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What's Japan Thinking?
October 2nd 2002, 18:58 CEST by Matthew Gallant

They certainly have the attention of the english-speaking game players. They don't even make any PC games. (Note to Warren: yes, they do make some PC games.)

"It's too hard to get a publisher to greenlight any project that isn't closely related to a hit" is the mournful cry of the suffering western developer. Apparently many brilliant proof-of-concept demos have been laughed out of the building, and genius developers are instead being handed a design document with only the words "like Counterstrike/Warcraft/Quake but with pirates/ninjas/robots/robot pirates versus ninjas...with big boobs," or "just like your last game except with better graphics" and then getting shoved out the door. Some don't even get to visit the publisher and pitch, and are just getting an e-mail that simply says "cel shading".

It's not that developers don't have good ideas that they can prove make good games, right? Super ideas that are fresh are a dime a dozen, after all. Western publishers just hate everything different and good, because none of it ever makes money. In Japan, publishers are just crazy and love to throw money away. Maybe they are propped up financially by their government. Maybe people in Japan buy everything to make up for nobody actually buying Japanese games in the west-- the 70+% of westerners saying the Japanese have better ideas are all talk and no wallet.

And have you looked inside an arcade lately? Nearly every game in an arcade is from Japan. We in the west know that arcades are dying. We even leave the development of clones of hit arcade games to Japan, that's how dead arcades are. They happily deliver, as if they were actually making money from all these expensive machines.

I think sometime not too far from now, Japan will be tired of wasting all their money on console games and arcade machines and will start to want to waste money on PC titles more often. They now understand, thanks to Starcraft, how many asians have PCs and would love to buy their stupid crazy games. They'll have to start releasing those games here in order to not make any money. Maybe that will finally bankrupt them and put the reins of this industry (that's making more money than movies) in the hands of the people actually making money: us.
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#1 by Warren Marshall
2002-10-02 18:59:38
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
(Note to Warren: yes, they do make some PC games.)

I've said differently?

"Hope this is what you wanted,
Hope this is what you had in mind,
'Cause this is what you're gettin'."
#2 by Ergo
2002-10-02 19:00:42
Of course you have, you fool! This is Planetcrap!!!

Sum Ergo Cogito

DVDs
#3 by brnt
2002-10-02 19:10:36
I voted yes for this topic, although now the reasons elude me.

"Shiver me timbers!  A galatic vortex of disapproval!"
#4 by PClurker
2002-10-02 19:10:39
cmoore@zombieworld.com
Any sources for any of this info or was it all an interesting dream you had?
#5 by Warren Marshall
2002-10-02 19:16:59
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I voted yes for this topic, although now the reasons elude me.

I noted "No" and it immediately appeared on the front page.

"Hope this is what you wanted,
Hope this is what you had in mind,
'Cause this is what you're gettin'."
#6 by Charles
2002-10-02 19:17:15
www.bluh.org
North Americans can't compare with the Japanese for the pure polish that makes titles go above and beyond when it comes to quality.  That's why they can make weird ass shit, and it still kicks ass.  The polish is there, and they understand what makes a game fun.  

Yes yes, sweeping generalities, but it seems to me that their great games eclipse our great games.  And of course, everyone will argue "But we don't get their crap games" and that's true.  But you just compare the best of each, and the japanese go home winners.

"There is a huge difference between disliking somebody - maybe even disliking them a lot - and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
#7 by Charles
2002-10-02 19:17:31
www.bluh.org
Thank you Warren.

"There is a huge difference between disliking somebody - maybe even disliking them a lot - and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
#8 by Ergo
2002-10-02 19:18:09
It would be nice if Asian developers embraced the PC platform. However, they need to create games that aren't half-baked ripoffs of xCraft or Diablo, which so far is about all we've seen.

Sum Ergo Cogito

DVDs
#9 by Xero
2002-10-02 19:18:15
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
UT2K3 under Windows OS, flavor comparisons at Tom's.

The gun in the establishment's hand makes the establishment secure in its exploitation. "
Huey P. Newton
#10 by Charles
2002-10-02 19:20:06
www.bluh.org
Ergo, I think they should stick with what they are best at.  The PC platform is SHIT for games.  Every time I have to fight with my system to make something run, it makes me want to abandon PC gaming altogether.  About the only thing that keeps me around is just a few gems that can't be had on console.  But, seeing as most PC games are getting their console equivalents lately, I might just relegate my PC to a non-gaming status.

