale
2002-09-07 19:38:21
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
Like Hitler used to do?

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#22 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 19:41:01
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Like the New Nazis do.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#23 by Neale
2002-09-07 20:10:46
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
The bastards.

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#24 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 20:14:54
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I have to agree with WM and MG after reading Bruce Campell's book and seeing how hard they hard to fight and fight and fight and fight to get their first movies made.  I'm starting to think, yeah publishers may be evil incarnate lots of times, but developers seem to be stuck in the idea that's the ONLY way to make a game anymore.

I've gone indie, apparently

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#25 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 20:26:41
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Well, many idea men (turned garage developers) seem to feel that the world will beat a path to their door and shower them with development resources for simply having an idea and the *potential* to make it happen.  Doesn't work that way.  Not without having a track record.  At the very LEAST, you need to get a finished prototype running to show the publisher.

Hell, why even go that way?  Why not release your first title as shareware?  No reason that still wouldn't work today.  The internet is set up so you'd get more exposure than you ever could in shareware's hey day.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#26 by Neale
2002-09-07 20:40:45
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
My take on that is that unless you release the best gaem evar!!!111, then you're going to make bugger all off it. Piracy is going to completely fuck a first-timer over, especially without the facility to use a CD-Key system for multiplayer, or even casual copy protection like Safedisc.

I'm not saying that a publisher (assuming you can find one) wouldn't fuck you over, but surely you're more likely to make something back on it?

I suppose it all depends on whether you're in it for the joy of making games, or for the money.

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#27 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 20:43:04
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Not really.  It wouldn't affect you any more than it would if you were going with a publisher.  Why would they pirate you more than normal?  Plus, with shareware, you keep a MUCH larger percentage of the profits ... you don't have the publishers hand in your pocket.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#28 by bishop
2002-09-07 20:46:33
http://www.darkintel.org/00FF00/
It makes sense, but how do you handle the distribution system?

What I mean is, so you upload your shareware version to fileplanet, how do you ship the full to thoose who want it?

May the end of the world be warm and smoldering.
At least for some of you.
#29 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 20:49:58
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
There are places that will handle that for you ... I don't know them off the top of my head, but I know people that have done it.  Sure, they take a small percentage to handle the transactions for you, but they accept PayPal, credit card, etc and then people can download the full version of your game/app/whatever.

It's definitely cheaper than going through a publisher.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#30 by Neale
2002-09-07 20:51:42
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
The casual piracy that stuff like safedisc stops, I suppose.

I also neglected to mention that a publisher should give you more exposure to the casual audience, rather than just getting mention on Blue's/VE/etc.

Gah, I don't know. It's a problem that particularly bugs me, because I'm working on my own project and I'm not entirely sure which way to go with it. I've settled on the "finish and go to a publisher" approach for the moment, not least because I'd be looking at them to cover the engine licensing costs. I was seriously considering shareware for a while (mainly because of the higher profit margin), but I think that the trade-off between copies sold and profit per copy would work out better via a publisher.

I'll just finish the sodding game first, then panic :)

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#31 by Cliff
2002-09-07 20:52:40
cps46@rcn.com
Without packaging, distribution and marketing costs, you can charge $10 or $20 bucks.  I don't know how well Chronic Logic (of Bridge Builder/Pontifex/TripTych fame) is doing but I'd imagine they get quite a few sales.

It's hard to feel like a screw-the-Man badass rebel when it's obviously just a few guys who love what they do.
#32 by bishop
2002-09-07 20:52:52
http://www.darkintel.org/00FF00/
Good example of games that do that would be the Retro 64 blokes.

Granted, that's not exactle the type of games we're talking about, but the distribution system could work.

I wonder why we never think of things like that for "full scale" projects.

May the end of the world be warm and smoldering.
At least for some of you.
#33 by Sgt Hulka
2002-09-07 20:53:34
I'm not saying everyone has to go to those extremes, but if you want to "do your own thing" don't expect a red carpet to be laid out for you.


No shit. Well said.  I've been doing my "own thing" for ten years and counting and I've yet to get a red carpet from anyone, including the poofters at Epic.  :)

All on my own dime, and I've been burned a few times as well by major league a-holes who work in the industry.  Do I still make games? Pretty much.  I'm also doing films, on my own dime.  

