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What Portals Want: Watered Down Old Ladies Games
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: What Portals Want: Watered Down Old Ladies Games Reply with quote

I find this somewhat depressing reading:

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/business/features/arcadetown/
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Tennants Lager



Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Paisley, Scotland



PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: What Portals Want: Watered Down Old Ladies Games Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
I find this somewhat depressing reading:

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/business/features/arcadetown/

Just taken a sec to look at that...is that the same Joe Lieberman as the total idiot one that is/was on the Parents Television Council (PTC) & also Al Gore's vice presidential candidate when George W Bush first got elected?

I remember seeing the name when the PTC were campaigning against the then WWF for using what they thought was excessive use of sexual & violent themes in their programming/angles.

Hard to believe that anyone would be thicker than GWB, but that guy truly is! One of the Jack Thompson brigade and no mistake!! Rolling Eyes
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: What Portals Want: Watered Down Old Ladies Games Reply with quote

Tennants Lager wrote:
is that the same Joe Lieberman as the total idiot one that is/was on the Parents Television Council (PTC)


No, it's not the same person. This JL is the marketing guy for a portal called Arcadetown. I'm not bemoaning them or Joe's thought's -he's just trying to be helpful. It's just that I hate the fact that it puts people off making anything a bit edgier or more adult.
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Slyh



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 480
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany



PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: What Portals Want: Watered Down Old Ladies Games Reply with quote

Tennants Lager wrote:

Just taken a sec to look at that...is that the same Joe Lieberman as the total idiot one that is/was on the Parents Television Council (PTC) & also Al Gore's vice presidential candidate when George W Bush first got elected?

Most likely not.
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there no portals open yet which focus on the more edgy/ adult/ innovative games? I'm sure that if ONE such portal existed and got enough exposure, it could do pretty well.
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Sergenth



Joined: 01 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use TIGsource and Tim's Un-ending Blog Roll of Indy Game Newsto figure out what indie games are worth purchasing.

Yes, those sites are mostly about free indie games of exceedingly high quality, but they will always mention the games that are worth buying.

There is also www.manifestogames.com -- for a more diversified group of indie games that will occasionally dip back into the past and pull an overlooked title into the spotlight for a month -- a good way to notice things that should not be missed.
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Weeble
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's so depressing? Do you feel that portals are all that will be left of PC gaming in the future? I would be pretty depressed if no game could ever be (successfully) made outside those limits, but I certainly don't think that a game conforming to them can't be worthwhile.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:
What's so depressing? Do you feel that portals are all that will be left of PC gaming in the future?


It's a lot more depressing situation than you might realise until you start having to actually sell something. I think the way things are going, everyone is trying to 'own' the store front of internet gaming. Of course, with the internet, you can never stop that, but once someone is subscribed to a service for games, it's likely that's where they'll get their games from. Same in some respects with portals, once someone starts to go there, they tend to stay there (see the real arcade forum discussion about Starscape if you want evidence). What about live arcade on Windows? Is that going to sew up a huge chunk of the market? Probably.

We've been pretty lucky in that most of the people who find us are a little bit more savvy than your average gamer, but there's a much bigger market out there then that. I already know indie developers who are starting to tailor their game to a portal crowd. I'm not lamenting the pressures we face going it alone, but the fact that edgier games are under pressure to be watered down. After all, these are the games I want to play. I suppose this problem pervades all media except perhaps books.
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Tennants Lager



Joined: 07 Feb 2007
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Location: Paisley, Scotland



PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: What Portals Want: Watered Down Old Ladies Games Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
Tennants Lager wrote:
is that the same Joe Lieberman as the total idiot one that is/was on the Parents Television Council (PTC)


No, it's not the same person. This JL is the marketing guy for a portal called Arcadetown. I'm not bemoaning them or Joe's thought's -he's just trying to be helpful. It's just that I hate the fact that it puts people off making anything a bit edgier or more adult.

