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Thread: N+: Beyond The Postmortem

  1. #1
    Senior Member random10122's Avatar
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    N+: Beyond The Postmortem

    For those that haven't read this, really interesting five page article on Gamasutra about the trials of converting a flash game to xbox live arcade. They also ***** a lot about the quality of games in general

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...postmortem.php

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  2. #2
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    There is also reply to the feedback they got from article:
    http://www.metanetsoftware.com/blog/?p=42

  3. #3
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    It's really refreshing to see open and honest replies from game developers.

    It's what's spoken about within the industry anyway, it's like this blanket where none of this info can get out to the general public.
    I remember the old days where interviews with game developers would actually see them saying some games were crap.
    I think now it's bigger business, where even a casual game for windows is 200k + and a lot of development studios being just one flop away from closing, that no one wants to stand up and point at crap games. It's very "There but for the grace of God..." and no one wants to point and laugh at the fat kid when they could be the next one to be bullied.

    Jeff Minter caused a hell of a fuss when he spoke out about sales on XBLA, hopefully his view won't just be written off as bitterness now ( As it has been by a lot of people ) when others are actually willing to ask why crap sells.

    Squize.

  4. #4
    Patron Saint of Beatings WilloughbyJackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squize
    Jeff Minter caused a hell of a fuss when he spoke out about sales on XBLA, hopefully his view won't just be written off as bitterness now ( As it has been by a lot of people ) when others are actually willing to ask why crap sells.

    Squize.
    Question: Are you saying Space Giraffe was really awesome?

  5. #5
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    Nope, but I'm saying that I can't blame him for being outspoken when he produced what he considered his best work only for to see it sell less copies than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade port.

    With it being such an abstract game in terms of visuals, rather like N+, it could be easily overlooked / dismissed by a lot of casual gamers.
    I think his view was why bother trying to inovate and push things when people seem happy with the average and the crap.

    Squize.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    Game can be innovative and refreshing and full of new ideas and pushing things... and be still bad game that nobody wants to play. Its quite common for innovative game to be hard to control, difficult to understand, full of things that only most hardcore fans find enjoyable. But if the idea itself is solid there will be another game inspired by it and another that gets even more things right until eventually you get game which is fun for large audience and becomes big hit. To get that big hit you still need to go through several stages of interesting-but-boring or innovative-but-unplayable games.

    Like with movies or music, things that sell really well to the masses are rarely the most interesting and/or experimental pieces.

    I think its the question of why you make games. If you make the games because you like to make new things and you make them so you personally like them, then you cant expect them to be loved by masses. Its nice if they do but that is not why you made it first place. But it can be disaster if you want to make well-selling game and it doesnt, you end up with game that nobody likes, even the maker.

    In general, the author is last person to judge something he made. Of course its great and of course it hurts like hell when someone says bad things about it.
    Last edited by tonypa; 03-24-2008 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #7
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    great article random. i luv this kinna stuff.
    Graphics Attract, Motion Engages, Gameplay Addicts
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  8. #8
    ....he's amazing!!! lesli_felix's Avatar
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    It's great to get a heads-up on some XBL politics.

    Though I mostly agree with tony.

    This reminds me of an old thread when raigan kicked up a fuss over N not being considered for the flashforward awards:

    http://board.flashkit.com/board/showthread.php?t=569131

    Frankly you shouldn't start ranting because people don't like what you do. You should go out of your way to fix the situation. Your average consumer isn't always going to be able to discern technical excellence in a game, you need to mix technical excellence with commercial awareness to make your offering attractive to someone who isn't going to appreciate the realistic physics or particle effects straight off the bat.

  9. #9
    2KHeroes / Sylvaniah designer luxregina's Avatar
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    Seems I'll be distributing 2KH through the Wii network as a downloadable game, so I guess i'll have my own insight on the question at some point...

    This said, I'm not too found of the "people buy crap while i'm offering good games" attitude - it reminds me all too well some recent discussion I had with some French "cinema d'auteur" director that was complaining that art movies were making less money than blockbusters. While I recognize that it's indeed sad from autors perspective, I'm also aware that it's the rule of the game : Games belong to the entertainement industry, which purpose is ...to entertain ...

    We might want people to be entertained by creative gameplay, daring graphic or artistic approaches, etc, but ultimately, THEY decide what's fun for them : if people find their fun at playing ABC license-based clones with some XYZ gameplay remixed, so be it : they decide how they want to spend their free time and money. As a devlopper, you either comply, or decide that the market isn't for you, go underground and loose the prospect of making money, until the tide turns and people are ready for something else.

    One publisher that we approached for 2KH asked us to consider basing the game on a known license : the answer was "Hell no" and the project moved along. Now, that's a bet, that's a risk : may be the publisher knows better, and we will fail on the Wii more direct distribution network because people, indeed, want licensed products ... well, then, that will mean i'm not - my product isn't - ready for this market, and I'll move along

    Now, a second issue is that bad games might be clouding the market and that good ones lack visibility because the space is cluttered with a lot of crap. There again, if I can empathize with the autor's perspective, the only thing that comes in my mind, again, is ...well, that's the rule of the distribution network : since it's more open, it has both more competition, and it is more likley to be cluttered by quickly slapped together products.

    N is an awesome game, and i'm sure it will do well on the long run, but I can understand why it doesn't get the same insane visibility than a "Teenage Mutant Karateka Rabit" - word of mouth, reviews, net-hype will eventually compensate, and if it doesn't, that means that the market is not looking for fresh, tight gameplay at this moment : cannot always be at the good place at the good moment.
    In itself, it's a phenomenal luck to be able to go beyond the publishers -sometimes very restrictive- screening, and submit one's game directly to the players ... let them be judges of what's fun for them

    [edit] just realized i'm saying exactly what Tonypa said, only on a lengthier fashion, and since I don't want to have typed all of that for nothing, here goes the [submit reply] button ...oh well, sorry Tony

  10. #10
    Senior Member random10122's Avatar
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    Glad this has kicked up some discussion! Lux and Tony, you are both spot on in my opinion, especially

    To get that big hit you still need to go through several stages of interesting-but-boring or innovative-but-unplayable games.
    I think [N] is doing really well on XBLA though, major nelson was certainly pimping it big time on the xbox podcast...

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  11. #11
    ....he's amazing!!! lesli_felix's Avatar
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    I heard a rumour that if you get to level 678 they start using coloured graphics.

    Does aybody know if that's true? I gave up after being killed the 3 millionth time on the second level.

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