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thoughts of a grumpy gamer by +peter
July 7, 2006, 12:18 am
Filed under: the industry

Now this guy is excellent, I agree with almost everything that comes out of his mouth.

Gamespot has a podcast interview up with Ron Gilbert, the creator of Secret of Monkey Island and producer of Total Annihilation. The interview is part of a new series where GS talks with some of the more notable game designers and gets their opinions on the the state of the industry along with a collection of other stuff.

His take on the state of video games is pretty bitter, thus the name of his blog, Grumpy Gamer, is fitting. Despite his negative outlook, his analysis of the medium is realistic. He laments the glossiness of todays games as they merely icing lacking a cake filling. It could merely be the olde man syndrome of thinking the past days were better, but I believe he speaks the truth when he says that the old games could not hide behind the graphics and rather had to rely on story, character and game play to keep things interesting.

Gilbert believes that the technology will finally plateau around 20 years from now, and only then will the medium begin to move out of its infant stages and into a respectable art medium. The issue now is that we lacking a solid indie movement. Indie games cannot compete with big budget titles because they lack the funding for the required technology that would allow them to achieve the necessary level of polish.

He draws a comparison to the film industry, where an indie film director can easily rent the equipment he needs. Some of the greatest movies were made on extremely low budgets. Surely, the technology for film has evened out, assuring that the better movies are not made because of better technology, rather the better movies are made because of the talent behind them. And that is exactly what the game industry needs, otherwise Gilbert hypothesizes the industry might suffer a major crash.

Ron does miss on a couple points, as he only mentions Tim Schafer (Psychonauts) as being a capable gamer writer. Ragnar Tornquist (The Longest Journey, Dreamfall) for example, is an excellent writer and game designer.

I also disagree with him on the state of indie gaming. While it may appear as indie games are all about rolling marbles, I believe the scene is rearranging itself to deal with the new state of the industry, and we will be seeing more and better content from them as more cost effective channels open up over time.

You can get the interview here via GameSpot.

But also considering that there are roughly 20 people reading this blog (half of which are Steph’s page refreshes 😉 ) I figured I would host the file as while here

Take a listen and let us know what you think! We are of many opinions, please share them!

-roos tah


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

good golly ms. molly, that’s something you’ve been saying for quite some time. now it’s in writing! i say we just keep producing grim fandango series where we just change one element from game to game. like, grim could be a cat in one game, cats with sifes? yeah. that cat is pushing up daisies! aww.

Comment by bluelotusfeet

You’d think there would have been a sequel by now! Sadly, adventure gaming is really dead at the moment … kinda like your cat.

Comment by rooster

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