You have to postulate working anti-gravity without acknowledging the ramifications of that technology. Or spend more on wirework and/or CGI than can be coped with by a standard show's budget.
And you have to find plots that haven't been done before. Without resorting to reversing the polarity of the neutron flow or getting this cheese to Sickbay. There's what, about 800 episodes of Trek in all its incarnations, plus Galactica old and new, Babylon 5, and stuff that only made very short runs, S:AAB, Space Rangers etc.
All the science fiction from the last decade I can think of is earth-based, and I don't think it's because it's easier or cheaper to make, although it probably is. I think much of it is because any time someone comes up with an idea for a space-based series, it just sounds like Star Trek, The Nth Generation, or Babylon 6.
You've chosen to release a console that's less powerful than the PC I built 2 years ago, so heavily encrusted with DRM that it will get in the way of playing games I have purchased. Router bounces - say goodbye to your game session. ISP has problems - no games for you, you filthy thief.
Here's a little hint, MS - you are not the only game in town. There has never been such excellent choice in the games and console market. I can run MAME on my Raspberry Pi, or Skyrim at full shiniez on the PC. What do you have to offer that's so unique? Halo? No, that's not looking a bit tired at all. Halo 5? Wow, I wonder what you have to do in *that* game!? (hint: shoot aliens...)
My PC plays anything that needs heavy lifting - my 360, Dreamcast, N64, PS3, PS2 and Saturn all still work, and I have plenty games to tide me over your entire current console lifecycle. Really, what are you offering this time around to make up for all this shit?
So if I could build a machine with this power 2 years ago, why are the front-runners in the industry only just getting round to it now? Are they always going to be behind the curve, because they're having to homogenise the hardware? By the time they've finalised the design, got the devkits out to the software houses, and prepped the factories for production of the final unit, are they're always going to be x amount of time behind the leading edge?
Maybe they're just counting on the fact that the bulk of console gamers will be impressed by 1920x1080 at 60fps.
There are many ways this could be explored; where the Doctor has to do the right thing, which isn't necessarily the good thing. I also wish that the plot line they had in mind for Colin Baker's Doctor could have been done properly, instead of being mangled about by writer's strikes etc. For its time, it was quite revolutionary - the idea that the Doctor's regeneration had gone subtly wrong, leaving him more like the Master than the Doctor. The Sixth Doctor's arc was meant to be a slow descent into hell for the character, and any companions unfortunate enough to get caught up in his self-destruction, before his realisation that it had all gone wrong, and his deliberate suicide, in the hope that the next regeneration would correct the problem, because he was too dangerous to leave running around.
That arc would have made the Sixth Doctor a damaged and tragic figure in the Who mythos, not just the 'bit of a twat' he's generally regarded as, which I feel is a bit unfair to Colin Baker.
I got a job once because on the interview form, where it said to state an achievement I was most proud of, I listed a 3.5 year RPG campaign that I wrote from scratch, designed the system for and GM'med every episode on a weekly basis. When they asked me about it, I explained how this involves system design, small-team leadership, group discussion and input, fast reactions to new data and events, and a huge amount of thinking on one's feet.
What I didn't mention were the puns that could stun at 20 paces; laughing so hard that it felt like God herself had opened the top of my head and kissed my naked brain; and the ability to reduce grown men and women to genuine laughter and tears with a handful of pencilled notes on a piece of paper.
What I couldn't mention is that some things grow out of these adventures organically, and there exists no way to describe them to outsiders. There is too much context required, and you know their eyes would glaze over long before you reached the punchline. There are only a handful of people on this planet who will ever understand why: "Range to target?" "B flat!" is funny, or grok what we meant by "Warm up the anthrax cannons, the main speakers, and the rotisserie!", or know why the cry of "Death from above!" is *always* followed by the line "Chocolates from Switzerland!". And that's as it should be.
I'll never understand why anyone would care about the outcome of a game that they didn't have money riding on; the mundanes will never understand why we never stopped telling ourselves stories.
Personal flight is a game-changer. The powers that be don't really want it changed. It's not physics, engineering or fuel efficiency that's stopping it from happening - all those problems have already been solved. The only problem is people. Specifically, the people in charge. It doesn't matter how cheap this kit gets, or how safe and efficient, Joe Public will not be allowed to have one. Taxes and licences (and hardcore punishments for not having one...) will keep people earthbound, because no government on earth could cope with its people being given the freedom of the 3rd dimension. Borders and passports would become archaic reminders of a time when you used to have to ask permission from your government to be allowed to travel around. There would be diasporas from cities as people became able to live miles out of town, without the commute being an issue on narrow country roads.
Fully-functional personal flight devices - flying cars, if you like - already exist, and can cost no more than a luxury car (Gen H-4 for $60K), but the chances of you ever getting off the ground in one are slim. Red tape will keep them down much more effectively than gravity.
Most depressing story I ever read, I can't remember the title of - maybe someone can help. Short story, being written from the point of someone who is Atoning. What is she Atoning for? Well, humanity found this abandoned world. All beautifully laid out, slightly odd architecture, but ready for humans to just move in. And food in abundance, with the most delicious vegetables. Who turn out to be the inhabitants, who go dormant every so often, like 17-year locusts. They wake up to find this strange alien race camped out on their planet, chowing down on their unborn children. Worse than that, they're such an advanced species, they forgive us. We weren't being evil, just very stupid. So the human race Atones by returning parts of their body to the biosphere of the world, and the reveal is that this person is largely artificial now, because she'd been on-world for so long, that she was mostly composed of local proteins.
