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Monday, August 07, 2006


Jason Smith

Interesting... Prey 2? Thanks for adding the entry Scott! I check this space often and I am sure you are very busy with the aftermath of Prey's release. Do you mind commenting on the typical happenings in the company after a game is released? Such as support issues, ramp up for new projects. Basically how to keep the pipeline filled and not let what happened to Troika happen to your studio :).

PS. First post! Booyah!

Charles E. Hardwidge

If this is your Prey topic, Scott, I'm back (for a while). Enjoy.

Duke and Prey are prime examples of synergy, rather than silver bullets. Each of these games had many little innovations, and within contextually appropriate stories and settings.

I've found that I get the complete concept in one hit and time naturally embellishes this, or it's a misfire within the first five minutes and not going to happen. I don't like letting go but if something isn't going to work it seems better to lay it aside.

IMO, it's almost impossible to formulate a compelling IP on demand. Instead, it must come to you, piece-by-piece, over time, as your brain chews on it as a background process over many months or even years.

Some of the best and most unique ideas I've had have come from reading big media or fanboi noise. Mostly, I let the train of thought develop internally and, usually, end up somewhere completely unconnected. Great artists steal. Ruthlessly.

On the matter of not being able to create on demand, I think, this is both true and not true. You can't make it happen but you can can create the conditions for that to happen, whether it's environmental, training, or attitude.

Must admit, I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself and delighted we've got the same view on these things. I'm not saying that to polish anyones ego but, from time to time, it's a cool thing to acknowledge positive consensus. You can't build an empire on slaughter.


I agree completely. Any one set of ideas for a unique IP can't be drawn on command unless you have brain storm sessions (I prefer brain storming by myself, thank-you very much). I carry a note-pad and pen around with me where-ever I go (yeah, yeah, I know) and I write down everything that pops into my head if I just happen to think of something related to an IP I have sitting on my hard-drive or in my stacks of folders.

It's probably a widely regarded opinion, but I read it in an interview with John Carmack first, but it's true that you can't rely on inspiration/epiphanies to get a game done (or anything for that matter). It requires you to take your original ideas/goals and work at it and make hundreds of little good decisions instead of waiting for a few waves of brilliance. You work yourself into a habit of being able to come up with ideas faster and you feel more confident in your ability to design gameplay situations and even entire IP/backstories.

It's absolutely wonderful when ephinies do come, but they're only a result of your mind working overtime and mulling over all of the work you've been doing previously. Your mind all of a sudden regurgitates a brilliant idea that you may not have been able to think of yourself within a brain-storm session or even within the amount of time you had to design an entire game.

Nintendo even has this philosophy (well, similiar) where they take over a year just to *design* their games (Zelda: Windwaker was the game in question) so they make sure they've thought of everything they possibly could. It also allows them to have that 'final' design document to make the implementation phase go a *little* smoother, which is another reason, obviously.

It's cool when you read some of your *own* ideas and think "Man, that would be *so* cool" and you wonder how you even thought of it. Yes, I know how that sounds...

Scott Miller

Charles, this is not my promised Prey post. That post is practically complete (about a month ago), but I've just not been inspired to polish it up. I'm leaving the country for two weeks next week, so I'll likely get to it upon returning.

In fact, reading through this conceiving a new IP part of this entry again just now, I see how totally disjointed it is, as all I did was copy about five separate replies to other game developers (all from about two weeks ago), and duct tape them together somewhat out of context. A total hack job!

Oliver, I think the greatest boon to creativity is a willingness to accept new ideas. Second, it's important to keep feeding the brain high quality, highly varied information. The variety aspect is especially important, as it allows you to put together ideas that stem from two vastly unique areas of stored knowledge. I firmly believe that for most people, the more you know the more creative potential you have. I know this is true for me.

Charles E. Hardwidge

Somehow, Scott, I didn't think you'd mangle your Prey topic with anything else, and it wasn't anything like what I expected, but that wasn't a bad thing. Anyway, I thought your section on conceiving new IP was pretty good for what it was. It touched a lot of bases. I'm jealous.

I'm with you on feeding the mind with high quality and varied information. I'll also add that a good schedule of sleep, eating, and exercise helps, as do good learning skills and taking time out to relax. Do this and Oliver's note taking tip comes into play.