"There is a huge difference between disliking somebody - maybe even disliking them a lot - and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
#11 by Ashiran
2002-10-02 19:22:27
The range here is from crap to excellent topnotch.
The range in Japan is from demonic shite to divine.

They just have a bigger range over there. I think the average quality of games is roughly the same.

Also, you fight like a girl.
#12 by Ergo
2002-10-02 19:23:39
I rarely have to struggle with my PC to get anything to run. Just lucky, I guess. Consoles will never become my platform of choice, mainly due to the fact that I hate using the standard gaming controller for every type of game, regardless of genre. Playing a FPS on a console gives me the shudders.

Sum Ergo Cogito

DVDs
#13 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-10-02 19:29:58
I only play PC games, so if Japan wants to make some cool PC goodness that's cool with me!

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#14 by The Warthog
2002-10-02 19:33:05
warthog@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com
Warren Marshall:
I voted "No" and it immediately appeared on the front page.

Perhaps we have discovered Morn's voting tally scheme he designed to ensure that only the most unresearched, scandalous, and frivolous topics get to the front page as quickly as possible.

An Auto-Andy, if you will.
#15 by Charles
2002-10-02 19:33:05
www.bluh.org
Ash, I don't consider the range argument valid, because we don't buy the crap games.  I can only compare the games I buy, and I only buy the good games.

"There is a huge difference between disliking somebody - maybe even disliking them a lot - and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
#16 by Matthew Gallant
2002-10-02 19:35:10
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
I've said differently?


It was a joke referencing the little discussion we had over whether or not anyone plays deathmatch anymore.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#17 by "Ghost in my Shell"
2002-10-02 19:38:10
Well Im pissed, went looking for UT2K3 today and its 50 bucks all over and the Unreal Editor book that M. Rein did wont come to our bookstores for another 2 weeks or some shit.

Did I mention I live an hour from Raleigh?

On a brighter note I found a place selling tri-fold DVD cases so now I can make a superior case for UT2K3 when I finally get it :-)
#18 by jjz
2002-10-02 19:38:29
I like deathmatch.
#19 by "Ghost in my Shell"
2002-10-02 19:38:52
BTW anyone play Mr. Mosquito for the PS2, thats one of those oddball japanese games that made it over here, its weird but a good rental for shits and giggles
#20 by Warren Marshall
2002-10-02 19:39:25
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I was in Best Buy yesterday and they had tons of them on the shelves ... it should be possible to find it in the Raleigh area pretty easily.

"Hope this is what you wanted,
Hope this is what you had in mind,
'Cause this is what you're gettin'."
#21 by Marsh Davies
2002-10-02 19:40:40
www.verbalchilli.com
Is that the one where you suck blood from a teenage girl's booby?

Sounds... innovative.

#22 by Marsh Davies
2002-10-02 19:42:04
www.verbalchilli.com
That was in reference to Mr. Mosquito, by the way.

#23 by Matthew Gallant
2002-10-02 19:43:30
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Any sources for any of this info or was it all an interesting dream you had?


Sources are for non-Rip Torn beardos. This is a man-on-the-street piece.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#24 by Ergo
2002-10-02 19:43:56
Best Japanese game title ever:

Irritating Stick.

Sum Ergo Cogito

DVDs
#25 by "Ghost in my Shell"
2002-10-02 19:47:59
#19

Ill probably head to Raleigh tomorrow buy this shit then...drop off more job applications, and then ninja my way to your offices and get some autographs =)

Oh yeah check this out...

http://www.iespell.com/

Its a built in spell checker for input boxes in IE so we look less dumb around here ;-)
#26 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-10-02 19:49:07
Why on earth would people ditch the console market? it has always and continues to be a much bigger market than the PC games market. This topic is rediculous and seems to assume the ultimate evolution of game development lies in the PC market, and that's just plain wrong. A mediocre selling console game outsells even some of the very best selling PC titles. The PC by it's general purpose nature makes it a rather poor choice as a gaming platform, not to mention the cost of a PC over that of a console. Japan is thinking right, why the hell else do you think they've owned the console market since the Atari died.

Women always see a need for improvment, and men only improve things to either keep them from having to get off of their asses later, or to keep drinks cold.
#27 by Ergo
2002-10-02 19:55:39
The topic says nothing about "ditching" the consoles. It talks about the possibility of expanding into the PC market.

