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30 Quotes From GDC 06 55

Next Generation has a piece with 30 notable quotes from last week's GDC conference. From the article: "Mitch Lasky, Senior VP of mobile EA - 'There are too many bad games. The fact is, most games suck. It's the greatest danger to the future of this business. There's a real danger of an Atari 2600 episode here, given the oversupply of poor quality content, followed by consumers abandoning the platform.'"
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30 Quotes From GDC 06

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  • by SPrintF ( 95561 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @07:11PM (#15006956) Homepage
    too many people see mobile phones primarily as communication devices

    Phone == communication device. What part of this is unclear?
    • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @07:41PM (#15007165) Journal
      What part of this is unclear?

      The part that lets companies grab at your wallet every chance they get.
    • I think it's connotation is more "solely as communication devices". They kind of had a point, if it's a communication device, it's a commodity. A game platform gives them some method of differentiation, which really means a way of charging more cash for stuff.
      • A game platform gives them some method of differentiation

        Doesn't that make it a gimmick? I don't mind calling cameras, games, ringtones, and tv on phones gimmicks. I just want a phone that has a clear way of communicating all the phone information I need to me. I can take pictures with a camera, carry a Game Boy for games, and type notes into an old PDA.

        But I can't don't have the cash or pocket/belt space for that, so I got me one of them fancy phones. I don't play games or take notes on it though. Jus

    • Phone == communication device. What part of this is unclear?

      The problem is, all of these newfangled developers use Java. To them, phone instanceof CommunicationDevice. Damn that ExpensivePointlessGamingThing extends CommunicationDevice class!
    • this is actully a huge problem with microsoft smartphones imo. This is the mindset of the people who make decisions. The mindset of needing to draw people away from communication on the phone and do something else. But ffs it's a phone! When I buy a phone I EXPECT the primary function of it to be communication. If more time is spent making it play cool games or run killer apps, then it is no longer a phone!
      • I'm so sick of seeing the GP/P's point posted almost mindlessly everytime there is the slightest talk about mobile phones doing something else than calls.

        As I see it it's a simple segregation(sp?) of the market, and there will always be phones for people who only need the phone function.
        • I do not own a cellular phone. Every time I've talked on one I thought the sound quality was poor. Often when people call me with them I find the sound quality poor. I know a bit about the methods used to compress voice sounds for cell phones, and it's a cool concept that gets great compression ratios but it just isn't cutting it quality-wise at this point in my opinion. Furthermore, my friends with cell phones often have to worry about reliability issues (with either the phone or the service) or "runni
          • Dear refugee from the 1980s:
            1. perhaps you should try a mobile phone made in the current millennium.
            2. perhaps you should stop clenching your butt about the sound quality [] of a freaking phone call.
            3. perhaps you should stop watching so many stupid TV commercials and try any of the dozens of unlimited calling options from the various phone companies these days.
  • EA Quote (Score:4, Funny)

    by eviloverlordx ( 99809 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @07:13PM (#15006969)
    Neil Young
    General manager
    EA L.A.
    "One new feature or fresh take can change everything."

    This from Electronic Arts?
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @07:33PM (#15007104)
    When I was working on Backyard Baseball (GameCube) for Atari, I got this comment from a programmer in one of the bug reports: "I don't know what the problem is, but whatever it was it's now fixed."

    I was going to ask him to step through the code to find out exactly what the problem was to be absolutely sure that it was fixed, but I didn't want to risk breaking anything else because of that. Bad enough they waited until the last build to remove the animation of one of the kids flipping off the pitcher when striking out and remove all the background phallic imagery. It was a children's game, btw.
    • Wow. My little sisters play the Backyard series on PC. Is that stuff really removed, or can I expect to find some easter eggs? ;)
      • All the obscene "easter eggs" were removed from Backyard Baseball (GameCube). There weren't any for Backyard Football (GameCube) and Backyard Hockey (GBA). I made sure of that on all the titles that I worked on in the Backyard series. I can't speak for the PC versions since all of my projects as a lead tester at Atari were consoles.
    • I think I've actually said something like that myself in response to a bug report.

      In my case, it was shorthand for "I don't know what code was causing the problem described, but I do not see the described behavior in the current build."