Oliver, a key idea to a game I'm working on had an equivalent hardware patent granted to a well known manufacturer two months later. Bummer. This isn't the first or last time something like this has happened to me, and I'm not unique. Indeed, Buddhist stream theory covers this and it's, um, old. New, old? Doesn't matter. As you imply, only application is useful.

Anyway, Cuban cigars for everyone when Scott gets back. :p

Bjorn Larsson | LEGENDO

"The Descent" kicked serious ass! Because of its more than entertaining shock value, it's as memorable to me as semi-recent "Crash", even do these two flicks have nothing in common. Anyway, agree wholeheartedly that "The Descent" would lend itself perfectly as a video game, sort of like a Tomb Raider with a wicked horror twist - with some inspiring shock value camera work á la RE4. From a marketing perspective, a large portion of the movie audience (somewhat cross-gender 15-30, quick guess) would most likely be interested in the story being fleshed out a little more in a video game. But alas, I guess once someone manages to turn it into a game, people will have forgotten about it and the marketing advantage would be lost.


I thought this was interesting and couldn't find any other place here to post it. Tom Hollenshead on id's new game:

Q: How important is the success of the new IP to the future of id?

A: I see one of the strengths of the company as an IP generator. Really, for us, our independence depends on every game we make being successful. And if it’s not a success, I think we risk our independence.

Rest of the interview here:


Oh, and he also mentions that Quake4 hasn't sold as well as they've hoped; but Doom3 exceeded their expectations, which is interesting after all the criticism it recieved.

Charles E. Hardwidge

I’ve been reflecting on a few things. I could say plenty about plenty but even I’m getting fed up with the sound of my own voice. Anyway, one thing that bugged me in the past was your writing about Max Payne and general marketing pitch. I felt justifiably cynical.

Looking at your comment that it’s been unfinished until you get motivated made me cut you more slack on a few things. It’s hard to get to the truth of anything but you’ve never been mean. Could it be that Scott Miller, poster child for marketing, is genuine?

It's easy to make mistakes, misread or be be misread by others. Such is the world we live in. I feel a bit of an ass for saying this but taking time to understand and be kind to other people really makes things move along. Heck, developers, media, and gamers are people too.

And that's an idea I don't mind if anyone steals.


First, to Scott, thanks for the tips. A while ago, I was already in this habit (feeding myself on a diverse range of quality subjects). I would research a half-dozen topics at a time for a few months. I've also stopped watching TV (about 99% of it anyway - can't live with Formula 1), which can be dangerous because there may be things that are interesting and can be of use. Nature programmes are usually good for creature/enemy/habit/pattern designs and history/factual programmes usually to enable you to enrich your story-telling ability.
The willingness to accept new ideas is one of my motto's. Well, if I *had* a motto, that would be one of them. Living in South Africa, there has been so much change over the last few years, but I haven't really felt it because I grew up as the changes were taking place so everything felt normal. People older than me, however, and people who still cling to old ideals and other things aren't willing to accept this change and it's frustrating. Accepting new ideas and being willing to adopt those ideas or merge them with your own is important indeed.

"The more you know, the more creative potential you have." This is most correct. I know a few people who don't bother to enrich themselves telling me what "The coolest game *EVER* " would be and then they tell me the DOOM 'story-line' or something (I loved DOOM, as a matter of fact, but that's implementation). As for Prey, if you had *already* known about Native American culture, how would that have impacted the game? Did you retro-fit aspects of that culture into the story/gameplay, as you mentioned here, or was there always a strong Cherokee influence? If someone designed a game using some or other information from a knowledge base that they had already built in their own mind, their initial and end designs may have ended up stronger than if they had not. Prey didn't have this problem. Everything had just the right dose of itself. Let me say I am *mighty* impressed. *Easily* FPS of the year (I'm still not sure what direction Gears of War is taking...) but, with all of those innovations in one game, also easily game of the year (for me anyway).
It also highlighted the problem of slow-leak innovation in games (holding back innovations for sequels) where Prey threw everything out there (I'm sure you have more in store...) other games keep stuff back, but this is a whole other topic. Thanks for highlighting these for me. I needed to remember.