I've always felt the publisher/distributor comes last anyway.  To me, if they get involved early, they're just another voice you have to listen to or heed since they're footing the bill, and since I'm usually working with my vision, I don't care for people fucking with it.

/me am a GDI!

You can Feed Sally Struthers for just 3 Cents a Second
#34 by Cliff
2002-09-07 20:54:27
cps46@rcn.com
That sentence made sence at one point, I swear.
#35 by Neale
2002-09-07 20:59:52
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
Hulka:
That's exactly why I intend to finish  the game first. That way, there is no other voice (barring changes they want you to make at the end)

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#36 by Neo-Reaper
2002-09-07 21:00:07
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
I think another good example is Spiderweb Software.  They make simple yet large scale RPGS, have large demos (I've played some for over ten hours), and allow ordering online.  While they too have trouble with piracy and are not going to be buying Dodge Vipers with the profits, I've seen the owner mention on message groups several times that they make well enough to cover costs and even compensate somewhat for their time.  You know, time spent doing something they love.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#37 by Charles
2002-09-07 21:50:39
www.bluh.org
I'm not sure you can compare indie movies to indie games.  For one, people can appreciate indie movies for their 'artistic' content, and don't need big budget special effects or brand name stars to get the point across.

How many people (even those of PC fame) would put up with a game that looked like total ass, bad art, bad textures, and runs at 5-10 FPS?  Because really, when you can't afford to pay for talent, that's about the best you can get.  Indie movies can get wannabe actors, and they can use crap film equipment, but in the end, the entire point of the movie still gets across, regardless of those things.  Could you say the same of games?  I'm not so sure.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#38 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 21:59:20
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Well, if it truly is all about the gameplay (as I keep hearing), that should come through no matter how shit the graphics.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#39 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 22:04:20
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Nova
How many people (even those of PC fame) would put up with a game that looked like total ass, bad art, bad textures, and runs at 5-10 FPS?


Maybe this where you have to not do a graphics intensive game...  Or maybe a make a game to get you known, but not for profit (i.e. - using any already existing engine and do a mod).  I wouldn't think an FPS is where you'd want to go to make an indie game.


Shareware Idea
Sure, people are going to crack the system you put into place, they always will.  But if your main market is downloading it, then you can have some kind of login system where it checks a website (make it a small check per load or something and it should be that big of deal), if you're worried about it (which can still be cracked, but will stop your average dope).  I don't think piracy is going to be a big deal...  If the game is popular enough to get pirated everywhere then you've got a hit and something to go on with the next game.  :)

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#40 by Cliff
2002-09-07 22:05:25
cps46@rcn.com
Nova
That's the best you can get...if you write an FPS from scratch.  There are other kinds of games too.  

If you truly have some brilliant "idea" for an FPS (bigger guns? badder enemies? "better ai"?), there are cheap/free engines.  Or you could make a mod.  Chances of making it big that way?  Ahem.

Basically, FPSs are sort of the hollywood action blockbusters of gaming.  Not really the market indie movies shoot for.
#41 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:06:14
www.bluh.org
Which is total bullshit, and as a developer, you know it as well as I.  Take a game like, say, half life, and have some 13 year old kid just learning max make the models, and have some wannabe carmack program the engine, and have them rip the sounds from whatever they can get their hands on, and you tell me if anyone would have looked at it twice, with nasty models, textures, and a slow ass ugly engine?

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#42 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:08:53
www.bluh.org
It doesn't matter if its an FPS or not.  About the only indie games that can get anywhere without at least decent art are puzzle games.  And I think popcap cornered that market a while ago.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#43 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 22:10:45
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I don't know that the only people that can draw are at big productions houses, as you appear to be saying.  I've seen indie RTSes that looked good and so on.  If it's something 2D it aught to be a lot easier.  Or something simple in 3D where framerate isn't such a huge deal with the spiffy textures/details (like and 3rd person RPG, for instance).

