|09-05-2012, 07:03 PM||#1|
I R Happy Goat
Join Date: May 2002
Creative Assembly: "70 per cent of games aren't good enough"
from edge-online.com ............ "Most of them look okay or even good, but they play like ****," Total War Battles designer tells us.
Total War Battles: Shogun lead designer Renaud Charpentier has slammed the lack of design focus in today's developers, telling us that 70 per cent of games simply do not pass muster as a result.
Renaud's comments followed an impassioned session at Unite 2012 last month in which he and fellow The Creative Assembly colleagues Nick Farley and Mattijs Van Delden stressed the value of prototyping early on in a project.
"When you look at the market, probably 20 to 30 per cent of the games are confident, and maybe 60 to 70 per cent are not good enough," he told us at the Amsterdam conference.
"Usually, they run. Most of them don't crash - most are competent technically. Most of them look okay or even good, but they play like ****."
It's a bold statement, borne of Charpentier's frustration with development studios' focus on technological progress over gameplay refinement. Too many developers, he believes, fail to recognise the benefit of prototyping gameplay and game ideas early enough in a project to inform other key areas of the development process.
"Their biggest risk is not on the tech, not on the art, it's on the design," he insists. "You have to front-load that: it has to drive many of the other decisions.
"Hopefully that's something we manage to do at Creative Assembly, and that we managed to do with Battles, but it's still something that I think is lacking [in the industry] and it has to change.
"We can't keep releasing games that anyone can tell are not interesting to play after 30 minutes when 20 or 30 people spent two years working on them. It doesn't make any sense.
There will always be ways to squeeze a little more performance out of hardware, find the extra memory you need or render a game object more efficiently, Charpentier asserts - even late in the day - but no developer can make a "turd into a great game to play" in the final three weeks of production. Despite calling for greater weight to be placed on design, however, he still recognises the need for the tools and efficient workflows that will make early-day prototyping productive.
"Is not about writing a 100-page document of design that is totally useless, no one will read and will be out of date by the time they do," he says. "It's about crafting the game.
"For that you need tech that is ready. I've [faced this problem] in previous teams, where I would have wanted to prototype, but the engineer tells you the animation system for combat won't be ready in four months. What do you do? You're blocked. You can't be absolutely sure that certain timings will work, certain controls."
But despite his experience from inside the industry, perhaps Charpentier biggest frustration is from the perspective of a gamer.
"As a player, I hate going through the burden of downloading a game, installing it, rebinding the controller, going through the tutorial, playing another couple of hours and then realising it's ****ing boring!"
"There is also a river called Helikon [in Pieria]. (...) But, they go on to say, the women who killed Orpheus wished to wash off in it the blood-stains, and thereat the River sank underground, so as not to lend its waters to cleanse manslaughter."
—Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 30. 8
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