And Charles, I create new gameplay/story ideas/game mechanics/general ideas everyday and, without fail, I read about them in a game magazine/online game magazine at some point. The ideas I formulate aren't common, either (I know we all like to think that, but I 'discard' everything that wouldn't sound cool on the back of a box) so, when I read about these ideas *I've* had, it's pretty bad on the psyche. In 2001 (here we go, the 'ole story again) I was playing a lot of Black and White and I thought, "This technology is cool, but what if you take this morph technology and this AI technology and extrapolate about 6 - 7 years? What kind of game could you get?" I immediately scribbled down a page and a half of a design document (I was supposed to be studying for Matric finals) and I thought, "It is good. It'll probably only come to fruition in about 10 years or so, but, it is good." Fast forward to the GDC, 2005 (or was it 2004...). Will Wright announces the new game Maxis are working on. Spore! I read on with disbelief. From the fact that you started out in a 'petri dish' environment eating little organisms to evolve to roaming a planet evolving further and other little similarities, my stomach turned. I felt sick and depressed for over a month afterwards. I even feel ill as I type this now. Sure, my ideas are different in a few fundamental ways, but if I ever pursue that idea, it will look like I'm the copy-cat. It will have to be in the implementation that my idea will be differentiated and gain its own identity, much the same way that, if someone wanted to make a GTA 'clone', they would have to implement it in an original way so it isn't called a 'clone' as all of them are at this point (I have ideas for that, too...).
All of that to say, yes, I agree; implementation is, indeed, what sets games apart. I think I even typed up a lengthy post on one of Scott's earlier topics about implementation being what makes a hit.

Thanks for reading. You are now insane.

Charles E. Hardwidge

Great to hear from you again, Oliver.

I used to, and still do to some extent, absorb a lot of material. I’ve got my favourites and limits but, generally, anything to do with history, culture, science, spirituality, and a slew of other stuff gets fed into the hopper. Originally, I did it because it interested me. That’s waned a little as acquiring knowledge for its own sake is a little useless. Your creative regime is different to mine. I tend to be a big-bang sort of person, with a fairly predictable trickle of new stuff along the way. What surprised me is how creativity and tech can blend into a tightly coupled whole. Like yourself, I got caught on the hop by how fast things moved but that's only a worry if you let it bother you.

I have a bit of a nasty habit of shooting for the moon and landing on my face. That’s not a good habit to develop. Here, personal, team, and market character is really useful through the process of designing, building, and selling a game. Scott’s done a few pieces on all that, richly supported by many comments, so I won’t strain that point. Your comment about style is really worth highlighting. One of the subtle and not so subtle issues I have with games (and films) is too much homogeneity. For instance, looking beyond the surface of modelling and texturing, there’s a lot of work out there that seems to come from the same pond. Again, time will help change this.

Moving on from The Universe In A Single Atom, I just listened to The Art Of Happiness audio book. Anyone who knows anything about design, marketing, and character development should recognise most of the key points it makes. It won’t guarantee a hit title but developing being alert, relaxed, and enthusiastic helps put all we’ve discussed into play. And for the hand waving crowd, I think, your comments on change are something to really consider. Not just change in other people but change in ourselves. Being firm, flexible, and having just enough positive tilt to keep rolling is important. Being a success is hard, but being a loser is just as hard. If you can be useful and kind to other people, you won’t go far wrong. The other 999 ways don’t work, trust me. I know, I tried them all.

Now, if someone gets Wi-Fi installed on whatever beach Scott's flopped on...

Alienware Boy

Things to do with your AOL Disks.

-At a restaurant, shove one under a wobbling table leg.
-Christmas ornaments (the more the merrier).
-Give them to young children play with.
-Room dividers for hamsters.
-Drink coasters.
-Ice scraper.
-Bathroom tile.
-Air hockey puck.
-Dog chew toy.
-Pooper scooper.
-Grill scraper.
-Destroy them - smash, burn, or run over to relieve stress.
-Light switch cover.
-Chinese throwing stars.
-Halloween treat.
-Paper weights.
-Incense burners (put stick in hole of disk hub and light the incense).
-Put them on car windshields at the mall.
-Hand them out as party favors.
-House insulation.
-Grind them up to make fake snow.
-Hood ornament.
-Give them as stocking stuffers.
-Use them as elbow and knee pads.
-Use them to decorate your aquarium and create Comp USA underwater.
-Baby mobile. Fence (may need a few thousand).