That's what led me to the conclusion they are the same guy as their viewpoints appear to be quite similar - bit of a mad coincidence then. Shocked

As for the whole issue of edgier games...I don't see the point of something being edgy the sake of it, equally though I have nothing against it so long as it's well-used and in suitable context. I look for quality in a game before anything else, whether it's GTA or Mr Robot.
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the whole idea is that people like the freedom to make edgy games if they feel like it. Wouldn't it be **** if you wanted to make a game that you just couldn't get that extra oomph out of just because you couldn't go all the way with it? Personally, I felt that one thing that helped Prey in my opinion is that they weren't afraid to use the F-word when the character would have used it. It made it feel more authentic in a sense. In a game-world where you're going through portals and shrinking and walking in the roof, anything that can give you grounding into reality is a good thing. The gore is also something that needed to be there for the sake of the feel of the game. If Prey was dependent of portals to sell, none of this would probably have made it through. It's even debatable that the game would ever be made in the first place if they had to sell their game on a portal.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah: exactly what Magnulus said. I'm not anti-cute game, or anti games that appeal to women, but I've always had a dislike across all media when things are built for the lowest common denominator. this is particularly noticeable in films - In 'The Fellowship of the Ring' when Aragorn chops that Uruk-hai's head off, it was supposed to spurt blood everywhere but the studio objected. They were quite right to - the amount of money spent just to get that film off the ground deserved a return that only a PG would get. Still - wouldn't an 18 have been better for the rest of us? I recall nearly switching off Dark City during the silly clichéd narration but luckily I stuck with it. Listening to the director's commentary, he said the film was exactly how he wanted it to be other than the intro narrative the studio insisted on putting there Smile Obviously IDIOTS would have been upset if they didn't know exactly what was going on in a film at every second.

It's nobody's fault, but much of the media we ingest is not at full strength because people have to make compromises so it appeals to thickos and therefore people can make money out of it.

Mark and I have often talked about making a space exploration game with a scripted adventure sub-system. One of the ideas we had was for an entire adventure if you end up in prison with many outcomes - potentially some truly adult story lines such as being gang-raped, leading on to hunting down the culprits after your release, and other very dark adventure sub-plots. I'd like to see the conversation with a portal about getting that distributed Smile
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
potentially some truly adult story lines such as being gang-raped
I know this is a bad joke and probably a bit inappropriate, but... StarRape?

In all seriousness (well, most of it anyway), I do consider this whole issue a problem.
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, if you went along with that kind of an approach to a space exploration sim, you'd get a ****-ton of exposure, if only for the fact that you're taking it in new directions no one has ever done before. Sure, people have heard of jail gang rape, but jail gang rape in SPACE?! See that space over there? That space with no footprints on it? Yeah, that's the untrodden ground. Can you resist placing your foot in it? If I wasn't chained to the wall, I know I wouldn't be able to. Resist it, that is.

If you made that game and filled it with more interesting plots and adventures like that, I think you could potentially pave a path for more daring and risqué indie games to be made. There ARE a lot of cute and cuddly indie games out there. Not so many gritty and bad-arse ones. Also, it would be a new direction for you guys. Not saying you have an overly cutesy style, but storywise, it would be quite a new thing. Considering that most of your customers (I would assume) are adults, I don't see it putting that much of a dent in your potential customer base, either.
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnulus wrote:
Considering that most of your customers (I would assume) are adults
See, that's what I love about getting games from the internet - no age checks. And even if there were, I could just get one of my parents to do it for me.

Although in my fine country, I can buy any game released (the only age restricted classification is 15), which really sucks - since we don't have an adult rating for games here (as we do movies), it means many games don't get released because they don't meet the 15+ rating.

But that rant is for another thread (hmm....).
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SethP



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 302
Location: Connecticut, USA



PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The space prison game really does sound like an interesting concept (especially if it's executed by Moonpod). To get around the whole "family friendly" issue, Moonpod could create a second website... maybe DarkSideoftheMoonPod.com?

(Look what you've started kone. Just look.)
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