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  • GameSpy: The Cynic's Annual E3 Awards - Page 1
    how you turn it I don t care Most Disappointing Exclusivity Announcement Epic s Gears of War exclusively for the new Xbox Because nothing says smooth FPS control like a gamepad Great been waiting for Epic to make a single player game since Unreal came out and they finally do and it s for a system on which I will never play an FPS if I even buy the thing at all which is pretty unlikely Update there are rumors that this might hit the PC but nothing official yet Maybe there s hope Rumor has it that this may not be as exclusive as it sounds but I m tired of this wait six months to a year to see it on other platforms BS and am just about ready to give up entirely on any game that does it I know the industry doesn t care about me but I ll feel better Most Necessary Economic Advancement HDTV needs to come down in price This needs to happen now Period End of story The new generation of consoles are capable of some sick resolutions but where s the value if the average gamer is still using a crappy 23 standard def interlaced TV The saturation of HDTVs is still very low and actually ones that can do 1080p haven t even hit shelves yet They re not going to be cheap when they do Worst Attempt to Cash in on the Extreme Sports Fad Ladies and gentlemen we present you with the next generation of Xbox the Xbox 360 Come on 360 s are cool right I mean nevermind that the literal interpretation of 360 means a complete turn leading to the same place one started for a second Actually for that matter let s also ignore that a 360 these days in any athletic competition is laughable Tony Hawk can pull off 900 s kids and most any decent skater snowboarder or even bike jumping guy the technical term can pull at least a 540 So yeah uhm Xbox 360 ladies and gentlemen EXTREEEEME As I said to Fargo the other day I look forward to the next generation the Xbox Kickflip to Indy Air It s the Xbox 2 Get over it I refuse to ever refer to it as anything but the Xbox 2 in my Cynic columns So if you re going to write me email bitching about that I recommend you not bother Most Retarded Statement I Read from a Random Idiot on the Internet Well it s over The Playstation 3 is clearly superior to the Xbox 2 and Microsoft might as well just give it up right now I m paraphrasing here and not linking the statement but I promise this is real and the guy who made it is probably not the only moron to make such a claim Speaking of which our next award Most Retarded Occurrence Involving E3 People thinking that anything they re seeing there has any

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/618/618817p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic - Seeing the Light - Page 1
    once we relied on flat polygons painted with the approximation of detail You seen the new UT2007 shots Or how about that high definition lighting video for Half Life 2 Man even DOOM 3 which is a step behind those other two that s not a slam it also hit the market months or years ahead of them hasn t really touched its own potential We ll need to wait another generation or two of 3D cards to see how good that game can really look Light is everything When you see color and I m talking about in the real world here what you re actually seeing is the effect of a material s molecular properties on the light waves hitting it A material will reflect some colors absorb others and that s what makes strawberries red and grass green Err for you science y folk out there bear with me I know it s a little more complex than that I m just trying to make a point The point is that light is finally being really used as well light As a texture artist and a fan of those who are better texture artists than I am this saddens me a bit just because the art is going to be lost in due time but it s inevitable And not really a problem anyway because all that s changing is the method not the results There is no longer the need to paint a bevel into a wall when the light will put it there for you and in more believable a way than the paint could ever accomplish Video games are moving into some very exciting realms these days with their ability to simulate light on a per pixel basis Some of you may have heard

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/611/611611p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic - Mailbag - Page 1
    To crank something out in two years I would say that s pretty incredible That s a BRUTAL schedule in fact for an RPG Especially one that s offering different content based on which class you play as So I have to disagree with you there Second point Vampire Bloodlines contractually couldn t be released until after Half Life 2 came out Half Life 2 suffered numerous delays Here s my understanding which may not be correct as it s based on hearsay from developers I chat with During the final stretch of delays Vampire was finished playable but not polished devs were aware of problems that could be fixed However rather than pay to have the game finished Activision decided not to invest in any more development The game sat as is for several months before release waiting for Half Life 2 to come out first I think those last couple of months could ve done wonders for the final product smoothing the rough edges and catching the bigger bugs Why was development stopped Was it already over budget I can t say for sure but I understand that the talent was there and ready to do it but that the money wasn t there to pay them Is that completely Troika s fault Maybe poor management got them into that position in the first place Or maybe it really was Activision s fault As outsiders we can t really say But I hate to pin this one on the developer I do agree though with your assessment that delivering one incomplete project after another is gonna doom any developer regardless of the reasons Dave Kosak Note My response has been slightly edited because I swear at Fargo a lot and this is a family friendly column Also it mentioned some inside details stuff that sorry I can t talk to you about Having played through Bloodlines twice once as a malkavian to experience the differing content which is mostly dialog I don t think the demands of the game merited more than a two year dev schedule particularly given that the Source engine is actually a very low detail engine in comparison to the Unreal or Lithtech engines It does most of its tricks with lighting shaders and texture work not high poly counts The content creation in Vampire should ve been doable within 24 months including the scripting and dialog Would it have been tight Sure That s usually the type of environment that produces the best work though Bethesda s RPGs take four years and suck They re huge sprawling soulless massively single player games Morrowind would probably have actually been good if it had a shorter dev schedule Instead it was a jumbled mess I tried to play it three separate times and had to give up because it was just horrible Two year dev schedules are brutal because and I say this with all love developers screw around a lot It s like the