Sum Ergo Cogito

DVDs
#28 by LPMiller
2002-10-02 19:59:22
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Yeah....dumbass!

I believe I can fly......urk.
#29 by Charles
2002-10-02 20:00:05
www.bluh.org
Somehow I get the feeling a lot of people missed the point of the article.

"There is a huge difference between disliking somebody - maybe even disliking them a lot - and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
#30 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-10-02 20:01:07
Yes.

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#31 by jjohnsen
2002-10-02 20:08:31
http://www.johnsenclan.com
UT2K3 under Windows OS, flavor comparisons at Tom's.


I've started having dreams about the Radeon 9700.  Anyone here have one that could share a review with us?  I know Caryn was talking about picking one up, but I don't know if she ever did.

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#32 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-10-02 20:12:24
I don't want to hear about the Radeon 9700, it will just make me feel bad that I paid $650 (Canadian, eh?) for my TI4600.


weeps

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#33 by Matthew Gallant
2002-10-02 20:14:19
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
They aren't going to ditch the console market, TheTrunkDr. (they do allow spaces here, you know), they could possibly expand into the PC market. Or the PC market will shrivel even further under the tidal wave of Japanese console releases. It doesn't matter. Either way, the Japanese are steering the market more and more, and they do it by producing original titles at a far higher rate than is done over here, where it is a struggle to get a publisher to even consider something that isn't a sequel or clone.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#34 by LPMiller
2002-10-02 20:14:27
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I have one, and I reviewed it

I know that's self pimping, so if you don't want to go there, to sum up: Nice card, CPU limited in some ways so don't expect a huge boost on lower end processors, running it with FSAA and Ansio is love, damn expensive with shit for a bundle.

If I were to pick on up, I'd seriously consider the Hercules Version

I believe I can fly......urk.
#35 by MCorleone
2002-10-02 20:17:37
When ATI realizes that a premium video card is 50% hardware, 50% driver, then I'll think about them.  Until then I don't care if they had a card that could churn 300% of the frames the next closest NVidia could.  Without a stable driver it's crap.

<m0nty> ZTSDSTOP LAUGHIN U FIXX0rs
#36 by m0nty
2002-10-02 20:34:50
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I hope that MattG will provide the at least the same level of research and insight that went into this topic to his work as a freelance gaming journalist, notably for Gamespot. Possibly, more so.
#37 by Leslie Nassar
2002-10-02 20:38:46
http://departmentofinternets.com
Huh?

I just want to stand on land...
#38 by Ergo
2002-10-02 20:41:37
Again, huh?

Sum Ergo Cogito

DVDs
#39 by Bezzy
2002-10-02 20:45:01
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
I've had a lot of trouble with my Radeon... Nothing D3D runs, and a lot of people seem to be having this problem. But if your motherboard is anywhere near well supported, you should be okay. I agree with LPMiller. It's a damn fine card, and putting all the details up in whatever game (so long as it's coded well and none of the graphical elements are handled on the CPU rather than VPU... eg UT2K3 (I think)) make little difference to speeds at all, which is really nice. It can basically handle anything you throw at it. Just make sure you have a nice processor, or it'll be a little limited.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#40 by LPMiller
2002-10-02 20:54:48
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Yeah, some motherboards have iffy AGP voltages that seem to kill the Radeon. Haven't had any game problems with it myself yet, but my understanding is there are serious problems in many sim games like Nascar - ghost cars, etc.

Their drivers have come a long way, but they still aren't up to Nvidia levels, and they still have a sissy OpenGL driver - the Radeon should destroy a Geforce 4 in OpenGL, yet it only stays about even. It does handle the upper resolutions better though.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#41 by "fyrewolf"
2002-10-02 21:00:46
There's plenty of unique and different games out for the PC.  You just have to look a little farther than the eye-level row at the local EB.  They may not get the press or be nearly as polished as the top titles, but they do exist.  There's also thousands of older games that aren't just another FPS, RTS, or RPG.  No one could have possibly played all of them.

It seems to me that people aren't complaining about what the developers are doing, but rather what people are buying.