Charles E. Hardwidge

I've been thinking about the demise of E3. Nothing new to add here other than underline the fact that it played itself out and something different will take its place. Now, this is a bit of a leap but, I think, the connection between E3 and the suggested billion USD that could be added to the game industry by folding girls into the equation is clear. Currently, like the earlier depression the, mainly, US focused game industry was going through, I don't believe this is an insurmountable problem. Like discovering planets around stars, once one person figures it out everyone will be doing it. Also, I'm pretty sure, half the problem is letting go of anxiety and absorbing this possibility. Being relaxed and enthusiastic will unlock this door.

Looking from West to East, there’s been some really interesting developments in the mix of power and relationships between men and women. In the US, the look and feel is a little strident, in Britain it’s a bit difficult, and in Japan the difficulties are beginning. Here, Professor Alison Wolf has written on men and women, and balancing home and work life. Here, issues of individual and group maturity show themselves. Personally, I reckon, it’s another of those seemingly intractable problems but will work itself out in the end, as strategic parallels like the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, the Iraq War, and the Korean question. Fundamentally, it’s a question of seizing a common positive goal, however fuzzy.

It’s a key of social and economic theory and, if I recall, mathematically proven that a tortoise strategy is more likely to be successful than racing like a hare in the long-term. Likewise, Buddhist psychology takes the view that having aspirations and goals is important, but letting go and having the patience to let change happen in small steps, in its own time, is useful. Looking at Scott’s earlier frustration with the game industry “not getting it”, and negative comments made by some random forum pundits, the common link between advocacy and movement on both sides is clear. As I’ve been banging on about for months, who we are matters, regardless of power, status, or wealth. Deep down, the key to success is who we are.

So, there you go. If you want to be the billion dollar man (or woman) you gotta wear shades. Here comes the sun, doo de dah dah.

John Rose

Yeah, this is why readers shouldn't post while high.

Charles E. Hardwidge

Yeah, I was a bit embarrassed about that as well but I'm not getting hung up on it. Stuff happens.


It's like we're all in a Crackerbox Palace?

I like these discussions about game ideas and development ethos'. Although i'm not prolific in ideas some of my better ones are still to be seen in games. I also came up with a "Spore" concept. Though not actually a game like spore as this growth concept has been around since a cool game i always wanted that was on the SNES.

I don't care about telling people since, as i'm not in the business i'm not going to make any games anyway. Several games have since had similar concepts, though i had the basic idea after playing Privateer and C&C: Total war and one of the star wars rts games (i forget which) spring to mind, also Galactic civilisations II.

One thing i've noticed is that i'm not tech oriented. I usually have my ideas from a story perspective then work on the gameplay mechanics. A friend of mine was the opposite and he'd try and work the other way and think of a cool (as you call them) "gameplay hook" then work backwards to the story. He always said my way was worthless. So thanks for proving me right guys :)

Juuso - Game Producer

Oh my... the AOL story is just horrible. This customer service is directly linked to compelling IPs: No matter how compelling IP one develops, stupid behavior can ruin it fast. There's number of stories about promises that were never met.

Slightly off-topic: Prey got some good reviews here in Finland, congratulations for game well done.


Thanks for the comments and the thought-provoking... thoughts, Charles.
Just touching on the crisis that seem to be affecting the game industry in certain ways... you just kind of felt it coming and you can feel the tension amongst the publishers and developers today.
The last few E3's have just sounded... unpleasant, from reports that I've read. Before, I couldn't wait until I could get to an E3, but, after 2002/3, I just couldn't get excited about it anymore... and now it's not there anymore (well, not in its known form). Coupled with the problems publishers and developers have been facing, E3 was bound to face its own problems at some stage.
Looking at the titles being released today and in the future, the information being released by companies and the mind-games being played, you can tell people are out to play, and play hard. They aren't complacent (well, Sony is on the hardware side...) and they realise that they really need to buckle up for the next generation if they're going to survive the next few years.
I can't really put it into words. I've been playing games since I was 6 and following the games industry since I was 9/10 (now I'm 22) and I just get gut feelings about things happening like this.
Things like the advent of casual games/XBOX Live games/the Nintendo on-line service/episodic gaming will have to come into effect to relieve the stress put on the studios, but big, blockbuster games will still be necessary. With those titles comes enormous budgets and development cycles bringing with them stress, which begets cynicism towards the industry and pessimism on the part of the studios themselves. There won't be room for error/great changes and innovations (ok, now I'm just rehashing old ideas) which leads to yet more stale work (the homogeneity) and cynicism players have towards studios... but people *need* blockbuster games, and so the cycle continues.
What John Carmack is/will be doing (and what the casual games etc. can do/are doing) with his cell phone games is establishing brand/franchise games on a small scale and budget that may be suitable to be ported to a larger scale/budget but, by the time that happens, the brand/franchise will be better known and so potential players will at least be interested in the prospect of playing the game, so there is less risk involved. Casual games etc. are also testing the water in this way (or should be, anyway). This is one way to minimise the risk involved in introducing new IP and innovations.

