Glitch Feed


Stubbs, he was a good guy by +peter
August 15, 2006, 1:18 am
Filed under: Indie Games, the industry

Look. Its 1 AM and I just spent 2 hours trying to study Japanese, so please don’t criticize my grammar.

Here at Glitchfeed, many of us are aspiring game designers. As you are reading this, some of us are working hard at bending the UT2K4 engine to our will. Its a difficult battle for we lack the needed finesse to “woo” the engine into taking off its clothes and becoming our bed mates. The only thing this “Axe” body spray we are using attracts are horny hamsters (discusting with a dash of adorable).

As if we needed a reminder that it does not get easier, Gamasutra.com has an excellent article up, the postmortem of the almost hit Stubbs the Zombie, written by Alexander Seropian.

For those of you not in the know, he was one of the original developers of the Halo series. He fled Bungie to start up his own indie company Wideload and continued on to make the zombie game that HE wanted to.

The start of his article lists out the “commandments” that his company worked hard to adhere to. The general idea of which is that they are to remain the final say in the creative process and rule out the influences that any third parties (publishers) might have.

His guidlines are fodder for artists and indie developers, and he discusses the benefits and pitfalls of the company’s mantra.

Give it a peak! Discuss in the comments section … they work!

Peter “brraaaaaaiiiinnnnss” Traylor
I could proofread this, but I dont wanna

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Get your indie face on by +peter
July 10, 2006, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Indie Games, Opinions, the industry

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As an art student, I like to adhere by the social rules that art students are encouraged to follow as often as possible. When starting our education, we are given a guide with instructions on how to be artsy, and the good lord knows I always try to follow it to the letter.

Examples: I like to eat tofu and sushi. I don’t own nor watch television. I wear Birkenstocks. I own a Mac, and am proud of it. I pretend I understand modern art. On principle, I do not associate myself with those of the “frat” and “greek” persuasion, and I always support the little guy (except when their playing against the Red Sox).

As my interests lie within the gaming industry, it is only natural that my finely developed artistic sensibilities would have me bemoan the evil, mega-corporate game companies and support the indie game scene.

Within reason of course, I do not jump for joy every time another marble rolling game is released, but I am inspirited by the potential of the indie developer. Without the need to purge a large amount of risk, these pint sized groups allow themselves to bring to the commercial table developed concepts that challenge the fundamentals of where the industry stands today.

Our good friend Ron Gilbert seems a more dissatisfied with the indie scene than I might hope. He laments the lack of craftsmanship, saying that there is just not enough polish to in the indie scene to compete with the mega blockbusters. Ron does not fault the developers on this issue, rather states that the cost of technology is just so outrages that indie developers cannot afford the investment needed to bring their games to a level that can compete with the multi million dollar projects.

The next generation of gaming is coming, and you better have the specularity on your normal maps dialed up to a thousand and have your dynamic soft shadows softer than a kitten if you expect to achieve any sort commercial success. Right?

Continue reading



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

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