Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Warren Spector response

I posted this in response to Warren Spector's latest article about the future of gaming in the Escapist.

"I think the answer to all of Warren's ills can be summed up in one word: indie.

Simply put, what he's lamenting is the lack of Spielberg-equivalent power (relatively speaking) with independent sensibilities of content and exploration of those themes. In this regard he's not alone by any means. There are plenty of developers who are struggling with what amounts to a paradigm shift in their business and their creative lives.

However, there is hope. There are engines and tools on the small end of the scale. Not everything has to be about AAA, and no idea requires AAA levels of production to work. Warren mentions that he has ideas from 15 years that he feels can only be done now. I ask why is that. Graphical punch aside, what are the key traits of these ideas that make them so tech-necessary? A lot of even the supposedly important advances in games technology are just layers and layers of effects, and Warren's own Deus Ex remains to this day the most interesting fps adventure game (not the sequel though, sorry Warren) for the last ten years. It does so on what is a comparative shoestring compared to the 20 million club.

Any idea can be developed at any level. It just takes belief and the ability and willingness to work within constraints rather than growing angry or disillusioned at their existence. What Warren needs, it sounds to me, is a little faith."

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