Another point I'd like to touch on is the old 'memes' thing (not really memems themselves... just the fact that ideas just keep surfacing and original ideas surface more than once, despite our disbelief). As we all know, and now, can never forget, Prey is on this earth, in many a satisfied gamers' home. Prey, as we all know, and now, can never forget, had a gameplay mechanic involving portals.
A little while ago, Valve announced a game they were working on, entitled 'Portal'. I recently saw the video. It has portals. You shoot portals into walls. You shoot portals in to the floor. You shoot portals all over the place to solve puzzles and further your adventure. Now, the thing is, who is to say that Valve didn't have this idea before they had any idea 3D Realms/Human Head had an idea along these same lines? Who's to say that Valve 'copied' this idea and simply took it a notch up (as I'm sure Prey 2 would have done anyway). Then, as if that weren't enough, during GDC 2004 (or was it 2005... I'm still not sure) Peter Molyneux showed a little tech demo of something his team had been working on. If I remember correctly, you could throw objects through portals and they would come out of another portal (my memory is a little hazy... I'm still trying to block out the Spore 'incident') smaller or bigger, depending. I'm pretty sure they showed this demo before any info had been released on Prey. Ideas like these surface amongst designers all the time. If you think about unique and innovative gameplay mechanics enough, you'll eventually come across the same things.
Also, the fact that I thought of a 'Spore'-lie idea doesn't mean I was the only one that could have done it. I'm pretty sure that there have been quite a few desigers (wanna-be or not) that have thought along these lines before, but the tech behind Maxis' game is what I'm most excited about and impress with. I don't think I'll have time to play the game when it comes out, but it'd be cool to play around with it.

Thanks for reading. The leprechauns and BadgerMen are now permanent. Get used to them.


"during GDC 2004 (or was it 2005... I'm still not sure) Peter Molyneux showed" ... "I'm pretty sure they showed this demo before any info had been released on Prey."

Just as a little side note, are you aware of that Prey was being made long before that, and there was a good amount of info released about it and its portal tech. The Prey of today, by human head, is the reincarnation of the original scrapped game from 8-10 years ago. In fact, the original Prey even had player created dynamic portals (at least for multiplayer) which were scrapped in the new Prey.

In general the good ol' "ideas are a dime a dozen" applies, the real value/skill is in the ability to actually create and finish something based on those ideas. It reminds me of the classic forum posts of people that have no clue whatsoever about any aspect of developing even the tiniest of games, that post about their most fantastic game idea ever, but they can't tell anyone what it is because someone might steal it :)

Charles E. Hardwidge

Oliver's creativity and enthusiasm is great, while gf's caution is a timely reminder. Personally, I don't see either creativity or implementation as being the beginning and end of anything. Both have their value, both are forms of the same thing, both have their uses. Rather than indulge a repeat run of the narratology versus ludology debate, I consider each as being different but the same. They are both different forms, or perspectives, on a single abstract or physical thing.

If people are serious about ideas, really, a reputation is good, an implementation better, but only because it raises understanding and value in someone's eyes. It doesn't mean it's better or worse, just that people don't always understand or value something. We've seen games were reputation preceded a duff game, and an implementation fell short of the idea. Here, ideas and implementation biased people will benefit from examining their attitudes towards each.

I can draw on a real world example. Yesterday, I had a meeting with the most risk averse, inflexible, and out of touch politician I've ever met in my life. I mean, when I was student and had a serious overdraft, the loans manager was Santa Claus by comparison. His personality profile suggested he had a thing about authority and working examples. Yeesh. The net result was he trashed my loss leader and missed out on getting seriously ahead of the curve - a lesson for both sides.