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/596/596238p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic - Eulogy to a Flawed Developer - Page 1
    I had a lot of contact with compared to say Epic or anyone in the Texas FPS Scene which is so incestuous that I can t think of a company that at least one friend hasn t worked for So while I m sorry to hear that the people at Troika lost their jobs my sadness doesn t really draw from a personal connection I m bummed because I liked its games flawed though they were and because I think that Troika had the opportunity to be something more than what it was The talent was there the creativity was there so what happened For once I m not going to heap the blame mostly on publishers Mark this down on your calendars kids because as you well know I am typically much more forgiving of developers than publishers In this instance though the publishers are only part of the problem and perhaps not even a major part Quite simply Troika was never able to capitalize on its talent because of a lack of quality control Three games three collections of UI bugs scripting errors spelling and grammar issues and even an occasional show stopper like the mid game crash bug in Bloodlines I understand that part of a publisher s job is quality assurance and that there s really no excuse for missing major bugs like that but sooner or later a developer needs to sit back and go why does this keep happening The thing is I liked the games Well I didn t like Temple of Elemental Evil so much but that s more a failing of Dungeons Dragons than of Troika Arcanum remains one of my favorite sleeper games you may remember my column about it Vampire Bloodlines gets a bit of a free pass from

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/592/592496p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: A Rush and A Push - Page 1
    levels without wrapping up half of the story threads and that s not even getting into how damaging the influence system can be to the story I m not going to spoil the ending for you nor even dwell too much further on what exactly the issue is but believe me it s there I m not talking about leaving the story open ended in order to facilitate sequels That s fine and I can thoroughly understand it The problem is that they waste one of the creepiest bad guys in recent history then promptly send your character off on a series of solo missions and actually forget to even explain what s happening to the sidekicks you ve spent so much time training and equipping The storyline is engrossing It s deeper than KotOR s expands on the events of the first story fleshes out the mythology of that era in Star Wars history and it allows for a lot more depth in the interactions with your sidekicks That s saying something since the original title s story history and character progression were pretty nifty But just as the story is starting to wrap up and the Oh okay I think I get it moments are starting to eclipse the Wait what moments and there are a ton of the latter the game basically gives up and initiates the mediocre endgame In short I d have knocked a full second star off the game s review score bringing it down to three because of the terrible way in which it abandons everything that made it worth overlooking the bugs right at the end So who s to blame for this Well my friends I did some digging around on the Internet spent some time on various forums and found

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/588/588057p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Sole Ownership is a Soulless Sea of Repeated Innovation - Page 1
    don t care how many dump trucks full of money EA Sports pulled into your driveway I don t care how dominant the Madden franchise has been in the past I don t care that business is often more about who scratches each other s backs than it is about anything remotely close to logical action You re costing me quality and that pisses me off Love The Cynic Now let me explain this letter a bit I m going to start by actually giving a bit of justification for why these exclusivity deals come into place Then I m going to explain why that s a bunch of crap Madden 2004 Businesses like EA hate competition Why It forces them to work to remain at the top It requires them to continually make advances in the field changing their formula to remain fresh and competitive It requires thought and effort and more money than they would have to spend if there was no competition available Businesses don t like to spend money This goes as well for MLB and their deal with Take Two but let s be honest no one cares about video baseball So I m going to focus on the NFL EA deal which was about three things One The NFL s lust to control their product From the shoes players wear to the stickers allowed on their helmets from merchandise to video games the NFL wants to control every aspect they can They want nothing left to chance They want no personality in their games whatsoever They hate people like Terrell Owens Freddie Mitchell Randy Moss they don t want people rooting for names they want them rooting for symbols By having only one video game to worry about the NFL can focus entirely on

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/584/584441p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Episodic Content -- The Time is Now! - Page 1
    to the invention of the printing press and of course storytelling in general dating back to when man was painting on cave walls with yak blood For a time episodic content in computer games became too difficult to do The logistics of not only creating the content in the early 3D era which required a lot of tedious polygon work with first generation tools but of getting the increasingly large files out to the public prohibited any serious endeavors Mission Packs for games were boxed published put on store shelves Yak blood cave paintings We ve now reached a point with broadband where massive amounts of data can be downloaded in a relatively short time I reinstalled Steam the other week after the feedback from my digital delivery column just to see how long it took to get a fully working copy of Half Life 2 from scratch Total time Under three hours That s for a massive 2 5 GB title A mission pack for Half Life 2 that used some or many of the texture and model assets from the game would be drastically smaller Figuratively on a decent broadband connection you could snag a new episode worth say five hours of gameplay in twenty minutes or less How much would I pay for a five hour expansion episode to Half Life 2 That s really the question Charge me ten bucks and I m absolutely paying it No questions asked Fifteen dollars Now I m hesitating a bit Twenty I probably want more than five hours for twenty bucks I d be looking for something more like Gearbox s Opposing Force expansion for Half Life I think it could be done for ten dollars A decent expansion not a full fledged modification mind you but an expansion

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/580/580568p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Resident Cynic: Broadband Delivery or Bust! - Page 1
    step of creating a game that requires not only an Internet connection but really let s face it broadband and yet not bothering to spend your prodigious wealth on the resources necessary to let me buy it download it and start playing Thank you for giving me the willpower to make a decision that I ve been wanting to make for a year now It s done I ve made it and there can be no turning back unless I you know turn back But I won t This is my new year s resolution kids I m not buying any more games at brick and mortar stores Ever Period A Christmas Celebration For single player games I ll complain but eventually get around to buying it online and waiting for it to be delivered all the while looking at Valve s Steam system or our very own Direct2Drive site which I ve purchased several games from and not understanding why companies aren t lining up to license the technology from them But if you want me to pay you thirteen bucks a month to prance around your virtual world fedexing gnoll eyes or whatever then you gotta let me download the client Actually to be honest I feel like if you re going to charge me thirteen bucks a month to play your game then not only should I be able to download the client but I should be able to do so at a reduced rate compared to what the store copy costs I don t care about CDs I don t care about manuals I don t care about doodads and geegaws and whatsits We ve been over this I want the client and I want to spend the hour that it would take me to drive

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/577/577264p1.html (2016-02-16)
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