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Re: Scratchware

On Tue, 12 Nov 2002, Francesco Orsenigo, Xarvh Project wrote:

> This may fit into the game developement thread, i found it quite
> interesting...
> http://www.the-underdogs.org/scratch.php

The same thing is happening in all areas of entertainment.

  * Movies - the only movies that'll get a substantial
    audience this Xmas are sequels and remakes (maybe
    except for The Hulk - which isn't exactly risky
    given the number of other SuperHero movies that
    have made good money).

    So, we have:  Harry Potter II
                  Lord of the Rings part II
                  The Matrix II
                  Star Trek N (where N is a large integer)
                  James Bond 2*N
                  ...lots more...

  * TV - one program is a flook success and within
    one season every channel has a clone of it.

  * Music - big name bands get to make all the records
    - it's hard for indie groups to break through no
    matter how good their music is.

  * Books - it's easier for a big name author to get
    published than a new author - fiction books are
    increasingly formulaic.

...you name it.

The trouble with this guys thesis is that he's assuming
people want to play 2D games with little 'depth' (or watch
feature films with no classy special effects).  That's
OK for Tetris and Bomberman - but games where you are
exploring some space get pretty boring if you don't have
a team of dozens of artists churning out new levels throughout
a long development period.

Same with movies - you can't make a movie like SpiderMan
or Harry Potter without spending lots of money.  When it
comes to convincing people to spend that much money,
the risk of failure has to be low.  Hence, pick something
that's already a success and either copy or extend it.

Low budget games can exist - but just like independent low
budget movies, indie bands, etc they are made for the love
of it - not in order to make money or to reach a wide audience.
Once in a VERY long time, one of these will mysteriously
hit a nerve and become a rave word-of-mouth success - but
this is a rare event - and certainly not something one can
plan for.

Steve Baker                      (817)619-2657 (Vox/Vox-Mail)
L3Com/Link Simulation & Training (817)619-2466 (Fax)
Work: sjbaker@link.com           http://www.link.com
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