Conference was good this year. Molyneux needs to be bitchslapped, though. Hard.

Explanation, please? :)

Yes, please :)

The only thing he said recently that I can think of was that a small team of independent developers could never hope to develop a quality game that had a realistic chance of making money. He also said something along the lines of a competetive game being impossible to make for under $2million.

There was also the recent quote about shipping out all of the programming to India, and just designing in the US.

Designing in the US, programming in India?

So the designers in the US write up a detailed spec for the entire game, throw it out into the void, and then hope the game is fun? Writing games to specs doesn’t just work. For games and for small programs in general, a constant interative process works better.

I know that overseas programmers can do good work – what I haven’t seen they can do very well is do a decent user interface because again, that requires iterative design in close combination with users.

Some things don’t lend themselves to specs, and offshore programmers, bereft of close contact with the rest of the product team, have to rely on specs.

Maybe by “offshore” he meant his quaint little island over there.

If it makes you feel better, my team made him wait twenty minutes for dinner last night while we tied up the big table at House of Siam. I figure it doesn’t even begin to balance the scales against the hours I put into Black and White while I waited for the game to start being fun.

I had a hell of a good time. I am always impressed with how cool audio people are. I felt like a dwarf among giants. I don’t know if it’s the same in other parts of the industry, but in audio we tend to have a very strong sense of community. The GANG awards were great! Low on production values, but big on heart. Another great GDC for me.

I’m not sure why Peter Molyneux needs to be bitchslapped, but I enjoyed his talk at the GDC. I can’t speak for audio folks, but I had a great time at just about every game design and production conference/roundtable/panel I went to. The great thing about the GDC is there aren’t a lot of egos or celebrities. In the span of one day I got to chat with the producer of GTA3, Ed Fries from Microsoft, the guy who developed Ninja Golf for the 7800 (!), an author of a really interesting book called Killing Monsters, and a designer who uses prisoner delimmas and game theory to create trust dilemmas in MMORPGs. I even had people coming up to talk to me about Madden and production schedules and was interviewed by a German newspaper. It’s really great to just meet people in the industry you would otherwise never cross paths with. I would recommend it to any one who is in the industry and can swing the cost of a pass.

Where did you guys see Molyneux quoted about farming the programming side of game development to India-based teams?

I’d also like to hear more about this.

Gah, games can barely get out the door right now. I doubt adding India in to the mix will improve things.

I think you were at my talk. :)


I just wish he’d stop going on about how he’s the only person in the world to come up with something so terribly clever as a movie-making game, when there have been at least three (albeit indie games), Hollywood Mogul being the most well-known. Throwing big name and big budget at idea != coming up with said idea. But I guess there are people out there who think American McGee wrote “Alice In Wonderland”, too.

He’s not saying that, at least he wasn’t when I got the product demo. I asked if he’d seen Hollywood Mogul, which I loved, and he said he really should check it out.

Hollywood Mogul was a great one. What happened to its creator? I always half expected someone to pick that up, spiff it up, and take it mainstream.

IIRC, there was a PC Gamer interview not too long ago where he said just that…in fact, PCG is still repeating it (from this month’s Previews issue):

It’s the game that black & White creator Peter Molyneux has wanted to make for most of his career – and he himself can’t understand why no one else has tried to make it before”.

After Molyneux is mysteriously tortured and dumped in the east river for saying such things, I am sure we will all have a better understanding of how its not ok to dismiss indie productions not running on 2mil budgets.

I think you were at my talk. :)


It’s a small world, then, as I was the guy who brought up the Asheron’s Call example at the end! :lol: I really enjoyed your presentation, BTW. It’s not easy to talk about game theory and coordination problems to an audience when some may have a deep understanding of them while others are just being introduced to the concept for the first time.