the_barren_and_the_hopeful_pc

In keeping with Microsoft’s tradition of trying to garner as much hate as corporately possible, an announcement from Remedy stated that in all likelihood, Alan Wake would not be released on the PC simultaneously with the Xbox 360, and that ultimately, Microsoft was responsible.

I’m amazed that Microsoft’s efforts to trounce their name can still surprise me. It usually happens when I have a profound love for a product that they have somehow twistedly involved themselves with. In this case, Alan Wake. Further cementing the harrowing reality that PC’s, which were once the father, is now the red-headed stepchild of gaming platforms, and it’s getting out of hand. The fact that some random commenter on BrightFalls, used the very same words to describe PC gaming as it stands today, is indicative of a very sad consensus.

It’s no surprising why the PC market is dwindling, or why Gears of War received poor reception on the platform. By the time they (Microsoft and Epic Games) release the game on the system, it was old hat, most likely played at a friends place while in parallel, being completely deprecated by online media. Then the suits at Microsoft and Epic perceive PC’s as a “poor platform”. Retards, the lot of them. The game industry wouldn’t be where it is today without computer games. That goes for their companies too. It’s astounding that developers can discard a user base that has brought them success and riches through loyal support, without even flinching. Shame on you Remedy, you can suck my balls in bullet-time.

I guess the source of my immense resentment is the fact that, I believe noobs are responsible for this turn in the industry. PC’s simply don’t have the buffer of a couple million casual gamer masses like consoles do. And this bothers me to my core. It’s these “people” that are causing the votes to swing the opposite way. It’s like having the jocks win at the end of a movie. They save the world and get the girl, while the nerd gets to sleep in a pile of his own shit. The passionate, loyal and true gamer is being replaced by the spontaneous, unappreciative casual gamer. Persuading me that the world, is indeed, unfair. The thought of starting an online petition actually crossed my mind, even though it’s frowned upon. News that you find disarming will have that effect. But upon giving it more thought, I came to a reasonable and possibly more effective way to voice my concern. Make your opinion heard in places that matter, such as community forums and websites based around the specific game, where developers will most likely have their ear to the ground. Regarding Alan Wake, BrightFalls might be a good first step.

I was so deeply excited for Alan Wake, simply because I believed it would be better on my PC. Oh, forgive me for loving anti-aliasing, and that I can use resolutions that are so high, they border on divine. I had aspirations of taking part in something that harkened back to my experience with the original Alone in the Dark. So silly of me.

Unknowingly a powerful metaphor for PC gaming, the glimmer of life in the barren wasteland.

Rage, unknowingly a powerful metaphor for PC gaming, a sign of life in a previously thriving world.

Amidst the despair in the barren landscape that is PC gaming, there are the few glimmers of hope, whose light provides the most comforting warmth. Id Software have begun teasing us with crumbs off of their royal table. Providing tidbits of media for their upcoming post-apocalyptic title, Rage, on their new teaser site After the Impact. As of this writing and checking the website, I see they’ve updated it, so do check it out. The website itself oozes with atmosphere, one can only imagine how consuming the actual game will be. From an artistic and design perspective, Rage is looking hot. Subtle touches are even evident on the website, such as the ship named Apophis. Signs of Id’s focus in creating not only high-tech graphics, but great content and design as well. I guess they thought one way to break the ice with their parent company, was to shame them.

Thank goodness for FPS games, RTS games and World of Warcraft to help keep the dream alive.

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What the Hell

By Daniel Carvalho

    what_the_hell

    For those of you that don’t know; John Carmack is my favourite game developer. I’ve always looked up to him and found him as a source of inspiration. I’ve listened to his talks countless times, and have been following his company, Id Software, for many years. From Commander Keen to Doom, I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed Id’s hard work. But now, it seems, that my worst fear has materialized, so terrible, I couldn’t have even imagined.

    Upon taking a quick gander at Kotaku before going to bed, I read the headline, “id Software Bought By Bethesda Parent Company, ZeniMax,” followed by, “id: Why We Sold To ZeniMax.” I sat there, stunned and refusing to believe my eyes. I took a moment so that the headlines would sink in, and then decided to read the further. Scurrying for any excuse I could find, I was hoping the headlines were some clever play with words. To my dismay, the headlines were dead on.

    Some of you might be wondering, why is this such a shock for me? Well, I’ve always admired Id Software’s self direction. Being an independent developer, they’ve never really needed to answer to anyone. I’ve always accredited this fact, as a strength to Id Software. Being a fan of the company, this was a point of pride for me. Id Software were around since the beginning of the golden era of game development. Let me clarify. I’m not suggesting they made the first video game, but they helped boost the entire video game industry as a medium. I loved the fact that they’ve run their own ship since the heydays, where so many other companies have been bought out, only to be the small print in some corporate take-over. Lets not forget, they created the first person shooter genre!

    This calamity is exacerbated by the fact that Id Software and Bethesda Softworks are poles apart. Chalk and cheese if you will. John Carmack and his team create polished products, which may not necessarily be incredibly original, but the experience is always sublime. Bethesda on the other hand, if it were not for Fallout 3, I would still completely loathe and despise. Bethesda’s ham handed, stale and lifeless approach to creating worlds has always rubbed me the wrong way. Excessive repetition of areas and the complete overuse of art assets in their titles, leads me to believe that their aim in life is to unlock some sort of achievement for using copy and paste more than anyone else on planet earth. Characters and non-player characters that remain perfectly prostate and stiff when conversing with the player, concluding with them walking away like they have a carrot stuck up their arse. Terrible scripts made worse with even more terrible voice acting. The technology used in their games is always sub-par, and continuously reskinned and labelled as new titles. Their outdoor lighting is bland and almost non-existent. Rudimentary aspects such as fire casting light and ambient sound effects are usually forgotten or omitted. Not to mention their engines run poorly, and that their games crash often. How Bethesda has managed to make, what should be a beautifully crafted single player experience feel like an MMO is completely appalling.

    Legendary game developer and icon of the industry, John Carmack.

    Legendary game developer and icon of the industry, John Carmack.

    I realize I have, when in comparison to the gaming masses, a fairly unique opinion of Bethesda Softworks. Partly because I believe I’m one of the last, sane and critical thinking people left on earth that play games, alongside Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw. It’s nice to know that none other than John Romero himself, shared somewhat similar feelings. Even Penny-Arcade’s Jerry Holkins had something to say, which adequately described my fear. I foresee Bethesda Softworks benefiting a lot out of this acquisition. I assume they’ll get their hands on John Carmack’s amazing technology, Id Tech 5, and future feats born out of his genius. As far as Id Software is concerned, I pray that Bethesda have zero influence on their projects. I’m just glad to read that Id Software, as noted in the press releases, is going to run as it always has and I sincerely hope that’s true.¬† If anything, as much as this is a turn from my initial attitude towards this acquisition, I should give John Carmack the benefit of the doubt.

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