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#44 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:16:54
www.bluh.org
I agree, 2D would be easier.  A lot easier.  And I'd imagine it would be entirely possible for 2-3 people to make a quality 2d game.  Assuming one of them is a passable artist.

But really, how do you expect to break out of obscurity with a 2D game nowadays?  Most fools want 3d, 3d, and nothing but 3d.  2D?  What's that?  How can that be fun?

You aren't going to gain anyone's attention unless whatever you produce can be appreciated by the target audience.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#45 by Leslie Nassar
2002-09-07 22:20:36
http://departmentofinternets.com
Remember the good old days when all the really good 2D guys were in the demo scene?  Every now and then a bunch of scene people would get together and create a super-slick 2D title (like a platformer, top-down racer, or shooter).  Then they'd release it themselves or go through some shareware company?  Ah, memories...

I just want to stand on land...
#46 by Leslie Nassar
2002-09-07 22:22:12
http://departmentofinternets.com
But really, how do you expect to break out of obscurity with a 2D game nowadays?

They'd need to hit the handheld market.  Developing for an emerging market is just one more risk they're taking.

Of course, even handhelds are going 3D now.  So those kids better get cracking if they want a shot.

I just want to stand on land...
#47 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:34:09
www.bluh.org
Right, handhelds, pocket PCs.  And there are a bunch of titles out for those.  But then again, you are, for the most part, marketing those games at people who can afford them, which also happens to be people who understand 2d games.  Who remember them.

It would be nice if you could indie your games to the GBA, but the only way to do that is with a flash linker.  And it's not a very large amount of people who have them.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#48 by Bailey
2002-09-07 23:24:28
Nova

How many people (even those of PC fame) would put up with a game that looked like total ass, bad art, bad textures, and runs at 5-10 FPS?  Because really, when you can't afford to pay for talent, that's about the best you can get.  Indie movies can get wannabe actors, and they can use crap film equipment, but in the end, the entire point of the movie still gets across, regardless of those things.  Could you say the same of games?  I'm not so sure.

Your comparison is off. There are no indie "Waterworld"-scale movies, but there are plenty of indide "coffeeshop relationship drama"-scale movies. Or to put it another way, if you can create an interesting story using only settings like houses, coffeeshops, whatever typical crap scenes they use in indie flicks, you can be a Sundance success. You're not reaching for Episode 2 level sfx and whatnot. Similarly, an indie game dev should be doing a coffeeshop-level game. Simple, clever, fun, and most importantly original. That's the only way you're going to get noticed.

Make the next Bejeweled, and someone will likely hire you. Attempt to make the next Half-Life or Quake, and you'll still be working on it eight years from now in your parents' garage.

At least, that's my take.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#49 by Neale
2002-09-07 23:32:24
neale@pimurho.co.uk www.pimurho.co.uk
I don't entirely agree with that. Starting from scratch, you're never going to make the next HL/Unreal/Whatever, but using an existing engine as your base, a small talented team can make something that should at the very least be approaching commercial quality.

As long as the concept is sound, and there's genuine talent there, there's no reason at all why an indie developer can't succeed that way.

I hope.

signatures are, as I've stated, for perverts
#50 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 23:53:55
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I think what Bailey is saying is that you don't have to jump into the deep end right off the bat.  If you're trying to build up a portfolio in order to get noticed, Bejewelled or Bubblet clones are a good way to do it ... complete, finished, polished games that you can show prospective employers.  Nothing sells you better than having actual games that you've written to show.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Disillusioned Game Developer Shuts Down.

|«« - Previous Page - Next Page - »»|
P O S T   A   C O M M E N T

You need to be logged in to post a comment here. If you don't have an account yet, you can create one here. Registration is free.
C R A P T A G S
Simple formatting: [b]bold[/b], [i]italic[/i], [u]underline[/u]
Web Links: [url=www.mans.de]Cool Site[/url], [url]www.mans.de[/url]
Email Links: [email=some@email.com]Email me[/email], [email]some@email.com[/email]
Simple formatting: Quoted text: [quote]Yadda yadda[/quote]
Front Page (ATOM) • Submission Bin (2) • ArchivesUsersLoginCreate Account
You are currently not logged in.
There are currently 0 people browsing this site. [Details]