Bottom line? Bad habits lead to bad outcomes. Get rid of 'em.


Yeah, i have to echo gf's comments about Prey's portal tech for Oliver.

Have a look at Lon matero's prey page to see the development process.

In actual fact if anyone copied anything (and copying is a form of flattery ;) ) it was those guys that valve hired who had been experimenting with the portal technology and went on to make this new "portal" adjunct to the HL universe. Supposedly they're going to integrate the two storylines into a woven basket of mystery and intrigue.... i'm just waiting for them to actually work out what's going on in the HL universe so they can give us some answers ;)

Charles E. Hardwidge

Being ripped off can be annoying but it’s another form of leadership in action. You can get annoyed about it or take some satisfaction that other people have bought into the goals. There’s a lot of ego issues, here. Ideally, you wouldn’t be bothered whether people pick up on it or don’t bother.

I’ve been thinking a bit about focus, recently. There’s some pretty cool things that could be done with portals but, like a lot of other recent tech usage, I’d rather not get buried by a tsunami of latter day lens flares, thank you kindly. Developers obsessing is just better funded fanboy whimsy made material.

I’m reminded of David Jaffe’s comments on ego, which I never got around to replying to. Without wanting to pull an elitist Zen Buddhist sneering routine at the below stairs types, I can’t stop finding the hand waving over things like being first or bandwagoning insanely funny. I mean, it’s sooo Pavlovian.



Thanks for the 'Prey' link, Duoae. I *love* those kinds of articles and reading 'blast from the past' interviews are really cool. Kind of gives you an idea of what was going on in the industry at the time, what peoples' mind-sets were, what peoples' goals were as opposed to today and how the industry has evolved, and why it was necessary for it to evolve in that way.
Thanks, I would never have come across it otherwise.

All I was trying to say (and I was actually depcrecating myself) was that there are an infinite number of ideas and an infinite number of sources for ideas and inspiritation. If you want to get philosophical/scienctific/otherwise, we can talk about memes and other things, but I'd rather keep to the things we know for sure, such as how rapidly information spreads these days, with the advent of the internet (which blew up world-wide around the time Prey first went into production), TV and such (these things all being of form of memes... I haven't researched this area fully enough to go rambling again).

We'd be kidding ourselves if we thought Valve/the 'Portal' guys *didn't* get *some* kind of thought-catalyst by hearing/reading about Prey's portals, but what if you out-right confronted them on the topic? Would they say, "No, we thought about it all on our own" or would they say "Sure, our idea isn't completely original"? Valve isn't (really) run by egos, from what I've read, but now we're homing in too closely on one case, namely Valve and 'Portal'.

Ideas are 'stolen' everyday. The reason I don't give everybody my ideas (and keep them close to my chest) is because I truly believe them to be good, solid, innovative ideas and designed so as to keep within the confines of the limitations set for the industry, by the industry (technologically, idealogically etc.) at any point in the industry's life. I fully realise that the most fanastic idea just won't work. It has to be within the certain restrictions.
This is why I can't tell anyone about my ideas - because they are good and people will spark their own ideas from my ideas and, in this way, *will* 'steal' my ideas. If I went to a publisher and said "Here's my idea" or tried to develop it myself, there would be no market for it, because it wouldn't be original anymore. I'd have to re-invent my *own* idea to make it original again. The question is, gf, why don't you tell *your* ideas to anybody?

Like Charles said... rather, like I am saying now (I don't want to put words in your mouth, Charles) enough is enough. This topic will go in circles 'till dawn is dead and the dusk weeps for its mercy.

I'm tired of this topic. I wanna' go home. Where's Scott...

Charles E. Hardwidge

Sounds like you'd got a grip on things, Oliver. Dunno wot ol' Scotty boy's up to. Doing his thing, I suppose. I'm just waiting on his Prey topic. I've no idea what the balance is going to be, so I'm not gearing myself up to expect X when I may get Y. I'll be happy enough if it gives everyone a soft landing, if that makes sense.


No problem Oliver. Yeah, i too love those little insights into development processes. I can't think of many pages that are devoted to the subject in much detail.

I don't blame people for using good ideas. It's one of the reasons i hate most of the software patents on code or applying code.... i view it as kind of like patenting maths. There's only so many ways of calculating an equation - ie. one way of doing it in it's most optimal or correct way.