Cracking story, totally alien aliens, and the idea that we hadn't invaded, or attacked, we'd just buggered up the evolution of an entire species that would take generations to fix, because we got it horribly wrong.
Spec Ops: The LIne balances stunning opulence against desert ruins, but even the desert has more colours than Rage managed in the entire game.
Too many devs seem to think that colourful=cartoony, so you only get Ratchet and Clank games that actually remember your TV can actually do red, green and blue as themselves. And too many devs would rather put all the effort into extra textures and lighting, rather than using it to handle more realistic environments. I want more cars in GTA V, not just higher-res versions of the earlier ones. I want to be able to shoot out the tyres and every window, not have it be a hyper-detailed texture applied to a rolling brick.
Do many of these devs not do beta-testing? If a level is incomprehensible within the canon of the game - you designed it wrong..
I was put off ever playing Heavy Rain when I learned that there's only one killer. What are you going to do - play it twice and act surprised at the ending? I'm sure it would have been technically possible to set the game up so in each new game the killer was any one of a number of possible suspects, but the amount of plot-tracking that would require means it didn't make it into the finished game.
Some games do an excellent job of combining story and plot (which aren't the same thing). Half-Life and its sequels all have a very simple plot - escape, but the story of how you go about it is beautifully detailed. Both Witcher games do an amazing job, in that the consequences of your actions aren't always visible until much, much later. Mass Effect 1 had a good try, and all the Geneforge games have huge, rich backstories running through them. But the player should drive the story, not just be subjected to large arbitrary chunks of it for no reason as in MGS4.
Video games have the same capacity for storytelling as any other entertainment medium, but the producers have to be prepared to pay for it on creation, and the public have to be prepared to pay for it on delivery.
I'm going to use my awesome psychic powers here to predict that it's a map pack with a 10-hour campaign bolted on, and a handful of obscure weapons added to the multiplayer. Because that's much, much cheaper than actually doing any work.
Most games companies (excluding Valve) are no longer in the business of providing top-quality entertainment. Their job now is to figure out precisely how little they can give you, and how much they can charge you, before you finally vote with your wallet and go somewhere else. You know that if the game makers came up with a 16-hour campaign, the publishers would release an 8-hour campaign, and 2 x 4-hour DLC.
I haven't bought anything in the last 6 months that wasn't on Steam. Still working through Arkham City, Psychonauts, Serious Sam 3, Braid, Rock of Ages, and Assassins Creed. I don't need or want to buy any new games at $70 or UKP equivalent - I'll just wait until they show up on Steam in a year for half that.
And if you just want to read your email, a smartphone will do in a pinch, but a tablet will do fine. Practically anything on the market will do it - doesn't need to be a top-of-the-range iPad. So only gamers are buying PCs. Businesses aren't - we have 5 year old machines in the office that still run XP and Office just fine. We don't need multi-core setups and uber-gfx cards to do Powerpoint and Excel. We have no upgrade plans for at least 3 years and we'll probably completely leapfrog Win7 when we do. PCs got 'good enough' a while back - no wonder the market's flattened out.
You can see how the machine works.
I played with steam engines as a kid. I made miniature hot-air balloons, with candles and large thin paper bags. I rebuilt car and bike engines as an adult, because I understand how these things work. I don't understand electrons. I don't really know how my PC works - I built it, but it was just a question of assembling the components in the proper order and loading up a ton of software that someone else wrote. When it goes wrong, my only usual recourse is to switch off and on again, and in severe cases, re-install Windows.
I think a lot of the appeal of steampunk is that people do understand it - dirigibles, semaphore, steam and diesel engines are things you could explain to any educated person of the last few hundred years in a few minutes. Mobile phones might as well be magic boxes to 99% of the people who carry them around - Clarke's Law has kicked in with a vengeance.
Watched the first episode of the TV series, which was just utter shit. An inherent problem with zombie-based plots, is that no-one in them is allowed to have ever seen a zombie film, read a zombie comic, played House of the Dead etc. So they act stupid, which gets them killed, and if you're acting stupider than a zombie, that's pretty damn stupid. The hero finds a perfect location - a police station with its own generator, hot water supply, a supply of guns and ammo, and the closest thing to an actual fortress that you'll find in a modern city. Eminently defensible. So he leaves after taking a shower. And wanders among the zombies wearing a short-sleeved shirt. At which point, I lost all interest in the doings of anybody so retarded. He might as well have doused himself in steak sauce, shoved a sprig of parsley up his arse and laid down next to a sign reading Welcome To The All-You-Can-Eat Fuckwit Buffet.
Although you'd think zombies would be the perfect enemies for a video game, (no remorse about killing something already dead), few have been any good. Dead Rising could have been excellent, were it not for the fact that weapons broke so easily. Have you ever tried to break a crowbar? Dead Island was just appalling, and Left for Dead is ok, if you have a group of decent players, as the bots are not overly bright. It also feels a little odd - computer-controlled NPCs vs computer-controlled zombies - kinda feels like you could leave the machine on, not pick up a controller, and the game would play away quite happily without you. Not exactly the sense of total immersion I want in a game.