Molyneux: Game Development Has To Change
Every Sunday morning, I wake up and pray that outspoken Lionhead/European Microsoft Games Studio head honcho Peter Molyneux has made some controversial comments to help offset the typically slow news. More often than not, he does. In this weekend's Engadget show, Peter voiced the opinion that videogame development has reached a crucial stage and requires a paradigm shift to survive.
“The way we develop games has to change. It’s always had to change. Now, if you look at the big shift — there’s this huge panic that’s happening in the computer games industry at the moment. I think the industry is feeling that what defines us is slipping through our fingers."
Peter's argument focuses on the theory that now more than ever, gamers are craving quality from the medium- that can only be obtained from fine tuning and tweaking games once they're completed. He suggests that publishers are simply not giving developers enough time to polish their games at the end of the dev cycle.
“I think some of the processes that were put in place by games like Heavy Rain and Uncharted 2, and Bungie are very very good at doing this — finishing their game way before they need to launch it. I think they’re the professionals that we all kind of aspire towards here.”
He's not wrong. Heavy Rain and Uncharted 2 were polished thoroughly enough to see infinity in them- and the difference in quality between Halo: Combat Evolved and the rushed Halo 2 is plain to see. I, for one, hope that Molyneux's plea starts to resonate around the industry. [Engadget]
Patent: Kinect Will Understand Sign Language
The Kinect patent has finally been unearthed in full- and as you'd expect, it;s full of interesting discourse about "skeletal mapping" and "gesture keyboarding" that's well worth a read if you've got a slow Sunday afternoon to kill. However, in amongst the jargon lies an interesting little detail that could well revolutionise the gaming experience for handicapped players. Apparently Kinect will be able to understand American Sign Language.
The peripheral will apparently be able to synthesise sign language gestures into words and phrases, allowing deaf gamers to communicate naturally in real time. This might not be viable for trash-talking in the middle of a close-fought MW2 firefight, but it certainly does open up the medium (and, dare I say, the online community) to a wider audience. It also suggests that Kinect will be able to differentiate between a huge range of small-scale similar gestures, which bodes well for the resolution and experience as a whole. [Thanks, Slashgear]
In other news, we'll be getting hands-on with Kinect tomorrow (and probably making massive twats of ourselves in the process). Stay tuned for our impressions!
SOE Reveals "EverQuest Next"
Listen up, EverQuest fans! I'm about to make you both very happy. At their annual Fan Faire, SOE President John Smedley has announced that a new EverQuest title is currently in early development.
Details about the imaginatively-named EverQuest Next are still thin on the ground, but apparently it'll be a stylised affair that will take its cues from the 1999 original. We'll bring you the latest as we hear it. [1UP]
EA DLC: Is This The Last Straw?!
EA's Project Ten Dollar and aggressive downloadable content policy has been cluttering up XBLA and PSN with a steady putrid stream of pointless incremental drivel. The sports franchises, Dragon Age and Mass Effect are all creaking under the sheer weight of unnecessary churned-out pap... but the newest Xbox Live Marketplace listing for NHL 11 has revealed a new DLC record.
That's right, folks. EA are willing to flog you 156 pieces of DLC for a single game- most of which are tiny tweaks. Personally, I pine for the days when cheats used to be free at the back of Gamesmaster magazine.
It's time for y'all to get involved on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Has DLC g0ne completely bonkers? Is it hurting the industry and consumer trust in the long run- or just a bona fide way of clawing back lost revenue? Have your say in the comments!