Saturday, March 12, 2005

Rants at the GDC

There are some great rants that have been transcribed from the current Game Developer's Conference in California. Here are a few excerpts from my favorite rants:

I say, enough. The time has come for revolution! It may seem to you that what I describe is inevitable forces of history, but no, we have free will! EA could have chosen to focus on innovation, but they did not. Nintendo could make development kits cheaply available to small firms, but they prefer to rely on the creativity on one aging designer. You have choices too: work in a massive sweatshop publisher-run studio with thousands of others making the next racing game with the same gameplay as Pole Position. Or you can riot in the streets of redwood city! Choose another business model, development path, and you can choose to remember why you love games and make sure in a generation’s time there are still games to love. You can start today.
Greg Costikyan

Wal-Mart drives development decisions now. When publishers minimise risk by kow-towing to the retailers, you have a serious problem. When every game has to either be a blockbuster or a student film, we got a real problem. For my end of the game business all of our efforts are going into reaching a mainstream audience who may well even not be interested in what we do! My first game cost me 273,000 dollars. My next one is BLAH millions. How many of you work on games that make money? 4 out of 5 games lose money, according to one pundit who may be lying, admittedly. Can we do any worse if we just trusted the creative folks entirely instead of the publishers?
Warren Spector

Q: Retail developers, get out of your death march! Do you guys think it’s possible for a young student who wants to get in to be an independent developer? Is this possible? Artists these days are getting a 30K dollar degree to work in a 40K job for 80 hours a week. It’s disgusting.

Jason: not an easy path. IGDA are trying to help. All the time when .. we see a lot of students and schools, and when they work on game projects in schools, every one of those projects is a clone of an existing game. NOW is your time to make something innovative or wacky.

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