And the Japanese console market is no different.  The top games are always going to be Boob Fighter 12, yet another Square RPG, and Tokimeki Preschool.  The more esoteric games never do as well as people think.
#42 by Bezzy
2002-10-02 21:03:49
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
On topic: it would be nice if bigger publishers could fund smaller games studios to do more interesting games, rather than cash cows... something close to R&D, but with game paradigm reseach.

Bigger companies... WestWood, MS, Blizzard (I'm not really sure who's in a position to do this) might be able to do this the same way in which Fox Search Light and Warner Villiage Roadshow fund somewhat indie films. Ensuring an off the wall project is finalized by allowing people the time and money to work on it can surely only be beneficial in breaking out of the over processed samey games. As Matt said, it's not like developers of franchise games like constantly covering old ground (well, not all of them). Maybe this would be a way to open up the publics' (and thus publishers') minds to a wider variety of games, giving developers a little more of the freedom that they constantly wish they had.

Seth from humanhead was saying to me yesterday that the encapsulation of creativity into a money making system is infact the exact opposite of creativity - how can you give creativity boundaries? But as it is, developers are already bounded by hardware restrictions, and so being bounded by revenue restrictions is not something that you should let annoy you - the point being that any artistic sentiment felt by a developer has to be filtered by management before the final product hits the shelves. Like hardware restrictions, this is an artificial filter that we can work against, but it has to be gradual. Just as I have to wait for new fucking drivers before my top of the range radeon works properly, we also have to wait for the public to digest the thin edge of the wedge of more varied and interesting games. That needs to be done by getting the public to want more variety, and the only way to do that is to introduce them to a wider variety of games. It's a bit of a catch 22, but funding for off the wall projects could help this, couldn't it?

I don't know if this is a sensible suggestion. I'm always a little warey of comparing cinema and games. There is some resemblance, but I wouldn't put money on sponsorship deals going on anytime soon. I hope, but I doubt.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#43 by Your Friend
2002-10-02 21:05:26
The Japanese, by and large, won't come to the PC, they'll just bring the useful aspects of the PC over to consoles.  Keyboards, mice, network adapaters (online gaming), and HDTV support for higher res games.

So I think post #0 is misguided.
#44 by Greg
2002-10-02 21:06:44
I'd like to see the next cash cow game be about one cow's dream to unite the herd.

Who is driving?! Oh my god, bear is driving! How can that be?
#45 by Greg
2002-10-02 21:08:06
Remember, who ya gonna call to fund indie developers?

Seamus Blackley!!!!

Who is driving?! Oh my god, bear is driving! How can that be?
#46 by brnt
2002-10-02 21:11:17
Holden:
I've told you a million times! First you do the safe movie, then the artsy movie, and then the movie you do because your friend says you owe it to him.


I think that would sum up the industry if games followed the film paradigm.

"Shiver me timbers!  A galatic vortex of disapproval!"
#47 by Bezzy
2002-10-02 21:12:06
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
fyrewolf - Indeed. I'm incredibly disappointed how many playstation 2 owners I've met who've never heard of Rez. And I grate my teeth as they tell me what a cool game Final Fantasy X is.

I figure that people will grow to properly appreciate games. For every gaming idiot I meet, I also meet people who have known and loved the classics, old and new. My peers at university have grown up with videogames. Those that have grown in appreciation have become tired of patronization, and are irked. If there's ever an emerging market for more interesting offbeat games, it's them. And the market will always remain in a minority because it requires time and effort (and I dare say, intellect) to become that interested, but the minority will eventually be big enough for a big ol' company to reap the rewards from, if only they'd cater for them.

It's only a matter of time, which is not to say that we should wait on our asses. The flow of increased appreciation still needs to be pushed in that direction.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#48 by Bezzy
2002-10-02 21:13:11
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Greg: A sorry state of affairs when our only leader is dead :/

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#49 by Your Friend
2002-10-02 21:17:31

fyrewolf - Indeed. I'm incredibly disappointed how many playstation 2 owners I've met who've never heard of Rez. And I grate my teeth as they tell me what a cool game Final Fantasy X is.


I so wanted to like Rez, but after the first level its just...boring.  Fun to watch when chemically altered though, like a Jeff Minter VLM.  Final Fantasy X sucks.

When it comes to underappreciated games for the PS2, I'd have to say Adventures of Cookie & Cream is #1.
#50 by Your Friend
2002-10-02 21:18:48
I think you're confusing Seamus Blackley with Seamus McNally.
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