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Comment The real barrier is the combat itself (Score 1) 295

The real barrier to making realistic wargames in my opinion is the combat itself.

If you watch footage of either of the current wars in Iraq or Afghanistan you will be stuck by how soldiers almost never ever actually shoot at a target they can see directly. Most of the time they are piling fire at a bush or building they suspect might possibly be hiding an enemy 500-600 yards away. Actual visual contact with the enemy is almost never made. The most they see of them is usually when a patrol maybe moves into the area a few hours later and finds a couple of dead guys in a ditch or hut.

Obviously urban combat is different but the truth is real people value their lives far far too much to ever visually expose themselves to the enemy properly, especially close up. Real combat is much more grey, confusing, stratchy and "unsatisfying" than running into a building filled with 15 guys and shooting them within 10 meters of each other.

You might say it would be impossible to make a fun game whilst denying the player ever seeing his enemy or the satisfaction gunning him down close up, but personally I think it may be worth exploring games that try and replicate the chaos and confusion of real combat. Having a game filled with with characters that display some actual sense of self preservation might really change things. Maybe the player will derive a sense of fun not only from what he does and the direct consequences of his actions (shooting people, people getting shot) but simply from his sense of place and being involved in something more real and incredible. The first time I see a game without a magic hud displaying your mission is xyz displaying the number of flak88's i've yet to single handedly dynamite, or some other varient of this, I will rejoice.

Comment Rise and Fall Indeed (Score 3, Insightful) 125

"Perhaps St Augustine was right and there is only one story: of creation, fall and redemption. In PlayStationâ(TM)s case, weâ(TM)re now waiting on the latter."

The Sony tale is one of how to take huge market share and massive goodwill from your business partners and throw it all away by convincing yourself you are different from all the others and that the rules don't apply to you. (George Bush post-9/11 parallels anyone?)

Sony is an electronics company that makes it products out of pcbs and transistors like any other, but they forgot that and seemed instead to be arrogantly convinced they had some divine right to dominate the console market and could do whatever thet want.

Nintendo has done with the Wii what Sony did with the PS1 - create a system the market wants. Instead sony built the machine it wanted to make (replete with technologies like cell and blu-ray)and tried to use its strength and dominance of the previous generation to force the market to like what it had built. We all know the result.

Comment Sony still haven't learned (Score 1, Insightful) 616

I work for a game developer that makes multi-platform games and our programmers hate coding for the PS3. It always makes me chuckle seeing fanboys shouting console x can do this and console y can't do that - the irony being most multi platform games are essentially clones of each other, so being unable to do something on one console means the other doesn't get it even if it could.

This is another great example of Sony thinking they are better than anyone else because they dominated the last 2 generations of consoles. In reality the PS3 is very similar to the 360 and developers essentialy see them as two sides of the same coin. Nice to see they also haven't learned the lesson of don't let you're ceo's / public figures behave like egotistical dicks yet.

Comment Auto health (Score 1) 214

Automatic health regen ala Halo and now Call of Duty. Basically it devalues looking after yourself - as long as the other guy dies just before you, you'll be back up to 100% in a few seconds. Also means people can hang onto powerful weapons and camp the same spot for a inordinate amount of time.

Comment Console MMOs possible, is the market there though? (Score 2, Interesting) 129

People need to remember that MMORPG's aren't the only MMO games out there. Sure they are the dominant archetype among mmo's, but successes have been made of others too, many of which are more suitable for consoles.

An MMOFPS like Planetside would suit console's perfectly in my opinion - easy enough to control using a standard console controller, and a good mix of action / twitch and persistent elements. Some console games are halfway there, they provide persistent elements in having ranks / xp for characters and allow weapons and skills etc to be selected accordingly ala COD4 or BF:BC.

The main difference is the lack of persistent elements affecting the environment of scenarios the players are playing. They are still playing standard multiplayer games but with added persistent elements on their characters. Part of me wonders why few people are bothering to try anying mmo-like on consoles, considering the potential money to be made. I can see no real technological reason full blown mmo's can't be done on consoles more often, so it makes me think developers simply think the market isn't there.

It could be that developers think most console gamers would be totally against paying monthly for the privelage to play a game. Big mmo's with high server and support costs maybe won't exist until people are more used to the idea of paying monthly for a game.

Someone will crack it at some point though, and make millions(billions) when they do.

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