Charles E. Hardwidge

That's why I dislike positioning. I know how and why people do it but it's less about being correct than about winning for the sake of winning. It's more a debate, less a thesis. Personally, I care more for something being done well than who does it. I'm still of the mind that quality is more important, and that involves a broader look and feel than soundbite marketing. Indeed, the trademarking and exploitation of "bullet time" in Max Payne is an interesting example. I think, it's bunk and revealed the supply chain and media have a little more learning to do than most would care to admit. The emperor has no clothes, etcetera.


After sitting down and playing Prey (which gameplay-wise I have found to be as hollow and full of holes as the Sphere in which it takes place), I think that the idea of shooting portals is as innovative compared to Prey, as Prey's portals are to what was already known and being done back in the 90's with portals and warped geometry (Descent anyone?). Or Half Life 2's gravity gun. All worthy and original evolutions of existing ideas, but (apparently) very well used and implemented.


spammer begone, i guess scott is either working really hard to bring me DNF or maybe taking some days off.

Scott Miller

Yeah, just been totally busy. What I'm going to start doing is closing down comments after a topic has run its course. This will be the last post in this topic.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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  • : Myth & the Movies

    Myth & the Movies
    Great study of a wide range of hit movies, using The Hero's Journey as a measuring stick. Very useful for game developers. (****)

  • : Kitchen Confidential

    Kitchen Confidential
    This chef is clearly in love with his writing, but the fact that he's a non-innovative, hack chef makes this book less insightful than I was hoping. Still, a fun read. (***)

  • : See No Evil

    See No Evil
    I do not list 2-star or lower books here, and this book almost didn't make the cut. A somewhat unexciting behind-the-scenes look at the life of a CIA field agent working against terrorism. The book's title is spot on. (***)

  • : The Discoverers

    The Discoverers
    Love books like this, that offer deep insights into the growth of science throughout history, and giving a foundation of context that makes it all the more incredible that certain people were able to rise above their time. (*****)

  • : Disney War

    Disney War
    I started reading this and simply could not stop. A brilliant behind-the-scenes account of the mistakes even renowned CEOs make, and the steps they'll take to control their empire, even against the good of shareholders. (*****)

  • : The Hundred-Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health

    The Hundred-Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health
    Do not read this book if you prefer to believe that the government actually gives a poop about your well being. (*****)

  • : From Reel to Deal

    From Reel to Deal
    Subtitled, "Everything You Need to Create a Successful Independent Film." And much of it applied to the game industry. A revealing look at the true machinery of movie making. (****)

  • : The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

    The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
    The building of world's most technological structure for its time, against pitfalls, deaths and political intrigue. An amazing tale, told amazingly well. (*****)

  • Richard Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think?

    Richard Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think?
    My first book by Feymann will not be my last. A champion of common sense and insightful thought, Feymann's story-telling about life's events is riveting. (*****)

  • : Marketing Warfare

    Marketing Warfare
    A revised re-release of one of the all-time best marketing books. Only bother reading this is you care about running a successful company. (*****)

  • : YOU: The Owner's Manual

    YOU: The Owner's Manual
    Another good overview of way to protect your health in the long run. It's all about prevention, rather than hoping medicine can fix us when we're broken (i.e. heart disease or cancer). (****)

  • : The Universe in a Single Atom

    The Universe in a Single Atom
    Perfectly subtitled, "The Convergence of Science and Spirituality." Buddhism meets relativity, and believe it or not, there's a lot of common ground. (****)

  • : See Spot Live Longer

    See Spot Live Longer
    Feeding your dog at least 65% protein? Most likely not, as all dry dog foods (and most canned, too) absolutely suck and have less than 30% protein. And that is seriously hurting your dog's health in the long run. (****)

  • : 17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free

    17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free
    Anyone who needs motivation to make something of their life -- we only get one chance, after all! -- MUST read this book. (*****)

  • : Ultrametabolism

    Perfect follow up to Ultraprevention. Health is at least 80% diet related--nearly all of us have the potential to live to at least 90, if we just eat better. (****)

  • : How to Tell a Story

    How to Tell a Story
    Great overview of story creation, especially from the point of view of making a compelling stories, with essential hooks. (****)

All-Time Best