Tag Archives: David Cage

Monopoly of The Multi-platform

I have seen many discussions regarding platform-exclusivities of games in recent times, and I have heard many arguments both for and against.  Some argue that the focus of games should be on the games themselves, and that one should not be confined and restricted by their choice of platforms.  They advocate the breaking down of the platform barrier, and suggests that all games should be available across all platforms, accessible by all – some extremists are even calling for the one single platform system.

I, however, sit on the other side of the fence.  While I do agree that focus should be on the games, and not on the platforms, I personally think that multi-platform gaming is having a negative effect on our gaming.  In my opinion multi-platform is a type of monopoly, and monopolies tends to have a negative impact on competition, on innovation, on brand loyalty, and on the industry in general.  Yes, I understand most people can’t afford multiple systems, and I do agree it is neat being able to play a game for the sake of the game no matter what you own.  But I am still against multi-platform gaming for the monopoly factor alone.

With multi-platform games you usually end up with slightly different experiences anyways, due to the hardware and the different way the games were developed.  I’m sick and tired of having one version with higher rez textures, another with different lighting, while yet another with different bugs or sometimes different playmodes and chars.  I want games developed with particular systems in mind, with focus on that systems capabilities and userbase.  I don’t want games which were developed with the median or the lowest common denominator in mind, with controls that don’t quite work on any of the platforms, and patches and DLCs which comes at different times.

Competition also drives innovation, plus, system exclusive titles (for the most part) just have so much more personality, and I find myself caring a lot more about them than I do with a lot of these big name generic sequel-breeders nowadays.  Modern games I am finding are just becoming so generic, so forgettable and lacking in personality nowadays.  I really do miss the olden days of the old console wars, of the big mascots, where each of the platforms had distinctive personalities.

This is why I am loving the fact that David Cage of Quantic Dream is popping up all over the internet, singing praises about the PlayStation 3, and pledging his loyalty to the platform. This, in my opinion, is great news indeed, not just for fans of Sony and the PlayStation brand, but also for gamers like myself who (as you know) are worried about the current state of the gaming industry, and for the future of gaming in general.  Cage may not be single-handedly revolutionising the gaming world perhaps, but at least he is helping to delay the monopoly, and for that, he has my gratitude and my support.


Recently Played: Project KARA/The Casting

This would be old news for gamers everywhere, but recently at GDC 2012 developer David Cage from French studio Quantic Dream unveiled this stunning short film, an early tech demo for a proprietary engine developed by his team.  Amazingly the video was captured directly off a PlayStation 3 running in real-time, and quoting Cage himself, “It’s not CG, it’s not pre-rendered, it’s really the game”.

As gamer and a tech lover, I am obviously impressed by the technology shown, however, as with tech demo video from 2006 for his previous game ‘Heavy Rain‘, I was more impressed by the writing, the music, the lighting, the camera work, and most of all, the actresses’ performance.  What wowed me was the emotions shown by the characters, and the humanity that radiates from every single frame.

I just wanna say I am personally sick and tired of all the flashy million-dollar gore, sex, and violence  in our media.  Not going to go too much into the story here, in case you have not seen the clip yet, but ‘Project Kara’ is the perfect example of the kind of things I want to see in our games and our films instead. The beauty of a simple song; the sparkling of en eye; the joy of an innocent smile…  It is the humanity, and all the little things that tugs at your heartstrings and speaks to your soul.

Anyways I will also embed below their previous demo clip, titled ‘The Casting’. Both of these clips are not only amazing tech demos, but are also amazing short films in their own right.  Watch and enjoy!

Generically Average

Square-Enix announced earlier this month game-wide server mergers and character transfers for their MMO ‘Final Fantasy XIV‘.  However due to player feedback, they removed the announcement a few days later, stating “In order to ensure that the most desirable and effective outcome is achieved, we will be reassessing the method of the merger process.”

[UPDATE: Square-Enix have announced that the server merger process has been reevaluated, and are going ahead starting from March 1st, 2012.  Details could be found at http://lodestone.finalfantasyxiv.com/pl/topics/detail?id=13222abe211533c87814786dc7c7c72707574cb8 ]

I must say, my feelings are kind of mixed about the whole ordeal.

On one hand, I feel like I SHOULD be happy, myself having resubscribed to the game recently.  Their willingness to reassess their merger process due to feedback means that there are still a large number of active players, and more importantly, a large number of active players who are passionate enough about the game to raise their voices, and give game-changing feedback.  It also means that perhaps, just perhaps, the current developers care about their players, and indeed care enough to listen to and take their feedbacks seriously.

On the other hand, this serves to highlight a problem that I have with a lot of game developers today.  I understand that like the rest of us, they need to make a living too, and that they are under constant pressure from the publishers, the press, the players, and indeed from the rest of the industry in general to succeed.  But it really annoys and saddens me, seeing the way how so many developers could just abandon and change the direction and the development of their projects so easily and willingly.

Personally I have just about had enough with their constant drive for appeasement, and it is breaking my heart, this seemingly lack of conviction on their part.  Again I say, I understand that it is their job, and that they are in the business of producing games that appeals and sells to the masses.  But I couldn’t help but feel that somewhere along the line, their quest for the dollars has lead to the abandonment of their integrity, creativity, and artistic vision, and have in the process let innovation fall by the wayside.

While I might not be a fan of all of their works, I really do admire folks like David Cage, Peter Molyneux, Hideo Kojima, Will Wright, Richard Garriott, and others like them.  I just wish more would join the ranks of these dwindling number of stubborn, self-righteous developers – people who are willing to stand their ground, and create products that are the results of the conviction of their own artistic visions and concepts.

Even if they don’t always succeed on what they set out to create, or deliver on their promises, at least you’d know that each time you start up one of their games, you’re in for something unique and distilled with personality.  You know to expect pieces of art, and not some generically-average mass-produced clone of all the other games currently on the market.

Perhaps this is why I feel so jaded nowadays, and why the industry as a whole feels so stagnant to me.  Damnit, I WANT to be shocked; I NEED to be scared; to be outraged; surprised.  Perhaps I am unique in the way that I feel, but I just don’t want to be pleased anymore.

%d bloggers like this: