Quoted for truth, as the kids say.
Don’t expect too much about Starfield or ES, but it was interesting hearing how much Redwall’s failure (which was Howard’s project) affected him.
The thing i’ve found, and the observation I always made is that people don’t really play these games because they’re big worlds with players in the thousands- people play these games because of how strict their progression really is. They play them to watch the bars go up, and to some extent the wane in popularity of MMORPGs, or at least their space in how much we talk about games comes down to how the promise of them conceptually was a bit of a mirage. A lot of smaller, more specific games tend to be more appealing.
Of course, everyone did learn from these games, and almost every genre now has online live experiences that involve progression systems and bars going up. They figured out how to hit the psychologically addictive part of MMORPGs without the impracticality of making big worlds with thousands of people on a server. Indeed, the people on the server tend to be less interesting denizens than NPCs overall, since players are generally there for a particular reason that isn’t being entertaining for any other player.
A lot of people have said for WoW specifically that you can remove one of the M’s from MMORPG, as the game is not really “massive” in scale any more. Most interactions are instanced out in dungeons, battlegrounds etc. The open world isn’t the way it was back in vanilla and the first few expansions, where the scale of the world was part of the game. Now you just get zipped everywhere for everything you want to do in the game.
Redwall? I remember a Redguard. That one?
Yeah, not the fantasy furry series, the Elder scrolls one (:
I knew about Redguard and the dark times Bethesda went through, but I wasn’t aware Redguard was Todd Howard’s baby. And listening to him retell his experience, it wouldn’t surprise me that Howard has skewed heavily towards being risk averse because of those early flops and the buyout by Zenimax. “Make what people expect you to make” as he put it.
I love this guy’s videos on Polygon. I used to play fighting games loads with my brother many years ago and even though we weren’t amazing (we were kids), playing against each other was always a battle of wits. So much great advice in that video and it does tempt me to dive back in. Thanks for sharing.
Excellent little 2004 BBC documentary on the creation of Tetris, its rapid spread, and the subsequent licensing battles. Tetris: From Russia With Love. Great interviews with the real people involved. This is some eye opening stuff. Wow.
A few choice quotes:
“We didn’t have the idea that the software could be considered as a product or be sold or protected or whatever. Made no sense for us at all.” - Alexey Pajitnov, creator of Tetris
“If we had tried, then most likely we would have ended up in prison.” - Mikhail Potyomkin
“All would hinge on the communists ability to play the capitalists at their own game” - narrator
“Of course I understood that I was lucky here, that it was 1989. If it had been 1988 history would have been very different. I’m sure of that.” - Evgeni Nikolaevich Belikov
This seems like the thread for this.
Tim Cain, the creator or co-creator of Fallout has entered “semi-retirement” and started a Youtube channel, and there are some real interesting stuff in here.
While at Trokia he worked on a Lord of the Rings demo in 2001 and other stuff like a multiplayer mode for Vampire Bloodlines modeled after Counter-Strike called Counter-Bite and the one true goal behind all the Fallout vault experiments. It’s kind of amazing. I’ve always liked listening to him talk about CRPGs he has worked on so it’s a hoot.