      Communication issues between QA and Dev teams can be amazingly huge, doubly so when the dev is an external studio. Oftentimes I'd get bugs back from the publishers QA department and wonder if they were really testing our game, because they would use completely different terms
  • by SpottedKuh ( 855161 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:01PM (#15007315)
    Jason Ford
    General manager for games and entertainment
    Sprint Nextel
    "We reject about 30 games a month because so many of them are offering the same gameplay over and over again. Lots of these games just aren't fun, offering wretched controls. Many of them are mediocre at best."

    Wow. If this is at all indicative of the behaviours of other publishers, then let me be the first to say...

    ...that I'm not sure if I would laugh or cry if I got to play the games that they rejected!
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:04PM (#15007343) Homepage Journal
    that casual gamers are the real market/universe, and that hardcore gamers are only a small subset of that.

    That, to me, is the lesson of Nintendogs.

    When the gaming industry wakes up to that one is when games explode into life.
  • by Jim Robinson Jr. ( 853390 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:42PM (#15007579)
    as a *very* casual gamer, and one getting dangerously close to 40, I actually appreciate games that are (1) simplistic, (2) easy on the eyes, (3) I can figure out how to play in 30 seconds or less, and (4) don't require I make a professional investment of time to enjoy.

    As for the Atari 2600, I've still got most of my cartridges; and if I had a functional console I'd still be playing them!

    Does this mean I'm out of touch? Maybe... but I'm willing to be there are millions of us "out of touch" people who would love a quick game of astroids.
  • risk (Score:2, Funny)

    Satoru Iwata -President Nintendo
    "We do not run from risk. We run to risk. We move beyond current boundaries."

    What he's actually saying: Risk 2000 is being developed for the revolution! Finally bring a good boardgame to the console!
  • Darwinia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:17PM (#15008036) Homepage
    "We didn't take money from publishers because we didn't want publishers to fuck up our game."

    - One of the creators of Darwinia, accepting the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
  • Says the same people who ran from CD, online multiplayer, voice chat, (and eventually caved), HDTV, fully voiced games as standard, etc etc. Nintendo does indeed run from risk
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:44PM (#15008395) Homepage
      To be fair, Nintendo had the first online console, the the first handheld portable game system, the first re-writable optical drive in a console. They had the first (and only) all-red dual-eye parallax game console, the first battery backed-up cartridge, the first scrolling arcade game. They had the first shoulder buttons, the first analog stick (on a major system), the first rumble pack, the first diamond configuration buttons. They had the first analog buttons that click when you hold them all the way down. They had the second handheld to system link feature, the first utterly gratuitous plate-spinning robot, the first sewing machine attachment. They had some of the the first portable single-title LCD games. They had the first 3rd person / 1st person hybrid shooter, the first action floor mat, the first touch-screen portable gaming system. The first (by a few days) portable gaming system with built-in wifi.

      All of the things that you list as Nintendo shying away from are actually things which everyone else in the industry considered the safe bet. When everyone was going to CD, Nintendo took a risk and stuck with the access times of cartridges. 10 years ago when everyone said that online console gaming was now, Nintendo correctly said that the time was not yet right.

      With Pokemon, Virtua Boy, Nintendogs, Kirby, Brain Games, Bulky Drive, etc, it is hard to fault their originality. Nintendo routinely does really bafflingly odd things.
      • Don't forget Wario Ware []
      • And even more bafflingly, and more importantly, they're the only one to sell their hardware at a profit. They're the only one with an actual business model which is making them rich.

        Sure, the gamecube just about tied with the xbox in terms of worldwide, product lifetime sales. But Nintendo also sells gameboy's (advance/micro/DS) by the absolute containershipload. And unlike Sony and MS, who are selling their stuff at a loss, Nintendo makes money on each system sold. Plus they make money on the games, which
      • the first analog stick (on a major system)

        I think the Atari 5200 could be considered a "major system" of its day, even if you don't want to count the Vectrex.

        And all that before Nintendo even thought of creating a home video game console. There were video games before 1986, you know.

        Kids these days. And keep off my BGCOLOR="#00FF00"!

