March 17, 2006

Robots, Rendering and More

by Andrew Stern · , 5:02 am

6 Responses to “Robots, Rendering and More”


  1. Patrick Says:

    The SotC article is amazing, an inspiration to artists, designers and coders alike. The blurring technique they used to generate the impressionistic effect in particular is rather mind-blowing.

    As for EA being the innovative ones, as read on Troy’s blog, I should point out that Will Wright is’t technically part of EA, even though they fund him after, oh, nine years of bugging to do a social game that, to the suit’s chagrin, changed the market topography forever. Sure, they’re now resorting to “original” IP, but that doesn’t mean original gameplay.

    On that note, I fully believe you can make it big in the indie scene, and the way to do it is well, the way I plan to do it. I’ll post about that money-in-indie-games article a bit later.

  2. Troy Gilbert Says:

    Patrick said “…I should point out that Will Wright is’t technically part of EA…” Actually, I think you’re a bit off in your wording their (though the sentiment is probably okay). Technically, Will Wright is most certainly part of EA: regular, full-time employee (just like me), working at a studio (Maxis) that is certainly part of the EA Worldwide Studios. But, your sentiment that Will Wright is not part of the standard EA structure, is not crazy. He is one of the few developers inside of EA to have earned an essentially free ticket to do as he pleases; he also operates outside of any corporate mandated timelines; and he ultimately have almost complete creative control over his product. But, anything different for the guy who gave EA the best selling computer game of all time would be crazy. He’s exceptional, and I’m as guilty as the next guy for using him to both prove and disprove the exceptions in EA’s standard operating procedures.

    Stay tuned for an article I have regarding the whole “original” gameplay (i.e. innovation) that’s bandied about so much when bemoaning our current gamedev world. I’m afraid it’s going to be more rain on folks’ parades, much like Jeff Vogel’s article that I linked to (in the post linked to above).

  3. Is Gameplay Innovation Really the Answer? at Troy Gilbert Says:

    [...] rlier (and was recently linked to from Grand Text Auto). Patrick quickly recaps the observations made by Jeff Tunn [...]

  4. Troy Gilbert Says:

    Here’s the article I referenced: Is Gameplay Innovation Really the Answer?. Enjoy.

  5. Michael Says:

    When Janet was preparing her talk for USC, she started a discussion on the Tech Digital Media mailing list about the whole “when will games make us cry” issue. It was a fun discussion, with many faculty and students chiming in. As one would predict from a bunch of people who study and make games, almost everyone agreed that “when will games make us cry” is the wrong question (consistent with prior discussion at GTxA on this issue). My contribution to the internal Tech discussion was:

    “One problem with the question is that it’s become a cliche. Maybe Michael (Nitsche) is right and it was asked to early, but at this point there’s no better way to make an audience of game scholars groan than to ask “has or should a game make you cry”. Probably a more productive approach is to unpack what the “should games make us cry” question is really asking. Games already engender emotional responses (as Clara points out), including emotions such as pride, sense of accomplishment, anger, loss, nostalgia, wonder, fear, etc. So the question can’t be a gloss for “do games produce powerful emotional responses” because the answer is already (and has been for decades) yes. So the question is really a gloss for things like “Do games have characters you truly empathize with? Do games structure experience around complex human problems/issues (without the social/emotional content becoming a non-interactive patina of canned cut-scenes)? Do/can games produce a powerful sense of catharsis? Can/should games produce emotional experiences similar to those produced by cinema?” So, if I was giving this talk, I’d structure it as an unpacking of the cliched question (acknowledging that it has become cliche), trying to dig at the deeper issue felt by game players and designers who keep asking this question (a sort of freudian unpacking of the latent concerns/neuroses that the repeated asking of this question signals).”

  6. andrew Says:

    Here’s the pdf of Janet’s talk.

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