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The Case Against Writers - Continued

When I wrote that original blog, I had no idea how touchy a subject I was broaching. The amount of discussion the recent reprinting of the “Case Against Writers in the Games Industry” blog has generated has itself, been insightful. Clearly, “Story” is something near and dear to the hearts of gamers and developers, alike. I have to sheepishly confess, it’s near and dear to my heart, as well.

I have to admit I wrote the original blog in that way specifically to be somewhat provocative. But, to be clear - I never once said I thought writers weren't useful or that games shouldn't have stories. I did say that games don’t need stories in order to be games, but that’s not the same thing.... Read more»

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SOE to report to Sony Computer Entertainment

SOE to report to Sony Computer Entertainment - Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that
SonyOnline Entertainment will now report to Kazuo Hirai under
a newcompany structure designed to address the growth of the
onlinegaming market
[GamesIndustry.biz news]

I wonder how stoked they are on the SOE side... SOE is a strange beast to me. I don't claim, to be clear, to know anything about how SOE works on the business side, but as a player the place seemed to me to be schizophrenic... I can't see this making things better.

I mean, on the SOE side alone, it always felt like they couldn't decide if they were a publisher with a huge stable of titles that offered a massive variety (a "Cable television model") or a single game company. When EQ2 came out, support dwindled and died for other games... Then when Vanguard came out, same thing...

So, what's being controlled by the guys that did the same thing to the PS2 - one of the best selling consoles of the current generation - going to do for that? Will SOE stop supporting their old, unprofitable MMOs all together, now? Will they suffer along as they have in the past - with too little support to thrive and too much support to die? Or, will this really be a good thing where we see a new revitalization of the stable of products SOE offers?

I really don't know, but my gut tells me this isn't going to be a good thing for what we currently think of as SOE. As a gamer, I'm already finding myself justifying my station pass subscription with rationale and flat out delusion, somehow I suspect that in the coming year, I won't even have enough fuel to do that.

Besides, I don't own a PS3 - and I've yet to see a reason why I'd want one. I'm pretty sure I'm not SCE's intended market. Chances are, they'll drive me out of their piece of the market entirely, sooner or later.

Damn, but I hope I'm wrong.

- Snipehunter

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Some great game industry links

Bruce does it again: Bruce, of the Bruce on Games Blog has put together a gold-mine of useful links for anyone who has an interest in the industry. I encourage you have a look at these if you follow the industry; there is much win and awesome in this list:
Some great game industry links -

 the-links.jpg

Here I will list a whole pile of websites that are useful to the game industry professional. Some I have mentioned before, but putting them all in one place is pretty convenient. This is information overload.

There is enough information there for even the keenest budding game industry professional. Please add any great industry sites you may know using comments.  Bloggers and journalists feel free to copy this anywhere you want.

[Bruce on Games]

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Advocating the Devil - The case against writers in the game industry

There is no doubt in my mind that it was my skills as a writer that opened the door to my becoming a game designer. It was 1997 and a designer from the Warcraft II team had left Blizzard to join another ex-blizzardite in creating a new studio. They had a 3 game deal with Activision and an idea in mind to create a paradigm breaking RTS game, called Third World, but what they lacked, was someone who could write their documents for them. I wasn’t technically hired as a writer, but rather an assistant designer. This would prove to be a decision that I am eternally grateful. Had I been hired simply as a writer that would have been the end, for me. You see, that studio sort of imploded very shortly thereafter, but it’s not that implosion that would have doomed me – as a designer I survived. No, what would have doomed me is the simple, and some would say sad, truth: There’re no places for writers in our industry… Read more»

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Some great game development blogs

I saw this great list of blogs today on Bruce on Games and I thought I'd pass it on to you all. (TongueInCheek)I'm particularly fond of the second entry on the list:(/TongueInCheek)
Some great game development blogs -

game-development-essentials.jpg 

Most of the knowledge available to keen gamers about the gaming industry can be of a pretty low quality. This is because that knowledge is third or fourth hand. As a very minimum it has been “spun” by a marketing department (I have done loads of this) and then “interpreted” by a journalist. But there is a way round this, keen enthusiasts can get their knowledge directly from the horses mouth, if they read the right blogs.

Whilst there aren’t many blogs from the publishing side of the video game industry there a quite a few from the development side. And they are excellent. These are the guys who actually make the games that everyone plays, so they know what they are talking about. And when they analyse a game they do so with an authority no magazine could match. These guys are the complete opposite of the fanboy, they are intelligent, informed and incisive. There are quite a few in my blogroll but here are a random selection:

For anyone with any interest in games the above blogs are just pure gold. Japanmanship, for instance is written by a game developer who works for a Japenese games company, lives in Japan and speaks Japanese. If you want to understand the game industry in Japan there is no finer source of knowledge. It amazes me when fanboys with a millionth of his knowledge and experience argue with him on forums.

Note to bloggers, journalists etc, feel free to copy and paste the above list or even the whole article to anywhere you want.

[Bruce on Games] Read more»

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