      • Nintendo had the first online console

        Online in what sense? If you are referring simply to telecommunications capability, then the first would actually be the Intellivision (via the PlayCable device) [], followed closely by the Atari 2600 (the Gameline modem) []. If you are referring to Internet access, then the first would be the Dreamcast. Either way, Nintendo was not first.

        the first analog stick (on a major system)

        Well, being the first to get somebody else's idea to sell big is still not innovation, and they sh
    • by Anonymous Coward
      None of those things are actually risky. In virtually every case, Nintendo made the right decision (for them), because typically the technology / timing / society / whatever wasn't right, and often not following what everyone else was doing was a greater risk.

      Example - the N64. No CDs. Why? Nintendo didn't consider it to be worth it. Look back at all the previous consoles that had CD capability (SegaCD, NeoGeo CD, Jaguar, 3DO, and so on), and you'll see that they all tanked. They had all kinds of technical
    • Following a trend is not perticularly risky. Came you name many companies that set their vision straight and follow it despite of the rest of the industry? Not only that, you can take alot of risk and loose everything, but they are actualy very succesful with their ideas. It was said here very often that Nintendo is racking up huge pile of money with its handheld division, something I don't find hard to believe if you add the numbers [].
  • by Lave ( 958216 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @06:16AM (#15009374)
    John Epstein Double Fusion - "TV advertising is increasingly viewed with concern because of commercial skipping and lack of engagement. Games are the most powerful advertising medium that exists today." TFA links to an article within which he says:

    "Don't tell me you'd stop playing Grand Theft Auto if you saw a Gap ad instead of some generic fake brand."

    Yes I would. GTA has satirical adverts. They criticise the media, the insulting way they treat the public, and make an good social comment which improve the game no end. This is what sets it apart from EA rip offs.

    We've enjoyed a medium near enough free from advertising. And it is our duty to preserve this. If I pay £40 (and next gen £50) to buy a game, I buy the freedom from ads. You can put them in, but then you must make the game free. There is no middle ground. An XBOX 360 game full of ads won't cost less than some fantasy game that doesn't have them. If you think it will, I am sorry but you are fooling yourself. All it does is succeed in making genres that are not "advertising friendly" less financially viable.

    Just because american TV lost the battle to product placement (as the UK might, if the EU stops product placement being illegal), that doesn't mean it's ok for games to lose too. Because this is what this is - Product Placement.

    And most importantly, I think it's fair to say most people who play games on slashdot want games to be seen as art. Want them to be acknowledged as a new , creative and meaningful media. And how can that happen if the people making the game have no fucking respect for their own creations.

    To quote the late, great, Bill Hicks:

    "Here's the deal, folks. You do a commercial - you're off the artistic roll call, forever. End of story. Okay? You're another whore at the captialist gang bang and if you do a commercial, there's a price on your head. Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink." - Bill Hicks

  • by chrish ( 4714 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @10:03AM (#15010151) Homepage
    Chris Satchell
    General manager of the Game Developer Group
    "Developers need a better way to make games and manage the production process. XNA Studio enables all developers - from major development studios to the two guys moonlighting on a dream project in their garage or dorm room - to create games in new, more efficient ways."

    Wait, isn't XNA and the Xbox development kit super expensive? Thus cutting out the "two guys moonlighting" entirely?
    • Wait, isn't XNA and the Xbox development kit super expensive? Thus cutting out the "two guys moonlighting" entirely? ... no. It's less than a thousand dollars for the Live Arcade XNA platform, and if they like your plan, they'll give it to you for free. The expensive part is making a glass master and burning fifty thousand discs, putting them in boxes and paying for WalMart shelf space.

      Thanks to XBox Live Arcade, the XBox 360 is now the cheapest platform to target. I'm a Nintendo developer, so this both
  • Phil Harrison
    SCE Worldwide Studios
    "Our job is lead and innovate. We've done it faster and at higher price points."

    The Playstation 2 is a great machine, with a great library of games. But when you get right down to it, it's a Playstation 1 with more RAM, more muscle and more storage. And the Playstation 1 was an SNES with more RAM, more muscle and more storage.

    And the Playstation 3 is... well you get the idea.

    Just because they're in first place doesn't mean they're leading. $10 says the PS3 gets an
  • What about the guy who worked on Darwinia (I think) who said the reason they slaved so hard on it without taking any money from publishers is because they didnt want publishers fucking up their game. I think that was the best line at the whole thing even though it was in the IGF Awards. I think that applause could have continued all night long.

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.