Hey, I'm busy playing the MAG Open Beta, so I'll just offer another of my reposts tonight from AboutGameDesign.com from the Topic:
Predictions for 2010
I'm not a fan of Achievements for the 360 or Trophies for the PS3. And let me tell you, 2010 is going to be an annoying year for me...
I'm no expert in predicting the future, but I think 2010 is going to expand on the whole social media-thingy that's so hot nowadays. Right now you can have your PS3 post your new Trophies on Facebook and I recon all the big three and Steam will deliver even more such features. I have no doubt in my mind that soon I'll be bombarded on Facebook, Live Messenger, Twitter, blogs, etc. about each and every little thing that all my friends do, even though I don't really wanna know.
Web-integration into the console is a good thing if you ask me, but I don't want to use it for Facebook. I want to have my save-games online and stuff like that.
Something I also expect to happen, even though I have nothing to show for it except for a "gut feeling" is that all these music games will have it's last year of glory. But hey, I might be waaaay of base here. But I think 2010 is going to be the year when there's just going to be too much, so it finally crumbles.
One can't be sure, but I think we'll see a huge amount of great iPhone games this year too, but they'll be hard to find amongst all the crap that's also released.
And finally, Microsoft's Natal. Will it be all Microsoft says it will? I hope so, but I don't think so. I'm very sceptical as to how well the technology actually works and I haven't had the chance to try it out myself. If it's actually as accurate as claimed, so it can detect movements on my wrists and fingers then it just might be the best thing since Surround-Sound, but if not, I find it hard to be "all that". But I'd love to do "iPhone-manouvers" in the air and navigate on the TV. I don't however, want to swing my arms around simply to browse some pictures.
Oh, and one last thing. 2010 is going to have a GREAT first half with a bunch of GREAT games!
Now, let's see if I'm all wrong on all points.
Is it allright to make a whole lot less players able to play a game if it means you can make a little bit better?
In the end, I suppose it comes down to commercial thinking where the dollar signs are what matters. But I don't want to discuss that part all too much, instead I want to focus on the developers "feelings".
For example, I have an idea for a great (of course) strategy game that would be absolutely fantastic using the Project Natal for the 360. However, it could also be adapted to be played using a "normal" controller, but it wouldn't be at the same amazing greatness level, but in return every 360 and PS3-owner could play it. The people who are getting Project Natal will probably be very limited.
Now, I don't have any way to develop games for Natal. Nor do I have a way of doing 360/PS3-games on a personal level, so it's all a hypothetical problem. But I'm not sure what I'd prefer doing.
Of course, I want to make the best games possible! But at the same time, I want as many people as possible to play them. It's like making a painting. Is there any point in doing the best painting of your entire life if nobody will ever see it?
From a selling stand point, I suppose there should go alot of research into this. Maybe more people would buy it even if it's for the Natal because:
- It's a better game.
- It doesn't have as much competition amonst the Natal games.
- New Natal owners will want to buy Natal games.
Either way, the bussiness side of it is boring.
I guess it differs from person to person and it would be fun to know which one people overall prefer doing. I for one, I'm not 100% sure, but I think I'd prefer making the Natal-version and actually make the better game.
What would you chose? An excellent product or an almost as great product but which is used by many more people?
I think Project Natal can prove to be a stroke of genius from Microsoft’s side if the technology actually works.
But the one big issue I have with it is that it is input only.
I’m not in any way saying that this will cause it’s utter and complete failure, but it is something that every “Natal game designer” will have to work on.
If Natal actually works, it will be able to pretty much keep track of your entire bodies motions, facial recognition, color recognition and voice recognition. These are all inputs. It gives nothing in return.
What the player will get is audio/visual feedback from the TV/speakers just like with any other game and the designers will have to make that part top notch if it is to provide a great gaming experience.
A “normal” controller gives lots and lots of feedback! Not only does is shake/rumble that might be the first thing people think of, but every time you press a button you can feel yourself doing it, you can feel when it’s pressed and when it’s released. When you’re pulling the sticks, there’s a force applied to your thumb that along with its position and angle tells you how far you’ve pulled it.
Some might argue that Natal is like Wii with its motion sensors, but I disagree. You still have the physical Wii-mote, its weight and its buttons. I don’t think it’s anywhere near Natal.
I think even the iPhone would be a better comparison. There are tons and tons of games being released for the iPhone and many of them suffer from not being able to give the player enough feedback when it comes to controls. I get sad every time I see an iPhone game with a D-Pad smacked right onto the screen. It really never works.
But games using the accelerometer and make games that you lean and tilt the iPhone to control, they work like a charm, because you get 1:1 feedback. I lean the iPhone, I lean what’s inside the iPhone.
Another input only gaming device are microphones used in singing games, like Singstar. The microphones don’t give any feedback to the player and the great thing is; they don’t have to!
Just as Singstar single handedly proves that it doesn’t have to be problem, a game for Natal could easily do the same. But I’m really hoping that all Natal designers out there will work hard on this issue and create something other than karaoke games and “dodge the ball”-stuff.
I have no doubt in my mind that it’s possible.
And btw, no one said you can’t have a game that uses both a normal controller and the Natal-camera, right? Enhancing!